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Little Free Library Tour Ends at Iowa City Book Festival

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on September 30th, 2015

On a Sunday afternoon in June of 2013, I watched as my daughter’s Girl Scouts troop filled two Little Free Libraries with books from their bookshelves. It was the last step in their year-long Silver Award project and a way to leave a legacy at their North Liberty elementary schools as they made the transition to junior high.Little Free Library

Those girls are in high school now, but the Little Free Libraries they installed at Garner and Van Allen elementary schools remain, both an ever-revolving selection of books for the students who walk by them every day.

The Take a Book, Leave a Book movement got its start in Hudson, Wisc., in 2009 when Todd Bol built a model of a one room schoolhouse as a tribute to his mother, a former school teacher who loved reading. He filled it with books and put it on a post in his front yard.

Today, there are more than 32,000 registered Little Free Libraries in all 50 states and 70+ countries.

Bol, executive director of the Little Free Library movement,  and Margret Aldrich, author of The Little Free Library Book, are two of this weekend’s Iowa City Book Festival featured speakers. Their presentation will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday in Meeting Room A.

This appearance is Bol’s last on his Iowa leg of his Little Free Library Across America Tour. Rachael Carlson, director of operations for the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature, says Bol will build a Little Free Library is the Pedestrian Mall before and after his talk. For anyone who has considered building their own Little Free Library, Saturday’s event is the perfect time to learn more about it.

The Iowa City Book Festival begins Thursday and continues through Sunday. For a complete list of events, including those happening at the Library, visit

Volunteers are still needed for this year’s festival. To sign up, click here.

ICPL Announces October Music is the Word Events

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on September 29th, 2015

Join Iowa City Public Library as we celebrate all things musical with Music is the Word.

This special series of programming, to continue through May 2016, welcomes the University of Iowa School of Music building to downtown Iowa City. The Voxman Music Building is scheduled to open in the fall of 2016.

Music is the Word launched last month with a Musical Revue at The Englert Theatre, followed by several events at the Library, including live music in the lobby and a special family concert. Here’s what’s happening in October:

2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, in the Storytime Room: A Family Concert featuring Marc Falk. Marc Falk is a choral conducting professor from Coe College. He will also give audience members a micro-conducting lesson.

2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, in Meeting Room A: Reading by Stephen Witt, author of “How Music Got Free: The End of an Industry, the Turn of the Century, and the Patient Zero of Piracy.” Journalist Stephen Witt traces the secret history of digital music piracy, from the German audio engineers who invented the mp3, to a North Carolina compact-disc manufacturing plant where factory worker Dell Glover leaked nearly two thousand albums over the course of a decade, to the high-rises of midtown Manhattan where music executive Doug Morris cornered the global market on rap, and, finally, into the darkest recesses of the Internet. Part of the Iowa City Book Festival (

10:30 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 8, in Meeting Room A: Preschool Storytime. We will make and use homemade kazoos and other instruments in our very own Kidcophony.

7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8, in Meeting Room A: Documentary Screening – “From the 50 Yard Line.” This documentary tells the emotional marching band story through two high school bands: one an Ohio championship show band, the other a Los Angeles band reborn after 18 years of silence due to budget cuts. Travel on adventures through band camp, the marching season, and 2006 competitions. See the life-changing effects for these exceptional students and the ramifications when music is lost. (2007) 94 min.

5:45 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9, Downtown Iowa City: ICPL Book Cart Drill Team and Kazoo Band. Don’t miss our annual Book Cart Drill Team in the University of Iowa Homecoming Parade, joined this year by a special Kazoo Band.

Noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14, in the Lobby: Music on Wednesday @ICPL featuring Pigs and Clover. Take a few minutes during your lunch hour for a live musical performance.

7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14, in Meeting Room A: Iowa Roots Music with David Zollo and Andy Fleming. David Zollo joins Andy Fleming of the Des Moines-based band, Brother Trucker, in a unique conversational music performance.

7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 16, in Meeting Room A: Iowa Literary Heritage Film Screening – “State Fair.” This film version of Phil Stong’s 1932 novel of the same name, directed by Walter Lang and starring Dana Andrews and Jeanne Crane, was the only musical written directly for film by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. A small-town family travels to the State Fair. The father is looking for a blue ribbon for his prize hog, Blue Boy, Mom is looking for glory in her cooking, and the kids are looking for love. (1945) 100 min.

