Shakespeare in prisons is a thing, a powerful and life-changing thing. The library has books and documentaries on how Shakespeare’s works are used in prisons and other unconventional locations, such as Shakespeare Saved My Life : ten years in solitary with the Bard by Laura Bates about her Shakespeare in Shackles program at the Indiana Federal Prison. Caesar must die Cesare deve morire, a is a documentary about inmates at a high-security prison in Rome preparing for a public performance of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. The prisoners discover how the play resonates with them as they rehearse.
On Tuesday, September 28, Collen Kennedy will lead a discussion at the library on another work about Shakespeare in prison, Hamlet’s Dreams: the Robben Island Shakespeareby David Shalkwyk. Shalkwyk uses the circulation of the so-called ‘Robben Island Shakespeare’, a copy of the Alexander edition of the Complete Works that was secretly circulated, annotated and signed by a group of Robben Island political prisoner in the 1970s (including Nelson Mandela), to examine the representation and experience of imprisonment in South African prison memoirs and Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It looks at the ways in which oppressive spaces or circumstances restrict. Copies of Hamlet’s Dreams are available from the Info Desk on the second floor of the library. This brief, but powerful work, is fascinating in its examination of the Robben Island prison and just how Shakespeare changed the lives of the political prisoners who read his works. Please join us to share your thoughts on Shakespeare and the beauty and force of his words. This program and other Shakespeare related programs and displays are done as a partnership with the University of Iowa Library and its First Folio exhibition.
Music on Wednesdays kicks off on September 21 at Noon in the Lobby with the local Americana band, Muckrockers. Muckrockers was an active band a few years back and is recently reconstituted and appearing in local venues. Current band members include Scott Cochran, Jamie Kearney, Matt Kearney and Stacy Webster. For a preview of their music navigate to www.reverbnation.com/muckrockers
Muckrockers is self-described as “a group of working class musician-citizens aiming to illuminate and eliminate the corporate stranglehold on our government and our lives.”
We look forward to hosting Muckrockers and kicking off the new Music on Wednesdays season!
Last year the Music on Wednesdays series was so popular we decided to plan a second year of great programs. Join us for some toe-tapping tunes featuring musicians from our community.
All programs are at Noon on the Wednesdays below – Mark your calendars! Most programs are in the Lobby, but if it’s cold we move to the Gallery (near the first floor Magazine Area). If we’re hosting the students from Preucil School of Music, we’ll be in Meeting Room A (they bring a big crowd). Read the rest of this entry »
With the new school year underway, now is the perfect time to check your wallet, purse or backpack to make sure you have the most important school supply item of all: your Iowa City Public Library Card!
September is Library Card Sign Up Month. If you don’t have a Library Card, now is the time to get one. Use your Library Card to check out books, movies, videogames, framed art, laptop computers, and music; access databases; explore the Library’s digital collection, including eBooks and audio books, and digital magazines; and get connected to the Library’s on-site public computer stations.
Cards are available for Iowa residents of any age. Pre-apply online at www.icpl.org/cards/get-a-card/ or complete the entire process in person at the first floor Help Desk whenever the Library is open. A photo ID and Iowa address verification are required for both options.
All new Library Card holders will receive a free ICPL drawstring book bag, while supplies last. If you’ve lost your card, we’ll replace it for free all month long!
For more information, visit www.icpl.org or call the Library at 319-356-5200.
Does your favorite classic novel have a “blah” cover? Wouldn’t it be fun to make up a new one?
That’s the idea behind Recovering the Classics, a crowdsourced collection of original covers for great works in the public domain, and the upcoming exhibit at the Iowa City Public Library. We’ll be displaying 50 book covers made by artists from around the world in October and November, alongside yours.
1) Choose a book from our list of classics in the public domain, 2) create a piece of art that reimagines its front cover, and 3) drop it off at the library’s Help Desk by September 19. We’ve already received our first entry — a mixed media version of The Secret Garden, made with watercolors and collage. One of my coworkers is thinking of doing a cover in cross-stitch… Anything goes!
This is about sharing our love of literature — and possibly getting someone to try a book they always assumed was fusty or boring — so the project is open to all ages and ability levels. Every display space in the library is booked for Recovering the Classics, so help us fill it up!
