Setpember is Library Card Sign-Up Month

Image of Wonder Woman reading a book.September is Library Card Sign-up Month, a time when our library joins the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries nationwide to remind parents, caregivers and students that signing up for a library card is the first step on the path to academic achievement and lifelong learning.  Since 1987, Library Card Sign-up Month has been held each September to mark the beginning of the school year.

This year, DC’s Wonder Woman is embarking on a mission to champion the power of a library card as Library Card Sign-up Month Honorary Chair. In her new role, Wonder Woman will promote the value of libraries and encourage everyone to get their very own library card.
Libraries offer resources, programs and activities to help transform lives and communities through education.

Our library, along with libraries everywhere, continue to adapt and expand services to meet the evolving needs of our community. To sign up for a library card or to learn more about the library’s resources and programs, visit our library website at https://iowalibrary.blog/.

Cozy Mystery and a Scone

Detective magnifying class with finger printsOne of the IDB Read groups has been reading cozy mysteries by H.Y. Hanna. What is a cozy mystery you ask? According to Wikipedia, “cozy mysteries, also referred to as ‘cozies’, are a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence occur off stage, the detective is an amateur sleuth, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community.”

The Oxford Tearoom Mysteries by H.Y. Hanna center around Gemma Rose and her tearoom near Oxford in England. Gemma is trying to get her newly established tearoom off the ground, but trouble and dead bodies keep getting in her way. This series comes with a fun, interesting set of characters, a pesky, entertaining cat and of course, a love interest or two. Your mouth will water as the author describes delectable scones, muffins and delicious dinners. You’ll soon want to start baking your own pastries. Well, we’ve got you covered. Below is a recipe for a classic English scone from Plated Cravings (www.platedcravings.com).

The IDB Read Cozy Mystery group meets every Monday and Wednesday from 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm via a conference call to listen to one of our volunteer narrators, Christine Mach, read live. If you would like to be a part of the group, please call the library 515.281.1323 and we will give you the conference call number.

ENGLISH SCONES RECIPE

Ingredients
• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
• 3/4 stick cold butter
• 3 tbsp granulated sugar
• 3/4 cup milk
• 1 tsp lemon juice
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 egg beaten
Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
2. In a large bowl mix flour with the salt, baking powder, and sugar. Add the butter, then rub it in with your fingers until the mixture looks like fine crumbs.
3. Heat up the milk on the stove until warm, but not hot. Add the vanilla and lemon juice, then set aside for a moment. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat and put it in the oven.
4. Add the milk mixture to the dry mixture and combine them quickly with a fork.
5. Scatter some flour on the work surface and tip the dough out. Dredge the dough and your hands with a little more flour, then fold the dough over 2-3 times until it’s a little smoother. Don’t overwork the dough. Pat into a round about 1.5-inch (4cm) high.
6. Use a 2 1/2 inch round cookie cutter and plunge into the dough, repeat until all the dough is used. You should get 8 scones.
7. Brush the tops with egg wash, then carefully place onto the hot baking tray.
8. Bake for 10-15 mins until risen and golden on the top. Eat just warm or cold on the day of baking generously topped with jam and clotted cream.
Notes
If freezing, freeze once cool. Defrost, then put in a low oven for a few minutes until warm.
Nutrition
Calories: 259kcal

National Volunteer Month – Every Moment Makes a Difference

April is National Volunteer Month.  Every moment our volunteers give to the Iowa Department for the Blind (IDB) and the Library makes a huge difference in so many ways.  Their willingness to share both their time and talents by volunteering with the Library says a lot.  Their willingness to give selflessly to help others speaks to both their strength and the quality of their character.

For example, in 2019, volunteers gave over 7,220 hours to IDB and the Library.  Volunteers assisted with audio production, braille production, youth programs, library circulation and more. 

Our volunteers helped us do more in 2019 than we ever could have done to ensure we positively impacted Iowans lives.  We thank our volunteers!  This statistics illustrates how much their gift of time makes such an impact in achieving our mission and goals.

Moving into 2020, our volunteers are helping us through these uncertain times through their work at home. 

Two of our volunteer narrators helped us launch a new program for the library called, IDB Read.  Patrons can call in and listen to one of our wonderful volunteer narrators read live on the phone, followed by a short chat about the book.  Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:00pm-5:00pm, you call in and listen to our narrator, Christine, read a cozy mystery. The first one is titled A Scone to Die For by H.Y. Hanna.  Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00am – 11:00 am, you can call in and listen to our narrator, Bob, read a western, titled To the Far Blue Mountains by Louis L’Amour.  Please call the library at 515.281.1323 to get the conference call number for IDB Read.

Our volunteer Braillists and narrators continue to work on projects from home for both the students and patrons ensuring our patrons have the information and materials that they need.  Our Friends of the Library continue to work tirelessly on supporting the library through fundraising and support.  And the Library Consumer Advisory Committee continues their work as advocates for our library.

Thank you again to all of our volunteers who continue to help us in so many ways!

For information about how you can help check out these pages:

National Library Week: Find Your Place at the Library

National Library Week logo: Find your place at the libaryApril 19-25, 2020 is National Library Week, an annual celebration highlighting the valuable role libraries, librarians and library workers play in transforming communities and improving lives.  Our library invites all community members to find their place at the library by exploring their passions and discovering new interests through free technology, programs and services.  Even though we are can’t come together in-person, we are here to bring programs and services to you.

The library is a place where all people are welcome regardless of age, interests or background. From audiobooks and job-seeking resources to programs and technology assistance, the library has something for everyone.  Especially during these difficult times, libraries our here for everyone.

