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Sensory Storytime Kits available at ICPL

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 1st, 2015

The Iowa City Public Library recently received a grant from the Pilot Club of Iowa City to fund the creation of four Sensory Storytime Kits.SensoryKitCheckout

Designed to make storytimes accessible and enjoyable for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, sensory disorders, or other special needs, the kits include books, props, music CDs, puppets, flannel boards, fidget toys, and information on presenting Sensory Storytimes.

Patrons can choose from Good Morning, Good Night; Teeth!; What’s the Weather?; and Pick a Pet,. Kids will enjoy getting a monkey all dressed for his day; brushing giant teeth; matching clothes to the weather; or voting on which pet to choose.

While the kits were created with a specific audience in mind, they are available for all patrons to check out. The Sensory Storytime Kits are shelved in the Storytime Kit collection in the Children’s Room.

For more information, contact the Library at (319) 356-5200.sens

Overdrive Tips: Checking Items Out From the Catalog

by Brent Palmer on March 31st, 2015

You can check items out and place holds on eBooks and audio books directly from out catalog.

Many of you enjoy the convenience of our “paging” service for traditional items like books, videos and other resources.  You can request the item from the catalog and then stop by the library when it’s more convenient to pick it up.  We have that functionality for eBooks and eAudioBooks too.  While searching through our catalog, you may happen upon an eBook that you would like to read.  Or perhaps the book you are looking for is only available in an electronic format.  You can either reserve or check the item out without having to go through the steps to open up the Overdrive app on your mobile device, log in to your account and find it again.  It will just show up on your online bookshelf the next time you use Overdrive.

Although this is an added convenience, it can also lead to confusion.  There isn’t at this time a way to automatically download the item right from the catalog.  For users who have not set themselves up on our Overdrive service, this can be confusing: “I checked it out, so where is it?”  This is just due to current limitations in the technology for eBook platforms.  We hope that in the future you will be able to push the item right to your device.

ICPL celebrates Drop Everything and Read in April

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on March 31st, 2015

April is D.E.A.R. (Drop Everything and Read) Month and we plan to celebrate by sharing pictures of Library staff dropping everything to read.

D.E.A.R. is the acronym beloved children’s author Beverly Cleary penned in Ramona Quimby, Age 8. In this story, Ramona’s third grade teacher, Mrs. Whaley, tells the students they will have Sustained Silent Reading every day after lunch, during which children could read whatever they want without having to write a book report. To make Sustained Silent Reading sound more fun, Mrs. Whaley decided to call it D.E.A.R.

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 was published in 1981. Since then, Drop Everything and Read promotions have been held on April 12 in honor of Beverly Cleary’s birthday, but HarperCollins Publishers decided to extend the fun, and the reading, by making D.E.A.R. a month-long celebration.

How will you celebrate?

Visit http://www.dropeverythingandread.com/ for more information, resources and other information – and don’t forget to check out ICPL’s D.E.A.R. photos on Facebook, twitter, and Instagram.

New Games in the Teen Center

by Ella Von Holtum on March 26th, 2015

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We’ve just received a fresh batch of card and dice games for the Koza Family Teen Center!

I’ve never played Get Bit! Deluxe or Bang! The Dice Game, but I’m looking forward to trying them out. Get Bit! is all about being a swimmer escaping a hungry shark, and includes little action figures with removable limbs, a shark, and a deck of cards. It takes about 20 minutes to play, and 3-6 people can play against one another, using bluffing and strategy to play the cards that will get them farthest from the pursuing shark. Bang! The Dice Game takes place on dry land, in the Wild West in fact. 3-8 people can play as the Sheriff, a Deputy, an Outlaw, or a Renegade. The game takes about 15 minutes to play one round, rolling dice with each turn and choosing who to attack. A little bit of luck and you’ll be the one to survive the game.

