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ICPL to launch redesigned Event Manager

by on September 22nd, 2016

The Iowa City Public Library’s redesigned online calendar, known as Event Manager, will go live on Monday, September 26.

The program features a streamlined design to improve user experience, both for those adding meeting and program information to the calendars, and people searching for upcoming events.

“Part of our long-term strategic plan was to make improvements so that Event Manager is easier to navigate,” says Brent Palmer, the Library’s Information Technology Coordinator.

Elements were incorporated into the calendar to ensure an optimal viewing experience on both desktop computers and mobile devices. The public is encouraged to explore the new Event Manager and provide feedback on the survey located here.

The new Event Manager is the first part in the Library’s plan to redesign the entire website, again focusing on making it more user-friendly. ICPL plans to launch the new design in 2017.

“We look forward to sharing the redesigned calendar with our community and will continue to explore ways to improve users’ online experience,” Palmer says.

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

Hamlet’s Dreams : the Robben Island Shakespeare – Join the book discussion

by on September 21st, 2016
Hamlet’s Dreams : the Robben Island Shakespeare – Join the book discussion Cover Image

Shakespeare in prisons is a thing, a powerful and life-changing thing. The library has books and documentaries on how Shakespeare’s works are used in prisons and other unconventional locations, such as Shakespeare Saved My Life : ten years in solitary with the Bard by Laura Bates about her Shakespeare in Shackles program at the Indiana Federal Prison.  Caesar must die Cesare deve morire, a is a documentary about inmates at a high-security prison in Rome preparing for a public performance of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. The prisoners discover how the play resonates with them as they rehearse.

On Tuesday, September 28, Collen Kennedy will lead a discussion at the library on another work about Shakespeare in prison, Hamlet’s Dreams: the Robben Island Shakespeare by David Shalkwyk.  Shalkwyk uses the circulation of the so-called ‘Robben Island Shakespeare’, a copy of the Alexander edition of the Complete Works that was secretly circulated, annotated and signed by a group of Robben Island political prisoner in the 1970s (including Nelson Mandela), to examine the representation and experience of imprisonment in South African prison memoirs and Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It looks at the ways in which oppressive spaces or circumstances restrict. Copies of Hamlet’s Dreams are available from the Info Desk on the second floor of the library.  This brief, but powerful work, is fascinating in its examination of the Robben Island prison and just how Shakespeare changed the lives of the political prisoners who read his works.   Please join us to share your thoughts on Shakespeare and the beauty and force of his words.  This program and other Shakespeare related programs and displays are done as a partnership with the University of Iowa Library and its First Folio exhibition.

Common eAudio Errors and One Simple Fix

by on September 20th, 2016

Checking out, downloading, and listening to an audiobook on your device from the Iowa City Public Library is easy as pie.

Until it isn’t.

overdriveerrorEvery once in a while I encounter skips as if I’m listening to a scratched CD.

Or I receive the error message “Bad Audiobook Part: This audiobook part cannot be played because of a bad file.”

Or the audiobook won’t open at all.

Don’t panic. It is easy to fix these problems. Something probably happened in the downloading process and you need to delete the bad file(s) and redownload.

This pretty much fixes the problem. Except if you out running and have to wait until you get home to redownload it. For that, I sympathize and apologize.



ICPL announces October Classes for Adults

by on September 20th, 2016

Roll up your sleeves for some hands-on learning! The Iowa City Public Library will offer classes on computer hardware and computer software in October. Get inside a computer and see how all the components work together, and uncover the complex coding behind each click of the mouse.

The Computer: Let’s Talk Hardware will be offered twice in October. Join us at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, October 8, or 3 p.m. Monday, October 10. See inside a computer and understand how all the parts work together to make this powerful device.

Want to understand how a computer works by understanding what the operating system? The Computer: Let’s Talk Software is a new class that explains it all. Join us at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, October 8, or at 10 a.m. Friday, October 28.

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 to register online or by calling the Library at 319-356-5200.

Learn Baby Massage at the Iowa City Public Library

by on September 19th, 2016

The Iowa City Public Library is pleased to offer infant massage instruction as part of our lineup of free parent and baby classes.

