It’s that time of year when we make resolutions for the new year. I’d like to challenge you to increase your visits to the Iowa City Public Library in 2015. In the age of instant internet access on smart phones, e-books, and online-databases many of the reasons for visiting the Library are not as urgent as in the past. But, you may be missing out.
Top Ten Reasons to Visit the Iowa City Public Library
10. It’s good exercise (one of my personal perennial New Year’s resolutions involves more exercise). Depending on where you live and the weather make it the destination of a walk or bike ride. This is one time lack of immediate parking is good — park two blocks away and get a little walk. When you’re here, take a stroll around the 2nd floor — it’s a block long you know! Twice around and you’ve walked four blocks.
9. Buy a used book or DVD at The Book End. While walking on the second floor stop in The Book End and pick up a gently used book for yourself or someone else.
8. Become a volunteer. Last year over 300 people volunteered time at the Library.
7. Meet people you know. ICPL is better than the grocery store for running in to someone you know and taking a few minutes to catch up. Several hundred people an hour come through the doors. I don’t think anyone who’s lived in town for at least year could sit in the lobby for more than hour and not see someone they know.
6. Do research. One of our most popular databases, Ancestry.com, (the world’s largest online resource for family history with billions of genealogical and historical records) can only be used in the building. There are many other resources that are only available in the Library, and reference librarians are here to help you all the hours the library is open.
5. Learn about and use technology. Many people don’t have internet access, or they lose their connections temporarily. The Library provides public access internet computers that also have basic programs such as word processing on them. Print, scan, fax. Attend a class or stop by drop-in tech time for help with a perplexing problem.
4. Attend a meeting or program. Thousands of meetings and programs occur every year in our meetings rooms. Check out the schedule on our web site. You will find something that interests you.
3. Checkout a physical book, DVD, magazine, piece of art or toy. Better yet take several (more exercise!).
2. Bring a child to the Children’s Room for story time, play time, book time, fun time.
1. Discover something. Wander around the building — look at the art, check out the recently returned shelves to see what others have been reading or the NEW book shelves to see what’s recently published, walk through the Children’s Room even if you don’t have children, explore the second floor, read all the postings on the community bulletin board in the lobby. I try to do it every day.
There’s my top ten list. What’s yours? I hope to see you often at ICPL in 2015.