Curbside Pickup Service Begins Monday, June 1

All Des Moines Public Library buildings will be closed to the public until further notice as a preventative measure to stop the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Patrons can now place new holds on materials, and curbside pickup service begins June 1. Read more about that HERE

Central Library

Central Library exterior shot

Location Details

Address:
1000 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309

Directions:
Google Maps

Jon Hobbs headshot

Jon Hobbs
Central Library Manager
JTHobbs@dmpl.org

Phone:
(515) 283-4152

Book a Central Library meeting room

Hours:
Sunday: 1 PM - 5 PM
Monday: 9 AM - 8 PM
Tuesday: 9 AM - 8 PM
Wednesday: 9 AM – 8 PM
Thursday: 9 AM - 8 PM
Friday: 9 AM - 6 PM
Saturday: 10 AM - 5 PM

Pickup window:
Monday-Friday: 4 PM - 6 PM

Central Library

The Central Library is located in the heart of downtown Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park area at 1000 Grand Avenue, near the Pappajohn Sculpture Garden. The sprawling, 110,000-square foot building, which replaced the original Main Library that opened in 1903 on the Des Moines Riverfront, was designed by famed London architect Sir David Chipperfield.

About the Building

Chipperfield, along with Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck of Des Moines, designed the building, envisioning it as “a library in a park, a park in a library.” The building acts as a link from downtown to Western Gateway Park, anchoring it as a cornerstone of the western part of downtown. 

Central Library features a green roof of slow-growing sedum, which, when viewed from above, gives the illusion there is no library, as it blends into the greenspace outside. The free form shape resembles that of an airplane, which breaks the illusion. The roof controls water runoff by retaining water and can hold more than 187,000 gallons. It is self-maintaining and needs no irrigation. The building’s mechanical and electrical systems were also designed for efficiency, and use 30 percent less energy than a conventional building.

The library’s copper color is a result of its windows, which feature three layers of glass with copper mesh sandwiched between the outer two. Central Library was the first building in the world to use these copper mesh panels, which act as micro-blinds, reducing UV radiation by 87 percent, protecting books from sun damage, blocking glare and heat, and improving energy efficiency. There are 355 window panels, each weighing 1,400 pounds and measuring 4 feet by 14 feet. The panels look different fom the outside depending on the time of day - bright coppery reflection during the day, transparent at night.

The building took almost four years to construct, at a cost of $32.3 million. 

About the Public Artwork

Miffy statue at Central Library


At the west end of the library sits “Les Vents” (The Winds), a sculpture gifted to the city by the American Republic Insurance Company. Created by artist Edward Lee Hendricks, Les Vents was placed at the old Main Library in 1986, then moved to the new Central Library and reconstructed over three months in 2006. The poles stand more than 30 feet high, with wings 12 feet long that can sustain wind gusts up to 100 mph.

On the south lawn of Central Library sits the Miffy Fountain, gifted to the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation in memory of Melva Bucksbaum by her children. The work was created by famed American artist Tom Sachs and is based on the children’s book character of the same name. The fountain is painted bronze and was cast in 2008, and stands just over 10 feet tall. It had installations in New York City and Paris before finding its permanent home outside Central Library in 2018.

About the Central Art Gallery

Des Moines Central Library’s Art Gallery offers an accessible and welcoming environment for encouraging and celebrating Iowa artists. The gallery is located on the second floor of the Central Library and features eight double-sided movable walls with over fifty square feet of usable display space per side. Find out more about the gallery, see the current display, and learn how to apply to be featured in the space here.

Upcoming Events

This event is in the "Adults" group.

CANCELLED Book Club On the Go

June 2, 2020
9:00am - 8:00pm
Cancelled
Library Branch: Central Library
Age Group: Adults
Program Type: Book Clubs
Event Details:
The book club for those on the go: anytime, anywhere.  This month we'll be reading Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann. Pick up your copy the first Tuesday of the month at the Central Library circulation desk, or check out a d...
This event is in the "Children" group.

