Author Archive for Jennifer Eilers



Summer Love through Online Dating

by Jennifer Eilers on August 30th, 2017

Dating can be tough but dating as a “senior” can be really tough. In partnership with the Senior Center, the library created and put together an online dating class series that took place over four weeks and included a wrap-up session this past Tuesday. Each session focused on a different aspect of online dating from finding a site to going on that first face-to-face date. Some of the participants from the Online Dating class pose with teacher

 Pew research shows that nearly half of all Americans know someone who has used an online dating service. With this growth has come an enormous amount of choice in the online dating platform realm. Choosing a platform that fits your needs can be hard and even knowing what options are available can be a challenge as well. The first session helped patrons get familiar with the benefits and draw backs of the various popular dating sites that are out there from Tinder to Our Time.

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Come Create a Digital Scrapbook

by Jennifer Eilers on June 28th, 2017
Learn how to take an image and give it polish in Photoshop!

Learn how to take an image and give it polish in Photoshop!

 

In the first class, learn how to use Photoshop to correct and edit any issues with either scanned or digital images. Once some basic skills are covered, the editing fun will begin.  Easy-to-use, portable scanners will be offered for those that would like to include printed photos they have yet to digitize.

Organize and add metadata to the edited images that have been edited in the second class. This process makes the book layout process easier and adds important information to the digital files of the photos that can be important for posterity.

Albums come to life as we learn how to use the book module in Adobe Lightroom in the final class. Albums will be made into PDFs or JPEGs which can be sent to a local printer or shared electronically with family.

If you are interested in making a digital scrapbook, please attend all three sessions. In July we are offering a night class for those of you who can’t get to the library during the day. To register for the classes, you need only enter your information into event registration fields on Wednesday, July 12th or Friday, August 4th. Please contact me if you have specific questions or concerns. I look forward to creating with you!

Finding Sophie Scholl in the ICPL databases

by Jennifer Eilers on March 30th, 2017

68d0608718321ac4308fdeb0094bb925This morning a crowd of very excited middle schoolers from a local school bounded up to the second floor of the library to do research. Having other excited researchers flooding up the quiet, second floor stairs buoys the heart of a librarian like nothing else. I spoke with their teacher about the project they were working on. The students wanted to know how media played a role in the resistance movements against the Nazi party in WWII.

The group of girls I talked to were going to put on a play about the White Rose Movement. I had never heard about this movement before or Hans and Sophie Scholl. Before even coming up to the desk, the girls had basically cleaned the library out of all obvious available books and DVDs we had on the subject, so, my challenge was to see what else I could find about the group to point them to. Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day

by Jennifer Eilers on January 10th, 2017

marting-luther-king Today at the information desk, we had a patron looking for Martin Luther King Jr.’s  “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” The patron wanted a printed copy to read in order to celebrate MLK day which is this coming Monday. While looking for this letter online, we came across Stanford University’s collection of King’s papers which have been digitized. We found a digitized version of an early draft of the letter along with a recording of King reading the letter. You can see other items like King’s birth certificate, an invitation to the inauguration of John F. Kennedy, and much more on the site.

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Resources for Job Seekers

by Jennifer Eilers on October 28th, 2016

8674946413_0fdeb0a74b_bHave you recently lost a job or are trying to transition to a new career? The library can help you in a variety of ways to get you back out into the work force. Here are the top ways the library can help you:

 

Help you find a job opening

Access the Iowa Work Force Development site iowajobs.org at one of our computers near the Information desk on the 2nd floor without a library card or guest pass. With a guest pass or library card, you can access several websites with job postings like Craigslist, Corridor Careers, City of Iowa City Job Openings, Press Citizen, University of Iowa Jobs, or one of the staffing agency websites that post their jobs online (Team Staffing Solutions, Kelly Services, Sedona Staffing Agency, etc.)

