Happy Birthday Bookmobile!

by Kara Logsden on April 13th, 2018

Bookmobile at Mercer ParkThis week the Iowa City Public Library’s Bookmobile celebrates its first anniversary of taking Library services on the road and what a GREAT YEAR it has been!

We drove 6,000 miles, greeted over 12,000 visitors and checked out more than 20,000 items. In the summer we averaged 7 checkouts per mile.

We had 79 storytime programs in or near the Bookmobile with 2,650 attendees.

We answered over 1,000 questions and collected over 4,000 items from the Downtown collection that were returned to the Bookmobile.

We have taken thousands of Holds from the Downtown collection to the Bookmobile for convenient pick-up at locations across the community that offer free parking and easy access to the Bookmobile. In March 2018 alone we sent 399 Holds from the Downtown collection to the Bookmobile.

Our busiest stops are Breckenridge Estates, Helen Lemme Elementary, Mark Twain Elementary, Mercer Park, Oaknoll Retirement Community and University of Iowa Community Credit Union (Mormon Trek) – over 1,000 items was checked out at each of these stops since July 1, 2017.

We’ve learned a lot over the past year. We’ve rotated where collections are shelved on the Bookmobile, added more items people asked for (Cookbooks, Graphic Novels, Large Print, more Nonfiction) and adjusted the schedule based on what we learned about the time it takes to drive between stops and prepare the Bookmobile each day for service.

If you haven’t visited the ICPL Bookmobile yet, please plan a visit. A full schedule is available at www.icpl.org/bookmobile. We’ll see you in the community!

PS – Watch for our summer schedule that runs June 4th through August 17th. We’re adding a couple stops and planning for Stories in the Park programs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

National Bookmobile Week

by Kara Logsden on April 5th, 2018

We’re so excited about National Bookmobile Day we’re celebrating ALL WEEK!

Visit any ICPL Bookmobile stop between April 9 and 12 and receive a sweet treat and other goodies to help us celebrate one year of Bookmobile service.

The Iowa City Public Library’s Bookmobile rolled into town in April of 2017. After nearly a year of service, we have a lot to celebrate! Over 20,000 items checked out, over 12,000 visitors, and 79 storytime programs offered with over 2,500 people attending. We average about 6 checkouts per mile driven.

Iowa City Transit is also helping us celebrate National Bookmobile Week at our elementary school stops – Monday from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Lemme, Tuesday from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. at Grant Wood, and Thursday from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Mark Twain. These stops will include a visit from the City of Iowa City Transit Department and one of the City’s new Transit buses.

A complete Bookmobile schedule can be found at www.icpl.org/bookmobile. For more information, please call the Library at 319-356-5200 or visit us at the ICPL Bookmobile.

Confidentiality and Privacy and Teens

by Kara Logsden on March 20th, 2018

In an effort to raise awareness about confidentiality and privacy issues related to teens, and at the direction of the Library Board, we are mailing letters each month to teens with active Library Cards who are turning 16 and 18 years old during that month. The letters discuss confidentiality and privacy issues teens should think about when using the Library. Teens are encouraged to talk to their parents or other adults if they have questions, or to contact the Library.

The first batch of letters was mailed yesterday. We chose the ages of 16 and 18 because they are milestone years for teens when they take on more responsibilities in their journey to adulthood.

Recently the Library Board reviewed our Confidentiality and Privacy Policy. The Library also added a new Confidentiality and Privacy webpage we hope will raise awareness about confidentiality and privacy issues related to Library use. We want to be transparent and share information about information we collect and maintain in order to improve service and protect the safety of patrons, the building, collections and other assets.

We live in a world where confidentiality and privacy issues surround us. Yesterday’s announcement about Cambridge Analytica’s use of data from 50 million Facebook users is a stark reminder that we need to be eternally vigilant when it comes to these issues. Hopefully our new webpage will help raise awareness and the letters sent to teens will be a catalyst for teens to thoughtfully manage their personal privacy and be aware of confidentiality issues.

