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Celebrate Local History in May at ICPL

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 27th, 2016

Get ready to learn more about local history with the Iowa City Public Library’s Weber Days.

Our annual celebration of local history is held every May in honor of Iowa City’s unofficial historian, the late Irving B. Weber. May also is National Historical Preservation Month. This year’s lineup of programming is perfect for anyone interested in learning more about the community they call home.

Realizing Stephen Smith: His Conscience and Conflict

Wednesday, May 4, noon to 1 p.m. in Meeting Room A

University of Iowa student Steve Smith (1944-2009) encountered violence as a civil rights worker in Mississippi, led a hunger strike in downtown Iowa City, and burned his draft card in the Iowa Memorial Union in protest of the escalating war in Vietnam – all before his 21st birthday. UI Archivist David McCartney recounts Smith’s life and efforts in the UI Archives to document his ideals and his struggles.

History of the UI School of Music

Wednesday, May 4, 7 to 8 p.m. in Meeting Room A

Since 1906, there has been a School of Music at the University of Iowa. Come hear Music Librarian Katie Buehner discuss the evolution of this 110-year-old program as evidenced in documentation from the University Archives and the collections of the Rita Benton Music Library.

First United Methodist Church Organ Concert

Wednesday, May 11, 7 to 8 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Iowa City, 214 East Jefferson St.

A local history display and organ concert featuring Dr. Melanie Sigafoose.

Restoring Scanned Images Part I

Friday, May 13, 11 a.m. to noon in the Computer Lab

Learn to restore a scanned image by using GIMP, a free, open source software similar to Adobe Photoshop. In this class learn how to get around in GIMP, import a scanned photo, save your project, straighten a photo, and crop and resize it. Registration is required.

Restoring Scanned Images Part II

Tuesday, May 17, 10 to 11 a.m. in the Computer Lab

Learn to restore a scanned image by using GIMP, a free, open source software similar to Adobe Photoshop. In this class learn how to get around in GIMP, import a scanned photo, save your project, straighten a photo, and crop and resize it. Participants must have good mouse and keyboarding skills, and need to demonstrate familiarity with GIMP or have taken Restoring Scanned Images Part I to participate. Registration is required.

The Secret Lives of Houses: How to Research your House’s History

Wednesday, May 18, noon to 1 p.m. in Meeting Room A

Learn how to research the history of your home or a building from Alicia Trimble, Executive Director of Friends of Historic Preservation.

Maintaining and Preserving Digital Photos Part I

Saturday, May 21, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Computer Lab

Want to learn how to take care of your digital photo collection? Begin by getting familiar with important terminology and file types. Then learn the key steps needed to preserve your digital photos. Come with your questions. Registration is required.

Maintaining and Preserving Digital Photos Part II

Saturday, May 21, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. in the Computer Lab

Want to know about the various tools and software which can help you organize, store, and edit your digital collection? Part II of this series will show you how to use metadata to organize photos. Then we will discuss and talk about tools like Picasa, Apple Photos, Adobe Lightroom, and many more products. Bring your questions! It may be helpful to take Part I of this class depending on your familiarity with digital photos. Registration is required.

Introduction to Genealogy

Monday, May 23, 4 to 5 p.m. in the Computer Lab

Have you ever wondered about your family tree? Not sure how to start searching for your ancestors? Come join us for an Introduction to Genealogy. From what questions to ask and where to start searching to how to keep track of the information you find we’ll get you started on your search. Space is limited register online or by calling 356-5200.

Old Post Office Brass

Wednesday, May 25, noon to 1 p.m. in the Lobby

Old Post Office Brass reflects the home base in the Senior Center, formerly the Iowa City Post Office, and is a part of the New Horizons Band. This traditional brass quintet (two trumpets, horn, trombone and tuba) performs a large variety of music, including classical, ragtime, Dixieland and popular (show tunes, etc.) for a variety of audiences in different venues.

