Pick Up Holds and ILLs at the Bookmobile!

by Kara Logsden on December 1st, 2017

Picking up Holds and Inter-Library Loans is easy at the Bookmobile! When you place your request, indicate where you want to pick-up your item – Downtown Library or Bookmobile. We’ll let you know when your item is ready for pick-up.

For more information, check out this fun video created by our awesome staff.

When the Bookmobile is not in service Friday through Sunday, Holds and ILLs are available for pick-up at the Help Desk.

For a full schedule of Bookmobile stops, navigate to icpl.org/bookmobile. Information about the Winter/Spring schedule, which begins on Monday January 8, 2018, will be available soon.

Try Our Digital Magazines

by Brent Palmer on November 28th, 2017

If you haven’t yet tried ICPL’s digital Magazine service, I encourage you to give it a shot, especially if you regularly read magazines.  Here is a short guide with answers to your questions about using this amazing service and how to get started: Read the rest of this entry »

Cozy Up with ICPL Apparel

by Patty McCarthy on November 28th, 2017

Winter’s cold really will come one of these days. Right? When it does you can be ready by making a purchase now to stay warm in ICPL style and help the ICPL!

Here’s the deal: between now and midnight on December 6, you can order special ICPL branded jackets, vests, cardigans, and even a shirt, through a fantastic partnership with our neighbors and ICPL friends at Underground Printing. The great folks there will donate some of the price to the ICPL Friends Foundation. You can check out the offerings here in Women’s, Men’s, and Youth sizes, and great colors.

Place your order and pay directly online. Your ICPL Apparel order will be available to pick up at ICPL beginning Thursday, December 21, 2017. You get some great cozy clothes that show you proudly support the Iowa City Public Library, and the Library receives a donation to be used to provide you with more of what you use through the Library. Dual purpose gifts are the best!

Thank you for your support.


Singing the Lost and Found Blues

by Kara Logsden on November 27th, 2017

There’s never a dull day at Iowa City Public Library and our Lost and Found area often serves up a bit of entertainment and pondering about the story of items left behind at the Library. Recently this guitar was left at the Library as well as the cool shades Mr. Bear is wearing [see photo]. If they are yours, please claim them at the Library’s Help Desk on the first floor.

Items left at the Library are sent to the Help Desk and sorted into various bins to help with retrieval. The most popular things left at the Library include cell phones, hats, mittens, and backpacks. We are always happy when we reunite a list item with the owner, but more often than not we send left items to Goodwill or the Iowa City Police Department if the item has significant value. Lost Library Cards have a stop put on the account and are mailed back to the owner. Mailed Library Cards must be reactivated at the Help Desk or by calling the Library during regular business hours at 319-356-5200.

For lost cell phones, if the phone is not locked we look through the address book for an entry called, “Mom” or “Dad” and give them a call. If the phone is locked, we wait for a call. If we are able to answer the phone, we’re able to tell the caller where to retrieve their phone.

Often we get sets of keys turned in that are found away from the Library. Because there’s an ICPL Library Card keytag attached, the keys are sent here for return to the owner. That’s always a nice phone call and a strong sense of relief at the other end of the phone when we report a lost item has been found (note – this is another reason to make sure the Library has your current phone number and contact information!).

If you’ve spent time in the Library recently and are missing something, please stop by the Help Desk and check in our Lost and Found.


At Home with the Iowa City Public Library

by Heidi Kuchta on November 13th, 2017

Last month Iowa City Public Library served 45 different patrons exclusively through the At Home Program. This wonderful service brings library materials to home-bound patrons via the US Postal Service. Each day, staff members in Community & Access Services bundle books, DVDs, and more for our group of active At Home patrons. We will send out anything small enough to fit in our postage-paid green mailers. (Sorry – no art prints!) Residents of Iowa City, Hills, University Heights, Lone Tree, and Rural Johnson County are eligible for this FREE service!

We love our At Home patrons, and they seem to appreciate the service too! One woman wrote to me that our books make her 102-year-old life great. (She’s very proud of her age and her library.) Another woman wrote to tell us that by sending Audiobooks to her husband, we brought him happiness after he went blind and was no longer able to read the books he loved.

Since taking over as the main point person for At Home a month ago, it’s been interesting to me how many different ways people use the service. Some people prefer calling in their requests by phone, and others solely communicate with me through email. Some people manage their accounts almost 100% on their own by placing holds online, allowing them to get a constant stream of materials from us as their holds slowly come in. Still others prefer sending their requests in writing when they send their items back to us in the mail – the good old-fashioned way! This service is designed to accommodate everyone, no matter how they prefer communicating with us.

To sign up for this service or get more information, you can call me at 319-887-6038 or write an email to athome@icpl.org.



Bookmobile Holiday Hours

by Kara Logsden on November 2nd, 2017

2017-10-homecoming-bookmobile-photoYowza – it’s November! Suddenly I’m thinking about holidays and winter weather. The Bookmobile will have a few schedule changes because of the holidays and concluding the Fall Schedule on Thursday December 21. Full Bookmobile schedule information is available at www.icpl.org/bookmobile

The Bookmobile will not operate on Wednesday November 22 and Thursday November 23 in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday. The Bookmobile Fall Schedule ends on Thursday December 21 and starts up again on Monday January 8, 2018.

