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5 books that I have not read

by on April 24th, 2015

At least I haven’t read them in the way that most people read books. I mostly read nonfiction, usually how to do or make something instead of just facts. I rarely read books cover to cover. I skim them and find the parts that either have the information I am looking for or a part that grabs my attention. That makes writing about books a little more difficult for me. While searching through my Reading History to find something to write about I noticed a few recurring themes.

I have always been fascinated by patterns. One small thing repeated over and over can create something big and beautiful. This has been a repeating pattern in my reading history. I would check them out, head to the craft store for supplies and see what I could make. Below are a few of many I have checked out and have not read.

 

The complete book of decorative knots

knotMy parents were a little confused when I asked for a book about Turk’s head knots for Christmas a few years ago. But it came with a little, adjustable tool and hundreds of knot patterns to make. The Library doesn’t own that book, but we do have several about knots. The complete book of decorative knots is one I have checked out several times. It is well illustrated and covers Turk’s heads as well as globe knots, mats and a variety of other knots which look pretty cool when done.

 

 

 

Chain maille jewelry workshop

chainFor a little while I was slightly obsessed with chain mail, as well as Viking knitting. The Library has several books which cover the basics of making chain mail. I think all of them have projects that they work through step by step. Most also have gallery sections to show what various artists have created with chain mail to help you find some inspiration.

 

 

 

Origami tessellations

tessI liked this so much that I bought my own copy. This involves a LOT of paper folding to make grids and then making patterns by folding the grid in different ways. These look great and if you put a light behind it you get a totally different pattern. Twofer! I adapted one of these patterns to make a lamp shade for a lamp I built.

 

 

 

Unit polyhedron origami

unitThis is another one that I bought. Also another one that I used for two lamp shades. Basically this is folding a piece of paper into a interlocking shape and then doing that over and over until you have enough of these shapes to assemble them into a variety of larger geometric shapes.

 

 

 

Arm and finger knitting

armBefore the Library owned this book I made a great infinity scarf for my significant other. I was kind of excited to find out we had purchased this book. Personally I didn’t care much for most of the projects in it but it does still show how to arm knit in general. Once you know that you can go out and find or make your own patterns to knit.

 

 

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On Air: The ICPL Podcast Episode 11

by on April 24th, 2015

Episode 11 of On Air: The ICPL Podcast is now available.on-air-the-icpl-podcast-large

This month the gang discusses when to quit an ongoing series, as well as entertainment binge-consuming and book clubs!

00:50: What we’re reading/watching/listening to. Brian- “Fadeout” by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

01:46: Jason- “Vesper for a New Dark Age” by Missy Mazzoli

03:25: Roomfull of Teeth

04:11: Meredith- “A Little Something Different” by Sandy Hall

06:04: Melody- “Dead Heat” by Patricia Briggs

07:05: When do you quit reading a Series?

18:45: TV Binge-Watching

22:33: Binge Listening Music

26:25: Consuming Comic Books

29:45: Melody- Online Book Clubs

30:00: Facebook, A Year in Books

31:30: Literary Classics Online Book Club

33:23: Good Reads

34:22: Vaginal Fantasy, Led by Felicia Day

36:30: Discussion on Classic, In-Person Book Clubs

On Air: The ICPL podcast can be accessed here, or from iTunes or Stitcher.

 

Celebrate Local History with Weber on Wednesday at ICPL

by on April 24th, 2015

Are you ready to be WOWed?

WOW — Weber on Wednesday – is a month-long program created specifically for local history buffs. On every Wednesday in May – and a few other dates – the Iowa City Public Library will host an event that delves into Iowa City’s history.

WOW is held in conjunction with Irving B. Weber Days, which are held every May in honor of Iowa City’s unofficial historian, the late Irving B. Weber. May also is National Historical Preservation Month.

Plum Grove Gardens Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Wednesday, May 6 at 7 p.m. in Meeting Room A

Iowa State Extension Master Gardeners Betty Kelly and Caroline Murphy will talk about the gardens at Plum Grove, the home of Iowa’s first Territorial Governor, Robert Lucas. Co-sponsored by the Johnson County Historical Society and Master Gardeners of Johnson County.

