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Iowa Land Records

by Tom Jordan on June 24th, 2016

Iowa Land Records is a website where you can search for and view Iowa real estate documents.  It’s put together by the Iowa County Recorders Association.

In order to use the site you’ll need to register with a username and password.  After logging in, select the Land Record Search link.  The next page requires you to select the counties you’d like to search; it looks like this: Read the rest of this entry »

The Adult Summer Reading Program is halfway over – but there’s still time to join in the fun!

by Beth Fisher on June 30th, 2016

July 1st is here!  That means we’re halfway through the 2016 Summer Reading Program. But you still have time to play along.

This year, participation is even easier – you can do it online or with a paper game-card available at any public service desk in the Library.   For people 18 and over, all you have to do is complete 5 activities.  You can read 5 books of your choosing, or use one of the suggestions on the came card or from a recommended list on the Summer Reading Program 2016 website

Some of the Reading List topics you’ll find on the SRP website:gooreads choice

  • Adventures on a Bike
  • Books Becoming Movies in 2016
  • Change your life one book at a time
  • Explore Iowa
  • Fiction Set in Iowa
  • Goodreads Choice Awards 2015: Best Fiction
  • If You Can’t Stand the Heat, Get Out Of The Kitchen – Grilling & Barbecue Cookbooks
  • NPR’s Book Concierge Best Biographies & Memoir 2015
  • Wanderlust – True Stories of Exploration and Adventure

NOTE:  Sorry, I can’t make a direct link into the Summer Reading Program website.  You have to log in to see the book list.  (And you want to, you really do!)
Read the rest of this entry »

New local biography series – Iowa City People: Steve Bridges

by Bond Drager on June 28th, 2016

The first episode of our new biography series, “Iowa City People” has made its debut online and on Library Channel 20. Our guinea pig guest, “Captain” Steve Bridges, has a fascinating story. Most people in Iowa City know him as the morning co-host on KCJJ 1630, but there’s a lot more to his tale.

I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy and I want to see fireworks

by Maeve Clark on June 27th, 2016

FireworksMonday is July 4th and there are fireworks all over Iowa.  In fact, if you want to want to get a head start on your holiday fireworks, the City of Iowa will be hosting a fireworks display on Sunday, July 3rd.  It’s Jazz Fest weekend, a not-to-be-missed, multi-day event in the Summer of the Arts calendar.  The three-day event culminates with fireworks. Spectators are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets and take in the fireworks  from the University of Iowa Pentacrest lawn. The west lawn provides the best view, although the display will also be visible from the east side of the Old Capitol building and Downtown.Fireworks will be launched from Hubbard Park, at the intersection of Madison Street and Iowa Avenue, and will get underway sometime between 9:30 and 9:45 p.m. Inclement weather may call for flexibility in the start time. Rain date for fireworks is Monday, July 4, same time, same place.

On July 4th there are several opportunities for viewing fireworks in Johnson County.  Coralville’s fireworks start at dusk and are the final event in Coral4thFest!  Their fireworks take place at S.T. Morrison Park, between 7th and 8th Streets.   Coralville also has a parade on July 4.  The 4thFest parade begins at 10:00 am on Monday, July 4. The 4thFest parade is the area’s largest Independence Day parade.  It’s a really big parade and lots of fun.

Hills has activities planned for both Sunday and Monday with a parade starting at 5:30 on Monday and  fireworks at dusk.  Oxford has a whole weekend of activities beginning with a street dance on Saturday night and a parade at 3 pm on July 4th. Oxford, like Iowa City,  will have its fireworks on Sunday at dusk.

If you know of other fireworks in the area, please share.  And if you use fireworks at home, please be careful.

Beer Caves

by Maeve Clark on June 21st, 2016

beer caveThe Iowa City Press Citizen ran a story today about the beer caves found under Brewery Square! The story by Andy Davis is about the work the Office of the State Archaeologist and the University of Iowa Geographical and Sustainability Sciences Department in making high definition 3-D images of the caves.  Seeing the maps will bring me even closer to my dream of getting to actually down in them.   At Weber Days last year, Marlin Ingalls from the Office the State Archeologist, gave a talk on the not only the beer caves below Brewery Square, but the other caves in Iowa City as well as the caves in Cedar Rapids.  You can watch the program, Prohibition, Breweries and Beer Caves, and learn about the history of the brewers, when Iowa City went dry, (it was more than once), and find out about the beer riots.

