2023 AViD lineup coming Monday!

The Des Moines Public Library's 2023 Authors Visiting in Des Moines (AViD) series lineup will be announced at 12 PM on Monday, February 13! Check back here or on the library's social media platforms to see which acclaimed authors are coming to DMPL this spring and summer. 

Central Library

Central Library exterior shot

Location Details

Address:
1000 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309

Directions:
Google Maps

Rhonda 240

Rhonda Frevert
Central Library Manager
RJFrevert@dmpl.org

Phone:
(515) 283-4152

Book a Central Library meeting room

In-Person Services
  • 9:00 AM-8:00 PM Monday-Thursday
  • 9:00 AM-6:00 PM Friday
  • 10:00 AM-5:00 PM Saturday
  • 1:00-5:00 PM Sunday
Pickup Window
  • 9:00 AM-7:00 PM Monday-Thursday
  • 9:00 AM-6:00 PM Friday
  • 10:00 AM-5:00 PM Saturday
  • Closed Sunday

Central Library

The Central Library is located in the heart of downtown Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park area at 1000 Grand Avenue, near the Pappajohn Sculpture Garden. The sprawling, 110,000-square foot building, which replaced the original Main Library that opened in 1903 on the Des Moines Riverfront, was designed by famed London architect Sir David Chipperfield.

About the Building

Chipperfield, along with Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck of Des Moines, designed the building, envisioning it as “a library in a park, a park in a library.” The building acts as a link from downtown to Western Gateway Park, anchoring it as a cornerstone of the western part of downtown. 

Central Library features a green roof of slow-growing sedum, which, when viewed from above, gives the illusion there is no library, as it blends into the greenspace outside. The free form shape resembles that of an airplane, which breaks the illusion. The roof controls water runoff by retaining water and can hold more than 187,000 gallons. It is self-maintaining and needs no irrigation. The building’s mechanical and electrical systems were also designed for efficiency, and use 30 percent less energy than a conventional building.

The library’s copper color is a result of its windows, which feature three layers of glass with copper mesh sandwiched between the outer two. Central Library was the first building in the world to use these copper mesh panels, which act as micro-blinds, reducing UV radiation by 87 percent, protecting books from sun damage, blocking glare and heat, and improving energy efficiency. There are 355 window panels, each weighing 1,400 pounds and measuring 4 feet by 14 feet. The panels look different fom the outside depending on the time of day - bright coppery reflection during the day, transparent at night.

The building took almost four years to construct, at a cost of $32.3 million. 

About the Public Artwork

Miffy statue at Central Library


At the west end of the library sits “Les Vents” (The Winds), a sculpture gifted to the city by the American Republic Insurance Company. Created by artist Edward Lee Hendricks, Les Vents was placed at the old Main Library in 1986, then moved to the new Central Library and reconstructed over three months in 2006. The poles stand more than 30 feet high, with wings 12 feet long that can sustain wind gusts up to 100 mph.

On the south lawn of Central Library sits the Miffy Fountain, gifted to the Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation in memory of Melva Bucksbaum by her children. The work was created by famed American artist Tom Sachs and is based on the children’s book character of the same name. The fountain is painted bronze and was cast in 2008, and stands just over 10 feet tall. It had installations in New York City and Paris before finding its permanent home outside Central Library in 2018.

About the Central Art Gallery

Des Moines Central Library’s Art Gallery offers an accessible and welcoming environment for encouraging and celebrating Iowa artists. The gallery is located on the second floor of the Central Library and features eight double-sided movable walls with over fifty square feet of usable display space per side. Find out more about the gallery, see the current display, and learn how to apply to be featured in the space here.

Upcoming Events

This event is in the "Children" group.
Library Branch: Central Library
Age Group: Children
Program Type: Play & Learn
Event Details:
Visit the Central Library Children's Area for a scavenger hunt celebrating Black authors! ...

Disclaimer(s)

Children’s Program

Children under 10 years old must be accompanied by a caregiver over 12 years old.

This event is in the "Birth-Preschool" group.

Baby Rhyme Time

9:30am - 10:00am
Central Library Meeting Room 1
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Meeting Room 1
Age Group: Birth-Preschool
Program Type: Storytimes
Event Details:
Join us weekly for rhymes, songs, bounces, stories, and a little playtime. For caregivers and babies ages 0 - 18 months.     ...

Disclaimer(s)

Central Parking

Free library parking is available in Central's underground parking garage for two hours per visit. Parking around the library is metered at various costs from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

This event is in the "Teens" group.

