Author Archive for Melody Dworak



Support #eBooksForAll!

by Melody Dworak on September 18th, 2019
Book cover for We Are the Weather by Jonathan Safran Foer

Jonathan Safran Foer and Nora Roberts are two authors published by Macmillan.

“Why do I have to wait months to check out an e-book? It’s digital, so shouldn’t everyone be able to have a copy at the same time?” We would love it to work that way, but certain publishers are increasingly restricting access to their digital books.

One publisher—Macmillan—has restricted access to such an extreme that the American Library Association has launched a petition to fight them on it. When a new book is released, Macmillan will allow library systems to purchase only 1 copy during an 8-week window.

What does that mean?

Read the rest of this entry »

Consumer Reports rounds up best Fourth of July appliance sales

by Melody Dworak on July 2nd, 2019

Sale signHardware stores are sending email after email about their Fourth of July sales right now. Who has the best sales? Read the rest of this entry »

ICPL at Iowa City Pride

by Melody Dworak on June 6th, 2019

Iowa City PrideThe Iowa City Public Library is proud to be a sponsor of Iowa City Pride this year. It is the 49th anniversary of Iowa City’s own Pride Parade, and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, which catapulted the gay liberation movement onto the national scene.

New York City police raided the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969. This led to more protesting and public unrest in a city where police would routinely harass an entrap homosexuals by posing as men cruising the street.

And although society has come a long way in 50 years, we still have more work to do. Finding a single-stall bathroom can still be a challenge for transfolk, for example. (The Library has a single-stall restroom available in the Children’s Room, open to anyone.)

So what is the Library doing to support Pride this year? We are delighted to be participating in the following ways: Read the rest of this entry »

Birth of a Ped Mall presentation at Big Grove Iowa City

by Melody Dworak on May 15th, 2019

We’re terribly excited to present our presentation on the Birth of Iowa City’s Ped Mall tonight at Big Grove’s History of the Grove series. To make the images a little more accessible, I’m hosting our presentation slides online.

What’s the best snowblower? Laptop? Tablet?

by Melody Dworak on November 28th, 2018

 

Snowblower Ratings

So the 2018 Thanksgiving weekend snowstorm has you considering a snow blower for the next time Iowa City gets 8 inches. Or the gift giving season is causing you to pull your hair out about which laptop to buy to send Sally back to college with. Make informed decisions about your spending by looking up product ratings and reviews on Consumer Reports before you buy.  Read the rest of this entry »

Academic Research @ICPL

by Melody Dworak on November 19th, 2018

History by TNS from the Noun Project

Whenever I get a question at the Info Desk that requires digging deep into a research topic, I get a little excited (#NerdAlert). We may not carry textbooks in our collection, but if we can’t find a book that meets the needs of a research topic, we still can look to our Online Resources database collection to dig into the issue.  Read the rest of this entry »

Did you vote early? Track your absentee ballot!

by Melody Dworak on November 1st, 2018

Today I learned that early voters can track their absentee ballot through the Iowa Secretary of State’s office. Here’s a snapshot of the info you need to look up your ballot:

Information needed to track your absentee ballot

Read the rest of this entry »

How do I register to vote?

by Melody Dworak on September 24th, 2018

VoteNational Voter Registration Day is September 25, 2018. If you are not yet registered to vote, or not registered to vote in Iowa, National Voter Registration Day is a perfect time to get registered. There are so many places in this area to register in person, thanks to this nationwide voter drive. Anyone can search for events in their zip code on the National Voter Registration Day website. For local events, register in person at the following locations:  Read the rest of this entry »

What’s in the State Historical Society of Iowa archives?

by Melody Dworak on September 19th, 2018

Sometimes we get a question at the Info Desk that makes us turn to the archives held by the State Historical Society of Iowa (SHSI). The SHSI’s official web presence has information maintained by the State of Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs, their parent body. You can dig for the links on their website to find a way to search the SHSI’s catalog of items, or you can stick this knowledge in your back pocket: the University of Iowa Libraries hosts the SHSI catalog, so you can go directly to their InfoHawk+ catalog to do your research.

 

Simple InfoHawk Search Bar

Read the rest of this entry »

Listen: Stream Libby Audiobooks to Smart Speakers

by Melody Dworak on June 5th, 2018
Stream Audiobooks to Smart Speaker

Stream audiobooks to your smart speaker! Bluetooth streaming symbol by Google Inc. Google Home image in the public domain.

Everyone I talk to knows how much I love listening to audiobooks whenever I’m doing housework. Up until recently, I thought I could only use apps approved by the maker of my smart speaker. I knew I could cast but didn’t have my devices paired in the right way in order to make the audio from *any* app stream through my speaker. I now have my smartphone paired to my speaker and I’m never looking back.

Why didn’t I google this sooner? The instructions for pairing a device up with an Echo smart speaker are on the Amazon.com Help site. Basically, you make sure Bluetooth is turned on on the device you want to pair and you say “Pair” within range of the speaker. Then you can play whatever audio you want like it was any old Bluetooth speaker.

The Google Home Help site has instructions for pairing an Android phone to the Google Home, but what about an iPhone? They do have general instructions for playing music via Bluetooth that also works for audiobooks.

CNET has put together a how-to video to guide Apple users through the process.

You won’t be able to verbally direct the smart speaker to play what you want it to play, but using your device like a remote is the next best thing.

 

About Melody Dworak

Melody Dworak
Melody buys books for the second half of the nonfiction Dewey numbers on the 2nd floor. She has recently been bitten by the fiction bug, but loves those historical reference questions regardless. Visit the digital collections she manages at icpl.org/magazines and history.icpl.org.