Fun Fact

Ice crystals sometimes fall from clear skies when temperatures are in the single digits or colder.

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[The] homebound service is a comfort, as well as keeping the synapses snapping in elderly brains! 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

About the WDM Library

About the WDM Library

About Using the WDM Library

Book Clubs

Catalog – Accessing the Library’s Catalog

Children’s Services FAQ

Computer and Internet Use

eBooks and eAudiobooks (Downloadable e-content)

Helpful Links

Library Board

Library Information

Tax Materials

Volunteer Opportunities

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Do you have a Book Sale?

We do not have an annual sale, but instead we have an ongoing sale of materials. The sale shelves are on the 1st floor, near the Library Living Room. Any staff member can direct you. We generally have books, paperbacks and magazines. Materials are put out as they are ready, so it pays to check back often.

Items can be paid for at the Information Desk on the 1st floor. Prices are as follows:

    • $1.00 for adult hardcover books
    • 50 cents for juvenile hardcover books
    • 10 cents for magazines
    • 25 cents for all paperback books
    • 50 cents for tape cassettes
    • All other items as marked

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What will I find at the West Des Moines Public Library?

There is so much for everyone to enjoy at the West Des Moines Public Library – Check Us Out!

Books

Whether it’s Shakespeare or Stephen King, we strive to have books by the authors you love. Fiction, mysteries, westerns, fantasy & science fiction, as well as non-fiction titles are available to adults and children. New books are added on a continuing basis.

We now offer downloadable eBooks and eAudiobooks for lending via the WILBOR consortium (OverDrive) and OneClickDigital from Recorded Books.

Magazines

The library subscribes to more than 300 magazines, from the AARP The Magazine to Yoga Journal. Many back issues are available for checkout.

Newspapers

In addition to local papers, the library carries 15 major newspapers including The Wall Street Journal, Sunday Chicago Tribune, andSunday St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Des Moines Register is now available back to 2005 in full text through the ProQuest database.

Large Print Books

Mysteries, westerns, fiction, and non-fiction titles (including many biographies) are available in a large print format. Fiction Large Print have their own browsing section on the 2nd floor.

Audiobooks

Books on CD are great for commuters, vacationers, or just for fun. The library’s collection includes more than 3000 best-selling fiction and non-fiction titles. We also offer downloadable eAudiobooks via WILBOR/OverDrive and OneClickDigital. For some formats, a home computer and a small software download is required for these downloadable items. There are also apps for your mobile devices.

Compact Discs

The library has a collection of music compact discs, including Classical, Country, Rock, Opera, Jazz, Blues and more.

Business & Financial Materials

Our reference collection has many resources of business and investment information, including Value Line and the Investor’s Business Daily. We also have access to online investment resources, including Value Line and Morningstar, via our Databases page (WDM Library card required to use from home).

We also recommend you try our Small Business Reference Center database for business plans, business articles and more!

Puppets, Puzzles & Book Packs

Besides great books for kids, you’ll find puppets, puzzles, and book packs (books with CDs), plus musical CDs and DVDs!

These are available in our Children’s Department.

Telephone Directories

The library has directories for many Iowa communities and for some major US cities. AtoZ Databases, a nationwide residential and business address and telephone database, is also available to search from the library or from home. The library has many useful Databases.

Special Equipment

To use in the library:

  • headphones
  • calculator
  • photocopiers
  • scan-to-USB on 2nd floor photocopier (scan is free)
  • Fax24 machine (1st floor, under stairs)
  • microfilm/fiche reader-printer
  • internet-connected computers & printers
  • iPad interactive games stations (Children’s area)

For more information on check-out limits and fees, go to Using the Library: Loan Periods, Limits and Fees.

DVD’s

Over 3000 video recordings are available at the library–special-interest videos on gardening, cooking, travel, parenting, exercise…plus popular movies, classics as well as your current favorites.

