This 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.
Staff 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!
At 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:
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.
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.
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.
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 book 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.
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!
The 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.”
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.
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.
Saturday, October 25th marks our annual Popo’s Puppet Festival. Joining us this year along with our favorite clown, Popo, are Jester Puppets and a rendition of Bony Legs by Buffy Quintero. Bony Legs also known as Baba Yaga, follows little Sasha as she goes to borrow a needle and thread from her witch of a neighbor. Will Sasha find a way to escape the horrifying Baba Yaga before she gets made into dinner? Stop by the library from 10-12 to find out and for other wonderfully creepy and fun shows for the entire family to enjoy.
As the holiday approaches and our collection of jHoliday books begins to dwindle keep the following titles in mind for spooky reading
Brown: A Dark, Dark Tale, Chaperon: Eerie Dearies, Cole: Bony Legs, Cyrus: Your Skeleton is Showing, Ehlert: Boo to You!, Gorey: The Gashlycrumb Tinies, Idle:Zombelina, Kohara: Ghosts in the House & The Midnight Library, Rohmann: Pumpkinhead, Schwartz: A Dark, Dark Room, Van Allsburg: The Witch’s Broom, Wilson, Who Goes There?
For more spooky titles outside of the Halloween collection, stop by the children’s department!
Need a good book to read? Join our library director Susan for some wonderful book recommendations taken from the All Iowa Reads list.
This year’s author, Thomas Maltman, visited ICPL recently. A video of that talk is here: http://video.icpl.org/maltman