Author Archive for Meredith Hines-Dochterman



Celebrating anniversaries with help from ICPL

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 24th, 2019

I recently bought my husband a new grill to celebrate our anniversary. After 20 years, I think I have this marriage thing figured out, as the grill is a present for him, but also me! Isn’t sharing what marriage is all about?

We set a gift budget, made a pact not to go over that budget, then made another pact to ensure that the first pact wasn’t a lie, like when you tell someone not to get you something for your birthday but they do anyway. This time, we really meant STICK TO THE BUDGET!

In order to get the most bang for my buck, and find a grill that would do more than cook burgers, I turned to the Library’s Consumer Reports database. Did you know what you can log on to Consumer Reports FOR FREE any time you are in the Library to check out their reviews on everything from grills to carpet cleaning services? Consumer Reports does not accept advertising dollars and pays for all the products it test, so you know they’re telling the truth when they recommend specific products.

I did my research, bought the grill and we have enjoyed several nights of great meals in the lovely spring air. My husband bought me a bike, in case you were curious. I used Consumer Reports for that, too, and showed him exactly what I wanted.

We’ll definitely make it to 21 years of marriage. 🙂

Learn more about the Library’s great collection of online databases here.

We have our winners!

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 15th, 2019

Another year of Book Madness has come and gone, and this year’s winners are ….

(drum roll, please)

Children’s Bracket: Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

Adult and Teen Bracket: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Fans of Adam Rubin’s laugh out loud picture book came out in full force the last weekend of voting, stuffing the box with their votes for the taco party enjoyed by dragons. In the end, it was 70 votes for Dragons Love Tacos versus 58 for the beloved duo Frog and Toad.

The Adult and Teen bracket came down to our Facebook poll for a tiebreaker, with both Pride & Prejudice and Becoming garnering the same number of votes in the voting box and on Twitter. The Facebook vote had the final say, with Pride and Prejudice taking the title by six votes.

Thank you, everyone, for participating in this year’s competition! We’ll be contacting our winners soon!

Get ready to celebrate the Bookmobile!

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 2nd, 2019

Wednesday, April 10, is National Bookmobile Day – but why celebrate for a day when a week is longer?

Join us as we celebrate National Bookmobile Week April 8 through April 12! Anyone who visits the Bookmobile that week will receive a sweet treat and other goodies. You can find our schedule here.

Patrons who post a photo of our Bookmobile with the #icplbookmobile hashtag on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter April 8 through April 12, will be entered in a drawing for a Bookmobile travel mug. Feel free to visit the Bookmobile more than once that week to increase your chances of winning!

We’ll see you on the road!

It’s Book Madness time!

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on March 5th, 2019

Our annual literary competition, Book Madness @ ICPL, is back for another year!

Books competing in the 2019 “tournament” fall into eight categories; four for the children’s brackets and four for the teen/adult bracket. The 2019 categories are as follows:

CHILDREN’S: Sports Reads, Dynamic Duos, LOL Picture Books and Historical Fiction.

TEENS/ADULTS: All You Need Is Love, Listen Up!, Short Reads, and Rise Up!

The brackets are displayed in the Library’s Gallery on the first floor. Voting in the first round started on March 4. Remember, it’s up to you to decide which titles advance in each round, so be sure to stop by and vote! We will update the brackets every Monday until there’s a winner. Make sure you vote every week. Books that advance through the “tournament” will be posted on the Book Madness webpage, the first floor display, and updated on Facebook and Twitter.

No Bookmobile Service on Monday, Feb. 18

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on February 10th, 2019

The Iowa City Public Library Bookmobile will not be in service on Monday, February 18.

The Downtown Library will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Bookmobile holiday hours are always available on the Library’s website.

Remember, even when the Bookmobile isn’t in service, online services are available 24/7 at www.icpl.org. This includes account access and, for those who live in our service area, access to ICPL’s Digital Library including eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, The New York Times and Kanopy video streaming.

We’ll see you back on the Bookmobile on February 19!

No Bookmobile Service on Monday, Jan. 21

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on January 14th, 2019

The Iowa City Public Library Bookmobile will not be in service on Monday, January 21. The Downtown Library will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Bookmobile’s holiday hours are always available on the Library’s website.

Even though the Bookmobile won’t be on the road, online services are available 24/7 at www.icpl.org. This includes account access and, for those who live in our service area, access to ICPL’s Digital Library including eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, The New York Times and Kanopy video streaming.

We’ll see you back on the Bookmobile or at the Downtown Library on Jan. 22

ICPL Top Staff Picks for 2018: BEST OF THE BEST

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 31st, 2018

It’s here: the Iowa City Public Library’s Top Picks for 2018! 

Staff members nominated more than 130 books released in 2018 as their favorite reads of the year. Those that made this list were nominated by more than one person, which truly makes them the Best of the Best.

