Reading the Night Away With the Jólabókaflóð

by Amanda on December 15th, 2017

What the heck is Jólabókaflóð? Literally, it means “Christmas Book Flood,” and it’s pronounced “Yo-la-bok-a-flot.” Maybe you’ve heard of it, since all things Nordic are very trendy right now (hygge, Nordic noir, Scandinavian minimalism, et cetera). It’s the Icelandic tradition of exchanging books on Christmas Eve, then spending the night reading those books. In Iceland, the holiday season kicks off in November with the delivery of the Bókatíðindi—the annual Book Bulletin, distributed by the Icelandic Publishers Association for free to each Icelandic home.

This tradition began during World War II after Iceland gained its independence from Denmark. Paper was one of the few commodities not rationed during the war, so books became the gift of choice, as other types of gifts were scarce. Iceland loves its books: 93% of Icelanders read at least one book a year (compared to 73% of Americans), and it is the third most literate country in the world (Finland and Norway are the first and second). In Iceland, one in ten people will publish a book in their lifetime, and in 2011 Reykjavík was designated a UNESCO City of Literature, three years after Iowa City received the same distinction.

Jólabókaflóð is easy to adapt to your family’s needs. While the original tradition is tied to Christmas, yours doesn’t need to be! Simply gather your family together, and enjoy each other’s company while exchanging your favorite books. Check out used bookstores, thrift stores, and library sales to get the best deals on your Book Flood gifts, or use library books for a totally free exchange (just be careful about overdue books). This article has some really fun ideas for creating your own Book Flood tradition.

This sweet tradition is very close to my heart. I grew up in a family of readers—which is probably not surprising, now that I’m working in a library and getting my Master’s in Library Science. For a lot of other families, Christmas day is a loud, boisterous occasion. For my family, it was all about the books. On Christmas Eve, we would gather around the tree and read classic picture books together; the next day was usually spent in pajamas, scattered around the house, reading all the new books we’d received as gifts. To me, there’s almost nothing better than being with people you love, reading.

What books will you give to your loved ones this holiday season?

I need to return my books, but the Library is closed. What do I do?

by Kara Logsden on December 15th, 2017

The holidays are here and that means some changes in Library hours. There is a complete list of Holiday Hours posted on the Library’s webpage.

If the Library is closed, most materials can be returned to our outside book return, on Linn Street, and the two remote book returns, located at First Avenue Hy-Vee and the Mormon Trek University of Iowa Community Credit Union. The remote book returns are emptied about 1:00 PM each day, 365 days a year.

15% of items returned to the Library come back through the two remote book returns. How do we know? Four times a year we count all items returned in a one-week period. Between November 27 and December 3, there were 17,308 items returned to the Library. Of those, 2,610 were items returned in the remote book returns.

Please give us a call if you have questions about Library hours or materials return. We’d be happy to answer your questions or help you renew items that can be renewed. You may also renew items at the “My Account” link on the Library’s webpage or by using the AWESOME Library App.

UPDATE: My Holiday Lights Won’t Work – Now What?

by Kara Logsden on December 15th, 2017

Today I received an update from Jane Wilch, the City of Iowa City’s Recycling Coordinator. There are recycling bins for holiday lights at the following locations. Unless noted, these bins are seasonal.

  • Hy-Vee (1720 Waterfront Dr, Iowa City)
  • Hy-Vee (812 S. 1st Ave, Iowa City)
  • Hy-Vee (1125 North Dodge Street)
  • Hy-Vee (1914 8th Street, Coralville)
  • Stuff Etc. (2818 Commerce Dr, Coralville)
  • Coralville City Hall (1512 7th St, Coralville)
  • Coralville Recreation Center (1506 8th St, Coralville)
  • Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center (3900 Hebl Ave, Iowa City) (year-round)
  • ReStore donation area (2401 Scott Blvd. SE, Iowa City) (year-round)

Previous post:

‘Tis the season … for frustration with holiday lights. Every year it seems there’s a strand or two that won’t light up. I try checking bulbs, I try changing fuses, nothing works. I don’t what to throw them in the trash. What do I do?

Fortunately, Iowa City Recycles! The East Side Recycling Center at 2401 Scott Boulevard SE accepts holiday lights at the ReStore’s donation area. Lights can also be dropped off at the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center at 3900 Hebl Avenue SW. Their hours are 7AM to 4:30PM Monday through Saturday. Lights should be put in the electronic waste bins.

For a comprehensive list of what can be recycled in Iowa City, visit the City of Iowa City’s Recycling webpage. While you are there, check out the information about the new curbside recycling program that begins on Monday December 4th. Recycling becomes much easier because there’s no need to sort recycling materials – just throw everything in the bin together. There’s also a handy Curbside Recycling Guide.

