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On the Wing by David Elliott

by on March 3rd, 2015
On the Wing by David Elliott Cover Image

In the past I’ve enjoyed David Elliott’s books of short poems for young children (On the Farm, In the Wild, and In the Sea) illustrated by Holly Meade.  In his newest book, On the Wing, his poems are illustrated by first-time picture book artist, Becca Stadtlander.  Here, the 16 poems included are all about different kinds of birds such as the bald eagle, the hummingbird, the Caribbean flamingo, the Australian pelican, and the great horned owl.  In free verse the avian-inspired poems are short and sweet and meant to be read aloud.  Take the concise poem entitled, “The Puffin.” “The puffin/is unique–especially/it’s beak.”  Or how about “The Macaw” verse: “The Macaw/Who spilled the paint?”  I can just hear kids laughing at that one when they see the colorful gouache illustration of this particular bird.  All of the pictures are a double-spread design and the print is large for young readers to read on their own. The artwork for the cardinal poem and the Japanese cranes poem are particularly lovely.  Introducing preschoolers and primary grade children to brief poems helps them with language development and sparks their imagination. Books like On the Wing make a perfect introduction to poetry beyond nursery rhymes.  Check out all of David Elliott’s neat picture books of verse and have fun sharing them with little ones.  You can find this book on the New Book shelves in the Children’s Room of the Iowa City Public Library.

Iowa City Public Library’s March Teen Events Announced

by on March 3rd, 2015

A video game tournament, Doctor Who Day and Minecraft are just a few of the activities the Iowa City Public Library has planned for its teen patrons in March.

Do you play Minecraft? All teenage Minecraft fans are invited to the Library’s Minecraft Meetup at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 5, and Thursday, March 19, in the Computer Lab on the Library’s second floor.

CoderDojo Iowa City, the ICPL Coding Club, meets from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Saturdays in the Computer Lab. CoderDojo is an international movement to teach and inspire kids in the vocation of computer programming. The Library’s program is run by volunteers who take on the task of mentoring attendees. To track progress, virtual badges and belts are awarded for proficiency in a number of computer related topics. Anyone in grades 5 through 12 is welcome to attend and earn belts. We request that parents attend along with their child for their first dojo. Drop-ins are welcome.

Are you prepared to bring your game face? We’re throwing down NARUTO SHIPPUDEN: Ultimate Ninja STORM Revolution during our Spring Break Teen Video Game Tournament. Join us from 1 to 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, in the Koza Family Teen Center.

Calling all Doctor Who fans! Come geek out about The Doctor and his companions as we watch episodes of the show while creating Doctor Who-inspired crafts and other activities. Whovians will gather from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, March 20, in the Koza Family Teen Center.

TAG, the Library’s Teen Activity Group, is looking for new members. TAG members help plan teen programs and give teenage students a voice in the Library. Members also eat a lot of snacks. Anyone wanting to make a difference in the Library, and earn volunteer hours at the same time, should give TAG a try. The March TAG meeting will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 21, in the Koza Family Teen Center.

All teen events are open to students in grades 7through 12 except CoderDojo Iowa City, which is open to students in grades 5 through 12.

For more information about any of these programs, contact the Library at (319) 356-5200.

Library T-shirts for sale

by on March 3rd, 2015

Show your Library spirit by purchasing an Iowa City Public Library T-shirt!T-shirt photo

The black-and-gold shirt design is similar to what Library employees wore in the 2014 University of Iowa Homecoming parade.

T-shirts may be purchased at the 1st floor Help Desk during regular Library hours. Each shirt costs $16 and are available in sizes small through extra large.

All proceeds benefit the Library.

 

Remote Book Returns @ Your Library

by on March 3rd, 2015

Can’t make it Downtown to return your Library materials? Never fear – remote book returns are here!2015 03 Book Return

Many community members utilize the Library’s two remote book returns – our recent quarterly count of materials returned shows 14% of all items returned to the Library February 23rd through March 1st came through the remote book returns. This compares to 15.6% in our count last fall.

The Library maintains two remote book returns in Iowa City – one on the east side at the First Avenue HyVee Pharmacy Drive-through and one on the west side at the Mormon Trek University of Iowa Community Credit Union Drive-through (far right lane).  These book returns are in addition to the outside book return located along Linn Street near the staff entrance to the Library.

Items returned at the remote book returns must be in the box by 1:00 PM each day or the item is considered returned the next day. Book returns are emptied 365 days a year and items picked up on holidays are checked in the next day the Library is open. Some materials, such as audiovisual equipment and oversize items that do not fit into the book returns, must be returned to the Help Desk during regular Library hours.

