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Video Staff Picks: Rachael Raps!

by John Campbell on April 17th, 2015

Need a fun, musical way to learn United States history? Rachael presents the book Hip-Hop U.S. History, by Flocabulary. Look out for a special presentation of the Bill of Rights rap!

Get involved with ICPL’s Art To Go collection!

by Candice Smith on April 10th, 2015

Caged SistersFor over 30 years, the Iowa City Public Library has maintained the Art To Go collection–maybe you’ve seen it, stored in bins and along the walls that separate the Children’s Room from the rest of the first floor. About half of this collection is made up of framed posters and prints of well-known works of art, and the other half is original works of art by local artists. Anyone with a library card can come in to the Library, browse the collection, and take home with them something beautiful and unique to decorate their walls with.

How do we add the original works of art to the collection? Each year the Library holds the Art Purchase Prize, a contest that invites local artists to submit their original works to be judged for purchase and inclusion in the collection. The budget for this comes from the Library Board of Trustees and the Friends Foundation. What about the artistic consideration and judgment? That comes from the Library’s Art Advisory Committee, and that committee is looking for a few good people!

If you would like to be involved with this collection–to help select and provide art for our community to enjoy, while at the same time providing artists with a chance at some recognition and compensation–please think about serving on the Art Advisory Committee.

If you have questions or would like more details, please contact Candice Smith at csmith@icpl.org or 319-887-6031.

We have our Book Madness winners!

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 7th, 2015

It was extremely close, but J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings edged out Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale to be named ICPL’s 2015 Book Madness champion in the Teens & Adults bracket.

The Children’s bracket winner was the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. The demigod beat out Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie series.BookMadness

Nearly 100 patrons turned in completed brackets, but only 14 had the winning title in their bracket — seven in the Teens & Adults bracket, and seven in the Children’s bracket. We moved to a point system to determine our winner (one point for every correct title moving on to Round 2, two points for every correct title in the Sweet 16, three points for every correct title in the Elite 8, etc.).

The winner of the Children’s bracket racked up 72 points, while the winner in the Teens & Adults bracket earned 81 points. We will contact them this week.

Library staff also participated in the competition, though none had Percy Jackson winning the Children’s bracket and only one staff member picked Lord of the Rings to win the Teens & Adults bracket.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Book Madness! Remember, you can find a list of all 2015 titles here.

 

Book Madness: The Final Round

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 4th, 2015

At the beginning of March, 128 books (64 titles in two brackets: Children’s, and Teens & Adults) were vying for ICPL’s 2015 Book Madness champion title.BookMadness

Your votes have narrowed that vast field of classic literature, childhood favorites, and pop culture must-reads to four books: Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale; The Lord of the Rings by J.R. R. Tolkien; Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series; and the Elephant and Piggie series by Mo Willems.

Now it is time to choose which books will be named the 2015 Book Madness Champion in their bracket.

2015 BOOK MADNESS: ADULTS & TEENS

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

vs.

The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

2015 BOOK MADNESS: CHILDREN’S

Percy Jackson (series by Rick Riordan)

vs.

Elephant and Piggie (series by Mo Willems)

Voting begins now and will continue until we close Monday night. We will announce our winning Book Madness titles Tuesday and will contact our contest winners soon after. Remember, you can vote by visiting the Library. You can also vote online on our Facebook page or send a tweet to @ICPL using the #ICPLBookMadness hashtag! We’ll accept social media votes until 9 p.m. Monday.

You can find the list of all books in this year’s Book Madness literary competition here.

Paging @ Your Library

by Kara Logsden on April 3rd, 2015

What is Paging?

In the computer world, paging relates to how data is stored and schemes to keep data handy so it can easily be retrieved.

In the Library world, Paging is retrieving checked in items from the Library’s collection. Paging is both a service and an activity. Paging as a service means our patrons may put an item that is checked in on hold. Our response is to send one of our Pages (hourly staff members) to the shelf to Page (retrieve) the item and put it on the Holds shelf for the patron to pick up.

