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Author Archive for Meredith Hines-Dochterman

ICPL announces May Classes for Adults

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 29th, 2016

May is National Historic Preservation month and the Iowa City Public Library will celebrate by honoring local historian, Irving B. Weber. To honor your personal history, join us for computer classes that focus on genealogical research, and photo preservation and restoration.

Join us for a two-part class where you can learn how to restore a scanned image by using GIMP, a free, open source software similar to Adobe Photoshop. Part one, to be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 13, will focus on using the GIMP software and doing basic skills in the program like cropping and resizing images.

Part two of this series focuses on photo correction. Learn to transform the original item by filling small areas of damage like water spots or balancing faded colors. In order to participate in the second part of this series, participants should have a good understanding of GIMP’s interface and tools. Class for Restoring Scanned Images Part II will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 17.

Want to learn how to take care of your digital photo collection? On Saturday, May 2, come to another two-part class beginning at 10:30 a.m. Begin by getting crash course on important terminology and digital photo file types. Then at 12:30 p.m. learn the key steps needed to preserve your digital photos using metadata and tools like Picasa, Apple Photos, and Adobe Lightroom.

Finally, the month wraps up with an Introduction to Genealogy at 4 p.m. Monday, May 23. A librarian will help you get started by talking about what questions to ask, how to keep track of your research, and places you might want to search.

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.

Iowa City Public Library Honors Volunteers

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 28th, 2016

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

During the 2015 calendar year, 336 volunteers provided more than 9,500 hours of service, increasing the total number of volunteer hours to 260,831 hours since the program started 36 years ago. Volunteer duties range from assisting with book check-ins, 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 27, the Library said thank you with a reception and a ceremony, during which 48 volunteers received recognition awards for achieving milestone hours of service.

Terri Caplan was named the Nancy Sereduck Volunteer of the Year.

A volunteer for eight years, Caplan started at the Library as a book check-in volunteer and moved to The Book End as a store clerk in 2009, volunteering in the store every other week for six years. She joined The Book End Committee of the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation in 2011, serving as the co-chairperson from 2012 to 2013. After receiving an ICPL 500 Hour Volunteer Award in 2015, Caplan transitioned to sorting donated materials and restocking shelves at The Book End.

“Terri’s vast knowledge of books, authors, movies, and music, enabled her to provide excellent service to customers in The Book End, and is now utilized to select the best from the thousands of donated items for The Book End,” says Patty McCarthy, ICPL’s Development Director. “Her organizational talents are unmatched, and she helps to maintain order and interest on the bookstore shelves.”

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

The following is a list of volunteers receiving recognition awards for 2015:

100 Hour Award

  • Fatuma Abdalla
  • Katherine Bouska
  • Susan Bryant
  • Ellen Caplan
  • Jingyi Du
  • Scott Edgar
  • Pam Ehrhardt
  • Jordan Heganman
  • Qian He
  • Valerie Jackson
  • Kathy Keasler
  • Staci Kirsch
  • Dave Lee-Son
  • Stephanie Linnell
  • Anna Luria
  • David Martin
  • Dominic McCaffrey
  • Reilly O’Gorman
  • Sophie Schenkel
  • Jennifer Schmidt
  • Alex Stanton
  • Beth Stence
  • Chris Vincent
  • Chloe Waryan

200 Hour Award

  • Stephen Merkel-Hess
  • Janis Perkins
  • Theo Prineas
  • Patricia Ryan

300 Hour Award

  • Joel Barnhart
  • Beth Beasley
  • Sarah Burnett
  • Linda Eastman
  • Erin Glenn
  • Roxanne Hughes
  • Jeanne Morris
  • Esther Retish
  • Angela Tyler

400 Hour Award

  • Philip Fontana
  • William Moorhead

500 Hour Award

  • Becky Johnson
  • Kathy Mitchell
  • Corey Rew
  • Julie Spencer

1,000 Hour Award

  • Roberta Holstein
  • Emily Nelson
  • Mary New

4,000 Hour Award

  • Gloria Lacina

6,000 Hour Award

  • Nancy Sereduck

Celebrate Local History in May at ICPL

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 27th, 2016

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.

