Magazines with Staying Power

by Heidi Lauritzen on March 30th, 2018

When the Iowa City Public Library opened in 1897, its reading room contained twenty magazine titles for visitors to read.  More than a century later, we still offer seven of those first twenty titles!  They are:
The Atlantic, Harper’s Bazaar, Harper’s Magazine, National Geographic, Popular Science, and Publishers Weekly.  The seventh title, Library Journal, is circulated among just library staff since it is primarily library news and reviews of new materials that help with acquisition decisions.

We receive only print issues of Publishers Weekly and Library Journal. For the other titles, we provide both the print issues in our magazine area in the first floor atrium, and a downloadable version via RBdigital Magazines. Find out more about downloading these and 100+ other magazines on this Digital Johnson County page on our website.

The Library typically keeps one year’s worth of issues for monthly magazines, and three months’ worth of issues for a weekly magazine. Back issues may be checked out, but the latest issue is always for in-house use only. You may place holds on magazine issues, just as you do for books or movies.

Each of these original seven titles is indexed in the Gale online resource called “PowerSearch”. Dates vary among the titles, but many of these magazines are indexed back forty to fifty years, and have full-text articles from the past twenty years or more.  PowerSearch contains more than 300 million articles, from thousands of sources. Find PowerSearch on our website here.

Are magazines that have been around for 120 years too stuffy for you? Try one of our newer titles at the Library: MaryJanesFarm (“simple solutions for organic living”), Plein Air Magazine (for landscape and plein air painting), Milk Street (cooking magazine from Christopher Kimball, formerly of America’s Test Kitchen), or Atomic Ranch which “celebrates mid-century houses from 1940s ranch tracts to 1960s modernist homes”.

Facebook – Should I Stay or Should I Go?

by Maeve Clark on March 21st, 2018

Facebook is fun and a great way to share information and stay connected with friends and family. Right? Right. However, after the Cambridge Analytica data-harvesting scandal you might be ready to just say goodbye to Facebook.  Before you close your account, consider your options.  David Nield , writing for Gizmodo, walks you through steps on how to stay on Facebook but not share any more information than necessary.  Start by making your profile sparse, keep your activity to a minimum, disconnect from third-part apps, (those puzzles, games and quizzes), and continue to pay attention to your privacy settings.  Nield has links to even more ways to secure your Facebook account.

Gennie Gebhart , a research and advocacy writer on consumer privacy, surveillance, and security issues for  the Electronic Frontier Foundation, informs Facebook members how to control your privacy settings.  She also details how Cambridge Analytica was able to access more than 50 million Facebook users’ data in 2014.  The Guardian gives an even more sobering look at the Cambridge Analytica scandal in a piece by Paul Lewis on Sandy Parakilas, the platform operations manager at Facebook responsible for policing data breaches by third-party software developers between 2011 and 2012. Parkilas had repeatedly warned Facebook that its lax approach to data protection would leave users vulnerable.  And if you still want to go, Facebook details the steps to either deactivate or delete your account.

 

 

Free access to the New York Times!

by Melody Dworak on March 16th, 2018

New York Times Digital AccessNever hit a paywall again with your Iowa City Public Library card! We are pleased to announce that residents now have free access to the New York Times website anywhere, anytime. From quick news updates to deep dives into a topic, The New York Times keeps you up-to-date on what you need to know.

You will need an access code to use this resource. You must also live in Iowa City, Hills, Lone Tree, University Heights, or rural Johnson County. Further details can be found on the New York Times resource page on the ICPL website. Happy reading!

Edit: This access is available through the Digital Johnson County collections we share with the Coralville Public Library and the North Liberty Community Library. That means that Coralville residents can get free access through the CPL website, using their CPL card, and North Liberty residents use the NLCL website with their NLCL card.

A Murder of Crows

by Beth Fisher on February 11th, 2018
A Murder of Crows Cover Image

One thing I like most about Facebook is how one comment can lead to a great discussion.  A few days ago a friend commented that she loved seeing “wheeling flocks of birds in the sky.”  Someone then mentioned seeing a murmuration of Starlings on a recent drive from Muscatine to Iowa City. Another friend then asked if a murmuration refers only to Starlings (it does) and what a group of Pigeons would be called?  (Pigeons can be a flight, a flock or a kit.)

British artist, illustrator and author Matt Sewell’s newest book A Charm of Goldfinches And Other Wild Gatherings is a wonderfully illustrated guide to many of the group names humans give to members of the animal kingdom.

In the introduction, Sewell states that many of the phrases he has included in his book are hundreds of years old or older,  many found in The Book of Saint Albans (The Boke of Seynt Albans.) Printed originally in 1486, versions of The Book of Saint Albans were reprinted many times, under many names, over the next 400 years.  The original was reproduced as The Boke of St Albans, with an introduction by William Blades, in 1881.

A Charm of Goldfinches contains more than 50 animal groups, each with Sewell’s beautiful watercolor illustrations and a half-page discussion of how the names came to be.  Sewell lives in Great Britain, so a few of the species listed, such as Lapwings, are not found in North America.

There are some groups that most people are familiar with – a pod of dolphins, a pride of lions, or a murder of crows.  Here are few to test your knowledge:

 

A shiver of ________.

A _______ of crocodiles.

A parliament of ______.

A ________ of foxes.

A cloud of ________.

 

To find the answers you’ll have to check out the book!

