by Kara Logsden on April 9th, 2014
Carol Bodensteiner’s debut novel, Go Away Home, is due out in July. I had the privilege of reading an advanced copy and thoroughly enjoyed it. Bodensteiner is best known for her series of essays, Growing Up Country, that capture life in rural Iowa. Her stories resonate with our patrons, and most especially with people who participate in our collaborative program with Iowa City Hospice that sends readers to local care centers for reading programs.
Go Away Home is set in rural northeast Iowa and focuses on the life of teenager Liddie Treadway. Liddie is a talented seamstress with dreams of moving to the big city of Maquoketa and leaving the farm behind her. Despite personal challenges, she does not lose sight of her dreams and eventually convinces her family to let her go. What Liddie learns in the big city surprises her and helps as she is forced to make decisions that affect the path her life takes.
Set against the backdrop of agrarian life, changes with the introduction of the automobile and gas-powered engines, changing roles of women, and foreboding before WWI, Go Away Home is a coming of age novel that is well-written, compelling, and endearing. Themes include family, friendship, choices, love and loss. There is a strong sense of place, excellent character development, and an engaging plot line. The story is well researched and I learned a lot about Iowa in the early 1900′s. I also thought a lot about my grandparents and what their lives must have been like at this time.
I highly recommend Carol Bodensteiner’s new novel. The Library has not placed an order for this book yet, but watch the catalog and place your hold. I anticipate it will be a popular novel with local readers and book groups.
by Kara Logsden on April 1st, 2014
We had a lot of fun on the Jay Capron Morning Show today! We learned about Bark Madness (I voted for the cat) and send our best wishes to our good friend, Dottie Ray, to feel better soon!
We started off by talked about D.E.A.R. (Drop everything and READ) and had to delay the radio program a bit while I finished reading a chapter in the book I brought (just kidding).
Anne talked about ICPL Collections, and most specifically OverDrive and Zinio. The big news on that front is OverDrive is now available through the Library’s catalog and some titles can now be renewed. eCollection titles are great for cold blustery days like today!
Anne also talked about a number of upcoming programs including Money Smart Week, Mission Creek FREE programs at the Library this weekend, and B.Y.O. Book.
I talked about the Library’s new Blog, 123 South Linn, and how the response has been great. We have between 50 and 250 views per day. I also talked about Book Madness FINAL FOUR and encouraged patrons to vote on the Library’s Facebook page or in person at the Library.
There’s always something going on at the Iowa City Public Library and we enjoy sharing the information with our friends who listen to KXIC.
by Kara Logsden on March 24th, 2014
Stone Cold is a bone-chilling page turner in C.J. Box’s Joe Pickett series. Game Warden Joe Pickett is sent to northeastern Wyoming, deep in the Black Hills, on assignment from Governor Rulon and the FBI to investigate a wealthy rancher who may be involved in businesses beyond ranching and cattle. Joe unexpectedly meets up with his friend Nate Romanowski and questions remain about which side of the law Nate operates on.
In typical C.J. Box style, Stone Cold has a strong sense of place and the plot moves quickly. There are questions of legal justice vs. moral justice intertwined with memorable characters and a lot of snow.
I think one sign of a great book is the reader doesn’t want it to end. Once again, C.J. Box provided many hours of enjoyment and I was sorry when the book ended. The good news is Stone Cold introduced many new plot lines and I’m anxious to know where C.J. Box takes takes us next. ~Enjoy~
by Kara Logsden on March 11th, 2014
I had the privilege of hearing Jane Goodall speak at Carver Hawkeye Arena last night and it was amazing! Goodall is funny, engaging, and passionate about her work and the environment. If you missed the program, the Iowa City Press-Citizen did a great job summarizing her lecture.
My favorite quote of the evening came when Goodall talked about buying a used copy of Tarzan of the Apes and falling in love with the main character. Goodall reflected, “He married the wrong Jane.”
The Library has a great collection of materials by and about Jane Goodall including books, audiobooks & DVDs and many are available for checkout.
by Kara Logsden on March 11th, 2014
This week two of my favorite things come together in Indianapolis: the Public Library Association Conference and the Big Ten Men’s Basketball tournament. While I don’t expect to see my favorite Iowa basketball players, I anticipate a great week at the Conference.
