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MidWestOne Bank Hosts Book Drive

by on August 30th, 2016

A special community effort to restock the shelves at the Iowa City Public Library’s Book End used bookstore starts soon at local MidWestOne bank locations.

The eleventh annual September collection will benefit The Book End store on the second floor of the library. The drive will run from September 1 through September 30.

Each MidWestOne bank in Iowa City, Coralville, and North Liberty will accept gently-read fiction and non-fiction books for all ages at a special inside collection box. If you have paperback romance, and any children’s books which are in great shape, please consider donating them. Bank customers, staff, and the public are encouraged to deliver their donations during convenient bank hours.

“It is wonderful of MidWestOne Bank to host this drive for The Book End again! Every year, the number of books received increases thanks to our generous communities. When those books are sold at The Book End, proceeds are used to buy prize books for every child and teen to finish our Summer Reading programs, and they help add more Art-to-Go. It will be wonderful to be able to see what is donated this year,” says Patty McCarthy, Director of Development of the Iowa City Public Library.

The Book End is staffed by dedicated volunteers as a fundraising activity of the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation.

Win tickets to see Rick Riordan at The Englert

by on August 30th, 2016

Best-selling author Rick Riordan will be in Iowa City for the Iowa City Book Festival October 4 through October 9, appearing at The Englert Theatre on October 7. Tickets to the event are sold out, but the Iowa City Public Library has two to award to the winner of our Rick Riordan fan fiction writing contest.

The contest is open to students in 4th through 12th grades. The stories can be about any of Riordan’s works, but must be written by the student and no more than four pages in length.

Finished stories must be turned in at the Children’s Room Desk or Info Desk on the Library’s second floor by 5 p.m. Friday, September 23. The winner will be announced at the Library’s screening of Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief and trivia contest at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, September 29, in Meeting Room A.

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

Digging in to Consumer Reports online

by on August 29th, 2016

Consumer Reports LogoLast year, Candice introduced the library blog-reading public to our new online subscription to the Consumer Reports website. Today I’m going to call out some special features that have helped me recently in my search to replace my workhorse of a vacuum cleaner. We’ve had our little bagless Hoover for eight years before I did something stupid and tried to suck up silver maple helicopters with an indoor vac. Now it’s time for me to find its replacement.

First things first, if you’ve never used our access to the Consumer Reports website, you will want to know how to get there. You need to live in Iowa City or one of our contracting services areas, have a library card number and password, and have fines less than $10. Check, check, and check? Do this next: Read the rest of this entry »

Get creative with Recovering the Classics

by on August 29th, 2016

Does your favorite classic novel have a “blah” cover?  Wouldn’t it be fun to make up a new one?

Recovering_ScarletThat’s the idea behind Recovering the Classics, a crowdsourced collection of original covers for great works in the public domain, and the upcoming exhibit at the Iowa City Public Library.  We’ll be displaying 50 book covers made by artists from around the world in October and November, alongside yours.

1) Choose a book from our list of classics in the public domain, 2) create a piece of art that reimagines its front cover, and 3) drop it off at the library’s Help Desk by September 19.  We’ve already received our first entry — a mixed media version of The Secret Garden, made with watercolors and collage.  One of my coworkers is thinking of doing a cover in cross-stitch…  Anything goes!

This is about sharing our love of literature — and possibly getting someone to try a book they always assumed was fusty or boring — so the project is open to all ages and ability levels. Every display space in the library is booked for Recovering the Classics, so help us fill it up!

Questions?  Ask Stacey (stacey-mckim@icpl.org 319-887-6025) or Candice (candice-smith@icpl.org 319-887-6031).  More details are available at icpl.org/classics.

ICPL Announces Shakespeare-Themed Sunday Funday Programs

by on August 29th, 2016

To be or not to be isn’t the question when it comes to family fun at the Iowa City Public Library!

Celebrate William Shakespeare during Sunday Funday in September with activities for families and children of all ages. ICPL’s Shakespeare-themed programming coincides with the Shakespeare First Folio exhibit currently on display at the University of Iowa Main Library.

All Sunday Funday programs are held from 2 to 4 p.m.

September 4 in the Storytime Room: Gnomeo & Juliet

This animated adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet takes the audience inside the garden rivalry between Miss Capulet and Mr. Montague, which leads to the feud between their garden gnomes.

September 11 in the Storytime Room: Shakespearean Puppets and Paper Dolls

Create your own set of players to perform a mini-Shakespearean performance with puppets and paper dolls.

September 18 in the Storytime Room: Flower Crowns and Nature Masks

Dress up like the characters from A Midsummer Night’s Dream with natural materials to create your own masquerade mask or a flower crown.

September 25 in Meeting Room A: William and Blackjack Storytelling

William’s use of props, including juggling sticks, dragon tears, magical pirate treasure and Blackjack the Dragon, will entertain all ages! William will be in the Children’s Room before and after his storytelling performance.

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

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





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