Chauncey Swan is not, as I thought when I moved here, a species of water fowl. (I know, I know, but I’m not an ornithologist.) He is also not two people; there is no Mr. Chauncey. He is one man, a founding father of Iowa City. He was one of three appointed by the territorial governor (Robert Lucas) to determine the location of the capital of the new Iowa territory. It should be noted that Chauncey Swan deserves the most credit of the three men as he was acting commissioner for the survey, reported back to the legislature, and Robert Ralston was three days late and didn’t really help at all. It should also be noted that they chose the site of Iowa City on May 1st, 1839. It wasn’t really official until May 4th because they were waiting for Ralston. So, a Happy Chauncey Swan Day to you! Read the rest of this entry »
Do you have a Library Card? Are you ready for summer? Why do I ask?
An Iowa City Public Library card is a child’s ticket to ride an Iowa City Transit bus FREE this summer. The Library will provide free bus rides to children through 12th grade, and the adult caregivers who are with them, on any Iowa City Transit bus route, from the day after Iowa City Schools dismiss (Thursday May 26th) until the day before school starts (Tuesday August 23), on weekdays between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm.
Bus riders should show their Iowa City Public Library card to the bus driver to gain free access to the bus.
More information about riding the bus to the Library is available at this link: icpl.org/hours-location/ride/
Information about applying for a Library Card is available at: icpl.org/cards
Three cheers for SUMMER and the SUMMER LIBRARY BUS! We’ll see you at the Library!
If you have any interest in world music and don’t yet know Orchestra Baobab, I encourage you to give this band a try. This Senegalese group has a spicy blend of musical styles that include Cuban rhythms, classic West African drumming, mbira-like guitar and a vocal style from the West-African griot storytellers. It’s really fun to listen to. Baobab made up of musicians from all around West Africa including Mali, Togo, Guinea and the Casamance region of Senegal. They sing in many different languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, Wolof. We currently own only one album but it’s a really good one. If you enjoyed Buena Vista Social Club, it will be an easy transatlantic hop into this music. Request it right now.
Clip of Cabral by Orchestra Baobab
Terri Caplan was awarded Volunteer of the Year this week, having volunteered at the Iowa City Public Library in multiple capacities over the past seven and a half years. Terri is currently our Book Sorter, sorting through hundreds of donations each week and selecting the best books, movies, and music to be sold in the Book End.
In addition to her current volunteer job, Terri has also checked in library books, worked as a clerk in the Book End, and served on the Book End Committee. She was a Committee Co-Chairperson from 2012-2013. According to Patty McCarthy, Director of Development at ICPL, “Terri’s vast knowledge of books, authors, movies, and music have enabled her to provide excellent service to customers in the Book End and as a Sorter. Her organizational talents are unmatched, and she helps to maintain order and interest on the bookstore shelves.”
Terri’s dedication to the Book End is inspiring and we thank her for her years of service! If you are also interested in volunteering at the Library, here’s how to get started.
May is National Historic Preservation month and the Iowa City Public Library will celebrate by honoring local historian, Irving B. Weber. To honor your personal history, join us for computer classes that focus on genealogical research, and photo preservation and restoration.
Join us for a two-part class where you can learn how to restore a scanned image by using GIMP, a free, open source software similar to Adobe Photoshop. Part one, to be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 13, will focus on using the GIMP software and doing basic skills in the program like cropping and resizing images.
Part two of this series focuses on photo correction. Learn to transform the original item by filling small areas of damage like water spots or balancing faded colors. In order to participate in the second part of this series, participants should have a good understanding of GIMP’s interface and tools. Class for Restoring Scanned Images Part II will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 17.
Want to learn how to take care of your digital photo collection? On Saturday, May 2, come to another two-part class beginning at 10:30 a.m. Begin by getting crash course on important terminology and digital photo file types. Then at 12:30 p.m. learn the key steps needed to preserve your digital photos using metadata and tools like Picasa, Apple Photos, and Adobe Lightroom.
Finally, the month wraps up with an Introduction to Genealogy at 4 p.m. Monday, May 23. A librarian will help you get started by talking about what questions to ask, how to keep track of your research, and places you might want to search.
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.
The Iowa City Public Library recently honored its volunteers for their dedication and service.
During the 2015 calendar year, 336 volunteers provided more than 9,500 hours of service, increasing the total number of volunteer hours to 260,831 hours since the program started 36 years ago. Volunteer duties range from assisting with book check-ins, materials maintenance, prepping supplies for events, helping plan teen programs, operating The Book End, and serving on the Board of Trustees, and on the Friends Foundation Board of Directors.
