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Author Archive for Shawna Riggins



What’s the Bookmobile doing at the Farmer’s Market??

by Shawna Riggins on April 29th, 2017

When you visit the Iowa City Saturday Farmer’s Market this year you may notice one large new participant – Our brand new Bookmobile! 2017-03-bookmobile-drawingOn Saturdays in May and June as you stock up on Farmer’s Market goodies be sure stop by the Iowa City Public Library Bookmobile in the Chauncey Swan lot. As a Farmer’s Market shopper and a library go-er, I am pumped about this pairing and I’ve been thinking of all the ways this could come in handy: Read the rest of this entry »

National Bookmobile Day Celebration

by Shawna Riggins on April 3rd, 2017

Help welcome the Iowa City Public Library Bookmobile to town and check out materials from the Antelope Lending Library at the community National Bookmobile Day Celebration at Mercer Park NationalBookMobileDay2017
Wednesday April 12th from 5:30 – 7:30.  Celebrating with us will be other vehicles that provide important mobile services such as a fire truck, police car, University of Iowa Mobile Clinic, University of Iowa Mobile Museum, Table to Table van, an IC Transit bus, and more!

Enjoy live music performed by the Dandelion Stompers and free activities courtesy of Zen Den, BackTogether Massage, Katie Ross with ZIPS (Zines in Public Schools) and join in on a book making activity led by Iowa City Parks and Recreation. Have your face painted, make a craft (there will be many to choose from!), get your hands on the bookmobiles’ summer schedules, and nab a special bookmobile-themed giveaway.

With the ICPL Bookmobile’s Summer Schedule start date of June 1st on the horizon, we can’t wait take our new bookmobile out for a spin. There won’t be books on board quite yet, so take this chance to get a unique peek at our freshly built Bookmobile. We hope to see you there!

 

Spotting the ICPL Bookmobile

by Shawna Riggins on March 29th, 2017

The Library is always a hub of excitement as Summer approaches and our countdown to the Summer Reading Program begins. This year, we have even more to look forward to as we prepare to roll out (er…drive out) our brand new Bookmobile.

Though regular Bookmobile operating hours won’t start until June 1, you will likely see our big blue Bookmobile around town in the weeks leading up to the start of the Summer Schedule.nationalbookmobileday

The first opportunity to meet our Bookmobile will be at the community National Bookmobile Day celebration on April 12 from 5:30-7:30 pm at Mercer Park. Along with live music and family fun, you’ll get a unique peek at our Bookmobile during this event; Books and DVDs won’t be on the truck until later in the month. Thank you to our friends at Iowa City Parks and Recreation for hosting this event and providing a book making activity!

Be sure to bring an extra bag to the Farmer’s Market this spring. Your first chance to check out Bookmobile materials will be when the Bookmobile is parked at the Iowa City Saturday Farmer’s Market in May and June.

The ICPL Bookmobile’s Summer schedule will run from June 1 – August 18. View our schedule on our webpage or pick up a printed copy at the Library. We will be around town Mondays through Fridays in the Summertime with some special weekend events you won’t want to miss. To stay up-to-date on Bookmobile news and events, be sure to sign up for our Newsletter, the Windshield.

If you spot us as we are out and about, getting a feel for the route, we’d love to hear about it on Social Media. Find us on Facebook, Twitter @ICPL, and on Instagram @iowacitypubliclibrary.2017-03-bookmobile-drawing

Finally, an edition of War and Peace I can understand!

by Shawna Riggins on March 21st, 2016

While I am loving my slow trek through Tolstoy’s War and Peace as part of a book group, I do appreciate some additional input after finishing some chapters. While searching online recently for a chapter summary and analysis, I found an edition of War and Peace that really broke the book down to a level that I could certainly understand and included some beautiful images. 20160321_104309While actually intended for babies and toddlers (considering it is a board book), I must admit I wasted no time in ordering a copy from Amazon.

