by Kara Logsden on March 3rd, 2015
Can’t make it Downtown to return your Library materials? Never fear – remote book returns are here!
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.
by Kara Logsden on February 23rd, 2015
Recently we had a great conversation at the Help Desk about good movies. A patron read my blog post about the 100 Foot Journey and suggested The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I love when I get suggestions from people I’m helping – it’s a bit of serendipity in my day. There have also been many conversations leading up to the Oscars, and it’s fun to hear what others think about different movies.
One of the more interesting conversations last week was about The Grand Budapest Hotel and the facial hair of the actors. Stories from National Public Radio and Esquire Magazine piqued our interest and had me guessing which mustaches were real and which were not. According to NPR:
“They’re made of real human hair, which you buy in all different textures and colors,” says Hannon. “There’s usually five minimum colors in each mustache.”
The hairs are sewn individually into tiny holes — less than a half-millimeter in diameter — of what Hannon calls “the finest silk lace you can find. … So you can imagine the time that goes into the perfection of each.”
My holds for The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel came in before the weekend, so we had a great movie fest Friday and Saturday with a hotel theme. Although both movies were very good, they were very different. While I enjoyed the precision and scenery in The Grand Budapest Hotel, I especially enjoyed the heartwarming story and characters in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Another bit of serendipity today … when writing this post I learned the there’s a sequel to look forward to – The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel opens in theatres on March 6th.
Give us a call or stop by if you need help finding a good movie or want to place a hold on the Oscar nominees or winners. You may discover your own serendipity in the stacks
by Kara Logsden on February 18th, 2015
I dream of Paris. I’ve only traveled to Southern France, so my ongoing travel to Paris is vicarious through books. Author Janice MacLeod also dreamed of Paris and made her dream a reality through planning, checklists, and determination.
Janice MacLeod was “living the dream” working as a copywriter in Southern California. Unfortunately her life was more of a nightmare as she faced 12-hour work days, burnout and exhaustion. One day she doodled on a notepad, “How much money does it take to quit your job?”
Soon she was writing lists and making plans in her journal. Her first step was to save $100 per day, her estimated cost for what an escape to Paris would cost. To meet this goal she changed social plans (instead of dinner, let’s go on a hike and have a picnic), weeded her wardrobe (goal: all clothes fit in one suitcase) and downsized everything that tied her to California.
Soon the journey to transform her life became an adventure as she sets out for Paris. Along the way, and through continued journaling, she created a new life through words, art and friends … oh and a cute Polish dude she met while sitting in a cafe writing.
Paris Letters was a fun book to read … determination and serendipity along with some great letters.
by Kara Logsden on February 5th, 2015
I love books made into movies. I like to compare the two, think about which one I like better (it’s usually the book), and talk to others about what they think.
The 100 Foot Journey (Book and Movie) is a coming of age story of Hassan, a young aspiring chef from Mumbai with a loving family who has experienced great tragedy, and Madame Mallory, a Michelin-starred French chef who experiences a spiritual awakening after involvement with one of the tragedies experienced by Hassan and his family.
I didn’t discover the book, published in 2010, until I read a review for the 2014 movie. I was intrigued so I asked the Library to purchase the book on disc. I LOVED it – listening felt like a vicarious trip to Mumbai, England and the French countryside. There was strong character development, a strong sense of place, and a compelling story with memorable characters. After listening, I wanted more from the author Richard Morais.
Last weekend I had the opportunity to watch the movie with my family and everyone enjoyed it. The movie was produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey for DreamWorks Pictures. Just like the book, there were memorable characters and a strong sense of place. Helen Mirren was a perfect Madame Mallory and I especially liked Om Puri as the PaPa.
Knowing I’d read the book, my family was curious if I liked the book or the movie better. In this case, and just like To Kill A Mockingbird, I liked both. I enjoyed each in different ways, and would definitely enjoy reading the book or seeing the movie again.
