Library Catalog Ask a Librarian Book a Meeting Room
Catalog Your Account Menu


Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

by on November 24th, 2014
Sisters by Raina Telgemeier Cover Image

“3 weeks   2 sisters   1 car”  Perfect for the holidays—the quintessential family road trip!

I’m not generally a fan of graphic novels, but author and illustrator Raina Telgemeier does a great job of convincing me to broaden my horizons. I just read her newest title, Sisters, which explores the complexity and humor of sibling rivalry and family relationships. Sisters evokes a universal familiarity. Who doesn’t remember the family road trip as the perfect time to fight and bond?

Telgemeier’s first autobiographical novel, Smile, continues to be incredibly popular. Booklist described it as “possibly the only universally embraced graphic novel on the planet.” Sisters continues Raina’s story, sharing how she and her sister Amara fight their way to common ground, against the backdrop of a family reunion, also filled with family fights and affections. Sisters left me with a smile and warm memories of my own sisters…and wishing for more. Perhaps Telgemeier will turn me into a graphic novel fan yet!

Sisters and Smile both have hold lists on them at the library, but they are worth the wait. (And the lists aren’t too long!) While you’re waiting, you could check out a couple of my other favorite sister books, touching picture books great for all ages: Big Sister, Little Sister by LeUyen Pham and Maple & Willow Together by Lori Nichols.

This week I get to see one of my sisters, and I’m excited to share Sisters with her. We can relate–it’s surprisingly like our story!

How do I get a map of Iowa City?

by on November 24th, 2014

Maps IowaFew places carry paper maps anymore. If you are looking for a map of Iowa City, you can turn to the Iowa Department of Transportation. They have a place on their website where you can look for maps of Iowa cities and counties. From this webpage, click the “City and county maps” link, and then find Johnson County. Clicking on the Johnson County shape takes you to where you can choose between Iowa City, Coralville, and North Liberty. Clicking on the name of the city will bring up a PDF that you can then see all of the roads in one view.

If you really wanted to see the whole thing on paper, you can print it on 25 different pages (Print –>Page Size/Handling–>Poster). Of if you are in the neighborhood of the Johnson County Administration Building during business hours, you can try to stop in to see if they have what you’re looking for. The Assessor’s Office should have a small map at the very least.

 

Support Your LIbrary

by on November 24th, 2014

It’s that time of year. Every day your mailboxes (physical and virtual) have new appeals for worthy causes, and the Library is asking for your support as well. If you haven’t seen the annual report of the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation, please look it over. The Library receives good tax funding, but the Foundation gifts allow us to move from great to fantastic which is what we want you to think your library is.

Last year Foundation gifts to the Library paid more than half the cost of our building renovations, purchased library materials for all ages, supported huge growth in our Summer Reading Program (allowing us to continue to provide books to participants — see p. 8 of the annual report for a heartwarming story), supported programs, and improved technology.

You can give online or by mail (make checks payable to the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation). You also support the Library through your purchases at the Arts & Crafts Bazaar (Saturday, December 6, 10-3) at special book sales (same day) or at The Book End.

At this time of year I am thankful for a great public library.  What would our community be without it?  Please consider a gift today.

My Reading History @ Your Library

by on November 24th, 2014
My Reading History @ Your Library Cover Image

There’s an awesome user feature in our online Catalog called “My Reading History.” “My Reading History” will keep track of every physical item you have checked out from the Library. It will also eMail the list to you. This feature is available to everyone but you must turn the feature on before it will begin tracking items checked out.

To activate “My Reading History,” login to your online account at catalog.icpl.org and click on “Reading History.”  If you don’t have a password, or don’t remember your password, please give us a call during Library hours or stop by the Help Desk and we’ll set one up for you.2014 11 my reading hist

Once you’ve logged in to the Catalog and selected “My Reading History,” there is a toggle button to Opt In or Opt Out. The default is for accounts to be set-up to “Opt Out” so you must choose “Opt In” for the system to begin tracking your checkouts.