CANCELLED Summer Reading Kickoff: Scavenger Hunt

June 2, 2020
9:15am - 7:45pm
Central Library Children’s Area
Cancelled
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Children’s Area
Age Group: Children
Program Type: Arts & Crafts
Event Details:
Kick off Summer Reading in style at Central Library.  You can sign up for our all-summer reading challenge and pick out your own prize book to keep forever.  Then try your hand at our summer scavenger hunt to win candy.   ...
This event is in the "Birth-Preschool" group.
This event is in the "Children" group.

CANCELLED Family Storytime: Rainbow Slushy Science

June 2, 2020
6:30pm - 7:00pm
Central Library Imagination Station
Cancelled
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Imagination Station
Age Group: Birth-Preschool, Children
Program Type: Storytimes
Event Details:
Enjoy some colorful stories and make a delicious sugar drink! ...

Disclaimer(s)

Children’s Program

Children under 10 years old must be accompanied by a caregiver over 12 years old.

This event is in the "Children" group.

CANCELLED Summer Reading Kickoff: Scavenger Hunt

June 3, 2020
9:15am - 7:45pm
Central Library Teen Area
Cancelled
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Teen Area
Age Group: Children
Program Type: Arts & Crafts
Event Details:
Kick off Summer Reading in style at Central Library.  You can sign up for our all-summer reading challenge and pick out your own prize book to keep forever.  Then try your hand at our summer scavenger hunt to win candy.   ...
This event is in the "Birth-Preschool" group.

CANCELLED Mother Goose on the Loose

June 3, 2020
9:30am - 10:00am
Central Library Imagination Station
Cancelled
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Imagination Station
Age Group: Birth-Preschool
Program Type: Storytimes
Event Details:
“Mother Goose on the Loose”, is a 30-minute nursery rhyme program for newborns to three-year-olds. The class helps to strengthen babies' and toddler's foundation for literacy with rhymes, rhythm, repetition, story, and movement. Following the program...

Disclaimer(s)

Central Parking

Free library parking is available in Central's underground parking garage for two hours per visit. Parking around the library is metered at various costs from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

This event is in the "Birth-Preschool" group.

CANCELLED Baby Rhyme Time

June 3, 2020
10:15am - 10:45am
Central Library Imagination Station
Cancelled
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Imagination Station
Age Group: Birth-Preschool
Program Type: Storytimes
Event Details:
Join us weekly for rhymes, songs, bounces, stories, and a little playtime. For caregivers and babies ages 0 - 18 months. ...

Disclaimer(s)

Central Parking

Free library parking is available in Central's underground parking garage for two hours per visit. Parking around the library is metered at various costs from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

This event is in the "Adults" group.

CANCELLED Drop-in Computer Help @ Central

June 3, 2020
2:00pm - 3:00pm
Central Library Computer Lab
Cancelled
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Computer Lab
Age Group: Adults
Program Type: Computers & Technology, Educational
Event Details:
It’s never too late to feel comfortable with a computer.  Every Wednesday at the Central Library, staff will answer your questions about­­ computer basics, online Library resources, email­­­, and more.  ...

Disclaimer(s)

Accessibility

The library makes every effort to ensure our programs can be enjoyed by all. If you have any concerns about accessibility or need to request specific accommodations, please contact the library.

Central Parking

Free library parking is available in Central's underground parking garage for two hours per visit. Parking around the library is metered at various costs from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

This event is in the "Children" group.

CANCELLED Walk Your Dog Craft

June 3, 2020
3:00pm - 7:00pm
Central Library Children’s Area
Cancelled
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Children’s Area
Age Group: Children
Program Type: Arts & Crafts
Event Details:
Come to the children's area at the Central Library to create a set of 3 dogs that you can take for a walk.  Please note that this craft will only be available while supplies last.  Large groups must give at least a 1 week notice by emailing...

Disclaimer(s)

Accompanying Adults

This program is designed for children and accompanying adults. Please plan to attend and be engaged with your child for this program. Drop offs will not be permitted.

Central Parking

Free library parking is available in Central's underground parking garage for two hours per visit. Parking around the library is metered at various costs from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

This event is in the "Children" group.

CANCELLED Summer Reading Kickoff: Scavenger Hunt

June 4, 2020
9:15am - 7:45pm
Central Library Children’s Area
Cancelled
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Children’s Area
Age Group: Children
Program Type: Arts & Crafts
Event Details:
Kick off Summer Reading in style at Central Library.  You can sign up for our all-summer reading challenge and pick out your own prize book to keep forever.  Then try your hand at our summer scavenger hunt to win candy.   ...
This event is in the "Birth-Preschool" group.
This event is in the "Children" group.

