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Calling all artists: Get your Art Purchase Prize entries in!

by on August 26th, 2016

Recovering_AnnaThere is still time to get your art entered into this year’s Art Purchase Prize contest! Maybe you need a little help coming up with something to submit? Let us help!

We’ve picked a theme for this year — New Covers for Old Classics. Pick a book that is in the public domain, and use your creativity and imagination to design a cover for it. The idea for this comes from Recovering the Classics, a national campaign to give classic, important works of literature new and inspiring covers. When a title becomes part of the public domain, anyone can publish it; often times, very little time or thought is spent on what the book’s cover looks like. Recovering the Classics wants to change that. If this sounds like something you can get behind, please think about creating a new cover and submitting for the contest.

Who can enter the contest? Artists over 18 who live, work, or exhibit in the area. For this special, themed contest, we’re also letting previous winners submit entries. Get all of the details here.

If you don’t meet the criteria for the Purchase Prize, but are still interested in creating a cover, you can submit your work for ICPL’s Recovering the Classics exhibit, open to everyone.

All covers will be on display during the Iowa City Book Festival, October 4-9, and for several weeks afterwards.

If you have questions about the Purchase Prize or the exhibit, please contact Candice Smith at candice-smith@icpl.org

ICPL announces September Classes for Adults

by on August 26th, 2016

The internet is a great tool for finding information, purchasing items and interacting with others. Understanding how to navigate and use the internet safely makes using this tool more effective and fun. In September, the Iowa City Public Library is offering a new internet basics class, as well as classes on internet and social media safety and privacy.

Join us for Internet Basics at 10 a.m. Tuesday, September 6. Learn about what the internet is, how it works, and how a web browser interacts with the internet. Get a brief overview about the strengths and weaknesses of the different web browsers. This class will be repeated on Saturday, September 24, at 10:30 a.m.

Wary of the threats lurking around online? Learn strategies and skills to protect yourself and your privacy during the Internet Safety: Protecting Your Privacy class at 10 a.m. Friday, September 16. Then, learn how to adjust your settings and learn techniques for discovering the information that is already out there online about you during our Social Media Safety: Protecting Your Privacy Online class. Held at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 24, this class will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using the privacy settings on several social networks.

Classes will be held in the Computer Lab on the second floor of the library. Classes are free, but space is limited, so patrons should register early. Visit www.icpl.org/classes to register online or by calling the Library at 319-356-5200.

ICPL to Screen Cyclo-Cross Documentary

by on August 25th, 2016

Gear up for September’s Telenet UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup by watching For the Love of Mud Tuesday, September 6, from 7 to 9 p.m. in Meeting Room A at the Iowa City Public Library.

This documentary by British filmmaker Benedict Campbell gives the history and narrative about cyclo-cross, a niche bicycling race that consists of on- and off-road courses held on a mix of surfaces, including mud. Campbell spent more than a year filming at races throughout Europe and the U.S., interviewing local cyclists and elite athletes.

Iowa City has played host to the Jingle Cross Cyclo-Cross every winter since 2004. This year, the annual race will move to September to coincide with the World Cup on September 24.

Called the sport’s Super Bowl, the World Cup features a series of races in countries across the globe. Iowa City is one of two North American host sites.

This screening is part of the Library’s Gear Up for Bikes, Bikes, Bikes; a series of programs designed to inform and educate the public about cyclo-cross. It is free and open to the public.

For more information, visit icpl.org or call the Library at 319-356-5200.

I scream…you scream…Ice Cream!

by on August 23rd, 2016

ICS BDLibrary staff had a great night out last night at the Iowa City Community School District Ice Cream Socials. More than 90 people signed up for new Library Cards and we had a lot of fun visiting with students and their families.

Beth was at Lucas Elementary and reported, “One family I talked to was new to Iowa City, but they were happy to tell me they had already been down to ICPL to get cards. One dad thanked me for the SRP fine waive.”

