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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.

Blakesburg Public Library New Briefs 


Library Board Meeting is Monday, July 18

The next meeting of the Blakesburg Public Library Board of Trustees scheduled for 7 p.m., Monday, July 18, 2016 at the library. The meeting is open to the public.

Summer Library Hours

The Blakesburg Public Library began summer hours on Wednesday, June 1st. The hours are:

Monday -- 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Tuesday -- 9:30 a.m.  -- 3:00 p.m.

Wednesday -- 5:30 -- 8:30 p.m.

Thursday -- 9:30 a.m. -- 3:00 p.m.

Friday -- Closed

Saturday -- 8:00 a.m. -- 1:00 p.m.

Sunday -- Closed

Link to Library Catalog

The link above is to our new library management system including a card catalog and circulation program for the Blakesburg Public Library. It uses the data (our collection holdings) from our current LibraryThing account. Please spend some time searching the catalog by subject, author, title, keyword or format  (dvd, hardcover, paperback), or genre (mystery, romance, etc.). Click on the item's title to see if it is available for checkout, find reviews, read-alikes, etc.  Thank you to the Friends of the Blakesburg Public Library for paying the annual fee for this subscription for the first year. We appreciate everything our Friends group does to support the library. The library staff is trying to bring this library up-to-date with technology and make the collection searchable to anyone with an internet connection.  It even works on smartphones, so be sure to check this out.

Be sure to turn minutes in for Summer Reading Program "On Your Mark, Get Set, Read!" Program down to last 4 weeks!

Participants in the Blakesburg Public Library Summer Reading program need to be sure to turn in their minutes to the library staff so we can see where we are in our quest to Read to Rio. Children can earn free passes to the Blank Park Zoo, free tickets for the family to an Iowa Cubs game, passes to the Ottumwa Theater, Google Play cards, and other great prizes. In addition, the library will hold crafting, gaming, Lego and movie events this summer. Participants will track how many minutes they read this summer. By translating one minute of reading into one mile on the map, we hope to be able to Read to Rio this summer. Help us reach the goal of reading to the Rio Summer Olympics (it's only 5,400 miles from Blakesburg).  Programs will be held for teens and adults, too. Adults can learn how to use e-readers to download books, learn computer basics, attend adult coloring events, and exercise both your body and your brain. We are down to the last four weeks of the program. The Children's program, "On your mark, Get set, Read!" started Saturday, June 11th and runs through Saturday, August 6th.  All programs are free of charge.

Schedule of Events

 Click on the link above for a Summer 2016 Schedule of Events at the Libary!!

  Birthday Cake

We're Turning  80 This Year !!  Party scheduled for August 7th

 Blakesburg Public Library will be celebrating a big anniversary this year. We're turning 80, and will be hosting a birthday party cookout on Sunday, August 7th from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the former elementary school cafeteria.  Come join us for hot dogs, baked beans, chips, birthday cake, etc., to celebrate eight decades of service to the community. The library board and staff will present a brief history of the library  and is seeking assistance from community members who can share any information or pictures they may have of the library through the years. All former library board members or librarians in attendance at the party will be recognized. We will also recognize the top participants in the Summer Reading program. 


 Bridges Logo


Bridges E-Books and Audio Books

Use your library card to access thousands of ebooks and audio books across all genres and interest all ages through Bridges -- the State of Iowa's Overdrive portal.

 LearningExpress 3.0


 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.

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.

Computers/wi-fi available at the Library
The library now has 10c 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.  

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 !


New magazines

The Blakesburg Public Library has received the gift of a almost two 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