Author Archive for Melody Dworak



Two more weeks to enter the iPad giveaway!

by Melody Dworak on November 30th, 2017
Digital magazines on iDevice

Check out magazines and win!

The Digital Johnson County team has extended the iPad promotion until December 15.

If you haven’t yet given the new RBdigital app a chance, do so now for a chance to win an iPad Mini from your library. Enter the drawing at the Digital Johnson County website, and then head over to the digital magazine collection to sign up for an account. You must check out 5 magazines by December 15 to have your name entered into the drawing.

Need help downloading the app? Our IT manager, Brent, has written up helpful instructions for getting started with the RBdigital app. If you try to set up the app before you create an account on the digital magazine page, you will get an error message.

Looking for inspiration on what to check out? Drool over these Christmas cookie recipes in 5 great magazine options.

What should I bake for a Christmas cookie exchange?

by Melody Dworak on November 27th, 2017

The holiday season is in full swing. It might hit 60 degrees today, but that doesn’t mean you can’t turn on your oven and bake something delicious. And if you have a Christmas cookie exchange coming up, I have just the recommendations for you. The following digital magazines promise to please your cookie-loving taste buds. Or just have delight in looking at all the lovely food styling photos. I won’t judge!

 

All Recipes 

All Recipes Dec/Jan 2018

Find new twists on Christmas favorites, like peanut ginger double-deckers and cranberry pistachio spirals. Yum!

Read the rest of this entry »

Brief Interviews with Hideous Men

by Melody Dworak on November 17th, 2017
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men Cover Image

I have always loved the title of David Foster Wallace’s book of short stories that was published in 1999. It just clicks. You know instantly these stories will twist your stomach into knots.

The pile-up of news about sexual harassment, misconduct, and assault has brought this book back to my mind again. One only has to read the title to understand this nearly 20-year-old book contains commentary on today’s cultural climate. What is old is new again, as the saying goes. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »