by Kara Logsden on February 19th, 2016
A few years back I received an interesting telephone call. An Associate Professor at the University of Iowa, Anthony Arnone, wanted to play his cello in our Lobby. Arnone explained he was getting his car serviced and, instead of the waiting room magazines or donuts, why not play the cello during his wait? He had such a positive response, he started a project called “Bach to Work-Random Acts of Music,” playing his cello in unexpected locations.
We scheduled Mr. Arnone to play at 10:15 on a Monday morning, just as families were heading in for Storytime. The experience of hearing music was mesmerizing. People entering the Library stopped to listen and many children were curious about his playing.
Fast forward a couple years, and we are delighted to welcome Anthony Arnone back to the Library as a part of our Music on Wednesday series. Mr. Arnone will play his cello at Noon on Wednesday February 24th. If it is warm outside, he will play in the Lobby. If it is cold out, we’ll move the program to the Gallery on the first floor of the Library.
Cheers to “random acts of music” at the Library!
by Mary Estle-Smith on May 25th, 2016
If you are a self-check user you are in the majority of people who use the library to check out materials. This year, Jan.-May 72% of items checked out have gone through the self-check machines. This is an increase of about 1% from last year and 35% from the first year of use. We are on our 3rd or 4th generation of self-check equipment and each time it becomes more intuitive and user friendly. The newest one in the Children’s’ room even talks to you!
There are 4 stations on the 1st floor by the entrance/exit, 2 in the Children’s room, and 1 on the 2nd floor by the Info desk. The addition of these machines has made the experience of checking out materials so streamlined we have almost eliminated the sometimes very long lines that those of us who have been around here forever remember not so fondly.
Currently you can renew materials, see and pay fines as well as check out items. If you are interested in learning to use them, staff at any of the service desks would be happy to provide assistance.
Try them out sometime, they are pretty slick!
by Kara Logsden on May 21st, 2016
Our final Music on Wednesday program will be held Wednesday May 25th at Noon. The Old Post Office Brass Quintet, which is affiliated with the New Horizons Band, will share a variety of toe-tapping fun music. This free program will be held in the Library Lobby.
The New Horizons Band is “dedicated to fostering an understanding of the vital relationship between creative expression and healthy aging. The band, as well as the small spin-off groups perform regularly throughout the area and are known for bringing much joy to many, especially the older adult members of our community.”
I’m sad the Music on Wednesday series is coming to a close. It’s fun to see the surprised expression on people’s faces when they come into the Library and encounter music in an expected place. Most people smile and some stop and listen. Music in unexpected places reminds us to slow down and enjoy the moment. I have a secret hope we’ll continue to have pop-up music in the Lobby. Most people know what to expect at the Library, but some days a bit of serendipity through music is a welcome surprise.
by Angela Pilkington on May 11th, 2016
It’s May and by the end of the month school will be letting out for the summer! At the library, we are planning an exciting kick-off to your summer season—Children’s Day, June 4, 2016! Mark your calendars now for this annual event produced by the Iowa City Public Library with Summer of the Arts during the Iowa Arts Festival. This is a great time to sign up for the ICPL’s summer reading program—On Your Mark Get Set…Read! You can also get creative at the activity booths and enjoy a show on the Family Stage. With live performances, arts and crafts, fun activities, and Planting Day for ICPL’s Children’s Garden, there’s something for everyone! Here is a quick glimpse of the day:
SATURDAY, JUNE 4, 10 am to 3 pm
Sponsored by MidWestOne Bank
Sponsored by Dr. Suzanne Stock, Orthodontist
10:00 AM After School Specials rock concert (by Shimek Before & After School Program kids)
10:30 AM FEAT Acrobatics show
11:15 AM 2 FEAT Acrobatics stilt walker costume characters
11:30 AM Bluegrass banjo music by Jon Eric
12:30 PM Dr. Goober T. Goodfoot, Certified Public Fool Show
1:15 PM Dream Divas, Tumblers, and Set the Atmosphere show (from the Dream Center Performance Arts Academy)
