Library Catalog Ask a Librarian Book a Meeting Room

4-H on Wheels in Lone Tree

by Anna Sewell on July 7th, 2014

lone treeWe really enjoyed partnering with 4-H on Wheels in Lone Tree this summer.  Library staff traveled to Lone Tree once a week to check out Library materials to children based on the weekly 4-H on Wheels theme.  All the topics were related to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).

There were 26 youth signed up for the program, and they check out 48 books over the past 5 weeks.  Fifteen children signed up for Library Cards during the 4-H on Wheels registration process and received their cards in the mail.  Staff issued another 10 library cards at the park in Lone Tree.

It was a lot of fun seeing the children participate in science experiments, create art projects, play games, and eat nutritious snacks, and then come over to the Library table and find books correlating to what they had just learned.  I hope this is a partnership that continues for years to come!

Puzzles prepare preschoolers for learning

by Nancy Holland on June 23rd, 2014

PuzzlesFrom birth through the preschool years children learn mostly through play. Play is one of the practices that librarians encourage to enhance early literacy skills. For many years, the Children’s Room at ICPL has provided free access to a variety toys designed to enhance learning.

Simple wooden puzzles help children build skills they need to read, write and solve problems. Even before the age of two, children will show an interest in knobbed puzzles that are easy to grasp as they develop eye hand coordination. Manipulating puzzle pieces help develop the fine motor skills that little hands will need to grasp a pencil or crayon.

Puzzles also provide great opportunities for language development as you describe shapes, sizes and colors with your children.

Children do “learn” puzzles and always like the chance to try something new. If you have young children, consider borrowing a puzzle or toy for three weeks from our circulating toy ICPL.

ICPL launches redesigned website

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on June 18th, 2014

The Iowa City Public Library’s redesigned website is live, with features designed to improve user experience, especially for patrons using Smartphones and tablets.

“Part of our long-term strategic plan was to make improvements to the Website that’s easier to navigate from both a desktop computer and mobile devices,” says Brent Palmer, the Library’s Information Technology Coordinator. “We also wanted to make our website more dynamic.”

To meet the first goal, “responsive design” elements were incorporated into the webpage infrastructure to assure an optimal viewing experience. The website is now easier to use on all equipment including smart phones, tablets and desktop computers. The content automatically adjusts based on the screen size of the user’s equipment, making site navigation easier and more appealing.

To meet the second goal, Library staff identified content, created by staff members, patrons would be interested in, including the new 123 South Linn Library Blog, which contains book recommendations from staff, and program information listed in the Library’s online calendar. Then staff identified existing webpages where the staff-created content would augment the information presented.

Infrastructure was created so the webpage dynamically pulls information into correlating webpages, bringing together a hybrid of information for our patrons.  One example is the “Books” webpage at  In addition to standard information about loan periods and online book-related resources, users may now explore books recently added to the collection and book reviews written by staff.

The launch of the new design is the culmination of a year’s work by the Library’s IT staff.

“We look forward to sharing the redesigned webpage with our community and continuing to explore ways to improve our user’s online experience,” Palmer says.

Learn the Basics of Geocaching at ICPL on June 25

by Kyle VanNatter on June 17th, 2014

On Wednesday, June 25, the Iowa City Public Library will welcome Jim Phelps from the Iowa Geocachers Organization at 7:00 p.m. in Meeting Room A.

GeocacheIf a family-friendly treasure hunt piques your interest, geocaching is for you! Using a GPS device or app and a little bit of know-how, participants seek containers called “geocaches” hidden around the world. Once found, the treasure hunter can view whatever toy or trinket is sealed inside and leave a mark of their own: a signature in the geocaches’ logbook.

At this free event, Jim Phelps will tell you all you need to know to get started as a geocacher and he’ll even plant a geocache around Iowa City, giving attendees a head-start on finding it!

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

Digital Privacy at ICPL

by Brent Palmer on June 5th, 2014

Libraries are traditionally strong supporters of intellectual freedom.  From our official confidentiality policy:

Confidentiality of library records is central to intellectual freedom and directly related to the ability of citizens to use library materials and pursue information without fear of intimidation.

I would like to highlight some of the policies we have in an effort to support digital privacy of our patrons.

Public Internet Computers

At one level we have installed privacy screens on the public Internet computers.  These screens are simply meant to limit what others around you can see on the your screen.

In addition, all browsing history and file downloads are cleared after you log out.  It is important to remember to log out of the public Internet computers and Express Internet computers when you are finished

Catalog Searches

When doing searches in our public catalog in the building, your browsing and searching history can be removed by hitting the logout/reset button.  If you walk away, this will happen automatically after a short period of inactivity.

