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Author Archive for Meredith Hines-Dochterman

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.

ICPL Staff Top Picks for 2014: Children’s Books

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 30th, 2014

The Library’s Children’s Staff stepped things up this year, providing the longest list of recommended titles. These books range from stories perfect for bedtime stories to chapter books for independent readers. Perhaps your child’s new favorite is on this list!


The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

The Glass Sentence by S.E. Grove

A Library Book for Bear by Bonny Becker

The Way to the Zoo by John Burningham

Hermelin the Detective Mouse by Mini Grey

Revolution by Deborah Wiles

Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell

Gabriel Finley & the Raven’s Riddle by George Hagen

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Levy – II

Puddle Pug by Kim Norman

Space Case by Stuart Gibbs

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

Return of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

Sparky by Jenny Offill

Quest by Aaron Becker

The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat

Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio

The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc

Flora and the Penguin by Molly Idle

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

Mix It Up! By Herve Tullet

Flashlight by Lizi Boyd

Maple by Lori Nichols

Moo! By David LaRochelle

Underwater Dogs: Kids edition by Seth Casteel

Found by Salina Yoon

ICPL Staff Top Picks for 2014: Biography and Memoir

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 29th, 2014

Do you need a reason to read a biography and/or memoir? Here are three:

1. This genre introduces the reader to fascinating people or sheds new light on those we thought we knew.

2. To learn history, or experience something, through the life of an individual.

3. To enjoy a good book.

Our picks for the best biography and memoir titles of the year range from humorous to sweetly sentimental. Are there titles we missed?


  • Yes Please by Amy Poehler
  • Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock
  • Graduates in Wonderland: The International Misadventures of Two (Almost) Adults by Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale
  • Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan
  • Year of No Sugar: A Memoir by Eve Schaub

ICPL Staff Top Picks for 2014: Young Adult

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 28th, 2014

The Library’s pick for Book of the Year in 2013 and 2012 were young adult titles — Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park in 2013, and John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars in 2012. The genre is popular among readers of all ages and we’re no exception. Many Library staff members enjoy reading YA books despite the fact that our YA years are behind us.

Have you explored our young adult collection? Not sure what you should read? Check out our One Read Fits All page or any of the titles below to get started.


  • Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
  • 100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith
  • The One by Kiera Cass
  • On The Fence by Kasie West
  • Breathe, Annie, Breathe by Miranda Kenneally
  • Fan Art by Sarah Tregay
  • A Matter of Souls by Denise Lewis Patrick
  • Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn
  • Far From You by Tess Sharpe
  • Vango: Between Sky and Earth by Timothee de Fombelle
  • One Man Guy by Michael Barakiva

ICPL Staff Top Picks for 2014: Mystery and Science-Fiction

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 27th, 2014

It was a dark and stormy night …

One benefit of it being dark before 5 p.m. is that we have plenty of mood lighting for our science fiction and mystery reads. Check out what ICPL staffers chose as their favorites in this category!


  • Lock in by John Scalzi
  • The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman
  • The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey
  • Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer
  • Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin
  • The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches: A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley
  • Destroyer Angel by Nevada Barr
  • Wolf by Mo Hayder

ICPL Staff Top Picks for 2014: Non-Fiction

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 26th, 2014

What do pies, video games, and rock ‘n’ roll have in common? These were some of the topics staff read about from the Library’s non-fiction collection. With subjects ranging from gardening to travel, our non-fiction section on the second floor has something for everyone! If you’re not a regular non-fiction reader, we suggest the following titles to get you started.


  • Fluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the World by Benny Lewis
  • The Essential Guide to Cultivating Mushrooms: Simple and Advanced Techniques for Growing Shiitake, Oyster, Lion’s Mane, and Maitake Mushrooms at Home by Stephen Russell
  • What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe
  • Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation by Blake J. Harris
  • The Amazing Thing About the Way It Goes: Stories of Tidiness, Self-Esteem and Other Things I Gave Up On by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
  • The Republic of the Imagination: America in Three Books by Azar Nafisi
  • Pie School: Lessons in Fruit, Flour and Butter by Kate Lebo
  • Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
  • The Shelf: From LEQ to LES: Adventures in Extreme Reading by Phyllis Rose
  • Blood Will Out: The True Story of a Murder, a Mystery, and a Masquerade by Walter Kirn
  • Body Counts: A Memoir of Activism, Sex, and Survival by Sean Strub
  • The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs by Greil Marcus
  • Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? By Roz Chast
  • Off the Leash: A Year at the Dog Park by Matthew Gilbert
  • The Iowa State Fair by Kent Ullrich

ICPL Staff Top Picks for 2014: Fiction

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 25th, 2014

The Iowa City Public Library is pleased to present our favorite reads of 2014.

