Our March display at the MJB Library is a nod to March Madness and to the rich history of women’s basketball in Iowa. The display features memorabilia on loan from Guthrie Center native and Iowa High School Girls Athletic Union Hall of Fame Member, Debbie Menning. The display will be out through the end of the month.

By Karen Kelly | Special to the Times Vedette

March 2 was the birthday of Dr. Seuss, and it was also Read Across America Day, a day celebrated in many American schools to promote reading.  In conjunction with these celebrations, the Iowa State Extension is promoting READ across Iowa during March. 

The month-long READ across Iowa celebration is intended to motivate kids to read, to bring the joys of reading to students of all ages, and to make all children feel valued and welcomed. The 2024 theme is Food Science. Check with your local extension office for special virtual events including read-alouds. 

Why is reading so important that we devote a month to promoting it?  Did you know that reading to children and having books in the home is one of the strongest predictors of school success? Children who read and listen to books hear a greater variety of words — up to 50% more — leading to a better vocabulary than those who watch media. Children raised in homes with more than 500 books spent three years longer in school than children whose parents had only a few books. 

Not only is reading important for the development of children, it is vital for all ages. Were you aware that researchers estimate that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%? Adults with a reading habit are 2.5 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s. 

This lovely spring diamond quilt is on loan from Robyn Corkins. The quilt, which will be on display in the library until the end of March, was made by Robyn’s cousin, Pam Baker.

March is also Women’s History Month.  Stop in the MJB Library to see the display of books celebrating Women’s History Month. The children’s section features a display of biographies about influential female leaders, business people, athletes, artists, writers and entertainers. For adults, there is a display of fiction and nonfiction books featuring strong women and important women’s issues. Coloring pages celebrating Women’s History Month are also available for patrons to pick up. 

Additionally, March is National Craft Month and National Quilting Month. Take a minute to look at the display featuring crafting and quilting books. 

While you’re at the library, take a look at our display of movies.  We have some new releases like “Wonka,” “Oppenheimer” and “Barbie” as well as some classic favorites like “Field of Dreams,” “Stand by Me” and “Little Miss Sunshine.” Be sure to look at the Taylor Meeting Room window display for some book suggestions as well. 

Lunch and Learn

Remember the March Lunch and Learn on Wednesday, March 13. Farm Bureau and Erin Swalwell from Advanced Markets are presenting Changing Hands: Practical Tips in Farm Estate and Succession Planning. This event will be from noon to 1 p.m.; a light lunch is provided. 


Miss Iowa, Alyssa Goethe, will be our guest for StoryHour on March 15. St. Patrick’s Day is the theme on March 22. On March 29, we will be celebrating Easter. Preschool StoryHour is each Friday at 10 a.m. 

STEM Program

Monday, March 18, the Guthrie County ISU Extension will present a STEM program from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the Taylor Meeting room. Participants will be “springing” into STEM activities as well as a story and craft. 

History of the Farming in Iowa program

The Living History Farms will be presenting a program at the MJB Library about the History of Farming in Iowa on Tuesday, March 19 at 5:30 p.m. Learn how agriculture has evolved over the past several centuries in Iowa, from Native American farmers to 1850s settlers to the golden age of horse-powered farming. Photographs from the museum’s historic working farms will highlight the changes in what was grown on an Iowa farm, what tools and power were necessary, and the impact on farming families. Sign up online or by calling or emailing the library, as we have a 50-person limit for this special event. 

Cookbook Club

“Big Bites: Wholesome, Comforting Recipes that Are Big on Flavor, Nourishment, and Fun” by Kat Ashmore will be the source for the recipes to share at the cookbook club on Thursday, March 21 at 6:30 p.m. If you would like to participate, stop in the library to sign up for a recipe. Bring your dish and share your food and your opinions about this month’s cookbook. 

Calling all Bluegrass fans

Bluegrass music fans and history buffs, mark your calendar for a fun and informative program at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, April 2. Joan Wells and Kris Simon will be presenting “Up the Nebraska Cattle Trail and Songs of the West” as part of the Speakers Bureau Living History Program.  Wells and Simon will share the story of cattle drives on the Western Trail from Texas to Nebraska while sharing the origin of Western music and singing the songs of the early-day cowboys.