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Ready for Summer & Library Cards

by Kara Logsden on May 7th, 2014

Library staff members are diligently working to make sure students have Library Cards and are ready for summer!  Staff traveled to Robert Lucas and Grant Wood elementary recently to sign students up for Library Cards.  2014 04 Grant Wood library cardsStaff will be at Mark Twain Elementary’s Family Night on May 29 to sign students and family members up for Library Cards.

We are also working with Teacher Librarians and Student & Family Advocates to help students at other schools sign-up for Library Cards.  In these cases, school staff collect applications and forward them to Library staff.  Library staff issue the Library Cards and mail them to the student’s home.

We are also working with Johnson County Extension’s 4-H on Wheels summer program to extend Library services to students who will participate in 4-H on Wheels in Lone Tree this summer.  Library staff will travel to Lone Tree once a week to check out Library materials to students based on the weekly 4-H on Wheels theme.  The themes are generally STEM based and including information about nutrition, science, and other interesting topics.

Since the beginning of February, Library Staff have issued 144 Library Cards though our outreach efforts with local schools.  We appreciate the wonderful staff at our schools and their dedication to help students continue to read over the summer.

Here’s a rundown of the numbers.  Three Cheers for Library Cards!

School # Cards Issued
Lone Tree 13
Shimek 5
Weber 12
Horn 28
Mann 5
Lucas 19
Hills 2
Wood 60
Total 144

Kirkwood English Language Learner Program Tour

by Kara Logsden on May 6th, 2014

We received a wonderful letter today from Kirkwood Community College’s English Language Learner program following a tour for their students last month. Students enrolled in Kirkwood’s program who were on this tour were from Sudan, Iran, the Democratic Republic of Congo, China, El Salvador, Guinea, Laos, Vietnam, Mexico and Algeria. They were a fun group and even enjoyed some of my jokes (which building downtown has the most stories?).

Library staff enjoy welcoming everyone to the Library and especially people who are new to our community. It is fun to see the Library through new eyes, and to see patron making connections with how they may utilize Library resources in their own lives.

The letter from Kirkwood’s staff says, “The students were frankly amazed about the size, services, comfort, and approachability of the library … Thank you for teaching these Iowa City newcomers from around the world about your library services and for making them comfortable with and eager to visit the library.”

We extend our thanks to Kirkwood for introducing the Library to their students and for working with us to host the English Conversation Group on Friday mornings.  For more information about Kirkwood’s program for English language learners, navigate to

Library Services for Persons over Age 55

by Kara Logsden on May 5th, 2014

Recently the Iowa City City Council appointed an ad-hoc Senior Services committee that will begin meeting in May. In preparation for these meetings, the Library provided information about collections, programs and services of interest to people over age 55. I thought I’d share some of the interesting tidbits from the Library’s report.

Library Cards:  As of April 24, 2014, 7,491 people over age 55 had active Library cards with 8,089 items checked out.  Of those, 4,938 people live in Iowa City and they have 5,567 items checked out.  995 live in rural Johnson County and they have 1,091 items checked out.

At Home Services:  The Library’s At Home service provides traditional Library collections by mail to residents of the Library’s service area (Iowa City, rural Johnson County, Hills, University Heights and Lone Tree) for those who are unable to come to the Library because of a physical disability. Most people enrolled in At Home Services are over age 55. Currently 128 patrons are enrolled in At Home services and in FY13, an average of 39 patrons were served each month. In FY13, the Library loaned 2,888 items to and the Library’s Switchboard answered 255 calls from At Home patrons.

Community Outreach Collections:  The Library maintains community outreach collections at many retirement residences and other community organizations that serve people over age 55. These sites include the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center, Oaknoll, Melrose Meadows, Walden Place, Capitol House Apartments, Chatham Oaks, Hope Lodge, and MECCA. Some sites utilize books checked out from the Library’s collection, while others accept donated materials. In FY13, 660 items were loaned to community organizations from the Library’s collection and 2,242 items, culled from donations to the Library and withdrawn materials, were sent for members of the community to use.

Volunteer Program:  The Library connects with many community members through our Volunteer Program. In FY13, 364 people volunteered at the Library. Of those, 83 volunteers were over age 55 and they volunteered 4,154 hours.