 

Shot through the [symbol of courtly love and religious devotion] heart…

by Candice Smith on February 6th, 2018
Shot through the [symbol of courtly love and religious devotion] heart… Cover Image

and you’re to blame. Yes, you.

Valentine’s Day is coming up, when we remember and give thanks for two early Christians in Rome, both named Valentine, both martyred for their beliefs. You don’t do that? Maybe you write saccharine poetry to the object of your unrequited love? No? Perhaps you buy a card and some candy, make reservations somewhere fancy or make a nice meal, and use the day to test the waters or reaffirm your love. And all of it–the cards, the candy, the poems, the napkins and candles, the ill-advised matching tattoos–is covered in little red hearts. Why?

It seems obvious, right? The heart is the physical seat of our emotions. It’s the tell-tale organ that gives lie to our calm composure, regardless of whether our heart is bursting with the excitement of love, or breaking under corrected expectations. The heart soars, it plummets, it races along, and it aches, all in time with our lives of love. The heart, as symbol of that love, is the OG emoji. How OG? Read the rest of this entry »

Small Details Make a Difference for eBooks/Audiobooks

by Anne Mangano on February 5th, 2018

Sometimes some small details can make a big difference in how you experience something, especially if it saves time. Here are some small things you can do in Libby, our app for OverDrive eBooks and audiobooks that make reading (or listening) even easier.

Get right to what you want by changing your search preferences

By clicking the plus sign, you can change how your search results are filtered and sorted. See only what is Read the rest of this entry »

The Lunar Trifecta – A Super Blood Blue Moon Lunar Eclipse – where and when to watch

by Maeve Clark on January 30th, 2018

If you are an early morning skywatcher, you are in for a treat tomorrow.   Monday’s Trilobites column by  Nicolas St. Fleur in the New York Times details what will happen during this celestial event – “Lunar eclipses are not uncommon, but the coincidence of Wednesday’s blood moon with other astronomical events is what makes this event special. First, because it is a “blue moon” — that means it is the second full moon to occur in a month. Also, it is a supermoon, meaning it will be closer to the Earth than usual, ” According to Mr. Johnston.  a program executive at NASA””Midwesterners are a tad luckier as they will be able to see more of the event. For them, the moon enters the penumbra at 4:51 a.m. Central Time and starts to turn reddish around 6:15 a.m. Central Time. Between 6:15 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. local time will be the best chance for anyone living in the Midwest to see the spectacle before the sun rises.”   Johnston has been blogging about the moon for NASA since 2004

The best tip for anyone trying to see the eclipse is to get a clear view of the horizon and look in the west-northwest direction. “The farther west you are, the higher in the west-northwest the moon will appear, the darker the sky will be,” said Mr. Johnston, “and the longer you will be able to view the eclipse before sunrise and moonset.”  NASA will be streaming the lunar event at NASA.gov/live and has a lot of great information at it including a graphic that shows the cycle of the eclipse. If this post and the upcoming lunar trifecta has piqued your interest in the skywatching, the library has a wealth of books for all ages of readers.  We also have spectacular dvds to aid you in your understanding of the universe.

Climate Action Survey

by Maeve Clark on January 16th, 2018

People living and working in Iowa City are invited to participate in a community survey that will help provide direction for Iowa City’s first ever Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. The short survey asks participants for their thoughts and perspectives as the Iowa City community works toward creating a plan to reduce the City’s emissions reduction goals and also creating a more livable, equitable and resilient Iowa City. Iowa City’s Climate Action Committee formed in November 2017  and meets on a monthly basis. Learn more about the project at www.icgov.org/climateaction.

 

If you are interested in reading more about climate change, the library has many resources  If simplicity is a goal for 2018 we have many titles motivate you. One of my favorite new titles is The gentle art of Swedish death cleaning : how to free yourself and your family from a lifetime of clutter  with text and drawings by Margareta Magnusson.  Trying to reduce your carbon footprint, we also have books and dvds to help.  And if driving less is important, you can borrow books and magazines to read or listen to without leaving your home or workplace through Digital Johnson County.   If you are looking for inspiration on how to buy less, Ann Patchett  wrote recently in the New York Times about challenges of her year of no shopping.   Or listen to her interview with friend Elissa Kim on WBUR’s On Point.

 

 

Coretta Scott King kept her husband’s dream alive

by Alyssa Hanson on January 16th, 2018

Who tells your story? For Martin Luther King, Jr., it was his wife Coretta Scott King. I was reminded of this by a tweet on Twitter from one of King’s children:

The reason we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr’s life is due to Mrs. King who continued to advocate for civil rights, even after her husband’s assassination. It’s easy to forget that while we need leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr., we also need those who tell their stories and carry on their ideas. Mrs. King devoted her life to telling her husband’s story and became a leader herself, championing the work to promote equality. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s Snowing, Where Can I Park?

by Mary Estle-Smith on January 8th, 2018

Don’t let this be you!

We have been pretty spoiled the last 2 winters with mild temps and very little snow.  This one looks to be more of the “normal” Iowa winter we all know and love(?).

If you live or park in Iowa City it is pretty important to know where you can and cannot park, when your street will be plowed,  under what circumstances you can be ticketed and/or towed, etc.

Visit  Iowa City streets page  for a wealth of information about all these questions and many other winter or snow related issues.  There is also a map of plow routes coded by priority which may be helpful.

Coralville residents can visit the Coralville Streets site for similar information.

If you are new to the Iowa City area or have allowed yourself to forget what winters can bestow on us, look at these sites as a refresher to potentially save yourself some difficulty.