Public Art in the Library

Children’s Area from Sticks

The Sticks Company of Des Moines, Iowa ( was contacted at the start of construction of the library building in 2000. Sara Grant, an award winning abstract artist, created the whimsical wood carved designs complete with literary sayings.  All the pieces feature a muted but colorful palette on a natural background of leaves.

Children’s desk area

The charcoal children’s desk area includes an almost 12 foot long desk, a credenza with hutches, and a large mirror.  All carved with fanciful figures and sayings to stimulate the imagination.


“Hallelujah Lady”

The sculpture of a lady made from tree logs with the limbs forming the upturned arms. Standing over 12 feet tall, the lady holds a fabric globe in her arms and is decorated with flags from countries around the world.

7 carved doors

The doors to the children’s restroom, story room, youth services offices, and mechanical spaces feature colorful carvings with reading and word games.


3 benches

The 34” sturdy charcoal benches are tucked between the picture book shelves and feature log legs and whimsical carvings.


76 shelf signs

At the end of each run of shelving in the children’s area are artistically carved picture frames that hold signs with call numbers of the books.


1 lounge table

Making the transition to the adult area, this round charcoal pedestal table features the questions “Who’s your favorite …?”


Story Room

Mural, Fabric Wall Hangings, and Story Chair

The colors in the library’s story room complement the four fabric wall hangings that speak to the earth’s elements.  The large, low story chair features a leather patchwork seat and back.  The limb stiles sky up 7 feet and are carved with book figures and sayings including “King of Reading” and “Queen of Books”.  The story room mural is a 3’ x 10’ wood carving which states the theme of all of the Sticks art in the library, “There are so many reasons in the world to read.”

 Reading Room

Triptych from Nancie Gloshen Art Service

This black and white triptych pen and ink illustration by local artist Nancie Gloshen of Clive, Iowa depicts this library building and a variety of interior areas of the library.  It was commissioned by the Urbandale Library Foundation in 2005 to commemorate Steve Lytle’s long-time service to the Urbandale Library Board and Foundation.

Front Garden

Teleidoscope Sculpture

An interactive teleidoscope (a kind of kaleidoscope) sculpture was added to the library’s front garden in 2007 through the generosity of the Urbandale Library Foundation and the use of State Enrich Iowa funds.

The 5 foot garden sculpture is an atomic design created by Bob Anderson of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin.  Anderson forms steel into atomic orbits, which includes a stationary base and a rotating bowl.  Bob also crafts each of the two suspended brass teleidoscopes that are part of the sculpture and can be used to view kaleidoscopic patterns of blooming plants in the rotating bowl.

Book Garden Bench

At the retirement of long-time director Sara Pearson in 2009, the Library Board of Trustees and Urbandale Library Foundation, Inc. commissioned a metal bench to be added to the library’s front garden. The bench has the illusion of being stacked book spines labeled with some of Pearson’s favorite titles and was made by Jim Dawson from Iowa Metal Fabrication of Indianola, Iowa.

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