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Libraries' offerings extend far beyond books

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

"Library of Things" has become a popular term in the last few years for collections of a variety of items, from bicycles to air fryers, that library patrons can check out with their member card.

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe finds out what some libraries around the state are offering to meet the needs and desires of their communities.

First, Paul Zurawski of theJames Kennedy Public Library in Dyersville shares the many extraordinary uses of their library of things, such as an item that can turn a couple of apples into video game controllers.

Then Erin Finnegan-Andrews of the Robert W. Barlow Memorial Library in Iowa Falls shares how their inventory of ice skates, snowshoes, and bicycles gives visitors a chance to enjoy the nearby Iowa River and other outdoor amenities.

The most expansive library of things may belong to the Des Moines Public Library, which just launched this endeavor in November of 2022. Aaron Gernes talks about the home and health-conscious items available to rent.

Later in the episode, IPR's Lindsey Moon announces the print edition of Studio One All Access' yearlong compendium of Iowa indie music in 2022. You can read the 139-page yearbook online, and pre-order the coffee table book edition.


  • Paul Zurawski, young and emerging adult librarian, James Kennedy Public Library
  • Erin Finnegan-Andrews, library director, Robert W. Barlow Memorial Library
  • Aaron Gernes, communications specialist, Des Moines Public Library
  • Lindsey Moon, IPR senior digital producer and All Access executive producer, The B-Side Editor-In-Chief
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Samantha McIntosh is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio. Prior to IPR, Samantha worked as a reporter for radio stations in southeast and west central Iowa under M&H Broadcasting, and before that she was a weekend music host for GO 96.3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.