This Friday at noon, the library staff invites anyone who would like to know more about free digital materials available through the library to join us for a chili lunch at the Bertha Bartlett Public Library meeting room. Registration is $5 and reserving a spot is easy by calling 515-733-2685. Space is available to the first 20 people, but walk-ins will be welcome.

This is the first time we have ever done a program like this. We will introduce these new databases, including the Chilton Automotive manuals, the Books and Novels, Credo Reference (an online encyclopedia) and Transparent Language, among the nearly 40 different sites set up through the State Library and the Gale Online Database resources.

Denise Froelich and Kolleen Taylor will present an overview of the materials, show some examples, and then assist those who need to establish accounts. A personal laptop or notebook is encouraged so links can be set up directly on those devices.

These databases are normally available at a fairly expensive annual fee for individual users, however the State Library of Iowa has developed a consortium of libraries who are able to purchase access to these products at a relatively nominal cost. Learning how to use these databases will allow patrons to reach into the deep web to retrieve more accurate information and use tools that are not available to standard internet browsers.

And alas, we are sad to report that the indoor igloo has disappeared from the library after the last Early Dismissal program. The igloo, which took a team of over 80 children, teens, adults and staff to build over three hours, was dismantled in approximately 10 minutes by approximately 30 children. We thank everyone who participated through donations, with storing milk jugs or with time to help construct.

Our next Early Dismissal will be on March 28 at 2 p.m. with KOOL kids (K-4th) doing construction projects with Keva Planks, while the Tweens are designing “Alexander Calder Sculptures.” We also invite everyone to the Family Storytime this Thursday evening, March 8, at 6:30 p.m. for families with children up to age 9. There also will be a Homeschool Game Day on March 23 at 1 p.m., with parents and children encouraged to attend together.