Activities for Kids

A variety of storytimes and special programs for children are offered during the school year, while the Summer Reading Program encourages kids of all ages to keep reading year round! For more information, visit the Children’s Department for a monthly calendar of events, check our online Calendar or call 515-222-3405.

Reference Service

When you have a question or need information on any subject, visit the Reference Desk, email library@wdm.iowa.gov (emails may not be answered same-day) or call 515-222-3403. We’ll be happy to search the library’s collection of reference materials for the answers you need. We have a number of online resources for searching magazines, newspapers, even business and residential listings! Please visit the Library’s Web Tools & Databases¬†page for more information and links.

Electronic Resources

For kids: We’ve got interactive stories and games for preschoolers on dedicated Children’s Department stations (also accessible from home at Tumblebooks), plus great information resources like the Searchasaurus, Kids Search and Student Research Center online resources from EBSCO for older kids to use in the library or from home. ¬†See our Web Tools & Databases page for more info and links to these resources.

For adults: We have a number of searchable databases for magazines, newspapers, address and phone listings, self-learning options and more!  See our Web Tools & Databases page for more info and links to these resources.

Hold It

If the item you want is checked out, or if you want it pulled for you to pick up, use your library card to Request It on our Online Catalog. We’ll notify you when it comes in. Also, if we don’t own the book you need, we can borrow it from another library via Interlibrary Loan and have it for you in a couple of weeks. There is a small charge for Interlibrary Loan. ¬†If it’s fairly new, you can request we purchase it. ¬†More information and links to our web forms is on our Item Request page.

Outside Book Return

For your convenience, a 24-hour walk-up book return is located near the library’s front entrance.

Homebound Delivery Service

Love to read?  Having trouble getting to the library for health reasons?  The West Des Moines Public Library has a service that can help!  Volunteers are available to deliver library materials to West Des Moines residents who have difficulty getting to the library themselves.  If you, or someone you know, is interested in this service, please call the West Des Moines Library at 515-222-3404.

Transportation

The West Des Moines Human Services van can transport WDM residents from home to the Library and back to your home any time within their hours of operation. The van schedule works around medical rides, as they take priority. For more information or to book a ride, call 515-222-3660 (WDM Human Services).

Volunteer Opportunities

A variety of volunteer positions are available, from homebound book delivery to assisting with special projects. Pick up an application at the Information Desk, go to our Volunteer Opportunities page, or call 515-222-3407 (Adult Volunteers) or 515-222-3412 (Teen Volunteers).

Friends

The West Des Moines Library Friends Foundation, a non-profit organization, helps the library provide additional equipment, books, programs and services to the community through their volunteer and fundraising efforts. Membership brochures are available in the library. You might also want to check out the Friends Foundation Page, where our Book Buy Book gift program is described. For more information on the Friends Foundation, call the Community Services Librarian at 515-222-3407.
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Where is the Library located?

The West Des Moines Public Library is located at 4000 Mills Civic Pkwy in West Des Moines, south of E.P. True Parkway and west of the WDM Police Station. Link to Google Maps.

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Being a Responsible Borrower

  • Patrons must present their library cards to check out materials, or pay a $.50 fee to confirm registration information.
  • Patrons are responsible for all items checked out on their cards.
  • The library makes no attempt to assume the rightful role of parents in monitoring or controlling their children’s reading or access to library resources. Materials are not marked to indicate approval or disapproval of their content. All card holders have access to the entire collection.
  • To avoid an overdue fine, books must be returned on or before the day they are due. This includes items returned in the outside book drop.
  • If library materials are lost or damaged, the borrower must pay the replacement fee determined by the library, or provide a new replacement copy that is identical to the original.
  • When fines, damages or fees exceed $5.00, library borrowing privileges will be suspended until they are paid. Fees for equipment are not included.
  • Patrons with items that are a month or more overdue will not be allowed to borrow additional materials until these items are returned or their replacement costs have been paid.
  • Please report any change of name, address, or telephone number to the library.