Transportation Resources in Johnson County

by Kara Logsden on March 7th, 2018

I recently learned about a great resource for finding information about transportation services in Johnson County. Kelly Schneider is Johnson County’s Mobility Coordinator. She works in the Johnson County Social Services office and her job is funded by the Iowa DOT, Johnson County, City of Iowa City and City of Coralville. Anyone can contact Kelly and the services of our Mobility Coordinator are free-of-charge.

Information about transportation resources in Johnson County is available on the Mobility Coordinator’s webpage. This includes a Transportation Resource Guide. The Guide is a comprehensive list of transportation options including Transit systems, taxi cabs, rides to medical appointments provided by local social service agencies, and (my favorite) information about the Library’s Ride & Read and Summer Library Bus programs.

Looking for paper tax forms?

by Jennifer Eilers on February 28th, 2018

Finding a paper tax form can be hard these days. In the past, every tax form used to be readily available in post offices and public libraries. This just isn’t the case anymore. Back in 2015, in order to keep government costs low, the Tax Form Outlet Program, which provides paper federal tax forms, lost their funding due to tax cuts that were made to the IRS. Over the past couple of years, the program has provided fewer and fewer printed tax forms to public entities like libraries as their funding is slowly drying up.

The State of Iowa hasn’t provided tax forms to libraries or any other public institution for more than 5 years. The state expects tax payers to file their taxes online. However, if you still want to use a paper form it is possible, just not easy.

The library currently provides a limited amount of 1040, 1040A, and 1040EZ forms and instructions for individual use and a handful of business forms. We also provide the Individual Iowa State tax form but it costs 10 cents for a two sided copy. At this time, all of our forms have been received from the IRS. Once these forms and instructions run out, the library cannot receive more forms.

If the library doesn’t have the federal income tax form or a set of instructions you need, you can request forms by calling 800-532-1531. The library is happy to print copies of these forms for individuals at 10 cents per page. Printed forms from the computer, except for some business forms which are printed on triplicate paper, are all valid tax forms and can be submitted to the federal and state government without any problem

There are many places that offer free tax preparation help or services. One of those services, VITA, is hosted by the library. The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) is run by the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business. Please check what is necessary to qualify for their services, as well as the dates they provide this service.

ICPL History and the Archives Crawl

by Heidi Lauritzen on February 13th, 2018

Coming soon is the Iowa City Archives Crawl, and to get you in the mood we have set up a display of objects from the Iowa City Public Library’s archive.  The display is on the second floor near the Information Desk, and has a lot of interesting things in it–but first, some details about the Crawl:

The Archives Crawl is on Saturday, February 24, 2018, from 11:00-3:00 and includes special activities at ICPL, the State Historical Society, the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History, and the University of Iowa Main Library.  (A bonus fifth site has just been added:  a Dada Futures exhibit at UI Memorial Union.)

The website for the Crawl invites you to “snoop in between the pages of historic diaries, read other people’s mail, hold feathers and fossils, and peer into mysteries revealed by historic artifacts like swords and locks of hair kept in remembrance.”  It is sponsored by the UI Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, and you can see a listing of events here.

Iowa City Public Library has short presentations every half hour, on topics such as genealogy, using our local history resources, and “Iowa City’s Most Famous Athlete You Never Heard Of”.  The full, fun list is here.  We have also invited the Johnson County Historical Society, the Friends of Historic Preservation, and Historic Foodies to join us and display information about their organizations.

But back to the display of ICPL history.  It was both a fascinating and frustrating task to choose items from our archive cupboards to include in the display:  frustrating because it was difficult to put things back when I realized I didn’t have room for everything, fascinating because ICPL is 120 years old and, thank goodness, we have saved a lot of interesting stuff.

The oldest object I found dates from around 1870, a book that has a book plate in it from the “Iowa City Library Association,” a proprietary library that loaned materials to Iowa City residents who purchased memberships in the Association.  It was active from 1870-1873, 25 years before the Iowa City Public Library was founded.

Another special book is ICPL’s first accession book, in which the first purchases for the Public Library were recorded.  You can see what those titles were if you take a look at the display (and, we still have copies in our collection of some of those early acquisitions).

We’ve also included the 1926 rules for borrowing materials, a cast iron property stamp embosser, the 1959 dress code for Library employees, a beer box, and a jar of dirt.  Check out the display and find out why!