Realizing Stephen Smith: His Conscience and Conflict

Wednesday, May 4, noon to 1 p.m. in Meeting Room A

University of Iowa student Steve Smith (1944-2009) encountered violence as a civil rights worker in Mississippi, led a hunger strike in downtown Iowa City, and burned his draft card in the Iowa Memorial Union in protest of the escalating war in Vietnam – all before his 21st birthday. UI Archivist David McCartney recounts Smith’s life and efforts in the UI Archives to document his ideals and his struggles.

History of the UI School of Music

Wednesday, May 4, 7 to 8 p.m. in Meeting Room A

Since 1906, there has been a School of Music at the University of Iowa. Come hear Music Librarian Katie Buehner discuss the evolution of this 110-year-old program as evidenced in documentation from the University Archives and the collections of the Rita Benton Music Library.

First United Methodist Church Organ Concert

Wednesday, May 11, 7 to 8 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Iowa City, 214 East Jefferson St.

A local history display and organ concert featuring Dr. Melanie Sigafoose.

Restoring Scanned Images Part I

Friday, May 13, 11 a.m. to noon in the Computer Lab

Learn to restore a scanned image by using GIMP, a free, open source software similar to Adobe Photoshop. In this class learn how to get around in GIMP, import a scanned photo, save your project, straighten a photo, and crop and resize it. Registration is required.

Restoring Scanned Images Part II

Tuesday, May 17, 10 to 11 a.m. in the Computer Lab

Learn to restore a scanned image by using GIMP, a free, open source software similar to Adobe Photoshop. In this class learn how to get around in GIMP, import a scanned photo, save your project, straighten a photo, and crop and resize it. Participants must have good mouse and keyboarding skills, and need to demonstrate familiarity with GIMP or have taken Restoring Scanned Images Part I to participate. Registration is required.

The Secret Lives of Houses: How to Research your House’s History

Wednesday, May 18, noon to 1 p.m. in Meeting Room A

Learn how to research the history of your home or a building from Alicia Trimble, Executive Director of Friends of Historic Preservation.

Maintaining and Preserving Digital Photos Part I

Saturday, May 21, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Computer Lab

Want to learn how to take care of your digital photo collection? Begin by getting familiar with important terminology and file types. Then learn the key steps needed to preserve your digital photos. Come with your questions. Registration is required.

Maintaining and Preserving Digital Photos Part II

Saturday, May 21, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Computer Lab

Want to know about the various tools and software which can help you organize, store, and edit your digital collection? Part II of this series will show you how to use metadata to organize photos. Then we will discuss and talk about tools like Picasa, Apple Photos, Adobe Lightroom, and many more products. Bring your questions! It may be helpful to take Part I of this class depending on your familiarity with digital photos. Registration is required.

Introduction to Genealogy

Monday, May 23, 4 to 5 p.m. in the Computer Lab

Have you ever wondered about your family tree? Not sure how to start searching for your ancestors? Come join us for an Introduction to Genealogy. From what questions to ask and where to start searching to how to keep track of the information you find we’ll get you started on your search. Space is limited register online or by calling 356-5200.

Old Post Office Brass

Wednesday, May 25, noon to 1 p.m. in the Lobby

Old Post Office Brass reflects the home base in the Senior Center, formerly the Iowa City Post Office, and is a part of the New Horizons Band. This traditional brass quintet (two trumpets, horn, trombone and tuba) performs a large variety of music, including classical, ragtime, Dixieland and popular (show tunes, etc.) for a variety of audiences in different venues.

