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.
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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.
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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!
by Kara Logsden on May 6th, 2016
Recently the Library Board reviewed the Library’s Meeting Room policy and approved a couple minor changes. The Meeting Room and Lobby Use Policy provides guidelines for how the Library’s meetings rooms and Lobby are used for Library and community events and programs. It also guides how Library Staff manage this resource. The Library has five meeting rooms. Rooms A, B, C, and D are just off the Lobby and available hours beyond when the Library is open. Room E is on the second floor and is available Library hours only.
According to the Policy, “The purpose of the Library’s meeting rooms is to provide space for library programs and events, to fulfill the Library’s role as a community center, where the public can attend informational, educational, cultural events and to champion the principle of intellectual freedom by providing a forum for the free exchange of ideas.”
Also, according to Policy, “Rooms are available to non-profit corporations (defined as those entities granted tax-exempt status by the IRS under section 501(c)(3) or other tax exempt sections of the Internal Revenue Code), a candidate’s campaign committee (as defined in Iowa Code §68A.102(5)), a political committee (as defined by Iowa Code §68A.102 (18), a non-profit citizen’s group that provides appropriate contact information, a governmental subdivision, or a department/division/bureau of a governmental subdivision. Rooms are not available for use as a regularly scheduled classroom or study space by educational institutions.”
The Library’s meeting rooms are very busy and many community groups depend on the Library’s Meeting Rooms. In FY15 there were 3,261 events in the Library’s meeting rooms and Lobby. Of those, 1,528 were meetings and events hosted by community groups. The rooms are used most on Tuesdays and the busiest start time for meetings is 10:00 AM.
More information about the Library’s meeting rooms is available at icpl.org/meeting-rooms. The Library’s building calendar is available at calendar.icpl.org. There’s a handy link on both pages for eligible groups to self-schedule a meeting room. Or give us a call (319.356.5200) or stop by – Library staff are happy to help with scheduling or answer any questions you have.
by Kara Logsden on May 2nd, 2016
Do you have a Library Card? Are you ready for summer? Why do I ask?
The Summer Library Bus program at the Iowa City Public Library kicks off on Thursday May 26th.
An Iowa City Public Library card is a 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 (Thursday May 26th) until the day before school starts (Tuesday August 23), 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.
More information about riding the bus to the Library is available at this link: icpl.org/hours-location/ride/
Information about applying for a Library Card is available at: icpl.org/cards
Three cheers for SUMMER and the SUMMER LIBRARY BUS! We’ll see you at the Library!
by Kara Logsden on April 26th, 2016
Mark your calendars for Friday April 29th at Noon in Meeting Room A for our final Music on Friday program from students at the University of Iowa School of Music. Two classical pieces will be performed, one by J.S. Bach and one by W.A. Mozart. The Music on Friday series is a part of Music is the Word, a nine-month series of program welcoming the University of Iowa School of Music to Downtown Iowa City.
I have to confess I am sad the Music is the Word series is winding down. Fortunately, a quick look at the MITW Schedule shows many great programs before the Finale program May 21st at 6:30 PM with Catfish Keith. My favorite part of the series has been the live music at the Library. We discovered the Library’s Lobby has excellent acoustics for live music performance and it’s fun to see the surprised look on people’s faces when they come into the Library and hear music being performed.
I have started thinking about the live music programs as “Serendipity in the Stacks.” A quick Google search for the definition of serendipity said, “the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.” Certainly that’s what we’ve found during the live music performances and I hope they continue beyond the Music is the Word series. Head to the Library on Friday at noon for a bit of serendipity. It’s guaranteed to make you happy.
by Kara Logsden on April 25th, 2016
Come and enjoy the toe-tapping upbeat music from local musician, Mike Haverkamp in the Library’s Lobby this Wednesday (4/27) at Noon as a part of the Music is the Word series.
Mike’s primary instrument is banjo, but he also plays guitar, Autoharp, dulcimer, banjo-uke, mandolin, and harmonica. Mike has performed in many venues and conducted workshops in songwriting, how to play the Autoharp, making connections between historical time periods and music, and building instruments from recycled objects.
On a personal note, Mike’s music always makes me smile. There’s nothing like great banjo music and complimentary vocal to make you smile and get your toes tapping to the rhythm. I’ll see you on Wednesday
by Kara Logsden on April 7th, 2016
On April 13, 2016 at Noon, Preucil School of Music staff and students return to the Iowa City Public Library for a Special Music on Wednesday program celebrating “Notes of Spring.”
Music on Wednesday is a part of the Music is the Word series welcoming the University of Iowa School of Music to Downtown Iowa City. More information about Music is the Word, including a schedule of programs, is available at www.icpl.org/mitw.
“Notes of Spring” is the fourth and final performance from the musicians from Preucil School of Music. I have especially enjoyed these performances because it’s great to take a music break during the day and I am so impressed with the passion and dedication I’ve seen from the Preucil performers. Below is a preview of the program planned for Wednesday April 13th at Noon. I hope to see you there!