So Much More Than Books

By Karen Kelly | Special to the Times Vedette

Thanks to a gift from the Omaha Astronomical League, the Mary J Barnett Library was selected to receive a brand new telescope available for check-out. The Orion 4.5 inch StarBlast Reflector is user-friendly, portable and lightweight. Equipped with quality optics and a zoom eyepiece, the sturdy telescope is easy to use. 

The telescope is powerful enough to see the moon, the crescents of Venus, the four Galilean moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, and star clusters and nebulae. Patrons 18 years old or older may check out the telescope to use at home. This would be great not only for families but for scouting and 4-H and homeschool groups who want to study astronomy. 

Adults with a library card may check out the telescope for a seven-day checkout period; the telescope is not renewable. Overdue fines for the telescope are $5 per day.  

Summer Reading Program

Hey, preschoolers-eighth graders, have you signed up yet for the summer reading program? Online registration is now open; sign up on the MJB Library website. 

New Materials

Video fans, we have new series! “The Crown” and seasons 1-4 of “Jack Ryan” are here. For rom-com fans, “Anyone but You” is available for check-out. 

Lunch and Learn

Remember to sign up for the May Lunch and Learn on May 8 when Carol Laughery, nutritionist and owner of Ignite Nutrition, will be the presenter. A light lunch will be donated by Cafe on the Hill. The event will run from noon to 1 p.m.  

Book Club

Between the Covers Book Club will meet May 14 at 3 p.m. to discuss “The Widows of Braxton County” by Jess McKonkey. Copies are available for those who want to attend the book club to check out. 

Card-making Club

Card-making club will meet from 9-11 a.m. on Thursday, May 16. All materials are provided for a $5 fee.

Bridge and Cribbage

Cribbage and Bridge Clubs meet regularly in the Taylor Meeting Room. Cribbage meets each Monday from 9-11 a.m. Bridge meets every Wednesday from 9-11 a.m.

Cookbook Club

“Not That Fancy” by Reba McEntire is May’s featured cookbook for Cookbook Club. Cookbook Club will meet on Thursday, May 16, at 6:30 p.m. Stop in the library to choose a recipe to make and share with the group at the meeting. 

May StoryHours

StoryHour for preschoolers and their caregivers is Friday morning at 10 a.m. May 10 will highlight weather. Flowers will be the topic for May 17, and May 24 will focus on nature. The theme for May 31 will be Earth.  

After School STEM

The Guthrie County Extension is presenting an afterschool program on Monday, May 20 at the MJB Library. The program will feature reading and a STEM activity.  

Herb Garden workshop

Be sure to sign up for the workshop presented by the Guthrie County Extension on May 21 from 4-6 p.m. Create your own herb garden, learn how to harvest herbs, and learn about the Spend Smart, Eat Smart program. The cost of $5 per herb garden is payable on the day of the program. Pre-registration is required.

Closed for Memorial Day

A reminder, the MJB Library will be closed on Monday, May 27 for Memorial Day. Plan to get your reading materials early. 

After reading stories about food, the kids in storytime made dirt cups. Estes Stagg enjoys a big scoop of Oreo “dirt.”

Lydon Stagg discovers the gummy worms in his dirt cup are delicious and stretchy.

The theme for May 3 storytime was “Food.” Tayen Flanery listens intently as she tries to figure out who ate the cupcakes in the story, “Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes.”

What’s new at the MJB Library? 

By Karen Kelly | Special to the Times Vedette

What’s new at the MJB Library? First of all, using the ALA grant, round one money, the library has acquired new audiobooks for the juvenile section. We purchased 36 new Playaway titles and 32 Vox and Wonderbooks.  

The Vox and Wonderbooks are all reading levels including picture books, beginning readers and chapter books. Vox and Wonderbooks are print books with an audiobook permanently attached. 

Playaways are audiobooks that are preloaded to a device that requires no internet. Some of the new books include “Marley,” “The Tale of Despereaux,” and “The Wolves of Beyond Series.” 

Also purchased with the ALA grant money are new large-print books. Each month for the next year, MJB Library will be receiving 10 new large print books of various genres. There will be cozy mysteries, best sellers, romance and westerns.

Friends of the Library voted to sponsor a new Adventure Pass, which will provide admission for up to four children (adults are free) to the Des Moines’ Children’s Museum at the Valley West Mall.  Library card holders with a Guthrie Center address may reserve the pass per venue once per calendar year by going to the library website. Now you have access to three venues which also include the Blank Park Zoo and the Des Moines Science Center.