I have, however, enjoyed many a game of Bohnanza. It sounds a little silly, but it’s a highly-rated, fast and fun game. 2-7 people can play, each assuming the role of a bean farmer. There are 11 types of beans in the game, and each player starts with two bean fields. Each field can only grow one type of bean at a time, and the goal is to make as many sets of the most valuable beans as possible before the cards run out. Each time you harvest a set of beans you can plant whatever you want next, but you are constrained by the order of the cards in your hand – you’re not allowed to re-order your hand, and you must play the first two cards each turn. Players have a chance to make deals with each other on their turns, bargaining and trading cards with one another. But you want to be careful – you might get a good card in a trade, but your opponent might get just what they need to win! Bohnanza takes about 45 minutes to play, and it’s a blast.

Check out all the games in the Teen Center any weekday after 3pm or Saturday from 1-5!

On Air – The ICPL Podcast: Episode 10

by Bond Drager on March 24th, 2015

Get the podcast here or from iTunes or Stitcher

“Great Movies that Didn’t Win Oscars, and Jen’s Dating Game Results”

This month the gang discusses Great Movies that Didn’t Win Oscars plus Jen is back with follow up on how her Blind Date with a Book went.

00:41:What we’re reading/watching/listening to Jen: Anna & the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
01:19 Brian – The Martian by Andy Weir
03:21 Melody – Tim Johnston’s Descent
04:41 Jason – Louise Penny
6:02 Melody Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Appetite for Reduction
06:40 Meredith – Maeve Binchy’s new biography
08:35 Great Movies that Didn’t Win Oscars
09:10 Brian – LA Confidential loses to Titanic
14:35 Jason – Movie Scores – Psycho
19:25 Melody – Bechdel Test Movies – A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night/Before Midnight
26:27 Jen – Sense and Sensibility
28:03 Meredith – Shawshank Redemption
30:17 Brian – Short Term 12
32:39 Jason – Last of the Mohicans
36:53 Jen – The Descendants
41:37 Jen’s Dating Game Follow Up – The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Video Staff Picks: March 2015 – Music, Quick Reads, and More

by Bond Drager on March 23rd, 2015

This month we share a musician who will be performing at the upcoming Mission Creek Festival, a quick read, a mystery, and a book Maeve describes as a “Gateway from fiction to nonfiction.” Enjoy!

Blind Date With a Book

by Stacey McKim on March 16th, 2015

Our first year of playing matchmaker with you and a Blind Date With a Book was so much fun. We set you up with over 200 books in February and loved hearing how 71 of those dates went on your returned Rate Your Date slips. Congratulations to Katharine Thompson, the winner of a box of chocolates courtesy of Aspen Leaf & Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory!

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Library staff were interested to see what people thought of their selections, and some of us (ahem, Meredith) might have gotten a little bit competitive about it… You can see the mix of reactions to some of the books I picked here. Not every book was a good match, so we want to thank all the intrepid readers who gave it a try!

If you missed this display, remember that you can step outside of your regular reading routine anytime by taking a book from the Recently Returned shelves or wandering into a section that you might not normally visit. Library staff members are always willing to offer a suggestion, too.

Did you check out a Blind Date book? What did you think? What would you want to see different in next year’s display?

Share your photograph, tell our story.

by Candice Smith on March 7th, 2015

schoolIt’s said that a photograph is worth a thousand words. Photographs can document and show an event, they can convey an idea, they can explain a thought. They can preserve a moment and tell the story that goes with it.

ICPL wants your photographs and your words. We want your stories.

Join us on Saturday, May 9 from 2-5 pm in Meeting Room A for ScanIt@ICPL–Local History, part of the Library’s Weber Days events.

Bring in your photos, letters, documents, and other items related to the history of Iowa City and Johnson county. Share your items and tell the stories that go with them — stories about the people, places, events, and things that are part of our past, but also part of who we are now. Help the Library build a resource about and for our community — help us tell our story.

We will help you scan your items, and then send you home with your originals plus digital copies of them (you can supply your own USB, or we can send you the copies in an email). If you have questions about what you can bring in, or if you’d like to schedule a specific time (not necessary — drop-ins are welcome!), contact Candice Smith at csmith@icpl.org or 319-887-6031.

Check out our Digital History Project, then become part of it.

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.




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