CANCELLED Preschool Storytime

June 4, 2020
9:30am - 10:00am
Central Library Meeting Room 3
Cancelled
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Meeting Room 3
Age Group: Birth-Preschool, Children
Program Type: Storytimes
Event Details:
Join us for stories, songs, and movement that build literacy and school-readiness skills! This storytime is geared toward children ages 3 to 6. Groups are welcome! ...

Disclaimer(s)

Central Parking

Free library parking is available in Central's underground parking garage for two hours per visit. Parking around the library is metered at various costs from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Children’s Program

Children under 10 years old must be accompanied by a caregiver over 12 years old.

This event is in the "Birth-Preschool" group.

CANCELLED Power Play

June 4, 2020
10:30am - 11:30am
Central Library Meeting Room 1, 2
Cancelled
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Meeting Room 1, 2
Age Group: Birth-Preschool
Program Type: Play & Learn, Storytimes
Event Details:
Adults and children play together in an environment set up to promote all areas of development through open ended active play focused on the 5 Simple Steps to success strategies of read, write, sing, play and talk.  Join us for 60 minutes of Pow...

Disclaimer(s)

Accompanying Adults

This program is designed for children and accompanying adults. Please plan to attend and be engaged with your child for this program. Drop offs will not be permitted.

Central Parking

Free library parking is available in Central's underground parking garage for two hours per visit. Parking around the library is metered at various costs from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Children’s Program

Children under 10 years old must be accompanied by a caregiver over 12 years old.

This event is in the "Adults" group.

CANCELLED Giant Board Games: Codenames

June 4, 2020
6:00pm - 7:30pm
Central Library Meeting Room 1, 2
Cancelled
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Meeting Room 1, 2
Age Group: Adults
Program Type: Gaming
Event Details:
Come play giant Codenames! Give one-word clues that bring your teammates closer to cracking the code, but be careful you don't accidentally help the enemy. Snacks provided. ...

Disclaimer(s)

Central Parking

Free library parking is available in Central's underground parking garage for two hours per visit. Parking around the library is metered at various costs from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

This event is in the "Children" group.

CANCELLED Summer Reading Kickoff: Scavenger Hunt

June 5, 2020
9:15am - 7:45pm
Central Library Children’s Area
Cancelled
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Children’s Area
Age Group: Children
Program Type: Arts & Crafts
Event Details:
Kick off Summer Reading in style at Central Library.  You can sign up for our all-summer reading challenge and pick out your own prize book to keep forever.  Then try your hand at our summer scavenger hunt to win candy.   ...

Disclaimer(s)

Children’s Program

Children under 10 years old must be accompanied by a caregiver over 12 years old.

This event is in the "Birth-Preschool" group.

CANCELLED Toddler Storytime

June 5, 2020
10:15am - 10:45am
Central Library Meeting Room 1
Cancelled
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Meeting Room 1
Age Group: Birth-Preschool
Program Type: Storytimes
Event Details:
Join us for stories, songs, and movement designed to practice the 5 Simple Steps of pre-literacy:  reading, singing, talking, writing, and playing!  Best for children 18 months to 3 years old. ...

Disclaimer(s)

Accompanying Adults

This program is designed for children and accompanying adults. Please plan to attend and be engaged with your child for this program. Drop offs will not be permitted.

Central Parking

Free library parking is available in Central's underground parking garage for two hours per visit. Parking around the library is metered at various costs from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

This event is in the "Children" group.

CANCELLED Craftivities: Rainbow Butterflies

June 6, 2020
10:00am - 5:00pm
Central Library Children’s Area
Cancelled
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Children’s Area
Age Group: Children
Program Type: Arts & Crafts
Event Details:
Come to the Central Library's children's area to create a beautiful butterfly!  Please note that this craft will be available while supplies last. ...

Disclaimer(s)

Accompanying Adults

This program is designed for children and accompanying adults. Please plan to attend and be engaged with your child for this program. Drop offs will not be permitted.