We hope the displayed objects provide you with an appreciation of just how old this Iowa City institution is, and that the more recent photos will bring back memories of your past experiences at the Iowa City Public Library.  The display will be up until March 4th–and don’t forget the Iowa City Archives Crawl on February 24th.

 

Left:  Checkout desk in new 1963 Carnegie Library addition.

Right:  Checkout desk in the new library at 123 S. Linn St., 1981.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And the Award Goes to…

by Angela Pilkington on February 12th, 2018

The Newbery and Caldecott awards were announced this morning at the American Library Association’s midwinter conference in Denver. Erin Entrada Kelly won the 2018 John Newbery Medal for her novel Hello, Universe. Matthew Cordell won the 2018 Randolph Caldecott Medal for Wolf in the Snow. 

Three Newbery Honor Books were named: Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds; Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson; and Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James.

There were four Caldecott Honor Books: Big Cat, little cat by Elisha Cooper; Crown: An Ode to the Fresh CutA Different Pond by Bao Phi,‎ illustrated by Thi Bui; and Grand Canyon by Jason Chin.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas won three prizes, including the William C. Morris Award, for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens, Corretta Scott King Book Award honor, the Printz Honor, and the Odyssey Award, for excellence in audiobook production. Jason Reynolds won both a Newbery Honor and a Printz Honor for his novel Long Way Down.

Coretta Scott King Book Awards recognizing African American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults: “Piecing Me Together,” written by Renée Watson, is the King Author Award winner.

ICPL ran a mock Newbery and Caldecott awards this year. We were excited to see some of our choices make the Honors, but our winners didn’t match this year. Our winner for the mock Newbery was Pashmina and the mock Caldecott winner was Little Fox in the Forrest! Thanks to all who participated and voted for your favorites.

To see the entire list of winners go here.  And to find out more about the Youth Media Awards check here.

No Bookmobile President’s Day-Monday February 19

by Kara Logsden on February 12th, 2018

2017-10-homecoming-bookmobile-photoThere will be no Bookmobile service on Monday February 19, 2018 in honor of President’s 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 www.icpl.org/bookmobile

Happy President’s Day – we’ll see you on the Bookmobile soon.

New Privacy Page

by Brent Palmer on February 7th, 2018

Iowa City Public Library is committed to protecting its patrons’ privacy and confidentiality. We try to keep as little information about our patrons as possible and we don’t share it with others.  We routinely purge information including your checkout history unless you decide to opt-in to keep it.   The information that we do keep is directly related to providing services and delivering content.

We are also trying to be more transparent about the information that we do keep. We have had a publicly available privacy policy for a long time, but we decided to create a new Confidentiality and Privacy Page that is more user-friendly. At the top of the page, we outline some key points that all patrons should be aware of.  If you don’t read anything else, please check this section out.

Below that we also have a chart outlining all the different data that we keep, and how long we keep it.  Finally, we maintain a list of 3rd party vendors and providers that we use with links to their privacy policies.  If you have questions or concerns about these topics, please contact us.

Knope, Knope, Knope, YEP!!

by Kara Logsden on February 6th, 2018

The Iowa City Public Library is in the running for the best library in the United States, advancing to the Sweetums16 Round! KNOPE, we are not kidding! Vote for ICPL at this link and help us advance to the Group of 8. Voting runs through Friday February 9th.

The Sweetums16 Round is a B1G showdown pitting Iowa City Public Library against the public library that serves Penn State.

The Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) group sponsors the Leslie B. Knope Award to highlight “organizations and individuals that motivate, inspire and attract the best and brightest to local government.”

Astute readers and fans of NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” know Leslie B. Knope, played by actress Amy Poehler, is a local government champion in the town of Pawnee, Indiana. Unfortunately, Knope dislikes libraries because of the Pawnee library director, Tammy Swanson, who is the ex-wife of her friend and co-worker. Fortunately ICPL doesn’t employ anyone named Tammy … and we have an awesome Library Director!

One of Leslie Knope’s goals is to make her town more fun. Join in the fun and vote for Iowa City Public Library for Best Library in the United States!