Author Archive for Guest

Have Library Card, Will Travel

by Guest on May 10th, 2013

Take advantage of the bus system this summer to spend time at the Iowa City Public Library. The Library and City of Iowa City Transit have partnered again this year to offer free bus service to children and teens through grade 12.

Bus1Show your Library card upon entering a bus during the designated days and times and ride free. Any accompanying adults will also be given a free ride.

This service is available Tuesday, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., and will run from June 4 – August 15. Return passes are issued at the Library.

While you’re visiting the Library, be sure to sign up for the Summer Reading Program. Participants can earn a t-shirt and be entered into prize drawings for a Kindle Fire.

Find bus route information right here:


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The Intro to Star Wars, Remade in Minecraft

by Guest on May 7th, 2013

Think you’ve got Minecraft skills?

Check out this video made by Grahame (Paradise Decay on YouTube) of the entire introduction to Star Wars: A New Hope created in Minecraft. Wow.

Also be sure to check out “11 Incredible Skyrim-Inspired Minecraft Builds”, Harry Potter/Minecraft mash-ups, and this video of The Lion King‘s opening scenes, Minecraft style.

Inspired? Think you can do better? Stop by the Minecraft Meet-up on Saturday, May 18 from 3:00-5:00 PM in the Computer Lab, and prove it!

Spring into Summer Reading!

by Guest on April 30th, 2013

Photo via flickr, Nomadic Lass

Trees are blooming, birds are singing…it’s perfect weather for reading outside!

And since spring is finally here, we can start dreaming up ambitious summer reading lists, right? When I was growing up, May was filled with dreams of marathon Harry Potter reading sessions (anticipating the release of a new book), backpacks full of new books from the library, and competing with my friends to get the most books read before school started again in August.

This summer, I’m catching up on my teen reads. Of course I’ve read The Hunger Games (but who says I can’t read it again?), I’ve yet to read a Sarah Dessen novel (any recommendations?), Divergent is still a mystery to me, and my copy of The Fault in Our Stars is gathering dust under my textbooks. Time to get reading!

I’m scouring YALSA’s 2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults list for ideas, too. I’d like to give Libba Bray’s new book, The Diviners, a try, and I’ve been hearing lots of great things about Shadow and Bone, the first book in the Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo.

Want help finding great books to read this summer? Check out Goodread’s Popular Summer 2013 list, NPR’s 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels, the top ten of the Best Fiction for Young Adults list, or the Iowa High School Book Award nominee list. Craving some nonfiction? Check out YALSA’s Nonfiction Award winners and nominees.

EPX Animation and Gaming Conference 2013

by Guest on April 26th, 2013

It’s super short notice, but the EPX Animation and Gaming Conference is taking place today and tomorrow in the Art Building West on the University of Iowa campus. Looks like there will be representatives from Gazillion, Laika Studios, Marvel, Polytron and more.

EPX Studio, the sponsors of the event, write, “We want to give you an insider’s look into the life of an animator, illustrator, game programmer, 3D character rigger, and 3D character artist. Join our event to see them talk on campus and tell you all about their jobs and how they got there.”

Be sure to check out the event’s Facebook page, as well as EPX Studio’s website and blog for more information.

Summer Program Launches for Area Homeschoolers

by Guest on April 25th, 2013

If you are a homeschool parent or student and have been wondering how to stay engaged this summer, join other area homeschoolers at the Iowa City Public Library on Tuesday, May 14 to launch #homeschoolers@icpl.

CHRoomSelfCheck2This new program is designed to connect homeschool families so they can exchange information on how to stay in touch and remain active over the summer break. Events begin at 1:00 p.m. in Meeting Room A, and run until 2:30 p.m. A full list of activities is below.

  1. It all starts in Meeting Room A – Everyone takes a  behind the scenes tour of the Library.
  2. Younger children work on a craft project in the Children’s Room  and learn about the summer reading program.
  3. Older students get to hear about some great new children’s and young adult titles, learn how to search for books to read for fun and school, and find out all about the library’s summer reading program.