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Reserves and Item Requests

We Take Requests

If the item you want is owned by the library, but checked out, use your library card to place a request on it. Want to read a bestseller? We buy one copy for every six reserves. Holds can be placed by phone (515-222-3400) or online, and we’ll call or email you when your item comes in. If we don’t own the book you need, we might buy it, or borrow it from another library within a couple of weeks (see below).

Requesting Checked-Out Materials

Library card holders may place a “request” on materials that are checked out. This service is available in-house, online, and by phone. Online patrons may also ‘request’ items that are on the shelf. In all cases, patrons will be notified by phone or email when their items are in. Holds waiting for pickup are put in a self-serve pickup area on the 1st floor. An item that is not picked up will be cancelled. Your requests can be put on “inactive status” during vacations.

Item Requests

If the library does not own the item you are looking for, you may request that it be purchased. If the library is unable to purchase the item, we may try to borrow the item from another library (through Interlibrary Loan – see forms below) for a small fee. Very new items may not be available via Interlibrary Loan.

You can submit an Item Request Form¬†(for new books, DVD’s and CD’s) online.¬† You can also request an Interlibrary Loan via our online forms below.

For Item Request Form submissions, if we buy the item, you will be put on the Request list for that item and notified when it is ready to check out.  For Interlibrary Loans (ILL), you will be notified when your item arrives.

A WDM Library Card number is required to make any request.

Forms are here:

Item Request Form

Interlibrary Loan Request – Book

Interlibrary Loan Request – Article

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Unattended Children

Excerpted from the WDM Library Policy Manual (Ch. 6), revised 1/18/2011:

The Library Board and staff are concerned for the safety and welfare of juveniles who use the library unattended by a parent or guardian. The library also has an interest in maintaining an environment free from disruptive behavior by unattended juveniles.

It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to:

      • Stay at the library with juveniles under the age of seven.
      • Encourage positive behavior by their juveniles while in the library.
      • Cooperate with the library staff if their juveniles are disruptive or if they interfere or endanger others.
      • Provide a means of transportation home from the library by the time the library closes.

The Library Board respects the rights and privacy of all library patrons. Library staff will only intervene when juveniles are left unattended and problems of safety, disruptive behavior, or well-being occurs. Library staff will follow established library procedure for the protection of the juvenile or to maintain an environment free from disruption in accordance with the Library Conduct Policy.

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Loan Periods, Limits and Fines

To allow more patrons access to a particular collection, the library places some limits on the number of items that can be checked out, the length of loan periods, and the ability for certain items to be renewed.

Loan Periods

The usual borrowing period is three (3) weeks with the following exceptions:

Digital Projector One (1) day (in-library use only, with fee – see below)

Item Loan Period
Magazines* Seven (7) days
Vertical Files Seven (7) days

*=Reference materials, Newspapers and the most current magazine issues need to stay in the library for everyone to use. These items do NOT circulate. You’ll find copy machines for your convenience on both floors of the library.

Limits

There is no limit to the number of materials you may check out at one time, with the following exceptions:

      • New patrons may borrow no more than five (5) items on their firsttransaction.
      • No more than ten (10) videos and six (6) DVD’s may be checked out per library card.
      • No more than six (6) magazines may be checked out per patron per visit.
Renewals

Except where noted above, items are checked out for three (3) weeks. Many items may be renewed twice (two additional periods–see loan periods above) unless a hold has been placed. You may renew either in person or by phone (515-222-3404). You can also renew via our WDM Library Online Catalog.

Don’t forget to try the 3M Self-Check System, located near the Information Desk; staff will be happy to assist you!
The following items cannot be renewed:

      • Vertical Files
      • Magazines
      • Holiday Books
      • Reserve Items (an item someone else has put on hold)

Entertainment Videos and DVD’s may be renewed (twice–one week period each), and holds may be placed on them.

