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Top 5 Reasons I Use E-Books and E-Audiobooks

by Jennifer Eilers on December 15th, 2014

5. There are loads of books to choose from.

The library’s e-book and e-audiobook collection has over 10,000 books. So whether you are in the mood for something like Tina Fey’s Bossypants, Donna Tart’s The Goldfinch or even a classic like Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, we’ve got it.

4. I never have to remember to return my books. EVER.

Even though I work at the library, I still rack up a considerable amount of fines on my card so I really appreciate that Overdrive automatically returns my books when they are due.

3. I can read or listen to a book without lugging it around.

As long as I have my phone, I can read or listen to a book. Once I’ve downloaded a book, I don’t even need an internet connection to read. This comes in particularly handy when I’m traveling long distances either in the car or on a plane.

2. The library is never closed.

As long as I have my library card and my password, I can check out a book. Whether I’m looking for something to read right before bed at 10:30 p.m. or listen to during that 6:00 a.m. workout, I can open the Overdrive app and generally find something.

1. I always have someone to read to me before bed.

On most smartphones or tablets you can set a sleep function. This means I can play my e-audiobook before bed and it will automatically turn off after a set period of time. I can doze off listening to my book knowing the next time I go to listen Overdrive will pick up at the place when the timer went off. (It’s also easy to go back a little ways in a chapter if you missed something while nodding off.)

Stop by during one of our Tech Help times: Mondays and Wednesdays 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., Tuesdays 12 p.m.-4 p.m.  or Thursday from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. for Senior Tech Help. Any one of our technology people can get you started with Overdrive on your mobile device!

How do I find out what channel the game’s on?

by Melody Dworak on December 12th, 2014

If you want to know *right now* what’s on television, click here.

If you want to know *in general* how to get TV listings online for Iowa City, an easy-peasy way is to go to the Iowa City Press Citizen website. Next click on the “Go Iowa City” tab at the top of the web page, and find “TV Channel Guide” on the left-hand side under “Quick Links”.

Happy channel-surfing!

Press Citizen Go Iowa City

Health Insurance and Your Taxes

by Jennifer Eilers on December 1st, 2014

For those that are filing taxes in 2014 you will likely see a new section that has been added to the tax form. This is because 2014 is the first year that the penalties for not having health insurance come into effect. Based on the drafts of the tax forms released by IRS, those that have health insurance through their employer or have purchased insurance through a private company will only need to check a box.

The tax filing process for those that purchased insurance through the Marketplace or for those that didn’t have any insurance or only partial insurance coverage through 2014 will be a  little more complicated. To help with those complications, the library is hosting the VITA program.

VITA, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, is made up of volunteers from the Tippie College of Business Beta Alpha Psi chapter. These volunteers help low and moderate income taxpayers in the Johnson County area prepare and file their taxes.These volunteers will be available at certain times in the library beginning in January. For dates and times VITA is available, click here.

The library will also have a  variety of tax forms and instructions available for individuals as they are received from the IRS. Several forms and publications have yet to be finalized this year due to the Affordable Care Act and other tax reforms. This may mean some printed forms will not be made available until mid-February or later. The government is  also limiting the number of printed tax forms and instructions, for example Publication 17 (ALL tax instructions), which will only be available online.

For more information about the your taxes and the Affordable Care Act, visit:

ACA Tax Provisions FAQ

DRAFTS of 2014 tax forms

Healthcare Enrollment or Plan Information

 

Letters About Literature

by Brian Visser on November 28th, 2014

Browne,_Henriette_-_A_Girl_Writing;_The_Pet_Goldfinch_-_Google_Art_ProjectHave you ever loved a book so much that you had to let the author know?  That they were the only person who would understand how you felt?  Letters About Literature is a program where students in grades 4 through 12 write a letter to an author explaining how that author’s work impacted them.

The Letters can be written about works from any genre, fiction or nonfiction by authors from the present or the past. Students can write about a book, short story, poem, or speech.

The program is sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.  The Iowa Center for the Book is the Iowa sponsor.

Iowa first place winners win $75. Second and third place winners win $50.  Honorable Mention winners win $25.

The deadline for high school students is December 15, 2014. The deadline for elementary and middle school students is January 15, 2015. You can learn more at the Iowa Center for the Book website and read last year’s winning entries at http://www.iowacenterforthebook.org/letters

But maybe you don’t want to enter the contest and just want to write a letter to your favorite author.  We have a database that can help with that.  To access it, go to http://www.icpl.org/resources/ scroll down and click on “Contemporary Authors.”  Contemporary Authors has a lot of interesting information about more than 120,000 U.S. and international authors.  For example, you can search “Lowry, Lois,” and it will list info about awards she has won, her bibliography and personal information including a home address.  So, you could write a letter about how The Giver is your absolute favorite book of all time.  Wouldn’t that be awesome?

How do I get a map of Iowa City?

by Melody Dworak on November 24th, 2014

Maps IowaFew places carry paper maps anymore. If you are looking for a map of Iowa City, you can turn to the Iowa Department of Transportation. They have a place on their website where you can look for maps of Iowa cities and counties. From this webpage, click the “City and county maps” link, and then find Johnson County. Clicking on the Johnson County shape takes you to where you can choose between Iowa City, Coralville, and North Liberty. Clicking on the name of the city will bring up a PDF that you can then see all of the roads in one view.

If you really wanted to see the whole thing on paper, you can print it on 25 different pages (Print –>Page Size/Handling–>Poster). Of if you are in the neighborhood of the Johnson County Administration Building during business hours, you can try to stop in to see if they have what you’re looking for. The Assessor’s Office should have a small map at the very least.