2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18, in Meeting Room A: Family Concert with The Dandelion Stompers. The Dandelion Stompers are a local New Orleans-style jazz combo featuring Chris Clark, Katie Greenstein, Ira Greenstein, Brandi Janssen, Marc Janssen, Katie Roche, Suzanne Smith and Jacob Yarrow.

7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20, at The Mill. Join us for the fall 2015 series of the B.Y.O.Book “Books In Bars” Book Club meetups! This month we will discuss Sherman Alexie’s “Reservation Blues.” Registration is encouraged due to space limitations. Limited copies of the book will be available for check out from Info Desk staff on the Library’s second floor.

7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, in Meeting Room A: Iowa Literary Heritage Film Screening – “State Fair.” Starring Pat Boone, Bobby Darin, Anne Margaret, and directed by Jose Ferrer, with words and music by Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers, this film is a remake of the 1945 movie, with new songs by Richard Rodgers. An Iowa farm family heads to the Iowa State Fair. The parents are focused on winning the competitions for livestock and cooking. However, their restless daughter Margy and her brother Wayne meet attractive new love interests. (1962) 118 min.

10:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, in Meeting Room A: Family Concert with Orchestra Iowa. Stop by to learn about the string family and hear wonderful quartet music!

2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25, in the Storytime Room: “The Nightmare Before Christmas” Sing-Along.

Noon to 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 26, in Meeting Room A: University of Iowa School of Music Lunch Performance. Join musicians from the UI School of Music as they share their talents with the community.

Noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, in the Lobby: Music on Wednesday @ICPL featuring Saul Lubaroff. Take a few minutes during your lunch hour for a live musical performance.

10:30 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 29, in the Storytime Room: Halloween Dance Party Preschool Storytime. Come in costume today for a Halloween dance party and costume parade around the Library!

A listing of all Music is the Word events can be found at

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

ICPL announces October Classes for Adults

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on September 25th, 2015

October’s computer classes for adults at the Iowa City Public Library bring users back to the basics. Investigate how the hardware in your computer makes it such a powerful machine, and learn how to empower yourself to surf social media and the internet safely.

Our Internet Safety: Protecting Your Privacy class will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 7. Learn how to protect yourself and your privacy when browsing the internet, making a purchase or doing online banking.

Our Social Media Safety: Protecting Your Online Privacy class will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 12. This class will focus on the advantages and disadvantages of using privacy settings on several social networking sites. Learn how to adjust your privacy settings and discover what information is already out there online about you.

Two classes are scheduled for The Computer: Let’s Talk Hardware course. One will take place at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20. The other will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 30. Get ready and roll up your sleeves for some hands on activities which will help you explore the inside of a computer.

All classes for adults are held in the Library’s Computer Lab on the second floor. Classes are free, but space is limited to 15 people per program, so patrons should register early.

Visit to register online. You can also register by calling the Library at 319-356-5200.

ICPL Introduces Totally Tweens LittleBits Club

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on September 24th, 2015

The Iowa City Public Library’s Totally Tweens program has a new club for students in third through sixth grades who like to invent things.

Totally Tweens LittleBits Club will meet from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. every Thursday from October 1 through November 19 in the Storytime Room to master different design challenges using LittleBits electronic modules and craft supplies. This program is designed to increase students’ STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) skills.

Registration is required for each LittleBits event. To register, visit and click on the date you wish to attend.

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

ICPL Preschool Storytime at Upper City Park Log Cabins

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on September 21st, 2015

The Iowa City Public Library’s Thursday Preschool Storytime will move to a special location on October 1.

The Library has partnered with the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department to host Pioneer Storytime and Picnic Lunch at the historic log cabins at Upper City Park, 200 East Park Road, from 10:30 a.m. to noon.log cabins

The program will include stories, pioneer crafts and learning about Iowa City history. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to bring lunch for themselves and their children to enjoy an outdoor picnic.

