A West Des Moines Treasure: Reflections from the Board

From Joe Pollpeter, Vice President, WDM Library Board of Trustees

This summer I will be wrapping up my four-year term on the West Des Moines Library Board of Trustees. This follows the six years I spent as part of the West Des Moines Library Friends Foundation.

During my time serving on both Boards, the library has changed and, in some respects, might even be unrecognizable. The building we are housed in just completed a remodel that not only refurbished the structure and furnishings but made it up-to-date and relevant. The new environment is better designed to help all our patrons, especially our young adults and children.

A few of the changes in the last few years include, adding a book delivery to those in assisted living and retirement communities, a library van for public outreach, a book-vending kiosk in Valley Junction, and iPads and hotspots for checkout at the library. We have also changed how our library looks to those online. We have a new logo and website which makes it easier for our patrons to find information they’re looking for.

Despite all these changes, the one thing that has not changed are the people and the dedication of those who work and volunteer at the library. The importance of having a quality program that serves the people of West Des Moines is always a driving force. Many times, you can tell the quality of the community by how they support their libraries. We are fortunate that we live in West Des Moines, a place that considers the library an important part of the community.

One of my favorite events at the library are the nights that Friends Foundation brings in local authors to talk about their books. I always find their stories about how they were inspired and the process they use to put pen to paper so interesting. (A talent I wish I had, as you can tell by reading this blog).

I found out when writing term papers in junior high that libraries are a great source for knowledge, discovery, and a vehicle to expand our world. Your library card is your ticket to visit different lands either on Earth or in some galaxy far, far away. It allows you to meet real-life heroes or to follow a fictional adventurer on an unbelievable journey.

I hope you take advantage of a true treasure we have in West Des Moines. Get into our marvelous library; read, research, watch and play to better yourself and the community around us we call home.

Joe Pollpeter

Joseph retired when he sold his business, Two Rivers Glass and Door, Inc., in Fall 2019 and now enjoys his time helping out with different organizations in the area. He is on the Board of Education at Dowling Catholic High School and participates in many organizations at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church where his family has been members for 21 years. Joseph also holds officer positions with the Knights of Columbus. Joseph’s wife of thirty years is Kara. They have two adult daughters, the oldest is a fourth-grade teacher and the youngest is studying towards a degree in mortuary science. They also have a great time rooting on Cyclone football and basketball. Joseph first became involved with the library through our great Friends Foundation. He was impressed with all that a library can do for a community and was excited to join the Library Board when asked. Joseph does not know if he has a favorite book but would say that The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy is a book that he really enjoys reading.

Posted on July 26, 2021