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CITY NOTES: Library’s goal is to meet area informational needs

By Annette Dean, Director, Charles City Public Library

At the Charles City Public Library, we have something for everyone. Our mission is to meet the basic information needs and be the center of the community for all citizens of Charles City and the surrounding area.

We have had a variety of staff changes, including a new director, new youth services librarian and a new cataloging librarian, in the last six months, but our service and our goals have remained unchanged.

We wish to provide lifelong learning adventures through books, magazines, DVDs and audiobooks; downloadable audiobooks and ebooks and magazines and music; informational databases including job search databases, reference databases, language learning databases, genealogy materials and databases; and programming.

Annette Dean, director, Charles City Public Library
Annette Dean, director, Charles City Public Library

We have a wealth of knowledge available to you through our website. One of the most recent additions is Brainfuse. The State Library of Iowa has contracted with the company Brainfuse to help provide this database statewide.

Brainfuse contains job coaching, interview coaching, veteran benefit navigator, a resume lab which provides resume help in real time, college test prep and Microsoft office tutorials. This database is available from any internet enabled computer right now.

The library looks forward to holding help sessions for patrons interested in using this product in the spring. In the meantime, if you would like to explore please see our website for access:

Are you purchasing e-books and e-magazines to read on your digital device? Have I got a deal for you! Your taxpayer dollars have already purchased hundreds of popular electronic book, magazine and music titles for your convenience.

All you need to access them is a Charles City Library Card and an internet accessible device like a tablet, smartphone or laptop. Once set up, you won’t have to leave your home to visit the library to check out your favorite books, audiobooks or magazines! It’s a great resource for vacation trips and cold, blizzardy days.

Fun, informational and entertaining programs for all ages are provided to encourage participants in developing a love of reading, math, science and lifelong interests.

For families with young children, Miss Stacey Leerhoff and Miss Kaye Shannon have Storytime every Friday morning. Miss Stacey is our new youth services librarian and I look forward to seeing the great new programming opportunities she will develop.

It’s hard to believe in this very snowy city, but Summer Library Program is just around the corner. The theme this year is a Universe of Stories and will feature great programs from Iowa State Extension and Grout Museum, as well as crafts and other special events. And of course a bunch of great books to read! It’s going to be an awesome summer at the library.

The Friday Morning Adult Book Discussion group is a fun and relaxing time for adult readers to socialize and discuss popular books. Books are chosen in advance and provided by the Library Foundation to participants to check out.

There is no fee or pre-registration to join this group and no mandatory attendance. Come as you are and be free to read. We have a special treat this year with author Kylie Brant attending the April 5 session to discuss her book, “Cold Dark Places.”

We also have several great programs coming up this spring. On March 19, local author Linda McCann will discuss her new book on POWs in Iowa; on March 26 we will have our re-scheduled program, “Landscapes of Iowa: Poems of James Hearst,” performed by Scott Cawelti; and in April we will host local author Jocelyn Green, have an informational presentation on beekeeping, and will welcome back Michael Luick-Trams for his Iowa’s hidden or forbidden histories presentation, “Kickin’ the Kaiser,” in May.

These are just a few of the opportunities the Charles City Library offers to everyone in the Charles City area. We are your community place for lifelong learning. Come check us out at our website,, or on Facebook under Charles City Public Library.