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Video Staff Picks: What to Read Instead of Fifty Shades

by Bond Drager on February 11th, 2015

If you found the Fifty Shades series a little lacking, or if you loved it and want to explore more books of the genre, Terri has some great recommendations for you.

 

 

The trip from the return bin back to the shelves exposed!.

by Mary Estle-Smith on February 9th, 2015

Ever wonder what happens when you drop your returned book or other item into the mysterious slots?  If so, prepare to be enlightened!

When the items leave your hand they fall gently into a nicely padded bin.  From there, our crew of check in people (both paid and volunteer–at least 2 and frequently 4 on duty at any given time) will come and take the items from the bins onto book carts.  As we have both an indoor and outdoor drop as well as the daily remote book drops, the emptying of bins is a constant process.

From the carts, items are inspected for completeness (AV ) and condition to be recirculated.  Once inspected, cases locked, etc., each item is checked in  on 2 different scanners to be assured that nothing is missed and that security tabs are re-set.  Things on hold will be “trapped” and set aside at this phase of the process.

After being checked in, returns are then sorted roughly by location, media type, and genre onto carts that will make their way to Recently Returned areas.  Print items are available in the public Recently Returned areas within 3-4  hours of being returned.    AV collections are an exception to the recently returned step,  they are back to their “homes” less than 4 hours after they walk through the door. That’s pretty speedy.  New books also fall into the super quick re-shelving category as they are returned to their shelves up to 4 times per day.

Other print materials are taken from the Recently Returned areas on book carts, sorted and re-shelved. Of course, once they are in the Recently Return area everyone has access to them.

Our goal turn-around for return slot to home shelf is 48 hours. Most of the time we are well  ahead of that goal,  exception being  after  a day we have been closed when returns can be exceptionally heavy.

So now you know about the multi-step process designed for accuracy and efficiency to get all those fine materials out to your hands.

 

 

Community and Access Services Open House

by Kara Logsden on February 3rd, 2015

On Friday January 30, 2015 the Community and Access Services (CAS) Department hosted an Open House for Library staff. We have a goal to share information about our individual departments so we better understand the jobs of our co-workers and how each job fits into the overall mission and operations of the Library. The Open House provided an opportunity for Library staff to learn more about our department and individual jobs as well as share some great food and fun.

Community and Access Services serves patrons in a number of areas including the Help Desk; circulation (checkin and reshelving) and patron accounts; Volunteer Program; displays; public relations, graphics and marketing; and outreach services. If you’ve ever checked out a book, volunteered at the Library, looked at a Library display, followed the Library on social media, or attended a Library program held in the community, chances are good you’ve met a CAS staff member or interacted with something we worked on. It’s a great department and we had fun 2015 01 30 Susan and Briansharing information about our job assignments.

As a part of the Open House we also had a little fun by hosting a contest to see who was the fastest book sorter in the Library. There were two categories – Fiction and Nonfiction – and CAS staff could not participate because we’ve had a lot of practice with sorting :)  The first photo shows our Director, Susan Craig, and Young Adult Librarian, Brian Visser, sorting their carts of books. Coincidentally, both Susan and Brian started their careers at ICPL as Pages who sorted and reshelved books and then were promoted to other jobs in the Library.

There was fierce competition in the book sorting contest, but the winners were our Fiction Selector, Jason Paulios, in the Fiction category and City of Literature Operations Manager, Rachael 2015 01 30 CAS Open HouseCarlson, in the Nonfiction category.

If you have questions about the Community and Access Services Department or other Library departments let us know. We love to share information about the Library!

 

New Boardgame: Shadows Over Camelot

by Ella Von Holtum on January 31st, 2015

IMG_0257Full disclosure: I have not played Shadows Over Camelot. But it makes a one heck of a first impression (Omigosh, miniatures! Wooden Dice! Quests! Many tiny cardboard swords!).

Shadows Over Camelot is another cooperative game. Each player is a Knight of the Round Table, working together to defend Camelot against evil. You must complete one of six legendary quests while evil forces threaten your walls. Sometimes, there may even be a traitor in your midst!

