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Summer Library Bus

by Kara Logsden on March 4th, 2014

2013 Summer Library BusRecently we had a great suggestion from one of our Teacher-Librarians. She said their school needs information about the Library in both English and Spanish. Here’s information about the SUMMER LIBRARY BUS in Spanish and English:

Una tarjeta de la Biblioteca Pública de Iowa City también sirve para tomar el bus de Iowa City completamente gratis durante el verano.  La Biblioteca proveerá por viajes gratis del autobús a niños hasta grado doce, y adultos quien les están guardando, solamente en caminos de Iowa City, desde el día después del final de escuela pública hasta el día antes del primer día de escuela, durante la semana entre 9:00 por la mañana y 3:00 por la tarde. Personas que quieran usar este servicio tengan que mostrar sus tarjetas de Biblioteca Pública a camioneros para sacar viajes gratis.  Todos autobuses de Iowa City paran por el zócalo y está una camina corta de tres cuadras hasta la Biblioteca Pública.  Niños puedan regresar a hogar por cualquier hora con una tarjeta de Read & Ride, que puedan sacar por todas Mesas de Servicio en la Biblioteca Pública.

Visítanos, llámenos o visite para más información sobre tarjetas y usando la biblioteca.

An Iowa City Public Library card is your child’s ticket to ride an Iowa City Transit bus FREE this summer.  The Library will provide free bus rides to children through 12th grade, and the adult caregivers who are with them, on any Iowa City Transit bus route, from the day after Iowa City Schools dismiss until the day before schools start, on weekdays between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM.  Bus riders should show their Iowa City Public Library card to the bus driver to gain free access to the bus.  Iowa City Transit buses stop at the downtown Iowa City interchange at the Old Capitol Town Center, and it is a short three block walk to the Library.  Children can catch a ride home anytime the same day with a Ride & Read bus pass, issued by showing a Library Card at any public service desk at the Library.

For more information about Library Cards and using the Library, navigate to

The Fire Temple

by Casey Lambert on March 1st, 2014

The Lego Movie

Since Valentine’s Day the Children’s Department has been home to an original Lego castle specifically built for our display case by Sam Maynard.  This castle was constructed to be displayed in sections but in fact was assembled as one piece with individual fold out sections.  This deceptively simplistic concept has allowed us to display the castle in multiple ways so every part of its complex interior can be viewed and enjoyed.   Chock full of costume characters from some of our favorite movies, fairytales and adventures we have created a visual scavenger hunt.  I have been moving these characters over the past few weeks to create individual stories that patrons can follow by checking back to see where characters are now.  I started with Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf Man in separate sections of the castle for instance, and over time they have come together and now stand, weapons drawn facing one another.   Make sure to keep checking the castle to see what happens next!

As part of the fun of the Lego Castle I thought it would be great to get our youngest Lego fans involved by having a name drawing.  Today I drew one name and am happy to announce that the Lego castle has been dubbed “The Fire Temple” by Edward Kenyon.   My thanks go out to all of those who entered the drawing, we ended up with almost 50 names!

What is your BHAG?

by Kara Logsden on February 25th, 2014

BHAG = Big. Hairy. Audacious. Goal. We have a BHAG … We think every child in our community should have a Library card.

I know I’m probably preaching to the choir here, but I think this is a goal we should all share. Libraries today are so much more than reading. Libraries are community centers with technology and people who can answer questions. We have an amazing Children’s Room and an awesome Teen Center with computers, games, and room to do homework and socialize. This is a great place to pick up a “Library Habit.” And wouldn’t it be great if our youth discovered their “Library Habit” when they are young?

As a community, how can we make sure every child has a Library Card? At the Library, we are scheduling spring visits to elementary schools in our service area. Children’s Room staff will talk about Summer Reading Program and getting a Library Card. Our Teen Librarian is visiting the junior high and high schools and talking about SRP and Library cards. We are also reaching out to elementary schools in our service area and offering to send ICPL staff to register students on-site for Library Cards.

How can you help? If you have children, make sure they have a Library Card. If you are around other youth, ask them if they have a Library Card. If not, encourage them to get one or invite their family to visit the Library with you. Maybe share what having a Library Card means to you.

I hope you share our BHAG and let’s make this a community where everyone has a Library Card!



Road Trip to Lone Tree

by Kara Logsden on February 21st, 2014

2013 12 Lone TreeOn Saturday February 22, ICPL staff will travel to the Lone Tree School Library to share information about Iowa City Public Library collections, online resources, programs and services.  Everyone who lives in Lone Tree is invited to attend.  There’s a rumor there may be some sweet treats too.

Iowa City Public Library staff will be available 9-10:30 AM to issue Library Cards and share information about ICPL collections, programs and services.  There will also be a Storytime and craft program for children and a class about how to download eCollections.

Recently the Lone Tree City Council contracted with Iowa City Public Library for library services. This event is planned so Lone Tree residents can learn more about Library services and sign-up for a Library Card.

We’ll see you in Lone Tree on Saturday :)

Valentine’s Dessert with Candice – Video Staff Picks

by Bond Drager on February 14th, 2014

Candice takes us behind the scenes at ICPL to make a special chocolate caramel sauce from the Mast Brothers Chocolate Cookbook.


Dirty Books in the Library

by Kara Logsden on February 14th, 2014

Recently one of our dedicated patrons provided feedback about “dirty books in the Library.”  Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day and no, we are not talking about bodice-ripping romances that are very popular. He was talking about books that had been “violated with food stains and other deposits.”

Photo from

Photo from

At the Library, we take great pride in the physical condition of our collections. We allocate a portion of our collection budget to replacing worn or damaged materials. We understand things happen and sometimes our materials get damaged (OK – confession time – I have fallen asleep in the bathtub with a Library book and yes, the book fell in the water … oops).

