Lobby Stop Pilot

by Heidi Kuchta on November 15th, 2018

The Bookmobile has successful stops at several retirement homes in Iowa City, but we have noticed that there is a population of patrons at these stops who are not comfortable navigating the Bookmobile. There are also retirement homes that can’t accommodate the Bookmobile due to a lack of suitable parking. Staff have been thinking about how we can serve this population. One idea is a Lobby Stop Program, which provides library services in the comfort of the hosting facility. Staff learned about Lobby Stops at an ABOS (Association of Bookmobile and Outreach Services) conference a couple years ago. On Tuesday, I began investigating the possibilities of this new service with my spiffy outreach wagon, a few bins of large print books, and a staff laptop. The initial response was overwhelmingly positive.

The three pilot sites for this new service are Walden Place, Bickford Senior Living, and Legacy Assisted Living. Overall, I made 14 new library card accounts on Tuesday and checked out about 10 items. I also updated several accounts, helped with Digital Johnson County related questions, placed holds, and had fun chatting with new patrons. Materials I bring to the Lobby Stops will adapt as I get to know the patrons at the sites better. Two recommendations I will apply immediately, based on patron suggestions, are the inclusion of books-on-disc and photography/art books. The plan is to continue visiting each Lobby Stop site twice monthly and re-evaluate in the Spring. Beginning in January, we will likely add Emerson Point to the list of sites we visit. The Bookmobile will no longer visit this site, but many people there come to our Tales and Travels program, so we’re hoping a Lobby Stop would be the type of service they need.

No Bookmobile Service on Labor Day

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on August 20th, 2019

The Iowa City Public Library Bookmobile will not be in service on Monday, September 2. The Downtown Library is also closed in honor of Labor Day.

Bookmobile holiday hours are always available on the Library’s website.

Although the Bookmobile and Library are closed, online services are available 24/7 at www.icpl.org. This includes account access and, for those who live in our service area, access to ICPL’s Digital Library including eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, The New York Times and Kanopy video streaming.

We’ll see you back on the Bookmobile or at the Downtown Library on September 3!

The Bookmobile is on a Break – Where are my Holds?

by Shawna Riggins on August 19th, 2019

The Fall Bookmobile schedule begins Monday, August 26 and runs through Thursday, December 19. The week before the Fall schedule begins, August 19 –  23, the Bookmobile is out of service for a seasonal maintenance break. If you had holds you were expecting to pick up on the Bookmobile, those items are currently available at the Downtown Library building. Simply ask at the Help Desk for help finding these materials. All holds that have been requested to be delivered to the Bookmobile have also been extended to give folks a chance to pick them up during our first week of service. If you are unsure about when or where you can find an item you placed on hold, call the Library at 319-356-5200.

If you haven’t seen the Bookmobile’s 2019 Fall Schedule yet, take a look to find the stop that will work best for your schedule.

We look forward to seeing you on the road!

Checking in with the Bookmobile

by Shawna Riggins on August 14th, 2019

As we wrap up our last week of the Summer Schedule on the Bookmobile, now is a great time to think back to some Summer highlights and look ahead to Fall.

Throughout the Summer, our annual series, Stories in the Park, continued with stops at Willow Creek, Wetherby and Mercer Parks where a weekly storytime or special special program for youth was offered alongside the Bookmobile. Some memorable Storytime presenters included two friendly llamas, three sweet wolfhounds, two great goats, and many magnificent musicians. Staff were delighted to connect with families at these stops, as well as the occasional farm animal.

Another Summer Series the Bookmobile participated in this year was Party in the Park. Through this annual series, sponsored by the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department and the Neighborhood Outreach Division, the Bookmobile visited a different local park every Thursday evening throughout the Summer. Party in the Park continues this Fall on Sundays, though without the Bookmobile. Visit www.icgov.org/pr for details.

Stores are stocked with fresh notebooks and pencils, nights are cooling off, and soon it will be hard to avoid pumpkin-spiced flavors – Fall is nearly here. The Iowa City Public Library is welcoming the change in seasons with a new Bookmobile Schedule, which can be found on our website. The 2019 Fall Bookmobile schedule will run from August 26 – December 19, with all stops open and available to the public. While the Bookmobile is on a seasonal service break next week, take a moment to place holds and get ready to meet us on the road starting on August 26.


No Bookmobile Service Aug. 19 through Aug. 23

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on August 5th, 2019


The Bookmobile won’t be in service Monday, August 19, through Friday, August 23. We’ve had a great summer and look forward to a seeing everyone again in the fall!

A break between schedule periods gives us time for vehicle maintenance, deep cleaning, and restocking the Bookmobile with great new Library materials.

During Bookmobile service breaks, Holds and ILLs scheduled for pickup on the Bookmobile may be picked up at the Help Desk in the Downtown 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 or mail your Hold Pick-up Notice.

For full Bookmobile schedule information, visit www.icpl.org/bookmobile.

A GREAT YEAR on the Bookmobile

by Kara Logsden on July 17th, 2019

Students from Alexander Elementary after a bookmobile visit.

FY19 numbers are in and what a great year we had on the ICPL Bookmobile! We set a new record on June 24 for the number of transactions in a single day – we had 353 checkouts on that day. Our greatest number of visitors came one day in the first quarter of the year when we had 279 visitors in one day. Our busiest day on record is from June 24, 2017 when we had 433 visitors in one day.

In FY19 we checked out 31,436 items and welcomed 16,349 visitors onto the Bookmobile. We offered Bookmobile services on 193 days and the Bookmobile was in service for 759 hours.