Technology Support:  For the first nine months of FY14, the Library assisted 358 patrons in our Drop-In Tech Help sessions on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Staff estimates 50% of the people who seek assistance at these sessions are age 55 and over.  There is a also special Senior Tech Zone weekly on Thursdays, from 10:30 AM-12:30 PM, staffed by volunteers from the Johnson County Livable Community project.

The Library serves people over age 55 in many ways. The information above represents a snapshot of some of the collections, programs and services available at the Library. If you have questions, please give us a call.

Fizz Boom Read This Summer!

by Vickie Pasicznyuk on May 2nd, 2014

In just one month, the summer reading program starts at the Library! This year’s program, Fizz Boom Read, will put a spark in your summer plans! From June 1 through August 2, kids can earn prizes for the reading they do over the summer and also learn about science, the library, and their community with activities and programs. Fizz Boom Read will motivate kids to read, helping them maintain reading skills over the summer and have fun while doing it.

Get the whole family involved! There’s a summer reading program for any age. In fact, even babies and toddlers can play, with fun activities designed to stimulate language development. Teens can Spark a Reaction at the Library, and adults will Make the Library Your Laboratory in their science-themed programs.

We are grateful to our sponsors for providing prizes and support for the summer reading programs. Please join us in thanking the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation, Blank Park Zoo, Chick-fil-A, Daydreams Comics, Iowa Children’s Museum, Iowa City Parks and Recreation, McDonald’s, Noodles & Company, Hardees, and Westdale Bowling Center.

Visit for more information. You can sign up and start reading on June 1!

Fizz Boom Read this summer—it will be a blast!

Come to the Table

by Brent Palmer on May 1st, 2014

Come to table

Want to build something? Have a great idea?

The Iowa City Public Library has an interactive touch table for its Children’s Room and needs your help bringing it to life. We are looking for games that are:

  • multi-touch
  • multi-player
  • collaborative or constructive
  • for ages 6-12
  • easy to get started

Contact Brent Palmer

Why does a quarter have 119 ridges?

by Maeve Clark on April 5th, 2014

ask-history-coin-ridges One of the fun facts I learned from the Money Smart Week exhibit at the library is that dimes have 118 ridges or grooves and quarters have 119.  But what the exhibit didn’t tell me was the reason for the ridges.  So what’s a reference librarian to do? Find the answer, of course.  I started at the United States Mint which lead me to the American Numismatic Association. The first thing I learned was the technical term for the ridges or grooves on coins  is reeding.  Before the introduction of reeding, small amounts of gold or silver from coins could be chiseled or shaved away and the precious metal sold again or remelted and made into another coin. (The slang usage of the world chisel may even derive from this ancient practice.)  While quarters and dimes are no longer minted from silver, (with the exception of special collectable quarters), the ridges remain.

Come in a take a look at the exhibit – you will find it in the first floor gallery. You can explore the life cycle of currency, learn about the role of the Federal Reserve Bank and get your photo taken in $100 bill.  What else can you learn during Money Smart Week?money smart week Preschoolers will have a visit from Ben Franklin for the 10:30 preschool story time Thursday morning, April 10.   And if you want to know more about estate planning, the library has a program tailor made for you. Thursday evening, April 10, Thomas Gelman, attorney Phelan Tucker Muller Walker Tucker Gelman and John Chadima, Vice President and Trust Officer MidWestOne Bank offer Estate Planning 101: Basic Considerations.


by Patty McCarthy on April 4th, 2014

Retish donation

Brothers Walter and Clyde Retish love reading, love libraries, and love their grandparents.  So when the boys were here to visit Paul and Esther Retish, it made sense for them to stop by the Iowa City Public Library to get some books before taking grandma home after her volunteer shift at The BookEnd.

“My grandpa and grandma travel a lot, they go to many places around the world,” Walter, 11, says.

They usually bring back foreign money, which their grandsons took to the bank and cashed, walking out with $66.67.

On Wednesday, Walter and Clyde also visited us in the Development Office of the Iowa City Public Library to make a $66 donation. The 67-cents went in the donation box at The BookEnd.

Walter and Clyde’s presentation was a great surprise.  I assured them that yes, we could use the gift to buy several more of the Young Adult books they love reading, and thanked them.   Their generosity made my day.