If you have questions about returning Library materials, please give us a call or stop by the Help Desk on the Library’s first floor.

It’s time to embrace the (Book) Madness!

by on March 2nd, 2015

BookMadness

Grab your brackets and a pencil (or pen, if you’re feeling lucky) — it’s Book Madness at ICPL!

Visit our display on the Library’s first floor to check out what titles will face off in a literary competitions. Beginning March 17, you can vote for your favorite title in our Book Madness brackets – there’s one for children’s books, and another for teens and adults. To start, we have 64 titles in four categories. Submit a vote for your favorite(s) – if you want to vote for just one book, you can, or you can choose 16 titles to move forward in the first two rounds; it’s up to you! – and watch as the titles progress.

Here are the dates to remember:

  • First and Second Rounds: March 17-22
  • Sweet 16: March 26 and 27
  • Elite 8: March 28 and 39
  • Final 4: April 4
  • Championship Game: April 6

(Given the large number of books, all votes must be made at the display in the Library. Once we reach Elite Eight status, we will allow for voting on our Facebook page.)

New this year: Printed brackets will be available from March 2 to March 16. Fill one out and return it to the basketball hoop by the Book Madness display by March 16 to be eligible for a new copy of the winning Book Madness title. Brackets must have the final winning title to be eligible. A new book in each bracket will be awarded.

Last year’s winning titles — Harry Potter in the Children’s bracket, To Kill a Mockingbird in the Teens and Adult bracket — will not compete in this year’s contest.

Here’s a list of this year’s books. What title do you think will win it all?

2015 BOOK MADNESS – CHILDREN’S

BELOVED CHARACTERS

  • Olivia
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • Paddington Bear
  • Curious George
  • Pigeon
  • Clifford
  • Anne of Green Gables
  • Geronimo Stilton
  • Percy Jackson
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Madeline
  • Nancy Drew
  • The Cat in the Hat
  • Little Critter
  • Angelina Ballerina
  • Pete the Cat

BOOKS THAT GOT YOU HOOKED ON READING

  • A Bargain for Frances by Lillian and Russell Hoban
  • The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  • The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
  • Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry
  • Heidi by Johanna Spyri
  • Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  • Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
  • Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
  • Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
  • The BFG by Roald Dahl
  • Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel

BEST SERIES

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid
  • Little House on the Prairie
  • Bone
  • Amulet
  • Lunch Lady
  • The Kingdom of Wrenly
  • A to Z Mysteries
  • Magic Tree House
  • Elephant and Piggie
  • Junie B. Jones
  • Bink and Gollie
  • Ivy and Bean
  • Babymouse
  • Big Nate
  • American Girl
  • Rainbow Magic Fairies

WORDLESS PICTURE BOOKS

  • Journey by Aaron Becker
  • The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
  • Good Dog, Carl By Alexandra Day
  • Hank Finds an Egg by Rebecca Dudley
  • Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle
  • Wave; Shadowl Mirror by Suzy Lee
  • A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog by Mercer Mayer
  • The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett
  • Owly by Andy Runton
  • The Umbrella by Ingrid and Dieter Schubert
  • Korgi by Christian Slade
  • Chalk by Bill Thomson
  • Tuesday by David Wiesner
  • Zoom by Istvan Banyai
  • Fox’s Garden by Princesse Camcam
  • The Arrival by Shaun Tan

2015 BOOK MADNESS – TEENS AND ADULTS

HUMOR ME

  • The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
  • How to Tell If Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You by The Oatmeal
  • Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  • The Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman
  • Bossypants by Tina Fey
  • Heartburn by Nora Ephron
  • Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
  • A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  • Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs
  • Yes Please! By Amy Poehler
  • I Drink for a Reason by David Cross
  • Not that kind of Girl by Lena Dunham
  • One for the Money by Janet Evanovich
  • Wake Up, Sir! By Jonathan Ames
  • Kill Your Friends by John Niven

BOOKS THAT BLOW YOUR MIND

  • The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
  • Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence by Nick Bantock
  • Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  • Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keys
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  • Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • The Foundation by Isaac Asimov
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • House Rules by Jodi Picoult

BIG BOOKS WORTH THE EFFORTS

  • Middlemarch by George Eliot
  • Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  • Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
  • Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  • David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  • Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes
  • The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  • A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
  • 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkein
  • Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  • The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

IOWA WRITERS

  • Leave Myself Behind by Bart Yates
  • Descent by Tim Johnston
  • Lila by Marilynne Robinson
  • Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis’
  • A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
  • Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron
  • The Magic Thief series by Sarah Prineas
  • The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson
  • On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves
  • The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf
  • A Lantern in Her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich
  • The Princesses of Iowa by M. Molly Backes
  • We Are Mesquakie, We Are One by Hadley Irwin
  • What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? By Peter Hedges
  • Making Piece: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Pie by Beth M. Howard
  • Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression by Mildred Armstrong Kalish

Inspiration at One Book Two Book

by on February 28th, 2015

I realized this morning that in just a week and a day Daylight Savings time will begin, and that means One Book Two Book is nearly here. There will be so many fun events next weekend, but I want to highlight two that look like a great way to kick off a creative spring fever.

