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!
by Kara Logsden on December 26th, 2013
We noticed a trend today with many holds on books about devices including iPads, iPhones, Kindles, and Androids.
Do you need help learning to use your new gift? Never fear – the Library is here! We have many opportunities for help and learning in our Computer Lab. Remember to bring your gadget and Library card.
Scheduled Tech Zones include:
“eBooks, eAudiobooks, and eMagazines for iPad or iPhone” held Monday December 30, 1-2 PM. Click here to register.
“eBooks, eAudiobooks, and eMagazines for Kindle Devices” held Friday January 10, 10-11 AM. Click here to register.
Drop in Tech Help:
Mondays & Wednesdays 10 AM-Noon
Tuesdays Noon-4 PM
Senior Tech Zone:
Thursdays 10:30 AM-12:30 PM
Special Tech Zone:
Saturday January 11, 10 AM- Noon
If none of these times work for you, bring your gadget and Library Card to the Library and we will help. Happy New Year!
by Kara Logsden on December 17th, 2013
I love when friends pass along good book recommendations. Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project was a lot of fun and aided in my continued procrastination this holiday season.
Don Tillman is a lovable but socially awkward professor of genetics in Australia who lives an orderly, routine, logical, evidence-based life. Because Don is lonely, he decides to create “The Wife Project” to help him find a partner. Being a scientist, he approaches this project the only way he knows how: Don identifies all characteristics he would expect in a compatible partner and creates a questionnaire that would have a high statistical probability of identifying Ms. Right. What Don doesn’t expect is to be drawn to someone who demonstrates a high probability of incompatibility.
Speaking of incompatibility, Don meets Rosie and abandons “The Wife Project” because Rosie needs help with her “Father Project.” Suddenly Don’s life is turned upside down and he’s not sure if he can fit flexibility, change and disorder into his life. But after some time with Rosie, he’s willing to give it a try.
The characters are quirky but lovable, the plot moves quickly, and Don’s social inadequacies are endearing. This is a fun read that is highly recommended. ~Enjoy~
by Kara Logsden on December 12th, 2013
Thanks to a friend I received an Advance Reader Copy of Nancy Horan’s new book, Under the Wide and Starry Sky. Nancy Horan is the author of Loving Frank, a fictionalized story about architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Because Loving Frank is on my list of all-time favorite books, I was delighted to have a sneak-peek at Horan’s new book due out January 7, 2014.
Horan’s new novel begins in 1875 and focuses on Fanny van de Grift Osbourne, an independent American woman who flees her life with a philandering husband in San Francisco and moves with her children to Belgium. After a personal tragedy, she moves to an artist colony in France where she can retreat and refocus her life. While in France, Fanny meets a young Scot who instantly falls in love with her. The Scotsman, Robert Louis Stevenson, is an unhealthy attorney, plagued with lung ailments, who yearns to devote his life to writing. Stevenson’s love for Fanny is not a popular decision with his family and friends; however, he is determined to forge ahead. After Stevenson achieves fame, Fanny must strike a balance between her independence, desire to also be a writer, and support for Stevenson.
I enjoy reading Historical Fiction and learning about a well-known person in a new way. Stevenson is best known for his novels Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; however, despite his writing success, health and personal issues plagued him during his lifetime and readers will come to appreciate the partnership Fanny and Stevenson shared that enabled his life as an author. From France to Scotland, California, England, Switzerland and Samoa, each place offered challenges and triumphs. The book is on order, so put your hold in now for this great new novel. ~Enjoy~
by Kara Logsden on November 8th, 2013
One of my favorite books from the past decade is The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton. The Wednesday Sisters is a “coming of age” novel, set against a backdrop of the late 1960s, Civil Rights, Women’s Movement, and Vietnam War protests, that chronicles the friendship of five women who live in California. Fast forward nearly thirty years and The Wednesday Daughters continues the story with the next generation of friends.
The first chapter of the book was like meeting an old friend and I remembered why I loved The Wednesday Sisters years ago:
“We Wednesday Daughters weren’t born on Wednesdays, and we aren’t blood relations. We don’t gather to write at picnic tables like our mothers did. We’re just daughters of friends who’ve called themselves “Wednesday Sisters” since before I was born, daughters who became friends ourselves the way girls who grow up together sometimes do, whether they have much in common or not.”
Set in the Lake District of the United Kingdom, Hope, Anna Page and Julie travel to the UK to retreat after the death of Hope’s mother and other collective and individual sorrows. The sisters have learned life is not easy and sometimes retreats and friendships are needed in order to face an uncertain future. Meg Waite Clayton weaves a compelling story with solid characters, a strong sense of place, and a meandering storyline perfect for cold winter nights. There is also a side story about the author Beatrix Potter I initially found distracting, but once I was immersed into the story, I enjoyed it.
As winter settles in, it is nice to settle into a good book and rekindle friendships with beloved characters from the past.