KXIC Jay Capron Morning Show

by Kara Logsden on April 1st, 2014

We had a lot of fun on the Jay Capron Morning Show today!  We learned about Bark Madness (I voted for the cat) and send our best wishes to our good friend, Dottie Ray, to feel better soon!

We started off by talked about D.E.A.R. (Drop everything and READ) and had to delay the radio program a bit while I finished reading a chapter in the book I brought (just kidding).

Anne talked about ICPL Collections, and most specifically OverDrive and Zinio.  The big news on that front is OverDrive is now available through the Library’s catalog and some titles can now be renewed.  eCollection titles are great for cold blustery days like today!

Anne also talked about a number of upcoming programs including Money Smart Week, Mission Creek FREE programs at the Library this weekend, and B.Y.O. Book.

I talked about the Library’s new Blog, 123 South Linn, and how the response has been great.  We have between 50 and 250 views per day.  I also talked about Book Madness FINAL FOUR and encouraged patrons to vote on the Library’s Facebook page or in person at the Library.

There’s always something going on at the Iowa City Public Library and we enjoy sharing the information with our friends who listen to KXIC.



Are you ready to Drop Everything and Read?

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 1st, 2014
Library Director Susan Craig takes a few minutes before a meeting to read Beverly Cleary's Ramona Quimby, Age 8 in honor of D.E.A.R. Month.

Library Director Susan Craig takes a few minutes before a meeting to read Beverly Cleary’s Ramona Quimby, Age 8 in honor of D.E.A.R. Month.

Raise your hands if you’d love to stop what you’re doing and read instead. Now, high five yourself because we’re giving you permission to do just that. After all, April is D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read) Month!

D.E.A.R. is the acronym beloved children’s author Beverly Cleary penned in Ramona Quimby, Age 8. In this story, Ramona’s third grade teacher, Mrs. Whaley, tells the students they will have Sustained Silent Reading every day.

“This means that every day after lunch we are going to sit at our desks and read silently to ourselves any book we choose in the library.”

The students could read what they wanted and would not have to write a book report. To make Sustained Silent Reading sound more fun, Mrs. Whaley decided to call it D.E.A.R.

(Ramona, of course, thought Sustained Silent Reading was better because it sounded more grown up. It also got her out of playing with Willa Jean after school.)

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 was published in 1981. Since then, Drop Everything and Read promotions have been held on April 12 in honor of Beverly Cleary’s birthday, but why stop there? HarperCollins Publishers decided to make D.E.A.R. a month-long celebration – a decision we’re happy to support.

All month long, we’ll share photos of Library staff dropping everything to read on our Facebook page and invite you do the same. After all, what reader doesn’t want an excuse to finish one more chapter?

Let the Madness Begin!

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on March 19th, 2014
You can find the 2014 Book Madness brackets on the Library's first floor. Voting begins Thursday, March 20!

You can find the 2014 Book Madness brackets on the Library’s first floor. Voting begins Thursday, March 20!

When it comes to filling out my March Madness bracket, I embrace the “Not a sports fan” cliché and choose teams randomly. The way I see it, the less knowledge equals a better bracket, as evidenced by the number of times I’ve won competing against sports writers.

The first year I filled out a bracket, I sat next to a colleague who had folders of statistics. He’d review records and injury reports before making his decision. I chose Gonzaga because it sounds like Gonzo and I like The Muppets.

I won. He refused to let me play the following year.

When the Library decided to design a Book Madness bracket, I was thrilled. I know books! I could totally win this thing! But as the nominations started coming in, I got worried.

How could I choose between Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park and John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars?

Is it really fair to pit any series against Harry Potter?

I love Beloved! I love Atonement! I know too much! I can’t choose!

Sadly, though, we must. That’s the game.

Beginning Thursday, March 20, you can vote for your favorite title in our Book Madness brackets – there’s one for children’s books, and another for teens and adults. To start, we have 64 titles in four categories. Submit a vote for your favorite(s) – if you want to vote for just one book, you can, or you can choose 16 titles to move forward in the first two rounds; it’s up to you! – and watch as the titles progress.