In preparation for the conference, here’s my top 10 list of what I’m looking forward to.
||Meeting Librarians: PLA hosts librarians from around the world. I’ve met many amazing librarians while sharing a table at a meal and standing in a line.
||New Technology: What’s new in the market for DVD unlockers, gadgets, Library Vending Machines (think RedBox for Libraries) and ????
||Outreach Ideas: What outreach services do other libraries offer? Could these programs work in Iowa City?
||New Service Models: The AnyThink libraries in Colorado are unique and approach services to patrons in a new way. What other unique ideas are out there?
||Meeting authors: In the past I’ve met Carl Hiassen, Nora Roberts, Nancy Pearl and others.
BTW: One year I’d just heard Robie Harris and Michael Emberley on NPR talking about their new book, “It’s So Amazing” when I met them at a conference. My daughter used to make up one-liners that started with, “You know your mom’s a librarian if [fill in the blank].” My favorite: “You know your mom’s a librarian if your books about puberty are signed by the author … and the illustrator!” LOL
||Telling the Library’s Story: What are the trends in social media? What resonates with patrons? Are there new ideas or best practices for sharing information about the Library?
||Trends: What’s on the horizon for libraries? What will patrons in Iowa City expect from the Library in the future? How should we prepare for this?
BTW: Did you know vendors track what type of listening options are offered in new cars to predict future demand for audiobook formats? The demise of cassette players in cars foreshadowed the decrease in demand for audiobooks on cassette. How have formats and technology changed how we listen?
||eBook Updates: After consensus building between the American Library Association and publishers, there has been a lot of good news on the Library eBook frontier. I look forward to more friendly conversations with people in the publishing industry and hope for better integration of eBooks with our Library Catalog.
||Books, BOOKS and more BOOKS: PLA offers a sneak peek and advanced reader copies of upcoming books. There are author programs, book signings, and receptions with popular authors. Did I mention lots of BOOKS!?
||Making it Real: I always return from a conference recharged and full of new ideas for how we can improve the Library experience for ICPL patrons.
Go Librarians! Go Hawks! See you in Indianapolis!
by Kara Logsden on March 4th, 2014
Recently we had a great suggestion from one of our Teacher-Librarians. She said their school needs information about the Library in both English and Spanish. Here’s information about the SUMMER LIBRARY BUS in Spanish and English:
Una tarjeta de la Biblioteca Pública de Iowa City también sirve para tomar el bus de Iowa City completamente gratis durante el verano. La Biblioteca proveerá por viajes gratis del autobús a niños hasta grado doce, y adultos quien les están guardando, solamente en caminos de Iowa City, desde el día después del final de escuela pública hasta el día antes del primer día de escuela, durante la semana entre 9:00 por la mañana y 3:00 por la tarde. Personas que quieran usar este servicio tengan que mostrar sus tarjetas de Biblioteca Pública a camioneros para sacar viajes gratis. Todos autobuses de Iowa City paran por el zócalo y está una camina corta de tres cuadras hasta la Biblioteca Pública. Niños puedan regresar a hogar por cualquier hora con una tarjeta de Read & Ride, que puedan sacar por todas Mesas de Servicio en la Biblioteca Pública.
Visítanos, llámenos o visite www.icpl.org/cards para más información sobre tarjetas y usando la biblioteca.
An Iowa City Public Library card is your child’s ticket to ride an Iowa City Transit bus FREE this summer. The Library will provide free bus rides to children through 12th grade, and the adult caregivers who are with them, on any Iowa City Transit bus route, from the day after Iowa City Schools dismiss until the day before schools start, on weekdays between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM. Bus riders should show their Iowa City Public Library card to the bus driver to gain free access to the bus. Iowa City Transit buses stop at the downtown Iowa City interchange at the Old Capitol Town Center, and it is a short three block walk to the Library. Children can catch a ride home anytime the same day with a Ride & Read bus pass, issued by showing a Library Card at any public service desk at the Library.
For more information about Library Cards and using the Library, navigate to www.icpl.org/cards.
by Kara Logsden on February 25th, 2014
BHAG = Big. Hairy. Audacious. Goal. We have a BHAG … We think every child in our community should have a Library card.
