Author Archive for Brent Palmer



Using Multiple Cards with Libby

by Brent Palmer on July 2nd, 2018
Screen shot showing how to add a name to a linked library card

Screen shot showing how to add a name to a linked library card. This is key if you are going to link more than one card.

One nice feature with Overdrive’s newer Libby app that is not available with the Overdrive App (as far as I know) is the ability to add multiple cards.  For example, if you have a family iPad, each family member can add his or her card.  All the titles appear together on your shelf.  When you check out new items, you can choose which  card to put them on.  However, there is one key step.  In order to distinguish between the cards, you have to rename each card as you put it in, otherwise they will all show up as a “linked card” which can lead to confusion.

Screenshot showing libby with 2 library cards linked.

Screenshot showing libby with 2 library cards linked. To use the second card, click the “use this card” link near the arrow.

All of the card management options appear under the “libby” icon in the upper right corner.  After you add a card, tap on the card and then under ‘actions”, choose “change name on card”.  Do this for each card you add.  Later when you go to checkout a new title you can choose which card you want.  See the screenshot at left.  One card is selected by default, but you can choose a different one.   I found this very confusing at first.  I didn’t realize that it was listing two cards. Also, on your shelf, if you have renamed both cards, you can click on each title to see which card it’s checked out under.

New Privacy Page

by Brent Palmer on February 7th, 2018

Iowa City Public Library is committed to protecting its patrons’ privacy and confidentiality. We try to keep as little information about our patrons as possible and we don’t share it with others.  We routinely purge information including your checkout history unless you decide to opt-in to keep it.   The information that we do keep is directly related to providing services and delivering content.

We are also trying to be more transparent about the information that we do keep. We have had a publicly available privacy policy for a long time, but we decided to create a new Confidentiality and Privacy Page that is more user-friendly. At the top of the page, we outline some key points that all patrons should be aware of.  If you don’t read anything else, please check this section out.

Below that we also have a chart outlining all the different data that we keep, and how long we keep it.  Finally, we maintain a list of 3rd party vendors and providers that we use with links to their privacy policies.  If you have questions or concerns about these topics, please contact us.

Make those resolutions stick

by Brent Palmer on December 27th, 2017

Every year at this time, media stories begin to surface about the top New Year’s Resolutions based on some survey. But as we all know, making the resolution is easy. Figuring out how to make it sustainable is the tricky part. Maybe ICPL can help.

Bon Appetit Dec 2017

one of many magazine titles available online


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Try Our Digital Magazines

by Brent Palmer on November 28th, 2017

If you haven’t yet tried ICPL’s digital Magazine service, I encourage you to give it a shot, especially if you regularly read magazines.  Here is a short guide with answers to your questions about using this amazing service and how to get started: Read the rest of this entry »

Public Internet Services at ICPL

by Brent Palmer on October 31st, 2017

Because October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, I wanted to provide some information about using the Library’s WiFi and public Internet computers.  The Library has 43 public Internet stations for general use as well as Internet access computers in the Teen Center and the Ellen Buchanan Children’s Room.  We also have a 802.11ac WiFi service.

The Library leans toward openness over security for it’s public Internet service.   Although we do scan for viruses and malware, we do not limit the network for particular kinds of use.  This is due to the Library’s commitment to intellectual freedom and open access to information.   Because of this, there may be benefits in terms of increased privacy. Public Computers are wiped clean after each session (Remember, always log off after you use our public computers). No information is stored on the system that could be used by someone later. The Library does not log the activity for each public computer. Also your activity is anonymized in the sense that to the outside, our traffic is all lumped together into one IP address. For example, our upstream Internet provider might be able to know that someone visited a certain website, they wouldn’t be able to know which computer in the building it came from.  Also note: because of the Library’s emphasizes on openness, parents should always monitor children’s use of computers in the library.

Our public WiFi is not encrypted and it does not employ a splash page.  We wanted to make the network extremely easy to use for everyone.  The network is open so use with caution. There is no privacy or security from others using the WiFi if you are not visiting a site with SSL (https).

