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Author Archive for Kara Logsden



Paging @ Your Library

by Kara Logsden on April 3rd, 2015

What is Paging?

In the computer world, paging relates to how data is stored and schemes to keep data handy so it can easily be retrieved.

In the Library world, Paging is retrieving checked in items from the Library’s collection. Paging is both a service and an activity. Paging as a service means our patrons may put an item that is checked in on hold. Our response is to send one of our Pages (hourly staff members) to the shelf to Page (retrieve) the item and put it on the Holds shelf for the patron to pick up.

Each day we Page over 100 items for patrons. Basically this is how it works:

1. The patron places a hold on an item that is checked in. Holds may be places through our catalog (catalog.icpl.org) or by calling the Library at 319-356-5200. Checked in items with holds become “Paged” items. Patrons may have up to 10 free holds in their Library Account at any time.Paging Cart 4

2. Before we open, and about every 2 hours after that, we run a list of items that have been Paged. A Page goes to the shelf, pulls the Paged item off the shelf, and delivers it to Switchboard staff.

3. Switchboard staff check the Paged items in and print holds slips. This is when the hold slip is placed in the book and then the book is placed on a cart to be shelved on the Holds shelf.

4. Once all the Paged books are accounted for, Switchboard staff send Hold Notices. They are delivered by either eMail, Automated Telephone Notification, or via a print notice in US Mail.

Note: The delivery method for notices is determined by each individual’s preference based on information in thShelving 10eir Library Account. If you want to change how you receive notices, please give us a call or stop by the Help Desk. In March 2015, Switchboard staff sent over 7,600 notices about holds ready for pickup.

5. Help Desk staff file the item on the Holds shelf. They are filed by the first three letters of the patron’s last name and first initial. My holds are found at LOG K.

6. A happy patron picks up their Paged item and tells a friend about the wonderful Paging service at the Library :)

Periodically a patron will find a checked in item that has been put on hold by another patron. When this happens it is a bit tricky. Our procedure is the Hold takes priority and we explain to the patron that someone had requested the item be Paged and we must honor their hold. We also offer to place a hold on the item so the patron may borrow it once the patron who requested the Page returns it.

Sometimes we have patrons who place a hold on items then come to the Library immediately, expecting to pick the item up. Please remember it takes us a bit of time to Page materials and, in some cases, we are unable to find the item on the self. In that case, we continue to search for the item in hopes we find it. Please wait until you receive your hold notice before you come to the Library to pick up your materials.

If you have questions about Paging or Holds, please give us a call or stop by one of our service desks. On any given day we have over 700 items on our Holds shelf waiting to be picked up. We will hold items for six days, so that gives patrons a bit of time to come in and retrieve their holds.

Remote Book Returns @ Your Library

by Kara Logsden on March 3rd, 2015

Can’t make it Downtown to return your Library materials? Never fear – remote book returns are here!2015 03 Book Return

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.

Serendipity in the Stacks

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 :)

Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod

by Kara Logsden on February 18th, 2015
Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod Cover Image

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.

100 Foot Journey

by Kara Logsden on February 5th, 2015
100 Foot Journey Cover Image

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!

Community and Access Services Open House

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 2015 01 30 Susan and Briansharing 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 2015 01 30 CAS Open HouseCarlson, 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!

 

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

by Kara Logsden on January 1st, 2015
Yes Please by Amy Poehler Cover Image

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!

And the 2015 All Iowa Reads Book is …

by Kara Logsden on December 25th, 2014

2014 12 My nameEvery 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.

 

 

OH NO I returned my library book to the wrong library!

by Kara Logsden on December 22nd, 2014

2014 12 22 oa returns YESEvery 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 :)

Why is the Library closed on Friday?

by Kara Logsden on December 10th, 2014

business_closed_sign_pageEvery 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.




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