On Wednesday, April 27, the Library said thank you with a reception and a ceremony, during which 48 volunteers received recognition awards for achieving milestone hours of service.
Terri Caplan was named the Nancy Sereduck Volunteer of the Year.
A volunteer for eight years, Caplan started at the Library as a book check-in volunteer and moved to The Book End as a store clerk in 2009, volunteering in the store every other week for six years. She joined The Book End Committee of the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation in 2011, serving as the co-chairperson from 2012 to 2013. After receiving an ICPL 500 Hour Volunteer Award in 2015, Caplan transitioned to sorting donated materials and restocking shelves at The Book End.
“Terri’s vast knowledge of books, authors, movies, and music, enabled her to provide excellent service to customers in The Book End, and is now utilized to select the best from the thousands of donated items for The Book End,” says Patty McCarthy, ICPL’s Development Director. “Her organizational talents are unmatched, and she helps to maintain order and interest on the bookstore shelves.”
The Library congratulates Caplan on her achievement and thanks all volunteers for their service.
The following is a list of volunteers receiving recognition awards for 2015:
100 Hour Award
- Fatuma Abdalla
- Katherine Bouska
- Susan Bryant
- Ellen Caplan
- Jingyi Du
- Scott Edgar
- Pam Ehrhardt
- Jordan Heganman
- Qian He
- Valerie Jackson
- Kathy Keasler
- Staci Kirsch
- Dave Lee-Son
- Stephanie Linnell
- Anna Luria
- David Martin
- Dominic McCaffrey
- Reilly O’Gorman
- Sophie Schenkel
- Jennifer Schmidt
- Alex Stanton
- Beth Stence
- Chris Vincent
- Chloe Waryan
200 Hour Award
- Stephen Merkel-Hess
- Janis Perkins
- Theo Prineas
- Patricia Ryan
300 Hour Award
- Joel Barnhart
- Beth Beasley
- Sarah Burnett
- Linda Eastman
- Erin Glenn
- Roxanne Hughes
- Jeanne Morris
- Esther Retish
- Angela Tyler
400 Hour Award
- Philip Fontana
- William Moorhead
500 Hour Award
- Becky Johnson
- Kathy Mitchell
- Corey Rew
- Julie Spencer
1,000 Hour Award
- Roberta Holstein
- Emily Nelson
- Mary New
4,000 Hour Award
- Gloria Lacina
6,000 Hour Award
- Nancy Sereduck
Get ready to learn more about local history with the Iowa City Public Library’s Weber Days.
Our annual celebration of local history is held every May in honor of Iowa City’s unofficial historian, the late Irving B. Weber. May also is National Historical Preservation Month. This year’s lineup of programming is perfect for anyone interested in learning more about the community they call home.
Realizing Stephen Smith: His Conscience and Conflict
Wednesday, May 4, noon to 1 p.m. in Meeting Room A
University of Iowa student Steve Smith (1944-2009) encountered violence as a civil rights worker in Mississippi, led a hunger strike in downtown Iowa City, and burned his draft card in the Iowa Memorial Union in protest of the escalating war in Vietnam – all before his 21st birthday. UI Archivist David McCartney recounts Smith’s life and efforts in the UI Archives to document his ideals and his struggles.
History of the UI School of Music
Wednesday, May 4, 7 to 8 p.m. in Meeting Room A
Since 1906, there has been a School of Music at the University of Iowa. Come hear Music Librarian Katie Buehner discuss the evolution of this 110-year-old program as evidenced in documentation from the University Archives and the collections of the Rita Benton Music Library.
First United Methodist Church Organ Concert
Wednesday, May 11, 7 to 8 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Iowa City, 214 East Jefferson St.
A local history display and organ concert featuring Dr. Melanie Sigafoose.
Restoring Scanned Images Part I
Friday, May 13, 11 a.m. to noon in the Computer Lab
Learn to restore a scanned image by using GIMP, a free, open source software similar to Adobe Photoshop. In this class learn how to get around in GIMP, import a scanned photo, save your project, straighten a photo, and crop and resize it. Registration is required.
Restoring Scanned Images Part II
Tuesday, May 17, 10 to 11 a.m. in the Computer Lab
Learn to restore a scanned image by using GIMP, a free, open source software similar to Adobe Photoshop. In this class learn how to get around in GIMP, import a scanned photo, save your project, straighten a photo, and crop and resize it. Participants must have good mouse and keyboarding skills, and need to demonstrate familiarity with GIMP or have taken Restoring Scanned Images Part I to participate. Registration is required.
