Library Catalog Ask a Librarian Book a Meeting Room
Catalog Your Account Menu

Author Archive for Kara Logsden

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!

Summer Library Bus

by Kara Logsden on March 4th, 2014

2013 Summer Library BusRecently 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 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

What is your BHAG?

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!



Road Trip to Lone Tree

by Kara Logsden on February 21st, 2014

2013 12 Lone TreeOn 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 :)

Dirty Books in the Library

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

Photo from

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.


Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy

by Kara Logsden on January 9th, 2014
Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy Cover Image

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!

Gadget as Gift…Now what do I do?

by Kara Logsden on December 26th, 2013
Gadget as Gift…Now what do I do? Cover Image

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!

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

by Kara Logsden on December 17th, 2013
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion Cover Image

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~