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This just in!

by on December 18th, 2014
This just in! Cover Image

Literally!

We recently received this book that I’ve been pretty excited about since I ordered it almost two months ago, and I wanted to recommend it to anyone looking for something to read during the holidays. Be warned, it’s not your usual holiday read; on the other hand, it does take place in December, so the setting is timely.

On December 3, 1957, in a small town in Illinois, seven-year-old Maria Ridulph disappeared from the front yard she was playing in; her body was discovered five months later. The case quickly gained a lot of attention and was investigated thoroughly, but there were very few clues to go on. The case remained unsolved for 55 years, until new evidence came to light in 2011. And now, the book is here.

I wonder if any of our patrons remember this happening? Just the next state over, a small girl taken from her family during the holiday season…surely not something you forget hearing about. I imagine this could be a very interesting, if not powerful book for some readers who spent time wondering just what happened. Here’s your chance to find out.

Right now, the book is still being processed…but did you know that putting a hold on a book will speed up the processing? Get to it before I do!

Teen Center Tech Hours, Winter Break Edition

by on December 16th, 2014

GOTG-posterGetting ready for a break from school? Me too! The Teen Center tech times will be expanded over the next two weeks, and we even have some special events planned. Get the rundown below:

 

Monday  12/22:  1:00  -  8:00 pm

Tuesday  12/23:  1:00  -  8:00 pm

Wednesday  12/24:  1:00  -  4:00 pm

Thursday  12/25:  CLOSED

Friday  12/26:  1:00  -  6:00 pm

——-

Monday  12/29:  1:00  -  8:00 pm

Tuesday  12/30:  1:00  -  8:00 pm

(Super-special Tuesday event: Super Smash Bros video game tournament on the Wii U, 2-4pm)

Wednesday  12/31:  1:00  -  5:00 pm

(Super-special Wednesday event: watch Guardians of the Galaxy and eat popcorn with us, 2-4pm)

Thursday  1/1:  CLOSED

Friday  1/2:  1:00  -  8:00 pm

Saturday  1/3:  1:00  -  6:00 pm

Special teen events at ICPL Dec. 30 and 31

by on December 16th, 2014

Teens, visit the Iowa City Public Library Dec. 30 and Dec. 31 for two special School’s Out for the Holidays events. Holidays-Teen

Put your game face on Tuesday, Dec. 30, because we’re having a Video Game Tournament from 2 to 4 p.m. Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will be playing on the flat screen, allowing up to four players to battle it out at one time.

Join the Teen Movie Club from 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 31, for a screening of Guardians of the Galaxy. Based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name, Guardians of the Galaxy was released in August. The action film stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper.

ICPL teen events are for students in grades 7 through 12. All events take place in the Koza Family Teen Center on the Library’s second floor unless otherwise noted.

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

Top 5 Reasons I Use E-Books and E-Audiobooks

by on December 15th, 2014

5. There are loads of books to choose from.

The library’s e-book and e-audiobook collection has over 10,000 books. So whether you are in the mood for something like Tina Fey’s Bossypants, Donna Tart’s The Goldfinch or even a classic like Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, we’ve got it.

4. I never have to remember to return my books. EVER.

Even though I work at the library, I still rack up a considerable amount of fines on my card so I really appreciate that Overdrive automatically returns my books when they are due.

3. I can read or listen to a book without lugging it around.

As long as I have my phone, I can read or listen to a book. Once I’ve downloaded a book, I don’t even need an internet connection to read. This comes in particularly handy when I’m traveling long distances either in the car or on a plane.

2. The library is never closed.

As long as I have my library card and my password, I can check out a book. Whether I’m looking for something to read right before bed at 10:30 p.m. or listen to during that 6:00 a.m. workout, I can open the Overdrive app and generally find something.

1. I always have someone to read to me before bed.

On most smartphones or tablets you can set a sleep function. This means I can play my e-audiobook before bed and it will automatically turn off after a set period of time. I can doze off listening to my book knowing the next time I go to listen Overdrive will pick up at the place when the timer went off. (It’s also easy to go back a little ways in a chapter if you missed something while nodding off.)

Stop by during one of our Tech Help times: Mondays and Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Tuesdays 12 p.m.-4 p.m.  or Thursday from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. for Senior Tech Help. Any one of our technology people can get you started with Overdrive on your mobile device!