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Back to School! Home Schooling Resources

by Jennifer Eilers on September 4th, 2016

file791271781089Last week was my kindergartner’s first full week of school. While my kiddo has only reported back to me about the fun she’s had at recess, her backpack is full of the school work she’s been doing but doesn’t bother mentioning. Since I plan and put together the curriculum for the adult computer classes at the library, I know that crafting an interesting lesson for any learner can be a challenge. I have to applaud not only the teachers who plan out my child’s learning on a daily basis but the parents that choose to home school their kiddos as well. While I know many home school parents have started school already, I thought it might be helpful to mention of few of the library’s resources as well as the resources I’ve run into that may make lesson planning a little easier. Read the rest of this entry »

Teaching Your Baby to Sign

by Jennifer Eilers on May 4th, 2016

My baby is turning 6 months old soon which was about the age that I began introducing my preschooler to sign language (well maybe a little later–second baby after all).  I decided to teach my first child to sign because sign language helps children express their needs. Research shows that most children can understand language earlier than they can express it verbally. Sign is a great method for expression because it takes advantage of a child’s early hand coordination while introducing them to language.

If you are interested in teaching your child to sign, the library has many ways to help you learn. There are several great books and DVDs in our non-fiction and children’s collections like Baby talk: a guide to using basic sign language to communicate with your baby and Baby Signing Time. The library also has a language learning program, Mango, that offers a course in American Sign Language. You can access Mango from home if you are a resident of Iowa City, University Heights, Hills, Lone Tree, and rural Johnson County. You just need your library card and password/pin to login.

While my preschooler started to use sign language less and less as she became more capable of expressing herself verbally, sign language still plays a role in her life. I like that I can communicate with her from across the playground signing “STOP” if I want her to be more cautious.  And I’ve enjoyed seeing her enthusiasm for signs bubbling up again as she shows the baby signs for “milk” and “more.”

Digitally Preserving your Family History

by Jennifer Eilers on February 8th, 2016

This weekend I had the opportunity to talk with the Daughter’s of the American Revolution Pilgrim Chapter about preserving their families’ histories. Preservation is a daunting task especially  since we must think about not only saving the physical copy but the digital one as well.

In preparing for my talk, I researched  tools to help these women creatively think about sharing their families’ stories, photos, and heirlooms digitally. There are many great online tools, websites, and projects out there; but for me what makes the stuff I’ve inherited so valuable are the stories or memories attached to the items.

rootsmapperFamilySearch.org is one of the search engines that helps you trace your family’s roots. I don’t feel its search capabilities are as good as Ancestry’s (which you can access for free at the library!) but it offers many great tools and apps to help you collect family history and put it into a context your family can appreciate. One such tool is the Rootsmapper app which traces your family’s migration across continents or across the country over time.

Everystory is an app that makes it easy to record a voice over with a group of photos of your choosing. What I like about this app is that its easy to use and it is designed to replicate the experience of flipping through a photo album with a loved one as they tell stories about the photographs.

Storycatcher Pro is an app that allows you to create and share video of a family member telling stories. You can choose themes, design titles, capture screen text, capture audio, and import photos to make a very professional oral history. The app is easy to use and requires limited video editing knowledge. The only downside of the app is that it is only available for iOS.

treelines

Treelines uses your family tree as a starting point so that you can add pictures, tags, stories, and page design to help tell your family history. You can give access to family members so that they can also add their photos, documents, stories, and other information to the timeline as well.

If you are just beginning your genealogy search or digitization project, the library has many tools to help you including an archival quality scanner. There are several classes being offered in the month of May. Sign up soon as classes fill up fast!

 

 

 

Best of the Best Children’s Books

by Jennifer Eilers on January 26th, 2016

It’s a librarian’s job to know about the best books for the library’s collection; and I’m lucky enough that a bunch of my co-workers bought me their favorite children’s books to help me welcome my second child. Having had the time to read through the books now several times with both of my children, I’ve picked my top five favorites to share with you. To find them in the library’s collection click on the title!

  1. The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc

I had never read a book by Dubuc until I received it as a gift, and I am so thankful I got this one. The book is about the relationship betweenThe_lion_the_bird a lion who finds and cares for an injured bird. The two become friends but eventually the bird must fly away for the winter leaving the lion behind. Like the lion you feel the heartbreak of missing a dear friend through Dubuc’s prose and illustrations. The illustrations are lush and vibrant but somehow understated. Paired with the story, it weaves a magic that is more than the sum of its parts.