ScanIt@ICPL

Saturday, May 9 at 2 p.m. in Meeting Room A

Bring your photos and documents related to Iowa City and Johnson County history, and have them added to the Library’s Digital History Project. Staff will help you scan your items, and send you home with your original and a digital copy. Please bring a USB thumb drive.

A Pictorial History of Downtown Iowa City

Wednesday, May 13 at 7 p.m. in Meeting Room A

Author Marybeth Slonneger will present a program on the history of Downtown Iowa City. Co-sponsored by The Friends of Historic Preservation.

Prohibition, Breweries and Beer Caves in Iowa City

Saturday, May 16 at 2 p.m. in Meeting Room A

Marlin Ingalls, Architectural Historian, will give a presentation on prohibition, breweries and the beer caves in Iowa City.

Iowa City Food History from 1830 -1900

Wednesday, May 20 at 7 p.m. in Meeting Room A

Rachel Wobeter, a University of Iowa Museum Studies student, will give a tour of Iowa City’s food history, sharing photos and historical notes about the town’s early grocers, brewers, and more. Refreshments will be provided. Co-sponsored by Historic Foodies.

Helen Lemme: A History

Tuesday, May 26 at 7 p.m. in Meeting Room A

Learn about Helen Lemme from the Lemme Elementary sixth-grade girl history detectives. Join them for an ice cream social after the program.

Images of America: Coralville

Wednesday, May 27 at noon in Meeting Room A

Author and Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Director Emeritus Timothy Walch will share stories about Coralville from his new book “Images of America: Coralville.”

History of Iowa City’s Grocery Stores

Wednesday, May 27 at 7 p.m. in Meeting Room A

Tom Schulein, citizen historian, will present a program on the history of Iowa City groceries from the corner store to the superstore. Co-sponsored by the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center.

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

Pie Plant – What’s that and what’s it have to do with Irving B. Weber?

by on April 23rd, 2015

Rhubarb- Did you know that rhubarb is also known as pie plant?  I hadn’t heard, (or at least I didn’t remember hearing),  rhubarb called pie plant, (or pieplant), until I lived in Dubuque. However, a little online digging shows that term pie plant has been in written use since 1838.  If you are a Laura Ingalls Wilder fan, you might recall that it from a passage in The First Four Years -Laura was cooking for the threshers, the first dinner in her very own little house, and was running through the menu: “There was pie plant in the garden; she must make a couple of pies.”

A discussion of the term came up last month when I attended a meeting Historic Foodies, a local group with an interest in using recipes from the cookbooks of  yesteryear.  We were using The Iowa City Cook Book, and on page 181 one of our members found the recipe below. Pie PlantThe cookbook dates from 1898 and is chock-full of recipes that will invite much discussion.  You might just recognize the names of prominent Iowa City residents of the past.  In fact, while we at the meeting we consulted Margaret Keyes book Nineteenth century home architecture of Iowa City to see if we could locate the recipe writer’s house. When we did we pulled up the Iowa City assessors website to find out if the house was extant.  It was tremendous fun and we found a good number of the names in Dr. Keyes’ book and many of the houses are still here!

So what does all of this have to do with Irving B. Weber?  First, Weber wrote the introduction to Dr. Keyes book.  Second,  while Weber’s mother doesn’t have any recipes in the cookbook, some of his parent’s neighbors do.  Third, we are just about to celebrate Irving B Weber Days,  webera full month of programming and displays dedicated to local history.  Fourth, the Historic Foodies will be providing refreshments from the Iowa City Cook Book for a program during Weber Days. Make sure you mark your calendar to come to Rachel Wobeter’s talking to tour of Iowa City food history.  Rachel will share her research on what Iowa City folk ate between 1830 and 1900 on Wednesday, May 20 at 7  p.m.  The program will air live on Library Channel 2o.

And finally, what  does pie plant have to do with with Irving Weber?  Well, here’s what I think, I bet you anything Irving ate pie plant in either a pie or as a sauce or maybe even like I did as a child, by dipping the stalk in the sugar bowl and taking a great big bite of sour delight.

 

 

Win a $1000 IRA!

by on April 23rd, 2015

It’s Money Smart Week and the Iowa City Public Library MSWhas a deal for you.  Money Smart Week is a program of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and one of the activities is Dash for the Stash. DASH for the STASH, is an investor education and protection contest. One participant in Iowa will win $1,000 to open or add to an Individual Retirement Account.

