FM library launches new early reader program

1000 Books Before Kindergarten is nationwide initiative


The Fort Madison Public Library is excited to launch the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program on March 4. Libraries across the country have used this program to help increase the development of early literacy skills in young children.
It’s as simple as it sounds—make a goal to read 1,000 books to your child before Kindergarten. 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten is a fun, free way to start your child on the path to success. 1,000 books may seem like a lot, but if you read one book each night, you’ll reach your goal in less than 3 years.  Also, you don’t have to read 1000 different books.  If your child has a favorite book, you can count it as a book read each time you read it together.
Children from birth to 5 years old can participate. Stop by the library front desk to register and pick up a reading log to record your first 100 books with your child.  When you register, you will also get a bag to hold your library books and a free board book.  For each 100 books you read, come back to the library to let us know and pick up another reading log.  You can also track your reading using the Beanstack app.  As you reach different milestones in the program, your child’s name can be added to our 1000 Books Before Kindergarten progress chart and there are additional prizes for reaching the 250, 500 and 750 book milestones, including free books and a Rhythm and Songs kit.  At 1,000 books, your child will get a washable tote bag and have their name put in the front of one of their favorite books at the library.
Every book counts! Happy reading.
The Most Popular Picture Books at the Library

  1. Trolls 5-minute stories (EF TRO)
  2. An Elephant & Piggie Biggie!, volume 3 by Mo Willems (EF WIL)
  3. Marvel Spider-Man read-and-listen storybook (EF MAR)
  4. PJ Masks 5-minute stories (EF PJM)
  5. Trust me, Hansel and Gretel Are SWEET!: the story of Hansel and Gretel as told by the witch by Nancy Loewen (EF LOE)
  6. Unicorns are the worst by Alex Willan (EF WIL)
  7. Pig the stinker by Aaron Blabey (EF BLA)
  8. The pigeon has to go to school by Mo Willems (EF WIL)
  9. Dinosaur farm by Penny Dale (EF DAL)
  10. Shark vs. train by Chris Barton (EF BAR

 “Rosie the Riveters of Iowa” by Linda McCann
Rosie the Riveter was a promotional campaign to encourage women to join the workforce during World War II. Men had left many important jobs vacant when they joined the military to fight in the war and women were needed to fill those jobs. During WWII, Iowa had 70 companies with military contracts. Linda McCann was able to speak with 35 women who worked during the war and collected their stories into her new book. Join us at the library at 6:30 pm on Thursday March 7 as Linda shares some of those memories and talks a little about the development of her latest book.  Linda is the author of non-fiction Iowa history, including “Prisoners of War in Iowa, “Prohibition in Iowa” and several books about the Civilian Conservation Corps in different areas of Iowa.  Linda will have copies of the Rosie book, plus all her other books, available for purchase.
Adopt an Author, or a Book
Is there an author you love that you want to make sure keeps getting included in the library collection?  Alternatively, have you heard about a book that you want to read but don’t want to get stuck with it taking up space on your bookshelf?  If you adopt the book, or author, the library will purchase the item (usually at a discounted price).  After we have cataloged the item, the adoptee reimburses the library for the cost of the book and gets to be the first person to check-out that book.  In 2023, eight people adopted $655 worth of books total ranging from someone who adopted one book for $17 to another patron adopting many books for about $350.  Contact Sarah Clendineng, 372-5721,, if you are interested in adopting a book or an author or would like more information about this program.
The library has received all of the Federal tax forms we will be getting this year.  This includes the 1040 forms and instruction booklets.  The State of Iowa is no longer sending out forms to libraries but you can find forms to either print or fill out online at their website,  The Iowa Department of Revenue also has a phone number you can call to ask them to mail tax forms to you, 1-800-532-1531.  For federal tax questions, you can visit the IRS website, or call 1-800-829-1040 (1-800-TAX-1040).  Finally, United Way of the Great River Region is offering tax help by appointment only through their VITA program until April 13.  While there are no more appointments available at their Fort Madison location, they are still taking appointments at their Keokuk location.  Call (319) 520-6859 to make an appointment.  For more information about this program or to learn about volunteer opportunities, contact Sue Prochazka at 319-524-4504 or
Community Calendar
We have begun adding community events to the online library calendar at  Events are added to the calendar as they are submitted by community organizations using the form found here  Does your group have an upcoming community event?  Let us know by submitting it through the form.  Most community events open to the public are eligible for inclusion in the community calendar.
Upcoming Events at the Fort Madison Public Library –
Pre-School/Toddler Story Hour –Wednesday morning at 10:30.
Hang Teen – Tuesday, 3:30-5:00 for ages 12-19.
Minecraft –3:30-5:00, all ages on Mondays.
Once Upon a Wednesday –Join us from 1:15-2:00 for a variety of adventures.  March 6 is Bingo Day and we will have a craft on March 20.
Thursday Crafternoon –Thursday, 3:00-5:00, for ages 14-adult.  This program is an opportunity to spend some time working on an in-depth project for the whole month. 
All Booked Up! - The library's book discussion group meets on the first Thursday of the month at 1:30 p.m.  On Thursday, March 7, we will be discussing "Beloved” by Toni Morrison.
Cook the Book –March 12 at 6:00 pm, we will be selecting recipes from “Magnolia Table, v.2” by Joanna Gaines

Fort madison, public library, column, information, events, programs, reading, news, Pen City Current, Sarah Clendineng


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