Today’s libraries strive to develop and maintain technology, programs and collections that are as diverse as the populations they serve. “Libraries have long served as trusted and treasured institutions where we can all come together, connect and learn alongside one another,” said Sarah Willeford, Library Director. “National Library Week is a perfect time for community members to check out what’s new at the library and pursue their interests and aspirations.”

First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries of all types across the country each April.

For more information, call 515-281-1323 or visit us online at https://iowalibrary.blog/.  Listen to our April Library News Podcast and check out our YouTube Channel.

Check out these programs happening now at the library:

New D-List (Digital List Including Special Titles): Staff Picks

Are you curious about what the staff at the Iowa Library for the Blind likes to read?  Well our new D-List will give you an inside look at the library staffs’ favorites.  D-List stands for “Digital List Including Special Titles.”

This D-List is comprised of 60 books, all filled with our staffs’ all-time favorite books.  As with our staff, there is a wide variety of books included, from true crime stories to romance to mystery to historical fiction.  With a little horror and fantasy thrown in there! 

If you are interested in receiving these books, please call the library at 515.281.1323 and ask to be signed up for the Staff Picks D-List.  We will then send you a special cartridge (in addition to your circulation cartridges) loaded with our favorite books.  Once you have listened to an installment, mail it back and we’ll reload it until you have read all 60 titles!

Past D-Lists are also still available to receive on cartridge.  Just let us know which ones you would like.

  • The Great American Reads – features 100 books from the Great American Read list featured on PBS.
  • VOICE (Voices of Iowa Connecting Everyone) – features the library’s volunteer narrators and the books they have recorded for our collection.
  • Bookmark Series – if you are a fan of Hallmark movies this list is for you.

The Holidays Are Coming!

library-treeTo celebrate the holidays, library staff created a holiday tree out of books.  The picture on the left shows the book tree. The book tree was created using around 75 large print books.  Books were placed in a circle with their spines facing out to create a base.  Smaller and smaller circles of books were added to create the tree shape.   The tree is about 4 feet tall with a yellow book on top to serve as the star.

Here are some books in audio, braille and large print to get you ready for the holidays.

The Cat Who Came for Christmas by Cleveland Amory – DB26048, LT631, BR7225

As head of The Fund For Animals, the author is forever saving and housing homeless dogs, cats, and birds in his New York City apartment. But he never allows himself to keep one as a pet because of his heavy travel schedule. Everything changes one fateful Christmas Eve, however, when Amory rescues and brings home an injured, terrified cat, and finds that he can’t part with it. This is the story of their first year together, as the lives of man and cat intertwine.

 

A Simple Christmas: Twelve Stories that Celebrate the True Holiday Spirit by Mike Huckabee – DB69899

Talk-show host Mike Huckabee — a former presidential candidate, Arkansas governor, and pastor — shares experiences that taught him the true meaning of Christmas, emphasizing God, family, love, and hope instead of shopping and presents.

 

Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris – DB68134, BR15182

Six short Christmas tales by humorist, playwright, and National Public Radio commentator. Sedaris relives his stint as a department store elf in “SantaLand Diaries.” In “Seasons Greetings to Our Friends and Family!!!,” a housewife facing homicide charges updates loved ones in her annual holiday newsletter.

 

Christmas in Plains: Memories by Jimmy Carter – DB53307, BR13767

Carter, who served as the thirty-ninth president of the United States, reminisces about family Christmases over the years, beginning with his childhood on a Georgia farm, through his years in the U.S. Navy, the Georgia governor’s mansion, the White House, and then back to Plains.

 

Keeping Christmas: An Edwardian-Age Memoir –  BRN1184

A homey, amusing recollection of Christmas in the German neighborhood of Baltimore’s Union Square. Included are stories of decorating an oversize tree with candles, indulging in elaborate, mouthwatering feasts, and exchanging gifts.

 

Hanukkah in America: a History by Dianne Ashton – DB81412

Professor of religion examines regional variants of the ancient Jewish tradition. In New Orleans, Hanukkah means decorating a door with a menorah made of hominy grits; latkes in Texas are seasoned with cilantro and cayenne pepper; children in Cincinnati sing Hanukkah songs and eat oranges and ice cream.

An Irish Country Christmas by Alice Taylor – DB48633

Taylor recalls the work and the celebration of a Christmas that “glowed like a warm fire in the middle of a long, cold winter,” when she was nine years old. She describes preparing the Christmas goose, cleaning the chimney, gathering the holly and ivy, and having a parcel arrive on Christmas Eve.

 

Complete Kwanzaa: Celebrating our Cultural Harvest by Dorothy W. Riley – DB42533

An anthology of essays, folktales, poems, personal profiles, and recipes on the African American festival of Kwanzaa. The selections serve to illuminate the seven principles of the event and to guide in its celebration.

The Thirteenth Gift: A True Story of a Christmas Miracle by Joanne H. Smith – DB80286

Journalist describes receiving mysterious gifts on the twelve days leading up to her first Christmas alone following the death of her husband. Details her efforts, with the help of her three children, to identify the sender of the gifts, and the impact the gifts had on them.

 

Light Another Candle:  the Story and Meaning of Hanukkah by Miriam Chaikin – BRN18835

The story of Hanukkah told against a background of highpoints in Jewish history that help explain its significance.

 

Kwanzaa: an African-American Celebration of Culture and Cooking by Eric V. Copage – DB34528

Kwanzaa is a week-long (December 26-January 1) African-American celebration of the ‘first-fruits’. The author has compiled a sourcebook for the observance. Included are selections from historical works, folklore, and biographies that illustrate the ‘Nguzo Saba’ (seven principles of Kwanzaa), interspersed with a host of recipes from the African diaspora.