  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  • Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall
  • White Houses by Amy Bloom
  • The Disappeared by CJ Box
  • A Duke by Default: Reluctant Royals by Alyssa Cole
  • A Princess in Theory: Reluctant Royals by Alyssa Cole
  • Vox by Christina Dalcher
  • Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal
  • Bingo Love by Tee Franklin
  • Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman
  • The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
  • An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
  • Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
  • The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang
  • A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin
  • I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara
  • Circe by Madeline Miller
  • Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama
  • The Library Book by Susan Orlean
  • The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
  • Snow Pony and the Seven Miniature Ponies by Christian Trimmer
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss
  • The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang
  • Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
  • Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward
  • Front Desk by Kelly Yang

Our Best Book Overall for 2018 is Becoming by Michelle Obama. The former United States First Lady’s autobiographical memoir was released in mid-November, with Library Holds exceeding 135 requests on our more than 40 copies.

During her eight years in the White House, Obama established herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world. Her memoir chronicles the experiences that have shaped her — from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address.

Staff who nominated this title call Becoming inspirational and inspiring. “I was excited to read it, but I was surprised by how much I loved it,” one nominator commented. “I couldn’t put it down. I rarely say that about nonfiction!”

Go here to see all of the titles nominated in 2018, as well as our Best Books from 2013-2017!

ICPL Top Staff Picks for 2018: GRAPHIC NOVELS

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 30th, 2018

The Iowa City Public Library is pleased to present our favorite reads of 2018!

Employees were asked to submit the titles they read and loved this year with all nominations divided into 10 categories: fiction; young adult; children’s – babies through 2nd grade; children’s – 3rd through 6th grades; romance; mystery and thriller; science fiction/fantasy; autobiography/biography/memoir; non-fiction; and graphic novel. The only rule was that the book had to be released in 2018. Any book that was nominated by more than one staff member made our 2018 Best of the Best list.

We’ll share our Best of the Best list on the last day of 2018. Until then, here are the Library’s top graphic novels for 2018. Keep checking back to see what made the cut in our other categories.

ICPL’S BEST GRAPHIC NOVELS OF 2018

  • Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
  • Runaways, Vol. 1: Find Your Way Home by Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka
  • Woman World by Aminder Dhaliwal
  • Bingo Love by Tee Franklin
  • Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
  • RX by Rachel Lindsay
  • Tom’s Midnight Garden: A Graphic Adaptation of the Philippa Classic by Philppa Pearce and Edith
  • Check, Please!: # Hockey 1 by Ngozi Ukazu
  • The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

ICPL Top Staff Picks for 2018: NON-FICTION

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 29th, 2018

The Iowa City Public Library is pleased to present our favorite reads of 2018!

Employees were asked to submit the titles they read and loved this year with all nominations divided into 10 categories: fiction; young adult; children’s – babies through 2nd grade; children’s – 3rd through 6th grades; romance; mystery and thriller; science fiction/fantasy; autobiography/biography/memoir; non-fiction; and graphic novel. The only rule was that the book had to be released in 2018. Any book that was nominated by more than one staff member made our 2018 Best of the Best list.

We’ll share our Best of the Best list on the last day of 2018. Until then, here are the Library’s top non-fiction books for 2018. Keep checking back to see what made the cut in our other categories.

ICPL’S BEST NON-FICTION BOOKS OF 2018

  • American Prison: A Reporter’s Undercover Journey Into the Business of Punishment by Shane Bauer
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
  • Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” by Zora Neale Hurston
  • Leadership: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin
  • The View from Flyover Country: Dispatches from the Forgotten America by Sarah Kendzior
  • The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King
  • Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy
  • I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamara
  • The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels by Jon Meacham
  • Paperback Crush: The Totally Radical History of ‘80s and ‘90s Teen Fiction by Gabrielle Moss
  • Voices in the Air: Poems for Listeners by Naomi Shihab Nye
  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  • The Library Book by Susan Orlean
  • Loaded: A Disarming History of the Second Amendment by Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz
  • Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger by Rebecca Traister
  • Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward

ICPL Top Staff Picks for 2018: AUTOBIOGRAPHY/BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 28th, 2018

The Iowa City Public Library is pleased to present our favorite reads of 2018!

Employees were asked to submit the titles they read and loved this year with all nominations divided into 10 categories: fiction; young adult; children’s – babies through 2nd grade; children’s – 3rd through 6th grades; romance; mystery and thriller; science fiction/fantasy; autobiography/biography/memoir; non-fiction; and graphic novel. The only rule was that the book had to be released in 2018. Any book that was nominated by more than one staff member made our 2018 Best of the Best list.

We’ll share our Best of the Best list on the last day of 2018. Until then, here are the Library’s top autobiography, biography and memoir titles for 2018. Keep checking back to see what made the cut in our other categories.

ICPL’S BEST AUTOBIOGRAPHY/BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR OF 2018

  • Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight
  • The Recovering: Intoxication and Its Aftermath by Leslie Jamison
  • To Shake the Sleeping Self: A Journey from Oregon to Patagonia, and a Quest for a Life with No Regret by Jedidiah Jenkins
  • When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Asha Bandele
  • Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon
  • The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind: My Tale of Madness and Recovery by Barbara K. Lipska
  • Just the Funny Parts: My 30 Years on the Hollywood Jungle Gym by Nell Scovell
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama
  • I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O’Farrell
  • Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card by Sara Saedi
  • Calypso by David Sedaris
  • Educated: A Memoir Tara Westover