Library News

Citizen Budget Engagement

speakupdsm If you missed the Citizen Engagement meeting on Wednesday, September 28, you can still make your voice heard! The Library, Park & Recreation, and Civil & Human Rights Departments presented priorities for the upcoming fiscal year at the meeting. You can read the presentation and take the survey below. Let it be known what your priorities are for the future of the City of Des Moines. This survey closes October 7.

During the meeting, Library Director Greg Heid gave an explanation for the Library’s priorities:

Improve access to library facilities – Each library branch would be open Monday-Saturday. Currently, each branch is closed one weekday a week. This would restore Library hours to the level they were at in 2008, including restored Sunday hours.

Expand selection of books – This restores the Library materials budget to the level it was at in 2008.

Enhance usability of branch libraries – This allows the Library to upgrade heating and air systems as well as maintain library facilities to allow for maximum enjoyment by library patrons.

Expand community outreach services – This would bring more library services and programs outside library walls and into the community.

Expand technology and computer services – This allows for increased access to computers and the internet. It also allows for more much-needed instruction of computer and technology skills.

No change in service levels – No change in service levels.

Each initiative has a dollar amount next to it. That amount is equivalent to what that initiative would cost annually for a family that owns a $107,000 home.

It is important that you rank items for all three Departments: Library, Park & Recreation, and Civil & Human Rights.

Citizen Engagement Budget Presentation – Community Enrichment »

Take the Survey! »

This survey is a ranked survey. Place the options in the order you prefer from top-to-bottom, with your most preferred option on top. To move each option, click-and-drag the bar up or down. Once you are satisfied with your rankings, click SUBMIT. Then click NEXT on the bottom right part of the page to move to the next series of initiatives. Again, it is important that you rank items for all three Departments: Library, Park & Recreation, and Civil & Human Rights.

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!

Award-Winning Author Jennifer Wilson to Visit East Side Library

Her newest letter, Water, tackles an important subject in an entertaining way

jennifer wilson waterWater quality is an important, hotly-debated topic in Iowa, but one local author is making it funny and sexy as well. Join the East Side Library for a lively discussion with local author Jennifer Wilson about her newest novel, Water, on Monday, September 26, at 6:30 PM. For Wilson, it’s an attempt to help people understand the water quality issue from the perspective of both farmers and water customers.

The story is about a Des Moines reporter assigned to an environmental story. As she starts to chase down leads, she discovers that someone is poisoning water in Iowa. As she chases the story that could make her career, she gets caught in a confrontation between farmers, government workers, and citizens – and also gets caught in a love triangle with a source.

Wilson is a long-time writer with bylines in numerous magazines and newspapers, such as Better Homes and Gardens, Midwest Living, and the Chicago Tribune. Her first book, Running Away to Home, received the best Nonfiction of 2011 Award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors. It also landed her the Emerging Iowa Author Award in 2012.

Water is published by Des Moines company Raygun. Books will be for sale at the East Side Library during the program, and Wilson will sign books following the event.

Des Moines Public Library Welcomes Romance Author Susan Elizabeth Phillips

The critically-acclaimed creator of the Chicago Stars series will speak at the Franklin Avenue Library on September 13

susan elizabeth phillipsThe Des Moines Public Library welcomes New York Times bestselling romance author Susan Elizabeth Phillips to Des Moines! Phillips will be speaking at the Franklin Avenue Library on Tuesday, September 13, at 6:30 PM.

Phillips is the author of the popular Chicago Stars series and the Wynette, Texas books. She has written several other stand-alone novels, with 22 titles to her name in all. Phillips has won the Romance Writers of America Favorite Book of the Year award a record five times in her illustrious career. She was inducted into the Romance Writers Hall of Fame in 2001.

She’s currently promoting her newest book in the Chicago Stars series, First Star I See Tonight, the first book in the series in nearly a decade. The book pairs a no-nonsense former football hero and a feisty female detective who go head-to-head in a funny, fresh story. First Star I See Tonight has drawn very several favorable reviews; Kirkus Reviews calls it a “thoroughly enjoyable novel” that “delivers a swift kick to the heart,” while Publishers Weekly says it’s “an utterly delightful standalone gambol.”

The program with Phillips begins at 6:30 PM at the Franklin Avenue Library (5000 Franklin Avenue). Books will be available for purchase, and Phillips will autograph books following the event.