Checkout History

Your checkout history in our catalog is disabled by default.  Even if we were served with a subpoena we can’t disclose this information if we aren’t storing it.

 Note: However, sometimes it is nice to have that list.  You can opt to turn on history by logging into your account and clicking on “Reading History” in the left corner.

Let us know if you have questions regarding our confidentiality policies.

ICPL to Host the Great Teen Minecraft Challenge in June

by Kyle VanNatter on June 2nd, 2014

Teens, want to flex your Minecraft muscles this summer?

Minecraft #4The Iowa City Public Library will host the Great Teen Minecraft Challenge from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Computer Lab on June 11, June 20, and June 25. Participants will test their skills against maps designed by our Channel 10 intern Marcus. They will need to work together to survive. Sessions will be recorded and shared so that others may marvel at your greatness!

All teens are welcome to drop in and play Minecraft, but only eight players will be allowed to tackle the maps per session. To be one of the eight, registration is required (see below).

Those participating in the Teen Summer Reading Program can count attending The Great Teen Minecraft Challenge as one of your Summer Reading Program events!

Date: Wednesday, June 11
Time: 1 to 3 p.m.
Location: Computer Lab

Date: Friday, June 20
Time: 1 to 3 p.m.
Location: Computer Lab

Date: Wednesday, June 25
Time: 1 to 3 p.m.
Location: Computer Lab

The Great Minecraft Challenge is a free event for teens in grades seventh through 12th. For more information, call the Library at (319) 887-3400.

How East Iowa City Came to Be

by Maeve Clark on May 13th, 2014

East east iowa cityIowa City?  Really, there is an East Iowa City? Learn about the growth of the eastern part Iowa City and its early history as a manufacturing center during Irving B. Weber Days. Weber Days are held every May in honor of Iowa City’s unofficial historian, the late Irving B. Weber.  Every Wednesday in May, the Library will host an event that delves into Iowa City’s history.  This Wednesday, May 14  Dr. Thomas Schulein, another citizen historian,  will share the story of East Iowa City at 7 p.m. in Meeting Room A. How East Iowa City Came to Be is one of the library’s WOW – Weber on Wednesday programs.

What would you like to learn about Iowa City history?  Share your ideas with the library and help us plan  Irving B. Weber Days for 2015.

Friday Night Concerts Begin THIS WEEK!

by Kara Logsden on May 13th, 2014

2014 05 FezLet the SUMMER begin in Downtown Iowa City! Summer of the Arts’ “Friday Night Concert Series” kicks off this Friday May 16 with The Fez.

The Fez is a 15-piece Steely Dan jazz/rock-fusion tribute band composed of many awesome local musicians. Bring your lawnchair and head Downtown to the Weatherdance Fountain Stage to enjoy summer sounds from 6:30-9:30 PM.  If there’s a chance of bad weather, check the Summer of the Arts webpage for schedule and location updates.

Can’t wait until Friday night for some local music?  Check out the Library’s Local Music Project at or click here to listen to Fez musician Saul Lubaroff and his quartet play “Blues for Zane and Will.”

For a full Summer of the Arts schedule, navigate to:

We’ll see you Downtown this summer!

P.S. Don’t forget the Library is open until 8:00 PM on Fridays :)

Volunteer Spotlight: Theo Prineas

by Anna Sewell on May 7th, 2014

We asked Theo Prineas a few questions for this “Volunteer Spotlight:”

How long have you been volunteering for the Iowa City Public Library?

About a year.theo

What do you do at the Library?

Check-in books and organize them on the carts.  Once a month I go to TAG (Teen Activity Group) meetings in the Koza Family Teen Center.

Why did you decide to volunteer at the Library?

It was spontaneous.  I turned 13 and decided, “Hey, I want to volunteer!”

What is your favorite part of the collection?

J.R.R. Tolkien

What else do you like to do?

I read a lot.  I like to do homework.  I live in the country, so I also like to play outside.

Thank you, Theo, for all of your time and hard work!
If you’re interested in volunteering, go or come in to the Library and fill out an application.


The Spring/Summer 2014 Window has arrived

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on May 7th, 2014

The Spring/Summer edition of the Iowa City Public Library’s newsletter, the Window, has arrived.

The contents of the newsletter includes information about this year’s Summer Reading Program, which begins June 1; Weber on Wednesday events; a strategic planning update; news about the children’s garden; and information about the Second Annual Library Links Golf Classic on June 27.

The Window will arrive in mailboxes of Iowa City, Hills, University Heights, Lone Tree and rural Johnson County homes this week. Copies are also available in the Library’s lobby. An online version can be found here.