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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.

My Reading History @ Your Library

by Kara Logsden on November 24th, 2014
My Reading History @ Your Library Cover Image

There’s an awesome user feature in our online Catalog called “My Reading History.” “My Reading History” will keep track of every physical item you have checked out from the Library. It will also eMail the list to you. This feature is available to everyone but you must turn the feature on before it will begin tracking items checked out.

To activate “My Reading History,” login to your online account at catalog.icpl.org and click on “Reading History.”  If you don’t have a password, or don’t remember your password, please give us a call during Library hours or stop by the Help Desk and we’ll set one up for you.2014 11 my reading hist

Once you’ve logged in to the Catalog and selected “My Reading History,” there is a toggle button to Opt In or Opt Out. The default is for accounts to be set-up to “Opt Out” so you must choose “Opt In” for the system to begin tracking your checkouts.

I enjoy browsing through “My Reading History” because it’s a walk down memory lane. Some titles bring back memories of learning to draw with my children (Ed Emberley books are great for this) and favorite books while others remind me about planning a vacation, craft projects and driving in blizzards. I’ve used this feature for nearly 10 years so I have quite a long memory lane cataloged there.

We often get questions about “My Reading History” so here’s the fine print if you have questions or concerns:

Library Staff may not access these lists so they are completely private.  It is up to you to activate this feature IF you want the catalog to keep track of the physical items you check out.

If you checked out something you don’t want to keep track of, you can delete the item from your list.

You can choose to Opt Out any time and opt back in later if you choose to.

My Reading History does not track any eMaterials checked out on other webpages like OverDrive and Zinio.

If an item is withdrawn from our collection, it no longer appears in My Reading History.

Some patrons come in hopeful that we track their circulation over time – this usually happens when they can’t remember a book they checked out. We don’t track specific items checked out because of privacy issues. IF the patron turned on My Reading History, the record will be there once they login to their Library Account. In most cases, though, they have not turned this feature on and so the information is not available.

If you wish to Opt In to “My Reading History” and need help, please stop by or give us a call. It’s a nice feature for those who are interested in keeping track of materials checked out over time.

New Self Checkouts @ Your Library

by Kara Logsden on November 18th, 2014

2014 11 New Self CheckoutThis week we rolled out new Self Checkout machines. The six new Self Checkout stations may be found on the First Floor near the entrance and in the Children’s Room and on the Second Floor near the Reference Desk.

This project is a culmination of months of behind the scenes work by Library staff and completes a Strategic Plan goal to “Upgrade checkout equipment to provide more efficient service.”

Highlights of the new equipment include a bigger, more responsive screen and new DVD Unlockers that give a GREEN LIGHT indication when the DVD has been unlocked. They also feature new credit card payment terminals that are easy to use and assure PCI Compliance for transactions.

A new feature is a “smart” barcode reader that reads barcodes on smart phone screens. We’ve received many requests for this feature and know our patrons will appreciate this enhancement. The scanner works with pictures of Library Cards on the smart phones or through barcodes generated by third-party apps such as CardStar.

Another option in response to patron requests is the ability to choose no receipt, a printed receipt, or an eMail receipt. We can only send an eMail receipt if we have a valid eMail address in the patron’s record. If you wish to add an eMail address to your account, please give us a call or stop by the Help Desk.

As with many technology upgrades we are still working through a couple issues. The Self Checkout software is not communicating with our system to give information about holds in the queue. Patrons will be notified when a hold is ready for pickup but at this time we are unable to show holds at the Self Checkout stations. If you need help with holds, please go to a public service desk.

Nearly 70% of our checkouts run through the Library’s Self Checkout stations so it is a critical tool for us to serve our community. We are delighted with the new product and the improvements the technology brings. While we offer the option of Self Checkout, please remember staff are just a couple steps away if you need help or prefer for staff to check out materials for you.

Your Favorite Book On Display

by Stacey McKim on November 17th, 2014

WeirdWonderfulStaff members at ICPL enjoy recommending our favorite books year-round.  Now, it’s your turn!

Participate in the interactive “Take a Favorite – Leave a Favorite” display on the 1st floor during the month of November.  When you decide to check out one of the books on the display, you may fill that empty spot with your own favorite.  Write a note about why it is such a great book, and enjoy the thrill of knowing that you passed on your favorite to someone new!

YoursAndMine1

ICPL Bags @ Your Library

by Kara Logsden on November 12th, 2014

Bags editedAt the Library we try to be as green as possible.  One way we do this is by promoting the use of reusable bags to carry home Library materials.  The Library sells two different bags at the Help Desk.  Both types of bags hold a lot of materials and can be easily folded down to a small size when not being used.

The blue bags feature two handles and light-weight material.  They sell for $1 each and sport a great message:  “Read More Books: It’s good for you!”  We’ve also had people purchase these to serve as gift bags – another green idea.

The canvas bags feature one over-the-shoulder strap.  They sell for $9 and carry a message that can be interpreted in many ways:

Read Books

Eat Food

Read Food

Eat Books

The graphic encourages the imagination and deeper thought into the message.  Regardless of how you interpret the message, it’s a fun bag to carry home lots of great Library materials.  I also know from personal experience that these bags can be tossed into the washing machine for easy cleaning.

