Book Ball 150

book ball 150

Celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Des Moines Public Library

A Benefit for the Des Moines Public Library Foundation was held September 30, 2016.

Foundation Board Members Elvin McDonald and Alison Ruan, during cocktails in the garden (image at right).

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The Garden Recption at the 2016 Book Ball (above left). Polly Moore, Stephanie Jutila, Rusty Hubbell, and Janis Ruan (above right).

Foundation Board President, Rachel Stauffer, welcomes Book Ball 150 guests (above left). Book Ball 150 Host, Kim Walker, with former Library Director, Elaine Estes (above right).

Meredith Corporation logo

Saluting Meredith Corporation as the 2016 Friend of Literacy.

Publisher's Prize Sponsors

John and Mary Pappajohn

Meredith Corporation logo Nationwide logo

Heritage Sponsors

  • Barbara and Michael Gartner
  • Ellen and Jim Hubbell
  • Kay and Bob Riley
  • Chuck Rohm
  • John Ruan Foundation Trust
  • Rachel Stauffer and Jim Lawson
  • Mary and Tom Urban

Bestseller Sponsors

  • Pamela Bass-Bookey and Harry Bookey
  • Dory Briles and Dawn Taylor
  • Compendium Book Club and Friends
  • Davis Brown Law Firm
  • Friends of the Franklin Avenue Library
  • Graham | Ervanian | Cacciatore LLP
  • Charlotte and Fred Hubbell
  • Carolyn Lynner - Iowa Realty
  • Reynolds & Reynolds
  • LWBJ
  • Walt Smith Family Foundation
  • Substance Architecture
  • Susan and Carl Voss
  • Debbie and Douglas West

Media Sponsors

  • Business Record
  • dsm Magazine


  • Shelly and Martin Brody
  • Cultivating Compassion: The Dr. Richard Deming Foundation
  • Debbie and Mike Hubbell
  • Susan Skinner and Mark Movic

In-Kind Sponsors

  • Best Case Wines, LLC
  • Boesen the Florist
  • Des Moines Marriott Downtown
  • Ingersoll Wine & Spririts
  • Josephs Jewlers
  • Koch Brothers
  • Lamar Advertising

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Library Foundation Board Members (above left). Heritage Sponsor - The John Ruan Foundation Trust (above right).

Heritage Sponsor – Kay and Bob Riley (above left). Bestseller Sponsor – Substance Architecture (above right).

Bestseller Sponsor – LWBJ (above left). Sally Pederson, Bill Graham, and Jim Autry (above right).

Dessert in the Rotunda and the Brazilian 2wins (above).

2016 Iowa Author Patricia T. O’Conner

Patricia T. O’Conner photographOn accepting her 2016 Iowa Author Award, O’Conner stated, “Reading is a miracle. And libraries help keep this miracle happening. So thank you, all of you, for supporting this wonderful library system. You may never know what a difference you’re making, but trust me. The difference you make is inestimable. It’s priceless.” For a copy of her full remarks, click here.

Patricia T. O’Conner was born and grew up in Des Moines. After graduating from East High School, she went on to Grinnell College, where she majored in philosophy and minored in English, following up with graduate work in journalism at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

She landed her first job in journalism in 1973, when she became a reporter for the Waterloo Courier. While there, she earned awards from the Iowa Daily Press Association for investigative journalism and from the Iowa State Education Association for school reporting.

In 1978 she joined the Des Moines Register, where she spent an unforgettable three years as a copy editor and later assistant city editor. Afterward she moved to New York City, where Michael Gartner got her a job on the national desk of the Wall Street Journal, editing stories and writing the Page 1 “Worldwide” column.

In 1982, she was lured away by the New York Times, where she was a staff editor for the next 15 years. Most of her years at the Times were spent at the weekly Book Review section, where, in addition to editing, she wrote book reviews and literary essays, as well as the paper’s weekly column on paperback books.

In 1996 her first book appeared. Twenty years later, Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English is in its third edition and has sold nearly half a million copies. Not long after it was published, Pat and her husband, Stewart Kellerman, moved to Connecticut to write full time.

Stewart, an editor and former foreign correspondent she met at the Times, has helped to write all of Pat’s books, including Words Fail Me and Woe Is I Jr. Both of their names appear on their most recent book, Origins of the Specious: Myths and Misconceptions of the English Language.

Pat still writes book reviews for the Times, and she often appears on Iowa Public Radio and other public radio outlets to answer listeners’ questions about the English language.

For the last 10 years, Pat and Stewart have also written a blog, replying to readers’ questions about grammar, usage, and etymology. You can find them at They now live with their two golden retrievers in Sarasota, Florida