Library Catalog Ask a Librarian Book a Meeting Room
Catalog Your Account Menu



Thanks to our 8th grade volunteers

by Stacey McKim on October 15th, 2014

Most Iowa City residents are probably familiar with the 8th grade Personal Development class, which gets teens volunteering for 4 hours in the community.  At ICPL, we are delighted to be a place that many students choose to volunteer.

In the past few weeks, we’ve had several 8th grade volunteers helping to straighten books on the shelves, keep the magazines in order, and put together the Begin With Books packets that are distributed to the families of newborns.  Thanks to those volunteers!

If you are an 8th grader who hasn’t done your volunteering yet, there’s still time!  Contact the Library right away to make your October 20 or 21 deadline.  And if you are taking Personal Development later in the school year, consider ICPL as a fun place to make a difference.

Lost and Found

by Kara Logsden on October 6th, 2014

2014 10 lf resizedI often think someone could write a mystery book about a items left in the Library’s Lost and Found.  Maybe it could be an espionage story about a secret message on an item left at the Library or a heartwarming story about a child being reunited with a favorite stuffed animal.  Regardless, there are many interesting items in the Library’s Lost and Found that may be reclaimed at the Help Desk.

Staff at the Help Desk are the stewards of Lost and Found and can share many interesting stories about items left behind.  Today’s items feature one crutch, a cell phone, a wallet, miscellaneous IDs, a few umbrellas, some homework assignments, and a bag full of wet swimsuits and towels (must have been at the Rec Center pool before stopping at the Library).  A clue to that lost item:  “Anderson” is a monogrammed on the bag.

When we are able to identify the owner of an item (often through their Library Card account) we call or eMail to let the person know the item is at the Library.  Library Cards left at the Library are “stopped” and then mailed to the patron.  Stopped cards must be activated again via a call to the Library or visit to the Help Desk.

Unfortunately we can also tell stories about liquids oozing out of lunch boxes, mold growing in sippy cups, and other unsavory tales of woe.  Because of this, we have a new procedure to throw away anything that goes into the mouth (sippy cups, pacifiers), personal grooming items, and anything else that may illicit an “eeeewww” or strong gag reflex.

So you might ask, “What happens to all the unclaimed items?” Photo IDs and any items of value that have not been reclaimed after a period of time are sent to the Iowa City Police Department.  Clothing and other miscellaneous items are donated to Goodwill.  Papers are recycled and books are considered a donation to the Library.

If you are looking for a lost item that may have been left at the Library, please give us a call or stop by the Help Desk.  If you are curious about found items around the world, there are a number of webpages that catalog found items including Found magazine and foundinbooks.wordpress.com (I should pass along a general disclaimer to the content of these two webpages.  They are not related to the Library and not guaranteed for all audiences. They are amusing though … )

Why do Library Cards expire?

by Kara Logsden on October 3rd, 2014

The other day someone asked me what the oddest thing we found left in a book.  I couldn’t think of anything specific, but I do know we frequently have money, checks, photographs, and other items that are accidentally left in Library materials when they are returned.  When we find these items, we attempt to locate the owner.  Updated contact information helps us w2014 10 Library Cardith that.

According to the “Circulation and Library Card” policy, “Library cards expire regularly to confirm address and other contact information.”  We expire cards so that we may periodically check with patrons to assure we have updated information.  Many people are dropping their landlines so this gives us an opportunity to update to a new telephone number.  Also, if you’ve been in the area long, you might feel like half of the town moves on August 1 when leases typically expire.  Cards with apartment numbers expire annually in August so we can touch base with the patron and update an address when needed.

Beyond returning items left in books, we want to make sure Hold Notices are delivered (either via eMail, telephone notification, or U.S. Mail) or we can contact you if you accidentally forgot to return a disc or a puzzle piece that was part of a set.

We also often have keys turned into the Library that have a Library Card attached to the keychain.  Many patrons have breathed a huge sign of relief when the Library calls to tell them a good Samaritan returned their keys to the Library.

