Library Catalog Ask a Librarian Book a Meeting Room
Catalog Your Account Menu

Author Archive for Meredith Hines-Dochterman

ICPL Announces November Music is the Word Events

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on November 1st, 2015

Join the Iowa City Public Library as we celebrate all things musical with Music is the Word.

This special series of programming, to continue through May 2016, welcomes the University of Iowa School of Music building to downtown Iowa City. Here’s what’s happening in November:

Noon to 1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 2, in Meeting Room A: Lunchtime Presentation with David Gier. Join us as David Gier, Director of the University of Iowa School of Music, gives an update on the progress of the new Voxman Music Building, which is scheduled to open in fall of 2016. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. with a free sack lunch provided for the first 50 people.

7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4, in Meeting Room A: Spanish Culture’s Impact on Russian Literature and Music. Join University of Iowa adjunct professor Anna Barker for a conversation examining the influence of Spanish culture on Russian literature and music of the 19th century. She will be joined by soloist Sasha Burdin. This event is cosponsored with University of Iowa Arts Share.

4 to 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6, in Meeting Room A: Black Art / White Space. Margo Jefferson and Monica Martin (lead singer of PHOX) will join a panel of guests to discuss the experience of working as black artists in white spaces. This event also is part of the Witching Hour Festival.

7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, in Meeting Room A: Documentary Screening – Note by Note: The Making of a Steinway L1037. Twelve months, 12,000 parts, and 450 craftsmen – from the selection of individual trees to a Steinway factory in Queens and to Steinway Hall in Manhattan, Note by Note follows the artisans of Steinway in the creation of a concert grand #L1037. (2007) 81 min.

10:30 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, in Meeting Room A: Homemade Instruments Preschool Storytime. Have you ever wanted to make your own instrument? That’s exactly what we’ll do at this storytime! Bring your creativity and maybe even make something no one’s heard of before.

7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 12, in Meeting Room A: Documentary Screening – Pianomania. As Steinway & Sons’ Chief Technician and Master Tuner in Vienna, Stefan Knupfe is dedicated to the unusual task of pairing world-class instruments with world-famous pianists. Juggling the demands of the pianist, the piano, and the piece to find the perfect match requires boundless enthusiasm, but also endless patience and nerves of steel. No detail is too small or too inconsequential for Knupfe; not even the tiniest speck of dust on a piano string. (2009) 93 min.

Noon to 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13, in Meeting Room A: Music at Noon with Preucil School of Music. Join musicians from the Preucil School of Music as they share their joy in a live music performance.

6 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 13, in Meeting Room A: Piano Jazz Concert with Dick Watson and Eve Minkler. Dick Watson is a jazz pianist; Eve Minkler is a jazz singer, who happens to be Dick’s daughter. They’ll play standard jazz tunes to warm up your Friday evening.

2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, in the Storytime Room: The Little Mermaid Sing-Along. Under the Sea, Princess Ariel dreams of walking on land. Will her dreams come true? Stop by for a special screening of The Academy Award-Winning classic, The Little Mermaid.

4 to 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, in Meeting Room A: The Costs of Success: Rap Music, Money, & Civics. Join us for a conversation between Dr. Michael Hill from the University of Iowa English and African American Studies and friends. From the moment that it appeared, rap music focused on money. Many commentators used this preoccupation to suggest a moral failing in the music. Touching on recordings from four decades, Hill shows that while bling dominated mainstream perceptions of the art form, rappers themselves were conflicted about riches. He argues that rap’s varied portraits of cash constitute a meditation on civic options in post-civil rights era America. This event is cosponsored with the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies.

5:30 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17, at The Mill. Join us for the fall 2015 series of the B.Y.O.Book “Books In Bars” Book Club meetups! This month we will discuss Michael Chabon’s Telegraph Avenue. Registration is encouraged due to space limitations. Limited copies of the book will be available for check out from Info Desk staff on the Library’s second floor.

2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22, in Meeting Room A: Family Concert. Join members of the City Circle Acting Company as they give us a sneak preview of their upcoming musical, Oliver.

A listing of all Music is the Word events can be found at

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

UI School of Music Presentation at ICPL

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on October 29th, 2015

David Gier, director of the University of Iowa School of Music, will update the progress of the Voxman Music Building during a lunchtime presentation from noon to 1 p.m. Monday. Nov. 2, in Meeting Room A at the Iowa City Public Library.

Doors will open at 11:30 a.m. A sack lunch from Mama’s Deli & Catering will be provided to the first 50 people.

This presentation is part of the Library’s Music is the Word series to welcome the School of Music to downtown Iowa City. The school is expected to open in the fall of 2016, adding to the community’s vibrant local music scene with free concerts showcasing UI music students and staff.

