Library News

Senior Winter Reading Club Begins in January

senior winter readingSeniors across the metro are invited to take part in the first ever Senior Winter Reading Club! This new book club will bring seniors together for an engaging dialogue about popular books, with a common title connecting people around the city. The first title chosen for the book club is Boys in the Boat, the best-selling book written by Daniel James Brown. The non-fiction book uncovers the story of the nine American rowers that competed at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Brown describes how they overcame difficulties and came together to win the gold medal at those Olympics, which were held as Adolf Hitler was coming into power in Germany.

During the initial meeting in January, participants will be given a free large-print copy of the book, a book bag, and other book-related items, while supplies last. During February’s meeting, librarians will serve as moderators, leading discussions about the book. There will be snacks and refreshments at each meeting, and you are not required to be at the first meeting to attend the discussion portion in February.

The Senior Winter Reading Club will give seniors an opportunity to learn more about library services that are available and how they can be useful in their daily life.

The program is being provided by the Des Moines Public Library in partnership with American Enterprise.


  • Southside Senior Center: Wednesday, January 18, & Wednesday, February 15, 12:30-2:30 PM
  • Central Senior Center: Thursday, January 19, & Thursday, February 16, 1:00-3:00 PM
  • North Senior Center: Friday, January 20, & Friday, February 17, 1:00-3:00 PM
  • Northwest Senior Center: Monday, January 23, & Monday, February 20, 1:00-3:00 PM
  • East Side Senior Center: Monday, January 30, & Thursday, February 23, 1:00-3:00 PM

More Storytimes in 2017 at Des Moines Public Library

teddy bear There are more opportunities than ever to go to storytimes at the library! The Des Moines Public Library is expanding its storytime schedule in 2017. Each branch will be hosting one evening storytime a week and one Saturday storytime a month. The goal is to help accommodate working families and families with schedules that do not lend themselves toward our traditional weekday morning and afternoon storytimes.

“Storytimes are a great way for children to connect ideas and pictures with words,” says Janeé Jackson, Youth Services Librarian. “These connections help prepare children to learn how to read. When we tell stories, we’re not just saying words aloud. We’re engaging with the kids, using music, songs, finger plays, and other interactions that are full of energy and excitement.”

Storytimes are a vital part of the library’s mission to model early literacy skills for young children and their families. Children that are consistently read to at a young age are more likely to develop a passion for reading themselves. Storytimes expose children to new words and sounds in an exciting and entertaining fashion.

For parents, storytimes also offers the opportunity to get out of the house and connect with other parents and caregivers that have young children. Parents also learn about all the resources that the library has to offer.

“We have a fantastic selection of books, movies, and music at the library,” says Jackson. “There’s something for every member of the family in our collection. You’ll be able to keep your family entertained for hours on-end.”

Take advantage of all that we have to offer at the Des Moines Public Library! Our storytimes range in ages and themes – be sure to check out the ones that interest you and your child!

Our storytime schedule is as follows:

Baby Rhyme Time | ages 0 – 18 months
Social storytimes for babies and their caregivers featuring rhymes, songs, bounces, and a story.

  • Tuesdays, 10:15 AM | Franklin Avenue Library
  • Wednesdays, 10:15 AM | Central Library

Toddler Storytime | ages 18 months – 3 years
Introduce children to reading with engaging activities.

  • Tuesdays, 10:30 AM: Toddler I (ages 18 months – 2 years) | East Side Library
  • Tuesdays, 11:00 AM: Toddler II (ages 2 – 3 years) | East Side Library
  • Wednesdays, 10:00 AM | South Side Library
  • Wednesdays, 10:15 AM and 10:50 AM | Franklin Avenue Library
  • Thursdays, 10:30 AM | North Side Library
  • Fridays, 10:15 AM | Central Library

Preschool Storytime | ages 3 – 6 years
Children will learn valuable skills for school while listening to stories and participating in songs, rhymes, and activities.

  • Mondays, 10:15 AM | Franklin Avenue Library
  • Wednesdays, 10:15 AM | Forest Avenue Library
  • Thursdays, 10:00 AM | South Side Library
  • Thursdays, 10:15 AM | Central Library
  • Thursdays, 10:30 AM | East Side Library

Evening Family Storytime | entire family
Bring the entire family for stories and activities.