If you are looking for other ways to reduce your use of plastic bags, check out the Iowa City Landfill/100 Grannies display on the first floor, through December 10, that shares many ideas for alternatives to plastic bags.

Changes to ICPL’s Express collections make more popular titles available

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on November 5th, 2014

Changes to the Iowa City Public Library’s Express collection means more popular titles on the Express shelves.ExpressShelf-SocialMedia

The Library’s Express collection is comprised of popular fiction, non-fiction, and DVD titles. Collection Services Coordinator Anne Mangano says these are the items staff knows will be highly circulated or have received a lot of attention in the media.

Items in the Express collection have a shorter check out time (two weeks for books, two days for DVDs) and can’t be renewed. The Library has anywhere from 200 to 400 titles in the Express collection at a given time.

“It’s always a great place to go and look for the title you just heard about,” Mangano said.

Mangano also points out that while most popular titles come with a long holds list, holds can’t be placed on Express items. That means there’s always the chance that the book or DVD a patron wants is available on the Express shelf.

“Anytime you visit the Library, the Express collection is a great place to start,” Mangano said. “I like to call it the serendipity collection because you never know what will be available.”

For more information, please call the Library at (319) 356-5200.

Remote Book Returns @ Your Library

by Kara Logsden on November 5th, 2014

Did you know the Library has two remote book returns available for returning most materials to the Library?  This is in addition to the outside book return located along Linn Street near the staff entrance to the Library.  All outside bo2014 10 23 return booksok returns are available 24 hours a day and are a convenient way to return Library materials.  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.

There are 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).  More information is available here on the Library’s webpage.  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.

Four times a year we count the number of items returned through the Library’s remote book returns so we have an idea of the level of service they are providing.  During the week of October 12-18, 2014, 15.6% of all items returned to the Library were returned through the two remote book returns.

Remote books returns are one of the many conveniences that make the Library easy to use.  If you have questions, please give us a call at 319-356-5200 during Library hours or contact us through our “Ask a Librarian” link.

On Air: The ICPL Podcast – Episode 5

by Bond Drager on November 4th, 2014

Get the podcast here or from iTunes or Stitcher

Episode 5: “Favorite Picture Books & The Book Genre Dating Game”
01:15 Brian talks the TV show Arrow
02:26 Jen is watching Inspector Lewis
04:00 Jason is listening to the new Caribou album
06:30 Meredith is watching The Walking Dead and reading This is Where I Leave You
07:52 It’s National Picture Book Month so the staff are recommending both old and new favorites.
Old favorites: Jen shares Just Grandma and Me by Mercer Mayer, Brian likes Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina, Jason loves the Berenstein Bears series, and Meredith likes the Eloise series by Kay Thompson.
New favorites: Jason recommends Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers, Brian likes Warning: Do Not Open This Book! by Adam Lehrhaupt, Jen shares The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson, and Meredith is a fan of The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers.
30:39 It’s the Book Genre Dating Game – Jen will ask the other panelists questions and they will answer as the book genre of their choice. At the end Jen promises to choose one and read a recommended book!

Meeting Rooms @ Your Library

by Kara Logsden on October 30th, 2014

2014 meeting roomThe Library offers five meetings rooms for community groups to use.  Library meetings rooms are a busy community resource.  In FY14 the Library hosted 1,508 community meetings in its meeting rooms.  This is in addition to a very busy schedule of Library programs held in the meeting rooms.

According to Library Board Policy, “The purpose of the Library’s meeting rooms is to provide space for library programs and community events, to fulfill the Library’s role as a community center, where the public can attend informational, educational, cultural events and to champion the principle of intellectual freedom by providing a forum for the free exchange of ideas.”

The Library’s meeting rooms are designed to host small groups as well as large community gatherings.  There are eligibility requirements for using the rooms.  Groups using the rooms must be a non-profit corporation, candidate campaign committee, political committee, governmental subdivision or non-profit citizens group.  Groups who do not meet these guidelines are encouraged to use the Library’s study rooms on the 2nd floor or check out a list of alternative meeting room sites in the community.

We recently updated our webpage with information about Library meeting rooms.  You can see more information here.  Groups are welcome to reserve meeting rooms online or call the Library at 319-356-5200 for staff assistance.

 

Art Purchase Prize winners

by Candice Smith on October 17th, 2014

The final round of judging for the 2014 Art Purchase Prize took place on Tuesday, and seven new works of original art were selected.

The winning pieces and artists are: Buffalo Bill, duct tape on wood, artist Jaimie Tucker; Champagne, digital rendered 3d art, artist Jared Williams; Girl In Aqua Top, oil on canvas, artist Bekah Ash; Magma Carta, color lithograph, artist Amanda Johnson; Raven and Untitled, monoprint, artist Cheryl Graham; and Untitled, charcoal, artist Maureen Jennings.

The new artworks will be on display on the North Wall of the second floor during the months of December and January, and then they will go into the Art To Go collection of circulating art. Patrons may place holds on the art while they are on display.

Congratulations to the winners, and many thanks to all artists who participated in this year’s contest. The Art Purchase Prize is an annual contest to purchase original art by local artists, and is funded by gifts from the Library Board and the Library Friends Foundation.

Buffalo Bill2014   Champagne2014    Girl In Aqua Top2014  Magma Carta2014 Raven2014      Untitled2014b     Untitled2014




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