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

Popo’s Halloween Puppet Festival at ICPL Oct. 31

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on October 27th, 2015

The Iowa City Public Library’s annual Popo’s Puppet Festival is this Saturday, Oct. 31, in Meeting Room A.

Join Elsenpeter Marionettes and their classic European-style marionettes from 11 to 11:45 a.m. as they tell the story of Jack, who has climbed to heights he never dreamed of – but will he be able to make it home? After a break for lunch, the festival continues from 1 to 1:30 p.m. with an appearance by Popo the Clown.

This event will be broadcast live on The Library Channel, Iowa City cable channel 20.

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

Oscar Mayer WIENERMOBILE coming to ICPL

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on October 22nd, 2015

It’s no bologna – the Oscar Mayer WIENERMOBILE will be at the Iowa City Public Library for two special visits!wienermobile_billboard_lg

The WIENERMOBILE will make its first appearance at Preschool Storytime from 10:30 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 28. There will be Halloween and hot dog stories read in the Storytime Room before a tour of the WIENERMOBILE, which will be parked outside of the Library.

Families unable to attend Wednesday’s event have a second chance Sunday, Nov. 1. The WIENERMOBILE will be parked outside of the Library on the Ped Mall from 2 to 4 p.m. Again, hot dog stories will be read to the visitors, who also will have the opportunity to tour the unique vehicle.

The Oscar Mayer WIENERMOBILE has been roaming America’s highways and backroads since 1936, with six WIENERMOBILE vehicles on the road any given time. You can follow the iconic 27-foot-long hot dog on wheels’ adventures on Twitter (@oscarmayer) and Instagram (@oscarmayer).

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

Buy Your Rev Up for Rotary, Rev Up for Reading Raffle Tickets Today

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on October 20th, 2015

There’s not much time to buy your tickets for the Rev Up for Rotary, Rev Up for Reading raffle drawing.

This special raffle by the Iowa City Noon Rotary Club is in celebration of 100 years of service. Proceeds will benefit the Iowa City Public Library, the Coralville Public Library and the North Liberty Community Library, as well as Iowa City Noon Rotary community projects.

Buy your tickets now for a chance to win a 2015 Toyota Highlander XLE AWD. Tickets are $25 each or five for $100. Tickets can be purchased at the libraries or from an Iowa City Noon Rotary Club member until noon on Thursday, Nov. 5. The winning ticket will be drawn during the club’s Centennial Celebration that evening.

Tickets are good for a chance at other valuable prizes, including a 7-day Winter Park at a Colorado condominium that sleeps up to eight people; two Iowa men’s basketball season tickets; a $500 Hy-Vee gift card; a $300 Brown Deer Golf Course gift card; a $100 Iowa City Downtown District gift card; and seven pints of David’s Famous Gourmet Frozen Custard every month for one year.

Winners need not be present to win.

For more information about Iowa City Noon Rotary, visit or find them on Facebook under Iowa City Noon Rotary Club.

Yahoo Drummers Join Music is the Word Series

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on October 14th, 2015

The Iowa City Public Library and the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department want families to get with the beat.YahooPromo

From 7 to 9 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month through April 5, 2016, families can participate in a drumming session with the Yahoo Drummers at the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center Gymnastics Room as part of the Library’s Music is the Word series. Participants will learn how to play percussion instruments from all over the world, creating a unique musical experience with each session.

For 20 years, the Yahoo Drummers have led drum circles with groups of all sorts and ages at churches, weddings, funerals, libraries, bar mitzvahs, dog shows, county fairs, and museums. The Library and the Parks and Recreation Department are excited to share their talent and enthusiasm with area families.

The monthly drumming sessions are open to the public and are free of charge; registration is not required.

For more information, contact the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department at 319-356-5100.

Author Jane Smiley at ICPL on Oct. 26

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on October 12th, 2015
Author Jane Smiley at ICPL on Oct. 26 Cover Image

The Iowa City Public Library and Prairie Lights are pleased to welcome Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jane Smiley to the Library on Monday, Oct. 26.

Smiley will read from her latest novel, Golden Age; the much-anticipated final volume in her Last Hundred Years trilogy, at 7 p.m. in Meeting Room A. Following Some Luck and Early Warning, Golden Age follows the next generation of Langdons in the 1980s as they face economic, social, political and personal challenges.

Smiley was born in California, but grew up in a suburb of St. Louis. After getting her BA at Vassar College in 1971, she traveled in Europe for a year before moving to Iowa City, where she subsequently earned an MA (1975), MFA (1976), and PhD (1978) at the University of Iowa. In 1981, she went to work at Iowa State University, where she taught until 1996.