The DASH for the STASH contest works much like a scavenger hunt. But instead of collecting objects, players gather information and leave answers to quiz questions on four posters.  Each poster focuses on one investor education and protection topic, and each poster topic features an associated quiz question to answer. To play, participants read the content on each poster, scan the unique QR code to access that topic’s quiz question (multiple choice), and submit their answer via smartphone, tablet, or computer. Participants must have the QR app (free download) on a mobile device in order to scan QR codes and access the quiz.  The posters are located on the first floor Gallery.  The contest runs through Sunday, April 26 at the Iowa City Public Library.

The contest is being sponsored by the nonprofit Investor Protection Institute (IPI) and, in Iowa, the Iowa Insurance Division’s Securities Bureau.

ICPL Friends Foundation hosts Looking Forward fundraiser

by on April 23rd, 2015

The board of the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation invites the public to attend Looking Forward.L

This premiere event will be held on Sunday, May 17, at the Library. It is designed to expand horizons, achieve support through reservations and attendance, and continue to build long-standing camaraderie among the Library’s devotees.

The evening begins at 6 p.m. with “The Future: From Fiction to Fact,” a presentation by Dan Reed, the University of Iowa’s Vice President of Research and Economic Development, and Brooks Landon, author and an University of Iowa Professor of English.

Guests will be treated to appetizers and beverages, and will have the opportunity to learn more about the Library during “behind-the-scenes” tours.

The cost to attend Looking Forward is $125 per person and reservations are required. To make yours, visit www.icpl.org/support/looking-forward. Reservations must be received by May 8.

For more information, contact Patty McCarthy, Director of Development, at (319) 356-5249 or patty-mccarthy@icpl.org.

ICPL announces May Classes for Adults

by on April 23rd, 2015

May is National Historic Preservation month and the Iowa City Public Library will celebrate by honoring local historian, Irving B. Weber. In conjunction with the many Weber on Wednesday events, the computer classes for adults will focus on history through genealogical research.

Have you ever wondered about your family tree? Not sure how to start searching for your ancestors? Come join us for an Introduction to Genealogy on Friday, May 8, or on Tuesday, May 19, beginning at 10 a.m. A librarian will help you get started by talking about what questions to ask, how to keep track of your information, and places you might want to search.

At 10 a.m. on Monday, May 11, and Friday, May 29, find out how to use the library’s genealogy resources at Using Ancestry.com for Genealogy. Find out how both Ancestry and Heritage Quest, two leading, genealogical databases, can help you solve your family tree mysteries.

All classes for adults are held in the Library’s Computer Lab on the second floor. Classes are free, but space is limited to 10 people per program, so patrons should register early.

Visit www.icpl.org/classes to register online. You can also register by calling the Library at (319) 356-5200.

PLAYING is LEARNING

by on April 23rd, 2015

This is the phrase you are hearing a lot at ICPL recently. The Children’s Room has a new display that emphasizes the  importance of play in early learning, but this is a philosophy the Library has supported for the many (30+) years that I have worked here. I think Hazel Westgate was the first Children’s Librarian to provide toys and activities to engage ICPL’s youngest patrons while parents or caregivers selected books.Nancy blog photo

Since that time the Children’s Room has gone through many transformations and many, many well-used and loved toys. I couldn’t resist snapping a photo of the new playhouse we recently acquired.

New toys are fun for us all! Opportunity for play in the Children’s Room encourages language development and socialization skills. Our staff often share with each other the cute conversations we overhear throughout the day.

Of course providing play opportunities for children requires a constant effort to keep those items safe, clean and attractive. During our most recent remodeling of the children’s area we were able to acquire two sturdy play tables. One is used for train play and the other for Duplo block construction, and they are in use pretty much every hour the library is open.

Check out these and other opportunities for early learning through play at ICPL.

 

Avengers Fans Assemble at ICPL

by on April 22nd, 2015

The Iowa City Public Library’s Teen Movie Club will screen The Avengers from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 1, in the Koza Family Teen Center.

Teens in grades seventh through 12th are invited to hang out and watch Earth’s mightiest heroes come together and learn to fight as a team. This is your chance to catch up with Iron Man, Captain America and Thor before watching Avengers: Age of Ultron in theaters.

