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Give a valentine at the library

Posted February 11, 2015 in Community Featured, Email blast, West Des Moines

Byron. Shelley. Shakespeare. Bronte. Whitman. Plath. Neruda. Tupac.

Writers of verse, rhyming and otherwise, exist in a special literary universe back in the 800s (the Dewey classification and its shelves, not the century) that, sadly, doesn’t get visited as much as it ought. As Valentine’s Day approaches, a good way to get into the spirit of the day might be to head back there to read some of the timeless poems that history’s most gifted writers came up with when they were trying to tell someone that they loved them.

Also, on the more pragmatic side, I can’t think of a better way to impress one’s love than to steal words like these:
“Now that you have come,
dancing into
my life
a guest in a closed room—
to welcome you, love longed for so long,
I lack the words, the voice,
and I am happy just in silence by your side.”

–Camillo Sbarbaro (1888 – 1967)

Now, maybe I’m just overly sentimental, but seeing that written in a Valentine would certainly mean more to me than a crunchy candy heart demanding “Be Mine.” And I bet something like that would make chocolates taste a lot better, too.

By the way, the soul-melting selection above came from the book Love Poems From Around the World (compiled by the editors of Hippocrene Books), which can be found at the West Des Moines Public Library in the 811s.

February Events

Note: The West Des Moines Library will be closed to the public on Monday, February 16th for in-service training.

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

Writer’s Club (2nd & 4th Saturdays of the month)—Like to write and wonder what another writer might think? 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 Program: Anti-Valentine’s Day (Thursday, February 8th, 6-8pm)— 
Valentine’s Day can be tedious, especially to the lonely, jilted and single-by-choice. Join our group of sullen emo love haters to break then make stuff, make duct-tape roses, and decorate and eat snarky cookies, all while watching the great heartbreaking movie Edward Scissorhands. Popcorn and drinks also provided.
Registration is required. Program is for teens ages 12 and up.

Register at:
Teen Craft Night: Lyrical Relief Paintings (Thursday, February 19th, 6—8pm)
Join us for an evening program full of crafting goodness! Using song lyrics, paint, and a little tape, you’ll create a work of art worthy of hanging in your locker or on your wall! 

Program is for ages 11 and up. Registration is required.
Register at:

Drop In family Storytime With Dan Wardell (Friday, February 20th, 10:30—11am)
Iowa Public Television’s kid-friendly host appears in person to spend some time with the children of West Des Moines. No registration needed.

Nighty-Night Drop In Storytime (Monday, February 23rd, 6:45—7:20pm)
Come to the Story Room in your pajamas to see Mr. Nate share stories, songs, and fingerplays with an early literacy focus. For all ages with an adult. No registration needed.

All Ages/Family
Checkmates Chess and Board Game Club (February 26nd at 6:30pm)—Want to play a game or two of friendly, fun chess? Or is checkers more your speed? Want to sink a battleship? If so, the Checkmates Chess and Board Game Club might be what you’re looking for. And, of course, you can always bring your own favorite boardgame along and see if anyone is interested! Registration not required, but preferred.

Register at: Checkmates

West Des Moines Public Library
Library Hours and Location
Monday-Thursday 9am-9pm
Friday 9am-6pm
Saturday 9am-5pm
Sunday 2pm-5pm
4000 Mills Civic Parkway 
West Des Moines, IA
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