She published her first novel, Barn Blind, in 1980. Her fifth novel, A Thousand Acres, a story based on William Shakespeare’s King Lear, received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1992. It was adapted into a movie of the same name in 1997, starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Jessica Lange, Jason Robards and Colin Firth.

Prairie Lights will have Smiley’s books available for purchase at the event.

Smiley’s reading will be broadcast live on The Library Channel, Iowa City cable channel 20.

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

ICPL, University of Iowa’s Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program To Offer Job and Resume Workshops

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on October 8th, 2015

The Iowa City Public Library and the University of Iowa’s Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program have joined together to offer job and resume workshops on Wednesdays beginning Oct. 21.

Students will be available to give one-on-one job-related assistance. Participants can get help from graduate level students to extend computer skills, fill out online job applications, build resumes, and develop interview skills.

Anyone needing help must schedule an appointment. Students will be available from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m., offering hour-long appointments every Wednesday from Oct. 21through Dec. 2.

“There are very few resources in the community I can point patrons to if they need help creating a resume or filling out an online application,” said Jen Eilers, Library Assistant at the Iowa City Public Library. “Many places around town have lost their funding, preventing them from offering this important service.”

So when Aurora Pham, a graduate assistant for the program, approached the Library to see if workshops like these would be helpful, Eilers said yes.

“ICPL often provides basic support to job seekers applying for jobs, but this series of workshops takes that assistance to the next level, which will be extremely beneficial to our patrons and the community,” Eilers said.

Because this is a new program, appointment slots are limited. To make an appointment, visit or contact the Library at 319-356-5200.

All appointments will be held in the Library’s second floor computer lab.

Hopping on the Express Shelf Express

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on October 6th, 2015

I am reading Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies. I’m enjoying it immensely, but unfortunately it’s due on Friday and I still have 200 pages to go.ExpressShelf-SocialMedia

Did I mention that there are 23 holds on the Library’s eight copies?

I may finish by Friday, but what if I don’t? Do I keep the book over the weekend and pay a late fine? Do I return it and hope I remember where I left off when my hold comes up and I check it out again? Do I break down and buy a copy of my own?

The correct answer is none of the above.

I found a copy on the Library’s Express Shelf. I returned my copy of the book and checked out the Express book. Now I have 14 days to finish my book, while freeing another copy for someone on the holds list. Everyone is happy.

Be sure to check our Express Shelves, located on the first floor for fiction, second floor for non-fiction. The book you’re waiting for might be there waiting for you!

Oh, and if you do check out an Express Shelf copy and know you’ll finish it in two weeks, go ahead and take your name off of the holds list for that title. You’ll make tons of strangers happy!


Reading another person’s letters …

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on October 1st, 2015

An upcoming episode of On Air: The ICPL podcast will feature a Favorite Book segment.

Not books.


It isn’t easy choosing a favorite book. I have tons of favorites from various stages in life, but there is one title that remains my hands-down favorite: 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff.

84, Charing Cross Road details the 20-year friendship between Hanff, a writer living in New York City, and Frank Doel, chief buyer of Marks & Co., antiquarian booksellers in London. This lovely non-fiction book is an epistolary book, written entirely in the pair’s letters. (It was later turned into a stage play, TV play and a movie, starring Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins.)

I love epistolary novels – books written as a series of documents, such as letters and journal entries. There’s realness with this genre, even in fiction works. Reading something private instantly makes the reader part of the character’s personal life.

Some of my favorite epistolary titles include Stephen Chboksky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower (bonus: it’s also a banned 0504_i-will-always-write-backbook; perfect for Banned Books Week reading); Attachments: A Novel by Rainbow Rowell; and Where Rainbows End (previously published as Rosie Dunne) by Cecelia Ahern. Now, I have a new title to add to the list: I Will Always Write Back by Martin Ganda and Caitlin Alifirenka.

I Will Always Write Back is the true story of two lives changed by a letter. Caitlin wrote to Martin as part of an English assignment, choosing Zimbabwe because she liked the name of the country. Her letter arrived with nine others, at a poor school with 50 students. Martin was lucky enough to receive one because he was the top student.

Caitlin and Martin had very little in common, but somehow they struck up a friendship that transcended their differences, eventually changing both of their lives. I Will Always Write Back is a great story of generosity, inner strength, and friendship. I could not put it down, finishing it in one afternoon.

I Will Always Write Back is cataloged as for ages 12 and up, but I see it as one of those books everyone should read, no matter if you are 15 or 50. It will make you smile, make you cry, and make you better for having experienced how truly amazing people can be.