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 Stacey McKim on June 27th, 2016
We’re about halfway through this year’s summertime outreach, and I took my fourth trip to Lone Tree this morning.
The City of Lone Tree contracts with ICPL for library service, and the 4-H on Wheels group in Lone Tree’s North Park is a good place to find kids eager to check out books.
The students were still shooting paper rockets from various contraptions and measuring their results when I got there. Knowing that flight was their topic this week, I brought about 30 books on that STEM subject as well as perennial favorites like Ripley’s Believe it or Not and some DIY creativity guides. With a laptop and a wifi hotspot, I got everyone checked out from my pop-up library on a picnic table and then headed back to ICPL!
by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on June 16th, 2016
My kids have art lessons every Wednesday afternoon, which means I have an hour to kill every week, as 60 minutes is too short to drive home (I don’t live in Iowa City), but too long to sit around and do nothing.
I suppose I could go grocery shopping, but but my life seems to be consumed by errands already. I wanted to do something fun!
It turns out 60 minutes is the perfect amount of time for a visit to the Library, especially when the first hour of parking is free in the Dubuque Street, Capitol Street and Tower Place parking garages, and the Court Street Transportation Center.
So what did I do during my hour?
I picked up a book waiting for me on the Hold Shelf, browsed the DVDs, grabbed a few CDs for my son, and talked to a friend I bumped into in the fiction stacks.
(She asked for a book recommendation. I suggested Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman and The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg.)
My visit ended with more than 20 minutes left of my free hour of parking, so I stopped by a coffee shop for an iced vanilla latte, which I enjoyed as I strolled to the parking garage.
Wednesdays are my new favorite day of the week.
by Bond Drager on June 2nd, 2016
Click here to get the episode!
The old gang is back together! Meredith, Brian, Jason, and Melody are chatting about books and travel – destinations they want to visit because of a book or places they’ve actually visited due to reading. They’re also talking about movie adaptations of popular books. Of course, they’ll share ideas of lots of other great books and materials to enjoy.
Books and Travel for Summertime
What we’re reading/watching/listening to
- 00:41 Jason: The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss and Day of the Dead by Various Artists (distributed by 4ad)
- 03:38 Brian: The Strumbellas
- 06:50 Melody: Shattered by Kevin Hearne (Iron Druid Series)
- 08:34 Meredith: Audiobooks from Digital Johnson County
Books and Travel (but not Travel Books!)
- 12:30 Brian: The Road Headed West: a 6,000-Mile Cycling Odyssey through North America by Leon McCarron, Going Somewhere by Brian Benson, Life is a Wheel by Bruce Weber
- 20:50 Jason: Sixpence House by Paul Collins
- 25:05 Melody: Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
- 30:25 Meredith: Centennial TV Show/book, Road Food by Jane & Michael Stern
Book to Movie Adaptations
- 33:45 Brian: Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
- 37:50 Melody: Adaptation based on The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean
- 39:20 Jason: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
- 42:43 Meredith: Love Story by Erich Segal
- 43:58 Brian: Room by Emma Donaghue
by Stacey McKim on May 27th, 2016
We knew a bookmobile could help us further expand library services beyond downtown, but some of us (including me) had never set foot in one! Over the past year, ICPL staff members have visited several bookmobiles to get a feel for these moving libraries that fit DVDs, magazines, and books for all ages in the size of a bus.
I’ve been impressed by how bright and inviting bookmobiles can be. Some have cozy wooden shelves like the Ames Public Library’s, and others have modern-looking metal shelving that can be easily adjusted like one bookmobile we saw in the Chicago area. Many use creative ways to keep small things like board books and music CDs from flying around while driving, some stagger materials for different ages so that taller people can browse behind children looking at the lower shelves, and they all do their best to maximize every last square inch in the space. (If you like to daydream about tiny houses like me, here’s a variation!)
I had the pleasure of seeing the Scott County Library System’s bookmobile in Eldridge, Iowa last weekend. Their two-year-old Bluebird-style bookmobile travels throughout the county to residential neighborhoods, parks, gas stations, a farmers market, a swimming pool, a shopping mall, and even a baseball diamond! They enjoy being out on the road and getting to know the people at each stop.
This was a meeting of the Midwest Bookmobile Alliance, a group composed of mainly Iowa bookmobiles that includes the Antelope Lending Library, Scott County, Ames Public Library, and now us. I received some great advice from Cassi and Braeden of the Antelope Lending Library and Cathy of Scott County about all the little details that go into organizing and operating a bookmobile. We talked about back-up cameras, picking up holds on the bookmobile, climate control, tips for getting a bookmobile un-stuck in the snow, and much more, including Antelope‘s expanded summer schedule in Iowa City. I shared my dream of broadcasting music from ICPL’s bookmobile like an ice cream truck, and Cathy said their old bookmobile did play calliope music! Everyone hated it.
We’re excited to be preparing for a mobile library branch that will get out to where you are! Did you grow up with a bookmobile? Share with us what you loved about it!
by Brent Palmer on May 27th, 2016
Sometimes when I’ve just finished a book in Overdrive, I’m at a total loss for what to start next. If you are on the ball, you have been collecting titles in your wish list. If not, here is one technique I often use: search for award winners. To do this:
- Click on “advanced search” in the upper right.
- On the advanced search page, click the “all awards” drop down to pick the list. I’ve been using “Notable Books for Adults” recently and found some things that I enjoyed.
- You might also want to check the “show only items that are available to save some time
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.