Thursday, May 5, 2016

TRACES Exhibit - How Iowans Got To Be 'Us'

TRACES Center for History and Culture will bring its mobile exhibit “At Home in the Heartland: Forgotten Stories of How Iowans Got to be ‘Us’” to the Ottumwa Public Library on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. It is housed in a retrofitted school bus, the “BUS-eum.”

The Iowa that existed as little as 35 years ago is gone. Sweeping, long-term changes in the region’s agriculture, economy, technology, politics and its ethnic, age or other demographics have altered the ways we live. In the process we have lost old treasures even as we have gained new possibilities. All this can be examined, together.

Between now and Election Day, TRACES will take its exhibit to all 99 Iowa counties on three different tours, showing at diverse venues: schools, libraries, colleges, museums and other institutions. A public exhibit showing and workshop will begin in the morning at 10 am on W 3rd Street in front of the Ottumwa Public Library, then moves to a program, “At Home in the Heartland: Forgotten Stories of How Iowans Got to Be ‘Us’ at 11 am.

This is a history project housed in a rebuilt school bus, offering programming to libraries, museums, schools. It tells the story of who Iowans have been from state’s settlement ‘til today; it looks at who we are now and asks who we want to become. It is about change: What it is; what it costs; how we could steer it. It also collects Iowans’ family histories and individual stories, presents and preserves them for use by all.

Michael Luick-Thrams is a Ph.D. historian (Humboldt Universit├Ąt, Berlin), educator and speaker. While the overall tour focuses on Iowa history, his forty years of family research has yielded hundreds of photos, maps or other documentation that offer a narrative look into Iowa history. Docent Irving Kellman guides visitors through the BUS.

Luick-Thrams says, “TRACES gathers, preserves and presents stories of people’s lives, past and present–many of which have laid beneath dust left by time’s passage. By learning lessons from the past, we might rise above what otherwise could demean us and keeps us from moving forward as individuals, families, communities and a nation.”

Admission is free, in part with support from: Humanities Iowa, the John K. & Luise V. Hanson and the Martha-Ellen Tye Foundations, Chester P. Luick Memorial Trust, Vander Haags Inc. and local hosts. Details about both the tour and TRACES can be found at: or

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Preschool Storytime May

Spring into Spring this May with Storytime!

Preschool Storytime at the Ottumwa Public Library 
Fridays at 10:30AM

5/6 Mother’s Day! Make a gift for your mom at storytime!
5/13 Butterflies! Fly into colorful stories about butterflies!
5/20 Under the Sea! Swim out to adventure with stories!
5/27 Teeth! Brush and floss your way into a great story! 

Friday, April 29, 2016

Make a Mother's Day Craft at OPL!

Hey Kids! Still looking for that perfect Mother’s Day Gift? Why not make one at the Ottumwa Public Library’s

Kid’s Mother’s Day Craft Extravaganza!

                               Saturday, May 7th, 3:30PM

For Grades 1-8, younger children welcome with adult supervision. Space is limited so registration is required.Call Children’s Librarian Allyson at (641) 682-7563 ex210 to register.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

OPL's Teen Movie Club

Join us for the
Ottumwa Public Library’s
Teen Movie Club!

Join us the last Wednesday of each month from


Watch a great movie, learn about and discuss film making and meet other film buffs!

The first meeting will take place in the Library’s meeting room on April 27th, at 4:00PM.  April’s film will be
The Outsiders, rated PG13. Registration is not required, open to all teens ages 13 and up. For any questions, please
call Youth Services Librarian Allyson at (641)- 682-7563 X210.

Monday, April 18, 2016

OPL's Board Game Day

Join us at the
Ottumwa Public Library for
Board Game Day!

Saturday, April 23
Bring your family and friends to play games in the library meeting room!
This is a free event for all ages,
no registration required,
just drop in and play!