2:15 PM Ecuador Manta
10:00 AM – 3:00 PM TJ Regul, Magic in the City
11:00 AM – 2:00 PM Dean Franzen, The Dean of Juggling
1:15 PM – 2:30 PM Dr. Goober T. Goodfoot
- On Your Mark, Get Set, Read! ICPL Summer Reading Registration
- Catch the Beat with Yahoo Drummers
- Celebrate Caribbean-Style Carnival with the Iowa City Carnival Project
- Chess Quest with Douglas Narveson
- Dinosaur Hollow sponsored Jack Neuzil
- Furry Friends with the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center
- Iowa Children’s Museum
- Magic in the City with TJ Regul
- Make Your Mark in the City of Literature with ICPL
- Making “Music Together” with Preucil School of Music
- Paint the Town with ICPL and Blick Art Materials
- Picture This! Silly Props for Photo Ops with ICPL
- Read, Learn, Grow! Children’s Garden with Scott Koepke & Soilmates
- Sing & Play & Learn Today with West Music
- Sit, Stay, R.E.A.D. with the Therapy Dogs of Johnson County
by Kara Logsden on May 7th, 2016
OK … confession time. I’ve never heard Crystal City perform live. They came highly recommended to me and when I read this review from Hillfolk Noir, who could resist?! “Crystal City from Iowa City, Iowa, is a versatile combo centered around Dave’s midwestern sincerity. His honest songs and Sam’s lilting harmonies can warm a weary heart and get bedraggled feet stomping. -Travis & Ali Ward, Hillfolk Noir”
Dave Helmer and Sam Drella are Crystal City. Their music is described as “Heartland rock band with blue-collar roots” with “themes of love and loss, being good to each other, and celebrating life.” While preparing for this program, I’ve enjoyed listening to their music online (listen here) and getting to know their music a bit better. If you live in Iowa City or an area that contracts with us (Iowa City, rural Johnson County, Hills or University Heights) you can download their album for free with your ICPL card and password via our Local Music Project.
Please join us on Wednesday May 11 at Noon in the Library’s Lobby for a toe-tapping musical performance with Crystal City. I dare you to not tap your toes and hum along. And who knows, maybe some bedraggled feet may begin stomping! See you at the Library!
by Kara Logsden on May 6th, 2016
Recently the Library Board reviewed the Library’s Meeting Room policy and approved a couple minor changes. The Meeting Room and Lobby Use Policy provides guidelines for how the Library’s meetings rooms and Lobby are used for Library and community events and programs. It also guides how Library Staff manage this resource. The Library has five meeting rooms. Rooms A, B, C, and D are just off the Lobby and available hours beyond when the Library is open. Room E is on the second floor and is available Library hours only.
According to the Policy, “The purpose of the Library’s meeting rooms is to provide space for library programs and events, to fulfill the Library’s role as a community center, where the public can attend informational, educational, cultural events and to champion the principle of intellectual freedom by providing a forum for the free exchange of ideas.”
Also, according to Policy, “Rooms are available to non-profit corporations (defined as those entities granted tax-exempt status by the IRS under section 501(c)(3) or other tax exempt sections of the Internal Revenue Code), a candidate’s campaign committee (as defined in Iowa Code §68A.102(5)), a political committee (as defined by Iowa Code §68A.102 (18), a non-profit citizen’s group that provides appropriate contact information, a governmental subdivision, or a department/division/bureau of a governmental subdivision. Rooms are not available for use as a regularly scheduled classroom or study space by educational institutions.”
The Library’s meeting rooms are very busy and many community groups depend on the Library’s Meeting Rooms. In FY15 there were 3,261 events in the Library’s meeting rooms and Lobby. Of those, 1,528 were meetings and events hosted by community groups. The rooms are used most on Tuesdays and the busiest start time for meetings is 10:00 AM.
More information about the Library’s meeting rooms is available at icpl.org/meeting-rooms. The Library’s building calendar is available at calendar.icpl.org. There’s a handy link on both pages for eligible groups to self-schedule a meeting room. Or give us a call (319.356.5200) or stop by – Library staff are happy to help with scheduling or answer any questions you have.
by Kara Logsden on May 2nd, 2016
Do you have a Library Card? Are you ready for summer? Why do I ask?
