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Historical Fiction with All the Thrills

by on October 26th, 2016
Historical Fiction with All the Thrills Cover Image

We are well into autumn and the days are getting shorter, the leaves are falling, and there is a crispness in the air. It is the perfect time to curl up with a good book. This fall, why not transport yourself to a different time and place with a historical thriller?

If you want history with a dose of mystery than Matthew Carr’s The Devils of Cardona is your book. Judge Read the rest of this entry »

Author Mark Speltz at ICPL on Nov. 3

by on October 26th, 2016

The Iowa City Public Library and Prairie Lights are pleased to welcome Mark Speltz to the Library on Thursday, November 3. Speltz will read from his new book, “North of Dixie: Civil Rights Photography Beyond The South” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Meeting Room A.

The history of the civil rights movement is commonly illustrated with well-known photographs from Birmingham, Montgomery, and Selma — leaving the visual story of the movement outside the South remaining to be told. In “North of Dixie,” Speltz shines a light past the most iconic photographs of the era to focus on images of everyday activists who fought campaigns against segregation, police brutality, and job discrimination in cities like Philadelphia, Cleveland, Columbus, St. Louis, and Cedar Rapids.

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Your Vote Needed in ICPL’s Mock Caldecott Award

by on October 25th, 2016

Have you ever wanted to award a prize to your new favorite book? Here’s your chance!

Voting in the Iowa City Public Library’s Mock Caldecott Award begins Tuesday, November 1. The public is invited to cast their votes for their five favorite picture books out of 15 titles nominated by ICPL’s Children’s Room librarians. The titles include:

The Night Gardener by Terry Fan and Eric Fan
Poor Little Guy by Elanna Allen
Henry & Leo by Pamela Zagarenski
When Spring Comes by Kevin Henkes and Laura Dronzek
A Hungry Lion, or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins
Hand in Hand by Rosemary Wells
Spot, the Cat by Henry Cole
Are We There Yet? by Dan Santat
Home at Last by Vera B. Williams and Chris Raschka
Have you Seen Elephant? by David Barrow
Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie and Yuyi Morales
Frank and Lucky Get Schooled by Lynne Rae Perkins
A Hat for Mrs. Goldman: A Story About Knitting and Love by Michelle Edwards and Brian Karas
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan

Voters will be asked to rank their choice, 1 through 5, and adhere to the one vote per person policy. The title with the most No. 1 votes will win ICPL’s Mock Caldecott Award.

The Caldecott Medal is awarded to the artist of the most distinguished American Picture Book for Children published in the United States during the preceding year. Named in honor of the nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph J. Caldecott, the first medal was awarded in 1933.

The 2017 Caldecott winner will be announced in January. ICPL will announce its Mock Caldecott winner on January 3.

For more information about the Caldecott Award, visit For more information about ICPL’s Mock Caldecott Award, contact the Library at 319-356-5200.

Raise a Glass to Freedom…Voting Resources!

by on October 25th, 2016

LinThe 58th U.S. presidential election will take place on Tuesday, November 8, but you know that already, right?  I mean, how could you not?  History has its eyes on us, but maybe you haven’t decided who you’re going to vote for or maybe you’re not registered.  You can register online here.  If you’re not sure whether you’re registered to vote in Iowa, you can check that here.  You can also register in person at any of the early voting locations, which can be found here.  Just be sure to bring along one of these:

  • Iowa driver’s license
  • Iowa non-operator’s ID card
  • Out-of-state driver’s license or non-operator’s ID card
  • US passport
  • US military ID card
  • ID card issued by an employer
  • Student ID card issued by an Iowa high school or an Iowa college

The League of Women Voters put together a website so that you can make an informed decision on who to vote for–Vote411.  You can enter your address to bring up the races applicable to you and easily compare candidates.  The Gazette has an election center as well.  If you click on the “Election Guide” and put in your address, it will show you your ballot.  The Johnson County Auditor’s website has links to all of the candidates websites here.  This is not a moment; it’s the movement.  Vote.  Don’t throw away your shot–Lin-Manuel won’t stand for it 😉

Lois Lowry in Iowa City November 16th

by on October 25th, 2016

2016 10 Lois LowryThe UI Lecture Committee is hosting Lois Lowry at The Englert Theatre on Wednesday November 16th at 7:30 PM. The program is FREE and open to the public. Seating is first come, first seated. More information is available HERE.