Friends of the Library Meeting

Friends of the Library will be meeting at 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7. Anyone interested in supporting the library is invited to attend. The Friends will discuss the golf fundraiser scheduled for June 15.

Lunch and Learn

Nutritionist Carol Laughery, owner of Ignite Nutrition, will be the featured speaker at the May Lunch and Learn on Wednesday, May 8 from noon to 1 p.m.  A light lunch donated by Cafe on the Hill will be served. Pre-registration is required.

Between the Covers

Between the Covers book club will meet May 14 at 3 p.m. to discuss The Widows of Braxton County by Jess McKonkey. Copies are available for those who want to attend the book club to check out.

Card-making Club

Card-making club will meet from 9-11 a.m. on Thursday, May 16. All materials are provided for a $5 fee.

Cookbook Club

“Not That Fancy” by Reba McEntire is May’s featured cookbook for Cookbook Club.  Cookbook Club will meet on Thursday, May 16, at 6:30 p.m. Stop in the library to choose a recipe to make and share with the group at the meeting.

May StoryHours

StoryHour for preschoolers and their caregivers is Friday at 10 a.m. May 3 the theme will be “Food,” while May 10 will highlight weather. Flowers will be the topic for May 17, and May 24 will focus on nature. The theme for May 31 will be Earth. 

After School STEM

The Guthrie County Extension is presenting an afterschool program on Monday, May 20 at the MJB Library. The program will feature reading and a STEM activity. 

Herb Garden workshop

Be sure to sign up for the workshop presented by the Guthrie County Extension on May 21 from 4-6 p.m. Create your own herb garden, learn how to harvest herbs, and learn about the Spend Smart, Eat Smart program. The cost of $5 per herb garden is payable on the day of the program. Pre-registration is required.

Closed for Memorial Day

A reminder, the MJB Library will be closed on Monday, May 27 for Memorial Day. Plan to get your reading materials early.

Registration for the Summer Reading Program

Registration for the MJB Library Summer Reading Program is open now. Sign up at the MJB Library website for a month of exciting programming and reading.

Nancy Smith brought three of her granddaughters to StoryHour last Friday. The girls are playing with puppets while they wait for the stories to begin. Preschool StoryHour is every Friday at 10 a.m. 

Guthrie County Extension holds STEM workshop about creating seed bombs

Special to the Times Vedette

The Guthrie County Extension held a STEM workshop about creating seed bombs on Monday, April 15 at the Mary J Barnett Memorial Library.

Mud pies? No, these STEM workshop participants are mixing water into the seed bomb.

STEM workshop participants measure out flower seeds to create seed bombs.

These finished seed bombs are drying and waiting to be planted.

So much more than books

By Karen Kelly | Special to the Times Vedette

Jim Calvert presents library director Jerri Hawkins with a copy of the book entitled “Farm” by Elisha Cooper on behalf of the Guthrie County Farm Bureau. “Farm” is available for checkout and is located in the children’s section of the library.

The MJB Library is using funds from Round 1 of the ALA LTC Library Grant to increase the Large Print book collection. Each month for the next year, the library will receive 10 new Large Print titles, adding to our collection of large print cozy mysteries, romance novels, best sellers and westerns.  

Additionally, Round 1 of the ALA Grant also funded the purchase of 18 new Playaway titles in the juvenile section. Playaways are audiobooks that are downloaded on a battery-operated device that requires no internet. Guests just connect their headphones to the universal jack, and they are ready to listen. These are also great for car trips; just plug in with your car’s aux cord, and you’re set.  

Charcuterie class

Be sure to register for the charcuterie class being offered on May 4 from noon to 1:30 p.m. Pre-registration is required. The class is also offered at the Linden on May 4 from 9-10:30 a.m. Presented by Charcuterie to Go, participants will learn not only pairings of meats, cheeses and crackers but also tips for creating beautiful charcuterie boards. Everyone who participates will take home a board that they made. The cost of the boards is $25 for a 6-inch by 6-inch size and $45 for an 8-inch by 8-inch size board. 

Friends of the Library meeting

Friends of the Library will be meeting at 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7. Anyone interested in supporting the library is invited to attend. The Friends will be discussing the golf fundraiser, which is scheduled for June 15.

