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Author Archive for Meredith Hines-Dochterman

Tax Forms at the Iowa City Public Library

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on January 14th, 2015

Many individuals come to the Iowa City Public Library around tax time to pick up the tax forms they need to complete their Federal Income Tax return. However, due to cuts within the Federal government, the Library will no longer be able to offer the wide variety of forms it has in the past free of charge.

The Library will continue to offer the 1040, the 1040 A and the 1040 EZ forms free of charge, as well as some Business Federal Tax Forms, including W2 and W3 forms. Library staff at the Information Desk will help individuals find and print other forms and instructions on the IRS’ website. Individuals will need to pay a 10 cent per page printing fee.

For more information, contact the Library at (319) 356-5200.

ICPL to host Family FUN(d) Night

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on January 14th, 2015

The Iowa City Public Library will host a family-oriented fundraising event from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 8.FamilyFun(d) night Poster

Family FUN(d) Night: Love Your Library invites families to visit ICPL for a night of fun activities, including treasure hunt, visits from beloved storybook characters, a photo booth, and crafts. Pizza, a healthy snack, dessert, and a beverage will be served.

The cost is $20 for each adult and $5 per child. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation to support future Library programs for children and teens.

To register online, visit or contact the Library at (319) 356-5200. All registrations must be received by Thursday, Feb. 5.

ICPL Announces Second Sunday Garden Forum Lineup

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on January 5th, 2015

For more than 20 years, the Iowa City Public Library and Project GREEN have partnered to host the Second Sunday Garden Forum series. This winter’s forums will be held on January 11, February 8, and March 8.

John Clemens of the Eastern Iowa Bonsai Association kicks off the series January 11 with “The Art of Bonsai.” His presentation will focus on the shape, harmony and proportion of bonsai to express art in the form of these beautiful long-lived trees. Bonsai literally means a tree in a small pot that has been pruned and trained. Bonsai is the “new” interest to gardeners everywhere, despite the fact that the horticultural art form dates back thousands of years in Asian history.

David Morton, the head gardener at Brucemore, will give a tour of gardens of Iowa’s only National Trust Historic Site on Feb. 8. Brucemore, a 26-acre, park-like estate encompasses a Queen Anne-style mansion and multiple gardens. Many of the plants seen today were seeded by Irene Douglas, a knowledgeable gardener who enjoyed experimenting with new plant varieties as well as traditional. Today, Brucemore’s gardeners continue her work by preserving examples of historic plant varieties while adjusting to meet the needs of the changing natural and urban environment.

Think you know everything there is to know about perennials? Thinks again. All perennials require care during the year, some varieties more than others. Low maintenance perennials are the ideal plants for individuals who want an attractive garden, but have limited time to spend working in the garden. Richard Jauron, a horticulturist with Iowa State University and Extension and Outreach, will present “Low Maintenance Perennials” on March 8.

All Second Sunday Garden Forum programs will be held on the second Sunday of the month from 2 to 4 p.m. in Meeting Room A at the Iowa City Public Library. After each presentation, there will be a refreshment break followed by a question and answer session. All programs will be shown live on The Library Channel, Iowa City cable channel 20.

For more information, contact Beth Fisher at or (319) 887-6024.

ICPL will host extended Drop-In Tech Help

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on January 5th, 2015

Do you need some help with that new gadget you received over the holidays? The Iowa City Public Library has you covered!

Bring your questions and the gadget that has you flustered to our special Saturday editions of ICPL Drop-In Tech Help from 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 10 and Jan. 17 in the Computer Lab on the Library’s second floor. Staff members will be happy to help you solve your tech woes.

Don’t forget, the Library has regularly scheduled tech help from 10 a.m. to noon every Monday and Wednesday, and noon to 4 p.m. every Tuesday. Senior Tech Zone happens every Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Iowa City Public Library’s January Teen Events Announced

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on January 5th, 2015

Animation, Minecraft and extended School’s Out tech times are just a few of the activities the Iowa City Public Library has planned for teens in January.

Do you play Minecraft? All teenage Minecraft fans are invited to the Library’s Minecraft Meetup from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Jan. 8 and Jan. 22 in the Computer Lab on the Library’s second floor.

Do you like to draw? Would you like to learn more about computer animation programs? Join us for “Let’s Learn Animation!” from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Jan. 15. We’ll learn how to use Pencil Animation, a program that lets you create hand-drawn animation on a computer. We will meet in the Computer Lab on the Library’s second floor.

TAG, the Library’s Teen Activity Group, is looking for new members. TAG members help plan teen programs and give teenage students a voice in the Library. Members also eat a lot of snacks. Anyone wanting to make a difference in the Library, and earn volunteer hours at the same time, should give TAG a try. The January TAG meeting will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 17, in the Koza Family Teen Center.

Finally, school will be out on Jan. 19, but the Teen Center will be open with extended Tech Time hours from 1 to 8 p.m. Check out an iPad, play video games on the big screen or simply hang out.

All teen programs are open to students in grades 7through 12.

For more information about any of these programs, contact Brian Visser, Teen Services Librarian, at (319) 356-5200.

ICPL announces January classes for adults

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 31st, 2014

Want to learn more about your iPad or Android tablet? The Iowa City Public Library will offer several classes in January help beginning and intermediate users get a better handle on their tablet devices.RacpAWWRuobmX5g4

New or beginner iPad users, join us at 10 a.m. Jan. 9 for “Explore Your iPad.” Discover how to expertly navigate their device, capture and access photos and video, bookmark a webpage, set important security options, and much more.

