Author Archive for Meredith Hines-Dochterman



ICPL announces Summer Classes for Adults

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on May 23rd, 2017

Want to preserve your grandchild’s first year electronically? Or create a digital keepsake of your grandmother’s photos and letters from your grandfather? This summer, learn how to use Adobe Creative Cloud software with free classes at the Iowa City Public Library.

Instead of hosting one class to complete a project, sign up for one of the Iowa City Public Library’s three-week courses. Attendees will learn to use a portable scanner, improve digitized photos, and create a layout with captions to tell the story around their memories.

Each three-week course consists of three two hour classes. The June session will be held on June 10, 17 and 24. The July session will be held July 12, 19 and 26. The August session will be held Aug. 4, 11 and 25. All classes will be held from 10 a.m. to noon in the Library’s Computer Lab on the Library’s second floor.

These courses aren’t intended for beginning computer users. Attendees should have some experience using a photo editor, and general knowledge about photo and file storage. Participants will need to bring their own items to digitize and should bring these items to the first session.

There is a limit of nine participants per session, so interested persons should register early to secure a spot. Register online at http://calendar.icpl.org/categories/classes-tech-help or calling the library at 319-356-5200. All registrants must plan to attend all three sessions.

For more information, call the Library at 319-356-5200.

ICPL, Summer of the Arts Present ABC Saturday on June 3

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on May 22nd, 2017

Children are invited to celebrate the arts during ABC Saturday on June 3.

Formerly known as Children’s Day, ABC Saturday stands for Arts, Books and Children Saturday. This annual event, produced by the Iowa City Public Library with Summer of the Arts during the Iowa Arts Festival, encourages kids’ creativity with an extensive lineup of hands-on activities to promote Build A Better World – the 2017 Summer Reading Program.

More than a dozen booths will be set up on the City Plaza, with activities ranging from mask-making and chess, to rocking out with the Yahoo Drummers and making a new friend from the Iowa City Care and Adoption Center. Children also can enjoy live performances on the Family Stage.

ABC Saturday also is the official planting day for the Library’s Children’s Garden on the City Plaza. Kids are invited to help Scott Koepke, the education director of Grow: Johnson County, plant this year’s garden. All produce harvested from the Children’s Garden is donated to Table To Table, which provides food for the area’s hungry, homeless and at-risk population.

ABC Saturday begins at 10 a.m. with activities concluding at 3 p.m.

For more information about ABC Saturday, call the Iowa City Public Library at 319-356-5200.

ICPL’S Summer Reading Program Begins June 1

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on May 18th, 2017

Poet W.H. Auden said people “… are here on earth to do good to others.” How people choose to accomplish that will be explored during the Iowa City Public Library’s 2017 Summer Reading Program: Build a Better World.buildabetterworld_srp2017

The 2017 Summer Reading Program will be held June 1 through August 11, with registration beginning June 1. Registration can be completed in-person at the Library, online at srp.icpl.org or during ABC Saturday, formerly known as Children’s Day, on Saturday, June 3. ABC Saturday will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. as part of the Summer of the Arts Festival.

Participation is free and available for all ages, babies through adults. All registrants will receive a game card to track their progress in meeting summer reading goals. The game cards also include information for all Summer Reading Program activities, programs and events.

The game card for babies and toddlers promotes early childhood literacy skills, with prizes awarded at two levels: a bath toy at the first level, and a free book and entry into the grand prize drawing – a $50 gift card to Prairie Lights — at the second level.

The pre-school through sixth-grade game card has three levels of prizes. The first is a collection of food and activity coupons from McDonald’s, Aspen Leaf Free Frozen Yogurt, the Iowa Children’s Museum, Blank Park Zoo, Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department, Bruegger’s Bagels, Pizza Ranch, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Westdale Bowling Center. The second is a T-shirt. The third is a free book and an entry into the grand prize drawing. This year’s children’s grand prizes are provided by Walmart.

Both Teen and Adult Summer Reading Program participants complete the program when they read five books, or read three books and attend two programs. Teens who complete the program will receive a free book and a food coupon from Z’Mariks Noodle Café, and be entered into the grand prize drawing for one of four $50 Downtown Iowa City gift cards. Adults who complete their game card will receive a free book and be entered into the grand prize drawing for one of four $50 Downtown Iowa City gift cards.

All free books are provided by a gift from the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation.

For more information about Build a Better Word, visit srp.icpl.org or call the Library at 319-356-5200.

ICPL to Host All Iowa Reads 2017 Book Discussion

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on May 17th, 2017

The Iowa City Public Library will host a discussion about the 2017 All Iowa Reads book, “Bottomland” by Michelle Hoover, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 10, in Meeting Room B.

Based on the true story of Hoover’s grandmother, “Bottomland” begins in Iowa in the years after World War I as the family attempts to rid themselves of the Anti-German sentiment that stains their name. But when the youngest two daughters vanish in the middle of the night, the family must piece together what happened while struggling to maintain their life on the unforgiving Iowa plains. Told in the voices of the family patriarch and his children, “Bottomland” is described as a haunting literary mystery that spans decades before its resolution.

“Bottomland” is Hoover’s second novel. She is the Fannie Hurst Writer-in-Residence at Brandeis University and teaches at GrubStreet, where she leads the Novel Incubator program. She is a 2014 NEA Fellow and has been a Writer-in-Residence at Bucknell University, a MacDowell Fellow, and a winner of the PEN/New England Discovery Award. Her debut, “The Quickening,” was a 2010 Massachusetts Book Award “Must Read.” She is a native of Iowa and lives in Boston.

All Iowa Reads was established in 2003 as a way to foster a sense of unity through reading, with Iowans throughout the state coming together to read and discuss a single book title in the same year. The program is sponsored by the Iowa Center for the Book. For more information about All Iowa Reads, visit iowacenterforthebook.org.

The Library’s All Iowa Reads Book Discussion is part of the 2017 Adult Summer Reading Program, which begins June 1. For more information about the summer reading program, visit srp.icpl.org or call the Library at 319-356-5200.

Cleaning Out the TBR Pile

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on May 16th, 2017

I used to carry a notebook in my purse in which I’d jot down the names of the books I want to read someday. Happiness was drawing a line through one of the titles after I finished a book. That feeling of accomplishment is addictive.Book Diary Notes Leave Write Down Notebook

Unfortunately, the list got out of control, so I started a new notebook. While transferring the titles from the old to the new, I realized some were duplicates. Then there were books I thought sounded interesting a decade ago that didn’t anymore. My system wasn’t foolproof. It was one thing to write down the title of a book, but how many did I actually read?

(Not that many.)

I joined Goodreads a couple of years ago, but rarely used the “Want to Read” function. I already had an out of control TBR (To Be Read) pile. Why would I add to it? It turns out, that little button is a lifesaver for anyone who’s as obsessed with lists and order as I am. I transferred all the books listed in my notebook to the “Want to Read” shelf on my Goodreads account. It’s an insane number, but I no longer worry about duplicate titles. Also, when I’m browsing the Library’s shelves without a specific title in mind, the app reminds me of all my TBR  books.

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Iowa City Public Library Honors Volunteers

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on May 8th, 2017

The Iowa City Public Library recently honored its volunteers for their dedication and service.

Pictured are some of the individuals honored at the Iowa City Public Library’s Annual Volunteer Recognition Event. Back row, left to right: Susan Carroll, Nancy Howe, Joel Barnhart, JoAnn Koskey, Beth Stence, and Ann Valenta. Front row, left to right: William Kurth, Donna Davis, Susanne Humphreys, and Maria Padron.

Pictured are some of the individuals honored at the Iowa City Public Library’s Annual Volunteer Recognition Event. Back row, left to right: Susan Carroll, Nancy Howe, Joel Barnhart, JoAnn Koskey, Beth Stence, and Ann Valenta. Front row, left to right: William Kurth, Donna Davis, Susanne Humphreys, and Maria Padron.

During the 2016 calendar year, 301 volunteers provided more than 9,400 hours of service. Volunteer duties range from checking in books, materials maintenance, prepping supplies for events, helping plan teen programs, operating The Book End, and serving on the Board of Trustees and on the Friends Foundation Board of Directors.

On Wednesday, April 26, the Library said thank you with a reception and a ceremony during which 35 volunteers received recognition awards for achieving milestone hours of service.

Jean Whiting was named the Nancy Sereduck Volunteer of the Year.

A volunteer for more than 20 years, Jean has spent 2,000 hours checking in books at the library.  Jean faithfully works every Saturday and, regardless of the weather or number of books returned, Jean brings a ray of sunshine to the library’s Saturday mornings and keeps the flow of materials moving on busy weekends.

The Library congratulates Whiting on her achievement and thanks all volunteers for their service.

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STEAMfestival @ Iowa City Public Library May 20

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on May 4th, 2017

Its full steam ahead for the Iowa City Public Library’s first-ever STEAMfestival!steamfestival_0

Come to the Library on Saturday, May 20, anytime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. for fun, adventures and activities that encompass all things STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics.

Start your adventure at ICPL’s STEAM Engine. Our main floor meeting rooms will be transformed into a train transporting all curious passengers on an expedition of knowledge. Continue your journey outside to the Ped Mall and MERGE, where the National Center for Science Education Science Booster Club, the University of Iowa College of Engineering, Iowa City Parks and Recreation, Alliant Energy, MERGE, and the Grout Museum of History and Science will provide a variety of hands-on activities. Climate change, genetics, wind energy, pressurized rockets and coding are just a few of the topics you’ll explore.

Don’t forget to trek back to ICPL’s Storytime Room for Absolute Science with Rick Eugene Brammer at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. This fun and educational program encourages children of all ages to be engaged in the world of science through demonstrations and experiments, including Dry Ice Exploration and Fantastic Foam.

The STEAMfestival @ Iowa City Public Library is made possible with the generous support of the Community Foundation of Johnson County and the Bywater Family Endowment Fund, the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation, and the Rev. Dr. Barbara Schlachter Memorial Fund.

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

Celebrate Local History in May at ICPL

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 27th, 2017

Get ready to learn more about local history with the Iowa City Public Library’s Weber Days.

Our annual celebration of local history is held every May in honor of Iowa City’s unofficial historian, the late Irving B. Weber. May also is National Historical Preservation Month. This year’s lineup of programming is perfect for anyone interested in learning more about the community they call home.

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ICPL, Prairie Lights Host Writing Program for K-2 Students

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 26th, 2017

Budding young authors will have the chance to put their imagination on paper during Invent Your Own Story from 4 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 3, in the Storytime Room at the Iowa City Public Library.

Attendees will write the story they’ve been dying to tell, and then share it in a book also created at the event. This program is for students in kindergarten through second grade. Registration isn’t required and there’s no cost to attend.

Invent Your Own Story is co-sponsored by the Library and Prairie Lights Bookstore in celebration of Children’s Book Week. Children’s Book Week is the annual celebration of books for young people and the joy of reading. Established in 1919, it is the country’s longest-running national literacy initiative.

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

Book Madness 2017: And the winners are …

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 17th, 2017

We counted the votes — all 1,073 of them — and we have our winners!

2017 BOOK MADNESS – CHILDREN’S BRACKET

The Giver by Lois Lowry

2017 BOOK MADNESS – TEEN AND ADULT BRACKET

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Thank you to everyone who participated! Patrons who submitted the winning brackets will be contacted this week with details about how they can claim their $25 gift certificate to Prairie Lights prize.

Remember, you can find the complete list of books in this year’s literary competition here.