Making Sense Out of Iowa City Streets

Wednesday, May 25, 7 to 8 p.m. in Meeting Room A

Why can’t we seem to drive directly from place to place in Iowa City? Why are there no churches on Church Street? Why are some street signs in Iowa City blue, instead of green? Why do the streets First Avenue through Seventh Avenue go from east to west? How did we get all of those streets named after movie stars? And, what is with those strange-sounding names of St. Mathias Alley and St. Clements Alley? This presentation by citizen historian Thomas Schulein will explain the layout and naming of the streets of Iowa City. Historic Foodies will provide street food after the presentation.

Click here to register for classes or call the Library at 319-356-5200. If the class is full, you can add your name to the waiting list.

Click here for more information about Weber Days.

Plug into an audiobook today

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 25th, 2016

I purchased a new smartphone recently. It took two days to figure out what I wanted, another to psych myself up to enter the store and less than 24 hours to fall in love with my purchase.

My old phone was nearly four years old. It had 16GB of storage. I spent a lot of time deleting photos in order to take one. I had the bare minimum of apps, too. My new phone has 64 GB. I’ve yet to receive the dreaded Storage Almost Full message. Even better, I finally had enough room download the OverDrive app and listen to my first audiobook ever: Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple.bernadette

I’m a little late to the party with this title – and with the Library’s eMedia services in general. I highly recommend both.

The book is about Bernadette Fox, a quirky and elusive woman who was once the darling of the architect world, but left it all behind – but for what? The story tries to uncover the mystery through e-mails (some by Bernadette, others by woman who love to talk about her), news articles and other documents, but not before Bernadette disappears, leaving her 15-year-old daughter, Bee, to make sense of it all. Narrator Kathleen Wilhoite does a great job of distinguishing her voice to help listeners keep the colorful cast of characters sorted out, though there were times I had to remind myself Bee is 15; not 12.

If you haven’t visited the Library’s eMedia page, you should. Your Library Card is the ticket to free digital content for adults and children, with audio and digital books, online magazines – even local music through the Local Music Project. Upgrades to all delivery systems have made the process of downloading the materials even easier.

It used to be that ICPL’s eMedia services were available to patrons who live in Iowa City, Hills, University Heights, Lone Tree, or rural Johnson County, while Coralville residents could use it if that had a valid Coralville Public Library card. However, since July 1, ICPL, Coralville and North Liberty Community Library have offered combined eBook and digital audiobook collections through OverDrive. We call this service Digital Johnson County. As someone who works in Iowa City but lives in North Liberty, this service has been a wonderful addition to my reading options.

Learn more from DNA results at ICPL on April 25

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 21st, 2016

Curious to know what DNA test results can tell you? Come to the Iowa City Public Library’s second floor Computer Lab from noon to 3 p.m. Monday, April 25, to attend a workshop about working with DNA test results.

Students from the University of Iowa’s Personal Genome Learning Center will provide hands-on assistance with the navigation and interpretation of results from direct-to-consumer genetic tests, such as 23andMe and AncestryDNA.

This workshop is co-sponsored by the Library and the UI’s Pentacrest Museums, Department of Biology, and Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Genetics in recognition of National DNA Day on April 25.

National DNA Day is a unique day when students, teachers and the public can learn more about genetics and genomics. The day commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003, and the discovery of DNA’s double helix in 1953.

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

ICPL Friends Foundation hosts Looking Forward fundraiser

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 20th, 2016

The board of the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation invites the public to attend Looking Forward, the annual fundraiser for the Library.

This year’s event will be held on Sunday, May 8, at the Library. It is designed to expand horizons, achieve support through reservations and attendance, and continue to build long-standing camaraderie among the Library’s devotees.

The evening begins at 6 p.m. with “The Legendary Duke Ellington,” a presentation by John Hasse, curator of American Music at the Smithsonian Institution. Afterwards, guests will be treated to appetizers and beverages provided by Bread Garden Market & Bakery, Cookie Mom, Deluxe Cakes and Pastries, Motley Cow Café, and ReUnion Brewery.

