Author Archive for Melody Dworak



Stephen King books for young adults

by Melody Dworak on October 19th, 2017
Stephen King books for young adults Cover Image

Today I helped a family look for classic Stephen King books that tweens and teens might like. You wouldn’t expect a list like that to be very long, given that he’s a horror writer. Still, I found lots of books that young adults could pick up and read and still sleep at night (maybe).

The library has a book recommendation tool called NoveList. It’s one of our online resources that you can log into from home with a resident library card and password. NoveList has a genre called “Adult books for young adults,” which helps younger readers branch out from the Young Adult Fiction section and find good books on the first floor as well. Lo and behold, 27 of Stephen King’s books fit this criteria for NoveList.  Read the rest of this entry »

What do I read next?

by Melody Dworak on October 11th, 2017

What do I read next?Whether you are a super reader who has run out of books to read or a parent looking for the perfect book to give your kid, the staff at the Info Desk have tools to help you discover the Next Great Read.  Read the rest of this entry »

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 »