Managing your library account? There’s an app for that.

by Alyssa Hanson on September 12th, 2017

Last December we released our mobile app called MyICPL and it has some great functionality for using the library. Here’s a highlight of some of its features.

App interface - shows buttons for accounts, search, scan, social, hours & contact, and eventsApp interface - shows the menu with lines emphasizing Feedback

Manage Your Account(s)

If you’re wanting to keep track of the items you have borrowed, the app will save your account information and you can check it as often as you need to. Have an item that is due soon? Renew it from within the app. Or if you are waiting for an item, see what your position is in the hold line.

Have kids? It’s also handy if you want to keep track of due dates on multiple accounts. Add each account once and see all items in one list. You can make sure they are returning their books on time.

Find Upcoming Events

Check the events in the coming week at the Library. Find one you are interested in? Add it to your phone’s calendar directly from the app.

Check Our Collection

There are a couple of ways to find out if we have something at the library. If you’re looking at books in a bookstore, scan the ISBN barcode on the back of the book to see if we have it. You can also search by title if you don’t have the book in hand. Looking for something we don’t have? It will link you to the form where you can suggest we purchase it or ask to have it sent here from another library.

Problems or suggestions?

Let us know if you have features you’d like to see in the app or if you run into any issues with it. We’re continuing to work on fixing bugs when we find them as well as implementing new functionality. There’s a link to a feedback form in the app so you can easily contact us with app-related comments while you’re using it.

Interested in trying it out? Download it from the Apple Store or from Google Play.

Download our app from the Apple App Store Download our app from the Google Play Store

School Board Election Tuesday September 12

by Kara Logsden on September 12th, 2017

Voters may be looking for more information about the School Board Election and Bond Referendum vote TODAY – Tuesday September 12th. Early voting concluded on Monday September 11. On Election Day, all voters must vote at their polling place.

Polls are open from 7 AM to 8 PM. Note – your voting location is your school polling place, which for most voters is different from your regular polling location. Information about school polling places may be found at

If you have questions or need help voting, please contact the Johnson County Auditor’s Office at 319-356-6004 or visit their webpage at

On Election Night, links to voting results are available online at the Auditor’s Office at


Downtime for digital magazines on Sept. 13

by Melody Dworak on September 11th, 2017

System down at 7 p.m.

UPDATE September 13: Upgrades have been cancelled for tonight. Please go about using the service as normal.

Digital magazines on the RBdigital platform will not be available on Wednesday, September 13, starting at 7 p.m. Central time. This downtime is expected to last for about 8 hours, and we are told it will affect both the app and the website that hosts the digital magazine collection.

Thank you for your patience!

FALLing in Love with the Bookmobile

by Shawna Riggins on September 7th, 2017

School is in session, the nights are cooling off, and it is hard to make it through a day without seBookmobile at Mercer Parkeing something that is pumpkin-spiced flavored – Fall is here. The Library is welcoming the change in seasons with a new Bookmobile Schedule. The Fall Bookmobile schedule runs from August 28 – December 21 and features multiple new Bookmobile stops, including Waterfront Hy-Vee, Emerson Point, Iowa City Walmart, and Mark Twain Elementary.

With nearly two full weeks of service under our belts already we are already making connections at our new and continued stops. Our first visit to Emerson Point felt like a party, with the Bookmobile consistently filled with excited, new visitors, several of whom made use of our accessibility lift.

Read the rest of this entry »

Library Bill of Rights

by Kara Logsden on September 7th, 2017
Forrest Spaulding Photograph

Forrest Spaulding Photograph

2017 marks the 100th anniversary Forrest Spaulding’s first appointment as Director of the Des Moines Public Library. He is a pioneer in the Library world for his advocacy for human rights and belief that all people should have free and equal access to information. He is also remembered as a humanitarian and advocate for outreach service. He was named by American Libraries Magazine as one of the 100 most important library leaders of the 20th Century.

Spaulding is best known for writing the Library Bill of Rights (see text below). He started his career as a journalist and learned from time working in Peru about the dangers of censorship. Concerns about censorship increased in the United States in the late 1930’s. Spaulding was pressured to censor items in the Des Moines Public Library collection. His response was a Library Bill of Rights presented to the DMPL Board of Trustees.

The Library Bill of Rights, adopted by the Des Moines Public Library Board of Trustees, was also adopted by the American Library Association on June 19, 1939. It has been amended a few times but the sentiment remains the same. Today it reads:

The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.

I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.

IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.

V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.

VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

Adopted June 19, 1939, by the ALA Council; amended October 14, 1944; June 18, 1948; February 2, 1961; June 27, 1967; January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996.

