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ICPL Summer Bus Program Begins June 1

by on May 25th, 2017

An Iowa City Public Library card is your child’s ticket to ride an Iowa City Transit bus free this summer.

The Library will provide free bus rides to children through 12th grade, and the adult caregivers who are with them, on any Iowa City Transit bus route traveling to the downtown interchange, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. every weekday beginning Thursday, June 1. Eligible bus riders should show their Iowa City Public Library card to the bus driver to gain free access to the bus. Children can catch a ride home anytime the same day with a Ride & Read bus pass, which is issued by showing a Library Card at any public service desk at the Library.

Parents, if your child doesn’t have an Iowa City Public Library card, visit for information about how to apply for a card. Complete your application online, then stop by the Help Desk within two weeks to pick up your card. You can also apply in person at the Help Desk any time the Library is open. Adults will need to show photo identification (current driver’s license or passport) and proof of resident address (current driver’s license, mail with a current post mark, current lease) in order to obtain a Library Card.

Photo identification is not required for children under age 14.

The summer bus program ends the week day before the first day of school.

For more information, please call the Library at 319-356-5200.

Dine Out to Support ICPL

by on May 24th, 2017

Here’s a novel idea: take the night off from preparing dinner and go out to eat. Better yet, have dinner out and support the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation at the same time.

The Foundation has partnered with local restaurants for a new fundraising program: Eat Out to Read. On Wednesday, June 7, dine at Motley Cow Café at 160 N Linn St. anytime between 5 and 9 p.m., and a percentage of your tab will be given to the Friends Foundation.

For more information, call the Library at 319-356-5200.

ICPL announces Summer Classes for Adults

by on May 23rd, 2017

Want to preserve your grandchild’s first year electronically? Or create a digital keepsake of your grandmother’s photos and letters from your grandfather? This summer, learn how to use Adobe Creative Cloud software with free classes at the Iowa City Public Library.

Instead of hosting one class to complete a project, sign up for one of the Iowa City Public Library’s three-week courses. Attendees will learn to use a portable scanner, improve digitized photos, and create a layout with captions to tell the story around their memories.

Each three-week course consists of three two hour classes. The June session will be held on June 10, 17 and 24. The July session will be held July 12, 19 and 26. The August session will be held Aug. 4, 11 and 25. All classes will be held from 10 a.m. to noon in the Library’s Computer Lab on the Library’s second floor.

These courses aren’t intended for beginning computer users. Attendees should have some experience using a photo editor, and general knowledge about photo and file storage. Participants will need to bring their own items to digitize and should bring these items to the first session.

There is a limit of nine participants per session, so interested persons should register early to secure a spot. Register online at or calling the library at 319-356-5200. All registrants must plan to attend all three sessions.

For more information, call the Library at 319-356-5200.

Two Great Reads for Summer

by on May 23rd, 2017
Two Great Reads for Summer Cover Image

I just finished two books and both are highly recommended summer reads.

Vicious Circle by C.J. Box takes the reader on a vicarious trip to the Wyoming and the life of Game Warden Joe Pickett. Joe is in a battle to save his life and the lives of his family. Rodeo star Dallas Cates is out of jail and he wants revenge. Nate Romanowski, Joe’s falconer friend, gets pulled into the drama and trouble always seems to find Joe and Nate. Box’s novels are known for their fast pace, memorable characters and strong sense of place. The reader will be kept on the edge of their seat in this page-turner. I listened to the book and David Chandler’s narration is excellent.

Jacqueline Winspear’s new book in the Maisie Dobbs series, In This Grave Hour, is also a page-turner. Maisie Dobbs is a trained psychologist and personal investigator. England is once again at War, Scotland Yard is overwhelmed, and Maisie is called in to investigate the murders of Belgian refugees from the first World War. The title is foreboding and comes from a quote from King George VI on September 3, 1939: “In this grave hour, perhaps the most fateful in our history….for the second time in our lives for most of us, we are at war.”

If you are looking for a great book to kick off your summer, consider these two novels or stop by the Library or Bookmobile. We’re always happy to help you find a great read!


ICPL, Summer of the Arts Present ABC Saturday on June 3

by on May 22nd, 2017

Children are invited to celebrate the arts during ABC Saturday on June 3.

Formerly known as Children’s Day, ABC Saturday stands for Arts, Books and Children Saturday. This annual event, produced by the Iowa City Public Library with Summer of the Arts during the Iowa Arts Festival, encourages kids’ creativity with an extensive lineup of hands-on activities to promote Build A Better World – the 2017 Summer Reading Program.

More than a dozen booths will be set up on the City Plaza, with activities ranging from mask-making and chess, to rocking out with the Yahoo Drummers and making a new friend from the Iowa City Care and Adoption Center. Children also can enjoy live performances on the Family Stage.

ABC Saturday also is the official planting day for the Library’s Children’s Garden on the City Plaza. Kids are invited to help Scott Koepke, the education director of Grow: Johnson County, plant this year’s garden. All produce harvested from the Children’s Garden is donated to Table To Table, which provides food for the area’s hungry, homeless and at-risk population.

ABC Saturday begins at 10 a.m. with activities concluding at 3 p.m.

For more information about ABC Saturday, call the Iowa City Public Library at 319-356-5200.

Free Online Magazines For Kids!

by on May 20th, 2017

Kids can get in on the fun and read magazines just for them online for free using the Library’s Zinio service. The best part? Unlimited checkouts, unlimited loan period, no fines, and highlightsno chance of miss-placing the magazine or losing pages!

You can read full digital copies of favorite kid magazines on your computer, tablet or mobile device on Zinio. All you need to know is your library card number and PIN.