Girls Rock! Iowa City is a fantastic organization focused on fostering creativity and self expression for girls through music. They are having a performance on Saturday, March 7th as part of the One Book Two Book festival. Come to the Main Ballroom of the Sheraton at 10:30 to hear original songs and get a listen of this awesome community organization! If you’re a teen who wants to get involved with Girls Rock!, this would be a perfect place to learn more.

At 10am in the Carver Room at the Sheraton, also on Saturday the 7th, a line-up of professional comics illustrators and writers will host Comic Book Confidential, a workshop for students in grades 5 and up. This is the perfect place to learn more about making comics, see how the pros do it, and try out some of your ideas. Drawing materials will be provided, but you have to register to attend, so get on that!

To learn more about everything going on at One Book Two Book, check out their main schedule here.

Overdrive Tips: Two Accounts

by on February 27th, 2015

In case you are new to our eBook and eAudio service called Overdrive, you may want to get help from us to get things set up for the first time.  One of the confusing aspects of setting it up is the fact that there are two accounts that you need to use.  One is your ICPL Account.  This account corresponds to your library card number and allows you to check out books from our eBook and eAudioBook collection in Overdrive.  The second account is an “Overdrive Account” and serves as a way for Overdrive to keep track of who has what items digitally checked out and when the loan period is over.  Previously patrons used an Adobe ID for this purpose.  Both still work but the Overdrive Account gives you extra features which I outline below.

It is often confusing for new users to understand the difference during the setup process.  The first time you set up the Overdrive Media Console (OMC) on a device, it prompts you to sign in or register.  This is the Overdrive Account and you can register by supplying an email address and picking a password.  (Note: you may also use your Facebook account instead of an email address).

Later in the process, after you have specified ICPL as your library, you will have to sign in again using your library card barcode number and password. In both cases, after you sign in the first time, it will typically remember your passwords for both accounts.

The Overdrive Account has some features that some of you may take advantage of.  If you have several devices that you use for eBooks or eAudioBook, the Overdrive account will sync your progress and bookmarks between your different devices.  For example, if you listen to the same eAudioBook at home on an iPad and also on your Android phone on the way to home from work, it will keep track of where you are on both devices.  However, please note that you do have to actually download the eAudioBook to both devices;  In other words, it doesn’t automatically push your checkouts to all your devices.

Another “gotcha” to watch out for:  If you have set one device up with an Adobe ID and another device with an Overdrive Account, things can get wonky.  You may not be able to download an eBook to both devices.  We recommend using your Overdrive Account with all devices set up with a library card.  As always, feel free to call the library for help with sorting out problems with Overdrive.  Or even better, bring your device(s) down to our Drop-In Tech Help.  Here are some links you may find helpful:

More about OverDrive Account

More info on “syncing” your devices

Managing your devices

Hug Machine!

by on February 27th, 2015

51Xr6DU634L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_I got some big hugging energy this week at my outreach visits. I was greeted with hugs–lots of hugs! Those cute little hug machines! This is a picture book with some big hugging energy. I’d say it’s perfect for any time of the year, and double the fun around Valentine’s Day.
Hug Machine by Scott Campbell is about a little boy who is very good at hugging: “No one can resist my unbelievable hugging. I’m the Hug Machine!” He hugs people to calm them down and cheer them up. His hugs make the biggest feel small and smallest feel big. He even takes on extra special challenges like hugging a spiky porcupine and the too-big whale who says, “Surely I am too big for you to hug,” to which Hug Machine says, “Of course not! Not for the Hug Machine!” After a brief fueling of pizza, the hug machine is at it again and ready for more hugging action.9781442459366_02_interior.480x480-75
By the end of the day the boy is exhausted from all of the hugging, and can hug no more. But, he does have hugs for a special person in his life…Mom. It turns out Hug Machine is always open for business.  2PHugsMachine_int-17
I love the illustrations in this book. They are gentle and sweet. I’ll bet after you read this book before bedtime your little ones will walk around with arms stretched out saying, “I’m the Hug Machine!”

