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Bob Books are back!

by on October 1st, 2014

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By popular demand, Bob Books by Bobby Lynn Maslen and John R. Maslen are back on our shelves. I’m so thrilled these wonderful readers are available. They fit perfectly in a child’s hands, have brightly colored jackets, and have colored illustrations throughout which makes reading so much more fun for our youngest patrons!   images

I’m frequently asked by families and homeschoolers for early reader recommendations. We have a variety of readers marked with all reading levels, but levels on these books can be confusing. One publisher labels a book level 1; another publisher marks a similar book as level 2. Many early readers contain words that are too difficult for a child who has just learned the sounds of the alphabet. So many parents are looking for readers to help make this process simple, positive, and fun, which is why I recommend the Bob Books.

Parents, do you want to capture your child’s interest in reading? Do you want your child to feel confident reading? It’s so good to hear your child say, “I read the whole book all by myself!” The Bob Books series makes learning to read so simple. I think these are the “best learning to read on your own,” books.

30349The next time you visit the Children’s Room, look for fun Bob Books apps on our children’s ipads and AWE Early Literacy Station. This app makes Bob Books characters come alive!

ICPL announces October Classes for Adults

by on October 1st, 2014

The Iowa City Public Library wants to encourage creativity in the month of October. The computer classes offered in October will introduce patrons to free software and free online tools which can make creating a personalized card or editing a video easy and fun. Each class will last two hours, giving patrons time to ask questions and create on their own.

The Library will start things off with Beginning Graphic Design at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 4. Learn how to use GIMP, a free, graphic design and photo editing software, to make invitations, cards, or other graphics.

Want to enhance or correct your digital photos? Join us from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, October 13, for Digital Photo Editing. Find out how to make basic corrections like red-eye removal, cropping, and sharpening blurred images.

Digital Photos: Organizing, Sharing, and Basic Editing will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, October 24. Getting all of your digital photography organized and in print worthy condition can be pretty daunting. Bring in your digital photos and learn how to batch process and tag items to quickly and easily edit and organize your images.create_interface_image

Our digital devices make it easy to capture the great moments of our lives, but making keepsakes you can share with others out of these videos can be tricky. Bring in your digital video and learn to upload and use YouTube to safely edit and share your videos online. Join us from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 28 for Editing Digital Video.

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.

Now Starring….You!

by on September 30th, 2014
Now Starring….You! Cover Image

Librarians love picture books that are interactive and encourage kids to participate with the story, making it a more meaningful and memorable experience. I’ve recently had fun exploring a genre of picture books that take “interactive” to a whole new level, involving the reader as an integral character in the book. These books give the reader instructions to follow—physical activities that build the story—like an app in paper format!

One of the original books in this genre is The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone, featuring Grover from Sesame Street. Readers are instructed to not turn the pages because Grover has heard about the monster at the end of the book and he’s scared. Or course, this just makes us turn the pages until we discover what kind of monster is at the end of the book—Grover himself! First published in 1971, this book stirs nostalgic memories for many parents.

The concept of including the reader as part of the story has become more popular with children’s pictures books in the past few years. Jump into this genre with these titles:

Press Here and Mix It Up by Herve Tullet—Learn about colors and design while playing with paint splotches in these two books.

Can You Make a Scary Face? By Jan Thomas—A bossy ladybug initiates a game of pretend.

Shout! Shout It Out! By Denise Fleming—Show off your knowledge of numbers, letters, colors, and more by shouting it out!

Count the Monkeys by Mac Barnett—Embark on crazy escapades in an attempt to count monkeys.

Warning: Do Not Open This Book by Adam Lehrhaupt—Really? Who can follow that advice? But beware of letting the monkeys out!

On October 18, I’ll be featuring some of these titles during our family storytime. Join us to play a leading role in some favorite picture books!

New Self-Checkout Stations Coming

by on September 30th, 2014

One of our strategic plan goals for us this year is to improve our self-checkout stations.  There are currently six of these stations, four near the main entrance of the library, one on the second floor near the info desk and one in the children’s room.  Patrons can check out materials at these stations,  access account information and pay fines.  The goals for this project are two-fold:  to improve the experience for our patrons and to make the payment of fines more secure.

Within the next few weeks we will be rolling out the new updated self checkouts.  We believe that the software will be easier to use and the touchscreen monitors more responsive.  In order to pay fines, there will be a credit card terminal next to each machine that looks similar to those you see at other retail places.  These terminal will make the payment of fines more secure.

There are quite a few steps to putting all this into place including additional wiring at each station, putting together a hardware profile, network configurations, integration with our library system, configuring each station and setting up the credit card processors among many others.  With any change at a well-used service point, there will undoubtedly be frustrations, kinks in the system and adjustments that have to be made.  I ask for your patience and help as we try to bring these new self-checks on line. Stay tuned and feel free to send me questions.

Banned Books Week: The Dude Abides Edition

by on September 26th, 2014

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Watch actor and rug connoisseur Jeff Bridges read from Lois Lowry’s young adult classic “The Giver” as part of the American Library Association’s Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out!  Bridges stars as the titular Giver in the movie version, which you can place a hold on here.