Join licensed massage therapist Kristin Bergman, KB, LMT, CAN, of from 9:45 to 10:15 a.m. on September 26 and October 10 in Meeting Room A to learn how to connect with your child through massage. Infant massage provides a special time of communication between parent and child. It also can improve a baby’s circulation, enhance neurological development, and help with congestion, gas, and colic.

This class is intended for parents with infants ranging from birth to seven months. Parents should bring a towel or blanket, and food grade unscented baby massage oil or lotion.

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

The Darkest Dark

by on September 19th, 2016

Overcoming a fear of the dark has never been so fun or beautiful. The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield and illustrated by the Fan brothers has become my new favorite book of September! Be sure to stop by the ICPL children’s department to check it out.


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Finding a Family, part 2: From Missouri to Iowa

by on September 17th, 2016

In my last post, I’d found my grandfather Carl in the 1925 census. I also found out that his father and his grandfather were born in Missouri, which came as a surprise to me. For as long as I’d known them, my father’s family of aunts, uncles, and cousins were all in Oelwein, Iowa, and I’d never thought to ask if they’d moved there from somewhere else. Oelwein can kind of seem like a place where, the people who live there, they’ve always just been there and nowhere else. I don’t mean that in a disparaging way, just that it’s a small town and community, everyone knows everyone and all their family members, all of their stories, and the stories of their parents and grandparents. They know where everyone works, who built what, who lives where, who everyone’s children got married to, etc. Oelwein is familiar and self-contained.

So, just who were these Missourians that came to Oelwein? Read the rest of this entry »

Music on Wednesdays 9.21.16: Muckrockers

by on September 17th, 2016

2016 09 Muckrockers

Music on Wednesdays kicks off on September 21 at Noon in the Lobby with the local Americana band, Muckrockers. Muckrockers was an active band a few years back and is recently reconstituted and appearing in local venues. Current band members include Scott Cochran, Jamie Kearney, Matt Kearney and Stacy Webster. For a preview of their music navigate to

Muckrockers is self-described as “a group of working class musician-citizens aiming to illuminate and eliminate the corporate stranglehold on our government and our lives.”

We look forward to hosting Muckrockers and kicking off the new Music on Wednesdays season!

On Bowie – Rob Sheffield

by on September 16th, 2016
On Bowie – Rob Sheffield Cover Image

Rolling Stone columnist Rob Sheffield’s book “On Bowie” is an ode to rock legend, David Bowie, who died in January of this year. Sheffield, a Bowie fanatic, was approached immediately following the news of Bowie’s death and asked to write a book with a very short turnaround. “On Bowie” reads quickly, there are concise chapters that could easily be individual columns for his magazine, covering impressions of a specific time period or album. His writing is confident and somewhat off-the-cuff, it conveys that he’s someone who has thought deeply about Bowie’s music and life and has read widely on the subject. It’s easy to skip around to read his thoughts about your favorite Bowie period or uncover juicy anecdotes culled from larger works on the artist. Despite his obvious adulation, Sheffield isn’t afraid to critique Bowie’s personal decisions or output (even the biggest Bowie fan can’t justify the two albums following “Let’s Dance”). I wasn’t as interested in the author’s lyric dissection or penchant for shoehorning lyrics into the bigger picture writing. There is obvious passion and respect in this short overview, I found it to be a terrific gateway for some larger works (ex. “Moonage daydream: the life and times of Ziggy Stardust”) as well as an inspiration to check out some of the eighteen different albums carried here at ICPL.

Learn about cyclocross at the Iowa City Public Library

by on September 15th, 2016

The best bike racers from around the world will roll into Iowa City for the Telenet UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup on September 24 – but cyclocross isn’t new to the area. Iowa City’s Volkswagen Jingle Cross Cyclo-Cross Festival has been a local tradition since 2004.

The Christmas-themed holiday race has traditionally been held in November or December. This year, the annual race will move to September 22, 23 and 25 to coincide with the World Cup – and race organizer Dr. John Meehan will share the details of both events during Bikes, Bikes, Bikes: What’s It All About? Jingle Cross and the Cyclo-Cross World Cup from 7 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, September 20, in Meeting Room A at the Iowa City Public Library.

Meehan started bike racing in 2002 and did his first cyclocross race in 2004. The pediatric surgeon lives in Seattle, but returns to Iowa City every year for Jingle Cross.

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