Bookmobile rhymes with Snowmobile

by Stacey McKim on January 19th, 2018

And, just like a snowmobile, the Bookmobile operates all winter!

When the freezing rain started falling last week, we were already at our Mercer Park stop.  The ground was slick and I warily drove it into the empty parking lot to test how our 22,000 pound vehicle would handle on ice.  We were elated to find that it handled surprisingly well!  We made it to the 1st Avenue Hy-Vee stop and back to our downtown parking spot without any trouble.

Bookmobile at Saddlebrook

Here’s the Bookmobile at Saddlebrook

But snow or a different type of ice on the roads might be a different story, so please don’t be surprised if you see the Bookmobile driving slower than usual!  We’re putting safety first until we all figure out how to handle such a large vehicle in adverse conditions.

What else have we done to be ready for winter Bookmobiling?  We carry a shovel and a bucket of ice melt, to make sure you can comfortably walk up to the vehicle’s door.  As you enter and exit the Bookmobile, take a little extra care in case of slush on the stairs.  You’ll be nice and toasty on board, as we have a very powerful heater.  And, finally, we bought a long ice scraper that hasn’t been used yet – cross your fingers that it stays that way for a while!

Mock Caldecott Review: Over and Under the Pond

by Casey Maynard on January 19th, 2018

Image result for over and under the pond messnerThe third installment in a nonfiction picture book series, Over and Under the Pond, is a delightful exploration of freshwater ecology for young readers.

A mother and son spend the day on the water discussing the various forms of life they encounter over the pond and in “the hidden world” below the surface. The mixed media illustrations by Christopher Silas Neal, highlight the childlike sense of wonder conveyed vividly within the delicate prose and examine this brimming ecosystem from varied perspectives. The soothing color palette and gentle text work together to make this a perfect read for quiet times that imparts knowledge without becoming dry or inaccessible. Well researched back matter provides further information about each of the animals highlighted in the book as well as resources for further reading, making this title great for classroom and instructional use as well.

Be sure to take a look at the other two books in the series, Over and Under the Snow, and Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt which are equally lovely. And if you love this title don’t forget to vote in our Mock Caldecott awards before January 31st.

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Eat Out to Read at VUE!

by Patty McCarthy on January 18th, 2018

Enjoy amazing views with your dinner on Monday at the ICPL Friends Foundation’s VUE Restaurant Eat-Out-to-Read. I look forward to seeing you at the new VUE Restaurant on the top floor of the Hilton Garden Inn at 328 South Clinton Street in Iowa City. On January 22 from 4-10pm a percentage of food and non-alcoholic beverage sales will be donated to benefit the ICPL. Parking is available in the attached Court Street ramp. Reservations are recommended but not required and you can make them online using Resy at

Freebies on the Bookmobile!

by Shawna Riggins on January 9th, 2018

The ICPL Bookmobile is officially back on the road! The Winter/Spring schedule runs from Jan 8 – May 24 with lots of new and continued stops for you to check out. To celebrate the New Year and new schedule, we will be giving away magnetic clips, as supplies last, when you stop on the Bookmobile. I am using a clip at my house as a way to display the new schedule on my refrigerator.Bookmobile Clip and Brochure

If you don’t have an up to date Library card, or maybe you’ve never had one, we would love to make you a Library card while on the Bookmobile and tell you all about the ways you can use your library. The free stuff on the Bookmobile doesn’t end with your new fridge clip – Browse our selection of books and movies for all ages or consider placing a hold from the Downtown collection to be picked up on the Bookmobile. Also keep in mind that all children’s materials checked out on the Bookmobile don’t have fines.

Check our schedule on our webpage to see where and when you can find the Bookmobile or call the library for information, 319-356-5200. See you soon!

No Bookmobile ML King Jr Day-Monday January 15

by Kara Logsden on January 5th, 2018

2017-10-homecoming-bookmobile-photoThere will be no Bookmobile service on Monday January 15, 2018 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr Day. The Library will be open from 10AM-6PM.

On days when the Bookmobile is not in service, but the Library is open, Holds and ILLs may be picked up at the Library.

For full Bookmobile schedule information, navitgate to

Happy MLK Jr Day – we’ll see you on the Bookmobile soon.

Bookmobile Service Returns Monday January 8, 2018

by Kara Logsden on January 4th, 2018

The Bookmobile has enjoyed its time at the Bookmobile Spa (a nice, heated garage) but it’s ready to return to service on Monday January 8. The Winter/Spring 2018 Schedule has a number of new stops as well as a few time changes for existing stops. Some stops stay the same. A full Winter/Spring schedule is available online at

During the Bookmobile’s break, we have been collecting Holds at the Library. They will be loaded on the Bookmobile on Monday morning and ready for pick-up at any Bookmobile stop. We hold items for 7 days, so please make sure you pick-up your hold this week.