Employees were asked to submit the titles they read and loved this year with all nominations divided into seven categories: fiction, kids, young adult, mystery/science fiction, memoir, biography, and non-fiction. The only rule was that the book had to be released in 2014. Any book that was nominated by more than one staff member made our 2014 Best of the Best list.

We’ll share our Best of the Best list on the last day of 2014. Until then, here are the Library’s top fiction books for 2014. Keep checking back to see what made the cut in our other categories.


  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  • The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
  • A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable
  • And the Dark, Sacred Night by Julia Glass
  • China Dolls by Lisa See
  • Landline by Rainbow Rowell
  • Natchez Burning by Greg Iles
  • Lila by Marilynne Robinson
  • Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen
  • Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
  • An Untamed State by Roxane Gay
  • The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld
  • The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Small Blessings by Martha Woodroof
  • Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
  • The Free by Willy Vlautin
  • Bark by Lorrie Moore
  • Perfidia by James Ellroy
  • Paper Lantern by Stuart Dybek
  • When Mystical Creatures Attack! by Kathleen Founds
  • The Burning Room by Michael Connelly
  • The Poor Boy’s Game by Dennis Tafoya
  • To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris
  • Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen
  • Some Luck by Jane Smiley
  • Thunderstruck & Other Stories by Elizabeth McCracken

What was your favorite fiction read of 2014?

ICPL honors staff during InService Day

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 19th, 2014

The Iowa City Public Library recently honored employees who have worked at the Library for five, 10, 20, and 30 years.

Seven employees were recognized during the Library’s Staff InService Day on Dec. 12.

Individuals who celebrated five years of employment at the Library include Mimi Blankenship Coupland, Heidi Kuchta, and Mari Redington.

Kate Dale and Patty McCarthy were recognized for 10 years of service, while Beth Fisher was recognized for 20 years.

Hal Penick was recognized for 30 years of employment.

“The Library is pleased to honor these individuals for their years of dedicated service,” Library Director Susan Craig said. “We thank them for their hard work and all that they do.”

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

The Iowa City Public Library recently honored several employees for their service. Honorees include, from left: Mimi Blankenship Coupland, Patty McCarthy, Hal Penick, Beth Fisher, and Heidi Kuchta. Not pictured are Mari Redington and Kate Dale. (Photo by Mara Cole, Iowa City Public Library)

The Iowa City Public Library recently honored several employees for their service. Honorees include, from left: Mimi Blankenship Coupland, Patty McCarthy, Hal Penick, Beth Fisher, and Heidi Kuchta. Not pictured are Mari Redington and Kate Dale. (Photo by Mara Cole, Iowa City Public Library)

Iowa City Public Library to air TaxSlayer Bowl

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 19th, 2014

Join the Iowa City Public Library Friday, Jan. 2, as the Iowa Hawkeyes take on the Tennessee Volunteers in the 2015 TaxSlayer Bowl.

The Library will air the game on the big screen in Meeting Room A; beginning with the pregame show at 1 p.m. Kickoff is at 2 p.m.

This free event is open to the public. Spirited cheering is encouraged and good sportsmanship required.

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


Special teen events at ICPL Dec. 30 and 31

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 16th, 2014

Teens, visit the Iowa City Public Library Dec. 30 and Dec. 31 for two special School’s Out for the Holidays events. Holidays-Teen

Put your game face on Tuesday, Dec. 30, because we’re having a Video Game Tournament from 2 to 4 p.m. Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will be playing on the flat screen, allowing up to four players to battle it out at one time.

Join the Teen Movie Club from 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 31, for a screening of Guardians of the Galaxy. Based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name, Guardians of the Galaxy was released in August. The action film stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper.

ICPL teen events are for students in grades 7 through 12. All events take place in the Koza Family Teen Center on the Library’s second floor unless otherwise noted.

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