And teens, remember you can complete an online scavenger hunt about young adult books that are challenged and banned in the U.S.  Teens with the most correct answers will be entered into a drawing to win a Downtown District Gift Card.  The scavenger hunt can be accessed here:  http://goo.gl/0qB85W

Not that Kind of Book

by on September 26th, 2014
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Lena Dunham’s book, Not That Kind of Girl, was just published, and the Library is getting ready to put it on the shelves. If you are a fan of the HBO show Girls or have a ticket to her event at the Englert on October 7 but can’t wait till then to start reading it, place a hold on a copy today.

I have had the chance to flip through parts of the essays while cataloging it, and it’s been quite a treat. She’s like the even-more-feminist David Sedaris.

New Crafting Books at ICPL.

by on September 25th, 2014
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ICPL’s 3rd Annual Arts and Crafts Bazaar is coming up in December, and we’re taking donations now.   If you’d like to make something to donate to the bazaar, but need some suggestions, there are a lot of great new crafting books on the New Book shelves on the 2nd floor.  The books below were on the shelf this morning:

DIY Mason Jars – 35 Creative Crafts & Projects for the Classic Container by Melissa Averinos.  This book actually contains two types of crafts – things you do TO or WITH  a Mason Jar, and novel uses FOR a Mason Jar. From creating a vintage looking ceiling light to planting plants in them, Melisaa Averinos 35 craft ideas will fuel your imagination and your creativity.

beer craftsBeer Crafts: Making the Most of Your Cans, Bottle Caps, and Lables by Shawn Gascoyne-Bowman.   With eight pages of hints on how to work safely with cans and bottle caps, followed by 39 surprise craft projects, this is the book for you if you’re into both crafting and beer.   None of the projects look very complicated – from a string of beer can lights, to bottle cap jewelry, a bird house, fishing lures, and a cowboy hat made from a 12pack box – but they all look like fun.

duct tape discoveryDuct Tape Discovery Workshop by Tonia Jenny.  Duct tape crafts are all the rage, and not just with boys.  Duct tape is now available in all sorts of colors and designs, and crafters have come up with lots of great new ways to use it. From versions of the obligatory wallet, to shopping bags, lunch sacks,  coasters, luggage tags, and paint brush or knitting needle cases this book as lots of great ideas for using one of America’s most popular products.

never been stitchedNever Been Stitched: 45 No-Sew & Low-Sew projects by Amanda Carestio.  Not all fabric or fiber craft projects require owning a sewing machine.  Carestio has put together a collection of fun projects that, if they require sewing at all its a simple and can be done with a needle and thread.  One of her secrets is using fabrics with raw edges that don’t ravel like felt, fleece or vinyl.  And if you combine that with fusing, gluing, braiding, knotting or  tying you’ll have some cute craft projects good for both adults and kids (with some assistance).

 

 

 

Why am I excited about the Iowa City Book Festival?

by on September 25th, 2014
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Recently I was in a meeting and someone asked, “Who was the first author you heard speak in person?”  Suddenly I was swept back to my junior high years and listening to Madeleine L’Engle.  I know there were author readings before that (I grew up in Iowa City and we had the amazing experiences of authors visiting our schools) but it was my memory of listening to L’Engle speak that conjured such a strong memory for me.  Not only was L’Engle the author of my favorite books (A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet) but she was an amazing speaker.  I didn’t want the program to end, and really wished I could have found a rocking chair, curled my teenage body up in her lap, and had her read A Wrinkle in Time to me … cover to cover.

I’ve had strong reactions to listening to other authors read since then, but nothing as powerful for me as that experience.  I love listening to authors because I always learn something new.  A couple years ago, at the Iowa City Book Festival, I had the opportunity to ask Robert Goolrick why he chose a story theme for one of his characters in A Reliable Wife.  His explanation was logical but sparked a reaction for me because I didn’t agree with him.  At an outreach program for the Library, I saw a person with dementia brighten up and connect with author Carol Bodensteiner over a story from Bodensteiner’s childhood about ironing.  Who would have guessed a story about ironing would awaken such a strong response?

Each year the Iowa City Book Festival brings an amazing group of authors to town and we have the opportunity to listen to them speak … and it’s free.  I can’t guarantee the programs will be as transformational as my experience with Madeleine L’Engle, but you never know :)  The Festival is a couple weeks away so there’s plenty of time to read a book or two written by one of the authors who will be speaking.  Here’s the list to help you get started:   2014 FESTIVAL READING LIST.

 

Visit the Iowa City Public Library for a Historical Tour of the Longfellow Neighborhood

by on September 25th, 2014

Local history buff Tom Schulein will share the secrets of one of Iowa City’s oldest neighborhoods at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8, in Longfellow-PosterMeeting Room A.

Schulein’s “Historical Tour of the Longfellow Neighborhood” presentation will include information and images about an 1855 railroad line, a Civil War camp, streetcars, Moffitt homes, and other historical places and events that make the Longfellow neighborhood rich in local history.

Sponsored by the Iowa City Public Library and the Iowa City Johnson County Senior Center, this presentation is free and open to the public. It also will broadcast live on The Library Channel, Iowa City cable channel 10.

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

Teen Homework Help Wednesdays at the Iowa City Public Library

by on September 25th, 2014

Teens, do you need help with your homework?Essay-Writing-Help-for-College-Students

Beginning Oct. 1, the Iowa City Public Library offers drop-in Teen Homework Help from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays in the Koza Family Teen Center.

Tutors from the University of Iowa will give one-on-one assistance to students in seventh- through 12th-grades. Teens are expected to bring all materials needed to complete their assignments.

Teen Homework Help won’t be offered when the University is not in session.

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





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