Fines and Fees

With so many patrons needing access to the library’s limited resources, overdue fines are charged to encourage patrons to return their library materials on time:

Item Fee for Use Overdue Fines
*projector (digital) – in-library use only – laptop not included $5.00 per day $10.00 per day
*entertainment videos/DVDs $.50 per day
*all other materials $.10 per day

The maximum fine is $5.00, except for equipment (no maximum), paperbacks, magazines and pamphlets (max. $1.00).

Patrons with items that are a month or more overdue will not be allowed to borrow additional materials until these items are returned or their replacement costs have been paid.

Patrons are required to bring to the library staff’s attention any issues regarding inaccurate charges within three months of an item’s due date in order to receive consideration for an adjustment.

Lost/Damaged Item Fees

If library materials are lost or damaged, the borrower must pay the replacement fee determined by the library, or provide a new replacement copy that is identical to the original.

Patrons may not return or replace items that have been overdue for three months or longer, but will be charged the full replacement cost of the items.

When fines, damages or fees exceed $5.00, library borrowing privileges will be suspended until they are paid. Fees for equipment are not included. Library accounts sent to collections may be charged additional collection fees.

Other Fees

The library will charge $2.00 per item for materials obtained through Interlibrary Loan to recover a portion of the postage costs.

Patrons must present their library cards to check out materials, or pay a $.50 fee and confirm registration information (if they forgot or misplaced their card). Each patron is held responsible for everything checked out on his or her card.

A charge of $1.00 will be assessed to replace a current card. Expired cards are replaced at no charge.

Checks returned Insufficient Funds will be assessed a $25 return charge – this fee must be paid directly to City Hall.
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How do I request that the Library purchase an item?

You can now submit an Item Request Form (for new books, DVD’s and CD’s) online. A WDM Library Card number is required to make a request.

For Item Request Forms, if we buy the item, you will be put on the hold list for that item and called when it is ready to check out.

Forms are here:

Item Request Form
Interlibrary Loan Request – Book
Interlibrary Loan Request – Article

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Does Library Staff Proctor Tests and Exams?

Under limited circumstances, yes, Library staff can proctor exams.   See our Exam Proctoring page for our policies and procedures.

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What is the Library’s Conduct Policy?

Our Library Conduct Policy, excerpted from the WDM Library Policy Manual, is available here.

You can also read the full WDM Library Policy Manual on our Policies page.

You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to read either document (PDF).

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How do I request an InterLibrary Loan (ILL)?

Item Requests and Interlibrary Loans

If the library does not own the item you are looking for, you may request that it be purchased. If the library is unable to purchase the item, we may try to borrow the item from another library (through Interlibrary Loan – see forms below) for a small fee. Very new items may not be available via Interlibrary Loan.

You can submit an Item Request Form¬†(for new books, DVD’s and CD’s) online.¬† You can also request an Interlibrary Loan via our online forms below.

For Item Request Form submissions, if we buy the item, you will be put on the Request list for that item and notified when it is ready to check out.  For Interlibrary Loans (ILL), you will be notified when your item arrives.

A WDM Library Card number is required to make any request.

Forms are here:

Item Request Form

Interlibrary Loan Request – Book

Interlibrary Loan Request – Article

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Adult book club titles available for lending

Here are our basic guidelines for our book club lending program. Please go to (and bookmark!) our new page on Book Club Kits, which includes the most up-to-date title lists.

  • If books are to be mailed from our library to you, a shipping and handling fee of $10 per set will be charged. An invoice will be included with your book shipment and should be paid upon receipt.
  • If books are picked up in person, NO handling fee is charged.
  • Each set of books is due back 8 weeks from the time they are shipped from or leave our library.
  • The borrower is responsible for replacing any lost or damaged books and notifying our library in the event that this occurs.

This book discussion lending program is made possible by the generosity of members of The Friends of the West Des Moines Library.

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Young Adult book club titles available for lending

Here are our basic guidelines for our book club lending program. Please go to (and bookmark!) our new page on Book Club Kits, which includes the most up-to-date title lists.