Making Sense Out of Iowa City Streets

Wednesday, May 25, 7 to 8 p.m. in Meeting Room A

Why can’t we seem to drive directly from place to place in Iowa City? Why are there no churches on Church Street? Why are some street signs in Iowa City blue, instead of green? Why do the streets First Avenue through Seventh Avenue go from east to west? How did we get all of those streets named after movie stars? And, what is with those strange-sounding names of St. Mathias Alley and St. Clements Alley? This presentation by citizen historian Thomas Schulein will explain the layout and naming of the streets of Iowa City. Historic Foodies will provide street food after the presentation.

Click here to register for classes or call the Library at 319-356-5200. If the class is full, you can add your name to the waiting list.

Click here for more information about Weber Days.

Learn more from DNA results at ICPL on April 25

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 21st, 2016

Curious to know what DNA test results can tell you? Come to the Iowa City Public Library’s second floor Computer Lab from noon to 3 p.m. Monday, April 25, to attend a workshop about working with DNA test results.

Students from the University of Iowa’s Personal Genome Learning Center will provide hands-on assistance with the navigation and interpretation of results from direct-to-consumer genetic tests, such as 23andMe and AncestryDNA.

This workshop is co-sponsored by the Library and the UI’s Pentacrest Museums, Department of Biology, and Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Genetics in recognition of National DNA Day on April 25.

National DNA Day is a unique day when students, teachers and the public can learn more about genetics and genomics. The day commemorates the completion of the Human Genome Project in April 2003, and the discovery of DNA’s double helix in 1953.

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

ICPL Friends Foundation hosts Looking Forward fundraiser

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 20th, 2016

The board of the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation invites the public to attend Looking Forward, the annual fundraiser for the Library.

This year’s event will be held on Sunday, May 8, at the Library. It is designed to expand horizons, achieve support through reservations and attendance, and continue to build long-standing camaraderie among the Library’s devotees.

The evening begins at 6 p.m. with “The Legendary Duke Ellington,” a presentation by John Hasse, curator of American Music at the Smithsonian Institution. Afterwards, guests will be treated to appetizers and beverages provided by Bread Garden Market & Bakery, Cookie Mom, Deluxe Cakes and Pastries, Motley Cow Café, and ReUnion Brewery.

The cost to attend Looking Forward is $125 per person and reservations are required. An optional one-hour tour of the new University of Iowa School of Music building will be held at 4 p.m. for an additional $25. The tour is open to the first 20 able-bodied guests. Closed-toe shoes and long pants are required; additional safety equipment will be provided.

Click here to make a reservation. Reservations must be received by April 29.

For more information, contact Patty McCarthy, Director of Development, at 319-356-5249 or

ICPL to host Money Smart Week events

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 19th, 2016

The Iowa City Public Library will observe Money Smart Week April 23 through April 30 with classes and programs designed to help people improve their financial literacy.

Library users can learn more about MorningStar and Value Line, two leading investment research resources, during our Be Money Smart class on April 26 from 10 to 11 a.m. in the Computer Lab. Library staff will demonstrate how to use these databases, giving users the information they need to be smart investors. Space is limited for this class. Register online at or call (319) 356-5200.

Learn how to protect yourself and your finances at Don’t Be a Victim: How to Avoid Scams from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, April 28, in Meeting Room A. Staff from MidWestOne Bank will share lessons on how to avoid common financial scams and fraud. This program is co-sponsored by MidWestOne Bank and Johnson County Livable Community. Light refreshments will be served.

Finally, all patrons are invited to participate in DASH for the STASH, a statewide competition to win a $1,000 IRA. To participate, read four Money Smart Week posters on display at the Library, use your Smartphone or Tablet to scan the QR code to access that topical question, and submit your answers.

Created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 2002, Money Smart Week is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. For more information about ICPL’s Money Smart Week programs and classes, contact the Library at 319-356-5200.

ICPL Thanks Community for Sharing Stories, Images of 2006 Tornado

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 18th, 2016

The Iowa City Public Library would like to thank the community for sharing their memories of the tornado that hit Iowa City on April 13, 2006.

In January, the Library asked for your photographs of the tornado and its aftermath for a digital exhibit commemorating the tornado’s 10th anniversary. The response was incredible. We received more than 2,500 images from the community, as well as video and written stories.

