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Blues Under the Blue Roof returns Mondays in February

Blues Under the Blue Roof

The South Skunk Blues Society has a great line-up of musicians scheduled for the annual Blues Under the Blue Roof event beginning at 6:30 p.m. all Mondays in February. Join us for one or all of these wonderful music programs:

• Rob Lumbard, a singer/guitar player from Des Moines, will be in concert Feb. 4 in the library’s meeting room. Rob has opened for Lyle Lovett and Leon Redbone. His finger-picking guitar style can be traced back to Hot Tuna, Doc Watson and Piedmont blues.  

• Feb. 11 will feature Newton’s own Nick Knudsen, a blues guitarist and singer.

• On Feb. 18, Fruteland Jackson — a blues guitarist and singer from Chicago — will perform a concert at the library. He also will also visit Colfax schools, Baxter schools, DMACC and each elementary in Newton during the week. Fruteland calls himself a blues activist and oral historian promoting awareness through education by conducting Blues in the Schools programs. He has shared his blues knowledge with more than 1,000,000,000 school children throughout the years.

• Le Roy Jackson and Dan D.J. Johnson, an acoustic duo from Cedar Rapids, will conclude the Blues Under the Blue Roof concert series on Feb. 25.

Movie Night

We will kick off our “Smart Investing @ Your Library” program with a showing of “Ten Trillion and Counting,” a PBS Frontline special about the national debt crisis, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the library meeting room. The DVD is about one hour in length.

Smart Investing @ Your Library

The Newton Public Library will launch the “Smart Investing @ Your Library” program to promote investor education in two sessions on Thursday, Jan. 31: the first at 2:30 and the second at 5:30 p.m. Anyone in the Jasper County area is invited to participate and should stop by the library, call (641) 792-4108 or email to register.

Participants will continue their education via four weeks of online classes at their convenience, either at home or at the library. An investment manual will be provided to the first 25 registrants, and online investment resources also will be shared. A face-to-face wrap-up session will beat 5:30 p.m. March 5. The only cost to attend the program is a commitment to learn more about investing.  

The Smart Investing @ Your Library program is made possible through a $72,438 grant to Library Services of Iowa funded by the American Library Association and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Investor Education Foundation. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is a cooperating partner in the program. Newton Public Library is one of 18 rural libraries in Iowa selected by Library Services of Iowa for participation in 2013. 

Wonderful Winter Birds Program

Children in kindergarten through sixth grade are invited to attend a Wonderful Winter Birds program at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, in the library meeting room. Jasper County Conservation Board naturalist Katie Cantu will teach how birds survive during harsh Iowa winters. No preregistration is necessary. Call Youth Services Librarian Phyllis Peter at (641) 792-4108 with questions.

ABC Author

Book Club 

The ABC Author Book Club will meet from 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, in the library’s conference room. Call or stop by the library’s information desk to get a copy of “Sugar Cookie Murder” by this month’s featured author, Joann Fluke. New members are always welcome, and the book club meets on the second Wednesday of each month. 

Read with Porsche

Read with Porsche, a therapy dog, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. each Wednesday in the children’s area of the library. Porsche is certified with Therapy Dogs International along with her handler, Lisa Gibbons. Porsche also visited Thomas Jefferson Elementary last fall to read with children. 

This program is for children who are beginning to read independently and would benefit from practice reading aloud. No pre-registration is necessary; simply stop by during the program and take a turn reading to Porsche. Call Youth Services Librarian Phyllis Peter at (641) 792-4108 with questions.

Story Times at

Newton Public


• Enjoy stories about friends with Youth Services Librarian Phyllis Peter during Preschool Story Time, for children ages 3 to 5, at 10:30 a.m. Thursday. Siblings are welcome. Each story time includes books, music, fingerplays and a simple craft. 

• Toddlers and Twos Story Time, which is for children ages 18 months to 36 months old, will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. A second Toddlers and Twos Story Time will follow at 11 a.m. Choose to attend one session, but not both as back-to-back sessions are offered so neither will be too large. All story times meet in the Carousel Horse Room, except on holidays, and are free and open to all children and their caregivers. Contact Youth Services Librarian Phyllis Peter at (641) 792-4108 with questions.

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