Reduced Services at All DMPL Locations

All Des Moines Public Library locations have reduced in-person services at this time. Browsing will be unavailable, and public computers will only be available at Central Library by appointment. Curbside Pickup will continue at all locations. Go HERE for all the details about this decision and to see our new hours, services, and offerings at each DMPL location.

Book Chat - Meet the Team



I am one of the collection development librarians for DMPL (that means I get to buy the books!). When I’m not at work, I mostly like to read and eat. A side effect of my job is it makes me see so many interesting books that it’s hard for me to even pick a favorite genre anymore. Here are some styles I especially enjoy:  

Mysteries, especially a “Whodunit” style. Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz is one of my all-time favorites, and I also love the intrepid and witty detectives created by Deanna Raybourn, Darcie Wilde, and Dorothy Sayers.  

Fantasy that takes you to a different world, like J.R.R. Tolkien or Naomi Novik, but it’s also fun to read about elements of the fantastical splashed into our world, like in Charlaine Harris’s Sookie Stackhouse or Midnight, Texas series.  

Regency romances from Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer to Julia Quinn. 

If you are looking for retellings of Jane Austen novels or fairy tales, I would love to talk to you about it! I love to share my favorites, and am always excited for new suggestions. 

Audiobooks that teach me something or else narrated by multiple voices like An American Marriage or Daisy Jones and the Six (celebrity cast!)  

Carrie's Favorites


Maddie 375

My grandpa once made me a box of 50 pencils that said “My name is Maddie and I’m into books.” I am your friendly neighborhood librarian at the East Side Library and depending on the day I enjoy reading mysteries, thrillers, memoirs, and anything weird that keeps me up late (aka my midnight reads). 

It’s a joy and wonder to work with such amazing librarians and learn and grow from them through my to-be-read lists. I tend to read a bunch of one genre before going back to my favorite mystery authors. I also love all things picture books and graphic novels and get so excited to share my childhood favorites with my kids. Besides reading, I’m also very excited about pop culture and love to listen to podcasts and music any chance I get. Other interests include casual rainbows, animals, creating things from trash, Star Wars, and trying to keep my quarantine houseplants alive. I am currently exploring books on recovery from addiction and mindfulness. 

Favorite picture book author and illustrators of all time:  Christian Robinson, Mac Barnett, William Steig

Podcasts I’m loving lately:  Fake Doctors, Real Friends (A Scrubs podcast), Julie’s Library with Julie AndrewsParent Trapped, and Scam Goddess (true crime humor without the murder)

Maddie's Favorites


Rebecca Headshot

I’m Rebecca, the Adult Librarian at South Side Library. As both a curious person and a lifelong reader, there are few things I like more than talking books with people — what they like, don’t like, want to read, and are excited for. Reading for me is a journey, and I’m always up for a new adventure!

While I love a good genre read, I gravitate most often to titles that play with traditional genres and formats. When I’m not at work or reading, you can often find me listening to podcasts, cross stitching, cooking, at a museum or a park, or watching documentaries with my persnickety cat, Puff.

Rebecca's Favorites



I’m a youth librarian with a love of young adult fiction, but I also love reading broadly. No matter the audience, if a story has vivid settings, interesting interpersonal relationships, and a bit of humor, consider me invested. However, when I want to truly sink into a story, I reach for fantasy — especially magical realism or something with elements of mystery — and moody, atmospheric gothic horror. And if that story has a found-family trope and some well-written LGBTQIA+ representation? Be still my beating heart — I’ll probably read it twice in a row.

Some other things that hold a special place in my heart are comic books, in particular Batman and the Batfam, and all sorts of manga and anime! I also like watching documentaries about underwater life and outer space; writing short stories; and spending time with my cat — or basically any cat who will tolerate me. I just really love cats.

Alissa's Favorites


Erica 375

Hello! My name is Erica and I am a mood reader. I like to read a little bit of everything, but give extra stars to books that have a swoon-worthy or snappy romance, BAMF heroines, and maps. However, when it’s a rainy day and I have a cup of coffee I find my fingers reaching for an epic fantasy series, angst-ridden historical fiction, or snappy contemporary romance. 

When I need a palate-cleanser from the tomes of fantasy and fiction I reach for zoological or ecologically focused nonfiction that teaches me all the things about a particular animal or biome. Any book discussing Orca whales or whales in general is devoured like chocolate, as I spent the first 18 years of my life convinced I was going to be Jesse from Free Willy

As a children’s librarian with a weekly storytime I also read A LOT of picture books, and focus on finding both diverse titles and those that foster empathy within the youngest of readers. If I’m having a no-good-very-bad-day I’ll read some Elephant & Piggie books to cheer myself up and treat myself to something sweet. 

