Library closed on Juneteenth

All locations of the Des Moines Public Library will be closed Wednesday, June 19 in commemoration of Juneteenth. We will reopen at the regular time on Thursday, June 20.

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
  • 12:00 PM-4:00 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. See some of Chipperfield's sketches and plans HERE

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.

I Spy: Juneteenth

All Day 6/15 - 6/18
Library Branch: Central Library
Age Group: Children
Program Type: Play & Learn
Event Details:

Come celebrate Juneteenth at the Central Library! Find all the pictures in the Youth area to get a prize!

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 "Children" group.

Drop-in Craft: Swimming Fish

All Day 6/17 - 6/18
Central Library Children’s Area
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Children’s Area
Age Group: Children
Program Type: Arts & Crafts, Play & Learn
Event Details:

Stop in the Central Library for a drop-in craft every week this summer. This week we will make swimming fish that move among the waves.

We will have a craft table set up in the children's area throughout the week while supplies last.

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.

Children’s Program

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

This event is in the "Teens" group.
This event is in the "Adults" group.

Art 101: Beach Painting

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: 4
Event Details:

Join artist and library staff member Fueche Vang as we paint a scene of a day at the beach. We'll start with some simple exercises before moving into our final piece. 

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.

Beyond Birth: Baby's First Year

9:00am - 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:

Beyond Birth: Baby's First Year is a free weekly postpartum support group for parents and their new babies.

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.

Reading Buddies with ARL TheraPets!

4:30pm - 5:30pm
Central Library Meeting Room 3
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Meeting Room 3
Age Group: Children
Program Type: Educational, Health & Wellness, Play & Learn
Event Details:

Do you love animals? Then visit Central Library to practice reading with and learn about an ARL TheraPet! Engaging with animals is a great way to boost confidence and reduce anxiety around learning to read!

Disclaimer(s)

Accompanying Adults

This program is designed for children and accompanying adults. Please plan to attend and be engaged with your child for this program. Drop offs will not be permitted.

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.

Juneteenth

All Day
Closing
Branches:
Central Library, East Side Library, Forest Avenue Library, Franklin Avenue Library, North Side Library, South Side Library, Off Site, DMPL Virtual
Description:

All locations will be closed in observance of Juneteenth.

This event is in the "Children" group.

Drop-in Craft: Swimming Fish

All Day 6/20 - 6/22
Central Library Children’s Area
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Children’s Area
Age Group: Children
Program Type: Arts & Crafts, Play & Learn
Event Details:

Stop in the Central Library for a drop-in craft every week this summer. This week we will make swimming fish that move among the waves.

We will have a craft table set up in the children's area throughout the week while supplies last.

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.

Children’s Program

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

This event is in the "Children" group.

I Spy: Juneteenth

All Day 6/20 - 6/22
Library Branch: Central Library
Age Group: Children
Program Type: Play & Learn
Event Details:

Come celebrate Juneteenth at the Central Library! Find all the pictures in the Youth area to get a prize!

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.

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.

Glowforge Training

3:00pm - 4:00pm
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: 3
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. 

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: Thursday

5:30pm - 7:30pm
Central Library Meeting Room 2, 3
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Meeting Room 2, 3
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 tell a story and create an adventure together.  We usually get together on the third Thursday of each month to play, but

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.

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.

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 "Adults" group.

Community Health Education

1:30pm - 3:00pm
Central Library Meeting Room 3
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Meeting Room 3
Age Group: Adults
Program Type: Health & Wellness
Event Details:

This event will discuss bug bite and heat related illnesses. 

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.

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 "Children" group.

Touch A Truck!

2:00pm - 4:00pm
Central Library Lawn
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Lawn
Age Group: Children
Program Type: Health & Wellness
Event Details:

Spend some time outside at Central! Take a turn through the fire safety obstacle course, then check out the fire truck, garbage truck, street sweeper, and more!

This event is in the "Children" group.

I Spy: Inside Out

All Day 6/23 - 6/30
Library Branch: Central Library
Age Group: Children
Program Type: Play & Learn
Event Details:

Come celebrate the release of Inside Out 2 at the Central Library! Find all the pictures in the Youth area to get a prize!

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 "Children" group.

Drop-in Craft: Paper Helicopters

All Day 6/24 - 6/29
Central Library Children’s Area
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Children’s Area
Age Group: Children
Program Type: Arts & Crafts, Play & Learn
Event Details:

Stop in the Central Library for a drop-in craft every week this summer. This week we will make paper helicopters. Take them home and watch as they twirl to the ground.

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.

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.

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.

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 "Adults" group.

FormLabs Form 3 Resin 3D Printer Training Class

5:00pm - 6:00pm
Central Library Tech Central
Registration
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Tech Central
Age Group: Adults
Program Type: Computers & Technology
Registration Required
Seats Remaining: 0
Event Details:

Would you like to use Tech Central's new FormLabs Form 3 resin 3D printer?  Take this required training to learn how!  Participants will learn how to use FormLabs free PreForm software to prepare their 3D prints for printing at the libra

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

Inside Out Craft Night

5:00pm - 6:00pm
Central Library Meeting Room 1, 2
Registration
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Meeting Room 1, 2
Age Group: Birth-Preschool, Children
Program Type: Arts & Crafts, Educational, Health & Wellness
Registration Required
Seats Remaining: 3
Event Details:

Join us at the Central Library to celebrate the release of Inside Out 2 with a craft. We will be making sensory bottles based on the emotions from the films!

Disclaimer(s)

Accompanying Adults

This program is designed for children and accompanying adults. Please plan to attend and be engaged with your child for this program. Drop offs will not be permitted.

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.

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.

Beyond Birth: Baby's First Year

9:00am - 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:

Beyond Birth: Baby's First Year is a free weekly postpartum support group for parents and their new babies.

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.
This event is in the "Adults" group.

K-pop Meet Up

5:00pm - 6:00pm
Central Library Meeting Room 3
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Meeting Room 3
Age Group: Teens, Adults
Program Type: Educational
Event Details:

Do you like all things K-pop? Come to the Central Library every month and bring your photocards to trade, invite your friends or meet and hang out with other fans! Enjoy snacks, other activities, and listening to music.

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

Baby Rhyme Time

9:30am - 10:00am
Central Library Meeting Room 3
Library Branch: Central Library
Room: Central Library Meeting Room 3
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)

Children’s Program

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