Fall is officially here, and as the temperatures seem to moderate, we are still seeing a bit of a roller coaster ride. It’s Iowa. There are no promises how Mother Nature will treat us. We can only hope that the season is reasonable, allowing time for crops to complete their cycles, pray for a decent harvest, and allow gardens to finish growing with enough rain to save our landscaping and restore our ground water.

I’m a farm girl, and the urgency of decent rainfall has never been so apparent as when the wild animals feel my yard is their watering hole. From deer to raccoons, skunks, groundhogs, coyotes, oppossums, and wildcats larger than the domestic breeds, I never know what I’m going to find when I go to my home in the evenings. Since I do have cats, and I water and feed them, the word has gotten out to all the creatures of the woods to my great chagrin! I do believe we need all of these creatures, just not living outside my front door or inside my garage or buildings!

Since I’ve had so many visitors this summer, perhaps due to the strange weather occurring all around us, it has prompted me to do some personal research on Iowa wildlife. We have some wonderful materials at the library that allow any level of reader to identify tracks, tails, and even the unmentionable leavings we discover in piles under trees and throughout the yard.

Throughout the year we try to update materials in our non-fiction area, but don’t often highlight these gems in our library collection. One of the most recent updates for the juvenile department got my attention for my investigations for my own personal issues: Animal Tracks and Signs includes lots of great information about various animals, and also has little mini-quizzes throughout. As I wandered through my yard, not wanting to collect the items I was finding in my grassy areas, this book allows me to learn with a complete "hands off" approach. This book is found on the new juvenile fiction shelf in the library.

Another fun book in the juvenile non-fiction is called Cool Stuff Exploded. It explains modern technology, taking things as simple as a bicycle or as complicated as a washing machine or satellite and takes it apart, piece by piece explaining showing how it is designed and put together. This book actually includes a CD rom to further explore the great things in the book.

In the adult non-fiction we have been excited to provide a book on Geometry called Girls Get Curves: Geometry takes Shape, written by Danica McKellar. Whether a high school student, college student or just interested In keeping your math skills in check, this is a wonderful approach to understanding math, and making it cool!

We have also updated many of our travel books, added a number of great biographies, and of course expanded on hot topics such as autism, auto immune disorders, and cookbooks that focus on diets to control food related diseases. From Diabetes to Gluten Free, specific approaches such as the Paleo Diet for digestive issues, we have seen these books just flying off the shelves as solutions are sought for the many different health issues identified today.

I know many things are found on the internet, but we still update our collection, trying to meet the requests and needs of our community. So check out our non-fiction, the newest books near the front of the library, and our collection in the Kinne wing. There is a surprising amount of information in our library, and it’s just waiting for the moment it meets a need in your life!