If you want to read more about beer in early Iowa City history Irving Weber has also written about bars, brewers and all sorts of carrying on.  You can read Irving Weber’s columns through the University of Iowa’s Iowa Digital Library.  And if you are interested in learning about beer and finding the best ones to try,  the library can help you with that too.

What is so historic about US Route 6?

by Maeve Clark on June 13th, 2016

Historic Route 6 Iowa signHave you wondered about these signs?  The signs are easy to explain, but story behind the US 6, is a long and winding one.  U.S. Route 6 (US 6), is a main route of the U.S. Highway system. It currently runs east-northeast from Bishop, California to Provincetown, Massachusetts, although the route has been modified several times. The highway’s longest-lasting routing, from 1936 to 1964, had its western terminus at Long Beach, California. During this time, US 6 was the longest highway in the country.   The first numbered segment of Route 6, extending from Provincetown, Massachusetts, to Brewster, New York, was designated in 1925. Soon thereafter Route 6 was extended to Erie, Pa, the Pennsylvania segment routed along the “Roosevelt Highway,” a name that would soon apply to the entire transcontinental Route 6. In 1931, Route 6 was further extended to Greeley, Colorado along a path that combined quite a number of separate numbered and unnumbered segments, including U. S. 32 across part of Illinois and all of Iowa, and U. S. 38 across part of Nebraska. Finally, in 1937, the route was extended westward to Bishop, California and south to Long Beach. Then in 1965, the segment south of Bishop was decommissioned. The name “Roosevelt Highway” seems to have stuck for a while, but had faded by the 1950s. Throughout its history, before and after the magic moment in 1937 when Route 6 gained its transcontinentality, numerous route modifications were made, most of them at a local scale. (http://www.heritagedocumentaries.org/Route6/story.html)                 GAR sign

In 1953 Route 6 was designated the Grand Army of the Republic [GAR] Highway to honor those who served in the Civil War and signs were found as  in all fourteen of the states through which it ran. Through the 19602 and 1970s the GAR Highway signs gradually disappeared.In the early 1990s, this name was revived and it appears on signs in all fourteen Route 6 states (numerically ranging from four in California, to nearly 100 signs in Indiana).

Iowa has a fascinating road history, (look for more posts on this topic), parts of  the River to River Road which was built in a day across Iowa in 1910, became Route 6. It was built through the coordinated effort of people in every township along the way. In the 1920s, the road that would become Route river to river6 was designated by utility poles that were painted white, creating the White Pole Road, or White Way Highway. These designations had disappeared until the Spring of 1999 when a series of White Pole whitePoleRoadMapRoad signs appeared along Route 6 in Cass County, Iowa.  Irving Weber writes about the White Way Highway, among other highways in volume 5 of his Historical stories about Iowa City.

In 2013, with the help of the Iowa City/Coralville Convention and Visitors Bureau,  Iowa City added the Historic Route 6 signs.  If you want to learn more about the Historic Route 6 a great place to start is the US Route 6 Tourist Association.   And if you want to learn more about Iowa City streets, including Historic Route 6, be sure to watch Tom Schulien’s 2016 Weber Day’s presentation Making Sense out of Iowa City Streets

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Printing and Scanning Documents

by Mary Estle-Smith on June 7th, 2016

One of the questions asked most frequently is how and where to print out documents.  We have a couple of ways to accomplish this.

If you just need to quickly pull up something from your email or another online site,  we have the EXPRESS internet stations which are in front of the print/copy area.   These stations have generic logins that will give you 15 minutes to complete your task.  If you have something more time-consuming to retrieve, edit, etc.  You can use your library card and password for 2 hours, or if you do not have a library card, you can get a guest pass from the Page Station for 1 hour of use at our public internet stations.

When your document is ready to print, the basic process consists of sending your item(s) to the print server .  You then log into the print server to retrieve your print job.

Black & white copies are $.10 each and color is $.50 per page.  There is a coin/cash box by the print station.

If you have documents to scan, several of the public internet stations have scanners attached.    For shorter tasks there is an EXPRESS scan station in the printer area.  This station has both a document   scanner for multi-paged items, and a flatbed scanner.  You can quickly scan your documents, convert to various formats, and email or send to your phone or a thumb drive for future use.  I have used the document scanner  several times and it is pretty slick.