If you watch the movie or read the book, I’d like to hear what you think. Enjoy!
by Kara Logsden on February 3rd, 2015
On Friday January 30, 2015 the Community and Access Services (CAS) Department hosted an Open House for Library staff. We have a goal to share information about our individual departments so we better understand the jobs of our co-workers and how each job fits into the overall mission and operations of the Library. The Open House provided an opportunity for Library staff to learn more about our department and individual jobs as well as share some great food and fun.
Community and Access Services serves patrons in a number of areas including the Help Desk; circulation (checkin and reshelving) and patron accounts; Volunteer Program; displays; public relations, graphics and marketing; and outreach services. If you’ve ever checked out a book, volunteered at the Library, looked at a Library display, followed the Library on social media, or attended a Library program held in the community, chances are good you’ve met a CAS staff member or interacted with something we worked on. It’s a great department and we had fun sharing information about our job assignments.
As a part of the Open House we also had a little fun by hosting a contest to see who was the fastest book sorter in the Library. There were two categories – Fiction and Nonfiction – and CAS staff could not participate because we’ve had a lot of practice with sorting :) The first photo shows our Director, Susan Craig, and Young Adult Librarian, Brian Visser, sorting their carts of books. Coincidentally, both Susan and Brian started their careers at ICPL as Pages who sorted and reshelved books and then were promoted to other jobs in the Library.
There was fierce competition in the book sorting contest, but the winners were our Fiction Selector, Jason Paulios, in the Fiction category and City of Literature Operations Manager, Rachael Carlson, in the Nonfiction category.
If you have questions about the Community and Access Services Department or other Library departments let us know. We love to share information about the Library!
by Kara Logsden on January 1st, 2015
Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
My takeaway from Amy Poehler’s Yes Please is she has worked hard, taken risks, cultivated friendships, laughed at herself, experienced good & bad in life, and made people feel good.
Poehler is best known for her work on Saturday Night Live and Parks and Recreation, but Yes Please reveals there’s a lot more to this actor than laughs and feeling good. She is a Mom, humanitarian, advocate for girls and women, community builder, and “bossy” in the very best way.
I listened to this book and because it was narrated by Poehler, with help from family and friends, the listening experience felt intimate and revealing. Kathleen Turner introduces the chapters and we hear from Amy’s parents, Carol Burnett, Mike Schur, Patrick Stewart, Seth Meyers, and others. Poehler has an infectious laugh and I found myself laughing along with her while thoroughly enjoying the listening experience.
I started this review with a quote Amy Poehler included in the book. I’ll end with Poehler’s words:
The only way we will survive is by being kind. The only way we can get by in this world is through the help we receive from others. No one can do it alone…
Happy New Year!
by Kara Logsden on December 25th, 2014
Every year I look forward to the announcement of the new All Iowa Reads book. The book for the following year is always announced at the Iowa Library Association meeting in October. The book selected is a big secret that members of the selection committee guard until the big announcement.
The 2015 book is My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira. This historical fiction novel is set during the Civil War and tells the story of a midwife who has aspirations of becoming a surgeon. My Name is Mary Sutter has been compared to Charles Frazier’s Cold Mountain and Robert Hicks’ The Widow of the South.
The Iowa City Public Library has copies of this book available in many formats including regular print, large print, audio recording, eBook and eAudio. We’re also working on a Book Club Kit that will be available for checkout soon.
More information about the book is available at the Library’s All Iowa Reads webpage including links to the Iowa Center for the Book’s All Iowa Reads webpages. There you can find discussion questions and a list of book discussions happening throughout the state.
If you are looking for a great book and opportunities to discuss a book with friends, neighbors, co-workers and others, My Name is Mary Sutter is an excellent choice. The Library’s All Iowa Reads webpage also has information about books selected in the past that are also good choices if you are looking for a great book to read.
by Kara Logsden on December 22nd, 2014
Every day we receive materials returned to Iowa City Public Library that are owned by other libraries. We often receive items from the Iowa City Community School District, UI Libraries and other local libraries. Fortunately we have a good routine in place to return these materials.
