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 We invite you to spend a few moments looking at our new library Web site. With help from the State Library of Iowa and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation we are able to create a place on the Web where you, our customers, can explore, learn and get help with all your information needs.

New children's films

Library open Friday morning for Corn Carnival -- will show children's feature film at 10 a.m.


Because there is no school on Friday, the Blakesburg Public Library will have different hours. It will be open from 9 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.  Friday, September 18th. The library will show a children's feature film at 10:00 a.m. and provide free popcorn. As always, computers, games, puzzles, and GREAT BOOKS will be available.

The library will be open from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. on Saturday (great for people waiting to line up for the parade), and will re-open after the parade until 2 p.m. Come check out the library, and find a nice spot to cool off, and relax during the hustle and bustle that is the Corn Carnival

Blakesburg Public Library New Briefs 


New library hours effective Monday, August 24

The library will have new hours when school starts this fall. New hours will be:

Monday: 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Tuesday: 3:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday:  3:00 – 5 p.m.

Thursday: 3:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Friday: 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Saturday: 8:00 – 1:00 p.m.

Library Director Cheryl Talbert and Assistant Librarian Chris Johnson will be available to serve patrons with a variety of morning, afternoon and evening hours.  The library is a great place to curl up with a book, work on a jigsaw puzzle, play a video game, build with Legos, and surf the ‘net.

Library services include a collection of books, DVDs, audio books, E-books and E-audio books, interlibrary loan, reference and research assistance, photocopies, computer and Wi-Fi access, Learning Express software which includes test-prep, educational and career assistance, the EBSCO research database, and ABC Mouse, an educational software program for early childhood education. A variety or programs are available for all ages. 

Library Board of Trustees Seeks New Member

The Blakesburg Library Board of Trustees has an open position for a rural representative. If you are a community - minded person who will be a strong advocate for libraries and promote literacy, we need you on our board. Please contact library director Cheryl Talbert, or board president Sonni Deevers, board secretary Penny Fisher or board members Ed Hannan or Kathy Hunt for information.

Library Board Meeting Monday, October 19, 2015

The next regular meeting of the Blakesburg Public Library Board of Trustees will be at 7:00 p.m., Monday, October, 19, 2015, at the library. The meeting is open to the public.

Friends of the Library meeting rescheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 23

The next meeting of the Friends of the Blakesburg Public Library has tentatively been set for 7 p.m., Wednesday, September 23, 2015, at the Blakesburg Public Library, 407 S. Wilson Street. Everyone is welcome to join the Friends group in support of the library. Membership fees are $5.

Friends of the Library raise $225 at Pizza Ranch Tip Night

The Friends of the Blakesburg Public Library raised $225 at its Pizza Ranch Tip Night Tuesday, with more donations still coming in. The Friends of the Library support library programming including helping purchase supplies and incentive gifts for the Summer Reading Programs, purchase materials, and are adding to a building fund for the library. Thank you for supporting their efforts.


 Every Hero Has a Story



Boy with trains  


A “Day In with Thomas” fun at  Blakesburg Public Library

Thirteen  young train enthusiasts attended  a special “Day in With Thomas” event at the Blakesburg Public Library  Saturday, June 20th. Participants  enjoyed two stories about Thomas the Tank engine, and his friends; watched a  video,completed a cut and glue Thomas the Tank Engine craft activity, had a snack and enjoyed  playing with some trains, featuring Thomas and his friends. 

Father-Daughter Dance a huge success !!

 Ninety young ladies, accompanied by their doting dads attended the Blakesburg Public Library's Annual Father-Daughter Dance at the Blakesburg Elementary Attendance Center gymnasium Saturday evening. The dance provided a wonderful night for girls to dress up with Dad for a night of fun and making memories that will last a lifetime.

The library staff and library board would like to thank the EBF Schools for allowing us to use the gymnasium for the dance venu, the Friends of the Blakesburg Library and individual members of the Friends group, who helped with providing refreshments, and everyone who helped with set-up and clean-up. Also thanks to the Blakesburg Christian Church Youth Group for providing a wonderful dinner opportunity for the dads and daughters before the dance.

A big thank you to everyone who attended and showed their support for the library. We very much appreciate the support of our event and of our community.

Milestone reached: More than 4,200 books now listed in library's online catalog !! 

On Saturday, March 28, 2015 the library staff reached a milestone of adding 4,000 books to the online catalog. Now we have an additional 200 items cataloged. The library's card catalog can be accessed at the following web address: Patrons can search by subject, author or title to see what books the library owns. In addition, the results can be listed in a variety of ways, and books can be sorted by the year of publication. The catalog also provides book reviews and recommends read-alike titles/authors. Be sure to check out the catalog, which is available on the web 24/7.