This game is great for 3 – 7 players, and you can play a game in about an hour and a half.  This game and many more are available for teens to play in the Koza Family Teen Center on the 2nd floor of the Iowa City Public Library.

Volunteer Spotlight: Eileen Robinson

by Stacey McKim on January 30th, 2015

We asked Book End volunteer Eileen Robinson a few questions for this “Volunteer Spotlight:”

How long have you been volunteering for the Iowa City Public EileenLibrary?

It has been many years. The Friends of the Library used to have book sales in the library’s garage and I worked at those. Then I worked in the used bookstore when it was on Linn Street in a separate building. My life got busy and I dropped out of volunteering for a few years. I have been back now for the past 10 years at the Book End and really enjoy it.

What do you do at the Library?

I serve on the Book End committee, which makes policy decisions for the Book End, and I serve as a cashier in the bookstore for 2 hours every week. It’s enjoyable to greet customers who love books like I do and help them find that CD, DVD, or book they’re looking for. It’s fun to see a child pick out a book for only 25 cents.

Why did you decide to volunteer at the Library?

I’ve been a user of this library for many years, starting with when my children were young. That made me want to give back, now that I have time to do so.

What is your favorite part of the collection?

I enjoy many types of books – fiction, non-fiction, mysteries, and biographies. I have wide interests.

What else do you like to do?

I also volunteer at my church, take time to keep up with the grandchildren, and enjoy traveling. My husband and I enjoy art and music, and Iowa City has much to offer.

Thank you, Eileen, for all of your time and hard work!

If you are interested in volunteering, go www.icpl.org/volunteer or come in to the Library and fill out a Volunteer Application.

 

On Air: The ICPL Podcast – Episode 8

by Bond Drager on January 29th, 2015

Get the podcast here or from iTunes or Stitcher

“Books that make you look smart, and short books to help you fulfill your resolution to read more books this year.”

First up, what we’re reading/watching/listening to:
00:47 Melody finished Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series and is on to her Alpha and Omega books 02:26 Brian is reading Brandon Sanderson’s Reckoners series
04:18 Jason is reading Pretty Deadly by Kelly Sue DeConnick with art by Emma Rios. He’s also enjoying music from Father John Misty who will be at Mission Creek this spring.
07:46 Bond likes My True Love Gave to Me Edited by Stephanie Perkins and Deep Down Dark by Hector Tobar
10:54 Books that Make You Look Smart Melody suggests Nabokov among other Russian authors. She also suggests Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations and Sonnets to Orpheus by Roca, among other poets.
20:03 Brian brings up Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty as an example of a book we think people check out but don’t actually read, and talks literary fiction mentioning Nicole Krauss’s History of Love
25:05 Jason talks poetry and adds Nikolai Gogol as a Russian author making a comeback, plus The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
29:22 Bond mentions a bunch of filmmakers if you’re looking to get started in Cinema with a capital C, and suggests Kubrick and Malick as more approachable jumping off points.
35:10 Short books to help you fulfill your resolution to read more this year – Jason suggests 4 short novels to get you started on a year of reading -The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway -Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote -The Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide -We the Animals by Justin Torres

Overdrive Tips: Two Bookshelves

by Brent Palmer on January 28th, 2015

I’ve gotten several comments from enthusiastic Overdrive users recently.  Overdrive is the platform that we use to lend eBooks and eAudiobooks.  There are many patrons who use this service avidly, but even veteran users are sometimes confused about various aspects of the Overdrive Service.  This is the first in a series of posts I hope will help clear up some of those issues.

ODlogo1Overdrive Media Console (OMC) is the mobile app that is needed to use our eBook and eAudiobook service.  One of the most confusing aspects of this app is that there are actually two bookshelves.  One bookshelf is called the “library bookshelf” and the other is the “app bookshelf“.

