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Accio J.K. Rowling: Video Volunteers Needed

by Morgan Reeves on March 5th, 2015
Accio J.K. Rowling: Video Volunteers Needed Cover Image

Do you love the magic and mystery of Harry Potter? Did you find something to think about in The Casual Vacancy? Have you found a new detective sleuth along with in Cormoran Strike? Would you like to help bring J.K. Rowling in Iowa City next year? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, stop by the library’s letter writing display this Thursday, the 5th, between 11:30am and 1pm or next Monday, the 9th, between 11am and 12:30pm to tell her about it.  We will be videotaping the thoughts of library patrons and staff in order to put together a video letter asking Ms. Rowling to visit Iowa City next year. Please come by and share your thoughts and enthusiasm!

Bonus: If all the excitement has piqued your interest in Rowling, why not learn more about you favorite author from one of our biographies about her life. Our newest title for children is Who is J. K. Rowling? by Pam Pollack and Meg Belviso.

Remote Book Returns @ Your Library

by Kara Logsden on March 3rd, 2015

Can’t make it Downtown to return your Library materials? Never fear – remote book returns are here!2015 03 Book Return

Many community members utilize the Library’s two remote book returns – our recent quarterly count of materials returned shows 14% of all items returned to the Library February 23rd through March 1st came through the remote book returns. This compares to 15.6% in our count last fall.

The Library maintains two remote book returns in Iowa City – one on the east side at the First Avenue HyVee Pharmacy Drive-through and one on the west side at the Mormon Trek University of Iowa Community Credit Union Drive-through (far right lane).  These book returns are in addition to the outside book return located along Linn Street near the staff entrance to the Library.

Items returned at the remote book returns must be in the box by 1:00 PM each day or the item is considered returned the next day. Book returns are emptied 365 days a year and items picked up on holidays are checked in the next day the Library is open. Some materials, such as audiovisual equipment and oversize items that do not fit into the book returns, must be returned to the Help Desk during regular Library hours.

If you have questions about returning Library materials, please give us a call or stop by the Help Desk on the Library’s first floor.

Overdrive Tips: Two Accounts

by Brent Palmer on February 27th, 2015

In case you are new to our eBook and eAudio service called Overdrive, you may want to get help from us to get things set up for the first time.  One of the confusing aspects of setting it up is the fact that there are two accounts that you need to use.  One is your ICPL Account.  This account corresponds to your library card number and allows you to check out books from our eBook and eAudioBook collection in Overdrive.  The second account is an “Overdrive Account” and serves as a way for Overdrive to keep track of who has what items digitally checked out and when the loan period is over.  Previously patrons used an Adobe ID for this purpose.  Both still work but the Overdrive Account gives you extra features which I outline below.

It is often confusing for new users to understand the difference during the setup process.  The first time you set up the Overdrive Media Console (OMC) on a device, it prompts you to sign in or register.  This is the Overdrive Account and you can register by supplying an email address and picking a password.  (Note: you may also use your Facebook account instead of an email address).

Later in the process, after you have specified ICPL as your library, you will have to sign in again using your library card barcode number and password. In both cases, after you sign in the first time, it will typically remember your passwords for both accounts.

The Overdrive Account has some features that some of you may take advantage of.  If you have several devices that you use for eBooks or eAudioBook, the Overdrive account will sync your progress and bookmarks between your different devices.  For example, if you listen to the same eAudioBook at home on an iPad and also on your Android phone on the way to home from work, it will keep track of where you are on both devices.  However, please note that you do have to actually download the eAudioBook to both devices;  In other words, it doesn’t automatically push your checkouts to all your devices.

Another “gotcha” to watch out for:  If you have set one device up with an Adobe ID and another device with an Overdrive Account, things can get wonky.  You may not be able to download an eBook to both devices.  We recommend using your Overdrive Account with all devices set up with a library card.  As always, feel free to call the library for help with sorting out problems with Overdrive.  Or even better, bring your device(s) down to our Drop-In Tech Help.  Here are some links you may find helpful:

More about OverDrive Account

More info on “syncing” your devices

Managing your devices

On Air – The ICPL Podcast: Episode 9

by Bond Drager on February 26th, 2015

Get the podcast here or from iTunes or Stitcher

This month’s very special episode is an interview with the staff of City of Literature: John Kenyon and Rachael Carlson. They’ll talk about books, reading, and writing in Iowa City and what their organization does. They also talk about the upcoming One Book Two Book Festival. More information on that can be found here: http://www.onebooktwobook.org/

Volunteer Spotlight: Jeanette Carter

by Stacey McKim on February 25th, 2015

Jeanette Carter is one of two library volunteers who will be honored for reaching a 1,500 hour milestone at this year’s Volunteer Recognition Event. We asked Jeanette a few questions for this “Volunteer Spotlight:”

How long have you been volunteering at the Iowa City Public Library?
I have been volunteering since I quit working at the library in 2003.  [Jeanette was a senior librarian in the library's Reference Department.]

What do you do at the Library?Local News Index
I have two volunteer jobs. I work 2 hours a week at the Book End, and for book sales. I also index the Press-Citizen microfilm retroactively, and am now on 1962. Both jobs are enjoyable.

[Go to icpl.org/newspaper and benefit from Jeanette’s work when you use the Local News Index!]

Why did you decide to volunteer at the Library?
When I was working at the library I knew how valuable the many volunteer jobs were. I wanted to contribute to this effort and support the library.

What is your favorite part of the collection?
I enjoy mysteries, biographies and always take recorded books on long car trips.

What else do you like to do?
Cooking and gardening are my favorite hobbies. I also enjoy visiting grandchildren, who live a long ways off, so I don’t get to see them very often.

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

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

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.

 




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