We also have contracts with vendors such as OverDrive (eBooks/eAudio) and Zinio (eMagazines) who stipulate we must limit access to people who live in our service area.  The Library’s service area is Iowa City, rural Johnson County, Hills, University Heights, and Lone Tree.  Basically this means that people who live in these areas directly support the Library through their property taxes (thank you!).  Keeping Library accounts updated assures we are meeting the contractual obligations with our vendors.

To help patrons understand why cards expire, we added information to the Library webpage.  If you are wondering what your account expiration date is, you may login to your account.  The date will be listed under your name in the upper left-hand corner.  You may also call us during regular Library hours at 319-356-5200.

If your card is expiring soon, please give us a call or stop by the Library’s Help Desk.  Hopefully you’ll never leave something in a book or lose your keys, but you never know …

 

 

New Self-Checkout Stations Coming

by Brent Palmer on September 30th, 2014

One of our strategic plan goals for us this year is to improve our self-checkout stations.  There are currently six of these stations, four near the main entrance of the library, one on the second floor near the info desk and one in the children’s room.  Patrons can check out materials at these stations,  access account information and pay fines.  The goals for this project are two-fold:  to improve the experience for our patrons and to make the payment of fines more secure.

Within the next few weeks we will be rolling out the new updated self checkouts.  We believe that the software will be easier to use and the touchscreen monitors more responsive.  In order to pay fines, there will be a credit card terminal next to each machine that looks similar to those you see at other retail places.  These terminal will make the payment of fines more secure.

There are quite a few steps to putting all this into place including additional wiring at each station, putting together a hardware profile, network configurations, integration with our library system, configuring each station and setting up the credit card processors among many others.  With any change at a well-used service point, there will undoubtedly be frustrations, kinks in the system and adjustments that have to be made.  I ask for your patience and help as we try to bring these new self-checks on line. Stay tuned and feel free to send me questions.

Why am I excited about the Iowa City Book Festival?

by Kara Logsden on September 25th, 2014
Why am I excited about the Iowa City Book Festival? Cover Image

Recently I was in a meeting and someone asked, “Who was the first author you heard speak in person?”  Suddenly I was swept back to my junior high years and listening to Madeleine L’Engle.  I know there were author readings before that (I grew up in Iowa City and we had the amazing experiences of authors visiting our schools) but it was my memory of listening to L’Engle speak that conjured such a strong memory for me.  Not only was L’Engle the author of my favorite books (A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet) but she was an amazing speaker.  I didn’t want the program to end, and really wished I could have found a rocking chair, curled my teenage body up in her lap, and had her read A Wrinkle in Time to me … cover to cover.

I’ve had strong reactions to listening to other authors read since then, but nothing as powerful for me as that experience.  I love listening to authors because I always learn something new.  A couple years ago, at the Iowa City Book Festival, I had the opportunity to ask Robert Goolrick why he chose a story theme for one of his characters in A Reliable Wife.  His explanation was logical but sparked a reaction for me because I didn’t agree with him.  At an outreach program for the Library, I saw a person with dementia brighten up and connect with author Carol Bodensteiner over a story from Bodensteiner’s childhood about ironing.  Who would have guessed a story about ironing would awaken such a strong response?

Each year the Iowa City Book Festival brings an amazing group of authors to town and we have the opportunity to listen to them speak … and it’s free.  I can’t guarantee the programs will be as transformational as my experience with Madeleine L’Engle, but you never know :)  The Festival is a couple weeks away so there’s plenty of time to read a book or two written by one of the authors who will be speaking.  Here’s the list to help you get started:   2014 FESTIVAL READING LIST.

 

Protecting Your Freedom to Read

by Susan Craig on September 24th, 2014

Protecting Your Freedom to Read

During Banned Book Week we have many interesting programs and displays to offer (http://blog.icpl.org/2014/09/22/iowa-city-public-library-celebrates-banned-books-week/), but it’s also a good time to think about the role public libraries play in supporting the full range of first amendment rights.

