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Remote Book Returns @ Your Library

by Kara Logsden on November 5th, 2014

Did you know the Library has two remote book returns available for returning most materials to the Library?  This is in addition to the outside book return located along Linn Street near the staff entrance to the Library.  All outside bo2014 10 23 return booksok returns are available 24 hours a day and are a convenient way to return Library materials.  Some materials, such as audiovisual equipment and oversize items that do not fit into the book returns, must be returned to the Help Desk during regular Library hours.

There are two remote book returns in Iowa City – one on the east side at the First Avenue HyVee Pharmacy Drive-through and one on the west side at the Mormon Trek University of Iowa Community Credit Union Drive-through (far right lane).  More information is available here on the Library’s webpage.  Items returned at the remote book returns must be in the box by 1:00 PM each day or the item is considered returned the next day.

Four times a year we count the number of items returned through the Library’s remote book returns so we have an idea of the level of service they are providing.  During the week of October 12-18, 2014, 15.6% of all items returned to the Library were returned through the two remote book returns.

Remote books returns are one of the many conveniences that make the Library easy to use.  If you have questions, please give us a call at 319-356-5200 during Library hours or contact us through our “Ask a Librarian” link.

On Air: The ICPL Podcast – Episode 5

by Bond Drager on November 4th, 2014

Get the podcast here or from iTunes or Stitcher

Episode 5: “Favorite Picture Books & The Book Genre Dating Game”
01:15 Brian talks the TV show Arrow
02:26 Jen is watching Inspector Lewis
04:00 Jason is listening to the new Caribou album
06:30 Meredith is watching The Walking Dead and reading This is Where I Leave You
07:52 It’s National Picture Book Month so the staff are recommending both old and new favorites.
Old favorites: Jen shares Just Grandma and Me by Mercer Mayer, Brian likes Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina, Jason loves the Berenstein Bears series, and Meredith likes the Eloise series by Kay Thompson.
New favorites: Jason recommends Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers, Brian likes Warning: Do Not Open This Book! by Adam Lehrhaupt, Jen shares The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson, and Meredith is a fan of The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers.
30:39 It’s the Book Genre Dating Game – Jen will ask the other panelists questions and they will answer as the book genre of their choice. At the end Jen promises to choose one and read a recommended book!

Meeting Rooms @ Your Library

by Kara Logsden on October 30th, 2014

2014 meeting roomThe Library offers five meetings rooms for community groups to use.  Library meetings rooms are a busy community resource.  In FY14 the Library hosted 1,508 community meetings in its meeting rooms.  This is in addition to a very busy schedule of Library programs held in the meeting rooms.

According to Library Board Policy, “The purpose of the Library’s meeting rooms is to provide space for library programs and community events, to fulfill the Library’s role as a community center, where the public can attend informational, educational, cultural events and to champion the principle of intellectual freedom by providing a forum for the free exchange of ideas.”

The Library’s meeting rooms are designed to host small groups as well as large community gatherings.  There are eligibility requirements for using the rooms.  Groups using the rooms must be a non-profit corporation, candidate campaign committee, political committee, governmental subdivision or non-profit citizens group.  Groups who do not meet these guidelines are encouraged to use the Library’s study rooms on the 2nd floor or check out a list of alternative meeting room sites in the community.

We recently updated our webpage with information about Library meeting rooms.  You can see more information here.  Groups are welcome to reserve meeting rooms online or call the Library at 319-356-5200 for staff assistance.

 

Art Purchase Prize winners

by Candice Smith on October 17th, 2014

The final round of judging for the 2014 Art Purchase Prize took place on Tuesday, and seven new works of original art were selected.

The winning pieces and artists are: Buffalo Bill, duct tape on wood, artist Jaimie Tucker; Champagne, digital rendered 3d art, artist Jared Williams; Girl In Aqua Top, oil on canvas, artist Bekah Ash; Magma Carta, color lithograph, artist Amanda Johnson; Raven and Untitled, monoprint, artist Cheryl Graham; and Untitled, charcoal, artist Maureen Jennings.

The new artworks will be on display on the North Wall of the second floor during the months of December and January, and then they will go into the Art To Go collection of circulating art. Patrons may place holds on the art while they are on display.

Congratulations to the winners, and many thanks to all artists who participated in this year’s contest. The Art Purchase Prize is an annual contest to purchase original art by local artists, and is funded by gifts from the Library Board and the Library Friends Foundation.

Buffalo Bill2014   Champagne2014    Girl In Aqua Top2014  Magma Carta2014 Raven2014      Untitled2014b     Untitled2014

Popo’s Halloween and Spooky tales

by Casey Lambert on October 16th, 2014

Saturday, October 25th marks our annual Popo’s Puppet Festival.  Joining us this year along with our favorite clown, Popo, are Jester Puppets and a rendition of Bony Legs by Buffy Quintero.   Bony Legs also known as Baba Yaga, follows little Sasha as she goes to borrow a needle and thread from her witch of a neighbor.  Will Sasha find a way to escape the horrifying Baba Yaga before she gets made into dinner? Stop by the library from 10-12 to find out and for other wonderfully creepy and fun shows for the entire family to enjoy.

As the holiday approaches and our collection of jHoliday books begins to dwindle keep the following titles in mind for spooky reading

Bony LegsBrown: A Dark, Dark Tale, Chaperon: Eerie Dearies, Cole: Bony Legs, Cyrus: Your Skeleton is Showing, Ehlert: Boo to You!, Gorey: The Gashlycrumb Tinies, Idle:Zombelina, Kohara: Ghosts in the House & The Midnight Library, Rohmann: Pumpkinhead, Schwartz: A Dark, Dark Room, Van Allsburg: The Witch’s Broom, Wilson, Who Goes There?

For more spooky titles outside of the Halloween collection, stop by the children’s department!

"I is for Insomnia"

“I is for Insomnia”

 

 

Video Staff Picks: All Iowa Reads with Susan

by Bond Drager on October 15th, 2014

Need a good book to read? Join our library director Susan for some wonderful book recommendations taken from the All Iowa Reads list.
This year’s author, Thomas Maltman, visited ICPL recently. A video of that talk is here: http://video.icpl.org/maltman

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.




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