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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 


All Aboard for Christmas fun at the Blakesburg Public Library ! 

All aboard for some fun at the Blakesburg Public Library. Christmas is coming and so is a special Christmas holiday train event at the library. Model train collector and library board of Trustees member Michael Potts will kick off the event with information about trains and train safety at 6 p.m. Saturday, December 16th.

Potts, who sets up an outstanding model train display for Albia's annual Victorian Stroll, has an incredible collection of model trains, including one related to the classic holiday film based on a Chris Van Aalsburg book.

Following the presentation, the library will screen an enchanting holiday tale of a young boy who doubts that Santa Claus truly exists. In the feature film, as the boy skeptically waits for ths ound of sleigh bells on Christmas Eve, a magical train appears outside his home and the conductor invites him aboard. What lies ahead is an extraordinary adventure of self-discovery through which the young boy learns that for those who believe, the wonders of life never fade.

Hot chocolate, cookies and popcorn will be provided during the film. Following the movie, Potts will give a show-and-tell demonstration of this Lionel 0 gauge train set featuring the engine and train cars and the Christmas village that goes with the movie.   If you love trains and the magic of Christmas, this will be a fun event for all ages. The program is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the library via email at or by phone at (641) 777-0048.

Library Board of Trustees meeting is Tuesday, December 19

The Board of Trustees of the Blakesburg Public Library will meet at the library on Tuesday, December 19, 2017 at 6:15 p.m.  Meetings are open to the public.



 Warm up those Crock Pots !!! Crock-Pot Cook-Off is Saturday, October 28

It's time for the annual Crock-Pot Cook-Off !! If you want to enter the competition, please submit your recipe(s) to Cheryl Talbert at, put it in the library dropbox, or call 641-777-0048 by 5:00 p.m. next Monday, October, 23, 2017. This is a HARD deadline because we need to get the cookbooks printed next week.

The Cook-Off will be Saturday, October 28th at 4:30 p.m.

Categories this year will include: Appetizers, Entrees, Soups/Stews, and Desserts. Since it will be so close to Halloween, if competitors want to dress in a costume reflective of their dish (Asian, Italian, etc.,) please feel free to do so. Let's make this event as much fun as possible !!

Participants in the competition will bring their cooked Crock-Pot dish to the former elementary school cafeteria at 4 p.m. on the 28th. We will open to the public at 4:30 p.m., with tasting and judging going until 6:00 p.m. As soon as the ballots are tallied we will announce the winners of the 4th Annual Crock-Pot Cook-Off and award prizes. Admission for the public is $8, which will get them a copy of all of the recipes, a bottle of water, and the right to sample all of the wonderful dishes.

All cooks who submit a dish (or dishes) will receive a small gift of appreciation. If your dish doesn't make a lot, you may want to fix 2 so you will have plenty for the taste-testers. This fund-raiser is a great community event (with awesome food) and helps the library provide services and programs to the community. Your support is appreciated !!


Friends of the Library Tip Night is Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Friends of the Blakesburg Public Library will be holding a Tip Night at Pizza Ranch on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.  Please come to Pizza Ranch in Ottumwa for some great food, and a great way to help the Friends of the Blakesburg Public Library in its fund-raiser. The Friends group will be able to keep all tips put into the tip jar, and will earn 10% of all sales for which receipts are added to the tip jar between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m.  That amount increases to 15% if enough people bring in a flyer with the 15% bonus information on it.  Stop in at the library to pick up a flyer.


CandyLand Float CrewCandyland Float 1Candyland Float 2Candyland Float 3

Thank you for a great Corn Carnival

Thank you to everyone who helped out and participated in library or Friends of the Library events at the 113th Annual Corn Carnival September 22-24. We had a great team putting together and riding on the float (special thanks to Sinclair Tractor in Ottumwa for providing a brand new John Deere tractor to pull the wagon -- and a Gator as a bonus), along with hats, can coozies, and pens for us to distribute to the grown-ups in the crowd along with our candy for the kids along the parade route.  Thank you to Dorothy Wells and Janie Force for spearheading the candy efforts,  Stacy McSparen for rounding up kids to ride and walk with the float, and Heather Martin for keeping tabs on the kids during the parade line-up and along the parade route. A big thank you to Helen Hannan and Margaret Fisher for taking on the Friends of the Library's Coin Toss and Lynn Small, Carrie Richmond and family members for spearheading the Cake Walk. The Friends group did a great job with the 55" TV Raffle, which was won by Dave Talbert (who also helped sell a lot of tickets). The Library appreciates all of the community support and were happy to be a part of a great fall community tradition. As our float stated, "We'll get  by with a little help from our friends" and we think for the library, " Our future looks sweet ! " 

Fall Hours start at the Library

With school back in session, the library has begun it's fall schedule. Library hours are: 3:15 - 8:00 p.m. Monday; 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. Tuesday; 3:15 - 8:00 p.m. Wednesday; 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. Thursday, and 8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Saturday. The library is closed Friday and Sunday.  

Library has access to new databases !

The Blakesburg Public Library now has access to a new suite of databases for research, educational, and personal uses. These resources are available online 24/7, and provided full-text access to thousands of journals, reference works, and even Chilton's Automobile repair. Use the URL link for the Gale Resources in the menu on the left side of the screen to start your information quest.

 CREDO Reference     

Gale Resources           

Transparent Languages

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.

 FY16 Annual Report Available

The library was a very busy place in Fiscal Year 2016. The Annual Report for the Blakesburg Public Library for FY16 is available on the library's web site. The annual report includes financial information (where we get our money and how we spend it), along with numbers of how many people visited us, what types of programs we offered and many other tidbits. Enjoy reading about the many services and resources provided for you at YOUR library. 

PDF document icon FY16 BPL ANNUAL REPORT.pdf — PDF document, 451 kB (462025 bytes)


   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.

Ottumwa Legacy Foundation Grant Update

The Library has purchased 9 desktop computers and 1 laptop with funds from the Legacy Foundation Grant it was awarded in the fall. All of the machines have been installed and have been updated with Microsoft Office 2016 on them. Five of the desktop computers are in the adult/main library space, and four are located in the children's room. Three of the older computers that have a Windows 7 Operating system have been moved into the Quiet Study/Reading Room for use there.  The library will be holding classes on using Office applications in the near future. The laptop computer and projection system will be used for training and entertainment purposes (showing family-friendly movies during school breaks, etc.). Be sure to stop by the library and check out all it has to offer. 

Library awarded Alliant Energy Grant

The Blakesburg Public Library has been awarded a $1,000 Alliant Energy Foundation Grant to purchase audio books for visually impaired readers, emergent and struggling readers. The library plans to purchase audio book kits (books and audio cd books) for early/beginning readers and struggling readers so children can read along in the text while listening to the CD, and books on CD for teens and adults who are visually impaired, or who simply prefer listening to a good book to reading it. In addition the library will purchase a couple of personal CD players with headphones, and pay for its annual public performance movie license so the library can continue to provide free family movie entertainment for the community.  Be watching the web page and the library's Facebook account for more information in the coming months.

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 !


Magazines available at the Library

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.