Each day we Page over 100 items for patrons. Basically this is how it works:

1. The patron places a hold on an item that is checked in. Holds may be places through our catalog (catalog.icpl.org) or by calling the Library at 319-356-5200. Checked in items with holds become “Paged” items. Patrons may have up to 10 free holds in their Library Account at any time.Paging Cart 4

2. Before we open, and about every 2 hours after that, we run a list of items that have been Paged. A Page goes to the shelf, pulls the Paged item off the shelf, and delivers it to Switchboard staff.

3. Switchboard staff check the Paged items in and print holds slips. This is when the hold slip is placed in the book and then the book is placed on a cart to be shelved on the Holds shelf.

4. Once all the Paged books are accounted for, Switchboard staff send Hold Notices. They are delivered by either eMail, Automated Telephone Notification, or via a print notice in US Mail.

Note: The delivery method for notices is determined by each individual’s preference based on information in thShelving 10eir Library Account. If you want to change how you receive notices, please give us a call or stop by the Help Desk. In March 2015, Switchboard staff sent over 7,600 notices about holds ready for pickup.

5. Help Desk staff file the item on the Holds shelf. They are filed by the first three letters of the patron’s last name and first initial. My holds are found at LOG K.

6. A happy patron picks up their Paged item and tells a friend about the wonderful Paging service at the Library :)

Periodically a patron will find a checked in item that has been put on hold by another patron. When this happens it is a bit tricky. Our procedure is the Hold takes priority and we explain to the patron that someone had requested the item be Paged and we must honor their hold. We also offer to place a hold on the item so the patron may borrow it once the patron who requested the Page returns it.

Sometimes we have patrons who place a hold on items then come to the Library immediately, expecting to pick the item up. Please remember it takes us a bit of time to Page materials and, in some cases, we are unable to find the item on the self. In that case, we continue to search for the item in hopes we find it. Please wait until you receive your hold notice before you come to the Library to pick up your materials.

If you have questions about Paging or Holds, please give us a call or stop by one of our service desks. On any given day we have over 700 items on our Holds shelf waiting to be picked up. We will hold items for six days, so that gives patrons a bit of time to come in and retrieve their holds.

If you liked this (or didn’t), read this–BYOBook edition!

by Candice Smith on April 1st, 2015
If you liked this (or didn’t), read this–BYOBook edition! Cover Image

Our most recent BYOBook event, on March 24 at Brix, focused on Jon Ronson’s book The Psychopath Test: a Journey Through the Madness Industry. The book is a reporter’s journey of investigation that touches upon a few specific characters and events, filled out with some science and theory. It is by no means an overwhelmingly serious, complete look at psychopathy; Ronson places himself at the center of inquiry, and readers follow along as he interviews the people he found to be most interesting or illustrative. I found it to be highly entertaining and informative, and was happy to accept it for what it was. Other readers were left a little frustrated at the lack of depth on the topic or parts of it, at Ronson’s somewhat meandering storytelling and discussion, and at the sort of lack of conclusion (or maybe definitive opinion on his part? a real yes or no answer?) in many of the questions presented. Is Tony a psychopath or not? Is the DSM real and useful, or is it a harmful tool created by a bunch of people who feel the need to label everything? What IS the whole point of the Being and Nothingness book deal??

There were several people who mentioned that they’d been hoping for a more thorough, science-based look at psychopaths and the study of them, as well as other mental disorders. Here are a few recent books that might be of interest:

Confessions of a Psychopath: a life spent hiding in plain sight by M.E. Thomas
Dangerous Personalities: an FBI profiler shows how to identify and protect yourself from harmful people by Joe Navarro
Murderous Minds: exploring the criminal psychopathic brain… by Dean Haycock
Shrinks: the untold story of psychiatry by Jeffrey Lieberman

Up next for B.Y.O.Book is Jenny Offill’s Dept. of Speculation, on April 21 from 7-8 p.m. at Brix Cheese Shop & Wine Bar.

Sensory Storytime Kits available at ICPL

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 1st, 2015

The Iowa City Public Library recently received a grant from the Pilot Club of Iowa City to fund the creation of four Sensory Storytime Kits.SensoryKitCheckout

Designed to make storytimes accessible and enjoyable for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, sensory disorders, or other special needs, the kits include books, props, music CDs, puppets, flannel boards, fidget toys, and information on presenting Sensory Storytimes.