Madonna at Grant Wood Elementary reported one patron said his Library Card is the “Best card in my wallet.” She ICS MSalso met many students who are interested in Minecraft and she told them about the Library’s Minecraft programs (schedule at calendar.icpl.org).

Elyse was at Hoover Elementary and a lot of people there told her they “LOVE the Library!”

Susan was at Twain and reported many people said, “I have a card!” and “We love the library.”

Patty was at Horn Elementary and wins the prize for signing up the most people for new Library Cards – 24 registered including many who are new to the United States or are returning after studying here. Read the rest of this entry »

You Can’t Touch This!

by on August 22nd, 2016
wild parsnip

Wild Parsnip

Poison_Ivy_in_Perrot_State_Park

Poison Ivy

poison_oak_220x146

Poison Oak

Even though summer is on its way out, it is still more than possible to contract one or more of the lovely weed rashes that make outdoor activities a little more memorable.

Pictured are three of the most prevalent varieties of poison plant life in our area.  All three have apparently had a very good year.

I am well acquainted with poison oak and ivy but the wild parsnip was a new one for me.

Poison ivy and oak transfer to skin and clothing via an oil called urushiol from their leaves, causing the familiar itchy, weepy, red rash that can last a couple of weeks.

Wild parsnip contains psoralen that when touched and then exposed to sunlight can cause a condition called phytophotodermatitis.  This is hypersensitivity to sunlight and can lead to severe sunburn, a rash, blisters, and burning and scalding pain.  Dark red or brownish skin discoloration appears where the burn or blisters first formed, and can last for several months.

bad plantsIf you want to know more about what to avoid touching (and eating) while you are enjoying the outdoors, check out this book and others in that area of the collection

Know your poisonous plants

Art to Go!

by on August 19th, 2016

Art on the wallOne of the Library’s more unusual collections is our circulating art.  Most pieces are framed prints, but a substantial number are original artworks by local artists and include photographs, mixed media, screen prints, watercolors, and oil paintings.

It is a great time to pick out a piece of art to take home–the selection is always a little better during the summer when the University population shrinks.  But that won’t last long now, with students coming back and classes set to begin next week.  We have about 400 pieces to choose from.  Browsing what is available is the easiest way to find what you want, but you can also see images of our original art in the catalog and place a hold for something you like.  Just look up “Art Purchase Prize Collection” and click on the link to “View art work in this collection”.

The loan period for art prints is eight weeks, and each borrower is limited to two at a time.  The collection is located on the first floor, between the Fiction books and the children’s room.  We display as many as we can on the walls there, but many are stacked in the bins as well. Art in a bin

The original art collection has been built up over the years thanks to gift funds.  There is an annual competition from which the Library’s Art Advisory Committee selects and purchases several works to add to our collection.  This year’s competition is a little different, with the theme of “New Covers For Old Classics” (see more information here.)  But hurry–deadline for entries is September 2, 2016.

In the meanwhile, enjoy our remarkable art collection.  I always have two checked out, and these are my current favorites:  “Apples #4” by Yvette Jury, and “In Carol’s Garden” by Susan Coleman.

apples4In carol's garden

ICPL to host stage fighting workshop for teens

by on August 19th, 2016

Shakespeare Fighting FunThe Iowa City Public Library will host a stage fighting workshop from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3, in Meeting Room A. This event coincides with Shakespeare’s First Folio exhibit at the University of Iowa Libraries Aug. 29 through Sept. 25.

Lukas Brasherfons, a master of fine arts student in dramaturgy at the University of Iowa, will lead the two-hour introduction to unarmed combat for the stage. He’ll show participants how to safely punch, slap and fall in the most basic of ways. The lesson will tie into how William Shakespeare used violence in his plays.

This workshop is intended for teens ages 13 through 18. Registration is not required.

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

We’re back up and running

by on August 17th, 2016

The Iowa City Public Library’s online catalog and digital collections are now available, which means you can place that hold, check out a digital magazine, and download your eAudiobook.

We thank you for your patience and sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.