One final reminder: it is against ICPL policy to use our WiFi network or our public computers for any illegal activity.

email Notice Problems

by Brent Palmer on March 24th, 2017

It has come to our attention that some of our email notices are being rejected or blocked by two major Internet providers.  CenturyLink has been rejecting our email courtesy notices with a message that they are spam.  MediaCom as also been blocking our hold notices with no messages at all.  While they are not bouncing back, many of our patrons have told us that they are not getting through.  Unfortunately the tech support from these two companies has been extremely unhelpful.  Some of our patrons have contacted CenturyLink but were not able to get anywhere either.  I know it’s frustrating, but we are frustrated too!  We know that many of you not only appreciate our holds and courtesy notices, but actually rely on them.  So what can you do?  Well you have a few options.  If you have another email address to use, you could switch to that.  (You can do this by accessing your library account online or simply give us a call at 319 356-5200 during regular library hours and we’ll do it for you).  You could also try our new mobile app to keep track of your holds and due dates.

Overdrive Tips: Checkouts Page in now the Loans Page

by Brent Palmer on November 9th, 2016
old icon

The OLD icon used to get to your checkouts page

One of the good things about our Overdrive service is that they continue to work on updating and improving their interface. However it can be confusing when things change.  One of the things that has evolved in the last few years is the spot where you go to see your checkouts.

Loans

The NEW icon to get to your checkouts page (as of 11/9/16)

In the version of Overdrive starting November 2016 they have changed the name of  “checkouts” page to the “Loans” page.  To get there you now click on the small “3 books” icon to get to this page which at times has been referred to your “online bookshelf”, “account” and  “checkouts”.

Good luck and contact us if you have trouble with the new interface.

ICPL’s New Calendar

by Brent Palmer on November 4th, 2016

ICPL recently introduced a new version of its online calendar.  The new version has an updated interface that is easier to use and more mobile friendly. As before, you can view the calendar in standard calendar format using the monthly, weekly or daily view and if there is a particular week or day view that you would like to share, the URL can be sent to another person.

It’s easy to move to a particular day using the “jump-to” button. There is also a filter button to filter events by category or meeting room space. You can also browse for events by category (age group) using the browse button at the top.

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Overdrive Tips: Renewing Titles

by Brent Palmer on October 24th, 2016

Renewing eBooks through Overdrive is a bit different than renewing physical books or other items from ICPL.   When  your loan period gets down to within 3 days, you should see an option on your “Loans” page (formerly: “Checkouts” Page).  [Note: this option does not show up on your app bookshelf.]   The link should say “request again”.   See this overdrive help page on renewing titles to see what it looks like.  When you renew an ebook or audiobook, you are not extending your loan period, but essentially putting another hold on the book.  It will ask you for your email address again.  If there are no other holds, then you will get the book as soon as the load period ends.  This does not work as slick as Overdrive lets on.  You usually have to go back to your Loans page and go through the borrow and download process again.  In my own experience, if you are re-downloading the title at the same time as it expires, the app can get a little confused, but it usually sorts itself out.  It does usually remember where you left off in the book, however.   Also please note that we do not offer the “request again” or renew option from the ICPL catalog, at this time.  You can only do this from the Libraries of Johnson County Overdrive page or from within the app itself.

If this process trips you up or if  you have questions, you can all the library during open hours and we will do our best to help you out.

Dig In to the issue using ICPL databases

by Brent Palmer on September 1st, 2016

The group of Iowans demonstrating against the Bakken oil pipeline are putting up a last-ditch effort (sorry, couldn’t resist) with their non-violent protest.  But I have a feeling the only real chance they have of stopping the construction relies on their challenge of the state’s use of eminent domain to obtain land for it.  I wanted to dig into this issue  (I can’t stop) of eminent domain a bit more.  All I really knew is that property owners are entitled to “just compensation” and that the property should be for public use.   I was curious how the utilities board can use eminent domain for a pipeline that doesn’t seem to have any direct benefit to the people of Iowa other than some temporary jobs and future tax revenue. Read the rest of this entry »