Lois Lowry is the author of two of my favorite books: The Giver and Number the Stars. Both are Newbery Award winners. She’s also the author of over forty books and many are perennial favorites of Library readers. Iowa City Public Library hosted Ms. Lowry in 2012 and she presented a wonderful program, which is available to view online HERE via the Library’s Video Stream (

Some of my favorite memories growing up in Iowa City include visiting authors and the experience of hearing a beloved author reading from their book. My most memorable experience was hearing Madeline L’Engle read at Old Brick when I was in junior high. L’Engle’s words came alive in my mind as I listened to her read.

Mark your calendars for Wednesday November 16th at 7:30 at The Englert. I’m sure it will be a wonderful program!


Overdrive Tips: Renewing Titles

by on October 24th, 2016

Renewing eBooks through Overdrive is a bit different than renewing physical books or other items from ICPL.   When  your loan period gets down to within 3 days, you should see an option on your “Loans” page (formerly: “Checkouts” Page).  [Note: this option does not show up on your app bookshelf.]   The link should say “request again”.   See this overdrive help page on renewing titles to see what it looks like.  When you renew an ebook or audiobook, you are not extending your loan period, but essentially putting another hold on the book.  It will ask you for your email address again.  If there are no other holds, then you will get the book as soon as the load period ends.  This does not work as slick as Overdrive lets on.  You usually have to go back to your Loans page and go through the borrow and download process again.  In my own experience, if you are re-downloading the title at the same time as it expires, the app can get a little confused, but it usually sorts itself out.  It does usually remember where you left off in the book, however.   Also please note that we do not offer the “request again” or renew option from the ICPL catalog, at this time.  You can only do this from the Libraries of Johnson County Overdrive page or from within the app itself.

If this process trips you up or if  you have questions, you can all the library during open hours and we will do our best to help you out.

Orionid Meteor Shower reaches it’s peak tonight!

by on October 21st, 2016

orionid nasaIf you’re not usually outside at night, you probably aren’t aware that something special is going at night this week.  Last night and tonight are the peak nights for viewing the 2016 Orionid Meteor Shower. The Orionid meteor shower began on October 16 and ends around October 27th.  It happens every year in late October when the earth passes through the stream of ice particles and rocks trailing Haley’s Comet.


Haley’s Comet has a highly elliptical 75.5 year orbit around the Sun. It last passed through the inner part of the solar system in 1986.  Each time it passes the Sun a bit of the ice on the comet melts and rocks and larger chunks of ice break off and join the stream of debris following the comet.

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Fresh Picks: Election Edition

by on October 19th, 2016
Fresh Picks: Election Edition Cover Image

It may seem like this election season may never end, but soon enough it will be Election Day (November 8th this year) and we will have a new president. While kids may not be able to have an official say just yet, they can check out some of our newest presidential reads from the jNonfiction section. Read the rest of this entry »

ICPL announces eReaders and Tablets Classes for Adults

by on October 19th, 2016

Thinking about purchasing an eReader or tablet? The Iowa City Public Library and Senior Center are providing classes to help you understand some of the differences between the most popular devices out there.

One of the Library’s technology specialist will talk about the differences between eReaders and tablets. Find out what each of the major brands offer consumers and which of these brands work best with the Library’s digital media collections: Overdrive and Zinio.

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Take a Peek at Our New OverDrive Website

by on October 19th, 2016

On Wednesday, November 9th, the Iowa City Public Library will upgrade its OverDrive website, which supports the library’s eBook and digital audiobook collections. The new site will make finding, browsing, and borrowing eBooks and eAudio faster and easier. You now have the option of exploring the new site before the official launch by clicking on the red bar at the bottom of the current OverDrive website.


ebooks Read the rest of this entry »