Library Catalog Ask a Librarian Request a Meeting Room

Author Archive for Melody Dworak

Changes to Consumer Reports website

by Melody Dworak on October 28th, 2016

If you haven’t visited the Consumer Reports website in the past month, you’ve been missing out on some helpful changes. The website not only has an updated look, it now hosts 360-degree video, an at-a-glance ratings key, and highlights recall notices for products on their ratings page.

Before September, the ratings legend used to use black and red circles to indicate how well a product performed. These symbols weren’t always easy to interpret. Consumer Reports has changed these symbols to make the performance of the product obvious at a glance, using circles, arrows, and colors as in the following illustration:

New CR ratings key

Read the rest of this entry »

New digital magazines!

by Melody Dworak on October 3rd, 2016

As of October 1, Digital Johnson County has added 6 new Zinio digital magazine subscriptions that you can own for FREE with your library card! When you go to check one out, make sure to check the box so you can get an email when the next issue of your favorite magazines are available.

Check out these awesome new subscriptions!

Us Weekly

Us Weekly

Read the rest of this entry »

What are your baby’s favorite books?

by Melody Dworak on September 29th, 2016
Karen and Morgan read a high-contrast book on baby's first trip to the library.

ICPL’s Karen and Morgan read a high-contrast book to my 6-week-old baby on his first trip to the library.

Today my baby turns 10 months old. That’s 10 whole months of me learning firsthand about early literacy. He doesn’t sit still much these days. Rather than listening to a book beginning-to-end, he’d rather turn their pages, or pull as many books off the shelf as he can, which staff in the Children’s Room found out Saturday at close. Still, he has delighted at many of the books I’ve put in front of him, and I’d like to share the types of books that have captivated him even before he can understand their words and stories.

ICPL’s board book collection in the Children’s Room is one of those high-turnaround beasts. They take a beating and we buy whatever we can to replace them when they are mangled. If you can’t find one of these titles, look for the following features that make them attractive. Read the rest of this entry »

Digging in to Consumer Reports online

by Melody Dworak on August 29th, 2016

Consumer Reports LogoLast year, Candice introduced the library blog-reading public to our new online subscription to the Consumer Reports website. Today I’m going to call out some special features that have helped me recently in my search to replace my workhorse of a vacuum cleaner. We’ve had our little bagless Hoover for eight years before I did something stupid and tried to suck up silver maple helicopters with an indoor vac. Now it’s time for me to find its replacement.

First things first, if you’ve never used our access to the Consumer Reports website, you will want to know how to get there. You need to live in Iowa City or one of our contracting services areas, and have a library card number and password. Check, check, and check? Do this next: Read the rest of this entry »

Farm to Table cookbooks

by Melody Dworak on August 12th, 2016
Farm to Table cookbooks Cover Image

Inspired by my overabundant CSA hauls (Community Supported Agriculture) and the Farm to Street dinner next Thursday, I thought I’d put together a list of “Farm to Table” cookbooks.

This is a list of fantastic books that came out within the past year or so, books that feature vegetables in all their fabulous glory. I curated this list with the easy meal in mind. Check out one of these books, pour that glass of wine, and start cooking! Read the rest of this entry »

Get your grill on!

by Melody Dworak on June 29th, 2016

grill-878001_960_720Grilling season is well under way and we are having perfect weather here in Iowa City. Not too hot, not too cold, lovely evenings and mornings for walking the dog, taking a jog, or hunting for frogs in the creek.

With this blissful weather upon us, I’ve been on the lookout for digital magazine articles on grilling and outdoor cooking. Here are a few I’d like to share with you today: Read the rest of this entry »

Urban fantasy audiobook series worth a listen

by Melody Dworak on May 24th, 2016
Urban fantasy audiobook series worth a listen Cover Image

I was excited when I checked OverDrive this month and saw new audiobooks in the Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne. I have listened to all of the urban fantasy audiobooks we have on OverDrive, so I was thrilled when I saw these books from a series I enjoyed show up when I was browsing the app.

Last week I burned through Shattered, book 7, and I’m currently listening to Staked, book 8. The series follows the adventures and blunders of 2,000-year-old druid Atticus O’Sullivan as he goes on different quests and fights epic battles. It takes place in modern times, and the author often entertains us with the story-within-a-story tactic. O’Sullivan is 2,000 years old, after all. He has tons of stories to tell. Read the rest of this entry »

Download this! Interior decorating edition.

by Melody Dworak on April 20th, 2016
HGTV Magazine, May 2016

HGTV Magazine, May 2016

A couple of weeks ago, Anne walked us through some of the new interior decorating books. Today I’d like to share what ICPL has to offer on that front in terms of digital magazines. Even if you never plan to shop at Crate & Barrel, you can indulge in the guilty pleasure of flipping through home decor magazines straight from your phone, tablet, or computer.

What did I read over my cereal this morning? Read the rest of this entry »

OverDrive app updates

by Melody Dworak on February 18th, 2016

OverDriveYou may have noticed that OverDrive looks a little different this month. On February 1, OverDrive released an update to its app that solved some problems for people but also created some major bugs. Many of us at the Information Desk have been helping people troubleshoot getting things working again.

It sounds like people who read e-books on an iPhone or iPad bore the brunt of these problems. What’s worse, we at the library didn’t have clear instructions for how to solve these problems. Everyone who has come in has been so patient while we take the time to troubleshoot and get things working for them.

Well, yesterday, OverDrive sent out an email that linked to the full instructions for how to deal with these issues. It looks to me like they broadcasted this email far and wide, but in case you missed it and you are still struggling with OverDrive problems on your Apple device, read through this OverDrive Help article to see if it answers some of your questions.

If you don’t want to troubleshoot on your own, you don’t have to! Give us a call (319-356-5200) or stop in and we can help you get things working. Thanks again for your patience in working through these bugs.

Esquire’s “Hater in Chief”

by Melody Dworak on February 10th, 2016

gallery-1451926582-esquire-march-cover-trumpSo Donald Trump won the New Hampshire primary last night and racked up 10 delegates. If you love the media frenzy around this unconventional presidential candidate, check out Esquire’s February cover article, “Hater in Chief.” Behind a paywall everywhere else, you can check it out digitally through ICPL’s digital magazine collection Zinio. Have your library card and password ready and go to to log in and download that grumpy, frowny face.