Author Archive for Melody Dworak



Iowa Fall Foliage

by Melody Dworak on September 15th, 2017
Iowa Fall Foliage Cover Image

If you are wondering why the leaves are changing colors early this year–yes, indeed: it’s because of drought.* According to the U.S. drought monitor, all of Johnson County is colored “abnormally dry” on its Iowa map. This means you’ll have to grab your favorite flora identification books ASAP if you want to go on some lovely, tree and shrub-identifying fall hikes. Read the rest of this entry »

UPDATE! Downtime for digital magazines tonight CANCELLED

by Melody Dworak on September 13th, 2017

The downtime expected tonight for our digital magazine service is no longer happening. We will post new information as we have it for future updates to the app and website.

Downtime for digital magazines on Sept. 13

by Melody Dworak on September 11th, 2017

System down at 7 p.m.

UPDATE September 13: Upgrades have been cancelled for tonight. Please go about using the service as normal.

Digital magazines on the RBdigital platform will not be available on Wednesday, September 13, starting at 7 p.m. Central time. This downtime is expected to last for about 8 hours, and we are told it will affect both the app and the website that hosts the digital magazine collection.

Thank you for your patience!

Cooking on a budget

by Melody Dworak on August 28th, 2017
Cooking on a budget Cover Image

CareerBuilder recently came out with a report finding that 78% of U.S. workers live paycheck to paycheck and 32% of workers stick to a clearly defined budget. When money is tight, budgets are hard. They take tenacity and willpower.

What makes budget living easier is knowing which spending categories are negotiable. Like more than 50% of those surveyed, I can’t give up my expensive home internet and mobile phone bills either. Our grocery bill, however, has a lot of fat we could trim. Read the rest of this entry »

Do you have a historic archive for the Cedar Rapids Gazette? (Part 2)

by Melody Dworak on July 19th, 2017

Boy, do we ever! In my last post, I directed you to how you can get to the same archives The Gazette website uses, but for free. But that’s just a text-based archive, what if you want to see what the actual newspaper pages look like? Read the rest of this entry »

Do you have a historic archive for the Cedar Rapids Gazette? (Part 1)

by Melody Dworak on July 19th, 2017

Yes! The Iowa City Public Library has a database of Cedar Rapids Gazette articles, covering 1992 to the present. The years match what the newspaper’s archive page on its website says it has. The articles in NewsBank will be text articles (i.e., no images and smaller download sizes). If you have an active ICPL library card and live in our service area, you can research historic Gazette articles for free.

How do you do that? Head over to our Online Resources page and find NewsBank on the list of resources. (If you are starting from icpl.org, Online Resources is under “Books + More.”) Here are some screenshots of what you will look for. Read the rest of this entry »

Digital magazines: Zinio for Libraries is now RBdigital

by Melody Dworak on June 26th, 2017

zinio-to-rbdigital-1024x197

Fellow magazine lovers: tonight, the service ICPL uses for digital magazines will experience a significant upgrade. The company has been working on a new app that promises to improve the experience of checking out and reading digital magazines. The new app is called RBdigital, and although the look and feel is changing, you will still have access to the same great collection of titles.

The Zinio for Libraries website and app will down starting at 7 p.m. when the company starts the upgrade process. Wait until the morning of June 27 before you check out digital magazines again.

If you run into any problems when you transition over to the new app, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

I want to become a runner. Where do I start?

by Melody Dworak on April 25th, 2017
Running icon by Dillon Arloff, from The Noun Project (retouched).

Icon by Dillon Arloff.

Good question! It’s been such a beautiful spring so far, why *wouldn’t* you be inspired to start running? I, myself, have started running again and am happy to point out a free resource to take someone from the couch to a 5K.

Read the rest of this entry »

Finished S-Town and feel some aural emptiness? Try these audiobooks.

by Melody Dworak on April 7th, 2017

s-town-fbI already love audiobooks (I’m an aural-o-gist!), so I didn’t think twice about whether to binge-listen to the S-Town Podcast or not. I split the seven-“chapter” (episode) podcast into two days of listening while editing image files at work and baking a lasagna at home. Now I’m scouring Facebook, Twitter, and even Reddit for any extra morsel of commentary, any images of the characters or the setting, to satisfy that emptiness completing the podcast listening left.

As my own personal auralogist, I decided to come up with a “listen-alike” list inspired by the thematic elements of S-Town. Here’s that bibliographic homage to the show.
Read the rest of this entry »

No-Cry Sleep Training for Noobs

by Melody Dworak on February 2nd, 2017
Budeme všichni spát by Czech artist Barbora Bálková, via WikiMedia

Budeme všichni spát by Czech artist Barbora Bálková, via WikiMedia

A week ago, I begged experienced mom and fellow Info Desk staffer, Jen, for help finding books on sleep-training for new parents like me who don’t know what they’re doing.

“I can’t do Cry It Out!” I cried. We got a Dewey number for me to check the shelf, and she promised to get back to me with a couple titles that would be right up my alley as a tears-adverse bedtime executive. Read the rest of this entry »