Patrons can choose from Good Morning, Good Night; Teeth!; What’s the Weather?; and Pick a Pet,. Kids will enjoy getting a monkey all dressed for his day; brushing giant teeth; matching clothes to the weather; or voting on which pet to choose.

While the kits were created with a specific audience in mind, they are available for all patrons to check out. The Sensory Storytime Kits are shelved in the Storytime Kit collection in the Children’s Room.

For more information, contact the Library at (319) 356-5200.sens

Overdrive Tips: Checking Items Out From the Catalog

by Brent Palmer on March 31st, 2015

You can check items out and place holds on eBooks and audio books directly from out catalog.

Many of you enjoy the convenience of our “paging” service for traditional items like books, videos and other resources.  You can request the item from the catalog and then stop by the library when it’s more convenient to pick it up.  We have that functionality for eBooks and eAudioBooks too.  While searching through our catalog, you may happen upon an eBook that you would like to read.  Or perhaps the book you are looking for is only available in an electronic format.  You can either reserve or check the item out without having to go through the steps to open up the Overdrive app on your mobile device, log in to your account and find it again.  It will just show up on your online bookshelf the next time you use Overdrive.

Although this is an added convenience, it can also lead to confusion.  There isn’t at this time a way to automatically download the item right from the catalog.  For users who have not set themselves up on our Overdrive service, this can be confusing: “I checked it out, so where is it?”  This is just due to current limitations in the technology for eBook platforms.  We hope that in the future you will be able to push the item right to your device.

ICPL celebrates Drop Everything and Read in April

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on March 31st, 2015

April is D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read) Month and we plan to celebrate by sharing pictures of Library staff dropping everything to read.

D.E.A.R. is the acronym beloved children’s author Beverly Cleary penned in Ramona Quimby, Age 8. In this story, Ramona’s third grade teacher, Mrs. Whaley, tells the students they will have Sustained Silent Reading every day after lunch, during which children could read whatever they want without having to write a book report. To make Sustained Silent Reading sound more fun, Mrs. Whaley decided to call it D.E.A.R.

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 was published in 1981. Since then, Drop Everything and Read promotions have been held on April 12 in honor of Beverly Cleary’s birthday, but HarperCollins Publishers decided to extend the fun, and the reading, by making D.E.A.R. a month-long celebration.

How will you celebrate?

Visit http://www.dropeverythingandread.com/ for more information, resources and other information – and don’t forget to check out ICPL’s D.E.A.R. photos on Facebook, twitter, and Instagram.

New Games in the Teen Center

by Ella Von Holtum on March 26th, 2015

Image9
We’ve just received a fresh batch of card and dice games for the Koza Family Teen Center!

I’ve never played Get Bit! Deluxe or Bang! The Dice Game, but I’m looking forward to trying them out. Get Bit! is all about being a swimmer escaping a hungry shark, and includes little action figures with removable limbs, a shark, and a deck of cards. It takes about 20 minutes to play, and 3-6 people can play against one another, using bluffing and strategy to play the cards that will get them farthest from the pursuing shark. Bang! The Dice Game takes place on dry land, in the Wild West in fact. 3-8 people can play as the Sheriff, a Deputy, an Outlaw, or a Renegade. The game takes about 15 minutes to play one round, rolling dice with each turn and choosing who to attack. A little bit of luck and you’ll be the one to survive the game.

I have, however, enjoyed many a game of Bohnanza. It sounds a little silly, but it’s a highly-rated, fast and fun game. 2-7 people can play, each assuming the role of a bean farmer. There are 11 types of beans in the game, and each player starts with two bean fields. Each field can only grow one type of bean at a time, and the goal is to make as many sets of the most valuable beans as possible before the cards run out. Each time you harvest a set of beans you can plant whatever you want next, but you are constrained by the order of the cards in your hand – you’re not allowed to re-order your hand, and you must play the first two cards each turn. Players have a chance to make deals with each other on their turns, bargaining and trading cards with one another. But you want to be careful – you might get a good card in a trade, but your opponent might get just what they need to win! Bohnanza takes about 45 minutes to play, and it’s a blast.

Check out all the games in the Teen Center any weekday after 3pm or Saturday from 1-5!




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