On 2 p.m. on Jan. 12, the “iPad Tips and Tricks” class is offered for the intermediate iPad user. Learn how to customize your device, keep your iPad safe, and get the most out of your device’s memory.

Due to patron demand, the Library has expanded its tablet classes to include a class for beginning Android tablet users. Learn the basics in navigating settings, using the web browser, and making your device secure at the “Explore your Android Tablet” class at 10 a.m. on Jan. 20.

All classes for adults are held in the Library’s Computer Lab on the second floor. Classes are free, but space is limited to 10 people per program, so patrons should register early. Visit to register online. You can also register by calling the Library at (319) 356-5200.

ICPL strategic plan finalized

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 31st, 2014

The Iowa City Public Library will work to CONNECT, ENGAGE, and ENRICH users under the priorities of a new strategic plan.

The plan, which covers the Fiscal Years 2016 through 2021, is the result of months of data gathering, analysis, and community conversations. It was approved by the Library Board of Trustees in September.

“Strategic planning is something we do every five years to determine the needs of our community and what the Library can do to meet them,” Library Director Susan Craig says. “It’s about looking ahead. What does our community need? What does our community want?”

A PDF of the strategic plan can be viewed online at or picked up at the Library. The new plan begins on July 1, 2015.

ICPL Staff Top Picks for 2014: Best of the Best

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 31st, 2014

Here they are; the Iowa City Public Library’s Best of the Best Books for 2014. The books that made this list received nominations from more than one staff person.

  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (fiction)
  • Lila by Marilynne Robinson (fiction)
  • The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak (children’s)
  • Sisters by Raina Telgemeier (children’s)
  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (children’s)
  • The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Levy (children’s)
  • The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems (children’s)
  • Lock in by John Scalzi (mystery/science fiction)
  • The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman (mystery/science fiction)
  • Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? By Roz Chast (non-fiction)
  • What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe (non-fiction)

Children’s books had a strong showing on this year’s list, but in the end, two fiction books share the honor of being ICPL’s Most Recommended Book of 2014 — All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and Lila by Marilynne Robinson.

anthony_doerrDoerr’s All the Light We Cannot See tells the story of two people struggling to survive while maintaining their morality during World War II. Marie-Laure is a blind girl who flees to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo after the Nazis invade Paris. Werner is a gadget-obsessed orphan whose skills admit him to a brutal branch of Hitler Youth. It isn’t until Werner is sent to Saint-Malo to track Resistance activity that Marie-Louise’s and Werner’s paths cross, but their alternating stories weave a tale that draws readers in long before their worlds collide.lila

Robinson’s Lila revisits the beloved characters and setting of her Pulitzer Prize–winning Gilead and Home. Homeless and alone after years of roaming the countryside, Lila steps inside a small-town Iowa church and ignites a romance and a debate that will reshape her life. She becomes the wife of a minister, John Ames, and begins a new existence while trying to make sense of the life that preceded her newfound security.

What was your favorite read of 2014?

Tween Minecraft at ICPL

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 30th, 2014

The Iowa City Public Library is pleased to announce the continuation of its Tween Minecraft program the first Monday of the month in the Computer Lab.

Tween Minecraft Time is held from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on the first Monday of the month January through May (Jan. 4; Feb. 1; March 7; April 4; and May 2). Participants in grades third through sixth are welcome to play for an hour at the Library. They can build peacefully in creative mode or fight to stay alive in survival mode.

Registration is required for Tween Minecraft Time. You can register online at by clicking on the date of the event you wish to attend. Each participant may only register for one time slot.

Tweens need to have a Minecraft account to play in multiplayer mode. Players without an account may use a library account, but these are limited and first come first serve. Otherwise players without an account may still play in single player mode.

For more information, contact the Library at (319) 356-5200.

ICPL’s digital collection meets patrons’ technological needs

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 30th, 2014

The Consumer Electronics Association stated that the 2014 holiday season will have the highest level of spending on consumer electronics since the association started tracking holiday spending in 1994. If you received a tech gift this season, the Iowa City Public Library has the digital resources to help your gift reach its full potential.DigitalICPL

  • OverDrive offers eBooks, eAudiobooks and local video that patrons can download to their computer or mobile device anywhere, anytime.
  • TumbleBook Library is an online collection of animated, talking picture books, audiobooks and eBooks for children.
  • Zinio offers cover to cover access to more than 100 magazine titles to download to computers or mobile devices.
  • Local Music Project is a collection of albums by eastern Iowa musicians available for free download to your computer.

Need help understanding your electronic device? The Library also offers drop in tech help in the second floor Computer Lab from 10 a.m. to noon Mondays and Wednesdays, and noon to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays. Senior Tech Zone, drop in tech help for seniors, is available from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every Thursday.

The Library also offers tech classes on everything from iPad Tips & Tricks to exploring social media sites like LinkedIn and Pinterest. For more information about upcoming classes, including registration, visit

Access to some digital collections are limited to residents who live in the Iowa City Public Library’s service area of Iowa City, unincorporated rural Johnson County, Hills, University Heights and Lone Tree. If you live outside of Iowa City Public Library’s service area please contact your local public library regarding availability of digital collections.

For more information about the Library’s digital collection, visit or contact the Library at (319) 356-5200.