  • If books are to be mailed from our library to you, a shipping and handling fee of $10 per set will be charged. An invoice will be included with your book shipment and should be paid upon receipt.
  • If books are picked up in person, NO handling fee is charged.
  • Each set of books is due back 8 weeks from the time they are shipped from or leave our library.
  • The borrower is responsible for replacing any lost or damaged books and notifying our library in the event that this occurs.

This book discussion lending program is made possible by the generosity of members of The Friends of the West Des Moines Library.

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Kids book club titles available for lending

Here are our basic guidelines for our book club lending program. Please go to (and bookmark!) our new page on Book Club Kits, which includes the most up-to-date title lists.

  • If books are to be mailed from our library to you, a shipping and handling fee of $10 per set will be charged. An invoice will be included with your book shipment and should be paid upon receipt.
  • If books are picked up in person, NO handling fee is charged.
  • Each set of books is due back 8 weeks from the time they are shipped from or leave our library.
  • The borrower is responsible for replacing any lost or damaged books and notifying our library in the event that this occurs.

This book discussion lending program is made possible by the generosity of members of The Friends of the West Des Moines Library.

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How do I access the Library’s Catalog on the Web?

You can search titles, reserve books and check your library card account through our library catalog online. Click the link below to access this service.

Once you have linked to the catalog, you can access your library record by clicking on the tab that says My Account. When prompted for your User ID, type in your library card number (no spaces), which is located below the barcode on the back of your WDM Library card. You can then do the following:

  • check when your items are due
  • renew items you have checked out
  • check on holds and fines
  • create a list of items for future reference

Use the Catalog and My Account links
A PIN is now required to access your My Account information online.

If you need your PIN set or reset, please call 515-222-3400 and we will be happy to help you.


Encore Basic Search
Advanced Search


If you have any questions, use the Help function within the catalog, or call the Reference Desk during library hours at 515-222-3403.
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What programs are offered for school-age children?

The library currently offers two continuous programs for children in elementary school. After School Adventures is an interactive programs combining literature in various forms with a craft and a snack for kids. Book Club Adventures is a book discussion program for children age 8 and up. Special programs are offered in the summer and during holidays or during special events.

For a current list of kids programs, go to the Kids area of the website or visit the Children’s Dept Blog.

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Do you provide storytimes for preschoolers?

Yes, we have a number of choices for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Look at the Events and Programs in the Kids area of the website for more information. The Children’s Department also provides monthly activity calendars for your use. While these are not mailed out, you may pick one up at the library and they will contain the most current information on our children’s programs. Children’s Department calendars are typically available a month in advance.

Please contact the Children’s Desk at 515-222-3405 for more information.

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Are there any programs for Daycare Centers?

Yes. The staff in the Children’s Department will do a program for a group of children from a daycare center or home daycare. Requests for this service are handled at the children’s service desk, by calling 515-222-3405, or by stopping by in person. The staff needs at least two (2) weeks notice. Staff members will make every attempt to fill requests for particular dates and times, but that is subject to availability of staff. We must also consider conflicts with regularly-scheduled programs for the public.

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Unattended Children Policy

Excerpted from the West Des Moines Public Library Policy Manual (Ch. 6), revised 1/18/2011:

The Library Board and staff are concerned for the safety and welfare of juveniles who use the library unattended by a parent or guardian. The library also has an interest in maintaining an environment free from disruptive behavior by unattended juveniles.

It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to:

  • Stay at the library with juveniles under the age of seven.
  • Encourage positive behavior by their juveniles while in the library.
  • Cooperate with the library staff if their juveniles are disruptive or if they interfere or endanger others.
  • Provide a means of transportation home from the library by the time the library closes.

The Library Board respects the rights and privacy of all library patrons. Library staff will only intervene when juveniles are left unattended and problems of safety, disruptive behavior, or well-being occurs. Library staff will follow established library procedure for the protection of the juvenile or to maintain an environment free from disruption in accordance with the Library Conduct Policy.
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Do you have a list of State Tourism Websites?