Your library card number is located on the back of your library card. When entering your barcode number leave no spaces or dashes between the numbers.  If you have forgotten your PIN, you can reset it: Here.

Zinio requires the creation of two accounts – a library Zinio account to view the Digital Johnson County collection and a free account to read magazines online or via the Zinio Reader app on a mobile device. Users can visit their device’s app store to download and install the Zinio Reader app to read magazines, or usamerican-girle a web browser to browse and check out new issues of Library magazines. So kids, get your grown-up to help or if they have questions about Zinio, let us know! If you prefer to drop in with your device so we can help you get set up, look for our Tech Help experts in the Computer Lab.

After you have your account set up, you can sort the collection to only show children’s magazines to choose a magazine to get started! Digital Johnson County currently offers more than 175 digital magazines, 18 which are for just kids, to residents of Coralville, Iowa City, North Liberty, Hills, Lone Tree, University Heights, and rural Johnson County. You must have a library card from your home library to use this service.


For more information, please visit the Coralville Public LibraryIowa City Public Library, or North Liberty Community Library websites.


Did I mention these will be perfect to load up on for the upcoming travel season? Happy reading!


ICPL’S Summer Reading Program Begins June 1

by on May 18th, 2017

Poet W.H. Auden said people “… are here on earth to do good to others.” How people choose to accomplish that will be explored during the Iowa City Public Library’s 2017 Summer Reading Program: Build a Better World.buildabetterworld_srp2017

The 2017 Summer Reading Program will be held June 1 through August 11, with registration beginning June 1. Registration can be completed in-person at the Library, online at or during ABC Saturday, formerly known as Children’s Day, on Saturday, June 3. ABC Saturday will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. as part of the Summer of the Arts Festival.

Participation is free and available for all ages, babies through adults. All registrants will receive a game card to track their progress in meeting summer reading goals. The game cards also include information for all Summer Reading Program activities, programs and events.

The game card for babies and toddlers promotes early childhood literacy skills, with prizes awarded at two levels: a bath toy at the first level, and a free book and entry into the grand prize drawing – a $50 gift card to Prairie Lights — at the second level.

The pre-school through sixth-grade game card has three levels of prizes. The first is a collection of food and activity coupons from McDonald’s, Aspen Leaf Free Frozen Yogurt, the Iowa Children’s Museum, Blank Park Zoo, Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department, Bruegger’s Bagels, Pizza Ranch, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Westdale Bowling Center. The second is a T-shirt. The third is a free book and an entry into the grand prize drawing. This year’s children’s grand prizes are provided by Walmart.

Both Teen and Adult Summer Reading Program participants complete the program when they read five books, or read three books and attend two programs. Teens who complete the program will receive a free book and a food coupon from Z’Mariks Noodle Café, and be entered into the grand prize drawing for one of four $50 Downtown Iowa City gift cards. Adults who complete their game card will receive a free book and be entered into the grand prize drawing for one of four $50 Downtown Iowa City gift cards.

All free books are provided by a gift from the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation.

For more information about Build a Better Word, visit or call the Library at 319-356-5200.

ICPL to Host All Iowa Reads 2017 Book Discussion

by on May 17th, 2017

The Iowa City Public Library will host a discussion about the 2017 All Iowa Reads book, “Bottomland” by Michelle Hoover, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 10, in Meeting Room B.

Based on the true story of Hoover’s grandmother, “Bottomland” begins in Iowa in the years after World War I as the family attempts to rid themselves of the Anti-German sentiment that stains their name. But when the youngest two daughters vanish in the middle of the night, the family must piece together what happened while struggling to maintain their life on the unforgiving Iowa plains. Told in the voices of the family patriarch and his children, “Bottomland” is described as a haunting literary mystery that spans decades before its resolution.

“Bottomland” is Hoover’s second novel. She is the Fannie Hurst Writer-in-Residence at Brandeis University and teaches at GrubStreet, where she leads the Novel Incubator program. She is a 2014 NEA Fellow and has been a Writer-in-Residence at Bucknell University, a MacDowell Fellow, and a winner of the PEN/New England Discovery Award. Her debut, “The Quickening,” was a 2010 Massachusetts Book Award “Must Read.” She is a native of Iowa and lives in Boston.

All Iowa Reads was established in 2003 as a way to foster a sense of unity through reading, with Iowans throughout the state coming together to read and discuss a single book title in the same year. The program is sponsored by the Iowa Center for the Book. For more information about All Iowa Reads, visit

The Library’s All Iowa Reads Book Discussion is part of the 2017 Adult Summer Reading Program, which begins June 1. For more information about the summer reading program, visit or call the Library at 319-356-5200.

It’s like the Batmobile … but it’s the Bookmobile

by on May 16th, 2017

2017-05-bmb-at-alexanderWe are having fun introducing the Bookmobile to our community! The joy on the faces of people, especially children, when they come onto the Bookmobile and see all the wonderful books and movies is heartwarming!

Last week the Bookmobile visited a number of elementary schools. The picture in this post shows Alexander Elementary students hearing about the Bookmobile. One student commented, “It’s like the Batmobile … but it’s the Bookmobile” and another said, “I want to live here!” I feel the same way! Read the rest of this entry »


by on May 16th, 2017
1917 Cover Image

There are two major centenaries this year: the United States entered World War I and the Russian Revolution. If you like to acknowledge anniversaries with a great read, then you have many books to choose from and these two are not a bad place to start:

Helen Rappaport’s latest, Caught in the Revolution, tells the story of the Russian Revolution in Petrograd from the perspective of people who found themselves in absolutely the wrong place at absolutely the Read the rest of this entry »