On days when the Bookmobile is not in service, but the Library is open, Holds and ILLs may be picked up at the Library. We will not capture any holds when the Bookmobile is not in service, so there may be a period of time when the Bookmobile is on break when holds will be at the Library waiting for pick-up. Don’t worry, though, because the 7 day waiting period for picking up a hold does not begin until we “trap” the hold. That’s when we send the eMail, call you on the telephone, or mail your Hold Pick-up Notice.

And speaking of ILLs (Inter-Library Loans), beginning November 1 you can choose your ILL pick-up location: Downtown Library or Bookmobile. As a patron recently stated, “This Bookmobile just keeps getting better!”

If you are wondering about winter weather and Bookmobile service, check out this blog post.

We’ll see you on the Bookmobile!

Public Internet Services at ICPL

by Brent Palmer on October 31st, 2017

Because October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, I wanted to provide some information about using the Library’s WiFi and public Internet computers.  The Library has 43 public Internet stations for general use as well as Internet access computers in the Teen Center and the Ellen Buchanan Children’s Room.  We also have a 802.11ac WiFi service.

The Library leans toward openness over security for it’s public Internet service.   Although we do scan for viruses and malware, we do not limit the network for particular kinds of use.  This is due to the Library’s commitment to intellectual freedom and open access to information.   Because of this, there may be benefits in terms of increased privacy. Public Computers are wiped clean after each session (Remember, always log off after you use our public computers). No information is stored on the system that could be used by someone later. The Library does not log the activity for each public computer. Also your activity is anonymized in the sense that to the outside, our traffic is all lumped together into one IP address. For example, our upstream Internet provider might be able to know that someone visited a certain website, they wouldn’t be able to know which computer in the building it came from.  Also note: because of the Library’s emphasizes on openness, parents should always monitor children’s use of computers in the library.

Our public WiFi is not encrypted and it does not employ a splash page.  We wanted to make the network extremely easy to use for everyone.  The network is open so use with caution. There is no privacy or security from others using the WiFi if you are not visiting a site with SSL (https).

One final reminder: it is against ICPL policy to use our WiFi network or our public computers for any illegal activity.

Local Music Project redesign

by Jason Paulios on October 26th, 2017


The Iowa City Public Library’s Local Music Project, a free digital music collection composed of eastern Iowa musicians, is newly redesigned. Over the last few years the ways in which we discover and listen to music has radically shifted, subscription services and streaming via phones and tablets are now the norm. In response, the Local Music Project now offers streaming alongside the download options in a mobile-friendly web design. This service is now available to all residents of Johnson County with a current Iowa City Public Library Card and password (see Account page for password creation/reset or contact us).

Mobile screenshot of Local Music Project

Mobile streaming player

The Local Music Project collection was the first of its kind for libraries and has inspired many other communities to create similar programs celebrating local music. Over the last five years, we have responded to interest from more than 30 different library systems across the United States and shared our story at regional and national library conferences related to technology in libraries. Since the project has begun, ICPL has leased the rights to a revolving catalog of more than 160 different albums from over 80 regional solo artists and bands.

We hope the new site will inspire ICPL patrons seeking new music options. Each stream and download helps demonstrate support for the artists and potential expansion of the project. The library will look to add new works throughout the year, interested artists may contact Jason Paulios for more information. 





Belly Babies! Bond With Your Bump!

by Karen Gordon on October 19th, 2017

Parents who are expecting the pitter-patter of little feet are invited to the Iowa City Public Library’s Belly Babies.bellybabies-logo

This is a pre-birth class held in the Children’s Storytime Room each Saturday afternoon from 3-4 pm. You’ll learn early literacy tips, songs, and rhymes. Community guests will share helpful information. Our goal is to help you build a community of support, prepare you right from the start.

This Saturday’s topic, October 21, is: What to Expect When Baby is Born?  Join Felicia Wagner, RN and Doula as she discusses postpartum mood disorders, the signs to look for, and how partners, friends and family can help.

Families at any stage are welcome, whether it’s your first or later child!

Get your craft on to support ICPL.

by Beth Fisher on October 19th, 2017

2017-craft-bazaarAttention all crafters!   Donations are now being accepted for the Annual ICPL Friends Foundation Fundraising Arts & Crafts Bazaar.  This year the bazaar will be on Saturday, December 2nd, so you still have time to get let your craftiness fly to support ICPL.   Information about the Bazaar is available online and you can download a donation form or pick one up here at the Library.  Donations can be dropped off at the Help Desk up until November 30th.

If you’re looking for ideas to get your crafting juices flowing, here are a few new craft books in our collection:




Homemade Holiday: Craft your way through more than 40 festive projects  by Sophie Pester and Catharina Bruns.  Jam packed with fun ideas, from ornaments, wreaths, and small gifts to fun holiday apparel, there is sure to be something for everyone no matter your skill level. Read the rest of this entry »