Happy Birthday Madame Chapeau by Andrea Beaty

by on February 27th, 2015
Happy Birthday Madame Chapeau by Andrea Beaty Cover Image

I love hats!  I started wearing hats in my 20′s when I was in college.  I’m not talking about knitted wool hats, I’m talking fancy straw and felt hats that I would wear to complete my outfit.  I still wear hats and am almost ashamed to admit that I have nearly 200 hats that are in boxes carefully organized and labeled so I can find just the one I want to wear to church on Sunday mornings.  I love wearing hats to tea parties and I always take a couple of packable hats when I travel to give me flexibility to dress up an outfit.

As a children’s librarian, one of the best things about my job is doing storytimes for preschoolers, whether in the library or at one of our 40+ day cares and preschools we visit regularly.  I always have a theme and hats has been a favorite storytime subject; kids love the hats I bring for show and tell.

A fairly new picture book that I was happy to discover is right up my alley.  Happy Birthday Madam Chapeau by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by David Roberts is one that I can’t wait to read aloud to 3-6 year-olds.  The rhyming text tells of a milliner who makes all kinds of fabulous hats but is lonely.  Once a year she dresses up and puts on a special hat and treats herself to dinner at the finest Parisian restaurant to celebrate her birthday.  This year, as she’s walking to town to dine, a crow steals her birthday bonnet!  Many onlookers offer her their hat to wear but she declines each one until a little girl offers Madame Chapeau a hat she has knitted.  The illustrations are quite humorous and extend the text very nicely; David Roberts was a former milliner before illustrating children’s books and his knowledge of one-of-a-kind designer hats is evident.  There is plenty for children to discover in the pictures that celebrate the joy of ribbons, baubles, bows, and veils.  Have fun sharing this one!

 

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map

by on February 27th, 2015

Even though you wouldn’t know it by looking outside Spring really is on the way.  Which means many of us have started thinking and dreaming about our gardens.

As most people know, there are two baisc types of garen plants:  annuals and perennials.  Annuals live fast and die pretty.  They last for only one growing season, and you have to replant them again next year.  Perennials are the mainstays in the garden. They come back year after year.  Many don’t hit their prime for two or three years, making year-round care of the plant important.   One of the most important things to consider before purchasing a perennial for your garden is what its hardiness zone rating is, to know if it will survive the winter in your garden.

The US Dept. of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone Map is now the standard device used to label plants in the US. zone map

It represents the average annual minimum temperatures in 11 zones which vary in ten-degree differences.  Each main zone is further divided into two sections, A and B, based on 5-degree differences.   The map is now interactive.   You can enter your zip code or state and it will tell you which zone you are in.  You can also click on a state on the map and a popup map will appear showing the zones as well as county lines, major cities and rivers.    Click here to try it out.

A bit of history:

The earliest versions of national hardiness maps were developed in the 1920′s and 1930′s by a variety of groups, most notably the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University.  The first USDA Hardiness Zone map was published in 1960 and updated in 1965.  Because it used a different temperature scale for its divisions than the Arnold Arboretum map, it often led to confusion for gardeners rather than clarity.  The USDA map would not be updated again until 1990 when it underwent a huge overhaul, using data collected between 1974 and 1986.  Additional zones were added to include Canada and Northern Mexico as well as Alaska and Hawaii.  Th 1990 map standardized its division s into the well-known 10 and 5 degree division, and became the default hardiness zone map in the US.

There is one big drawback to the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map however, it deals with only the average minimum temperatures.  It does not take into account summer weather at all.  Heat, humidity and rainfall are also just as important to the survival of a garden plant, and all that information is found on plant tags as well.   But where can you find maps that give you this  information?

One of the best sources of this type of information is the PRISM Climate Group at Oregon State University.   In fact, the USDA used much of their winter data in the most recent overhaul of the Hardiness Zone Map.     From their web site:  “The PRISM Climate Group gathers climate observations from a wide range of monitoring networks, applies sophisticated quality control measures, and develops spatial climate datasets to reveal short- and long-term climate patterns.”

“PRISMs homepage can be found here.    From this page you can find lots of neat informational maps.PRISM_ppt_30yr_normal_4kmM2_annual

  • The link to 30 Year Normals takes you to a map that compiles the data from 1981-2010, and you can adjust it to see precipitation or temperature and you adjust by month.
  • The link to Gallery of State Maps takes you to a US map that you can then click on state by state to see the average annual precipitation (1981-2010) by state.

Combining information from The USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map and the PRISM maps, can give you a lot of information about where you live and the types of plants the will probably work best in your area.    Unless you are dealing with a microclimate.  But that’s another topic for another blog post.   Happy Gardening!





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