Support #eBooksForAll!

by on September 18th, 2019
Book cover for We Are the Weather by Jonathan Safran Foer

Jonathan Safran Foer and Nora Roberts are two authors published by Macmillan.

“Why do I have to wait months to check out an e-book? It’s digital, so shouldn’t everyone be able to have a copy at the same time?” We would love it to work that way, but certain publishers are increasingly restricting access to their digital books.

One publisher—Macmillan—has restricted access to such an extreme that the American Library Association has launched a petition to fight them on it. When a new book is released, Macmillan will allow library systems to purchase only 1 copy during an 8-week window.

What does that mean?

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Sept 7 – A Special Day

by on September 3rd, 2019

September 7 is a very special day. Why, you ask? Well … it’s my Dad’s birthday and that’s special to me. It’s also the day the Library Board held a special meeting to award a contract to Summit Body Works in Commerce City, CO to build the Iowa City Public Library’s first Bookmobile. That meeting set into motion a wonderful journey of serving our community in a new way.

The need to serve our community away from the Downtown Library was first identified in the Library’s Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan was created with the help of a community survey, focus groups, user survey, and planning meetings to digest the feedback received and craft a plan to guide our work. Thanks to a strong vision in the Strategic Plan, support from the City Council and Library Board, and financial support from the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation, we have a Bookmobile that makes a difference in our community every day.

Recent news stories on KCRG and KWWL (click on the link to play the videos) tell a wonderful story of how the ICPL Bookmobile is taking Library service on the road and serving our community in new ways.

Every time I work on the Bookmobile, I see first-hand what a difference the Bookmobile is making in our community. One young patron and I dream together about what it would be like to live on the Bookmobile. Each time we see each other, we work on our plan. More than once, a patron has told me, “Every time I pick up a Hold on this Bookmobile, I think this is the best decision the City ever made!” So many miles, so many happy stories!

On September 7th I will say Happy Birthday to my Dad and I’ll think about ICPL’s Bookmobile journey that was set in motion by the Library Board three years ago on that day. If you haven’t visited the Bookmobile, please make a plan to see us soon. I promise it will make you smile and you may also dream about what it would be like to live on the Bookmobile. Schedule information is at



Library Card Sign-up Month

by on September 1st, 2019

September is National Library Card Sign-up Month. If you don’t have a Library Card, or know someone who doesn’t have a Library Card, head to the Downtown Library or the Bookmobile to get your Library Card.

Anyone in Iowa who lives in a community that supports a public library may get a Library Card from the Iowa City Public Library. To save time, you may pre-register at Pick-up your Library Card at the Help Desk or Bookmobile. All you need is a photo ID. If your current address is on your photo ID, you are all set. If not, bring a recent utility bill, copy of your lease, or official mail to verify your local address.

Information about children and Library Cards and different card types is available at

What can you do with your Library Card? Beyond checking out traditional Library materials such as books and movies, your Library Card becomes your ticket for much, much more! Did you know the Library checks out Toys? Book Club Kits? Video Games? Giant Chess and Checkers?

Do you have Bare Wall Syndrome? Check out 2 art prints for two months from our Art-To-Go collection.

Need Internet access? The Library has many computers available for public use. Log-in with your Library Card for two free hours of use each day.

Need to catch a ride home from Downtown Iowa City on an Iowa City Transit Bus? Present your Library Card to any public service desk at the Library and get a pass for a free ride home. There is a limit of two free bus passes per week with our Ride and Read program.

If you live in our service area (Iowa City, rural Johnson County, University Heights, Hills, Lone Tree) you may use your Library Card to:

Access ICPL’s Digital Library including eBooks, eAudiobooks, Kanopy movie streaming, Digital Magazines, New York Times Online and the Local Music Project. Access is FREE. All you need is your Library Card number and password.

Browse Consumer Reports online to figure out which refrigerator to buy via our Online Resources collection.

Browse the Chilton Library in our Online Resources collection to learn how to fix your car or truck.

Check out a Laptop, Internet Hotspot, or other equipment.

There’s so many things you can do with your Library Card! If you have questions, give us a call at 319-356-5200 during regular Library hours, ask us a question online, or stop by the Library or Bookmobile. We are happy to help!


Top reads of the 2019 Adult Summer Reading Program

by on August 28th, 2019

The ICPL 2019 Adult Summer Reading Program ended on August 10th, and we want to say a big Thank You to everyone who participated!

1032 people accepted the “Read 5 books in 10 weeks” challenge, and registered for the Adult Summer Reading Program this year and 423 of you finished the challenge!  All together, 466 people read 3061 books.  Pretty impressive!  Even more impressive is that 145 of you read more than 5 books (and 111 of you bookworms read 10 or more, and six of you read 20 or more!!)

The most popular book of the Adult Summer Reading Program was Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.


The 2nd most popular book was Becoming by Michelle Obama. In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world.

To see a list of the 25 most popular books from this summer check out the  Top 25 Books of the Adult Summer Reading Program.

No Bookmobile Service on Labor Day

by on August 20th, 2019

The Iowa City Public Library Bookmobile will not be in service on Monday, September 2. The Downtown Library is also closed in honor of Labor Day.

Bookmobile 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.

We’ll see you back on the Bookmobile or at the Downtown Library on September 3!

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

by on August 19th, 2019

The Fall Bookmobile schedule begins Monday, August 26 and runs through Thursday, December 19. The week before the Fall schedule begins, August 19 –  23, the Bookmobile is out of service for a seasonal maintenance 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 Fall Schedule yet, take a look to find the stop that will work best for your schedule.