Volunteer Spotlight: Emily Nelson

by on December 15th, 2014

We asked volunteer Emily Nelson a few questions for this “Volunteer Spotlight:”

EmilyNelsonHow long have you been volunteering at the Iowa City Public Library?
I have been volunteering for about 11 years.

What do you do at the Library?
I check in books and prepare them for reshelving. I also perform other tasks as needed.

Why did you decide to volunteer at the Library?
I’ve loved libraries since I was little. I worked at the Truman State University library while I was a student. When I moved to the Iowa City area, I missed being in a library environment and was seeking a volunteering opportunity, so this was perfect.

What is your favorite part of the collection?
All of it! It depends on the day.

What else do you like to do?
Anything outdoors. I love to bike and am a 13-year RAGBRAI veteran. I also love to run and have gotten into triathlons in the last few years. My husband and I love to travel – especially when it involves hiking in national parks. Obviously, I love reading, but I also really enjoy watching movies.

Thank you, Emily, for all of your time and hard work!

If you are interested in volunteering, go www.icpl.org/volunteer or come in to the Library and fill out a Volunteer Application.

How do I find out what channel the game’s on?

by on December 12th, 2014

If you want to know *right now* what’s on television, click here.

If you want to know *in general* how to get TV listings online for Iowa City, an easy-peasy way is to go to the Iowa City Press Citizen website. Next click on the “Go Iowa City” tab at the top of the web page, and find “TV Channel Guide” on the left-hand side under “Quick Links”.

Happy channel-surfing!

Press Citizen Go Iowa City

Tiz the Season for Cookies!

by on December 12th, 2014
Tiz the Season for Cookies! Cover Image

The Holidays are fast approaching – and at least for me that means its time to bake cookies!

On the 2nd floor we have a new pop-up display of Cookie cookbooks, and there are even more in the circulating collection at 641.8654.

I can’t pick my favorite cookie book – there are just too many to choose from.  One of our newest is:

cookies100 Animal Cookies: a super-cute menagerie to decorate step-by-step by Lisa Snyder.    The cover art says it all.  This is a book for those who love to spend time creating decorated cookie masterpieces.

The 19 page introduction includes three basic cookie recipes (vanilla, chocolate, or gingerbread) and the recipe for Royal Icing; a explanation of tools and equipment; 8 pages of techniques.  Patterns for 100 animals follow, in six sections:  Farm & Pets; Garden Critters; Woodland Creatures; Ocean & Ice Animals; and Prehistoric Animals.

Each one page pattern contains a full color picture,  list of necessary supplies and step by step instructions for creating the cookie creature.  Tips and tricks are included when needed.

An index and a list of 16 suppliers are included.

 

CookiesOther books you’ll find on our display include:  Cookies!  Favorite recipes for dropped, rolled, and shapped cookies.  By Good Houskeeping.  If you’re a fan of Good Housekeeping’s cookbooks, you’ll have seen many of these before.  All of the recipes in this book come from the many hundreds of recipes in the Good Housekeeping collection. \  The more than 200 cookies here are the best of the best!

COOKIES! is divided in to four sections:  Drop Cookies, Rolled & Cut Out Cookies, Shaped & Icebox Cookies, and Holiday Cookies. Just glancing through the index brings back Holidays past when I see Biscohitos, Pfeffernusse, Browned-butter Shortbread, and Sally Anns.    Seems like every woman in my family knows at least one of these recipes by heart.

 

 

slice and bake cookiesSlice & Bake Cookies: Fast Recipes from your Refrigerator or Freezer by Elinor Klivans.  Refrigerator cookies are my go-too cookies. Cookie connisseur Elinor Klivans once had one of those moments that makes you say ‘doh:  most any kind of cookie can be made using the slice and bake method.  It’s something most experienced cookie bakers have discovered on their own…  you can stash a batch of dough in the fridge and bake them later.

Slice & Bake Cookies contains 47 cookie recipes in four categories:  Chewey cookies; Stuffed & Sandwich cookies; Crisp cookies: and Savory cookies.  She leads off with an 8 page “Ingredients, Equipment, and Techniques” section that is worth a read.   I tend to be more of a “dump it in the bowl and mix” so the mix/chill bo’kind of cookie maker – but I did learn some things by reading her introduction.

