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Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

by Kara Logsden on July 16th, 2016
Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes Cover Image

I just finished listening to Year of Yes, narrated by the author, Shonda Rhimes, and it was great. I don’t usually listen to Nonfiction, but a friend recommended it so I placed a hold. I didn’t realize when I started the book that Rhimes is the creator of one of my favorite shows, Grey’s Anatomy. That fact, plus the excellent writing and author narration made the book even more enjoyable.

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Soak up the rest of summer!

by Angela Pilkington on July 1st, 2016

summer16July is here, which means our Summer Reading Program –On Your Marks, Get Set, Read! is half over! With the program coming to an end July 31st, there is still plenty of time to sign up to get your reading done to earn great prizes and a chance for one of the grand prizes!

We also have a full line up of great programs coming up in July, here are a few of our bigger children’s events:

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The Adult Summer Reading Program is halfway over – but there’s still time to join in the fun!

by Beth Fisher on June 30th, 2016

July 1st is here!  That means we’re halfway through the 2016 Summer Reading Program. But you still have time to play along.

This year, participation is even easier – you can do it online or with a paper game-card available at any public service desk in the Library.   For people 18 and over, all you have to do is complete 5 activities.  You can read 5 books of your choosing, or use one of the suggestions on the came card or from a recommended list on the Summer Reading Program 2016 website

Some of the Reading List topics you’ll find on the SRP website:gooreads choice

  • Adventures on a Bike
  • Books Becoming Movies in 2016
  • Change your life one book at a time
  • Explore Iowa
  • Fiction Set in Iowa
  • Goodreads Choice Awards 2015: Best Fiction
  • If You Can’t Stand the Heat, Get Out Of The Kitchen – Grilling & Barbecue Cookbooks
  • NPR’s Book Concierge Best Biographies & Memoir 2015
  • Wanderlust – True Stories of Exploration and Adventure

NOTE:  Sorry, I can’t make a direct link into the Summer Reading Program website.  You have to log in to see the book list.  (And you want to, you really do!)
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Dave Hicks and Old Time Music

by Maeve Clark on June 30th, 2016

A good friend of the Iowa City Public Library passed away earlier this week.  Dave Hicks played music and told storiesdave hicks for many events at the library, often with with Guy Drollinger and Mike Haverkamp.   Dave, Mike and Guy played Civil War era music for a program on transcribing Civil War diaries at the University of Iowa Special Collections and they performed more recently at the 175th anniversary celebration of the founding of Iowa City.  Or come in a borrow a copy of Stones in the Field’s Come Singing, Come Dancing and listen Dave play the fiddle, flute, whistle, guitar, and bodhran.

Rocketing down to Lone Tree

by Stacey McKim on June 27th, 2016

We’re about halfway through this year’s summertime outreach, and I took my fourth trip to Lone Tree this morning.

The City of Lone Tree contracts with ICPL for library service, and the 4-H on Wheels group in Lone Tree’s North Park is a good place to find kids eager to check out books.

flightbooks2The students were still shooting paper rockets from various contraptions and measuring their results when I got there.  Knowing that flight was their topic this week, I brought about 30 books on that STEM subject as well as perennial favorites like Ripley’s Believe it or Not and some DIY creativity guides.  With a laptop and a wifi hotspot, I got everyone checked out from my pop-up library on a picnic table and then headed back to ICPL!

What Can You Do In An Hour at ICPL?

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on June 16th, 2016

My kids have art lessons every Wednesday afternoon, which means I have an hour to kill every week, as 60 minutes is too short to drive home (I don’t live in Iowa City), but too long to sit around and do nothing.

I suppose I could go grocery shopping, but but my life seems to be consumed by errands already. I wanted to do something fun!

It turns out 60 minutes is the perfect amount of time for a visit to the Library, especially when the first hour of parking is free in the Dubuque Street, Capitol Street and Tower Place parking garages, and the Court Street Transportation Center.hold-shelf-3

So what did I do during my hour?

I picked up a book waiting for me on the Hold Shelf, browsed the DVDs, grabbed a few CDs for my son, and talked to a friend I bumped into in the fiction stacks.

(She asked for a book recommendation. I suggested Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman and The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg.)

My visit ended with more than 20 minutes left of my free hour of parking, so I stopped by a coffee shop for an iced vanilla latte, which I enjoyed as I strolled to the parking garage.

Wednesdays are my new favorite day of the week.

On Air: Episode 18

by Bond Drager on June 2nd, 2016

Click here to get the episode!

The old gang is back together! Meredith, Brian, Jason, and Melody are chatting about books and travel – destinations they want to visit because of a book or places they’ve actually visited due to reading. They’re also talking about movie adaptations of popular books. Of course, they’ll share ideas of lots of other great books and materials to enjoy.