Central VolunTeens

4:00pm - 5:00pm
Central Library Imagination Station
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Imagination Station
Age Group: Teens
Program Type: Educational
Event Details:
Teens! Do you need volunteer hours? Students ages 12-18 may volunteer at Central Library for 1 hour performing various tasks during our Central VolunTeens program! This is a great way to earn volunteer hours! All students must submit a VolunTeens ...

Disclaimer(s)

Central Parking

Free library parking is available in Central's underground parking garage for two hours per visit. Parking around the library is metered at various costs from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Indoor Program

This program is hosted indoors.  Please observe social distancing and follow local COVID-19 safety mandates. Hand sanitizer will be provided and staff will do their best to ensure any shared materials are disinfected between use. This program is subject to COVID-19 safety protocol updates, including room capacity limits. Please check our website for updates.

This event is in the "Adults" group.

Glowforge Training

10:00am - 11:00am
Central Library Tech Central
Registration
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Tech Central
Age Group: Adults
Program Type: Arts & Crafts, Computers & Technology, Educational
Registration Required
Seats Remaining: 4
Event Details:
Learn how to use the Glowforge Plus Laser Engraver at Tech Central! This program takes the place of the 1 on 1 Glowforge tutorial, so you will be fully qualified to book and use the Glowforge on your own after this program. You can also make a Gift o...

Disclaimer(s)

Central Parking

Free library parking is available in Central's underground parking garage for two hours per visit. Parking around the library is metered at various costs from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Indoor Program

This program is hosted indoors.  Please observe social distancing and follow local COVID-19 safety mandates. Hand sanitizer will be provided and staff will do their best to ensure any shared materials are disinfected between use. This program is subject to COVID-19 safety protocol updates, including room capacity limits. Please check our website for updates.

This event is in the "Birth-Preschool" group.

Wiggles and Giggles

10:15am - 10:45am
Central Library Meeting Room 1, 2, 3
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Meeting Room 1, 2, 3
Age Group: Birth-Preschool
Program Type: Play & Learn, Storytimes
Event Details:
Join us at the Central Library for a fun storytime featuring movement, music, and rhyming! The storytime will take place in the meeting room to allow for social distancing.   ...

Disclaimer(s)

Central Parking

Free library parking is available in Central's underground parking garage for two hours per visit. Parking around the library is metered at various costs from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

This event is in the "Children" group.

Music Moment

3:30pm - 4:30pm
Central Library Meeting Room 3
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Meeting Room 3
Age Group: Children
Program Type: Arts & Crafts, Educational
Event Details:
Are you interested in exploring classical music and instruments? Join us to have a snack, play games, make an instrument, and listen to some music! ...

Disclaimer(s)

Children’s Program

Children under 10 years old must be accompanied by a caregiver over 12 years old.

This event is in the "Adults" group.

Iowa Author Spotlight: Nick Holmberg

5:30pm - 6:30pm
Central Library Meeting Room 1
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Meeting Room 1
Age Group: Adults
Program Type: Author Visits
Event Details:
Welcome to Central Library’s new series, featuring Iowa authors talking about their books and their experiences as writers!  Nick Holmberg earned his Master’s in creative writing at The City College of New York, where his studies of Latinx ma...

Disclaimer(s)

Accessibility

The library makes every effort to ensure our programs can be enjoyed by all. If you have any concerns about accessibility or need to request specific accommodations, please contact the library.

Central Parking

Free library parking is available in Central's underground parking garage for two hours per visit. Parking around the library is metered at various costs from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

This event is in the "Adults" group.

The Outreach Project

1:00pm - 3:00pm
Central Library Cafe Gallery
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Cafe Gallery
Age Group: Adults
Program Type: Health & Wellness
Event Details:
The Des Moines Public Library is partnering with area organizations to connect people with community resources. Community advocates will provide information about community resources like meal sites and shelters. They may also offer support and ...

Disclaimer(s)

Accessibility

The library makes every effort to ensure our programs can be enjoyed by all. If you have any concerns about accessibility or need to request specific accommodations, please contact the library.
This event is in the "Birth-Preschool" group.

Saturday Sensory Play

10:30am - 11:30am
Central Library Meeting Room 1, 2, 3
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Meeting Room 1, 2, 3
Age Group: Birth-Preschool
Program Type: Play & Learn
Event Details:
Join us at Central Library for sensory exploration. At Saturday Sensory play, children and caretakers will travel through stations exploring touch and feel, taste, and most importantly, play! Please come dressed for mess, and please email the libr...

Disclaimer(s)

Children’s Program

Children under 10 years old must be accompanied by a caregiver over 12 years old.

Food Allergies

We cannot guarantee that food served at this program has not come into contact with tree nuts, soy, or other allergens.
This event is in the "Adults" group.