It’s obvious Klivans loves her work.  Who wouldnt want to sample more than 1200 cookies wile writing a book?

 

 

 

 

Why is the Library closed on Friday?

by on December 10th, 2014

business_closed_sign_pageEvery year the Library closes on the second Friday in December for Staff Inservice Day. This is a day for staff to retreat, honor co-workers for years of service, and invest time in learning. We strongly believe this opportunity for training results in better overall services to our community through learning and team building.

My first day working at the Library sixteen years ago was Staff Inservice Day. I liked that I was moving to an organization that invested in staff and felt strongly about life-long learning and team building. That certainly remains a big part of the culture of working at the Library.

We recognize staff for years of service awards in five year intervals. This year we will recognize seven Library employees for years of service. These staff members alone represent 85 years of service to the community and individual milestones range from 5 years to 30 years of service.

Our overall theme for Inservice Day is User Experience. Our keynote speaker is Aaron Schmidt who is a principal at Influx Library User Experience Consulting. Through Schmidt’s guidance we’ll look at user experience and how we can improve the Library’s websites, programs, and services.

Last year’s theme was 21st Century Skills. These include critical thinking, problem solving, communication, flexibility, adaptability, creativity and innovation, global awareness, teamwork, interpersonal skills, technology literacy, media literacy, listening and assessment. Over the past year we’ve worked on our 21st Century Skills as individual staff and tried to incorporate opportunities for learning these skills into our collections, classes and programs.

Many thanks to our patrons for your understanding as we close for a day to invest in our staff and plan for how we can improve service to our community. Regular Library hours will resume on Saturday Saturday December 13.

The Teen Center has board games…

by on December 9th, 2014

uno

…in case you’re bored! For the next few weeks, I’ll feature some of them. When you’re off school for winter break come by and try them out. I’ll put a few games out every evening, too.

 

We’ve got a couple classic card games. Uno (2 to 10 player) was always one of my favorites, easy to play and a good way to pass the time. Skip-Bo (2-6 players) has rules similar to Uno’s: stack your cards in order, use wild cards and strategy, and be the first with no cards in your hand to win.

 

Bananagrams (1-4 players) is a word game, with tiles like Scrabble. Only they come zipped up in a banana! It’s fun a flexible, a cool twist lon word games.

 

The last little fun game of the day is Zombie Dice (2 or more players). It’s exactly what it sounds like…you are a zombie, and you’re rolling dice to see how successful you are! Do you get to eat brains, or does your victim fight back or get away? How convincingly can you demand Braaaaaains?

 

Stay tuned for some of our bigger board games…we’ve got some good ones!

Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words

by on December 9th, 2014
Joni Mitchell: In Her Own Words Cover Image

Malka Marom‘s new book chronicles her conversations and friendship with Joni Mitchell beginning in 1973 and culminating in their final interview in 2012. Marom first met Mitchell at a coffeehouse in 1966. In their conversations they explore friendship, the creative process, and life.

Marom, who has a unique story of her own, was a pioneer in international music performance and hosted “A World of Music” TV show in Canada beginning in 1966. Marom’s background gave her the unique perspective to share Mitchell’s words as a peer and a friend.

Although I enjoyed the entire book, I keep thinking about three parts. The first is when Malka and Joni first meet. The written words gave a good sense of who Joni Mitchell is and how her career began. This laid the framework for the entire book.

The second part I think about is Joni’s formative years when she contracted polio and spent a lot of solitary time in a hospital. This period in her life set the foundation for her work as a musician, poet, writer, painter and composer. It also helped her become comfortable with the concepts of loneliness and aloneness.

The final part, and probably my favorite, was Joni’s quest to describe herself. Because she’s had such a prolific music career and explored other artistic mediums such as poetry and painting, she is hard to describe. She also took the lead to produce many of her albums and worked hard to win the respect of the musicians she worked with. This was a difficult feat because she was not formally trained as a musician so they often didn’t “speak the same language” when describing their goals for performance. Ultimately the description Maron and Mitchell settled on was “Renaissance Woman.” I liked that description and after hearing Mitchell’s words, I think it is a fair description for a remarkable life.





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