Author Archive for Mary Estle-Smith



Bad Habit Becomes Good Habit

by Mary Estle-Smith on October 13th, 2017

Coffee has been around for a long time and blamed for many ills — from stunting your growth to  heart disease  to insomnia (that one is pretty accurate for many)— but newer research shows that it may actually have a number of  good perks (pun intended).

Recently I have read about several studies indicating that my favorite “starter fluid”  has many health benefits.   An article in Time magazine states that it can help you live a longer and healthier life.  Another article in the NY Times echoes and expands on this data, while clarifying that the studies refer to plain black coffee.  Of course, moderation should also be used.  Drinking a gallon every day would not be optimal.  The  myriad of calorie dense milk and sugar based coffee drinks available apparently do supply the same health goodies,   so if that’s your preferred version this information may not apply.

Coffee drinkers have lowered risks of diabetes, some types of cancers, fewer strokes and heart problems. It also tastes good,  and let us not forget the energizer bunny effect that many of us  seek as an immediate plus.

This is all good news for me as I can not start the day without at least 2 oversized cups.   I no longer have to think of my morning ritual as a guilty pleasure.

Here are a few examples of books in our collection to help you to enhance your coffee drinking experience  so give them a look.

coffee-1jacket home

 

Save

Save

Save

Renewing Your Drivers License

by Mary Estle-Smith on July 24th, 2017

Do you need to renew your license? Can’t find the time to get to the DOT office during their hours? Don’t like waiting? If you answered YES to any of these questions, ICPL may have the solution for you.

We have had a DOT kiosk on the 2nd floor of the library for the past couple of years. You can use it any time that the library is open to renew or replace your license. There are some restrictions. For example, if your current license if not from Iowa or if  it has been expired for a long time (more than 1 year and 60 days), you will still need to go to the DOT office. The kiosk, similar to visiting the DOT in person, will give you a paper receipt at the conclusion of your transaction. You must pay with either credit or debit card. Your actual license will be mailed to you within 21 days of application.

In FY17 our Kiosk was used 1,1712 time. This is a 32% increase over the previous year. It is a popular service but we have not had any lines waiting to use it–so far.

For complete information about requirements and who is eligible to use  this convenient service go to:  https://iowadot.gov/mvd/kiosks.

If you are not able to use the kiosk for some reason,  here is the information on the DOT office:

Eastdale Mall

1700 South First Ave.

Iowa City
(319) 338-5294
and their website:  https://iowadot.gov/mvd/driverslicense/driverslicense/dlsites/iowacity

Celebration(?) of Spring

by Mary Estle-Smith on May 1st, 2017

The great thing about spring  every year, is the window of super ambition to get after projects around my house and yard.  While this window is sometimes remarkably small,  I do want to take advantage of it while I can.  There are always things I have been either wanting to do, or more likely, putting off for a long time that need attention.

If you are in project mode,  there  many materials that will help you get started and guide you through your various projects.  You can do a search for “home improvement” and come up with a bunch of choices. I have listed a few to get you started.

The Homeowners Ultimate Tool Guide is a good place to start.  My husband always stresses the right tool for right-toolthe job,  my skills used to lean toward a hammer and duct tape for way too many things.  I have now seen the error of my ways!  Also power tools are cool!

 

 

chix-fixChix can Fix   is a catchy title that I was attracted to.   I aspire to be a fixer.

 

 

refreshIf you have lower impact projects in mind Refresh Home can provide some inspiration for you.

 

Did you have a super special Valentine’s Day?

by Mary Estle-Smith on February 16th, 2017

If you did, congratulations!!  Now you may be interested in some of the great books we have  to assist you through the exciting but stressful process of planning your wedding.   There are titles to help you with every kind of event from the lavish extravaganza to an intimate and/or budget friendly gathering.

home jacket blogHere  are just a few samples of the many books available to guide you through everything. Lots of information on Dresses and cake,  music and vows,  and even to who  should sit next to whom.

You can also visit this site for venues, and other services available both locally and in the surrounding  area.

 

Cool Books for Kids and Adults

by Mary Estle-Smith on November 10th, 2016

Polar If you’re not familiar with photicular books you should take a look at this one.   Photicular technology uses sliding lenses and video imagery to display realistic living motion in the pages of a book.

These have wonderful, realistic pictures that move when you turn or move the page.  Carol Kaufmann, a writer for National Geographic, writes a crisp descriptive of each image with information about size, habitat, and other interesting information geared to an older than toddler reader.

Polar  (6120 words) is owned by ICPL.  There are  3 other books in the series, Safari, Jungle, and Ocean that we do not currently own.

My toddler  grandson likes his a lot.  He usually pulls them out of his book shelf first for reading time.  He has many reading times so they are well used.  He likes the moving pictures and we grown-ups like the narratives with the pictures.  Everyone is well entertained.

Scanimation is a similar photo technology.    Peanuts (2550 words)  from the comics collection and Waddle (3060 words) from the children’s room are some examples  of scanimation books at ICPL.  The photos are different from the photicular books and they usually have less text.

Take a look at both, they are fun.   These make interesting and cool gifts.

