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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.

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ICPL Tech Help Special Event

by Brent Palmer on December 30th, 2014

Often patrons are surprised to find out that we offer free “Tech Help” sessions every week at the library.  This is a great place to learn how to do something new with your laptop or figure out some feature on your new tablet.  We get all levels of users from people who are trying to learn how to use the mouse for the first time to others who need help with editing a video.  We get a large variety of questions in Drop In Tech Help.

For example, One of our regulars has been working on scanning family photographs going back for years.  She drops in regularly with her box of photos and a thumb drive and has patiently worked through her whole stack.  Periodically she gets stuck or needs help modifying a photo.

Other users have one or two quick questions. One user had trouble finding the flashlight app on his phone.

Sometimes we help people fill out job applications.  If you have never used a computer before it can be intimidating to figure out how to open a browser, much less navigate the multiple steps it takes to first find the online application, register for the site and fill out multiple forms.

One of our users needed help submitting her poems to an online poetry competition.

Another asked for help uploading songs to BandCamp, an online music sharing site.

One of the most common tasks is to help people set up their mobile devices to use our e-Books, e-audiobooks and e-magazines.  These services are pretty user-friendly, but those initials steps can be tricky.  We will be glad to get you started.

Periodically, we get requests to fix a laptop or other device.  Unfortunately we can’t help with requests to repair hardware problems.  For some software problems involving virus or malware removal, we can’t fix them for you, but we usually try to suggest some software for tackling the problem and will even help you get it installed and configured.

In January, we are hosting some special Saturday Editions of ICPL Tech Help.  If you got a new gadget over the Holidays that’s got you perplexed, bring your questions and the gadget down to the Library and we will try to help.  We hope to see you there.

Saturday, January 10 and January 17, 2015
10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
ICPL Computer Lab

 

 

OH NO I returned my library book to the wrong library!

by Kara Logsden on December 22nd, 2014

2014 12 22 oa returns YESEvery day we receive materials returned to Iowa City Public Library that are owned by other libraries. We often receive items from the Iowa City Community School District, UI Libraries and other local libraries. Fortunately we have a good routine in place to return these materials.

As a part of the State Library’s Open Access program, participating libraries around the state routinely mail books back to the owning library. This is also tied to the service where people who live in a community that supports a public library may get a library card and check out books from public libraries in other communities. The formal system to return books is a great deal for all libraries because it means our materials are routinely mailed back to us.

Because not all materials are eligible for return in the mail, patrons who wish to return items to other libraries for mail return should check ahead of time to assure it is something that can be mailed. Materials that are not eligible for mail return are often high-demand collections and mail return means the items are not available to other people while they are “in transit.” Because of this, libraries ask patrons to return these items directly to the library where the materials were borrowed.

Trivia question: Which library do we return the most items to? Choice are:

a. Weber Elementary Library

b. Coralville Public Library

c. North Liberty Community Library

d. Cedar Rapids Public Library

e. University of Iowa Libraries

Feel free to record your choice in the comments box below this post.

The next time you accidentally return your book to Iowa City Public Library that is owned by another library, rest assured the book will find its way home. Feel free to give us a call to check, but chances are it’s already in the mail :)

On Air: The ICPL Podcast – Episode 7

by Bond Drager on December 18th, 2014

Get the podcast here or from iTunes or Stitcher

This month we’re talking about 2014 Year End! Do we really need another best of list? Sure! We also talk about things we started watching or reading but just couldn’t get into, and reading resolutions for 2015.