As a part of the State Library’s Open Access program, participating libraries around the state routinely mail books back to the owning library. This is also tied to the service where people who live in a community that supports a public library may get a library card and check out books from public libraries in other communities. The formal system to return books is a great deal for all libraries because it means our materials are routinely mailed back to us.
Because not all materials are eligible for return in the mail, patrons who wish to return items to other libraries for mail return should check ahead of time to assure it is something that can be mailed. Materials that are not eligible for mail return are often high-demand collections and mail return means the items are not available to other people while they are “in transit.” Because of this, libraries ask patrons to return these items directly to the library where the materials were borrowed.
Trivia question: Which library do we return the most items to? Choice are:
a. Weber Elementary Library
b. Coralville Public Library
c. North Liberty Community Library
d. Cedar Rapids Public Library
e. University of Iowa Libraries
Feel free to record your choice in the comments box below this post.
The next time you accidentally return your book to Iowa City Public Library that is owned by another library, rest assured the book will find its way home. Feel free to give us a call to check, but chances are it’s already in the mail
by Kara Logsden on December 10th, 2014
Every year the Library closes on the second Friday in December for Staff Inservice Day. This is a day for staff to retreat, honor co-workers for years of service, and invest time in learning. We strongly believe this opportunity for training results in better overall services to our community through learning and team building.
My first day working at the Library sixteen years ago was Staff Inservice Day. I liked that I was moving to an organization that invested in staff and felt strongly about life-long learning and team building. That certainly remains a big part of the culture of working at the Library.
We recognize staff for years of service awards in five year intervals. This year we will recognize seven Library employees for years of service. These staff members alone represent 85 years of service to the community and individual milestones range from 5 years to 30 years of service.
Our overall theme for Inservice Day is User Experience. Our keynote speaker is Aaron Schmidt who is a principal at Influx Library User Experience Consulting. Through Schmidt’s guidance we’ll look at user experience and how we can improve the Library’s websites, programs, and services.
Last year’s theme was 21st Century Skills. These include critical thinking, problem solving, communication, flexibility, adaptability, creativity and innovation, global awareness, teamwork, interpersonal skills, technology literacy, media literacy, listening and assessment. Over the past year we’ve worked on our 21st Century Skills as individual staff and tried to incorporate opportunities for learning these skills into our collections, classes and programs.
Many thanks to our patrons for your understanding as we close for a day to invest in our staff and plan for how we can improve service to our community. Regular Library hours will resume on Saturday Saturday December 13.
by Kara Logsden on December 9th, 2014
Malka Marom‘s new book chronicles her conversations and friendship with Joni Mitchell beginning in 1973 and culminating in their final interview in 2012. Marom first met Mitchell at a coffeehouse in 1966. In their conversations they explore friendship, the creative process, and life.
Marom, who has a unique story of her own, was a pioneer in international music performance and hosted “A World of Music” TV show in Canada beginning in 1966. Marom’s background gave her the unique perspective to share Mitchell’s words as a peer and a friend.
Although I enjoyed the entire book, I keep thinking about three parts. The first is when Malka and Joni first meet. The written words gave a good sense of who Joni Mitchell is and how her career began. This laid the framework for the entire book.
The second part I think about is Joni’s formative years when she contracted polio and spent a lot of solitary time in a hospital. This period in her life set the foundation for her work as a musician, poet, writer, painter and composer. It also helped her become comfortable with the concepts of loneliness and aloneness.
The final part, and probably my favorite, was Joni’s quest to describe herself. Because she’s had such a prolific music career and explored other artistic mediums such as poetry and painting, she is hard to describe. She also took the lead to produce many of her albums and worked hard to win the respect of the musicians she worked with. This was a difficult feat because she was not formally trained as a musician so they often didn’t “speak the same language” when describing their goals for performance. Ultimately the description Maron and Mitchell settled on was “Renaissance Woman.” I liked that description and after hearing Mitchell’s words, I think it is a fair description for a remarkable life.