I was happy to discover this edition of War and Peace is merely one in the delightful Cozy Classics board book series. On their website, creators, Jack and Holman Wang explain, “…no classic was written for the classroom; every one was written to give pleasure. We prefer to get away from the classroom and have kids grow up thinking of The Great Books as great fun.” This series, with its simplified stores and beautiful art, is a great way to make classics interesting and accessible at an early age. 20160321_104333Find books in this series including Pride and Prejudice, Tom Sawyer, and others in our collection. Jack and Holman Wang introduce little ones to other essential stories with their similar series, Star Wars Epic Yarns, also available from ICPL. Still curious about these books? Check out their YouTube Channel for book trailers and behind the scenes clips.

Now be honest, who will be more excited about these books; you or the little one in your life?

Pugs of the Frozen North

by Shawna Riggins on March 9th, 2016

pugs of the frozen northThe temperature may be warming up outside but Pugs of the Frozen North written by Philip Reeve and illustrated by Sarah McIntyre will transport you to the magical cold of True Winter and the Great Northern Race. After an unusual weather phenomenon leaves young ship-hand, Shen, alone in freezing temperatures with 66 cold and hungry pugs, he finds friendship, support, and a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in a nearby city.  Throughout Shen & his new friend Sika’s journey as participants in the Great Northern Race, they work with each other, their goofy yet gallant pugs, and even (most of) their competitors. If after reading this book your thoughts are not lingering on the excitement of the race and the antics of the adorably odd pugs, you might be mulling over the message that people (and dogs) can overcome expectations and reach their dreams.

pugs page 1

Though certainly enjoyable for readers of all ages (especially for pug-lovers like myself), the exciting illustrations paired with text makes this a great book for children transitioning to chapter books. If you or your child liked the illustrations in Pugs of the Frozen North, try out McIntyre’s tutorial to draw your own puggy pups!

If this wacky adventure sounds right for you or a reader you know, check out other books from Reeve and McIntyre’s series of Not-So-Impossible Tales.

My pug Fifi wasn't so keen on the idea of pulling a sleigh.

My pug Fifi wasn’t so keen on the idea of pulling a sleigh.

Thankful for ICPL

by Shawna Riggins on November 20th, 2015

You might have noticed our latest display on the first floor that states “Be Thankful for Books” which without a doubt, I am, but I am also thankful for all the other resources made available by Iowa City Public Library. Recently, I have caught myself taking our local library for granted, which has taught me to appreciate the services that ICPL is able to provide to our community and to give thanks (900x900)definitely take advantage of them!

During a recent trip home to visit my mom, we had to rearrange our weekend plans to ensure that we could make it to her local Library before they closed on Saturday since they are closed every Sunday. Thankfully, ICPL’s hours are pretty comprehensive, and their website can fill in most gaps when the library is closed. I have done research using library databases, renewed and reserved books, downloaded ebooks and magazines, and downloaded music all while the library was closed.

Read the rest of this entry »

Crafting in a Crunch

by Shawna Riggins on October 27th, 2015

It’s that time of year; The leaves are falling, the temperature is cooling and the days are getting shorter…It’s time to do all the crafting I put off all summer! After each holiday season I tell myself that I will start crafting early in the year to avoid late December nights where I knit blisters onto my fingers. Of course, I still haven’t learned and as of now I still have a cross stitch project to start and finish, two afghans to complete and numerous other projects that I haven’t even planned yet….

So much to do so little time!

So much to do so little time!

If you’re like me you might be looking for every opportunity to work on craft projects without becoming a social recluse for the last two months of 2015. Luckily, ICPL has several upcoming events where you can lap craft while maintaining your social life. Music is the Word: Music on Wednesdays events provide a great midweek break where you can meet a friend for lunch and tunes while you squeeze in some crafting. Join us this week to see Saul Lubraroff play his jazz saxophone. Our special Music is The Word Friday Concert on November 13th featuring Dick Watson and Eve Minkler playing piano jazz is a great opportunity for you to start your weekend off with some fun times and a chance to knit. Maybe you get to play taxi driver and give a ride to teens attending some of our teen programs in November like Way Cool Chemistry or Let’s Make Something. Meet a friend at the library, stake out a cozy spot in the library and get some crafting done while you catch up. If you don’t feel like chatting, just settle in with an audio book from our Book on CD collection or Overdrive and let the knitting continue. Knitting isn’t just for adults, though. Regardless of skill level or experience, 3-6th graders are invited to the Totally Tweens Knit-In on November 12th.wool-637104_1920

If you’re more motivated and a better planner than I am then you might already be done with your holiday crafting. Still looking for something to keep your hands busy as it gets cold and you begin spending more and more time indoors? ICPL is accepting donations of crafted items until Friday December 4 for the annual Arts and Craft Bazaar. No matter the reason ICPL can help you stay social as you craft this season. What project will you be working on at the library?