We look forward to seeing you on the road!

Traveling the Globe in the Storytime Room

by on August 15th, 2019

We traveled to South Korea when we read this book by Chloe Perkins.

Summer Reading 2019 is winding down this week as we give away our final prizes and draw Grand Prize winners.

Children’s programming slows way down during this time of year, but that isn’t the case for June, July and the first half of August! Summer can be a hectic time in the Children’s Room especially, so often there’s no time until it’s all over to reflect on some of the cool programs and projects kids had the opportunity to participate in over the weeks. That’s why I’m taking the time to share some of the information and and activities we shared in the Storytime Room for World Wednesdays.

Every Wednesday during our Summer Reading Program, for one hour, kids were able to learn something new about a different country around the world through books, documentaries, dances, crafts and even trying out a recipe. I hope you enjoy these images of our worldly adventures. I wasn’t able to take photos the week we made mini tres leches cakes, but you wouldn’t be able to judge their deliciousness from a photo anyway.

We kicked off our summer with an Irish Dance performance and lesson from the students at the Champagne Academy of Irish Dance. Trea does a great job teaching jigs to any age or skill level!

Click on this image to see a gif of the dance lesson!

This week the kids learned all about different Adinkra symbols from West Ghana.

Using stamps and stencils they created their own Adinkra cloth that describes them.

We learned all about Diwali with this book by Hannah Eliot. We also had a guest named Tanya who celebrated Diwali in India as a child to answer all of our questions.

The La Petite Day Camp came every week, here they are showing off their finished Rangoli.










We learned about the origin of the Dragon in Chinese culture by reading Legend of the Chinese Dragon by Marie Seller.

The dragon in Chinese culture has special powers over water elements, so the kids relaxed as we watercolored dragons and listened to traditional Chinese music.

We learned all about the art of Moroccan Zellige by watching a few short documentaries. One of the videos showed the process of creating Moroccan tile work from start to finish.


Kids were able to use Moroccan stencils to create and elaborate designs on a matte bathroom tile and use acrylic paint pens and sharpies to color in.

Using origami paper, we learned how to make and play the Korean game Ddakji.

Next we learned about the rich history of mosaic in Ancient Greece to modern day. I made a powerpoint with a brief history and lots of gorgeous pictures for us to be inspired by.

This activity was a little challenging for the younger kids, but the older kids really embraced the challenge.

We traveled to Mexico to learn how how pom poms have become a symbol of good luck!

To the Huichol Nation, pom poms signify “the way.” These bursts of color are a reiteration of roses in full bloom as to Huicholes, their path is always filled with roses.

For our last World Wednesday, we read a nonfiction book about the traditional holidays of Sweden and made our own custom Dala Horses.

We also watched a short documentary about the production of these handmade symbols of Sweden. Some people even made their craft look traditional!


Checking in with the Bookmobile

by on August 14th, 2019

As we wrap up our last week of the Summer Schedule on the Bookmobile, now is a great time to think back to some Summer highlights and look ahead to Fall.

Throughout the Summer, our annual series, Stories in the Park, continued with stops at Willow Creek, Wetherby and Mercer Parks where a weekly storytime or special special program for youth was offered alongside the Bookmobile. Some memorable Storytime presenters included two friendly llamas, three sweet wolfhounds, two great goats, and many magnificent musicians. Staff were delighted to connect with families at these stops, as well as the occasional farm animal.

Another Summer Series the Bookmobile participated in this year was Party in the Park. Through this annual series, sponsored by the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department and the Neighborhood Outreach Division, the Bookmobile visited a different local park every Thursday evening throughout the Summer. Party in the Park continues this Fall on Sundays, though without the Bookmobile. Visit for details.

Stores are stocked with fresh notebooks and pencils, nights are cooling off, and soon it will be hard to avoid pumpkin-spiced flavors – Fall is nearly here. The Iowa City Public Library is welcoming the change in seasons with a new Bookmobile Schedule, which can be found on our website. The 2019 Fall Bookmobile schedule will run from August 26 – December 19, with all stops open and available to the public. While the Bookmobile is on a seasonal service break next week, take a moment to place holds and get ready to meet us on the road starting on August 26.


Ped Mall doors open; Linn Street doors to close Aug. 12

by on August 9th, 2019

Crew members for the Ped Mall Renovation Project made book lovers happy today (Friday, Aug. 9; also known as National Book Lovers Day) when they finished the paving in front of the Iowa City Public Library’s west entrance. Because of this, the Library’s Ped Mall doors are now open!

The new pavers look great and will be so much safer to walk on when it’s rainy or snowing. Now new pavers need to be installed in front of the Iowa City Public Library’s Linn Street entrance. Because of this, our Linn Street doors will close on Monday, Aug. 12. They will remain closed through Wednesday afternoon. Signs will be posted directing foot traffic to the Library’s Ped Mall entrance.

We apologize for the inconvenience and than you for your patience. The Ped Mall is going to look great when everything is finished!

No Bookmobile Service Aug. 19 through Aug. 23

by on August 5th, 2019


The Bookmobile won’t be in service Monday, August 19, through Friday, August 23. We’ve had a great summer and look forward to a seeing everyone again in the fall!

A break between schedule periods gives us time for vehicle maintenance, deep cleaning, and restocking the Bookmobile 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 or mail your Hold Pick-up Notice.

For full Bookmobile schedule information, visit