Questions? Ask Stacey (email@example.com 319-887-6025) or Candice (firstname.lastname@example.org 319-887-6031). More details are available at icpl.org/classics.
Library staff had a great night out last night at the Iowa City Community School District Ice Cream Socials. More than 90 people signed up for new Library Cards and we had a lot of fun visiting with students and their families.
Beth was at Lucas Elementary and reported, “One family I talked to was new to Iowa City, but they were happy to tell me they had already been down to ICPL to get cards. One dad thanked me for the SRP fine waive.”
Madonna at Grant Wood Elementary reported one patron said his Library Card is the “Best card in my wallet.” She also met many students who are interested in Minecraft and she told them about the Library’s Minecraft programs (schedule at calendar.icpl.org).
Elyse was at Hoover Elementary and a lot of people there told her they “LOVE the Library!”
Susan was at Twain and reported many people said, “I have a card!” and “We love the library.”
Patty was at Horn Elementary and wins the prize for signing up the most people for new Library Cards – 24 registered including many who are new to the United States or are returning after studying here. Read the rest of this entry »
We thank you for your patience and sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.
This morning, these services were down so we could update the operating system on our library system’s server. Our library system is integral to our day-to-day operations. It’s where we keep track of everything in our collection, if an item is on the shelf or has been borrowed. It is what digital services like OverDrive and Zinio reference to lend eBooks, eAudiobooks, and digital magazines to you. It holds your library card numbers and keeps track of what you currently have checked out and when the books are due back. It allows you to renew your books, place holds, and use the self-checks. The system also keeps track of our orders for purchased books, paid invoices, and what issue of magazine didn’t arrive so we can contact our vendor. When the library system is down, everything stops. Well, almost everything.
Because it is so important, we want to ensure we are running the most recent software on updated equipment.
My last World Music blog post about Orchestra Baobab centered on Dakar, Senegal. From there it’s a short flight over to Cape Verde, the home of Cesaria Evora, “The Barefoot Diva”. We have a CD of Cesaria in our collection called Miss Perfumado which I think you will love.
From Senegal, we move to Cape Verde to sample more World Music from our collection.
Many of the songs on this album are in the Cape Verdean style of Morna.
As it’s name implies, [Morna is] mournful music–an expression of loss and nostalgia, or sodade, an emotion frequently brought on by the emigration that is a basic fact of life in Cape Verde. (From Anastasia Tsioulcas in the liner notes of Miss Perfumado – 1991 Lusafrica)
My favorite track is called Sodade, which roughly translates to “longing” and can both describe the feeling of loss of love and the longing for home. To me the music and the lyrics remind me more of Portugal than West Africa but it undeniably represents a creole-like mixture of both. There is a beautiful dynamic between Cesaria’s rich warm voice and the higher pitched cavaquinho. Unfortunately, I’ve not yet had the pleasure of visiting Cape Verde, but this music seems to capture the beauty and warmth in my imagination of what these islands must be like. Check it out.
The Johnson County Fair runs July 25-28 and it’s my favorite week of the year. I grew up at the Johnson County Fair. My Mom was a 4-H leader, served on the Fair Board and 4-H Youth Committee and was the Home Economics Superintendent for many years. I spent many a happy day playing on the steps in Montgomery Hall, enjoying Lemonade Shake-ups, and getting tossed into the livestock watering tanks. What wonderful memories of growing up in Iowa!
Over the past 18 years, while working at the Iowa City Public Library, I’ve had the privilege of working with the Public Libraries of Johnson County to organize and staff a booth in Building B where we share information about our libraries with the community. The Public Libraries of Johnson County organization reminds me a lot of the 4-H organization and Johnson County Agricultural Association: We focus on youth development, share in the joy of learning by doing, and recognize while we may come from different places we all contribute to the civic life of our community. Read the rest of this entry »
I just finished listening to Year of Yes, narrated by the author, Shonda Rhimes, and it was great. I don’t usually listen to Nonfiction, but a friend recommended it so I placed a hold. I didn’t realize when I started the book that Rhimes is the creator of one of my favorite shows, Grey’s Anatomy. That fact, plus the excellent writing and author narration made the book even more enjoyable.