It’s easy for us to take for granted that materials expressing many viewpoints and opinions are available in our public library, and that we can use those materials without fear that we will be monitored, chastised or punished. Many people have fought bitter and sometimes dangerous battles to protect the right to say and read what you want. Librarians have lost jobs for purchasing and circulating information that someone didn’t approve.

The very form of “government” of most municipal libraries in Iowa, a semi-autonomous library board, was designed to create a barrier between the politicians (city councils) who are more likely to be swayed by public opinion or current political trends and the information providers (library staff) who work to represent all points of view through collections and hold confidential who uses what (a confidentiality that is also protected by state law in Iowa). The Library Board sets policies, has budget authority to spend money as they approve, and hires a library director. Typically other city departments’ budgets, policies and hiring/firing of executives are under the authority of the City Council and/or City Manager. The primary reason for an independent library board is to ensure that an enraged phone call from a constituent to a City Council member, or a demand from law enforcement does not result in a book being removed from the collection, or records being turned over without a subpoena.

Over the years we have had a variety of complaints about materials people did not think were appropriate – and that they should be kept from some group of people, usually children. Staff who select library materials continue to work to ensure all points of view are represented.

So, look at the books you take home and consider that there is someone who probably thinks some of them shouldn’t even be in the library. It’s not hypothetical.

There’s a new painting upstairs, but not for long…

by Stacey McKim on September 23rd, 2014

FoodForEveryoneVisitors to the Library’s 2nd floor may have noticed a new oil painting hanging on the back wall — a view of south Iowa City made by local artist Thomas Agran, who also did the mural on the New Pioneer Co-op.  The painting is here through October 8th to promote the Local Foods Connection’s “Food-For-Everyone Fall Fundraiser” on October 9th.

Would your community group like to put up a display at the Library?

There are spaces on the Library’s 2nd floor that are designated to show off your organization, agency, or club.  You might present an interesting topic, display your high-quality creative work, or simply explain what your group is all about.  Enrich our community by sharing your passion with the thousands of people visiting the Library each day!

Find more details about Community Displays at ICPL, or contact new staff member Stacey McKim at stacey-mckim@icpl.org to discuss your display idea.

Ride and Read at Your Library!

by Kara Logsden on September 16th, 2014

Did you know your Library Card is a ticket to ride an Iowa City Transit bus? The program is called “Ride and Read.”  Two times a week, patrons with a valid Iowa City Public Library card may present their card to the Help Desk, Children’s Desk or Reference Desk and get a FREE bus pass to ride an Iowa City Transit bus.  The bus pass is stamped with the current date, and must be used on that day.  The Ride and Read program is for people of all ages – the only requirement is a valid Library card.  This is another great reason to make sure you always have your Library Card handy.

And speaking of bus rides, we recently received information from Iowa City Transit staff about utilization of the Summer Library Bus program.  We think this program is awesome, and many others thought so too because 2,943 people hopped on the Summer Library Bus and caught a ride downtown this summer.  What’s even more awesome is that utilization of this program was spread throughout Iowa City – the busiest routes were Lakeside and Oakcrest.  There’s a chart below that shows how use was spread across the Transit routes..

For those who don’t know about the Summer Library Bus program, the Library provides free bus rides to children through 12th grade, and the adult caregivers who are with them, on any Iowa City Transit bus route, from the day after Iowa City Schools dismiss until the day before school start, on weekdays between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm.  Bus riders show their Iowa City Public Library card to the bus driver to gain free access to the bus.
Happy Reading and Happy Riding!
2013 Summer Library Bus

 

 

 

 

Bus Route # Rides
Lakeside 514
Oakcrest 426
Court Hill 350
Broadway 326
Westwinds 253
Rochester 213
Towncrest 206
N Dodge 106
Crosspark 84
Manville Hgts 79
Westside Hosp 77
Mall 74
Plaen View 72
Westport 67
Eastside Exp 58
Melrose Exp 33
7th Avenue 5
Total Rides 2,943

Iowa City Public Library Celebrates Intellectual Freedom

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on September 11th, 2014

The Iowa City Public Library will celebrate the 2014 Carol Spaziani Intellectual Freedom Festival Sept. 22 through Sept. 26.