You Can’t Touch This!

by Mary Estle-Smith on August 22nd, 2016
wild parsnip

Wild Parsnip

Poison_Ivy_in_Perrot_State_Park

Poison Ivy

poison_oak_220x146

Poison Oak

Even though summer is on its way out, it is still more than possible to contract one or more of the lovely weed rashes that make outdoor activities a little more memorable.

Pictured are three of the most prevalent varieties of poison plant life in our area.  All three have apparently had a very good year.

I am well acquainted with poison oak and ivy but the wild parsnip was a new one for me.

Poison ivy and oak transfer to skin and clothing via an oil called urushiol from their leaves, causing the familiar itchy, weepy, red rash that can last a couple of weeks.

Wild parsnip contains psoralen that when touched and then exposed to sunlight can cause a condition called phytophotodermatitis.  This is hypersensitivity to sunlight and can lead to severe sunburn, a rash, blisters, and burning and scalding pain.  Dark red or brownish skin discoloration appears where the burn or blisters first formed, and can last for several months.

bad plantsIf you want to know more about what to avoid touching (and eating) while you are enjoying the outdoors, check out this book and others in that area of the collection

Know your poisonous plants

Printing and Scanning Documents

by Mary Estle-Smith on June 7th, 2016

One of the questions asked most frequently is how and where to print out documents.  We have a couple of ways to accomplish this.

If you just need to quickly pull up something from your email or another online site,  we have the EXPRESS internet stations which are in front of the print/copy area.   These stations have generic logins that will give you 15 minutes to complete your task.  If you have something more time-consuming to retrieve, edit, etc.  You can use your library card and password for 2 hours, or if you do not have a library card, you can get a guest pass from the Page Station for 1 hour of use at our public internet stations.

When your document is ready to print, the basic process consists of sending your item(s) to the print server .  You then log into the print server to retrieve your print job.

Black & white copies are $.10 each and color is $.50 per page.  There is a coin/cash box by the print station.

If you have documents to scan, several of the public internet stations have scanners attached.    For shorter tasks there is an EXPRESS scan station in the printer area.  This station has both a document   scanner for multi-paged items, and a flatbed scanner.  You can quickly scan your documents, convert to various formats, and email or send to your phone or a thumb drive for future use.  I have used the document scanner  several times and it is pretty slick.

There is also a special scanner for items with larger dimensions or for scanning slides in the microfilm reader area.

Information Desk and Page Station staff can assist you is using the printing or scanning services.

 

Self-check user?

by Mary Estle-Smith on May 25th, 2016

If you are a self-check user you are in the majority of people who use the library to check out materials.  This year, Jan.-May 72% of items checked out have gone through the self-check machines.  This is an increase of about 1% from last year and 35% from the first year of use. We are on our 3rd or 4th generation of self-check equipment and each time it  becomes more intuitive and user friendly.  The newest one in the Children’s’ room even talks to you!

There are 4 stations on the 1st floor by the entrance/exit, 2 in the Children’s room, and 1 on the 2nd floor by the Info desk. The addition of these machines has made the experience of checking out materials so streamlined we have almost eliminated the sometimes very long lines that those of us who have been around here forever remember not so fondly.

Currently you can renew materials, see and pay fines as well as check out items.  If you are interested in learning to use them, staff at any of the service desks would be happy to provide assistance.

Try them out sometime,  they are pretty slick!

Ready to ride after a long winter on the couch?

by Mary Estle-Smith on March 15th, 2016

If you  pretty much take the winter off from riding to assume the position of your horse(s) personal slave once daylight time ends, Goodnight’s Principles of Riding  DVD series may be just what you want to sharpen you up for the new year.

Julie Goodnight is a well known clinician who travels the country giving clinics and assisting people in overcoming issues with their horses as well as honing their skills.  She also has a weekly program on RFD-TV.   Her teaching manner is positive,  clear and concise for anyone from beginner to advanced riders wanting to raise their knowledge and refinement level.

I have been riding most of my life and still find many helpful lessons in this series.  One of the great things about working with horses is that it is an ongoing education.  I would recommend you start with volume 1, Balance and Rhythm and move on from there.  She also gives you some exercises to build strength and balance that can be done as you watch.   The information in these DVDs can be used in any discipline to assist is problem solving and build the skills and confidence of both horse and rider.  Take a look then go forth and prosper in your horse life!

jg1jg2jg3jg4

Calm down this year

by Mary Estle-Smith on January 5th, 2016
Calm down this year Cover Image

In today’s stress filled world many people are looking for a quick and easy method of winding down when they need to.  One method  that has been around for a very long time is meditation.

Meditation has waxed and waned in popularity over the years and seems to currently be experiencing a resurgence of interest.  It has been scientifically and medically proven that meditation can help people to relieve anxiety, quit smoking, lose weight, and achieve other life and behavior modifications that new year’s resolutions are all about,  so what better time to check it out?

Here are a few example of titles in our collection that may inspire you to get you started:

      Jacket.aspxHJacket.aspx3This last one so my horse and I (and perhaps you and yours) will become one zen-like entity in the new year.

Can’t hurt to give it a try!