The cost to attend Looking Forward is $125 per person and reservations are required. An optional one-hour tour of the new University of Iowa School of Music building will be held at 4 p.m. for an additional $25. The tour is open to the first 20 able-bodied guests. Closed-toe shoes and long pants are required; additional safety equipment will be provided.

Click here to make a reservation. Reservations must be received by April 29.

For more information, contact Patty McCarthy, Director of Development, at 319-356-5249 or

ICPL to host Money Smart Week events

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 19th, 2016

The Iowa City Public Library will observe Money Smart Week April 23 through April 30 with classes and programs designed to help people improve their financial literacy.

Library users can learn more about MorningStar and Value Line, two leading investment research resources, during our Be Money Smart class on April 26 from 10 to 11 a.m. in the Computer Lab. Library staff will demonstrate how to use these databases, giving users the information they need to be smart investors. Space is limited for this class. Register online at or call (319) 356-5200.

Learn how to protect yourself and your finances at Don’t Be a Victim: How to Avoid Scams from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, April 28, in Meeting Room A. Staff from MidWestOne Bank will share lessons on how to avoid common financial scams and fraud. This program is co-sponsored by MidWestOne Bank and Johnson County Livable Community. Light refreshments will be served.

Finally, all patrons are invited to participate in DASH for the STASH, a statewide competition to win a $1,000 IRA. To participate, read four Money Smart Week posters on display at the Library, use your Smartphone or Tablet to scan the QR code to access that topical question, and submit your answers.

Created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2002, Money Smart Week is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. For more information about ICPL’s Money Smart Week programs and classes, contact the Library at 319-356-5200.

ICPL Thanks Community for Sharing Stories, Images of 2006 Tornado

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 18th, 2016

The Iowa City Public Library would like to thank the community for sharing their memories of the tornado that hit Iowa City on April 13, 2006.

In January, the Library asked for your photographs of the tornado and its aftermath for a digital exhibit commemorating the tornado’s 10th anniversary. The response was incredible. We received more than 2,500 images from the community, as well as video and written stories.

To view the tornado collection, visit ICPL’s Digital History Project website at You can also track the tornado’s path through an interactive map pinpointing specific locations of the damage. We’ll continue to add images to the collection as we receive them.

We would also like to thank everyone who told their stories at our Tales from the Tornado, and shared their memories through our tornado display, which can be viewed on the Library’s first floor through April 30.

For more information, call the Library at 319-356-5200 or visit the Digital History Project here.

We have our Book Madness winners!

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 11th, 2016

It was a heated competition, but Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 defeated Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games to be named ICPL’s 2016 Book Madness champion in the Teens & Adults bracket.

The Children’s bracket winner was Wonder by R. J. Palacio. This wonderful (pun intended) book beat out Erin Hunter’s Warriors series.BookMadness

Nearly 100 patrons turned in completed brackets, but only four had the winning title in their bracket — one in the Teens & Adults bracket, and three in the Children’s bracket. We moved to a point system to determine our winner in the children’s bracket (one point for every correct title moving on to Round 2, two points for every correct title in the Sweet 16, three points for every correct title in the Elite 8, etc.). We will contact the winners this week.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Book Madness! Remember, you can find a list of all 2016 titles here. Please let us know if there’s a category and/or book title you’d like to see in next year’s competition!

ICPL presents Tales from the Tornado

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 8th, 2016

On April 13, 2006, an F2 tornado struck Iowa City, carving a path of destruction that left cars overturned, trees uprooted, traffic lights snapped off their poles, and roofs torn off buildings. Join the Iowa City Public Library as we commemorate the ten-year anniversary of this historic event.

Visit our digital gallery tracking the tornado’s path at Click on specific sites to see photographs of the destruction. This gallery was curated from pictures shared with the Library’s Digital History Project. More images will be shown in a photo exhibit on the Library’s first floor through April 30.

Tales from the Tornado will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, in Meeting Room A. Come and listen to tales of the twister, take a pictorial tour of the tornado’s path, and share your own memories.

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