 

Consumer Reports on line through ICPL.

by Beth Fisher on November 17th, 2014

consumerreportsBegun in 1936, Consumer Reports magazine is the go-to source for unbiased consumer reviews of consumer products – from air conditioners to vacuums and everything in between. Consumer Reports publishes reviews and comparisons of products based on its own  in-house laboratory testing and survey research center.  Published monthly by the not for profit organization Consumer’s Union,  Consumer Reports contains no advertising, and they anonymously purchase every product that they test at retail price, and they accept no free samples for testing.   Consumer Reports forbids the use of its reviews by manufacturers – positive reviews may not be used to help sell merchandise, and CR has gone to court to enforce that rule.

The print version of Consumer Reports is available at ICPL both as a circulating magazine and as a Reference item to be used here in the Library.

If you have an ICPL Library card and live in Iowa City, Hills, Lone Tree, University Heights or rural Johnson County you can access Consumer Reports articles online through ICPL’s online database “EbscoHost Magazine Index” by following these steps:

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To get to the online databases, from the library’s homepage (icpl.org) find the link to Reference and Research on the left hand side, and click to see the dropdown menu.   From there choose Online Resources.

 

 

Capture3From the Online Resources page, choose Magazines & Newspapers.

 

 

 

Capture4On the Magazines & Newspapers page, you need to scroll down to find EbscoHost Magazine Index – and click on the link that says visit now.

 

 

 

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EbscoHost itself is a very large product that provides access to a wide variety of databases.   Consumer Reports is contained in the default search MasterFILE Premier, so simply click on the continue button at this step.

 

 

 

Capture6On the homepage of EbscoHost there is a search box, and you could search for your article here, but you will likely get a wide variety of results from a wide variety of magazines.   To go directly to Consumer Reports, it is faster to do an Advanced Search.

 

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From the advance search page, fill in the subject you’re looking for at the top of the form then scroll down until you find the blank for Publication and put Consumer Reports in that blank. Then hit the green Search button.

 

 

 

Capture8The search results page will show you a list of articles to choose from.   You can either click on the individual article to read more about it, or click directly on one of the full text options – either PDF or HTML to view as a web page.

 

Health Insurance Enrollment Help and Information

by Jennifer Eilers on November 14th, 2014

Are you unsure about how the Affordable Care will affect you? The library is hosting a series of information and enrollment sessions at the library that coincide with the Marketplace’s open enrollment period. This Saturday from 10 -11 a.m.   in the Library’s computer lab, Navigator, Karen Wielert, will present information pertinent to those that already have healthcare coverage. From 11 a.m. – 1p.m., anyone is welcome to come and ask questions about the Affordable Care Act and get help with enrollment.

Additional informational and enrollment sessions are offered on November 29th and December 6th from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the computer lab. All sessions are free.  The library is also providing materials and books about the Affordable Care Act, heath care, and health insurance through its display on the second floor.

For more information about these sessions, click here or call the library at 319-356-5200.

If you are unable to attend these sessions but would still like to receive assistance with enrollment or get more information about the Affordable Care Act visit  healthcare.gov.

Johnson County’s Access Points

Navigator for Johnson County, Karen Wielert: 319-535-2679 or karen.wielert@ppheartland.org

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Enrollment Center: 319-356-2208 or socialservices-marketplace@uiowa.edu

For low income or individuals qualifying for Medicaid

Johnson County Public Health: 319-356-6042

Department of Human Services: 319-356-6050

Voting today?

by Candice Smith on November 4th, 2014

If you’re heading out to vote today, you’ll need to go to your polling station.

You can find your polling station with the Johnson County Auditor’s nifty locator!

This is a new version of their locator, and it utilizes their awesome GIS viewer, which is itself a fantastic tool for viewing maps and information about the area. This locator also gives you directions on how to get to your polling place from your street address.

Of course, you can call us at 356-5200, and we’ll look up your polling place for you!

 

Biggest Book in the World

by Mary Estle-Smith on November 3rd, 2014

oedRecently I was  asked what is the biggest book in the world, and and do we have it.  The biggest book we own, if  you consider it one book, is the Oxford English  Dictionary with 20 volumes and approximately 21,730 pages.

 According to my research the real Biggest Book in the World is literally  carved in stone.  It resides  at the foot of wbbMandalay Hill  in Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma) on  of grounds of the Kuthodaw pagoda (kuthodaw, “royal merit”). It has 730 leaves and 1460 pages; each page stands upright and is 3.51 ft wide,   5.02 ft tall and 5.1 in thick.Each stone tablet has its own roof and precious gem on top in a small cave-like structures which  are arranged around a central golden pagoda.220px-Mandalay_kuthodawIf you are interested in reading the longest and probably most tedious book, it would most likely be the U.S. tax code with some 74,000 pages.

 

Read and pedal

by Tom Jordan on October 17th, 2014

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My oldest daughter is nine and she’s a super reader. She’ll be still for long periods of time and the book is all she needs. My other daughter is on her way to being a super reader too, but the being still part is tough. Part of it is her age, she’s six, but part of it is just who she is. Jumping, kicking, punching the air, or striking a pose is what she’s doing.

So I read this article about children riding exercise bikes in school while reading. There’s more on the program here. Apparently, kids like it and it helps them learn. There’s not enough research presented to satisfy a skeptic, but it fits with my experience of listening to books or podcasts while exercising. It’s a good combination.

Imagine if we had these in your school or here in ICPL. My six-year-old would love it. Maybe yours would too.




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