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Read to your health @ the library

Posted January 07, 2015 in Community Featured, Des Moines West

It’s a long-running joke among librarians that the two biggest sections in any library’s collection are the cookbooks and the diet books. It’s not uncommon to see a patron checking out an armload of each. January of each year is when a real uptick in circulation of these sorts of books is seen as people make their resolutions to lose weight, prepare more healthful foods and get in shape in the new year.

Experts say that one of the reasons that new year’s resolutions are so rarely kept is because people set themselves up to fail with unrealistic and dramatic expectations. (“I’m going to lose 40 pounds by Easter!”) One way to combat the “doomed goal” effect that torpedoes so many resolutions is to commit to a more general or measured approach that can be attacked from many angles.

The library can help you find the information you need to make the “live a healthier lifestyle” resolution an intelligent reality.

The West Des Moines Public Library alone has close to 400 books just on dieting, 250 DVDs featuring exercise and workouts, close to 150 books on so-called light cooking, close to a dozen books on giving up tobacco and 25 books, DVDs and CDs on dealing with stress (some with groovy hypnosis tracks).

I’ve focused on health matters, but whatever your resolution, the library probably has information that will empower you to do a better job of keeping it.

January events

Be sure to check the program calendar on our website ( for more information, but here are some events and programs going on in January, some of which require registration and some of which do not:


Writer’s Club (Second and fourth Saturdays of the month). Did you resolve to finally write that novel you know you have inside you? Share your work, offer constructive criticism, take part in writing exercises and meet other writers with dreams like yours. Call Shirley Houghtaling at 515-222-3413 for more information. no registration required.


Teen Craft: Magazine Chairs (Thursday, jan. 15, 6-8 p.m.). Learn how to make a chair of old magazines and duct tape. It can also be used as a footstool or table, too. registration is required. Program is for teens age 11 and up. Register at

Driver’s License

Information Program: (Thursday, jan. 29 at 6 p.m.) join us for a presentation on what teens and parents need to know about getting an Iowa driver’s permit and license. This free program will be presented by Drive Tek, the Iowa Department of Transportation, Street Survival and the West Des Moines Police Department. Program is for both teens and parents of soon-to-be drivers. registration is required. Seating is limited so please register all family members attending the program. Call the reference desk, (515) 222- 3403, with any questions. register


West Des Moines Public Library
4000 Mills Civic Parkway
Hours: Sunday: 2-5 p.m.
Mon. – Thur.: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. – 6 pm
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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