Find Your Next Read Using Our Online Catalogs

A set of books with headphonesNLS’s New Catalog

Finding your next great read is easier than ever with the new National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) Catalog search features! NLS Catalog boasts a new, clean design and advanced search functionality, direct links to BARD from catalog listings for quick downloads, and for the first time, patrons can directly request books to add to our collection! Patrons will also find links to contact a librarian and other resources to get the most out of NLS. Start exploring the catalog here:

Our Online Catalog

Patrons can also search our library’s Online Catalog by author, title and subject.  Patrons can search by author, title and subject and place holds on items.  When you put a book on hold through the online catalog, that book will go on your request list and will be downloaded to the next cartridge you send back, or if it is a Braille or large print book, it will be sent out to you when it is available.  To place a hold on a book, search for the book you are interested in.  Once you have found what you are looking for, there will be an icon that is labeled “Hold.”  The icon looks like a piece of paper with a green arrow circling around it.  Click that icon to place the hold.  If you are not signed in, it will prompt you to sign in.  Once you are signed in, just click the “hold” button one more time.  The book is now on hold for you!

Book Reviews by Deena

Heart shape filled with books on shelvesCheck out these book reviews from Deena.  Deena was a member of the Library’s Patron Service Team and continues to generously share book reviews with us during her retirement.  Thank you, Deena!

Let us know if you would like any titles added to your booklist or head over to BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) to download the titles available.  Need more information about BARD?  See our BARD Page.

Unwilling by John Hart DB103829
John French is a policeman in North Carolina.  He has three sons. One son was killed in Vietnam.  Jason, also served in Vietnam, came back and went to prison. He is now out of prison and the younger son Gibson “Gibby” wants to reestablish a relationship with his brother.  Jason takes Gibby out with several women.  One of the women ends up murdered and Jason is arrested.  Gibby sets out to prove Jason had nothing to do with the murder.  Meanwhile, Jason is back in the prison where he was before and one of inmates runs the prison and is very brutal.  He has is out for Jason.

Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris DB97024
Cilka was in Auschwitz for three years. When she is released, she is told she is going to another camp for fifteen years in Siberia because of her actions in Auschwitz.  In the new camp, near the Arctic Circle, there are only two months of summer, and the rest of the time is very cold and dark. The life is harsh. Cilka’s first job is collecting coal. She later works in the hospital and eventually becomes a nurse. At the beginning, she lives in a hut with other women and the women don’t always get along. Once Cilka starts working in the hospital she receives more food which she shares with the other women in her hut. While in camp, Cilka finds the love she was longing for at the most unexpected time.

Secret School by Avi DB53789
This is a great book for kids.
1925:  The teacher Miss Fletcher leaves for a family emergency in April.  The school board says they will not replace her this late in the term. The two oldest students Ida and Tom must take exams at the end of the school year in order to go on to high school. They put their heads together and decide that since Ida is the smartest student in the class, she should take over the teaching duties.  They swear the other students to secrecy and all students continue to come to school so they won’t have to repeat the work next year. The school board eventually gets wind of the “secret school” and the children’s plan is threatened.


Peek-A-Box Logo, blue polka dot with a stack of books.Peek-a-Box is a new program presented to you by the Iowa Library for the Blind and Print Disabled.  Beginning in January, Peek-a-Box will offer patrons, ages 18 years and older, a program to receive a monthly box of books and goodies just for them.  Each month patrons in the program will receive a special box filled with books – audio or braille or large print – and goodies centered around a theme. 

Patrons who opt for audiobooks will receive a cartridge with 10-20 books dedicated to the theme of the month.  Patrons who choose to get braille or large print will receive 1-3 books.  Braille and large print books will be mailed separately, apart from the Peek-a-Box.  Patrons should return the cartridges and books when finished with them and keep the goodies for themselves.  Books to borrow and goodies to keep!

To kick things off in January, we are starting with the theme All Iowa Reads! 

If you are interested in subscribing to Peek-a-Box, please complete this registration form or contact the library at 515.281.1323 and we can help get you subscribed.  By subscribing to Peek-a-Box, you are subscribing to 12 months of Peek-a-Boxes, but you can cancel your subscription at any time by contacting the library.

Sign up today!

Book Reviews from Deena

Heart shape filled with books on shelvesCheck out these book reviews from Deena.  Deena was a member of the Library’s Patron Service Team and continues to generously share book reviews with us during her retirement.  Thank you, Deena!

Let us know if you would like any titles added to your booklist or head over to BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download) to download the titles availalbe.  Need more information about BARD?  See our BARD Page.

Leeway Cottage by Beth Gutcheon  CTC3778
Laurus and Sydney fall in love. Laurus is a well-known musician from Denmark. Laurus and Sydney marry, but Laurus goes off to defend Denmark in World War II staying in Europe for several years, for the duration of the war leaving Sydney pregnant During the war, Laurus’s sister, Nina joins the resistance and eventually is caught and sent to a concentration camp. Laurus returns to the U. S. and he and Sydney have several more children. Their son is a troublemaker and is kicked out of a number of boarding schools.
Sydney, like her mother, is more concerned with herself and how she looks to other people than she is her children. Each summer the family spends their time in Maine at Leeway Cottage participating in sailing, parties, and golfing. If you are interested in family sagas spanning from the 1930’s to the 1990’s this is an interesting story.