Lunch and Learn

Plan to attend the May Lunch and Learn which will be on Wednesday, May 8, from noon to 1 p.m. Nutritionist Carol Laughery, owner of Ignite Nutrition, will be the featured speaker, and a light lunch donated by Cafe on the Hill will be served. Pre-registration is required. 

Between the Covers

Between the Covers book club will meet May 14 at 3 p.m. to discuss “The Widows of Braxton County” by Jess McKonkey. In this novel, Kate, a city woman, is ready to settle down and marry. She moves to her new husband’s Iowa farm where she finds country life filled with chores, judgmental neighbors, and the surprise of discovering that her mother-in-law will be living in her new home, which is more difficult than she anticipated. Soon, Kate begins to hear from the town gossip that her new family has secrets that include a mysterious death, and then unexplainable events start happening. Copies are available for those who want to attend the book club to check out. 

Card-making club

Card-making club will meet from 9-11 a.m. on Thursday, May 16. All materials are provided for a $5 fee.

Cookbook club

“Not That Fancy” by Reba McEntire is May’s featured cookbook for Cookbook Club. Cookbook Club will meet on Thursday, May 16, at 6:30 p.m. Stop in the library to choose a recipe to make and share with the group at the meeting. 

So much more than books

The April 10 Lunch and Learn presented by Dementia Friends Iowa was well attended. The next Lunch and Learn will be Wednesday, May 8, from noon to 1 p.m. and will feature Carol Laughery, owner of Ignite Nutrition and Health. We are taking online registrations now.

By Karen Kelly | Special to the Times Vedette

For the past few weeks, I have been reading darker books than usual. I have been sucked into the vortex of Freida McFadden’s psychological thrillers. My husband, who rarely comments on my eclectic reading tastes, pointed out that I had been reading “a lot of murdery stuff lately.” He also wondered if this should concern him. So, to allow my husband to sleep with both eyes closed and because spring often feels like a time to read lighter subject matter, I have put aside the “murdery” books filled with protagonists of questionable ethical and moral fiber. I will suggest, however, if you’re a fan of a dark, twisty, suspenseful, psychological thriller, you can’t go wrong with “The Housemaid” and “The Housemaid’s Secret” by Freida McFadden. 

Lately, I have been enjoying some of the new romance novels that we have at the MJB Library. “The Unhoneymooners” by Christina Lauren was an entertaining romp. Olive Torres seems to be the jinxed twin while her sister Ami seems to have the Midas touch. Winning a series of contests, Ami managed to finance an elaborate wedding for next to no money; she even won a free honeymoon in Maui. Due to Olive’s extreme seafood allergy and the best man’s phobia of buffets, Olive and Ethan Thomas are the only guests who didn’t immediately become ill from food poisoning from the reception’s seafood buffet. With the bride and groom too sick to travel, and the dream vacation that couldn’t be rescheduled, Olive and Ethan find themselves both vying for the trip. Refusing to let her nemesis nab the free trip for himself, the pair agree to a truce to enjoy 10 days of all-inclusive paradise. Will this trip lead to a change of luck for Olive? Check out the book and see.

Additionally, we have added several titles by bestselling author Lucy Score, including “The Worst Best Man,” another romantic comedy novel. For those who love a love story but also enjoy a mystery, check out Score’s novel “The Dead Guy Next Door” (the best of both worlds). 

There are some new displays to peruse to look for book ideas. Check out the “Read It Before You Watch It” display which features many novels that have recently been adapted for the screen, including  “A Gentleman in Moscow”written by Amor Towles. Set in 1922 Russia, this historical novel tells the story of an unrepentant aristocrat who is confined to house arrest for life in a luxury hotel across the square from the Kremlin after being convicted by a Bolshevik tribunal. Readers will be captivated by the cast of unique characters, the brilliant writing style and the Count’s resilience and ability to find purpose and community as he adapts to his new life in the Metropol Hotel. This book is, in my opinion, a fantastic read. Ewan McGregor and the cast of this miniseries airing on Paramount Plus have their work cut out to capture the humor and delight of this novel. Come in and get this book before you watch the miniseries. You know the book is always better.

Summer Reading Program

For our preschool through middle school patrons, Summer Reading Program registration is open now. Go to the webpage to sign up. Read, Renew, Repeat is the theme for this summer.

Preschool Story Hour 

Remember that story hour for preschoolers and their caregivers is every Friday starting at 10 a.m.  April 19 will focus on Pets, and the theme for April 26 is Seasons.