Here are the dates to remember:

  • First and Second Round: March 20 through March 23
  • Sweet 16: March 27 and 28
  • Elite 8: March 29 and 30
  • Final 4: April 5
  • Championship Game: April 7

(Given the large number of books, all votes must be made at the display in the Library. Once we reach Elite Eight status, we will allow for voting on our Facebook page.)

I visited with a Library patron, Rachel, as she studied the boards this morning. We don’t have printouts of the brackets, which do make excellent reading lists, so I promised to post all the nominations to 123 South Linn so she’d have access to them.

Did any of your favorites make the list?

What title do you think should win?



  • Clifford by Norma Bridwell
  • Curious George by H.A. Rey and Margaret Rey
  • Olivia by Ian Falconer
  • Charlie and Lola by Lauren Child
  • Max and Ruby by Rosemary Wells
  • Berenstain Bears by Stan and Jan Berenstain
  • Pete the Cat by James Dean
  • Llama Llama by Anna Dewdney
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  • Maisy books by Lucy Cousins
  • Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
  • Mother Goose
  • Otis by Loren Long
  • Little Critter by Mercer Mayer
  • Five Little Monkeys stories by Eileen Christelow
  • Pigeon books by Mo Willems


  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
  • Geronimo Stilton series by Geronimo Stilton
  • Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
  • Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park
  • Ivy and Bean series by Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall
  • Rainbow Magic Fairies series by Daily Meadows
  • Magic Tree House series by Mary Pope Osborne
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney
  • Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey
  • Judy Moody and Stink books by Megan McDonald
  • Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer
  • EllRay Jakes series by Sally Warner
  • American Girls Collection
  • Nancy Drew books by Carolyn Keene
  • Wonder by R.J. Palacio
  • I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis


  • Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
  • Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems
  • Amelia Bedelia books by Peggy Parish
  • Fancy Nancy books by Jane O’Connor
  • Mercy Watson books by Kate DiCamillo
  • Biscuit books by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
  • Cam Jansen series by David A. Adler
  • Fly Guy books by Tedd Arnold
  • Rotten Ralph books by Jack Gantos
  • Little Bear books by Elsa Holmelund Minarik and Maurice Sendak
  • Minnie and Moo books by Denys Cazet
  • Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa books by Erica Silverman
  • Frog and Toad books by Arnold Lobel
  • Henry and Mudge books by Cynthia Rylant
  • Mr. Putter and Tabby series by Cynthia Rylant
  • Dick and Jane series


  • Lego/Ninjago
  • Star Wars
  • Garfield by Jim Davis
  • Bone books by Jeff Smith
  • Babymouse series by Jennifer Holm
  • Pokemon
  • Shel Silverstein poems
  • Disney Princess stories
  • Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
  • Big Nate series by Lincoln Peirce
  • Squish series by Jennifer L. Holm
  • Smile by Raina Telgemeier
  • Ologies series
  • Dinosaurs! by Gail Gibbons
  • Eyewitness books
  • Lunch Lady series by Jarrett J. Krosoczka



  • The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
  • Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer
  • Vampire Diaries series by L.J. Smith
  • Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  • Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  • Every Day by David Levithan
  • Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
  • The 5th Wave series by Rick Yancey
  • The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky


  • The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day (or some other Sedaris) by David Sedaris
  • Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield
  • Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer
  • The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea by Sebastian Junger
  • The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  • Dog Songs by Mary Oliver
  • Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened … by Allie Brosh
  • Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
  • Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
  • Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman
  • Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
  • The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester
  • The Wilder Life: My Adventures in the Lost World of Little House on the Prairie by Wendy McClure
  • The Girls from Ames: A Story of Women and a Forty-Year Friendship by Jeffrey Zaslow


  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • Atonement: A Novel by Ian McEwan
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • The Shining by Stephen King
  • Robert Langdon series by Dan Brown
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • State of Wonder: A Novel by Ann Patchett
  • Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn


  • Dune by Frank Herbert
  • Ender Wiggins Quartet by Orson Scott Card
  • Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
  • Neuromancer by William Gibson
  • Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  • Women’s Murder Club series by James Patterson
  • No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith
  • Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich
  • World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  • The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly
  • Broken Harbor by Tana French
  • Maisie Dobbs series by Jacqueline Winspear
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • Game of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin