Rosie Reader is the Des Moines Public Library’s resident book monster. She visits schools, storytimes, community events, library programs, and much more. Kids love Rosie so much that they’re constantly taking photos with her and asking for our Rosie stickers, Rosie coloring sheets, Rosie bookmarks, and other Rosie materials.
The idea of Rosie started several years ago, when the Des Moines Public Library had a program called Rosie Outreach Services. The program went to preschools, childcare centers, Headstart programs, and other places to present storytimes and deliver a collection of picture books to be shared for a period of time. Current DMPL Director Sue Woody headed the Rosie Program for several years. When she started, the Rosie program had Rosie as its logo, but there was no actual mascot. Woody spent several months coming up with concepts, and eventually the Rosie mascot was created. Woody then found volunteers to wear the costume, and she took Rosie with her regularly on her visits to schools and daycares.
After the Rosie Outreach Service ended, Woody ensured that Rosie the mascot lived on. Rosie grew in stature and popularity, and she’s become a recognizable and fun figure for the library.
Recently, Rosie got a new look and a new ride! The Rotary Rosie Reader Van came to the library through a grant provided by the Rotary Club of Des Moines to the Des Moines Public Library foundation. Nowadays, Rosie's van is bringing books, storytimes, and other services to classrooms and public spaces across Des Moines. Don't be afraid to say hi when you see us!
Questions with Rosie
1. OK, Rosie, so what IS a Book Monster?
“I get this question all the time! You know how Cookie Monster loves eating cookies? I love books! Not eating books, of course. I love reading books!”
2. Where is your favorite place to read?
“I love reading anywhere, any time! If I had to choose, I’d say in the library, outside at the park, in my favorite tree in our backyard, and in my bedroom before bed. There’s no bad place to read!”
3. Why do you have a bandage on your leg?
“I was reading in my tree in my backyard, and I got so excited about a certain part that I fell out. It hurt a little bit, but I’m feeling good and the bandage helped.”
4. Why are your glasses on your head but not your eyes?
“I only need my glasses on when I’m reading! I always keep them on my head because I never know when I’m going to find something I want to read, but I don’t need them when I’m walking around and visiting with children.”
5. Final question, Rosie: What is the best part of being Rosie the library reading monster?
“I love getting hugs and high fives. I love it when kids come up to me during events and after storytimes for photos! Anytime I get a chance to see kids and families and show off my library card, it’s a good day. Just be careful when you approach me – I don’t see well to my side or behind me! But I always have a human friend with me so you can ask them to make sure I see you so we can chat.”