 

 

Winter crafting inspired by the Bookmobile

by Shawna Riggins on December 14th, 2017

When the weather starts to cool, I brush off my crafting supplies and I know it’s time to get started on hand made gifts. I love to make crafts but some years I am stumped about what to make when it comes time to get started. This year, my crafting choice was made easy when the Feminist Icon Cross Stitch book caught my eye during some down time on the Bookmobile. I made two of the patterns for women in my life and I hope to make one for myself next! A new cross stitch book, Really Cross Stitch just arrived on the Bookmobile yesterday, so now I have even more patterns I am itching to make.

 

We like to boast that the Bookmobile is filled with the newest and most popular items. To keep that distinction, we are continually adding new books to the collections on the Bookmobile. Recently our Non Fiction section has been expanding with several new crafting books and cook books. The hardest part of my days on the Bookmobile has to be seeing so many great books and knowing that I don’t have time to read them all.

Read the rest of this entry »

ICPL Bags for Sale

by Kara Logsden on December 12th, 2017

The Library has two new canvas tote bags for sale for $8 each. Bags may be purchased at the Library’s Help Desk on the first floor. We also have the $1 lighter-weight bags for sale.

The blue canvas bag is a sling style with one longer handle. The natural color canvas bag features two long handles, a front pocket and a zipper.

Need a last minute gift idea? What about an ICPL canvass bag full of books? Readers would really enjoy that gift! And Library staff can suggest books for every reader.

Stop in the Library and say HI this holiday season and pick-up a cool new bag. We’ll see you soon!

Bookmobile Winter Break December 25-January 7

by Kara Logsden on December 11th, 2017

2017-10-homecoming-bookmobile-photoThe Bookmobile Fall Schedule concludes on Thursday December 21 and the Spring Schedule begins on Monday January 8, 2018. We’ve had a great fall, connecting with people in the community and taking Library services on the road. A break between schedule periods gives us time for vehicle maintenance, deep cleaning, and restocking the Bookmobile with great new Library materials.

On days when the Bookmobile is not in service, but the Library is open, Holds and ILLs may be picked up at the Library. We will not capture any holds when the Bookmobile is not in service, so there may be a period of time when the Bookmobile is on break when holds will be at the Library waiting for pick-up. Don’t worry, though, because the 7 day waiting period for picking up a hold does not begin until we “trap” the hold. That’s when we send the eMail, call you on the telephone, or mail your Hold Pick-up Notice.

If you are wondering about winter weather and Bookmobile service, check out this blog post.

Happy Holidays! We’ll see you in 2018 on the Bookmobile.

Great Holiday Gifts from ICPL

by Kara Logsden on December 5th, 2017

Suddenly Winter is here – it blew in overnight. If you are looking for a cozy holiday gift, check out these clothing items embroidered with the ICPL Logo thanks to our friends at Underground Printing. You need to act quickly, though, because items may only be ordered at this link through MIDNIGHT Wednesday December 6th. Your order supports the Library because the ICPL Friends Foundation receives a donation for each item purchased.

Here’s the details: You place your order and pay directly online. Items you order will be available to pick up at the ICPL Help Desk beginning Thursday, December 21, 2017. We cannot take any late orders for the December 21st delivery; however, we may offer another purchase option in early 2018.

Happy Holidays and keep warm with ICPL apparel.

 

 

Pick Up Holds and ILLs at the Bookmobile!

by Kara Logsden on December 1st, 2017

Picking up Holds and Inter-Library Loans is easy at the Bookmobile! When you place your request, indicate where you want to pick-up your item – Downtown Library or Bookmobile. We’ll let you know when your item is ready for pick-up.

For more information, check out this fun video created by our awesome staff.

When the Bookmobile is not in service Friday through Sunday, Holds and ILLs are available for pick-up at the Help Desk.

For a full schedule of Bookmobile stops, navigate to icpl.org/bookmobile. Information about the Winter/Spring schedule, which begins on Monday January 8, 2018, will be available soon.

Try Our Digital Magazines

by Brent Palmer on November 28th, 2017

If you haven’t yet tried ICPL’s digital Magazine service, I encourage you to give it a shot, especially if you regularly read magazines.  Here is a short guide with answers to your questions about using this amazing service and how to get started: Read the rest of this entry »

Cozy Up with ICPL Apparel

by Patty McCarthy on November 28th, 2017

Winter’s cold really will come one of these days. Right? When it does you can be ready by making a purchase now to stay warm in ICPL style and help the ICPL!

Here’s the deal: between now and midnight on December 6, you can order special ICPL branded jackets, vests, cardigans, and even a shirt, through a fantastic partnership with our neighbors and ICPL friends at Underground Printing. The great folks there will donate some of the price to the ICPL Friends Foundation. You can check out the offerings here in Women’s, Men’s, and Youth sizes, and great colors.

Place your order and pay directly online. Your ICPL Apparel order will be available to pick up at ICPL beginning Thursday, December 21, 2017. You get some great cozy clothes that show you proudly support the Iowa City Public Library, and the Library receives a donation to be used to provide you with more of what you use through the Library. Dual purpose gifts are the best!

Thank you for your support.