This annual celebration is named for former librarian Carol Spaziani in honor of her 26-year career at ICPL and for her life-long commitment to the freedom of ideas. This year, the Library is collaborating with University of Iowa Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, the Reading Aloud Group from the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center, the University of Iowa Library and the Departments of English, Cinematic Studies, and Journalism and Mass Communications and the University of Iowa International Writing Program to present a series of programs designed that celebrate our right to think.

Monday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m.: A screening of “Diagram or Delinquents.” This documentary captures the zeitgeist of late 1940s and early 1950s America, and investigates how comics went on trial.IFF Poster 2014

Wednesday, Sept. 24 at noon: The Reading Aloud Group from the Iowa City Johnson County Senior Center will read the poetry of Edgar Allan Poe, some of whose poems were censored until well after his death.

Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m.: Carol L. Tilley, an Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will present “When Comics Almost Died – Readers, Censors, and Innovation.” Tilley’s lecture is based on her research regarding Fredric Wertham, who blamed juvenile delinquency on reading comics.

Thursday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m.: A screening of “Dixie Chicks:  Shut Up and Sing.” This documentary follows the Dixie Chicks over a period of intense public scrutiny, fan backlash, threats, and pressure from both corporate and conservative political elements after lead singer Natalie Maines publicly criticized then President of the United States George W. Bush during a live 2003 concert in London.

Friday, Sept. 26 at 10 a.m.: An adult education class, Social Media Safety: Protecting Your Online Privacy, will be held in the Library’s second floor Computer Lab. This class focuses on the advantages and disadvantages of using privacy settings on several social networking sites.

Friday, Sept. 26, 7 p.m.: Maureen Freely, a 2014 Ida Beam Visiting Professor at the University of Iowa International Writing Program, will speak on censorship. Freely also is the president of English PEN, a global literary center that defends and promotes free expression.

Whenever possible, the Festival coincides with Banned Books Week, an annual event celebrating the freedom to read sponsored by the American Library Association, the American Booksellers Association and the American Society of Journalists and Authors, among other groups and associations.

During Banned Books Week, Sept. 21 through Sept. 27, teen patrons will be able to complete an online scavenger hunt. The scavenger hunt is designed to increase awareness of young adult literature that is challenged and banned in the U.S.

Teens with the most correct answers will be entered into a drawing to win a Downtown District Gift Card. The scavenger hunt will be accessible at teens.icpl.org beginning Sunday, Sept. 21.

For more information on the Iowa City Public Library’s Carol Spaziani Intellectual Freedom Festival, visit icpl.org/iff.

For information about Banned Books Week, visit www.bannedbooksweek.org.

Want to See Whats Coming?

by Mary Estle-Smith on September 9th, 2014

on order searchOne of my favorite things is to keep up with the new materials that are coming in.  You would think that we would see everything since we’re here all the time but the reality is far from it.  So, because I like new stuff,  I do a search of ON ORDER materials periodically.

If you want to do this too, here is the process.From the main catalog page above chose the Call Number  tab and type in the words “on order.”  If you want to see everything just click “search”  and you are done.  If you are searching the new items regularly (like me) you can specify the sort of “newest first” or one of the other choices from the pull down sort menu.

You can also limit by type, say fiction books, or format using the Limit option shown below.

sort 2

If an item catches your interest you can place a hold. Also if you know of something  coming out that we have not yet ordered you can request that we purchase it through the link in the blue box on the right side of the screen.

A good deal all around.  Give it a try.

 




login