The Summer Library Bus program at the Iowa City Public Library kicks off on Thursday May 26th.
An Iowa City Public Library card is a child’s ticket to ride an Iowa City Transit bus FREE this summer. The Library will provide free bus rides to children through 12th grade, and the adult caregivers who are with them, on any Iowa City Transit bus route, from the day after Iowa City Schools dismiss (Thursday May 26th) until the day before school starts (Tuesday August 23), on weekdays between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm.
Bus riders should show their Iowa City Public Library card to the bus driver to gain free access to the bus.
More information about riding the bus to the Library is available at this link: icpl.org/hours-location/ride/
Information about applying for a Library Card is available at: icpl.org/cards
Three cheers for SUMMER and the SUMMER LIBRARY BUS! We’ll see you at the Library!
by Stacey McKim on April 29th, 2016
Terri Caplan was awarded Volunteer of the Year this week, having volunteered at the Iowa City Public Library in multiple capacities over the past seven and a half years. Terri is currently our Book Sorter, sorting through hundreds of donations each week and selecting the best books, movies, and music to be sold in the Book End.
In addition to her current volunteer job, Terri has also checked in library books, worked as a clerk in the Book End, and served on the Book End Committee. She was a Committee Co-Chairperson from 2012-2013. According to Patty McCarthy, Director of Development at ICPL, “Terri’s vast knowledge of books, authors, movies, and music have enabled her to provide excellent service to customers in the Book End and as a Sorter. Her organizational talents are unmatched, and she helps to maintain order and interest on the bookstore shelves.”
Terri’s dedication to the Book End is inspiring and we thank her for her years of service! If you are also interested in volunteering at the Library, here’s how to get started.
by Kara Logsden on April 26th, 2016
Mark your calendars for Friday April 29th at Noon in Meeting Room A for our final Music on Friday program from students at the University of Iowa School of Music. Two classical pieces will be performed, one by J.S. Bach and one by W.A. Mozart. The Music on Friday series is a part of Music is the Word, a nine-month series of program welcoming the University of Iowa School of Music to Downtown Iowa City.
I have to confess I am sad the Music is the Word series is winding down. Fortunately, a quick look at the MITW Schedule shows many great programs before the Finale program May 21st at 6:30 PM with Catfish Keith. My favorite part of the series has been the live music at the Library. We discovered the Library’s Lobby has excellent acoustics for live music performance and it’s fun to see the surprised look on people’s faces when they come into the Library and hear music being performed.
I have started thinking about the live music programs as “Serendipity in the Stacks.” A quick Google search for the definition of serendipity said, “the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.” Certainly that’s what we’ve found during the live music performances and I hope they continue beyond the Music is the Word series. Head to the Library on Friday at noon for a bit of serendipity. It’s guaranteed to make you happy.
by Kara Logsden on April 25th, 2016
Come and enjoy the toe-tapping upbeat music from local musician, Mike Haverkamp in the Library’s Lobby this Wednesday (4/27) at Noon as a part of the Music is the Word series.
Mike’s primary instrument is banjo, but he also plays guitar, Autoharp, dulcimer, banjo-uke, mandolin, and harmonica. Mike has performed in many venues and conducted workshops in songwriting, how to play the Autoharp, making connections between historical time periods and music, and building instruments from recycled objects.
On a personal note, Mike’s music always makes me smile. There’s nothing like great banjo music and complimentary vocal to make you smile and get your toes tapping to the rhythm. I’ll see you on Wednesday
by Kara Logsden on April 7th, 2016
On April 13, 2016 at Noon, Preucil School of Music staff and students return to the Iowa City Public Library for a Special Music on Wednesday program celebrating “Notes of Spring.”
Music on Wednesday is a part of the Music is the Word series welcoming the University of Iowa School of Music to Downtown Iowa City. More information about Music is the Word, including a schedule of programs, is available at www.icpl.org/mitw.
“Notes of Spring” is the fourth and final performance from the musicians from Preucil School of Music. I have especially enjoyed these performances because it’s great to take a music break during the day and I am so impressed with the passion and dedication I’ve seen from the Preucil performers. Below is a preview of the program planned for Wednesday April 13th at Noon. I hope to see you there!