Library receives donation of toys and DVDs

We have the best patrons and community in the world. On Saturday, I received a call asking if we would accept some toys. A couple were downsizing and getting rid of toys that their grand and great-grandchildren had played with. Of course we will -- our preschool class visits the library every Friday morning and they love playing with the toys as much as looking at books and working on puzzles.

We had a family in last night playing a game of Clue -- reading and using deductive logic to solve the murder mystery. Also last night, we received a gift of 80 DVDs. The toys are already on the shelves waiting for someone to play with them -- the DVDs will be processed and ready for checkout soon.

 At this point of our fiscal year (July 1 - June 30), our library has received books and video donations that would have cost around $6,000 if we had had to purchase them -- this includes some great children's, young adult, and adult fiction, and videos for kids, teens and adults.

We LOVE the way the community supports the library. If you donate an item that we already own, we may add it to the collection because of its popularity, or we may put it in our book sale so we can use the proceeds to purchase more materials or help with programs for the public. Either way, every gift helps. Be sure to let us know if there are any services the library can provide to help you or your organization !!

Learning Express Software available @ the Library

LearningExpress is an interactive online platform, providing career and academic resources.
will help you with job preparation, career advancement, and college readiness.
helps build skills in math, reading, writing, grammar, and vocabulary.                 

 Interlibrary Loan

If the library doesn't have the book you are looking for, we can order it for you from participating Iowa Libraries through the Inter-library Loan Program. Through this sharing program, Iowa libraries are able to offer patrons a wide variety of materials, and share costs.

Ebsco logo

 EBSCOhost, the most used reference source worldwide, is available 24/7/365 to patrons of the Blakesburg Public Library. A customizable, intuitive search experience, EBSCOhost is designed to cater to various user needs and preferences at every level of research.

The EBSCOHost Database features a nearly a dozen focus areas within its resources. These include MasterFile Premier, Health Source--Nursing/Academic Edition; Primary Search; ERIC; Academic Search Elite; Business Source Elite; Vocational and Career Collection; TOPICSearch; Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia; Regional Business News and Health Source--Consumer Edition. Check with the library staff for the user ID/Password to access the database 24/7/365 from your home, laptop or smartphone. Contact library staff to obtain the user ID/Password.


   Searchasaurus logo          Searchasaurus Powered by EBSCO 


Searchasaurus is a special section of the EBSCOhost database, geared for young researchers. Special sections featured include Animals, Art & Music, Health, History, People and Places, Science and Math, Sports, and Stories. The database also features a dictionary, encyclopedia and pictures.  This database is also available 24/7/365 anywhere the patron has an internet connection. Contact the library staff for the user ID/Password.


Alliant Energy Foundation Grant to fund new technology programs at Blakesburg Public Library !

Lego and gaming competitions are just two of the planned activities that will be taking place during the EBF Rockets B.L.A.S.T.  O.F.F.  (Blakesburg Library After School Technology Opportunities for Fun with Friends) Program in the coming new year. The B.L.A.S.T.  O.F.F.  and A.C.T. (Adult Computing Technologies) Programs will be largely funded with a $2000 Alliant Energy Foundation Grant.  The library was notified December 1st that it was awarded the grant in the Foundation’s latest grant cycle. The grant process was highly competitive, so the library feels very fortunate and is grateful to the Alliant Energy Foundation for this award.

The library is planning a series of after-school activities for children, teens, and adults using technology. In addition to gaming and Lego building competitions, these activities will include classes for youth and/or adults on using tablets for internet research, and reading the library’s downloadable e-books, classes on using various computer software applications, e-mail,  and social networking programs, and education about energy and environment, along with other STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) activities.

The B.L.A.S.T.  O.F.F. and A.C.T. programs will begin in January or February 2015. Additional information and a schedule of program activities and events will be posted on the library’s web page ( ) and on its Facebook page.

Also coming in the next year will be an open house to introduce new children’s books purchased with the Libri Foundation Grant funds (with the help of the Friends of the Blakesburg Public Library organization), a Crock Pot Cook-Off event, a “Day In with Thomas” for young train enthusiasts, and a “Disney Princess Tea Party” for fans of Disney princesses. 

The library provides computers and wi-fi access, printing, photocopying, FAX service, and access to thousands of books, videos, 14 magazine subscriptions, two newspapers, and online databases including EBSCOHost, Learning Express and ABC Mouse. The library is located in the former Blakesburg Elementary building, and is open to the public after the school children are finished in the building each day:  5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Monday, 2:00 – 7:00 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 12:30 – 4:30 p.m. Friday, and 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Saturday.  For more information, contact Library Director Cheryl Talbert at 641 777-0048 or e-mail

Libri Foundation Grant books have arrived -- will be ready to check out soon !! 