Top picks for 2014 Books, Movies and Music:
00:55 Brian talks about Andrew Smith’s books 100 Sideways Miles and Grasshopper Jungle
06:46 Jason loves Bob’s Burgers and Owen Pallett’s album In Conflict
14:44 Melody talks Best Essays. Her top five of the year are Loitering by Charles D’Ambrasio, Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan, Young Widower by John Evans, and honorable mentions for True Stories, Well Told and Happiness: Ten Years of n+1.
18:52 Reluctant Reads and Watches
19:38 Brian brings on a lively discussion about Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and why we should always start with season 2
29:52 Jason talks Neil Gaiman’s American Gods
36:10 Meredith’s choices are Grapes of Wrath and Da Vinci Code, plus Jason mentions Moby Dick and Brian never got around to reading Catch 22.
40:12 The group shares their Reading Resolutions for 2015

Teen Center Tech Hours, Winter Break Edition

by Ella Von Holtum on December 16th, 2014

GOTG-posterGetting ready for a break from school? Me too! The Teen Center tech times will be expanded over the next two weeks, and we even have some special events planned. Get the rundown below:

 

Monday  12/22:  1:00  -  8:00 pm

Tuesday  12/23:  1:00  -  8:00 pm

Wednesday  12/24:  1:00  -  4:00 pm

Thursday  12/25:  CLOSED

Friday  12/26:  1:00  -  6:00 pm

——-

Monday  12/29:  1:00  -  8:00 pm

Tuesday  12/30:  1:00  -  8:00 pm

(Super-special Tuesday event: Super Smash Bros video game tournament on the Wii U, 2-4pm)

Wednesday  12/31:  1:00  -  5:00 pm

(Super-special Wednesday event: watch Guardians of the Galaxy and eat popcorn with us, 2-4pm)

Thursday  1/1:  CLOSED

Friday  1/2:  1:00  -  8:00 pm

Saturday  1/3:  1:00  -  6:00 pm

Volunteer Spotlight: Emily Nelson

by Stacey McKim on December 15th, 2014

We asked volunteer Emily Nelson a few questions for this “Volunteer Spotlight:”

EmilyNelsonHow long have you been volunteering at the Iowa City Public Library?
I have been volunteering for about 11 years.

What do you do at the Library?
I check in books and prepare them for reshelving. I also perform other tasks as needed.

Why did you decide to volunteer at the Library?
I’ve loved libraries since I was little. I worked at the Truman State University library while I was a student. When I moved to the Iowa City area, I missed being in a library environment and was seeking a volunteering opportunity, so this was perfect.

What is your favorite part of the collection?
All of it! It depends on the day.

What else do you like to do?
Anything outdoors. I love to bike and am a 13-year RAGBRAI veteran. I also love to run and have gotten into triathlons in the last few years. My husband and I love to travel – especially when it involves hiking in national parks. Obviously, I love reading, but I also really enjoy watching movies.

Thank you, Emily, 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.

Why is the Library closed on Friday?

by Kara Logsden on December 10th, 2014

business_closed_sign_pageEvery year the Library closes on the second Friday in December for Staff Inservice Day. This is a day for staff to retreat, honor co-workers for years of service, and invest time in learning. We strongly believe this opportunity for training results in better overall services to our community through learning and team building.

My first day working at the Library sixteen years ago was Staff Inservice Day. I liked that I was moving to an organization that invested in staff and felt strongly about life-long learning and team building. That certainly remains a big part of the culture of working at the Library.

We recognize staff for years of service awards in five year intervals. This year we will recognize seven Library employees for years of service. These staff members alone represent 85 years of service to the community and individual milestones range from 5 years to 30 years of service.

Our overall theme for Inservice Day is User Experience. Our keynote speaker is Aaron Schmidt who is a principal at Influx Library User Experience Consulting. Through Schmidt’s guidance we’ll look at user experience and how we can improve the Library’s websites, programs, and services.

Last year’s theme was 21st Century Skills. These include critical thinking, problem solving, communication, flexibility, adaptability, creativity and innovation, global awareness, teamwork, interpersonal skills, technology literacy, media literacy, listening and assessment. Over the past year we’ve worked on our 21st Century Skills as individual staff and tried to incorporate opportunities for learning these skills into our collections, classes and programs.