This morning, these services were down so we could update the operating system on our library system’s server. Our library system is integral to our day-to-day operations. It’s where we keep track of everything in our collection, if an item is on the shelf or has been borrowed. It is what digital services like OverDrive and Zinio reference to lend eBooks, eAudiobooks, and digital magazines to you. It holds your library card numbers and keeps track of what you currently have checked out and when the books are due back. It allows you to renew your books, place holds, and use the self-checks. The system also keeps track of our orders for purchased books, paid invoices, and what issue of magazine didn’t arrive so we can contact our vendor. When the library system is down, everything stops. Well, almost everything.

Because it is so important, we want to ensure we are running the most recent software on updated equipment.

Again, thank you.  And we’re glad it’s over.

I think I know you …

by on August 17th, 2016
I think I know you … Cover Image

I’m relatively new to audiobooks, having listened to my first one a few months ago, but I agree with my colleagues who say they are a great way to pass the time on long drives, during a run or cleaning the house.

I also agree with them that a narrator makes, or breaks, the audiobook.

There are several I’ve started but couldn’t finish because I didn’t like the narrator’s voice. One of these books was even read by the author, but she did not sound at all like I thought she would. For some odd reason even I can’t explain, that did not sit well with me. I returned the audiobook on my OverDrive app and checked out the physical book instead.

I recently finished listening to I Don’t Know What You Know Me From: My Life as a Co-Star by Judy Greer. She also voiced the audiobook. If the name isn’t familiar, I’m sure it will be after you Google it. With more than 16 working years in Hollywood, and 90+ film and TV credits to her name, she’s one of those actors who seems to be in everything.

She’s a star, yet she isn’t. She’s worked with George Clooney and Paul Rudd and Jennifer Lopez, but can still run to a 24-hour drug store without fear of being recognized. In fact, if/when she is recognized, the people who stop her aren’t sure why they’ve stopped her. Best of both worlds? The work, some fame, but no paparazzi?

(If you aren’t going to Google Judy Greer, she played Lucy in 13 Going on 30; Maggie Lang in Ant-Man; Karen Mitchell in Jurassic World; and Kitty Sanchez in Arrested Development.)

This was an entertaining memoir. Greer is funny, honest – some might think she’s too honest, but I loved it – and anyone who’s curious about what happens behind-the-scenes in Hollywood will get a little bit of gossip. Not dirt – she’s not stupid; she still has to make a living – but the next time you see a celebrity looking like the wish they were anywhere else on the red carpet or at a press junket, Greer’s book will explain why both aren’t fun.

ICPL Tech Help Saves My Day!

by on August 16th, 2016

It’s safe to say I am NOT a digital native — I learned to type on a manual typewriter in high school !  I was  very involved in library technology in the 1970s and 80s, but about the time of the rise of personal computers and then smart phones I lost what intuitive approach I ever had and I struggle to learn and retain new skills.  Thankfully I am surrounded by lots of people at work who really know what they’re doing and by children and grandchildren in my personal life who usually know more than I do.

Recently, I had a dilemma and I took it to ICPL Tech Help.  This service is available at the Library on Mondays from 10:00-noon, Tuesdays noon-4:00 and Wednesdays 10:00- noon in the 2nd Floor Computer Lab.  People are there for you to drop in ask your technology related questions about computers, ebook readers, iPods, cell phones, email, Skype, Facebook….just about anything in the realm of technology.

I had recently booked a plane trip to New York to visit family in November.  However, when I went to send my itinerary to my son, it wasn’t there!  I had inadvertently deleted it.  I thought, “maybe I didn’t really make that reservation?”, but the credit card statement showed that I had.  What to do?  The first place I turned was a ICPL Tech Help.  Within minutes Jason had showed me how to search my gmail trash, retrieved the itinerary, forwarded it back to my email and printed me out a copy.

If you have a personal technology crisis come to ICPL Tech Help.  It may save your day the way it saved mine!  Thank you, thank you ICPL.

 

 





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