Popcorn will be provided.

Once you’ve watched the movies, let’s dive into the comics! The Library’s Teen Comic Book Club will discuss all things Avengers from 2 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 23, in the Koza Family Teen Center.

Teens in grades seventh through 12th are invited to pick any Avengers comic to read and geek out about it at the meeting. Actually, you don’t have to read anything at all. If you just want to listen to conversations about comic books, that’s fine, too.

For more information on either program, contact the Library at (319) 356-5200.

Storytime Recap: Bridge to Reading

by on April 22nd, 2015

Today I was joined by our intern Amanda in showing off some of the Bridge to Reading award nominees. The Bridge to Reading award is designed to promote early literacy through quality read-aloud picture books. Engaging children in the voting process helps develop a lifelong love of reading. Even with a special storytime, we try to stay consistent and start with the same welcome song, “Clap Everybody and Say Hello.” Then I started us off with our first book Baby Bear Counts One by Ashley Wolff. This is a story better for fall or the beginning of winter, but kids enjoy counting no matter what the season.

Afterwards, I asked what season comes after winter? Spring! Then we talked a little about how windy spring can be. So we became the wind by repeating the rhyme “Blow wind, blow.”

Blow wind, blow
And go, mill, go
That the miller may grind his corn
That the baker may take it
And into bread make it
And bring us a loaf in the morn.

Next it was Amanda’s turn to read Windblown by Édouard Manceau. This is a fun building narrative that follows scraps of paper as they are blown into different animal shapes by the wind. An imaginative tie-in craft for this book would be to cut the shapes out of paper and do as the book says at the end, see what you can make of them.

Then we livened things up by doing one of my favorite action rhymes about animal movements.

Jump like a frog.
Stretch like a cat.
Hop like a bunny.
Flap like a bat.
Wiggle like a worm.
Slither like a snake.
Now be a wet dog,
and shake, shake, shake!

With everyone done being dogs, it was time to for me to read a book about a dog, Digger Dog by William Bee. The kids all loved the surprising page layouts near the end that add to the anticipation of whether Digger Dog will ever dig deep enough to find his bone.

We got our thumbs ready for the next book by reciting the action rhyme “Tommy Thumbs Up.”

Tommy thumbs up (both thumbs up)
Tommy thumbs down (both thumbs down)
Tommy thumbs dancing
all around the town (wiggle thumbs in big circles)
Dance them on your shoulders (wiggle thumbs to shoulders)
Dance them on your head (wiggle thumbs to head)
Dance them on your knees (wiggle thumbs to knees)
And tuck them into bed! (cover thumbs in your fists)

After that thumb workout, Amanda told everyone that we weren’t going to use our thumbs at all because the next book would be Don’t Push the Button by Bill Cotter. Larry the monster tells kids not to push the button, but it proves irresistible and leads to some colorful side effects for Larry.

This interactive book was a big hit, so we went into our song “If You’re Nutty and You Know It” with plenty of energy.

If you’re nutty and you know it, clap your hands
If you’re nutty and you know it, clap your hands
If you’re nutty and you know it, then you really ought to show it
If you’re nutty and you know it, clap your hands

If you’re nutty and you know it, stamp your feet
If you’re nutty and you know it, stamp your feet
If you’re nutty and you know it, then you really ought to show it
If you’re nutty and you know it, stamp your feet

If you’re nutty and you know it, shout “Hooray!”
If you’re nutty and you know it, shout “Hooray!”
If you’re nutty and you know it, then you really ought to show it
If you’re nutty and you know it, shout “Hooray!”

If you’re nutty and you know it, do all three
If you’re nutty and you know it, do all three
If you’re nutty and you know it, then you really ought to show it
If you’re nutty and you know it, do all three

After this nutty song, everyone was ready for me to read our last story The Nuts : Bedtime at the Nut House by Eric Litwin. Mama Nut just wants Hazel and Wally to go to sleep, but they ignore her and keep singing “We’re Nuts! We’re Nuts! We’re Nuts!” The kids had a blast singing along with them each time.

Finally, it was time to vote. We had bookmark ballots for the kids to mark their favorite story on and a box to collect them. Since it is Earth Day, everyone who voted got a Earth stamp. Then in honor of Earth Day we watched a short movie based on the book And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano.





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