I know I’m probably preaching to the choir here, but I think this is a goal we should all share. Libraries today are so much more than reading. Libraries are community centers with technology and people who can answer questions. We have an amazing Children’s Room and an awesome Teen Center with computers, games, and room to do homework and socialize. This is a great place to pick up a “Library Habit.” And wouldn’t it be great if our youth discovered their “Library Habit” when they are young?
As a community, how can we make sure every child has a Library Card? At the Library, we are scheduling spring visits to elementary schools in our service area. Children’s Room staff will talk about Summer Reading Program and getting a Library Card. Our Teen Librarian is visiting the junior high and high schools and talking about SRP and Library cards. We are also reaching out to elementary schools in our service area and offering to send ICPL staff to register students on-site for Library Cards.
How can you help? If you have children, make sure they have a Library Card. If you are around other youth, ask them if they have a Library Card. If not, encourage them to get one or invite their family to visit the Library with you. Maybe share what having a Library Card means to you.
I hope you share our BHAG and let’s make this a community where everyone has a Library Card!
by Kara Logsden on February 21st, 2014
On Saturday February 22, ICPL staff will travel to the Lone Tree School Library to share information about Iowa City Public Library collections, online resources, programs and services. Everyone who lives in Lone Tree is invited to attend. There’s a rumor there may be some sweet treats too.
Iowa City Public Library staff will be available 9-10:30 AM to issue Library Cards and share information about ICPL collections, programs and services. There will also be a Storytime and craft program for children and a class about how to download eCollections.
Recently the Lone Tree City Council contracted with Iowa City Public Library for library services. This event is planned so Lone Tree residents can learn more about Library services and sign-up for a Library Card.
We’ll see you in Lone Tree on Saturday
by Kara Logsden on February 14th, 2014
Recently one of our dedicated patrons provided feedback about “dirty books in the Library.” Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day and no, we are not talking about bodice-ripping romances that are very popular. He was talking about books that had been “violated with food stains and other deposits.”
Photo from Goodreads.com
At the Library, we take great pride in the physical condition of our collections. We allocate a portion of our collection budget to replacing worn or damaged materials. We understand things happen and sometimes our materials get damaged (OK – confession time – I have fallen asleep in the bathtub with a Library book and yes, the book fell in the water … oops).
We also check in over 1 million items each year. While we catch many damaged materials at checkin, we can’t catch everything. We depend on our patrons to let us know if a book, DVD or other item needs to go to mending or be “retired” because of damage or “violation.” The easiest way to let us know is to tape a note on the cover. A note will alert the people who check in Library materials that we need to route the item for further inspection and follow-up.
Happy Valentine’s Day, happy reading in the bathtub, and please let us know if a Library item needs attention.
by Kara Logsden on January 9th, 2014
Maeve Binchy finished her final novel, A Week in Winter, just before she died in July 2012. This is a bittersweet review for me, because I have been a Maeve Binchy fan for over 20 years. I saved reading her last book for nearly a year, not wanting to face our final journey together.
I first discovered Maeve Binchy when I was commuting between DeWitt, Iowa and Moline, Illinois in my first job after graduate school. The DeWitt Library had a great audiobook collection and I loved the Irish narration and stories. I fell in love the the strong sense of place, good character development, and the feeling of escape to Ireland I felt while listening on my commutes.
Fast forward over 20 years and I’m still enjoying Maeve Binchy. A Week In Winter is set in small town on the west coast or Ireland. This is place where there are long & desolate beaches, pounding waves, fierce winds, welcoming pubs, warming sunshine, and a strong community. There are two groups of people – the first is led by Chicky Starr who decides to buy a rundown house and turn it into a restful inn by the sea. She enlists help from friends and family to bring her dream to reality. The second group is the guests who stay at the Inn the first week it is open.
Characters develop, acquaintances become friends, problems are sorted out, delicious food is served & enjoyed, music is shared, and pubs are visited. Maeve Binchy weaves the story of each character with her signature warmth and humor. During our recent Polar Vortex, I knew it was the perfect time to read this book and enjoy one last Maeve Binchy escape.
Cheers to Maeve Binchy and thank you for the hours of reading pleasure we’ve shared over the last two decades!