Palentines Celebration: A Movie & DIY Cards

1:30pm - 4:30pm
Central Library Meeting Room 1, 2, 3
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Meeting Room 1, 2, 3
Age Group: Adults
Program Type: Arts & Crafts, Movies
Event Details:
Create a valentine card for someone you are thankful for today! Doors open at 1:30 pm for card making, then join us to watch The Scarlet Pimpernel  (2 hrs 22 min) at 2pm. Popcorn will be provided or you may bring your own snack and covered ...

Disclaimer(s)

Accessibility

The library makes every effort to ensure our programs can be enjoyed by all. If you have any concerns about accessibility or need to request specific accommodations, please contact the library.

Central Parking

Free library parking is available in Central's underground parking garage for two hours per visit. Parking around the library is metered at various costs from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Indoor Program

This program is hosted indoors.  Please observe social distancing and follow local COVID-19 safety mandates. Hand sanitizer will be provided and staff will do their best to ensure any shared materials are disinfected between use. This program is subject to COVID-19 safety protocol updates, including room capacity limits. Please check our website for updates.

This event is in the "Children" group.
Library Branch: Central Library
Age Group: Children
Program Type: Play & Learn
Event Details:
Visit the Central Library Children's Area for a scavenger hunt celebrating influential figures in Black history! ...

Disclaimer(s)

Children’s Program

Children under 10 years old must be accompanied by a caregiver over 12 years old.

This event is in the "Adults" group.

Practica de conversación en inglés | English Conversation Practice

10:00am - 11:00am
Central Library Meeting Room 3
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Meeting Room 3
Age Group: Adults
Program Type: Educational
Event Details:
¡Ven a la biblioteca Central a practicar tu inglés conversacional! Tendremos actividades para empezar y seguir la conversación y actividades para niños acompañantes. Hablantes de todos niveles estan invitados a venir. Para gente edades 18+. No nec...

Disclaimer(s)

Accessibility

The library makes every effort to ensure our programs can be enjoyed by all. If you have any concerns about accessibility or need to request specific accommodations, please contact the library.

Central Parking

Free library parking is available in Central's underground parking garage for two hours per visit. Parking around the library is metered at various costs from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Indoor Program

This program is hosted indoors.  Please observe social distancing and follow local COVID-19 safety mandates. Hand sanitizer will be provided and staff will do their best to ensure any shared materials are disinfected between use. This program is subject to COVID-19 safety protocol updates, including room capacity limits. Please check our website for updates.

This event is in the "Adults" group.

The Outreach Project

1:00pm - 3:00pm
Central Library Cafe Gallery
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Cafe Gallery
Age Group: Adults
Program Type: Health & Wellness
Event Details:
The Des Moines Public Library is partnering with area organizations to connect people with community resources. Community advocates will provide information about community resources like meal sites and shelters. They may also offer support and ...

Disclaimer(s)

Accessibility

The library makes every effort to ensure our programs can be enjoyed by all. If you have any concerns about accessibility or need to request specific accommodations, please contact the library.
This event is in the "Teens" group.
This event is in the "Adults" group.

Art 101: Leonardo da Vinci

6:00pm - 7:30pm
Central Library Meeting Room 1
Registration
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Meeting Room 1
Age Group: Teens, Adults
Program Type: Arts & Crafts, Educational, Health & Wellness
Registration Required
Seats Remaining: 0
Event Details:
Join artist and library staff member Fueche Vang as we study and draw from some of Leonardo da Vinci's most popular works. Basic materials such as paper, pencils, charcoal, and erasers will be provided. Attendees are welcome to bring their own materi...

Disclaimer(s)

Central Parking

Free library parking is available in Central's underground parking garage for two hours per visit. Parking around the library is metered at various costs from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

This event is in the "Birth-Preschool" group.
This event is in the "Children" group.

Valentines Day Affirmation Party!

4:00pm - 5:00pm
Central Library Meeting Room 1, 2
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Meeting Room 1, 2
Age Group: Birth-Preschool, Children
Program Type: Arts & Crafts, Play & Learn
Event Details:
Come to central Library and celebrate the best valentines day love: Self love!! We will play music, eat snacks, and create a Valentines day Mirror!  ...

Disclaimer(s)

Children’s Program

Children under 10 years old must be accompanied by a caregiver over 12 years old.

Food Allergies

We cannot guarantee that food served at this program has not come into contact with tree nuts, soy, or other allergens.
This event is in the "Birth-Preschool" group.

