The Bookmobile is on a Break – Where are my Holds?

by on May 24th, 2019

Summer is nearly here – School is winding down, temperatures are rising (slowly), and the 2019 Summer Bookmobile schedule is approaching quickly. The Summer Bookmobile schedule begins Monday, June 3 and runs through Friday, August 16. Next week, May 27 through 31, the Bookmobile is out of service for a seasonal service break. If you had holds you were expecting to pick up on the Bookmobile, those items are currently available at the Downtown Library building. Simply ask at the Help Desk for help finding these materials. All holds that have been requested to be delivered to the Bookmobile have also been extended to give folks a chance to pick them up during our first week of service. If you are unsure about when or where you can find an item you placed on hold, call the Library at 319-356-5200.

If you haven’t seen the Bookmobile’s 2019 Summer Schedule yet, take a look to find the stop that will work best for your schedule. If you haven’t yet registered for the Summer Reading Program, take a moment to sign up online, or ask staff to help you sign up during your next visit to the Library building or Bookmobile. The Summer Reading Program runs from June 1 through August 10 with lots of fun activities for all ages happening at the Library building and in partnership with the Bookmobile. Prizes will be available throughout the summer, beginning on June 8, at the Library building and on the Bookmobile.

We look forward to seeing you on the road!

ICPL Bookmobile at Iowa Arts Festival

by on May 24th, 2019

Students from Alexander after a bookmobile visit.

The ICPL Bookmobile will be at ABC Day (Arts-Books-Children) at the Iowa Arts Festival on Saturday June 1 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. You’ll find us on Clinton Street with all the Children’s activities.

Stop by, pick up a copy of the Library’s Summer Bookmobile Schedule, sign-up for Summer Reading Program, and check out a book for summer reading – we’ve got lots of great books for people of all ages.

We are ready for a GREAT SUMMER beginning at the Iowa Arts Festival. We’ll see you at the Library and ICPL Bookmobile soon!


ICPL eMail Notices

by on May 22nd, 2019

We’re hearing reports that some emails sent from our circulation system are not being delivered. We believe a small number of patrons are impacted. We’re also hearing some notices are being intermittently delivered while others are going to spam folders.

Emails impacted could include those going to,, and accounts.

If you rely exclusively on courtesy email notices or other email notices from our circulation system, and you have not received them, please login to your account to check on the status of holds or item due dates. You may also call the Library during regular business hours at 319-356-5200. The ICPL App also helps with account management.

Please be assured we are working to resolve this issue and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

No Bookmobile Service May 28 through May 31

by on May 18th, 2019

2017-07-bookmobileThe Bookmobile will be on Summer Service Break from Tuesday, May 28, through Friday, May 31.

During this break, the Bookmobile will undergo vehicle maintenance, deep cleaning, and restocking the shelves with great new Library materials.

During Bookmobile service breaks, Holds and ILLs scheduled for pickup on the Bookmobile may be picked up at the Help Desk in the Downtown Library. We will not capture any holds when the Bookmobile is not in service, so there may be a period of time when the Bookmobile is on break when holds will be at the Library waiting for pick-up. Don’t worry, though, because the 7-day waiting period for picking up a hold does not begin until we “trap” the hold. That’s when we send the eMail, call you on the telephone, or mail your Hold Pick-up Notice.

For full Bookmobile schedule information, visit

No Bookmobile Service on Monday, May 27

by on May 17th, 2019

The Iowa City Public Library Bookmobile will not be in service on Memorial Day: Monday, May 27. The Downtown Library is also closed that day.

Holiday hours are always available on the Library’s website.

Although the Bookmobile and Library are closed, online services are available 24/7 at This includes account access and, for those who live in our service area, access to ICPL’s Digital Library including eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, The New York Times and Kanopy video streaming.

Summer Bookmobile Schedule

by on May 16th, 2019

Summer is coming and so is a new Bookmobile schedule! The Summer Bookmobile schedule will run from June 3 – Aug 16. All stops are open to the public and offer free parking (with the exception of the UI College of Medicine Courtyard stop).

Schedule information is available at and in printed schedules available in the Library and on the Bookmobile. Summer schedule highlights include Stories in the Park events on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays consisting of a morning of stories, music, and special events as well as Bookmobile service. Also look for the Bookmobile at Party in Park events on Thursday evenings.

Are you thinking ahead about the Library’s Summer Reading Program? So are we! Pre-registration is happening now at the Library, on the Bookmobile, and online. The Bookmobile will be fully stocked with Summer Reading prizes for all ages throughout the season.

Read the rest of this entry »

Birth of a Ped Mall presentation at Big Grove Iowa City

by on May 15th, 2019

We’re terribly excited to present our presentation on the Birth of Iowa City’s Ped Mall tonight at Big Grove’s History of the Grove series. To make the images a little more accessible, I’m hosting our presentation slides online.