The two cabins are commemorative efforts by the Old Settlers’ Association of Johnson County to celebrate the city’s pioneer heritage. The single-room cabin, constructed in 1889, was originally built as an exhibit for Johnson County’s Semi-Centennial. It was moved to City Park in 1918.The double log cabin, or dogtrot log house, is a replica of Iowa City’s John Gilbert Trading Post. It was built with hewn oak logs in 1913.

Both cabins were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2013. The City plans to launch a three-phase total restoration project once funding is secured.

For more information about the restoration project, contact Joyce Carroll, Iowa City Parks and Recreation Program Supervisor, at or 319-356-5100.

For more information about Pioneer Storytime, contact the Library 319-356-5200.

Iowa City Public Library’s TAG Meetings Announced

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on September 18th, 2015

TAG, the Iowa City Public Library’s Teen Activity Group, is looking for new members.

TAG members help plan teen programs and give teenage students a voice in the Library. Members also eat a lot of snacks. Anyone wanting to make a difference in the Library, and earn volunteer hours at the same time, should give TAG a try.

Our fall meetings will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Koza Family Teen Center on Saturday, Sept. 26; Saturday, Oct. 17; and Saturday, Nov. 14.

TAG is open to students in grades 7 through 12.

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

Let’s Make Something Teen Series at ICPL

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on September 17th, 2015

The Iowa City Public Library will host a series of Let’s Make Something events for teens in grades 7 through 12.

All programs will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. in the Koza Family Teen Center on the Library’s second floor.

September 26: Chopsticks Catapult

We’re going to build miniature catapults using chopsticks, rubber bands and plastic spoons. They’re perfect for launching marshmallows and irritating family members!

October 17: Chocolate Banana Pops

We’re going to make delicious chocolate covered banana pops. That’s kind of healthy, right?

November 14: Magnetic Slime

We’re going to make some slime that’s attracted to magnets. Why? Because it’s cool! You can take your disgusting creation home with you, too.

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

MidWestOne Bank Book Drive for The Book End

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on September 17th, 2015

MidWestOne Bank is collecting very special deposits this month to benefit The Book End at the Iowa City Public drive picture

The Book End is the Friends Foundation’s used book store located on the Library’s second floor. Volunteers staff the store and proceeds from sales help provide prize books for the Children’s and Teens Summer Reading Programs, purchase art by local artists for the popular Art-to-Go project, and add to the Library’s overall collection.

Throughout September, collection containers will be set up at all Iowa City, Coralville, and North Liberty bank offices for people to donate gently read fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books along with DVDs and CDs during bank hours.

The Book End does not accept damaged books, magazines, dated materials (3+ years old), cassette tapes, VHS tapes, LP records, or encyclopedias.

“This is the tenth year MidWestOne has supported The Book End and the Friends Foundation through this special collection,” says Patty McCarthy, the Library’s Director of Development. “We are grateful for their continued support and the support of their customers.”

ICPL to Host One Community, One Book Discussion

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on September 16th, 2015

The Iowa City Public Library will host a discussion about the 2015 One Community, One Book, Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30, in Meeting Room A.just mercy

Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit organization providing legal representation to indigent defendants and prisoners denied fair and just treatment in the legal system.

One of Stevenson’s first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship — and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times,The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Seattle Times, Esquire and Time, Just Mercy is the winner of the Carnegie Medal for Nonfiction, the NAACP Image Award for Nonfiction and a Books for a Better Life Award.

One Community, One Book is a community-wide reading project. The book discussion, which will be led by the University of Iowa College of Law Associate Dean Emily Hughes, and Adrien Wing, Associate Dean for International and Comparative Law Programs at the University of Iowa and Director of the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights, coincides with ICPL’s 2015 Carol Spaziani Intellectual Freedom Festival.

For more information about this year’s Intellectual Freedom Festival, visit

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

ICPL Invites Parents, Children to a Performer’s Showcase

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on September 15th, 2015

Parents with children ages three and above are invited to attend the Iowa City Public Library’s Performer’s Showcase on Friday, September 25.

This special event will feature performers from around the state and beyond. It will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Meeting Rooms, A, B, C and D, though families are encouraged to come and go as they please.

Each entertainer will have 15 minutes of show time, giving local librarians, educators and families a sneak peek of their shows. A meet-and-greet will take place during the lunch hour, giving all who attend the opportunity to talk with the performers.

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