If the weather is bad and you think there’s a possibility Bookmobile services may have been canceled, please call the Library or check our webpage before heading out. Information about Bookmobile services when there is severe or winter weather can be found at this blog post.

If you have questions about the new Bookmobile schedule, give us a call at 319-356-5200 during regular Library hours or navigate to

We’ll see you in the community soon!

Let’s Make Music!

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on January 4th, 2018

If you’ve ever attended Storytime at the Library, you know music is just as important to the program as the stories themselves.

“Music before the program sets the stage and warms up everyone into thinking fun,” Karen said. “At Book Babies, we sing lots of songs and we repeat the songs because research shows that children learn through repetition. Repeating the songs helps babies and toddlers learn words.”

The Children’s Room staff attended Kids First last spring and learned even more about the importance of music education from singer-educator Carole Stephens. One of the facts she shared is that 90 percent of the brain is used when a child actively participates in music.

A parent recently contacted the Library to ask if we have playlists for our Storytime music. The answer is yes and no.

“For the most part, we import CDs from our collection onto our iTunes database and customize our playlists for each storytime,” Mari said. “Every librarian has their favorites that tend to get played more often, though.”

Most Storytimes often start with “Clap Your Hands” by Lisa DeRosia, “Clap Everybody and Say Hello” by Kathy Reid-Naiman, “I’m in the Mood” by Raffi, or “Oh Hi Hello” by Jim Gill. Other songs/artists you’ll often hear include: “The More We Get Together;” Laurie Berkner; Carole Peterson; Raffi; and Old Town School of Folk Music (Songs for Wiggleworms).

So yes, we have playlists for Storytimes, but no, they aren’t something that can be checked out by patrons.

There is a bright side, though.

“We use a lot of music that is in our Children’s CD collection,” Karen said. “I have had many parents ask for the name of the artist or album after Storytime.”

So if there’s a song you and your child enjoy at Storytime, or you want to expand the repertoire of songs you sing at home, ask the Children’s Room staff for their recommendations. Your question might even launch an impromptu singalong.

Hey, those songs are catchy!

ICPL Staff Top Picks for 2017: Best of the Best

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on December 31st, 2017

It’s here: the Iowa City Public Library’s Top Picks for 2017!

Staff members nominated nearly 100 books released in 2017 as their favorite reads of the year. Those that made this list were nominated by more than one person, which truly makes them the Best of the Best.

  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  • The Most Dangerous Place on Earth by Lindsey Lee Johnson
  • The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck
  • Golden Hill by Francis Spufford (published in Britain in 2016; released in the U.S. in May of 2017)
  • Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
  • La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines by Jeanne Walker Harvey
  • Here We Are: Notes For Living On Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers
  • Full of Fall by April Pulley Sayre
  • Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk
  • Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
  • Glass Houses by Louise Penny
  • Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
  • What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton
  • Hunger by Roxane Gay
  • Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches by John Hodgman
  • Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein
  • Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani
  • My Favorite Thing Is Monsters, Volume 1 by Emil Ferris
  • Real Friends by Shannon Hale

Our Best Book Overall for 2017 is The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas.

This debut novel was nominated by more staff members than any other book this year, which makes sense given all the other Best of 2017 lists it has appeared on this month. If you haven’t read it, be sire to check out a copy before the movie is released!

Make those resolutions stick

by Brent Palmer on December 27th, 2017

Every year at this time, media stories begin to surface about the top New Year’s Resolutions based on some survey. But as we all know, making the resolution is easy. Figuring out how to make it sustainable is the tricky part. Maybe ICPL can help.

Bon Appetit Dec 2017

one of many magazine titles available online

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Holiday recycling

by Jason Paulios on December 19th, 2017

Jane Wilch, the Iowa City Recycling Coordinator, put out a great list of ideas today for reducing landfill waste over the holiday season. Some of these ideas can easily be adapted for ICPL-goers as well!

  • Be creative with gift wrapping

We have a wide variety of things on our Free Shelf area on the 2nd floor that can be reused as wrapping materials. Head to the east side of the building and look for the last row of the Comics area for some unique upcycled wrapping paper ideas like: old maps, advertisements, magazines, damaged books, etc…  If you’re looking for inspiration for making a unique card to go with a gift certificate, try some of the handicraft greeting cards and paper work craft books found here on the 2nd floor.

  • Use reusable bags when shopping

ICPL has two different branded reusable bags for purchase at the Help Desk on the 1st floor, these would work great as gift bags (especially if you filled them with books).

  • Shop secondhand

The Book End always has interesting lightly used books, DVDs, and CDs available for purchase. This is a frugal way to shop for your friends and relatives!