by Tracy Briseño

It is becoming colder and darker. I am not excited about winter. I don’t like being cold, and I thrive in the sunshine. This is a time that my introvert self likes to hibernate at home. If you are like me, here are some suggestions for how the library can help you enjoy this season of chilliness.

Checkout the library’s online options for reading, listening to music, or watching movies, films, and TV shows. The library’s Winter Reading Challenge is for all ages and runs from December 15th - Feb 14th. You can sign up online or through the Beanstack app. Through the Libby app you can borrow books, audiobooks, and magazines. Hoopla’s titles include books and audiobooks, as well as comics, movies and TV shows, and music. Kanopy is a great place to check out films and TV shows – in particular for kids. Kanopy Kids is a section that includes favorites from PBS and Sesame Street as well as language learning options with Little Pim. Best of all, everything is available from the comfort of your cozy home whenever you want.

If you are feeling motivated, you can browse the library online or in person to find new treasures and old favorites. Wander the DVD and BluRay shelves to find a new show to binge watch, an old favorite to re-watch, or a non-fiction film about a topic you are interested in learning more about. I recently watched a film about Caroll Spinney and his time as Big Bird which was fascinating!

If you are a music fan this is a great time to check out a stack of CDs and explore new artists. Winter is also a great time for kitchen dance parties when you find a fabulous new song. I recommend browsing the soundtracks, particularly the musicals! I recommend anything Lin Manuel Miranda has had a hand in.

This is a great season to build a big to-be-read (TBR) pile. Browse the shelves to find a new title by a favorite author, check out books to help you learn a new hobby, or dive into learning all about something that strikes your fancy. My TBR pile includes a number of titles about meditation and mindfulness this season.

If you aren’t sure what will strike your fancy, you could browse the staff picks section which includes favorites from a variety of library staff, the Book Club collection which includes interesting titles that people are discussing, or go online and fill out the personalized picks form to get a personally curated selection of titles right to your inbox. One neat part of the staff picks shelf is that if you find one book that you like, you can check out other titles that are recommended by the same person. The Book Club collection is extra special due to its six week checkout.

If you are feeling cooped up, check out an Adventure Pass to a local attraction; a bunch of them are indoors or have indoor parts. The library added a number of attractions recently, and all of them are either in town or close enough for a nice day trip. You can visit the African American Museum of Iowa, Blank Park Zoo, Des Moines Children Museum, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, Reiman Gardens, and Science Center of Iowa. Additionally, the library has a pass for the Grout Museum District which includes the Sullivan Brothers Iowa Veterans Museum, Grout Museum of History and Science, Carl A & Peggy J Bluedorn Science Imaginarium, Rensselaer Russell House Museum, Snowden House, and after December 27th will also include the Norris Corson Family Planetarium! Adventure Passes generally allow for 2 adults and 2 children to get into the attraction for free. All you need is your library card, the printed pass, and your photo ID.

I hope you have a wonderful winter season and find options from the library that enhance your time at home or out and about.