Julie Gammack's Iowa Potluck
Julie Gammack's Iowa Potluck
A change of one word in a bill could have been a library killer

A change of one word in a bill could have been a library killer

....listen to what a participant called one of the best conversations we've had

No transcript...

Ah, the power of words.

Changing ‘shall’ to ‘may’ when it comes to language levying monies supporting public libraries caused a furor enough that the specific bill designed to do just that was put back on the shelf.

Words matter, and that change spelled impending death to enough small-town libraries in Iowa and became a catalyst for uncommon political action by library fans.

I highly recommend you listen to Sam Helmick, Community & Access Services Coordinator at Iowa City Public Library, and Iowa Library Association Past-President/Government Affairs Chair. They will explain the legislation that could change Iowa libraries forever and will also report as to where Iowa ranks regarding bills that impede the mission.

If you like libraries, you will be appalled at what Sam explains about our dubious distinction.

Please share this widely.


Do you know the Library Bill of Rights? It was adopted by the American Library Association in 1939, and the original form was written by Forrest Spaulding, the director of the Des Moines Public Library, in 1938.

Library Bill of Rights

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

VI. Libraries that make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

VII. All people, regardless of origin, age, background, or views, possess a right to privacy and confidentiality in their library use. Libraries should advocate for, educate about, and protect people’s privacy, safeguarding all library use data, including personally identifiable information.

Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; January 29, 2019.

Inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.

Save Byron’s

Hey, here’s something else that needs saving. Although I have yet to attend an event at the iconic Byron’s of Pomeroy, I do whatever Art Cullen says; he believes Byron’s must be saved. Read why:

Art Cullen’s Notebook
We need an uprising of love for Byron
Those who love music and rural Iowa, lend me your ears: Byron Stuart needs our help. Now. He of Byron’s Bar world fame.Art Cullen’s Notebook is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber…
Read more

You’ll find performances by many of these sorts teaching songwriting during the Okoboji Writers’ and Songwriters’ Retreat this fall. CLICK TO: Learn more



I love being a founding member of the Iowa Writers’ Collaborative. Check it out! Below is the roundup of columns from our members who posted last week, as well as the complete roster.

Iowa Writers Collaborative
Pesky Politics, a new columnist, and stories from DeWitt, Iowa City, Winterset, Lovilia, Cedar Rapids, Cedar Falls, and other state hot spots
Read more

Iowa Writers’ Collaborative

Nicole Baart: This Stays Here, Sioux Center
Ray Young Bear: From Red Earth Drive, Meskwaki Settlement
Laura Belin: Iowa Politics with Laura Belin, Windsor Heights
Tory Brecht: Brecht’s Beat, Quad Cities
Dartanyan Brown, My Integrated Life, Des Moines
Doug Burns: The Iowa Mercury, Carroll
Jane Burns: The Crossover, Des Moines
Dave Busiek: Dave Busiek on Media, Des Moines
Iowa Writers’ Collaborative, Roundup
Steph Copley: It Was Never a Dress, Johnston
Art Cullen: Art Cullen’s Notebook, Storm Lake
Suzanna de Baca: Dispatches from the Heartland, Huxley
Debra Engle: A Whole New World, Madison County
Daniel Finney, Paragraph Stacker, Des Moines
Arnold Garson: Second Thoughts, Okoboji and Sioux Falls
Julie Gammack: Julie Gammack’s Iowa Potluck, Des Moines and Okoboji
Joe Geha: Fern and Joe, Ames
Jody Gifford: Benign Inspiration, West Des Moines
Rob Gray: Rob Gray’s Area, Ankeny
Nik Heftman: The Seven Times, Los Angeles and Iowa
Beth Hoffman: In the Dirt, Lovilia
Dana James: Black Iowa News, Iowa
Chris Jones, Chris’s Substack, Iowa City
Pat Kinney: View from Cedar Valley, Waterloo
Fern Kupfer: Fern and Joe, Ames
Robert Leonard: Deep Midwest: Politics and Culture, Bussey
Letters from Iowans, Iowa
Darcy Maulsby: Keepin’ It Rural, Calhoun County
Tar Macias: Hola Iowa, Iowa
Alison McGaughey, The Inquisitive Quad Citizen, Quad Cities
Kurt Meyer: Showing Up, St. Ansgar
Vicki Minor, Relatively Minor, Winterset
Wini Moranville: Wini’s Food Stories, Des Moines
Jeff Morrison: Between Two Rivers, Cedar Rapids
Kyle Munson: Kyle Munson’s Main Street, Des Moines
Jane Nguyen: The Asian Iowan, West Des Moines
John Naughton: My Life, in Color, Des Moines
Chuck Offenburger: Iowa Boy Chuck Offenburger, Jefferson and Des Moines
Barry Piatt: Piatt on Politics Behind the Curtain, Washington, D.C.
Dave Price: Dave Price’s Perspective, Des Moines
Steve Semken, The Pulse of a Heartland Publisher, North Liberty
Macey Shofroth: The Midwest Creative, Norwalk
Larry Stone: Listening to the Land, Elkader
Mary Swander: Mary Swander’s Buggy Land, Kalona
Mary Swander: Mary Swander’s Emerging Voices, Kalona
Cheryl Tevis: Unfinished Business, Boone County
Ed Tibbetts: Along the Mississippi, Davenport
Jason Walsmith, The Racontourist, Earlham
Kali White VanBaale, 988: Mental Healthcare in Iowa, Bondurant
Teresa Zilk: Talking Good, Des Moines

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Julie Gammack's Iowa Potluck
Julie Gammack's Iowa Potluck
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