The Secret Lives of Houses: How to Research your House’s History
Wednesday, May 18, noon to 1 p.m. in Meeting Room A
Learn how to research the history of your home or a building from Alicia Trimble, Executive Director of Friends of Historic Preservation.
Maintaining and Preserving Digital Photos Part I
Saturday, May 21, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Computer Lab
Want to learn how to take care of your digital photo collection? Begin by getting familiar with important terminology and file types. Then learn the key steps needed to preserve your digital photos. Come with your questions. Registration is required.
Maintaining and Preserving Digital Photos Part II
Saturday, May 21, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Computer Lab
Want to know about the various tools and software which can help you organize, store, and edit your digital collection? Part II of this series will show you how to use metadata to organize photos. Then we will discuss and talk about tools like Picasa, Apple Photos, Adobe Lightroom, and many more products. Bring your questions! It may be helpful to take Part I of this class depending on your familiarity with digital photos. Registration is required.
Introduction to Genealogy
Monday, May 23, 4 to 5 p.m. in the Computer Lab
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. From what questions to ask and where to start searching to how to keep track of the information you find we’ll get you started on your search. Space is limited register online or by calling 356-5200.
Old Post Office Brass
Wednesday, May 25, noon to 1 p.m. in the Lobby
Old Post Office Brass reflects the home base in the Senior Center, formerly the Iowa City Post Office, and is a part of the New Horizons Band. This traditional brass quintet (two trumpets, horn, trombone and tuba) performs a large variety of music, including classical, ragtime, Dixieland and popular (show tunes, etc.) for a variety of audiences in different venues.
Making Sense Out of Iowa City Streets
Wednesday, May 25, 7 to 8 p.m. in Meeting Room A
Why can’t we seem to drive directly from place to place in Iowa City? Why are there no churches on Church Street? Why are some street signs in Iowa City blue, instead of green? Why do the streets First Avenue through Seventh Avenue go from east to west? How did we get all of those streets named after movie stars? And, what is with those strange-sounding names of St. Mathias Alley and St. Clements Alley? This presentation by citizen historian Thomas Schulein will explain the layout and naming of the streets of Iowa City. Historic Foodies will provide street food after the presentation.
Click here to register for classes or call the Library at 319-356-5200. If the class is full, you can add your name to the waiting list.
Click here for more information about Weber Days.
Mark your calendars for Friday April 29th at Noon in Meeting Room A for our final Music on Friday program from students at the University of Iowa School of Music. Two classical pieces will be performed, one by J.S. Bach and one by W.A. Mozart. The Music on Friday series is a part of Music is the Word, a nine-month series of program welcoming the University of Iowa School of Music to Downtown Iowa City.
I have to confess I am sad the Music is the Word series is winding down. Fortunately, a quick look at the MITW Schedule shows many great programs before the Finale program May 21st at 6:30 PM with Catfish Keith. My favorite part of the series has been the live music at the Library. We discovered the Library’s Lobby has excellent acoustics for live music performance and it’s fun to see the surprised look on people’s faces when they come into the Library and hear music being performed.
I have started thinking about the live music programs as “Serendipity in the Stacks.” A quick Google search for the definition of serendipity said, “the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.” Certainly that’s what we’ve found during the live music performances and I hope they continue beyond the Music is the Word series. Head to the Library on Friday at noon for a bit of serendipity. It’s guaranteed to make you happy.
Once upon a time there was a hilariously funny picture book that had me laughing so hard I cried, but only a little. I’m sure you can tell by the title that A Hungry Lion or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals is about a lion who is ravenous and some animals who disappear. Where do they go? You’ll have to read the book to find out even though you probably have a guess already. I did, and boy was I wrong.
Lucy Ruth Cummins’ debut picture book is side-splitting and surprising. Jon Klassen’s quote on the back cover sums it up nicely, “So smart and so cute and so dark all at the same time. Sheesh.” A must read!
Come and enjoy the toe-tapping upbeat music from local musician, Mike Haverkamp in the Library’s Lobby this Wednesday (4/27) at Noon as a part of the Music is the Word series.
Mike’s primary instrument is banjo, but he also plays guitar, Autoharp, dulcimer, banjo-uke, mandolin, and harmonica. Mike has performed in many venues and conducted workshops in songwriting, how to play the Autoharp, making connections between historical time periods and music, and building instruments from recycled objects.
On a personal note, Mike’s music always makes me smile. There’s nothing like great banjo music and complimentary vocal to make you smile and get your toes tapping to the rhythm. I’ll see you on Wednesday