We also check in over 1 million items each year. While we catch many damaged materials at checkin, we can’t catch everything. We depend on our patrons to let us know if a book, DVD or other item needs to go to mending or be “retired” because of damage or “violation.” The easiest way to let us know is to tape a note on the cover. A note will alert the people who check in Library materials that we need to route the item for further inspection and follow-up.

Happy Valentine’s Day, happy reading in the bathtub, and please let us know if a Library item needs attention.


Welcome to the new Iowa City Public Library blog

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on February 11th, 2014

Our website looks a little different and this blog is the image

123 South Linn: Iowa City Public Library’s Staff Blog serves several purposes. We want to engage with our community; promote Library collections, programs and services; assist our patrons; and build support for the Library.

To do this, our blog has several channels, each which serves a specific area of the library. For children’s room information, which will include anything from upcoming programs to early literacy, check out the Kid Bits channel. The Teens channel features routine posts that are of interest to teen patrons.

From the Director features posts from Library Director Susan Craig, while From the Reference Desk shares questions or topics Reference Desk staff encounter.

For reviews and other information about the Library’s collections, check out the From the Shelves channel.

The News channel will feature routine posts about Library news, while the Inside ICPL channel will take a deeper look at the Library’s operations.

Spend some time exploring the new blog and if you have questions or comments, please let us know!

Outreach Libraries

by Lynn Mennenga on February 7th, 2014

ICPL has a number of services for those who are unable to come to the library. Among these are libraries maintained by the Community & Access Services department (CAS). As Outreach Assistant in CAS, part of my job is sending books to various retirement residences and social service agencies in the area. I also get to choose the books that are sent: this is the equivalent of turning a chocolate fanatic loose in a Godiva store and telling them their job is to pick out the best candies.

The Deposit Collection program, for instance, involves choosing books from ICPL’s large print collection, both fiction and nonfiction, which are then delivered by our Maintenance staff to participating retirement residences. It’s a great way for the residences to enhance their library collections with a regular supply of new titles. Each location has a designated staffperson or resident who is responsible for overseeing their library, keeping track of books and gathering them up at the end of the nine-week checkout period. Our Maintenance staff then collects the books and delivers a new batch at the same time.

In addition to the Deposit Collection libraries, where the books are on loan from ICPL’s collection, there are sites whose libraries we stock and maintain; individuals who are mailed items through our At Home program; and collections–such as the Iowa Teen Award books–we provide to area agencies with young adult populations. Our Children’s department also maintains collections at several Outreach libraries.

ICPL partners with Iowa City Hospice to bring books, conversation to area residents

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on January 9th, 2014

Diana Durham’s years as an elementary teacher serve her well in her retirement.IC hospice

“As a schoolteacher, you learn to perform,” Durham says. “You have to like it.”

Durham liked it so much; she joined the Iowa City Hospice Singers. The singers are a group of volunteers who make visits to area nursing homes for monthly sing-alongs. It was through this program that Durham learned of another volunteer opportunity: The Iowa City Hospice Reading Program.

For more than four years, the Iowa City Public Library has partnered with Iowa City Hospice to offer monthly reading programs at area retirement and residential care centers. The Library provides the reading materials and supplemental information to assist reading program volunteers with their programs and discussions.

“When the program first began, the Library would select books for the volunteers,” says Sarah Neary, Iowa City Hospice’s volunteer program coordinator.

Every group was reading the same book at the same time, with outlines and reading discussion questions provided by the Library. The program has evolved over the years, though, to adapt to the needs and wants of the residents it serves.

“We’ve decided the program works best with less structure,” says Anna Sewell, the Library’s outreach and volunteer assistant. “Some groups continue to be happy with reading and rereading the stories of growing up in Iowa, such as “Little Heathens” and “Growing Up Country,” while other groups prefer to choose their own material to read and discuss. I stay available to all the groups as a source of information, ideas and resources.”

Neary credits the program, and its volunteers, for providing residents with interpersonal interactions.

“We are dealing with a population that, in general, did not grow up with TV,” Neary says. “These people grew up with stories. They had to entertain themselves. The reading program is more engaging than TV and it reminds them of how they grew up.”

“It’s so rewarding,” Durham adds. “You walk in and see all of these smiles – they’re just so happy to see you. I think I get more out of the program than they do.”

Currently, eight volunteers make up the Iowa City Hospice Reading Program. More facilities are interested in joining the program, but additional volunteers are needed. If you are interested in being a reader, contact Sarah Neary at

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Gadget as Gift…Now what do I do?

by Kara Logsden on December 26th, 2013
Gadget as Gift…Now what do I do? Cover Image

We noticed a trend today with many holds on books about devices including iPads, iPhones, Kindles, and Androids.

Do you need help learning to use your new gift?  Never fear – the Library is here!  We have many opportunities for help and learning in our Computer Lab.  Remember to bring your gadget and Library card.

Scheduled Tech Zones include:


“eBooks, eAudiobooks, and eMagazines for iPad or iPhone” held Monday December 30, 1-2 PM. Click here to register.

“eBooks, eAudiobooks, and eMagazines for Kindle Devices” held Friday January 10, 10-11 AM. Click here to register.

Drop in Tech Help:

Mondays & Wednesdays 10 AM-Noon

Tuesdays Noon-4 PM

Senior Tech Zone:

Thursdays 10:30 AM-12:30 PM

Special Tech Zone:

Saturday January 11, 10 AM- Noon

If none of these times work for you, bring your gadget and Library Card to the Library and we will help.  Happy New Year!