Wednesdays are our busiest day for visitors on the Bookmobile with an average of 96 visitors each Wednesday. On Fridays, we have the most visitors per hour with an average of 32.

Wednesdays are also our busiest day for checkouts with an average of 187 items checked out each Wednesday.

Mondays are our busiest day for checkouts by the hour. On Mondays we average 57 checkouts per hour, followed closely by Fridays with an average of 54 checkouts per hour. During the entire year, we checked out 9,121 items on Mondays.

At the beginning of the fiscal year we set a goal of 331 Bookmobile visitors per week. I’m happy to report we exceeded that goal with an average of 367 visitors each week. The 4th quarter (April-May-June 2019) was our busiest quarter with an average of 453 visitors each week. The first quarter (July-August-September 2018) was also busy with an average of 413 visitors each week.

The third quarter (October-November-December 2018) was the slowest with an average pf 277 visitors each week. Although we had fewer visitors in the third quarter, we still checked out an average of 620 items each week. Remember our awful winter?! Brrrrr …

But numbers don’t tell the whole story. Recently a patron told me, “Every time I pick up a hold on the Bookmobile instead of driving downtown, I think the Bookmobile is the best idea ever!” In FY19 we delivered 7,135 Holds to the Bookmobile and averaged 77 Holds on the Bookmobile each day waiting to be picked up.

Recently I was at a Stories in the Park Storytime with 2 Llamas and over 100 interested humans. One child told me, “I just love when the Bookmobile is at Storytime at Mercer Park!” Lots of people agree. In FY19 there were 104 Children’s programs offered as a part of Bookmobile services with 2,897 attendees.

My favorite statistics is Books Per Mile. In June we averaged 9 books checked out per mile driven. For the entire year we averaged 7 books per mile. 7 books per mile and thousands of stories. Come visit us on the ICPL Bookmobile. Schedule information is at icpl.org/bookmobile



ICPL Bookmobile @ Science Thursday

by Kara Logsden on July 17th, 2019

Each week you can find the ICPL Bookmobile at Science Thursdays on the UI Health Sciences campus at the College of Medicine Courtyard. Science Thursdays feature great music, food trucks and the Bookmobile! It’s a great event and we see many friends who stop by to say HI to the Bookmobile staff (and many people who pick-up Holds).

Check out the Science Thursdays schedule and then come out and enjoy the music, food and Bookmobile. We’ll see you soon!

PS – The ICPL Bookmobile’s last day at Science Thursdays is August 15. Then we take a week off for cleaning and training. Our fall schedule begins on Monday August 26 and our College of Medicine Courtyard stop moves to a different day.

Literary Kiosk Returns!

by Kara Logsden on July 16th, 2019

Because of the popularity we experienced when the Literary Kiosk was at Iowa City Public Library last year, University of Iowa Libraries selected ICPL to host a Kiosk permanently. It will be located in the Lobby, to the right of the recycle bins. For the most part, the Kiosk will be at ICPL unless it is needed for a festival or other event.

University Libraries, City of Literature and Library staff are collaborating to make stories written by people from the Iowa City area available on the Kiosk.

Iowa City is a city of stories and we look forward to the many stories that will be shared through the Literary Kiosk.

We’ll see you at the Library soon!



by Kara Logsden on July 11th, 2019

Have you ever admired the graphics at Iowa City Public Library? Have you ever wanted to own one of the cool ICPL t-shirts staff wear? If so, Society6 can help!

Many of our most awesome graphics, including ICPL Bookmobile graphics, are available at Society6 and can be printed on t-shirts, mugs, pillows, wallets and much more. Just navigate to society6.com and search for “Iowa City Public Library.” Or, you can click on THIS LINK.

Proceeds from all sales of ICPL items on Society6 goes to the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation.  The Foundation supports the Library in many ways including funding Summer Reading Program, purchasing Library materials and supporting special guests or programs.

If you buy something with an ICPL graphic on Society6, you’ll be admired for your style and you will support the Library.

Inside tip: Society6 runs a lot of sales and offers many coupons. Make sure you takes advantage of that when ordering.

Telephone Notification System for Library Holds

by Kara Logsden on June 25th, 2019

ATTENTION: Patrons who receive notifications about Library Holds by telephone

Telephone calls announcing Holds available for pickup at the Library will end on June 30, 2019. This service is ending because the software that supports the telephone notification system is no longer supported by our vendor. Beginning July 1, 2019, we will send print notices via U.S. Mail to everyone who received telephone notices.

If you are affected by this and would prefer receiving an email notice instead of a notice via U.S. Mail, please call the Library at 319-356-5200 during regular Library hours. Please ask the staff member who answers the telephone to add your email address to your Library Account.

We are sorry for the inconvenience this will cause for some of our patrons.

65th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education

by Stacey McKim on June 25th, 2019

Posters on display in the libraryIf you’ve wondered what it was like to live during “separate but equal” times, stop by the 1st floor Gallery to view an exhibit on loan from the Brown Foundation, brought to town courtesy of the Iowa City Human Rights Commission.  Learn more about the historic Brown v. Board of Education case, which overturned the justification for racial segregation in public facilities that had been in place since 1896.

Dr. Cheryl Brown Henderson

Dr. Cheryl Brown Henderson

And then attend the Human Rights Commission‘s Inclusive Teaching Awards event this Friday, June 28 from 1:30-3:00 and hear guest speaker Dr. Cheryl Brown Henderson (daughter of named plaintiff Oliver Brown) share what the court case meant to her family.  The founding president of the Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence and Research, and owner of Brown & Associates, an educational consulting firm, she has an extensive background in education, business and civic leadership.

Event details