Authors Visiting in Des Moines Brings Lessons on Civility in the Modern Work Place

Lea Berman and Jeremy Bernard

Former White House Social Secretaries Lea Berman and Jeremy Bernard will speak at our Authors Visiting in Des Moines (AViD) series next Tuesday, May 15. Their program begins at 7:00 PM at the Central Library (1000 Grand Avenue).

The Social Secretary is the head of the White House Social Office. As such, they are responsible for all planning, coordination, and execution of official White House events, from simple afternoon tea events to state dinners with hundreds of guests. Berman worked for President George W. Bush, while Bernard worked for President Barack Obama.

The two came together to write Treating People Well as a guide to personal and professional empowerment through civility and social skills. In the book, they offer an important fundamental message – everyone is important and everyone deserves to be treated well. They also discuss some of their experiences at the White House, including moments with celebrities, foreign leaders, and politicians.

The program begins at 7:00 PM at the Central Library, and doors will open at 6:00 PM. Following their presentation, a question-and-answer session will be moderated by Scott Raecker, Executive Director of The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University (formally known as Character Counts in Iowa). There is plenty of parking available. Free parking can be found in the parking garage underneath the Central Library, located off of Grand Avenue, or in the parking lot at the corner of 10th Street and Grand Avenue. A recent episode of the DMPL Podcast also features Berman in conversation with host Laura Rowley. It can be found on the DMPL Podcast page or on Apple Podcasts.

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South Side Book Discussion

Nov 1
Thursday 1:00 pm

Join us to discuss the book Lab Girl by Hope Jahren: Geobiologist Hope Jahren has spent her life studying trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Lab Girl is her revelatory treatise on plant life—but it is also a celebration of the lifelong curiosity, humility, and passion that drive every scientist. - Publisher description.

Copies are available at the previous book discussion and the Information Desk thereafter (while supplies last).

Lab girl book cover

Conversations & Coffee

Nov 6
Tuesday 12:30 pm
Do you want to practice your English skills? Looking to meet new people in your community? Join community members and English language learners alike at Forest Avenue Library and enjoy light refreshments and sparkling conversation! Activities are provided to prompt and encourage conversation. This program is open to all English speaking skill levels. For additional information please contact Dana Smith at

Tai Chi for Arthritis and Falls Prevention

Aug 13
Monday 10:30 am
Join us at the East Side Library for a Tai Chi class with instructor Paul Black. This class will specialize in arthritis and falls prevention, and can be done standing or seated. The program is beginner friendly and requires no experience with Tai Chi.

Tai Chi is a holistic form of exercise that promotes flowing movements and mind/body harmony. Tai Chi is sometimes called a "moving meditation"; as participants concentrate on doing the movements they often forget about their normal, every day concerns. Tai Chi is a slower paced, non-contact martial arts movements.


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