Central Parking

Free library parking is available in Central's underground parking garage for two hours per visit. Parking around the library is metered at various costs from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

This event is in the "Children" group.

CANCELLED Mikayla Oz Magic Show

June 8, 2020
2:00pm - 3:00pm
Central Library Meeting Room 1, 2, 3
Cancelled
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Meeting Room 1, 2, 3
Age Group: Children
Program Type: Performances
Event Details:
TBD ...

Disclaimer(s)

Children’s Program

Children under 10 years old must be accompanied by a caregiver over 12 years old.

This event is in the "Children" group.
This event is in the "Teens" group.

CANCELLED Mighty Girl Empowerment Series

June 9, 2020
1:30pm - 3:30pm
Central Library Imagination Station
Cancelled
Registration
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Imagination Station
Age Group: Children, Teens
Program Type: Educational
Event Details:
Are you a mighty girl*? Ready to become a mighty woman, but have questions? Then come to Central Library, meet community experts, and get your questions answered in this four-session series! Know your body, know yourself, get empowered. Today's To...

Disclaimer(s)

Central Parking

Free library parking is available in Central's underground parking garage for two hours per visit. Parking around the library is metered at various costs from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

This event is in the "Birth-Preschool" group.
This event is in the "Children" group.

CANCELLED Family Storytime: Balloon Science

June 9, 2020
6:30pm - 7:00pm
Central Library Imagination Station
Cancelled
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Imagination Station
Age Group: Birth-Preschool, Children
Program Type: Storytimes
Event Details:
What can you do with a balloon?  Watch and practice cool balloon experiments and listen to stories. ...

Disclaimer(s)

Children’s Program

Children under 10 years old must be accompanied by a caregiver over 12 years old.

This event is in the "Birth-Preschool" group.

CANCELLED Mother Goose on the Loose

June 10, 2020
9:30am - 10:00am
Central Library Imagination Station
Cancelled
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Imagination Station
Age Group: Birth-Preschool
Program Type: Storytimes
Event Details:
“Mother Goose on the Loose”, is a 30-minute nursery rhyme program for newborns to three-year-olds. The class helps to strengthen babies' and toddler's foundation for literacy with rhymes, rhythm, repetition, story, and movement. Following the program...

Disclaimer(s)

Central Parking

Free library parking is available in Central's underground parking garage for two hours per visit. Parking around the library is metered at various costs from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

This event is in the "Birth-Preschool" group.

CANCELLED Baby Rhyme Time

June 10, 2020
10:15am - 10:45am
Central Library Imagination Station
Cancelled
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Imagination Station
Age Group: Birth-Preschool
Program Type: Storytimes
Event Details:
Join us weekly for rhymes, songs, bounces, stories, and a little playtime. For caregivers and babies ages 0 - 18 months. ...

Disclaimer(s)

Central Parking

Free library parking is available in Central's underground parking garage for two hours per visit. Parking around the library is metered at various costs from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

This event is in the "Adults" group.

CANCELLED Drop-in Computer Help @ Central

June 10, 2020
2:00pm - 3:00pm
Central Library Computer Lab
Cancelled
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Computer Lab
Age Group: Adults
Program Type: Computers & Technology, Educational
Event Details:
It’s never too late to feel comfortable with a computer.  Every Wednesday at the Central Library, staff will answer your questions about­­ computer basics, online Library resources, email­­­, and more.  ...

Disclaimer(s)

Accessibility

The library makes every effort to ensure our programs can be enjoyed by all. If you have any concerns about accessibility or need to request specific accommodations, please contact the library.

Central Parking

Free library parking is available in Central's underground parking garage for two hours per visit. Parking around the library is metered at various costs from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

This event is in the "Children" group.

CANCELLED Frozen 2 Movie Party

June 10, 2020
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Central Library Meeting Room 1, 2, 3
Cancelled
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Meeting Room 1, 2, 3
Age Group: Children
Program Type: Movies
Event Details:
Journey into the unknown with this movie-showing party.  We will have snacks, crafts and activities for kids of all ages to try out.  You won’t want to let it go.   ...

Disclaimer(s)

Children’s Program

Children under 10 years old must be accompanied by a caregiver over 12 years old.

Food Allergies

We cannot guarantee that food served at this program has not come into contact with tree nuts, soy, or other allergens.