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5 Ways to Utilize the Des Moines Library This Winter

Des Moines Public Library

December 12, 2019

Sure, the Des Moines Public Library is known for its large collection of books, magazines and DVDs. More people than ever are borrowing eBooks and eAudiobooks. New streaming video services offer thousands of movie options to stream on your phones, smart TVs, computers and tablets. But it doesn’t end there. The Des Moines Public Library can also … help you with your holiday shopping, offer your family relief from cold-weather boredom, give your kids a leg up on their education and much more.

As we enter the long Midwestern winter months, here are a few more (of the many, MANY) ways to use the Des Moines Public Library:

1. FREE Access to Consumer Reports

Be sure you shop smart with the holidays approaching. Use the free digital version of Consumer Reports to learn more about the pros and cons of potential gift purchases before you buy. Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit organization that performs rigorous consumer testing and prints product reviews as part of its mission to protect consumers. Among the items you can research for free with your library card at dmpl.org/consumerreports:

  • Electronics like TVs, cell phones, tablets and computer accessories
  • Appliances, including anything from coffee grinders to refrigerators to waffle makers
  • Home and garden items, such as drills, snow blowers, cookware and air mattresses
  • Items for children, like car seats, strollers and diaper bags
  • Cars, food, money-related items and more


2. Cookbooks and Crafting Books

Nothing warms the heart quite like homemade meals and homemade gifts. Our libraries offer a cookbook for every situation — hearty holiday meals, kids in the kitchen, special dietary needs and more.

Dozens of crafting books also offer as big a variety — whether you’re looking for patterns for a blanket or scarf, special decorations or an activity for the kids during a cold winter day. Go to dmpl.org and search our catalog, or ask a librarian to show you where they are at your library.

3. FREE Access to The New York Times online

With the Iowa Caucus just around the corner and Iowa soon to be at the center of the political universe, here’s your opportunity to stay informed and keep up with the nonstop national and international news. DMPL cardholders get free digital access to The New York Times at dmpl.org/nytimes.

4. Fun (Indoor) Winter Activities

Cabin fever is real. It’s cold, it’s snowy, and you can only go sledding with the family so many times before it gets monotonous. Pop into one of our libraries for daily storytimes, and programs like drop-in crafts, scavenger hunts, dance parties, LEGO activities and much more. Even when there aren’t programs scheduled, our libraries’ children’s sections have great spaces where children can role play, play with puppets, draw, read aloud and more.

Go to dmpl.org/events for a full schedule of upcoming programs for children, teens, families and adults.

5. School Readiness Resources

The Des Moines Public Library’s digital Learning Express Library is a great place to go for skills improvement and test preparation. High school students can take practice tests for the ACT, SAT, and AP exams. Students of all ages can get extra practice in language, math, science, writing and more. There are resources for adults in the process of attaining their GED or trying to advance their career, and the Learning Express Library is even available in Spanish. All you need to access these free educational tools is your library card. Go to dmpl.org/learningexpress.

Named as the #13 Best Place to Live in the U.S. and #7 Best City for Living the American Dream, Greater Des Moines (DSM) is the fastest growing metro in the Midwest. Learn more about what it’s like to live here.

Aaron Gernes

Aaron Gernes is a communications specialist with the Des Moines Public Library. Find information on all six of the DMPL branches, plus everything from streaming video and event calendars to community resources and research tools, online at dmpl.org.