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Author Archive for Kara Logsden

Care and Management of Lies by Jacqueline Winspear

by Kara Logsden on May 15th, 2014
Care and Management of Lies by Jacqueline Winspear Cover Image

Jacqueline Winspear, the author of the popular Maisie Dobbs mystery series, is set to release a standalone historical fiction novel on July 1. I had the privilege of reading an advanced reader copy. The Library has five copies on order, so place your hold soon so you will be at the front of the hold queue.

The Care and Management of Lies is set in rural England in 1914 and on the battlefields of France during World War I. Young bride, Kezia Brissenden, is left to manage the family farm as her husband (Tom) and his sister (Thea), who is Kezia’s best friend, head to fight in France. Tom feels honor-bound to serve while Thea, who was a teacher and suffragette in London, volunteered to serve as an ambulance driver in order to escape incarceration for her political work. Kezia transforms from an educated city-girl to an experienced farmer who expertly manages her land and livestock.

Winspear is an expert storyteller who captures the personal anguish and struggles with a backdrop that contrasts agrarian life with the life experienced by soldiers on the battlefront in France.  I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and especially enjoyed reading the commentary from Jacqueline Winspear on her webpage.  I look forward to more novels from Jacqueline Winspear and the historical fiction stories she weaves.

Friday Night Concerts Begin THIS WEEK!

by Kara Logsden on May 13th, 2014

2014 05 FezLet the SUMMER begin in Downtown Iowa City! Summer of the Arts’ “Friday Night Concert Series” kicks off this Friday May 16 with The Fez.

The Fez is a 15-piece Steely Dan jazz/rock-fusion tribute band composed of many awesome local musicians. Bring your lawnchair and head Downtown to the Weatherdance Fountain Stage to enjoy summer sounds from 6:30-9:30 PM.  If there’s a chance of bad weather, check the Summer of the Arts webpage for schedule and location updates.

Can’t wait until Friday night for some local music?  Check out the Library’s Local Music Project at or click here to listen to Fez musician Saul Lubaroff and his quartet play “Blues for Zane and Will.”

For a full Summer of the Arts schedule, navigate to:

We’ll see you Downtown this summer!

P.S. Don’t forget the Library is open until 8:00 PM on Fridays :)

Ready for Summer & Library Cards

by Kara Logsden on May 7th, 2014

Library staff members are diligently working to make sure students have Library Cards and are ready for summer!  Staff traveled to Robert Lucas and Grant Wood elementary recently to sign students up for Library Cards.  2014 04 Grant Wood library cardsStaff will be at Mark Twain Elementary’s Family Night on May 29 to sign students and family members up for Library Cards.

We are also working with Teacher Librarians and Student & Family Advocates to help students at other schools sign-up for Library Cards.  In these cases, school staff collect applications and forward them to Library staff.  Library staff issue the Library Cards and mail them to the student’s home.

We are also working with Johnson County Extension’s 4-H on Wheels summer program to extend Library services to students who will participate in 4-H on Wheels in Lone Tree this summer.  Library staff will travel to Lone Tree once a week to check out Library materials to students based on the weekly 4-H on Wheels theme.  The themes are generally STEM based and including information about nutrition, science, and other interesting topics.

Since the beginning of February, Library Staff have issued 144 Library Cards though our outreach efforts with local schools.  We appreciate the wonderful staff at our schools and their dedication to help students continue to read over the summer.

Here’s a rundown of the numbers.  Three Cheers for Library Cards!

School # Cards Issued
Lone Tree 13
Shimek 5
Weber 12
Horn 28
Mann 5
Lucas 19
Hills 2
Wood 60
Total 144

Kirkwood English Language Learner Program Tour

by Kara Logsden on May 6th, 2014

We received a wonderful letter today from Kirkwood Community College’s English Language Learner program following a tour for their students last month. Students enrolled in Kirkwood’s program who were on this tour were from Sudan, Iran, the Democratic Republic of Congo, China, El Salvador, Guinea, Laos, Vietnam, Mexico and Algeria. They were a fun group and even enjoyed some of my jokes (which building downtown has the most stories?).

Library staff enjoy welcoming everyone to the Library and especially people who are new to our community. It is fun to see the Library through new eyes, and to see patron making connections with how they may utilize Library resources in their own lives.

The letter from Kirkwood’s staff says, “The students were frankly amazed about the size, services, comfort, and approachability of the library … Thank you for teaching these Iowa City newcomers from around the world about your library services and for making them comfortable with and eager to visit the library.”

We extend our thanks to Kirkwood for introducing the Library to their students and for working with us to host the English Conversation Group on Friday mornings.  For more information about Kirkwood’s program for English language learners, navigate to

Library Services for Persons over Age 55

by Kara Logsden on May 5th, 2014

Recently the Iowa City City Council appointed an ad-hoc Senior Services committee that will begin meeting in May. In preparation for these meetings, the Library provided information about collections, programs and services of interest to people over age 55. I thought I’d share some of the interesting tidbits from the Library’s report.

Library Cards:  As of April 24, 2014, 7,491 people over age 55 had active Library cards with 8,089 items checked out.  Of those, 4,938 people live in Iowa City and they have 5,567 items checked out.  995 live in rural Johnson County and they have 1,091 items checked out.

At Home Services:  The Library’s At Home service provides traditional Library collections by mail to residents of the Library’s service area (Iowa City, rural Johnson County, Hills, University Heights and Lone Tree) for those who are unable to come to the Library because of a physical disability. Most people enrolled in At Home Services are over age 55. Currently 128 patrons are enrolled in At Home services and in FY13, an average of 39 patrons were served each month. In FY13, the Library loaned 2,888 items to and the Library’s Switchboard answered 255 calls from At Home patrons.

Community Outreach Collections:  The Library maintains community outreach collections at many retirement residences and other community organizations that serve people over age 55. These sites include the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center, Oaknoll, Melrose Meadows, Walden Place, Capitol House Apartments, Chatham Oaks, Hope Lodge, and MECCA. Some sites utilize books checked out from the Library’s collection, while others accept donated materials. In FY13, 660 items were loaned to community organizations from the Library’s collection and 2,242 items, culled from donations to the Library and withdrawn materials, were sent for members of the community to use.

Volunteer Program:  The Library connects with many community members through our Volunteer Program. In FY13, 364 people volunteered at the Library. Of those, 83 volunteers were over age 55 and they volunteered 4,154 hours.

Technology Support:  For the first nine months of FY14, the Library assisted 358 patrons in our Drop-In Tech Help sessions on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Staff estimates 50% of the people who seek assistance at these sessions are age 55 and over.  There is a also special Senior Tech Zone weekly on Thursdays, from 10:30 AM-12:30 PM, staffed by volunteers from the Johnson County Livable Community project.

The Library serves people over age 55 in many ways. The information above represents a snapshot of some of the collections, programs and services available at the Library. If you have questions, please give us a call.

Iowa Author New Novel

by Kara Logsden on April 9th, 2014

2014 04 go away homeCarol 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.


KXIC Jay Capron Morning Show

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.



Stone Cold by C.J. Box

by Kara Logsden on March 24th, 2014
Stone Cold by C.J. Box Cover Image

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~


Jane Goodall’s Visit to Iowa City

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.

Librarians and Basketball

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.

#10 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.
#9 New Technology: What’s new in the market for DVD unlockers, gadgets, Library Vending Machines (think RedBox for Libraries) and ????
#8 Outreach Ideas: What outreach services do other libraries offer? Could these programs work in Iowa City?
#7 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?
#6 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
#5 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?
#4 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?
#3 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.
#2 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!?
#1 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!