For more information, email Brian Visser at



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Sensory Storytimes Offer Welcoming Space for Children with Developmental Disabilities

by Guest on April 24th, 2013

Specifically designed for children with autism spectrum disorders, sensory integration issues, or other developmental disabilities, Sensory Storytimes is a warm, welcoming event that meets the first Saturday of the month in the Storytime Room at 1:30 p.m.

Nancy&kidsActivities include tactile books, songs, stories, and activities that will provide the opportunity for hands-on participation.  Friends and siblings are encouraged to come along. A caretaker must accompany each child with special needs.

Each storytime lasts for 25-30 minutes, with extra time at the end of each program for caretakers and children to socialize.

The next Sensory Storytime will be Saturday, May 4, at 1:30 p.m. Summer dates are June 1, July 6, and August 3.

Before your visit, try using our “Child’s Introduction to the Library” social story to see pictures of our Children’s Room.


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Book Launch Party for Local Author

by Guest on April 23rd, 2013

Looking for a brand new sci-fi series?

Prairie Lights is hosting a book launch party for Zenn Scarlett, on Saturday, May 11 from 5:00-6:00 PM. This new science fiction novel was written by Christian Schoon, a local author, who will be reading and signing books at the event.

According to (where you can also read an excerpt from the book):

Zenn Scarlett is a bright, determined, occasionally a-little-too-smart-for-her-own-good 17-year-old girl training hard to become an exoveterinarian. That means she’s specializing in the treatment of exotic alien life forms, mostly large and generally dangerous. But after a series of inexplicable animal escapes from the school and other near-disasters, the Cloister is in real danger of being shut down by a group of alien-hating officials. If that happens, Zenn knows only too well the grim fate awaiting the creatures she loves.

You can find out more about the book at its Goodreads page, and you can find Christian Schoon on Twitter and at his website:

Poetry Pro-Am

by Guest on April 20th, 2013

Interested in expressing yourself through poetry, spoken word, or rap?

Register now to participate in a performance master class from 3 – 5 pm on Saturday, April 27th at the Iowa City Public Library, followed by food and a 5:30 pm performance where you’ll take the stage and perform your work alongside amazing spoken word artists! Space is very limited, so register NOW!

Library Raffle is a Win, Win

by Guest on April 15th, 2013

The Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation is hosting a raffle to benefit Building the Collection. The two grand prizes are a $1,000 Visa card and a 64 GB Apple iPad with retina display.

ipadTickets may be purchased at the Library’s Help Desk on the first floor, until May 4. Individual tickets are $10. You receive a price break if you buy in bulk, as three tickets go for $25.

Winners will be drawn May 5, at the 10th annual Building the Collection auction event. Reservations and a fee of $50 per person are required to attend the event, but you do not have to attend in order to be entered into the raffle.

For more information about the raffle and the Building the Collection auction event, please contact Patty McCarthy in the Library Development Office at 319-356-5249 or email


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Distance: It’s More Than You Think

by Guest on April 12th, 2013

It’s easy to walk around everyday, thinking you have an excellent understanding of scale and distance.

But unless you are some sort of insane genius (and even with Doc, I doubt it), it’s incredibly difficult for our human brains to comprehend scale in any precise terms.

Check out this website, designed to demonstrate just how FAR Mars is from Earth. It uses pixels to help us understand distance.

Then, while your brain is feeling wrinkled, explore this website called The Scale of the Universe. Scroll left to zoom in on the supersmall, and scroll right to zoom out to…well, the estimated size of the universe. Click on the images to learn more about them. (The Minecraft world is included: see if you can find it!)

Feeling small? Well, you literally are…but you can feel bigger by volunteering, learning more, or just going for a walk. So get out of the house! It’s a big universe out there. 🙂