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Cooks for Books


Blakesburg Library to hold Crock-Pot Cook-Off

BLAKESBURG – What better way to warm up a cold winter’s day than with a great crock-pot recipe? Area cooks will have the opportunity to show off their culinary skills and share crock-pot recipes with friends and neighbors as the Blakesburg Public Library Hosts a Crock-Pot Cook-Off, from 4-7 p.m.  Saturday, January 31, 2015, at the former elementary school building cafeteria in Blakesburg.

Don’t worry if you can’t cook – you can still get in on tasting all the great culinary concoctions. For a $5 fee, you will be permitted to sample all of the delectable dishes, receive a beverage, and a copy of all of the recipes in the competition.

A celebrity panel of judges will select their favorite dish, and guests will be able to vote for a People’s Choice award. Both winners will be awarded gifts related to culinary skills and have bragging rights until the next year’s competition.

Cooks may prepare any type of dish – appetizers, entrees, soups, stews, desserts, etc. They will bring their prepared dish in a Crock-Pot to the Cafeteria between 3:30 and 3:45 p.m. the day of the event to set up.

Tasting will run from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. with votes tallied and awards presented at 6:30 p.m.

Cooks who wish to participate should contact librarian, Cheryl Talbert by Friday, January 23, 2015, at 641-777-0048 to provide their recipe so it can be included in the handout for taste-testers and other participants.  In case of inclement weather, the event will be held Sunday, Feb. 1st.

“We think this will be a fun social event as well as a friendly annual competition,” Talbert said. “Proceeds from the event will be used to purchase materials and provide programs such as the Summer Reading Program and the annual Halloween Party.”

The library, located at 407 S. Wilson,  is open 8:30 – 5:30 p.m. Monday, 2:00 – 7:00 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 12:30 – 4:30 p.m. Friday, and 8:30 – 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The library provides books, videos, free e-books and audio books, computers, Wi-Fi, research databases and assistance, homework help, interlibrary loan and reference services, as well as programming for adults and children. For more information, e-mail or visit the library’s web site at .




Thank you all for agreeing to participate in The Blakesburg Public Library's first Cooks for Books Crock-Pot Cook-Off this Saturday at the former elementary school cafeteria (407 S. Wilson) in Blakesburg. We currently have about 15 participants with about 20 different dishes. We have men, women, and even a young (maybe 12 years old) participant. 

The recipes include some very simple dishes -- comfort food like soups, stews, and casseroles -- some great football food -- just in time for the Super Bowl --  and a dessert that sounds delicious. Cooks are to bring their entry into the school cafeteria between 3:30 and 3:45 to set up. We will provide extension cords and power strips so your food will be kept at the correct temperature.

Be sure to use safe food handling procedures when preparing your dish (proper hand-washing, clean utensils, etc.). If you have long hair, pull it back off of face when cooking and serving food. We will provide gloves and sample cups for the for food servers. Part of the judging will be on presentation, so if you want a special plate or bowl, need garnishes, etc. to present your dish, be sure to bring those items with you. If you have a particular themed-food, you can even dress the part or have your presentation (plates, napkins, garnishes, etc.) match the food whether it is Italian, French, Chinese, Mexican, good old American comfort food, etc. Lets have fun with this !!

Judges will begin the taste-testing at 4 p.m. and will be able to go to the library to tally their votes.  The People's Choice taste-testing will begin when the judges have completed their tasting. It will continue until 6 p.m. (or until we run out of food -- whichever comes first). The People's Choice votes will be tallied at 6 p.m., and as soon as the votes are counted, we will present awards to the winners. Prizes include a Trophy created by the IHCC Laser Club, $25 Hy-Vee Gift Cards, and assorted other items.

We appreciate that you are giving up your time to help us raise money for our library. We hope this will be a successful event this year, and we will learn what we need to do to make it even bigger and better next year. Please call 641.777.0048 or e-mail if you have questions.



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 will be receiving the funds soon so it can begin purchasing program materials.

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



Blakesburg Public Library news briefs 

Library awarded The Libri Foundation Grant for children's books

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. This will purchase $1,050.00 worth of new, hardcover books for our children's and young adult book collections. 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. Grant documents will be arriving at the library during the week of Sept. 22, and the new books will be ordered shortly thereafter. 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 .

Library Board to meet January 17

The next meeting of the Board of Trustees for the Blakesburg Public Library will be at 8:00 a.m. , Saturday, January 17, 2014, at the library. 

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. 




Use your Blakesburg Public Library card to check out e-books and audio books from WILBOR. With more than 10,000 digital books in the collection,WILBOR has something for everyone across all ages -- from picture books, to novels, to memoirs and non-fiction. Audio books are great for early or beginning readers or older readers who can't see quite as well as they used to and prefer to listen to books.
OverDrive (WILBOR) is a leading multichannel digital distributor of eBooks, audiobooks, music, and video. It delivers secure management, DRM protection, and download fulfillment services for hundreds of publishers and thousands of libraries, schools, and retailers, serving millions of end users. OverDrive has been named to the EContent 100 as a company that matters most in the digital content industry.
 Wilbor Link:



 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.


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.


Milestone reached: More than 3000 books now listed in library's online catalog !! 

More than 2000 books were added to the library's catalog between April 1st and December 1st !! The adult fiction and young adult fiction collections are now in the catalog, and children's resources are being added. 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.


 Bored? Check out the many board 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 !

Bored (Board) games @ the library !  

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. - Public Records

   People Search

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