A Budding Hobby

by Shawna Riggins on September 25th, 2015

When my husband and I were looking for new places to live this past spring our top priority was finding a place with a fenced in yard for our pugs to romp in and enjoy. After living in our new location for almost three months now I have realized that the yard is almost as exciting for me as it is for the pugs.

Frank and Fifi are not the only ones excited to have a yard!

Frank and Fifi are not the only ones excited to have a yard!

Over the past few weeks I noticed mums being sold all around town and walked past them with longing. Then it dawned on me; I have a lawn, I can plant flowers! I immediately searched the Iowa City Public Library catalog and found some books to help me as I began thinking about what to plant and how to go about creating my first flower bed. I knew I wanted to plant mums because I love how they look and I read that they are pretty hardy so hopefully I wouldn’t kill them. Additionally, I decided to plant tulips so I would have flowers to enjoy as soon as winter ends, as well as some hostas that I was able to split and transplant from an abandoned bunch in the back yard.

Luckily I will have plenty of reading material over the Winter!

Luckily I will have plenty of reading material over the Winter!

Now the flowers are in the ground and the mulch has been spread, but my new obsession has just begun! I am already scoping out other parts of the yard and wondering what more I can do. Luckily for me, ICPL subscribes to several home and garden magazines to keep me thinking about new and different projects I can begin. What lawn or house project have to undertaken recently with the help of library resources?

Flowers, Flowers Everywhere

by Shawna Riggins on September 1st, 2015

Of course I love to stock up on fresh produce at the Farmers Market, but there are many other parts of the Market that I get excited about. Lately I have been enjoying the beautiful fresh cut flowers available in several stalls. Half the fun is taking the time to build a personalized arrangement. Then you get to bring them home and admire their beauty and scent in your house all week. I love the variSunflowersety that is available at the market as well as knowing that they were grown locally and cut individually. If you don’t have a yard of blooming flowers, this is a great way to enjoy nature. Even if you do have your own yard and flowers, you may not necessarily want to cut them down. Stop by this weekend and build your own bouquet. Looking for guidance as you set out to make your extra special centerpiece? Check out some of our helpful books. Be sure to share a photo with us, we’d love to see your creations!

Bringing a Nebraskan to the Farmer’s Market

by Shawna Riggins on May 19th, 2015

When I moved from Nebraska to Iowa City a couple of summers ago, my friends and family couldn’t understand wNebraskahy I was leaving the “Good Life” for Iowa. It has since become my personal goal to educate
Nebraskans (as well as other non-Iowans) about how great life is on the other side of the Missouri! To achieve this goal, I jump at the opportunity to show guests some of the best spots in the community.

My family came into town last weekend for my Friday evening graduation ceremony, which was well and good, but I was really excited to show off the Farmers Market on Saturday morning. I knew that I was facing some pretty steep competition, because my mom enjoys visiting the Farmers Market in Omaha’s Old Market. We arrived early to avoid the crowd and took our time touring the stalls. My mom loved looking through the photos of the dairy goats at one stall and was especially interested in the bat houses made by another vendor. We both went home with some great looking (and smelling!) produce, which was cause enough for satisfaction, but I couldn’t hide my delight when she declared the Iowa City Farmers Market to be better than Omaha’s! Another win for Iowa City!

Though I do enjoy the sweet taste of success, nothing can compare to our hearty soup made with Farmers Market ingredients that we enjoyed for dinner last weekend!

I love looking up the farm where my produce was grown!

I love looking up the farm where my produce was grown!




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