2. The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton

Sometimes before bedtime you need a laugh and Beaton’s book delivers. Like any kid, Princess Pinecone has some definite princess_ponyexpectations for herself as a warrior and for the pony she hopes to receive as a birthday present. Beaton’s story challenges kids and adults to consider stereotypes and stereotyping in a humorous way – it’s chock-full of sweater-wearing warriors and princesses who can and do hold their own. Plus, who can resist a fat pony that farts?

3. Hide and Seek by Taro Gomi

hide_seek

This clever little board book has bright illustrations that my baby can appreciate while my preschooler plays along with the hide and seek game. On each page there is a group of animals where one animal is cleverly hiding an object, for example, a raccoon hides a striped sock on its tail. Just like in any good hide and seek game, you may need to look twice to find what you’re looking for!

4. Orange Triangle Fox by Sarah Jones

orange_triangleEvery baby needs a book that teaches them shapes, colors, and animals. Jones combines each of these things to create cute and colorful illustrations. While some shapes seem readily built for the colors and shapes Jones chooses for them, others are unexpected. This combination makes this book delightful in its simplicity.

 

5. Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox and Judy Horacek

Full disclosure – sheep are a BIG deal in my family. My preschooler has a flock ofWhere-Is-the-Green-Sheep-image sheep with names as expected as Lambie and nonsensical as Dr. Higgin Flower Busters. In this book, sheep are limitless. They break away from being black and white and do more than bleat on a farm. These sheep are red. These sheep take baths. These sheep are clowns. So as the book begs the question, “Where is the Green Sheep?” you can challenge your little one to think outside of the box.

 

Iowa City Community School District 2015 Election

by Jennifer Eilers on August 31st, 2015

ICCSD Logo

 

 

 

 

On Tuesday, September 8th, voters can choose five new representatives to the ICCSD school board. There are four, 4-year term seats vacant and one, 2-year term seat vacant due to Tuyet Baruah’s resignation in July. Typically members serve a total of 4 years. School board elections are  held every odd year with a total of 4 seats vacant at a time to allow overlap between new board members and old board members. There are 13 candidates vying for the five positions in this year’s election. None of the candidates are incumbents. Below is a list of  candidates with some helpful links to news coverage, their websites, and social media platforms they participate in:


 

Four-Year Term

1. LaTasha DeLoach

Press Citizen Profile

Gazette Profile

Candidate Website

Facebook

Twitter

2. Shawn Eyestone

Press Citizen Profile

Gazette Profile

Facebook

Twitter

3. Todd Fanning

Press Citizen Profile

Gazette Profile

Website

Facebook

Twitter

4. Phil Hemingway

Press Citizen Profile

Gazette Profile

Website

Twitter

5. Jason Lewis

Press Citizen Profile

Gazette Profile

Website

Facebook

Twitter

6. Brian Richman

Press Citizen Profile

Gazette Profile

Website

Facebook

7. Lori Roetlin

Press Citizen Profile

Gazette Profile

Website

Facebook

8. Lucas Van Orden IV

Press Citizen Profile

Gazette Profile

Facebook

Twitter

9. Briana Wills

Press Citizen Profile

Gazette Profile

Website

Facebook

10. Tom Yates

Press Citizen Profile

Gazette Profile

Facebook

 

Two-Year Term

1. Chris Liebig

Press Citizen Profile

Gazette Profile

Candidate Website

Twitter

2. Paul Roesler

Press Citizen Profile

Gazette Profile

Facebook

Twitter

3. Megan Schwalm

Press Citizen Profile

Gazette Profile

Candidate Website

Facebook

Twitter

To listen to interviews with all of the candidates from local station KXIC personality, Jay Capron, click here.


 

Early voting is currently going on at the Johnson County Auditor’s Office until Friday, September 4th at 5pm. Mail-in ballots can be returned to the the Auditor’s Office or mailed with a postmark date of Saturday, September 5th.

A great blog that has a lot of information about the candidates and the ICCSD election in general is located here.

To see a current list of board members and their contact information visit Iowa City Public Library’s elected officials page. Results of the race and the members contact information will be updated once the information is made available.