Baby Rhyme Time

9:30am - 10:00am
Central Library Meeting Room 1
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Meeting Room 1
Age Group: Birth-Preschool
Program Type: Storytimes
Event Details:
Join us weekly for rhymes, songs, bounces, stories, and a little playtime. For caregivers and babies ages 0 - 18 months.     ...

Disclaimer(s)

Central Parking

Free library parking is available in Central's underground parking garage for two hours per visit. Parking around the library is metered at various costs from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

This event is in the "Adults" group.
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Tech Central
Age Group: Adults
Program Type: Computers & Technology, Educational
Event Details:
Aprenda a usar la computadora, navegar la red, y usar varios servicios y programas digitales. Para gente edades 18+. No necesita apartar lugar. Se requiere seguir las sugerencias del CDC para prevenir el contagio de COVID-19. Estacionamiento gratu...

Disclaimer(s)

Accessibility

The library makes every effort to ensure our programs can be enjoyed by all. If you have any concerns about accessibility or need to request specific accommodations, please contact the library.

Central Parking

Free library parking is available in Central's underground parking garage for two hours per visit. Parking around the library is metered at various costs from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Indoor Program

This program is hosted indoors.  Please observe social distancing and follow local COVID-19 safety mandates. Hand sanitizer will be provided and staff will do their best to ensure any shared materials are disinfected between use. This program is subject to COVID-19 safety protocol updates, including room capacity limits. Please check our website for updates.

This event is in the "Adults" group.

Glowforge Training

10:00am - 11:00am
Central Library Tech Central
Registration
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Tech Central
Age Group: Adults
Program Type: Arts & Crafts, Computers & Technology, Educational
Registration Required
Seats Remaining: 4
Event Details:
Learn how to use the Glowforge Plus Laser Engraver at Tech Central! This program takes the place of the 1 on 1 Glowforge tutorial, so you will be fully qualified to book and use the Glowforge on your own after this program. You can also make a Gift o...

Disclaimer(s)

Central Parking

Free library parking is available in Central's underground parking garage for two hours per visit. Parking around the library is metered at various costs from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Indoor Program

This program is hosted indoors.  Please observe social distancing and follow local COVID-19 safety mandates. Hand sanitizer will be provided and staff will do their best to ensure any shared materials are disinfected between use. This program is subject to COVID-19 safety protocol updates, including room capacity limits. Please check our website for updates.

This event is in the "Birth-Preschool" group.

Wiggles and Giggles

10:15am - 10:45am
Central Library Meeting Room 1, 2, 3
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Meeting Room 1, 2, 3
Age Group: Birth-Preschool
Program Type: Play & Learn, Storytimes
Event Details:
Join us at the Central Library for a fun storytime featuring movement, music, and rhyming! The storytime will take place in the meeting room to allow for social distancing.   ...

Disclaimer(s)

Central Parking

Free library parking is available in Central's underground parking garage for two hours per visit. Parking around the library is metered at various costs from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

This event is in the "Adults" group.

DMPL & Dragons

5:30pm - 7:30pm
Central Library Conference Room 2
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Conference Room 2
Age Group: Adults
Program Type: Gaming
Event Details:
Dungeons & Dragons is a role-playing game set in worlds of swords and sorcery where players use their imaginations to create characters and tell a story together.  This adventuring group meets on the third Thursday of each month from 5:30 to...

Disclaimer(s)

Central Parking

Free library parking is available in Central's underground parking garage for two hours per visit. Parking around the library is metered at various costs from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Indoor Program

This program is hosted indoors.  Please observe social distancing and follow local COVID-19 safety mandates. Hand sanitizer will be provided and staff will do their best to ensure any shared materials are disinfected between use. This program is subject to COVID-19 safety protocol updates, including room capacity limits. Please check our website for updates.

This event is in the "Adults" group.

YA for Adults Book Club

6:00pm - 7:00pm
Central Library Imagination Station
Registration
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Imagination Station
Age Group: Adults
Program Type: Book Clubs
Registration Required
Seats Remaining: 3
Event Details:
Join us at Central Library for the YA for Adults Book Club. This month we are reading We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal.  This program has limited space and requires registration. After registration, you will receive a confirmation emai...
This event is in the "Adults" group.

The Outreach Project

1:00pm - 3:00pm
Central Library Cafe Gallery
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Cafe Gallery
Age Group: Adults
Program Type: Health & Wellness
Event Details:
The Des Moines Public Library is partnering with area organizations to connect people with community resources. Community advocates will provide information about community resources like meal sites and shelters. They may also offer support and ...

Disclaimer(s)

Accessibility

The library makes every effort to ensure our programs can be enjoyed by all. If you have any concerns about accessibility or need to request specific accommodations, please contact the library.