In my spare time you’ll find me playing video games on my PC (both RPG and sandbox games), playing music, or outside in the great outdoors hiking, gardening, camping, or (you guessed it) reading! 

Erica's Favorites


Steph 375

Hello! I’m one of the adult services librarians at the Franklin Library. My favorite kinds of stories include mysteries, thrillers, and suspense, but I’ll pick up anything that looks suspenseful or compelling, regardless of the genre. I’m also challenging myself to read more widely and have enjoyed some wonderful literary fiction, historical fiction and horror titles lately.

I love books with fast paced plots (you know, those page-turners that keep you up until 2:00 AM because you simply must know how it ends). However, if a book has well-written characters, I don’t mind a more leisurely pace. I also enjoy stories with a strong sense of place, where you get a really good sense of the people and the landscape. The first time I read Louise Penny’s Still Life, I was completely immersed in her fictional village of Three Pines. I wanted to drive up there immediately (and have coffee with some of the characters)!

I generally don’t read literary fiction, romance, science fiction or biographies, but if a friend or staff member suggests something, I’m willing to give it a try!

When I’m not reading, I may be out in one of our local parks walking and birdwatching. I also enjoy flipping through new cookbooks full of lovely recipes I’ll probably never make.

I hope we can help you find new books to enjoy!

Steph's Favorites


Janee 375

Hi! My name is Janeé, and I'm the Youth Librarian at South! For seven years, I've concocted fun storytimes and programs for kids and teens. My literary tastes and genres are pretty diverse. I love to read YA Fiction, YA/Children's Fiction, Beginning Readers, YA/Children's Graphic Novels, Teen Mysteries, Horror Fiction, and Interracial Romance novels. When I'm not planning programs or working on library projects, I love to create hand lettering and cards with my brush pens, listen to the podcast My Favorite Murder, watch old "Mystery Science Theater 3000" films and watch classic TCM movies and horror movies with my husband, David and our furry cat, Aslan. 

Janeé's Favorites


Keri 375

I try to keep an open mind when selecting books. I don’t favor any specific genres and largely depend on friends and co-workers for book recommendations. I’ll read anything from fiction to poetry to memoirs to sci-fi to everything in between. If someone I respect is genuinely enthusiastic about a book, I'll often check it out. I love books that have complicated characters that surprise me with compassion and humor in unexpected ways and I love books that are fun to read but also challenge my viewpoints. Some of my most recent favorites have been Happiness by Aminatta Forna, The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson and N.K. Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy (which I can’t stop raving about). I also LOVE cookbooks and I read them cover to cover with absolutely no shame. I know it's weird but I know I'm not the only one out there. 

Keri's Favorites


Sarah 375

Hello! (Said with my best Mrs. Doubtfire impression). I am one of the Adult Services librarians at Central Libray. When I am not answering patron’s questions via phone, email or in person, you can usually find me on a ladder putting up decorations for a new book display.

Books are like comfort food for me, and I love a happy ending. So, it is no surprise that my favorite genre is romance. I just want everyone to get along! I also enjoy reading historical fiction and fantasy especially when they feature a ragtag group of characters going on an adventure, like the TV Show Legends of Tomorrow. Have you heard of it? My coworkers definitely have because I talk about it incessantly.

Outside of work I enjoy traveling, baking, and sewing which all go perfectly with an audiobook. Some of my favorite audiobooks include Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid, Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys, Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, and Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller.

Sarah's Favorites



Hello!  I’ve been behind the desk, and programming for teens for over eight years at the Forest Avenue branch, and I love it!  My reading tastes are all over the place.  Here are some of my favorites:

  • Sci-fi set in dystopian, or post-apocalyptic settings.  I don’t know why, I’m sure I’d be one of the first characters to die if I were in one of those books!
  • Humorous essays and autobiographies and graphic novels by funny people.
  • Classic literature. Yes, I liked all those books we had to read in school. 
  • Whodunit mysteries with smart detectives and good banter a la Nick and Nora.
  • And finally, anything by, or about, Joan Didion.

Like most people, my To-Be-Read list is out of control!  If I’m not trying to conquer that outside of work, I’m probably enjoying a craft beer or a classic movie.

Jen's Favorites


Haley Photo

Hellooooo- I’m Haley and a librarian at the Central Library. I’m a binge reader- where I’m reading non-stop for weeks at a time then taking just as many weeks off from reading. I love hearing what others are reading and why they like or don’t like books. It makes me so excited for people to be passionate about books, whether they love the book or not.

I mostly read young adult novels, but am recently getting into more “adult” books (although you can find a shelf of board books at my house). I love adventure, romance, and any book that will take me away from reality. When I’m not binge reading, I’m snuggling my pups, Herky and Jack. Dogs, coffee and books are a few things in this world that I love.

Haley's Favorites