Many thanks to our patrons for your understanding as we close for a day to invest in our staff and plan for how we can improve service to our community. Regular Library hours will resume on Saturday Saturday December 13.

Little Dutch Boy Game

by Brent Palmer on November 30th, 2014

If you have kids that regularly visit the Ellen Buchanan Children’s Room, then you have probably met Mabel the Table.  This is a large interactive touch table that immediately draws kids’ attention.  The library has been a long-time host of Coder Dojo Iowa City, the local chapterdutchboy of an international movement to teach and inspire kids in the vocation of computer programming.  Young programmers in this dojo collaboratively designed and built a custom game called Little Dutch Boy that is only found on Mabel the Table.  The game is a race against time as a dike holding back water is starting to fill with holes.  Players around the table try to plug as many holes as they can with their fingers before the water gets too high. I hope you have a chance to try it out next time you are at the library.  The kids of Coder Dojo did a wonderful job of working together to contribute a cool new custom app for our table.  If you are a game designer or involved in a developer group and want to help us improve these games or create new ones, please contact me at the library

On Air: The ICPL Podcast – Episode 6

by Bond Drager on November 26th, 2014

Get the podcast here or from iTunes or Stitcher

Episode 6: “How to Survive the Holidays Using Library Resources”
00:52 What we’re reading/watching/listening to Brian – My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories – Edited and with a story by Stephanie Perkins
02:17 Jason – The Secret Place by Tana French, and Veep
04:51 Melody – Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive
06:50 Meredith – Habibi by Craig Thompson
08:53 How to Survive the Holidays with Library Resources
09:58 Melody (Stimulating conversations) – What to Talk About: on a plane, at a cocktail party, in a tiny elevator with your boss’s boss by Chris Colin and Rob Baedeker, National Geographic’s Extreme Weather Survival Guide, History Books, including Ada’s Algorithm by James Essinger, Digging for Richard III by Mike Pitts, The Roman Guide to Slave Management by Jerry Toner The Brewer’s Tale by William Bostwick, Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments by Ali Almossawi
17:19 Jason (Music You Won’t Hate) – Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics, David Bowie Nothing Has Changed, Queen – Forever, Paul McCartney – Wings Over America, Wilco – What’s Your Twenty, Now That’s What I Call Music
24:03 Brian (Movies to Watch at a Family Gathering) – Hundred Foot Journey, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Begin Again, Bend It Like Beckham, Million Dollar Arm, Maleficent, King’s Speech, Saving Mr. Banks, Jersey Boys
32:43 Meredith (Menus for Guests with Dietary Considerations) – Gluten Free & Vegan Bread by Jennifer Katzinger, Eating Well Fast and Flavorful Meatless Meals by Jessie Price & the EatingWell Test Kitchen, Vegan desserts by Hannah Kaminsky, How to Cook a Turkey by the editors of Fine Cooking Magazine
37:57 Melody – ICPL’s Online Magazine Collection – Guess the Magazine by the Headline

Support Your LIbrary

by Susan Craig on November 24th, 2014

It’s that time of year. Every day your mailboxes (physical and virtual) have new appeals for worthy causes, and the Library is asking for your support as well. If you haven’t seen the annual report of the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation, please look it over. The Library receives good tax funding, but the Foundation gifts allow us to move from great to fantastic which is what we want you to think your library is.

Last year Foundation gifts to the Library paid more than half the cost of our building renovations, purchased library materials for all ages, supported huge growth in our Summer Reading Program (allowing us to continue to provide books to participants — see p. 8 of the annual report for a heartwarming story), supported programs, and improved technology.

You can give online or by mail (make checks payable to the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation). You also support the Library through your purchases at the Arts & Crafts Bazaar (Saturday, December 6, 10-3) at special book sales (same day) or at The Book End.

At this time of year I am thankful for a great public library.  What would our community be without it?  Please consider a gift today.




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