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The Darkest Dark

by Casey Maynard on September 19th, 2016

Overcoming a fear of the dark has never been so fun or beautiful. The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield and illustrated by the Fan brothers has become my new favorite book of September! Be sure to stop by the ICPL children’s department to check it out.


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New Way Cool Chemistry Date Announced

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on September 13th, 2016

Students interested in chemistry will have the opportunity to participate in hands-on demonstrations and experiments from 2 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, September 17, in Meeting Room A at the Iowa City Public Library.

Way Cool Chemistry is designed to make chemistry accessible and fun for fifth- through eighth-grade students. Pre-registration is not required.

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

Children’s Outreach and More!

by Karen Gordon on September 7th, 2016

Wow! What a busy time in the Children’s Room this summer! Now that the kids are back at school we are busy planning fall and winter programs.

It’s also that time of year to talk up the services the children’s room offers, like our outreach program, because outreach is such a fun part of our job.

Outreach KarenIf you are not familiar with the Iowa City Public Library’s outreach service, Casey Maynard, Nancy Holland and I do children’s outreach each week and visit 40 Iowa City sites, which include preschools, daycares, Neighborhood Centers, and Hacap (Hawkeye Area Community Action Program) centers. We share 30-minutes outreach stories with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.outreach Nancy

Do you know that we have boxed thematic Storytime Kits? Please stop by the library and take a look at this unique collection.

storytime kitsThese kits are geared for 3-6 year-olds and you check-out the whole kit for three weeks! We have 80 kits and you will love sharing them for your own circle time with your children.


cat on booksFinally, for your convenience, you may call the library each week for a Book Pull with your topic and the Children’s Room staff will set aside 15 books for you to pick up at the Children’s Room Desk. Just give us 24 hours’ notice for this free service. Let us be your resource for the best children’s books available and fun guest storytimes!

Music on Wednesdays @ICPL

by Kara Logsden on September 6th, 2016

2015 09 Music on WednesdayLast 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 »

Fresh Picks: Beautiful Nonfiction

by Morgan Reeves on August 31st, 2016
Fresh Picks: Beautiful Nonfiction Cover Image

In the world of children’s literature, picture books are the shining jewels that we admire for their beautiful illustrations and imaginative stories. Nonfiction titles are often seen as unglamorous workhorses, judged on their ability to meet educational standards in imparting information to their young readers. While there is certainly a necessary place for curriculum supporting, report fodder nonfiction, there is plenty of room on the shelves for nonfiction that captures the imagination as well as presenting the facts.

Read the rest of this entry »

Win tickets to see Rick Riordan at The Englert

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on August 30th, 2016

Best-selling author Rick Riordan will be in Iowa City for the Iowa City Book Festival October 4 through October 9, appearing at The Englert Theatre on October 7. Tickets to the event are sold out, but the Iowa City Public Library has two to award to the winner of our Rick Riordan fan fiction writing contest.

The contest is open to students in 4th through 12th grades. The stories can be about any of Riordan’s works, but must be written by the student and no more than four pages in length.

Finished stories must be turned in at the Children’s Room Desk or Info Desk on the Library’s second floor by 5 p.m. Friday, September 23. Only one story per entrant, please. The winner will be announced at the Library’s screening of Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief and trivia contest at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, September 29, in Meeting Room A.

For more information, call the Library at 319-356-5200.

ICPL Announces Shakespeare-Themed Sunday Funday Programs

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on August 29th, 2016

To be or not to be isn’t the question when it comes to family fun at the Iowa City Public Library!

Celebrate William Shakespeare during Sunday Funday in September with activities for families and children of all ages. ICPL’s Shakespeare-themed programming coincides with the Shakespeare First Folio exhibit currently on display at the University of Iowa Main Library.

All Sunday Funday programs are held from 2 to 4 p.m.

September 4 in the Storytime Room: Gnomeo & Juliet

This animated adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet takes the audience inside the garden rivalry between Miss Capulet and Mr. Montague, which leads to the feud between their garden gnomes.

September 11 in the Storytime Room: Shakespearean Puppets and Paper Dolls

Create your own set of players to perform a mini-Shakespearean performance with puppets and paper dolls.

September 18 in the Storytime Room: Flower Crowns and Nature Masks

Dress up like the characters from A Midsummer Night’s Dream with natural materials to create your own masquerade mask or a flower crown.

September 25 in Meeting Room A: William and Blackjack Storytelling

William’s use of props, including juggling sticks, dragon tears, magical pirate treasure and Blackjack the Dragon, will entertain all ages! William will be in the Children’s Room before and after his storytelling performance.

For more information, visit the Library’s calendar at or call the Library at 319-356-5200.

Storytime Recap: Pioneer Log Cabins at City Park

by Mari Redington on August 11th, 2016

ClotheslineThis week for our preschool storytimes, Casey and I teamed up with the Iowa City Parks & Rec department to explore stories, games, crafts, and even chores common during the time of the pioneers. Despite the heat and humidity and bug bites, the kids enjoyed learning about the history of the cabins on Wednesday. buildingOn Thursday, we were rained out. Sigh. But, kids still enjoyed books, songs and games, as well as building our own indoor cabins with Lincoln logs. Read the rest of this entry »


by Casey Maynard on August 11th, 2016

The final installment of Aaron Becker’s Journey trilogy is finally here and was it ever worth the wait. Return is a breathtaking finale that equals its prior installments in every way. Immensely detailed, cinematic and profound, Return is the perfect denouement to Becker’s seminal series. While in essence this is the culmination of the trilogy, Return denotes and necessitates a renaissance of the Journey,Return to the beginning.

For those of you unfamiliar with Aaron Becker’s work, I highly recommend starting at the beginning of his wordless Journey. Personally I have enjoyed going from start to finish to start–it’s incredible to compare the detail in these works side by side. I look forward to seeing where Aaron Becker will take us next but will go on this journey over and over both in anticipation and continuous wonder. 

Check out the videos below from his website–the first is a mini documentary about the making of Journey the second is the official book trailer for Return. 



Not A Box Party

by Angela Pilkington on August 10th, 2016

This spring I joined the Early Literacy Task Force which is part of  the Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce. This weekend we are excited to host a free family Not a Box Building Party!  The next event will be on Saturday, August 13 at Wetherby Park in Iowa City from 3-5pm. notabox

This is a free, all-ages event.  The party will begin with a reading of “Not a Box” by Antionette Portis, a story about imagination and creativity in which a young rabbit’s imagination frees him from the constraints that he has just-a-box, but rather that it can be anything he wants it to be.  The children (and adults) will then have an opportunity to let their imaginations run free and construct whatever they can imagine.  There will be vast amounts of cardboard boxes and tape available as well as volunteers to assist and supervise.  Snacks will be provided and at the end of the event at least 85 families will receive their own copy of “Not a Box” to take home with them.  All children will have an opportunity to choose a free book to take home.

Participating organizations include 4Cs Community Coordinated Child Care, Antelope Lending Library, Iowa Children’s Museum, Iowa City Public Library, Johnson County Empowerment/ECIA, Strive For Success, Iowa City Community School District, NCS Pearson, United Way of Johnson & Washington Counties, Westergaard, LLC, and Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce along with generous donations of materials from General Mills.

Visit the Early Literacy Task Force Facebook event at:

We hope to see you there!