The Blakesburg Public Library was among 72 libraries nationwide to receive a Libri Foundation grant, which will provide new children's books for the library. Thank you so much to the Friends of the Blakesburg Public Library, which is providing our portion of the matching funds grant ($350), and The Libri Foundation, which is is doubling our portion with a $700 contribution. In addition, the library received another $350 worth of math and science books thanks to a personal donation, bringing a total $1,450 worth of new hardcover children and young adult books to our library collection. The library joins nine other Iowa libraries in being awarded the Library Foundation grant this cycle, and 13 more Iowa libraries that are 2014 Libri Foundation grant recipients. To learn more about the Libri Foundationand its Books for Children Program which provides grants for children's books to small, rural libraries across the United States, check out its web site at .

Computers/wi-fi available at the Library

The library now has seven public access computers for patrons to use following the purchase of three computers with funds from the Wapello County Supervisors, and a donation of two more computers to go along with an existing computer. The donation from the county supervisors was to help provide youth with internet access on the computers for educational and recreational purposes. The library has six computers in the main library space, and one computer in the quiet area of the library. In addition, the library has a new wi-fi printer. The printer software has been installed on each of the new computers so patrons will be able to print from any computer.  Scanning, photocopy, and FAX service is also be available.  


New magazines

The Blakesburg Public Library has received the gift of a dozen magazine subscriptions. Some of the titles have already been arriving in the library's mail. A variety of interests, genders and ages are included in the gift subscriptions. New titles include: Automobile, Boys Life, Country Living, Girls Life, Good Housekeeping, Jack & Jill, Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Outdoor Life, Prevention, Redbook, Scholastic Parent and Child, and Woman's Day.

Library awarded Libri Foundation Grant


The Blakesburg Public Library was among 72 libraries nationwide to be awarded a Libri Foundation Books for Children Grant during the most recent funding cycle. The 2-to-1 matching grant is being matched locally by the Friends of the Blakesburg Public Library. It's $350 contribution will be doubled by the Libri Foundation ($700) so the library will be able to purchase $1050 worth of new hardcover, quality books for the children's and young adult collections.

The library joins nine other Iowa libraries in being awarded the Libri Foundation grant this cycle, and 13 more Iowa libraries that are 2014 Libri Foundation Books for Children Grant recipients. Grant documents will be arriving at the Blakesburg Public Library during the week of Sept. 22, and the new books will be ordered shortly thereafter. The library will plan an Open House to showcase the new materials once they have been processed.

The Libri Foundation was established in 1989 for the sole purpose of helping rural libraries acquire new, quality, hard-cover children's books tghey could not otherwise afford to buy. Since October 1990, the Foundation has donated over $5.8 million worth of new children's books to more than 3,300 libraries in all 50 states. The Blakesburg Public Library was previously a grant recipient in 2005 and 2008.

The Foundation supports the concept that children who learn to enjoy reading at an early age continue to read throughout their lives. In order to develop a love of reading, children must have access to books which stretch their imaginations, touch their emotions, and expand their horizons.

For many children in rural areas, the local  public library is often their primary source of reading material. Many rural schools either have no library or the library is inadequate to meet the needs of the students. At a time when more and more children and their parents and teachers are using the public library, these same libraries are facing increasing financial hardships and are unable to buy the books their young readers need.

The Foundation works with libraries' Friends groups or other organizations because it believes in community involvement and encourages and rewards local support of libraries. The Friends or other sponsors can contribute from $200 to $350, which the Foundation matches on a 2-to-1 ratio. Thus, a library can receive up to $1050 worth of new, quality hardcover children's books through the Foundation's Books for Children's program. To learn more about the Friends of the Blakesburg Public Library, or to join the organization, contact President Bill Hinshaw, Treasurer Judy Reidel, or Librarian Cheryl Talbert.

Talbert has more than two decades of academic library experience and has been the director at Blakesburg since April. Assistant/Substitute Librarian Chris Johnson, retired library associate at the Blakesburg Elementary Attendance Center, also brings more than 20 years of experience to the Blakesburg Public Libray. These local librarians, familiar with the needs of the library and the community, will select the books the library will receive from the Foundation's 600-title booklist, which has been highly praised by participating librarians for the quality and variety of fiction and nonfiction titles offered. The majority of books have been published within the last three years, but old favorites are also offered. All of the books have been highly recommended by recognized authorities in the library and education fields.

The books donated through the Books for Children's program can be used for storytelling, toddler, preschool and after-school programs; summer reading programs; "book buddy" programs in which older children read to younger children; holiday programs; teacher check-out and curriculum support; early childhood development programs; school projects; and to just provide children with a "good read." To learn more about the Libri Foundation, visit

Bored? Check out the many board games and video games available @ the library 

In addition to great books, magazines, newspapers, DVDs, online databases, e-books and audio books, the library has jigsaw puzzles, children's puzzles, toys, craft materials, and a collection of board games for patrons to play at the library. Come check out the library -- where there is something for everyone !


Free Children's E-Books

Use the following link to access free children's e-books to read on your computer screen. Contact the library for the user ID/password.



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