Library OPEN During Ped Mall Construction

by on May 14th, 2019

The Ped Mall Improvement Project is in full swing. Phase Two of the project is literally outside the Library door (we can hear it!). The Library will remain OPEN during the Ped Mall improvement project; however, access to the Library may change. Please watch for directional signs that will help you navigate to the Library’s entrance.

There’s a wonderful display in the Library’s Gallery (just outside the Children’s Room on the first floor) with information about Iowa City’s Urban Renewal Project and the history of the Ped Mall. It will be there through the end of May. Stop by to check out the photos. When I was a child, I remember visiting Bushnell’s Turtle and Epstein’s Books while they were in temporary buildings along Clinton Street in Downtown Iowa City.

For updates about the Ped Mall Improvement Project, navigate to You can also learn more about this project with this video:

Weekly construction update meetings are held at the Library on Fridays at 10:00 am in Meeting Room D. Watch for progress updates from the City after these meetings. To stay updated during construction, subscribe to the Ped Mall Improvements Project email list at  (While you are there, subscribe to one or all of the Library’s eNewsletters 🙂 ).

You can also follow the City of Iowa City on Facebook and Twitter using #PedProject to follow updates.

We thank you for your patience as our beloved Ped Mall is transformed into a new community space!

Children and Young Adult Materials FINE FREE beginning 6/1

by on May 2nd, 2019

We are happy to announce beginning June 1, 2019 we will not charge overdue fines for materials checked out from the Children’s and Young Adult collections that are returned past their due date. Libraries across the country are stopping the practice of charging overdue fines after a study from the Colorado Library Association demonstrated fines are not the motivation for on-time return of library materials. Instead, the study demonstrated fines are a barrier for Library use, especially for children. We want to remove barriers that stop people from using the Library!

We appreciate the support of the Iowa City City Council and the Library Board. Both groups voted on budget requests to support this change and the Library Board recently voted to update the Circulation and Library Card Policy to reflect this change. We understand there may be some confusion about this change. It does not matter if it’s a child’s card or an adult’s card that checks out the materials. No overdue fees will be charged on materials returned late that are checked out from the children’s and young adult collections.

This does not mean materials do not have to be returned to the Library. A full replacement fee will be charged to the borrower’s account when materials are not returned. For items with a 7-day loan period, there will be a bill at 14 days overdue. For 21-day items, there will be a bill at 21 days overdue.

To help with summer reading, we’ve also waived up to $50 of past fines and replacement fees on accounts for people who are 18 years old and younger. In past years, we waived fees in the summer when children asked. In order to eliminate barriers to Library use, this year we automatically waived these fees.

If you stopped using the Library because of fines and replacement fees, we hope you will come back. If you owe more than $50, please ask to talk to our Customer Service Representative or to me and we’ll do our best to work out a plan so you can use the Library.

Our bottom line … we want people to use the Library. We want people to bring our materials back so other people can use them. We want kids to read in the summer.

Three cheers for NO FINES and three cheers for SUMMER READING! Our staff is planning an awesome summer of activities at the Library and Summer Reading Program Sign-up begins May 13th. We’ll see you here soon!

Lobby Stop Program

by on April 29th, 2019

In fall of 2018, Iowa City Public Library piloted a Lobby Stop Program at four different retirement residences to expand our Outreach offerings. I have been visiting Walden Place, Emerson Point, Legacy Assisted Living, and Bickford Senior Living on a twice monthly basis ever since. The west side Lobby Stops are every 1st and 3rd Monday afternoon, while the east side Lobby Stops are every 2nd and 4th Monday afternoon.

At each Lobby Stop I bring about 5 bins of popular book and book-on-disc titles for browsing or check-out. I can also bring specific holds or honor general requests (e.g. quilting books, biographies, magazines.) I use a staff laptop for checking things out and creating library accounts. Lobby Stop patrons are welcome to sign up for the At Home Services, which is ICPL’s free books-by-mail program for people who are home-bound due to disability. One thing that has been very rewarding about providing Lobby Stops is that I have been able to meet several long-time At Home patrons who I previously only emailed or talked on the phone with. It is so nice to be able to put a face with a name!

Lobby Stops have definitely increased access to library services for residents of these retirement homes. In April, I checked out 59 items through the Lobby Stops and had 68 visitors total. I have talked to many people who moved to Iowa City for assisted living and haven’t had access to checking out books since leaving their home town. About 30 people so far have received their first library card in the area through the Lobby Stop service. I work with the different activities specialists at each site to provide Lobby Stop services. The site provides a large table in a common area and some kind of advertisement for residents of when and where the Lobby Stops will be held. Staff and residents alike enjoy the fun community atmosphere of the Lobby Stops. I personally love learning about the unique interests of the different patrons at each site.