Books and Travel for Summertime


What we’re reading/watching/listening to

  • 00:41 Jason: The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss and Day of the Dead by Various Artists (distributed by 4ad)
  • 03:38 Brian: The Strumbellas
  • 06:50 Melody: Shattered by Kevin Hearne (Iron Druid Series)
  • 08:34 Meredith: Audiobooks from Digital Johnson County

Books and Travel (but not Travel Books!)

  • 12:30 Brian: The Road Headed West: a 6,000-Mile Cycling Odyssey through North America by Leon McCarron, Going Somewhere by Brian Benson, Life is a Wheel by Bruce Weber
  • 20:50 Jason: Sixpence House by Paul Collins
  • 25:05 Melody: Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs
  • 30:25 Meredith: Centennial TV Show/book, Road Food by Jane & Michael Stern

Book to Movie Adaptations

  • 33:45 Brian: Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
  • 37:50 Melody: Adaptation based on The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean
  • 39:20 Jason: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
  • 42:43 Meredith: Love Story by Erich Segal
  • 43:58 Brian: Room by Emma Donaghue

Checking out some bookmobiles

by Stacey McKim on May 27th, 2016

We knew a bookmobile could help us further expand library services beyond downtown, but some of us (including me) had never set foot in one!  Over the past year, ICPL staff members have visited several bookmobiles to get a feel for these moving libraries that fit DVDs, magazines, and books for all ages in the size of a bus.

Inside the Scott County Library System bookmobileI’ve been impressed by how bright and inviting bookmobiles can be. Some have cozy wooden shelves like the Ames Public Library’s, and others have modern-looking metal shelving that can be easily adjusted like one bookmobile we saw in the Chicago area.  Many use creative ways to keep small things like board books and music CDs from flying around while driving, some stagger materials for different ages so that taller people can browse behind children looking at the lower shelves, and they all do their best to maximize every last square inch in the space.  (If you like to daydream about tiny houses like me, here’s a variation!)

I had the pleasure of seeing the Scott County Library System’s bookmobile in Eldridge, Iowa last weekend.  Their two-year-old Bluebird-style bookmobile travels throughout the county to residential neighborhoods, parks, gas stations, a farmers market, a swimming pool, a shopping mall, and even a baseball diamond!  They enjoy being out on the road and getting to know the people at each stop.

scottco_bookmobileThis was a meeting of the Midwest Bookmobile Alliance, a group composed of mainly Iowa bookmobiles that includes the Antelope Lending Library, Scott County, Ames Public Library, and now us.  I received some great advice from Cassi and Braeden of the Antelope Lending Library and Cathy of Scott County about all the little details that go into organizing and operating a bookmobile.  We talked about back-up cameras, picking up holds on the bookmobile, climate control, tips for getting a bookmobile un-stuck in the snow, and much more, including Antelope‘s expanded summer schedule in Iowa City.  I shared my dream of broadcasting music from ICPL’s bookmobile like an ice cream truck, and Cathy said their old bookmobile did play calliope music!  Everyone hated it.  :)

We’re excited to be preparing for a mobile library branch that will get out to where you are!   Did you grow up with a bookmobile?  Share with us what you loved about it!

Overdrive Tips: Pick a Winner

by Brent Palmer on May 27th, 2016

Sometimes when I’ve just finished a book in Overdrive, I’m at a total loss for what to start next.  CaptureIf you are on the ball, you have been collecting titles in your wish list.  If not, here is one technique I often use: search for award winners.  To do this:

  1.  Click on “advanced search” in the upper right.
  2.  On the advanced search page, click the “all awards” drop down to pick the list.  I’ve been using “Notable Books for Adults” recently and found some things that I enjoyed.
  3.  You might also want to check the “show only items that are available to save some time

Good Luck!

Self-check user?

by Mary Estle-Smith on May 25th, 2016

If you are a self-check user you are in the majority of people who use the library to check out materials.  This year, Jan.-May 72% of items checked out have gone through the self-check machines.  This is an increase of about 1% from last year and 35% from the first year of use. We are on our 3rd or 4th generation of self-check equipment and each time it  becomes more intuitive and user friendly.  The newest one in the Children’s’ room even talks to you!

There are 4 stations on the 1st floor by the entrance/exit, 2 in the Children’s room, and 1 on the 2nd floor by the Info desk. The addition of these machines has made the experience of checking out materials so streamlined we have almost eliminated the sometimes very long lines that those of us who have been around here forever remember not so fondly.

Currently you can renew materials, see and pay fines as well as check out items.  If you are interested in learning to use them, staff at any of the service desks would be happy to provide assistance.

Try them out sometime,  they are pretty slick!




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