There is also a special scanner for items with larger dimensions or for scanning slides in the microfilm reader area.

Information Desk and Page Station staff can assist you is using the printing or scanning services.

 

Where do I vote?

by Maeve Clark on June 7th, 2016

Your-Vote-Is-Your-Voice-1Today is the 2016 primary election in Iowa. You  must be registered as a Democrat or a Republican to vote, but you can do that at your polling site.  To find out where to vote you can call us at the library at 319-356-5200 or the Johnson County Auditor’s Office at 319-356-6004.  Or you can use the Auditor’s handy interactive guide .  You need to enter your entire address including the city.   The Auditor’s Office also has a list of candidates in the respective parties.

Voronoi and Delaunay

by Todd Brown on June 3rd, 2016

voronoiDo you know what Voronoi Diagrams and Delaunay Triangulations are? I did not until a few weeks ago.

Basically a Voronoi diagram is a set of convex polygons, like in the image to the right. They are created from a set of points called seeds. All of the points within each polygon are closer to that polygon’s seed than to any of the other polygon’s seeds. The points along an edge are the same distance to the seed points of those two polygons. The point at each vertex is the same distance from at least three seed points.

Still with me?

The Delaunay triangulation is a set of triangles connecting the seed points of each polygon to its two nearest neighboring seed points.

So what good are they?

There are a lot of uses for them. If each seed point was an obstacle to avoid then a self-driving car could use the edges of the Delaunay triangulation to find the safest path through the obstacles. John Snow created a Voronoi diagram of London showing that cholera deaths of 1854 were closer to one water pump than to the others. You could even draw a Voronoi diagram on a map using coffee shops as the seed points, so you would always know which one you were nearest to. There are many applications in many fields, like chemistry, biology, astronomy, mathematics, 3D graphics, telecommunications and so forth.

Of course you want to draw one by hand, so here is how:
Start off with some random points on your paper. These are your seed points. The more points you add the more complex the diagram becomes the more time it takes to draw.

points

 

 

 

 

 

Make the Delaunay Triangulation by connecting the points.

triangles

 

 

 

 

 

Find the middle point on each side of the triangles. Draw a line perpendicular to each side at that midpoint. These lines become the sides of the polygons and the points where they intersect are the vertices of the polygons. Below, the blue lines are the Delaunay Triangulation and the red are the Voronoi Diagram.

both

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memorial Day Observances

by Heidi Lauritzen on May 26th, 2016

Memorial_Day-026Memorial Day is always the last Monday in May, and provides us the opportunity to remember and honor those who have died in service to the United States of America.

According to the U. S Department of Veterans Affairs, Memorial Day originated as Decoration Day and was established several years after the Civil War ended by an organization of Union veterans.  The practice of decorating graves with flowers and flags dates to this time.  After World War I, this day of remembrance was expanded to include veterans lost in all American wars.  In 1971 the U. S. Congress declared Memorial Day to be a national holiday.  In 2000, Congress passed the “National Moment of Remembrance Act” which encourages citizens to pause wherever they are at 3:00 pm local time on Memorial Day “to observe a National Moment of Remembrance to honor the men and women of the United States who died in the pursuit of freedom and peace”.

In Iowa City, there are three Memorial Day observances:

  • Ceremony to honor soldiers and sailors lost at sea will be held on the bridge on Park Road, off N. Dubuque Street, at 8:30 a.m.
  • Celebration at Oakland Cemetery, 1000 Brown Street, beginning at 9:30 a.m., sponsored by the Grand Army of the Republic, American Legion Post 17 and Auxiliary, and the Johnson County Military Affairs Association, and Iowa City Parks and Recreation (see their website for more details).  In case of rain, the ceremony will be moved to Opstad Auditorium at City High School, 1900 Morningside Drive.
  • Memorial Day Service will be held at Memory Gardens Cemetery, 2600 Muscatine Avenue, at 11:00 a.m., by the Johnson County Military Affairs Association with American Legion Post 17.

In Coralville, there will be a service at Oak Hill Cemetery, First Avenue north of I-80, beginning at 11:15 a.m. by the Coralville American Legion and Color Guard.  In case of rain, it will be moved to Coralville American Legion, 901 2nd Street, at 11:30 a.m.




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