The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans DB70292
James Keir, is a ruthless businessman.  His obituary appears in the newspaper, only they have mixed-up the James Keir’s. As James reads the negative comments on “his” obituary on the Internet, he begins to think about his life and how he would like to be remembered. He decides he must change his ways and make amends to those he has hurt. He asks his secretary to make a list of those he has wronged and goes to visit each person with mixed results.

The 13th Day of Christmas by Jason F. Wright  UDBU01543
Charlee Alexander’s family is down on their luck. They move to a new town for a fresh start. Charlee makes friends with Marva, an 80-year-old widow.  They become the best of friends, talking every day. Charlee is soon diagnosed with a brain tumor just before Christmas.  Marva creates the 13 days of Christmas to give Charlee little gifts each day to lift her spirits. As Charlee gets better Marva becomes ill. When Marva’s life ends Charlee and her brother Zach take over the 13 days of Christmas tradition giving to those who need a lift.

Library Chat Podcast: November 2022

November’s Library Chat Podcast, is all about friends.  With Thanksgiving and the holiday season upon us we thought it would be a great time to talk about Friendsgiving.  Learn about our Friends of the Library group, books about friends and friendships and podcasts hosted by friends about friends.

Books from the November Library Chat Podcast (all titles can be found on BARD):

The National Book Awards

The National Book Awards were established in 1950 to celebrate the best writing in America. Since 1989, they have been overseen by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to celebrate the best literature in America, expand its audience, and ensure that books have a prominent place in American culture. Although other categories have been recognized in the past, the Awards currently honors the best Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and Young People’s Literature published each year. (  The winners for 2022 will announced November 16th.  In celebration of the National Book Awards, check out the winners of the Fiction category for the last ten years which are available in audio on BARD.


Hell of a book: or the altogether factual, Wholly Bona Fide story of a big dreams, hard luck, American-Made Mad Kid DB104515

Mott, Jason 
 A Black author sets out on a cross-country publicity tour to promote his bestselling novel. His story is intertwined with Soot, a young Black boy living in a rural town in the recent past, and The Kid, a possibly imaginary child who appears to the author on his tour. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2021.


Interior Chinatown DB98416

Yu, Charles 
Every day, actor Willis Wu heads to the Chinatown restaurant where they are perpetually filming a police procedural TV show. He feels like he plays a bit role even in his own life, but dreams of one day having a chance at something more. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2020.


Trust exercise DB94561

Choi, Susan
In the 1980s, David and Sarah are both students at a competitive performing arts high school. Their passionate relationship is noticed by the school’s charismatic acting teacher, Mr. Kingsley. Years later, Sarah publishes a novel about that time in her life, calling into question what really happened. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2019.


The friend: a novel DB90286

Nunez, Sigrid 
A writing professor is mourning the suicide of her best friend and mentor, a famous author. She takes responsibility for Apollo, her friend’s huge Great Dane, finding in the dog someone to share her immense grief. Some descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. 2018.


Sing, unburied, sing: a novel DB89552

Ward, Jesmyn 
Thirteen-year-old Jojo has been raised by his grandparents, as his black mother, Leonie, is a drug addict and his white father, Michael, is in prison. When Michael is released, Leonie packs Jojo and his baby sister in the car for a nightmarish road trip. Violence and strong language. 2017.


The Underground Railroad DB85212

Whitehead, Colson 
Cora, a third-generation slave, flees the plantation where she lives. She escapes with a man who claims to know how to get to the Underground Railroad. Once there, she discovers it is an actual railroad, and every stop shows her moments of horror and joy. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2016.


Fortune smiles DB82453

Johnson, Adam
A collection of short stories from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Orphan Master’s Son (DB 74282). A man searches for his son’s mother. A computer programmer finds comfort in a digital copy of the recently assassinated president. A former Stasi agent ponders his past. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. 2015.


Redeployment DB78988

Klay, Phil 
Twelve stories about soldiers at war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the personal wars they fight reintegrating into society at home. In the title story, a soldier who had to shoot dogs on the battlefield must readjust to life in suburban America. Violence. 2014.


The Good Lord bird DB77431

McBride, James 
Henry “Onion” Shackleford is a ten-year-old slave when abolitionist John Brown rolls into town. Henry’s father is killed in a scuffle and John Brown takes in Henry, believing him to be “Henrietta.” Living as a girl, Henry bears witness to Brown’s reign of terror. Violence and strong language. National Book Award. 2013.


The round house DB75641

Erdrich, Louise 
North Dakota, 1988. Thirteen-year-old Joe Coutts’s mother Geraldine, a tribal enrollment specialist, is brutally raped at the Ojibwe Round House. Joe and his father, a judge, each search for Geraldine’s attacker to bring him to justice. Strong language, some violence, and some descriptions of sex. National Book Award. Bestseller. 2012.


Salvage the bones: a novel DB74033

Ward, Jesmyn 
Mississippi, August 2005. Young black teenager Esch Batiste–pregnant, hungry, and rejected–helps her widowed father and three brothers prepare for the approaching hurricane. When the storm arrives, the family seeks refuge in the attic. Violence, strong language, and some explicit descriptions of sex. National Book Award. 2011.