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 Kara Logsden on July 22nd, 2016
The Johnson County Fair runs July 25-28 and it’s my favorite week of the year. I grew up at the Johnson County Fair. My Mom was a 4-H leader, served on the Fair Board and 4-H Youth Committee and was the Home Economics Superintendent for many years. I spent many a happy day playing on the steps in Montgomery Hall, enjoying Lemonade Shake-ups, and getting tossed into the livestock watering tanks. What wonderful memories of growing up in Iowa!
Over the past 18 years, while working at the Iowa City Public Library, I’ve had the privilege of working with the Public Libraries of Johnson County to organize and staff a booth in Building B where we share information about our libraries with the community. The Public Libraries of Johnson County organization reminds me a lot of the 4-H organization and Johnson County Agricultural Association: We focus on youth development, share in the joy of learning by doing, and recognize while we may come from different places we all contribute to the civic life of our community. Read the rest of this entry »
by Kara Logsden on July 16th, 2016
I just finished listening to Year of Yes, narrated by the author, Shonda Rhimes, and it was great. I don’t usually listen to Nonfiction, but a friend recommended it so I placed a hold. I didn’t realize when I started the book that Rhimes is the creator of one of my favorite shows, Grey’s Anatomy. That fact, plus the excellent writing and author narration made the book even more enjoyable.
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by Angela Pilkington on July 1st, 2016
July is here, which means our Summer Reading Program –On Your Marks, Get Set, Read! –is half over! With the program coming to an end July 31st, there is still plenty of time to sign up to get your reading done to earn great prizes and a chance for one of the grand prizes!
We also have a full line up of great programs coming up in July, here are a few of our bigger children’s events:
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by Beth Fisher on June 30th, 2016
July 1st is here! That means we’re halfway through the 2016 Summer Reading Program. But you still have time to play along.
This year, participation is even easier – you can do it online or with a paper game-card available at any public service desk in the Library. For people 18 and over, all you have to do is complete 5 activities. You can read 5 books of your choosing, or use one of the suggestions on the came card or from a recommended list on the Summer Reading Program 2016 website
Some of the Reading List topics you’ll find on the SRP website:
- Adventures on a Bike
- Books Becoming Movies in 2016
- Change your life one book at a time
- Explore Iowa
- Fiction Set in Iowa
- Goodreads Choice Awards 2015: Best Fiction
- If You Can’t Stand the Heat, Get Out Of The Kitchen – Grilling & Barbecue Cookbooks
- NPR’s Book Concierge Best Biographies & Memoir 2015
- Wanderlust – True Stories of Exploration and Adventure
NOTE: Sorry, I can’t make a direct link into the Summer Reading Program website. You have to log in to see the book list. (And you want to, you really do!)
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by Maeve Clark on June 30th, 2016
A good friend of the Iowa City Public Library passed away earlier this week. Dave Hicks played music and told stories for many events at the library, often with with Guy Drollinger and Mike Haverkamp. Dave, Mike and Guy played Civil War era music for a program on transcribing Civil War diaries at the University of Iowa Special Collections and they performed more recently at the 175th anniversary celebration of the founding of Iowa City. Or come in a borrow a copy of Stones in the Field’s Come Singing, Come Dancing and listen Dave play the fiddle, flute, whistle, guitar, and bodhran.
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