To view the tornado collection, visit ICPL’s Digital History Project website at You can also track the tornado’s path through an interactive map pinpointing specific locations of the damage. We’ll continue to add images to the collection as we receive them.

We would also like to thank everyone who told their stories at our Tales from the Tornado, and shared their memories through our tornado display, which can be viewed on the Library’s first floor through April 30.

For more information, call the Library at 319-356-5200 or visit the Digital History Project here.

ICPL presents Tales from the Tornado

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 8th, 2016

On April 13, 2006, an F2 tornado struck Iowa City, carving a path of destruction that left cars overturned, trees uprooted, traffic lights snapped off their poles, and roofs torn off buildings. Join the Iowa City Public Library as we commemorate the ten-year anniversary of this historic event.

Visit our digital gallery tracking the tornado’s path at Click on specific sites to see photographs of the destruction. This gallery was curated from pictures shared with the Library’s Digital History Project. More images will be shown in a photo exhibit on the Library’s first floor through April 30.

Tales from the Tornado will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 13, in Meeting Room A. Come and listen to tales of the twister, take a pictorial tour of the tornado’s path, and share your own memories.

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

ICPL to celebrate National Library Week April 10-16

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 8th, 2016

Libraries make a difference every day. Help us celebrate National Library Week by telling us how the Iowa City Public Library has made a difference in your life.Jen and Melody1

During National Library Week, held April 10 through April 16, a photo booth, complete with props and life-sized photo frames, will be set up on the Library’s first floor. We invite you to take a picture and share it on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with the #ICPLtransforms hashtag and a comment about how the Library has transformed your life.

National Library Week is an annual observance sponsored by the American Library Association and libraries across the country. First sponsored in 1958, it is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries – school, public, academic and special – participate.

This year’s theme, Libraries Transform, focuses on the idea that libraries today are less about what they have for people, and more about what they do for and with people. For example, more than a quarter of U.S households don’t have a computer or Internet connection. Libraries help bridge the digital divide by providing free technology to the public. At ICPL, this includes 40 computer workstations with Internet access available for public use, drop-in tech help sessions, on-call tech help, and technology classes. Patrons can even check out laptops to take home, increasing their access to technology beyond Library operating hours.

“We hear every day about how the Library makes a difference for people in our community,” says Kara Logsden, the Library’s coordinator of community and access services. “We hope our patrons will take a couple minutes during this year’s National Library Week celebration to share those stories with us.”

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

ICPL to host Teen Earth Day event

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 6th, 2016

Teens, you can make a difference this Earth Day by helping the Iowa City Public Library clean up local parks.

We’ll meet in the Koza Family Teen Center at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 22. Your parents must sign a liability form in order for you to participate. This form will be available in the Teen Center. We’ll walk to a park together and clean until 2:30 p.m. All clean up materials will be provided. We’ll have refreshments, too. Please wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty.

This program is open to students in seventh through 12th grades. Participants will receive volunteer hours for their work.

Call the Library at 319-356-5200 for more information.


ICPL hosts Affordable Care Act Navigator

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 1st, 2016

Affordable Care Act Navigator Karen Wielert will be at the Iowa City Public Library from 5:45 to 8:45 p.m. on Monday, April 4, and Wednesday, April 13, to help individuals get more information about the Healthcare Marketplace or sign up for a plan.

All United States citizens and non-citizens with a qualifying immigration status are required to have health coverage for the entire year of 2015 or pay a penalty. This penalty will be assessed as individuals are filing their income taxes.

All sessions of this series will be held in Study Room 6 on the second floor of the Library. These sessions are free.

For more information about this program visit or call the Library at 319-356-5200.

ICPL to Host Pint Size Science for Kids

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on March 31st, 2016

What is science? What do scientists do? Find out at the Iowa City Public Library’s Pint Size Science program!

Elementary students in kindergarten through second grade will meet from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Storytime Room every Tuesday in April to conduct introductory experiments, igniting their interest and understanding of science. This special series will focus on states of matter, meteorology, gizmos and gadgets, and the environment.

Pint Size Science is a free event, but registration is required. To register, visit and click on the event date. Registrations can also be made by calling the Library at 319-356-5200.