A list of official state Tourism websites, with travel and tourism materials such as online vacation guides and tourism links for that state. This is also the place to look for contact information for state tourism departments, or to order a free print copy of an official state vacation guide.

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Where can I find the Library Board meeting agenda?

Library Board meeting agendas are housed on the City of West Des Moines website Meetings and Agendas page. Choose Department – Library from the drop-down list at the top. You may have to click the link for “View Past Events” to see the most recent meeting’s agenda.

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Library Policy Manual

You can also read the full WDM Library Policy Manual on our Policies page.

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Strategic Plan 2011-2016

The WDM Library Board has adopted the following Strategic Plan for the WDM Library.

You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to read the document.

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What is the Library’s Collection Policy?

A copy of our Collection Development Policy, as excerpted from the West Des Moines Public Library Policy Manual. This covers the selection, purchase and maintenance of our collections.

You can also read the full WDM Library Policy Manual on our Policies page.

You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to read either document (PDF).

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Getting a Library Card

  • West Des Moines residents who fill out a Library Card Application¬†(PDF) and present a valid ID with proof of Identification and Current Residence (see below) may have a library card free of charge.
  • Any resident of West Des Moines, Windsor Heights, Rural Polk County, or any community participating in Iowa’s Open Access program may obtain a library card free of charge with satisfactory proof of Identification and Current Residence (see below).
  • A valid card is required for borrowing privileges.
  • Cards are issued for three (3) years; there is no fee for renewal. A $1.00 replacement fee will be charged for a lost or mutilated card.
  • There are no age restrictions for library card applicants.
  • By state law, all patron borrowing records are confidential, including records of minor children. Information cannot be released without due process of law.
  • Lost or stolen cards should be reported to the library immediately.
  • First-time borrowers are limited to five (5) items for their first checkout.

You are required to furnish one form of identification and proof of residential address.

Documents accepted by the West Des Moines Public Library to verify Identification:

Driver’s license Passport
Government issued ID Military ID
School ID card Work ID/nametag
School bus pass Birth Certificate
Voter registration card Social Security card

Documents accepted by the West Des Moines Public Library to verify a Current Correct Residential Address:

Driver’s license Voter registration card
Government issued ID Imprinted checks
Motor vehicle registration

OR

Mail with your name and address postmarked during the current month or previous month.

OR

Statements dated during the current month or previous month from the following list:

Bank statement Telephone bill
Lease agreement Water bill
Utility bill

Guest Cards

Persons residing in West Des Moines on a temporary basis may obtain a ‚ÄúGuest‚ÄĚ card free of charge with satisfactory proof of ID and current residence. The library card will be issued for the period of time the patron resides in West Des Moines, (not less than one month nor more than six months). The patron will be restricted to a limit of 5 (five) items at any one time.

An acceptable document to verify the patron’s temporary address must be a written statement on the letterhead from the managing office of the patron’s temporary residence. The statement should include the patron’s name and residency dates. In addition, patrons need to provide identification and proof of permanent address.

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What are the Library’s Hours of Operation?

Library Hours:

Regular Hours

  • 9am-9pm Monday-Thursday
  • 9am-6pm Friday
  • 9am-5pm Saturday
  • 2pm-5pm Sunday

Summer Hours

(Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend)

  • 9am-9pm Monday-Thurday
  • 9am-6pm Friday
  • 10am-4pm Saturday**
  • Closed Sundays in Summer.**

We are closed the following days(*):

  • New Year’s Day
  • Easter Sunday
  • Mother’s Day (May)
  • Memorial Day (May)
  • July 4th holiday
  • Labor Day (Sept)
  • Thanksgiving Day and the day after (Nov)
  • December 24th and 25th.

We close at 12 noon on New Year’s Eve Day (December 31st). We close at 5pm on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

(*) Note that holiday closings may be slightly altered due to whether a holiday falls on a weekend. Please always check our Calendar for the most current closing information.

Last updated January, 2016

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