by Kara Logsden on September 17th, 2016
Music on Wednesdays kicks off on September 21 at Noon in the Lobby with the local Americana band, Muckrockers. Muckrockers was an active band a few years back and is recently reconstituted and appearing in local venues. Current band members include Scott Cochran, Jamie Kearney, Matt Kearney and Stacy Webster. For a preview of their music navigate to www.reverbnation.com/muckrockers
Muckrockers is self-described as “a group of working class musician-citizens aiming to illuminate and eliminate the corporate stranglehold on our government and our lives.”
We look forward to hosting Muckrockers and kicking off the new Music on Wednesdays season!
by Kara Logsden on September 7th, 2016
Once again it has happened … I came to the end of a wonderful book and I want more!
Chris Cleave artfully crafts a World War II fiction novel based on love letters between his grandparents. With the backdrop of war, bombing, starvation, bravery, society, and personal sacrifice, Cleave weaves together unforgettable characters in a story that requires pondering long after the book is finished.
Everyone Brave is Forgiven is set in London and Malta. Mary is a socialite who feels compelled to contribute to the war effort. Alistair signs up for service reluctantly because he has an obligation to duty. Tom would rather forget the war, but with Alistair’s enlistment it’s a topic that can’t be forgotten. Three people, three friends, and three wars. Innocence is lost, London is bombed, Malta is devastated, friendship is tested, and morals are questioned.
I listened to the story and Luke Thompson’s narration brings the story to life. When the story was over, I backed it up and listened to the ending again. Highly recommended.
by Kara Logsden on September 6th, 2016
Last year the Music on Wednesdays series was so popular we decided to plan a second year of great programs. Join us for some toe-tapping tunes featuring musicians from our community.
All programs are at Noon on the Wednesdays below – Mark your calendars! Most programs are in the Lobby, but if it’s cold we move to the Gallery (near the first floor Magazine Area). If we’re hosting the students from Preucil School of Music, we’ll be in Meeting Room A (they bring a big crowd). Read the rest of this entry »
by Kara Logsden on August 23rd, 2016
Library staff had a great night out last night at the Iowa City Community School District Ice Cream Socials. More than 90 people signed up for new Library Cards and we had a lot of fun visiting with students and their families.
Beth was at Lucas Elementary and reported, “One family I talked to was new to Iowa City, but they were happy to tell me they had already been down to ICPL to get cards. One dad thanked me for the SRP fine waive.”
Madonna at Grant Wood Elementary reported one patron said his Library Card is the “Best card in my wallet.” She also met many students who are interested in Minecraft and she told them about the Library’s Minecraft programs (schedule at calendar.icpl.org).
Elyse was at Hoover Elementary and a lot of people there told her they “LOVE the Library!”
Susan was at Twain and reported many people said, “I have a card!” and “We love the library.”
Patty was at Horn Elementary and wins the prize for signing up the most people for new Library Cards – 24 registered including many who are new to the United States or are returning after studying here. Read the rest of this entry »
by Kara Logsden on July 28th, 2016
Decoupage is back in style! Recently I discovered a couple books in the Library’s collection about decoupage using Mod Podge, and it brought back a flood of happy childhood memories.
My friends and I used to make decoupage gifts for one-another. One of my favorites is displayed in my office – a cartoon from Western Horseman my friend decoupaged onto a board showing a girl riding a horse. The caption is “If you can read this bumper sticker … you might be kicked.” (It still makes me giggle.)
I also remember working with my Mom to make decoupage gifts for the holidays – one year we decoupaged our school pictures onto small boards as a gift for our grandparents. Read the rest of this entry »
by Kara Logsden on July 22nd, 2016
The Johnson County Fair runs July 25-28 and it’s my favorite week of the year. I grew up at the Johnson County Fair. My Mom was a 4-H leader, served on the Fair Board and 4-H Youth Committee and was the Home Economics Superintendent for many years. I spent many a happy day playing on the steps in Montgomery Hall, enjoying Lemonade Shake-ups, and getting tossed into the livestock watering tanks. What wonderful memories of growing up in Iowa!
Over the past 18 years, while working at the Iowa City Public Library, I’ve had the privilege of working with the Public Libraries of Johnson County to organize and staff a booth in Building B where we share information about our libraries with the community. The Public Libraries of Johnson County organization reminds me a lot of the 4-H organization and Johnson County Agricultural Association: We focus on youth development, share in the joy of learning by doing, and recognize while we may come from different places we all contribute to the civic life of our community. Read the rest of this entry »
by Kara Logsden on July 16th, 2016
I just finished listening to Year of Yes, narrated by the author, Shonda Rhimes, and it was great. I don’t usually listen to Nonfiction, but a friend recommended it so I placed a hold. I didn’t realize when I started the book that Rhimes is the creator of one of my favorite shows, Grey’s Anatomy. That fact, plus the excellent writing and author narration made the book even more enjoyable.
Read the rest of this entry »
by Kara Logsden on June 8th, 2016
Summer is here and for me that means time for reading and relaxation. At the Help Desk our patrons often ask, “What have you read recently that you really liked?” I love these questions because it helps me think about books and why I liked them. I thought I’d share my recent list in case you are looking for a good book for your relaxing summer reading.
I also discovered there’s a new name for one of my favorite genres: Biographical Fiction. I’ve always thought of these books as “Historical Fiction” but recently I’ve been seeing the term “Biographic Fiction” more and it makes sense. These are books with stories based on real people, but often the dialogue and other details are created by the author to move the story. Melanie Benjamin includes an interesting commentary about how she approaches writing Biographical Fiction in the Author’s Note at the end of The Swans of Fifth Avenue.
Read the rest of this entry »
by Kara Logsden on May 21st, 2016
Our final Music on Wednesday program will be held Wednesday May 25th at Noon. The Old Post Office Brass Quintet, which is affiliated with the New Horizons Band, will share a variety of toe-tapping fun music. This free program will be held in the Library Lobby.
The New Horizons Band is “dedicated to fostering an understanding of the vital relationship between creative expression and healthy aging. The band, as well as the small spin-off groups perform regularly throughout the area and are known for bringing much joy to many, especially the older adult members of our community.”
I’m sad the Music on Wednesday series is coming to a close. It’s fun to see the surprised expression on people’s faces when they come into the Library and encounter music in an expected place. Most people smile and some stop and listen. Music in unexpected places reminds us to slow down and enjoy the moment. I have a secret hope we’ll continue to have pop-up music in the Lobby. Most people know what to expect at the Library, but some days a bit of serendipity through music is a welcome surprise.
by Kara Logsden on May 7th, 2016
OK … confession time. I’ve never heard Crystal City perform live. They came highly recommended to me and when I read this review from Hillfolk Noir, who could resist?! “Crystal City from Iowa City, Iowa, is a versatile combo centered around Dave’s midwestern sincerity. His honest songs and Sam’s lilting harmonies can warm a weary heart and get bedraggled feet stomping. -Travis & Ali Ward, Hillfolk Noir”
Dave Helmer and Sam Drella are Crystal City. Their music is described as “Heartland rock band with blue-collar roots” with “themes of love and loss, being good to each other, and celebrating life.” While preparing for this program, I’ve enjoyed listening to their music online (listen here) and getting to know their music a bit better. If you live in Iowa City or an area that contracts with us (Iowa City, rural Johnson County, Hills or University Heights) you can download their album for free with your ICPL card and password via our Local Music Project.
Please join us on Wednesday May 11 at Noon in the Library’s Lobby for a toe-tapping musical performance with Crystal City. I dare you to not tap your toes and hum along. And who knows, maybe some bedraggled feet may begin stomping! See you at the Library!