The library bookshelf (also known as your “account”) shows what titles you currently have checked out.  The app bookshelf shows which titles you have checked out and downloaded to your device.  If you have checked a book out, but not downloaded it to your device, it will show up on the library bookshelf but not the app bookshelf.  This is a common source of confusion for new users.  A key concept for OMC is understanding the difference and  being able to navigate between the two bookshelves.  See these two Overdrive help articles:

Navigating to the library bookshelf

Navigating to the app bookshelf

Stay tuned.  In the future I’ll address other topics such as Understanding eBook Formats, What’s an AdobeID?, and How To Return a Title.  In the meantime, if you have a question you’d like covered in Overdrive Tips (or maybe you want to share one), please email me.  I’ll also remind you that we have time and staff dedicated each week to answer your questions about Overdrive in Drop-In Tech Help.

A Book Babies Special!

by Karen Gordon on January 23rd, 2015

sing-play-grow-logo

Baby-Girls-Instruments

On Friday, February 6th at 10:30 am and 1:30 pm.

Come sample West Music’s own early childhood music and movement program with your baby, Sing & Play & Grow!

This is a fun, engaging program offered here at Book Babies. You and your baby will explore activities with guest Becky Foerstner. This early childhood music and movement program includes singing, chanting, cuddling, rocking, dancing and instrument exploration.

This program is free.

 

Stuck in a crafty rut? How about exploring something new?

by Beth Fisher on January 9th, 2015
Stuck in a crafty rut?  How about exploring something new? Cover Image

Most crafters know the feeling.  You have a favorite craft or hobby, but when you do too much of it for too long you start feeling burned out.  You’re stuck in a crafters rut.  There is a simple way out though.  Spend a day or a week or two experimenting with something new to get your creative juices flowing again.

ICPL has a great collection of craft books.  Just wandering through the New Books on the second floor in the 600′s and 700′s you’ll find all sorts of new things to try:

Big Little Felt Fun: 60+ projects that jump, swim, roll, sprout, and roar by Jeanette Lim.  Are you looking for a craft that doesn’t require a sewing machine?   A bit of fun hand sewing?  Jeanette Lim has put over 70 of her “feltie” patterns in this sequel to Big Little Felt Universe. Divided into 10 fun and unique sets – from cupcakes and dinosaurs, to pets and bowling pins, there is bound to be something here that entertains you.  Everything is hand sewn so really all you need is some felt, scissors, a needle and thread to get started.

sheepishCrochet with One Sheepish Girl by Meredith Crawford.  The 25 cute and colorful crochet projects in this book are divided into three sections:  Living, Giving and Wearing.  The book starts with a 26 page introduction covering the materials and tools needed, well photographed introductions to each of the three basic crochet stitches, as well as other things needed to complete the projects in the book.  Unfortunately, while introduction is full of photographs, each of the projects themselves has only one photograph of the finished product.  The step by step written instruction seem clear, and might be enough for an experienced crochetist, however.

designer cross stitchDesigner Cross Stitch Projects from the editors of CrossStitcher   Sometimes I wonder who chooses the cover art for books.   The feathery image on the cover of this book does not even hint at the collection of fun zany patterns inside.   From mustaches, and scrabble tiles, to Volkswagen buses and instamatic cameras, this is a collection of really great ideas.  Each project contains a materials and treds list, as well as a pattern that contains not only symbols but colors, making them very easy to follow.

cross22cross21

Before, After

by Casey Lambert on January 4th, 2015

Before-After

Before, After by French artists Anne Margot-Ramstein and Mattais Arégui is a wordless picture book, released in the U.S. in 2014, which addresses the cyclical nature of time.

 

 

In 126 fully illustrated pages the authors explore what time means and does to nature, animals, plants,  people, technology and our ways of thinking. Generally, each page spread represents one set of before and after. Many interact with one another or hearken to earlier sets of images, all of them are beautifully detailed and leave much to be explored in subsequent readings.

Surprisingly philosophical, this work begins in the inverse of how it ends, making it capable of being read in both directions and thus allowing time to flow forwards, backwards and in the round.  Repeating images, literary allusion and tongue in cheek humor make this a great read for all ages.




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