I enjoy browsing through “My Reading History” because it’s a walk down memory lane. Some titles bring back memories of learning to draw with my children (Ed Emberley books are great for this) and favorite books while others remind me about planning a vacation, craft projects and driving in blizzards. I’ve used this feature for nearly 10 years so I have quite a long memory lane cataloged there.

We often get questions about “My Reading History” so here’s the fine print if you have questions or concerns:

Library Staff may not access these lists so they are completely private.  It is up to you to activate this feature IF you want the catalog to keep track of the physical items you check out.

If you checked out something you don’t want to keep track of, you can delete the item from your list.

You can choose to Opt Out any time and opt back in later if you choose to.

My Reading History does not track any eMaterials checked out on other webpages like OverDrive and Zinio.

If an item is withdrawn from our collection, it no longer appears in My Reading History.

Some patrons come in hopeful that we track their circulation over time – this usually happens when they can’t remember a book they checked out. We don’t track specific items checked out because of privacy issues. IF the patron turned on My Reading History, the record will be there once they login to their Library Account. In most cases, though, they have not turned this feature on and so the information is not available.

If you wish to Opt In to “My Reading History” and need help, please stop by or give us a call. It’s a nice feature for those who are interested in keeping track of materials checked out over time.

Vacationers by Emma Straub

by on November 21st, 2014
Vacationers by Emma Straub Cover Image

Straub’s Vacationers is a vicarious trip out of the cold Iowa winter. Frannie and Jim decide to vacation in Majorca, Spain with their grown-up children and Frannie’s best friend, Charles, and his husband. For each character Majorca represents a turning point of either falling back into the ruts of life or moving forward and finding new potential.

Emma Straub’s writing is clean and crisp. The books is funny, warm and realistic. Straub creates characters who are real and struggle with insecurities and secrets while ultimately triumphing over what life throws at them. I listened to the book and Kristen Sieh’s narration is perfect.

As I look out my window I see it is snowing again. If you need a vicarious escape to Spain check out Emma Straub’s Vacationers.

Sequels, Sequels Are So Fun!

by on November 18th, 2014

This season has been chock full of sequels to some of my favorite wordless picture books from 2013.

“The Journey Continues” in Aaron Becker’s Quest. Fans of the Caldecott Honor winner Journey will be delighted and enthralled from the moment they open this second installment in the Journey Trilogy.

From Quest by Aaron Becker

From Quest by Aaron Becker

Becker picks up exactly where the friends left off and immediately readers are taken on an incredible journey to save a king and his kingdom.  With vivid imagery, vibrant colors and an expert hand at illustration, Becker draws readers into his world and simultaneously ties it to our own.

Hank Finds an Egg, by Rebecca Dudley has been joined this month by the sequel, Hank Has a Dream. Dudley’s work continues to amaze me, she works in diorama and photography–everything seen in any of the Hank books has been made by hand.  Her craftsmanship and abilities as a storyteller are truly incredible.

Hank's Home, Storywoods

Hank’s Home, Storywoods

One of my favorite additions to this work is the map of “Storywoods”, Hank’s world, within the endsheets. Another addition to this work, is words: Dudley juxtaposes Hank and his friend acting out the dream with an image of the dream itself on the opposite page. Honestly, everything about this work is beautiful, inspiring and original.  Rebecca Dudley is a singular artist and definitely an author to watch! hank dream 3

 

Last, but certainly not least is another Caldecott Honor winner, Molly Idle, with her latest book about Flora. After dancing in the cherry blossoms with her pal the Flamingo, Flora gets ready for winter and ice skating with her pal Penguin.  In what is becoming her signature wordless style, Molly Idle combines beautiful color illustrations, fun characters and flaps to tell a wonderful friendship story. Flora and the PenguinThe bodily expressions of Idle’s characters tell the story and lead the reader through the growing friendship between Flora and the Penguin.  Though things may get frosty, the two find a way to not only make their relationship work but have a ton of fun doing it.

Quest, Hank has a Dream, and Flora and the Penguin are great reads for the young and young at heart that leave us wanting more and excited about what’s to come from these amazing Author/Illustrators.

ICPL debuts new self-service checkouts

by on November 18th, 2014

The Iowa City Public Library has replaced its self-checkout machines with new equipment in response to the community’s request for improved technology and new self-service features.checkout machines

With updated technology and a larger touchscreen, the new machines make it easier for patrons to borrow Library materials. For instance, the new machines give patrons the option of no receipt, eMail receipt or printed receipt when checking out items and/or paying a fine. An eMail receipt will only be sent if the Library has a valid eMail address on file.

“The self-serve option is designed to ease wait times for patrons, freeing staff members to focus on borrowers with questions and requests for reserves, equipment loans, and other services,” said Kara Logsden, the Library’s Coordinator for Community and Access Services.

The Library also installed new DVD unlocking stations at each self-checkout machine.

Self-checkout machines are available on the Library’s first and second floor, and in the Children’s Room.

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

New Self Checkouts @ Your Library

by on November 18th, 2014

2014 11 New Self CheckoutThis week we rolled out new Self Checkout machines. The six new Self Checkout stations may be found on the First Floor near the entrance and in the Children’s Room and on the Second Floor near the Reference Desk.

This project is a culmination of months of behind the scenes work by Library staff and completes a Strategic Plan goal to “Upgrade checkout equipment to provide more efficient service.”

Highlights of the new equipment include a bigger, more responsive screen and new DVD Unlockers that give a GREEN LIGHT indication when the DVD has been unlocked. They also feature new credit card payment terminals that are easy to use and assure PCI Compliance for transactions.

A new feature is a “smart” barcode reader that reads barcodes on smart phone screens. We’ve received many requests for this feature and know our patrons will appreciate this enhancement. The scanner works with pictures of Library Cards on the smart phones or through barcodes generated by third-party apps such as CardStar.

Another option in response to patron requests is the ability to choose no receipt, a printed receipt, or an eMail receipt. We can only send an eMail receipt if we have a valid eMail address in the patron’s record. If you wish to add an eMail address to your account, please give us a call or stop by the Help Desk.

As with many technology upgrades we are still working through a couple issues. The Self Checkout software is not communicating with our system to give information about holds in the queue. Patrons will be notified when a hold is ready for pickup but at this time we are unable to show holds at the Self Checkout stations. If you need help with holds, please go to a public service desk.

Nearly 70% of our checkouts run through the Library’s Self Checkout stations so it is a critical tool for us to serve our community. We are delighted with the new product and the improvements the technology brings. While we offer the option of Self Checkout, please remember staff are just a couple steps away if you need help or prefer for staff to check out materials for you.

My True Love Gave to Me

by on November 17th, 2014
My True Love Gave to Me Cover Image

My True Love Gave to Me is a collection of twelve holiday stories by popular young adult authors.  I was initially drawn to it because Rainbow Rowell supplied a story.  Rainbow’s story–”Midnights”–is great!  It’s about two friends who over the course of four New Year’s Eves decide if they want to be more than friends.  I hope we see the characters again!

Another plus for this collection is the chance to sample authors that you’ve been curious about.  I’ve never read anything by Matt de la Peña or Stephanie Perkins, who also edited the collection, and I loved both of their stories.  It made me want to read all of their books.  Holly Black has a great story–called “Krampuslauf”–about a group of friends who want to throw the perfect New Year’s Eve party and get revenge on a cheating ex.  An unexpected guest makes the party even more memorable.

A lot of the stories fall into the “meet-cute during the holidays” category, but they’re well done (except for a couple stinkers).  It’s a great book to read as a break from reading another book.  If you like holiday stories, you won’t go wrong with My True Love Gave to Me.

Your Favorite Book On Display

by on November 17th, 2014

WeirdWonderfulStaff members at ICPL enjoy recommending our favorite books year-round.  Now, it’s your turn!

Participate in the interactive “Take a Favorite – Leave a Favorite” display on the 1st floor during the month of November.  When you decide to check out one of the books on the display, you may fill that empty spot with your own favorite.  Write a note about why it is such a great book, and enjoy the thrill of knowing that you passed on your favorite to someone new!

YoursAndMine1





login