Annually in September, libraries across the country join in celebrating Banned Book Week. This year the celebration starts on September 24th. The Iowa City Public Library has many programs planned for Banned Books Week as well as the annual Carol Spaziani Intellectual Freedom Festival. A highlight of this year’s program is a visit by NPR’s Brooke Gladstone on Sunday September 24th at 2:00 PM at the Englert Theatre.

As I reflect on the Library Bill of Rights and what it means in our community, I am thankful for Forrest Spaulding and the many librarians who have been pioneers in the area of Intellectual Freedom. Their advocacy helps assure our public libraries continue to provide equal access to information and ideas.

ICPL Bookmobile adds special preschool visits to fall schedule

by Mari Redington on September 6th, 2017

bookmobile-preschoolStarting this month, the ICPL Bookmobile will be making stops at area preschools on Wednesday mornings. This will be an additional service for several preschools who are already receiving regular visits from an ICPL Children’s librarian each month for a classroom Storytime. Preschoolers and their families as well as teachers will have the opportunity to check out books on the bookmobile, sign up for library cards, and even redeem prizes for the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten reading program! While the Wednesday morning preschool visits will not be publicly advertised on the schedule, if you happen to see the bookmobile parked at a school, the public is welcome to return library books, pick up holds, check out library items, etc. Read the rest of this entry »

Rip Van Winkle meets Libby

by Kara Logsden on September 6th, 2017

2017-09-01-libbyOver the weekend I was cleaning out a cabinet and found an old Windows 7 laptop that I used to read eBooks from the Library via OverDrive. The laptop hadn’t been turned on since about 2012. When I started exploring, I felt a bit like Rip Van Winkle must have felt when he woke up – it was a different world! Windows 7, OverDrive Media Console, Adobe Digital Editions, Adobe Reader 9. Yikes!

This made me think about how I currently read and listen to books via OverDrive. I recently switched over to the Libby app from OverDrive on my android cellphone. It is a perfect interface for the OverDrive catalog of eBooks and eAudiobooks from the Iowa City Public Library. I can easily switch between searching for books and reading or listening to what I have checked out. I can also easily search, via the Library’s app called MyICPL, for an OverDrive book and place a hold or check it out.

Now my biggest problem is when two holds come in at once and I have to decide which book to read first. What a change from 2012!

And an extra bonus, my 2005 mini van was “retired” to city-duty only recently so I have a different set of wheels. Now I push a button, the car turns on, my Libby app talks to the Toyota Entune app, and the Overdrive eAudiobook starts playing on my car speakers. It’s like magic!

Note – The OverDrive Libby app and MyICPL apps are both available in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

Bookmobile Fall Schedule

by Kara Logsden on September 5th, 2017

2017-07-bookmobileThe Bookmobile Fall Schedule is off to a great start. The Fall Schedule runs through December 21st and features four new stops including Hy-Vee on Waterfront Drive, Emerson Point retirement residence, Iowa City Walmart, and Mark Twain Elementary. The Bookmobile will stop at seventeen locations Monday through Thursday at locations throughout our community. A full schedule may be found at

On Wednesday mornings the Bookmobile will travel to area preschools. Bookmobile visits at preschools will include a storytime presented by Library staff and opportunity for children to check out materials. The preschools were already served through the Children’s Outreach programs from the Library, but now the visits are even better with the addition of Bookmobile services.

For more information about the Bookmobile or schedule, please navigate to or call the Library at 319-356-5200 during regular Library hours.


One Community One Book 2017: “Butterfly Mosque” by G. Willow Wilson

by Beth Fisher on August 24th, 2017
One Community One Book 2017:  “Butterfly Mosque” by G. Willow Wilson Cover Image

G. Willow Wilson – the award winning graphic novelist and author of the Marvel comic Ms Marvel will be one of the speakers at this year’s Iowa City Book Festival.  Her 2010 memoir “Butterfly Mosque” has been chosen as the 2017 One Community One Book title by the UI Center for Human Rights.

Raised in the US in an atheist family, author G. Willow Wilson surprised everyone, herself included, by converting to Islam in her late 20’s and moving half way around the world to start a new life.  Her memoir “Butterfly Mosque” is the story of her conversion; emigrating to Egypt and immersing herself in the Islamic culture; and the story of how she met, fell in love and married a Muslim man.

The One Community One Book project  is coordinated by the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights.  The goal of the project is to encourage people in our community to read and discuss the selected book in order to develop a greater community awareness of human rights issues locally, nationally and internationally.  For more information on the One Community One Book project, visit their website here.

ICPL staff will be hosting a Book Discussion of “Butterfly Mosque” on Saturday September 23rd at 10:30am in Meeting Room A.  All are welcome.  *Note: the author will not be at this discussion.

G. Willow Wilson will be in Iowa City in October as part of this year’s Iowa City Book Festival. For details of her event at Hancher Auditorium on Sunday, October 8th click here.