  • Mondays, 6:30 PM | South Side Library
  • Tuesdays, 6:15 PM | Franklin Avenue Library
  • Tuesdays, 6:30 PM | Central Library
  • Wednesdays, 6:30 PM | North Side Library
  • Fridays, 5:00 PM | East Side Library (Thank Goodness It’s Friday Storytime)

Citizen Budget Engagement

Speak Up DSM

Help Support Our Library!

The City of Des Moines Has been hosting a series of Citizen Engagement Meetings to discuss the 2017-2018 City of Des Moines Budget and how it will affect city departments.

The next meeting will concern Operating and Capital Budgets. For the library, this means hours of operation, staffing, and other library services.

The meeting will be held on:

Date: Monday, December 12
Time: 6:00 PM
Location: Franklin Avenue Library, 5000 Franklin Ave, Des Moines, 50310

For more information call 283-4152.

We need your input during this very important discussion!

Learn more about upcoming Citizen Engagement meetings for the City’s budget »

Iowa Authors Spotlighted at Iowa Author Fair

24 local authors will take part in the annual event hosted at the Central Library

author fairThe Des Moines Public Library welcomes 24 authors to the Central Library as part of the 2016 Iowa Author Fair! This year, the fair takes place on Sunday, October 2, from 1:00-3:00 PM. This is a great opportunity to discover new books and new authors while supporting the local community.

“The fair is a wonderful way for readers to find about the range of writing being produced in Iowa,” says librarian Kathy Leonard, one of the organizers of the fair. “We’re excited about the opportunity to showcase all these talented writers in our state.”

There will be fiction, nonfiction, and children’s authors, all of whom will be selling books and discussing their works with the public. There will also be snacks and door prizes. There is no charge to attend!

The full list of authors is as follows:

  • Marilyn Baszczynski, Earlham
  • Gloria Dixon, Cedar Rapids
  • Dick Enos, Carroll
  • Ardis Glace, Des Moines
  • Diane Glass, Des Moines
  • Rebecca Grant, Cedar Rapids
  • Catherine Haustein, Pella
  • James Hellvig, Altoona
  • Laura Jensen-Kimball, Norwalk
  • Archie Lee, Des Moines
  • Victoria Masterson, Des Moines
  • Dennis Maulsby, Ames
  • Lana Mitchell, Des Moines
  • Ann Morris, West Des Moines
  • Carson Ode, Des Moines
  • T.W. Person, Adel
  • Tim Read, Ames
  • Stormy Smith, Pleasant Hill
  • Victoria Smith, Des Moines
  • James Stordahl, Ankeny
  • Val Weaver, Des Moines
  • Michael Wellman, Des Moines
  • Lori White, Sibley
  • Richard Yach, West Des Moines

You can see profiles of each author at by clicking on the Iowa Author Fair page -

We need your input!

The City of Des Moines will be hosting a series of Citizen Engagement Meetings to discuss the 2017-2018 CDM Budget and how it will affect city departments.

The first meeting will concern Community Enrichment and will focus on the Library, Parks & Recreation and Civil & Human Rights.

Date: Wednesday, September 28th

Location: Bright Grandview Golf Course in the Club House, 2401 East 29th Street, Des Moines, IA 50317

Time: 6:00 PM

For more information call 283-4152

We need citizen input for this very important discussion!

We hope you can attend!

September Is Library Card Sign-Up Month!

Take advantage of all your local public library has to offer – sign up for a library card today!

September is Library Card Sign-up Month! Each September, libraries nationwide join together to remind parents, caregivers, and students that signing up for a library card is the first step towards academic achievement and lifelong learning.

Libraries are among the most popular and appreciated public places in America. They are long-standing institutions that provide free literacy programs to young children, a wide variety of reading material, internet access, and so much more. A library card bestows parents with free access to a number of books for their children. This is vital, as the single most significant factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home prior to beginning school.

New research indicates that reading books can actually increase your lifespan. According to a Yale University study published in Social and Science Medicine, people who read for 30 minutes a day lowered their risk of death by 12%. As a researcher on the study explained, “Books engage the reader's mind more—providing more cognitive benefit, and therefore increasing the lifespan.

A library card provides important access to information for every member of the community. For some, that includes finding books on specific topics, such as history, travel, or philosophy. For others, that means being connected to the internet. Public libraries are the number one point of online access for people without internet connections at home, school, or work. Libraries also help community members with job hunting skills, such as interviews, resumes, and cover letters, through free career assistance classes and workshops.

Signing up for a library card is easy – and best of all, it’s free! Head to your local Des Moines Public Library and sign up for a library card today!