Charcuterie Class

MJB Library is hosting a charcuterie class on Saturday, May 4 from noon-1:30 p.m. The class will be presented by Charcuterie To Go. Participants will take their charcuterie skills to the next level by learning perfect meat, cheese and cracker combinations. Everyone who participates will take home a board that they made. The cost of the boards is $25 for a 6-inch by 6-inch size and $45 for an 8-inch by 8-inch size board. Pre-registration is required by April 30. If you want to attend but can’t make the noon workshop, the same class is available at the Linden Library on May 4 from 9-10:30 a.m.

The April display at MJB Library is courtesy of Becky Wahl. The display features Becky’s collection of cups and saucers.

Check out our display of “Read It Before You Watch It!” which features books that have been or are being adapted for the screen. Stop in and check one out; you know the book is always better than the movie.

This month’s featured author is Lucy Score. Stop in and see why her books are so popular.

So much more than books

Joan Wells and Kris Simon presented their program “Up the Cattle Trails and Songs of the West” for the audience at the MJB Library on April 2. The pair shared the history of cattle drives and performed many bluegrass and country songs for the group.

Special to the Times Vedette

Spring Fever is starting to kick in, so it’s the perfect time to stop in the library to check out some of our gardening books. We have resources to help with vegetable gardens, herbs, flowers, perennials and container gardens, to name just a few. Stop in and take a look.

Summer Reading Program

For our preschool through middle school patrons, Summer Reading Program registration is open now. Go to the webpage to sign up. Read, Renew, Repeat is the theme for this summer, and we have exciting things in the works for the month of June when our events are scheduled.

Lunch and Learn

Be sure to pre-register for our  April Lunch and Learn, which will be presented by Dementia Friends of Iowa. It will be Wednesday, April 10 from noon to 1 p.m.  Dementia Friends, a global movement started in the U.K., is spreading to the U.S. By helping everyone in a community understand what dementia is and how it affects families, each of us can make a difference to families touched by dementia. Information and a light lunch will be shared during the hour.

Plan to attend the May Lunch and Learn, which will be on Wednesday, May 8 from noon to 1 p.m. Nutritionist Carol Laughery will be the featured speaker. Pre-registration is required.

Narcan Workshop

New Opportunities will be presenting a workshop about Naloxone, commonly known as Narcan, which is used to treat opioid overdoses. The informational event will be held in the library’s Taylor Meeting Room beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 11. Not only will the workshop explain how to recognize signs of an overdose and how to administer Naloxone, Narcan will be available for distribution.

Story Hour

Preschool Story Hour is every Friday beginning at 10 a.m.  This week, “Family” will be the theme. On April 12, the topic is going to be “ME!” Pets will be the subject of story hour on April 19. Story Hour participants will learn about seasons on April 26.

Cookbook Club

Cookbook Club participants are reminded that they can stop in the library to select a recipe to share at the meeting on Thursday, April 18, at 6:30 p.m. This month’s featured cookbook is published by Taste of Home and is entitled “Make It! Take It 2023.”

Card Making Club

Card Making Club will meet from 9-11 a.m. on Thursday, April 18. The cost is $5 to cover the cost of materials.

STEM After School

The Guthrie County ISU Extension will be presenting a STEM workshop from 3:30-4:30 p.m. on Monday, April 15. There will be reading and STEM activities. Students of all ages are welcome.

Charcuterie Class

MJB Library is hosting a charcuterie class on Saturday, May 4 from noon – 1:30 p.m. The class will be presented by Charcuterie To Go. Participants will take their charcuterie skills to the next level by learning perfect meat, cheese and cracker combinations. Everyone who participates will take home a board that they made. The cost of the boards is $25 for 6-inch by 6-inch size and $45 for an 8-inch by 8-inch size board. Pre-registration is required by April 30. If you want to attend but can’t make the noon workshop, the same class is available at the Linden Library on May 4 from 9-10:30 a.m.

April Quilt

Jean Densmore shared a quilt for our April display. This intricate pattern is called Grandma’s Victory and was made as a graduation gift for Jean’s granddaughter, Hannah. Featuring fabric in shades of green and blue, this lovely quilt will be on loan to the library for the month of April.

“Grandma’s Victory,” this month’s featured quilt at the MJB Library, is on loan from Jean Densmore for April. Stop in and take a look.