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More Animal Facts! The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts

by Maeve Clark on November 3rd, 2016
More Animal Facts! The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts Cover Image

¨Let’s have an animal fact a day. Melody posted on Tuesday about “Weird Animal Facts” and right next to it on the nesea ottersw shelf is “The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts” by Maja Safstrom. Well, it was on the shelf until I snatched it up and checked it out. This delightful little book written and illustrated by Safstrom.   Every page contains an illustration and one or two or three animal facts.  Safstrom’s Instagram shows her flipping through each page.

Here’s today’s amazing animal fact – badgers dig amazing underground dens that can have up to 50 exits (!) and host several badger families.  And here an animal fact for tomorrow, (you know you can never ever have too many animal facts, said the reference librarian), a group of flamingos is called a flamboyance.   If you want to know more animal facts check out “The Illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts” or you can call, email or chat or even better visit the Info Desk; we have animal and every other kind of facts at the ready.

Resources for Job Seekers

by Jennifer Eilers on October 28th, 2016

8674946413_0fdeb0a74b_bHave you recently lost a job or are trying to transition to a new career? The library can help you in a variety of ways to get you back out into the work force. Here are the top ways the library can help you:

 

Help you find a job opening

Access the Iowa Work Force Development site iowajobs.org at one of our computers near the Information desk on the 2nd floor without a library card or guest pass. With a guest pass or library card, you can access several websites with job postings like Craigslist, Corridor Careers, City of Iowa City Job Openings, Press Citizen, University of Iowa Jobs, or one of the staffing agency websites that post their jobs online (Team Staffing Solutions, Kelly Services, Sedona Staffing Agency, etc.)

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Changes to Consumer Reports website

by Melody Dworak on October 28th, 2016

If you haven’t visited the Consumer Reports website in the past month, you’ve been missing out on some helpful changes. The website not only has an updated look, it now hosts 360-degree video, an at-a-glance ratings key, and highlights recall notices for products on their ratings page.

Before September, the ratings legend used to use black and red circles to indicate how well a product performed. These symbols weren’t always easy to interpret. Consumer Reports has changed these symbols to make the performance of the product obvious at a glance, using circles, arrows, and colors as in the following illustration:

New CR ratings key

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Raise a Glass to Freedom…Voting Resources!

by Brian Visser on October 25th, 2016

LinThe 58th U.S. presidential election will take place on Tuesday, November 8, but you know that already, right?  I mean, how could you not?  History has its eyes on us, but maybe you haven’t decided who you’re going to vote for or maybe you’re not registered.  You can register online here.  If you’re not sure whether you’re registered to vote in Iowa, you can check that here.  You can also register in person at any of the early voting locations, which can be found here.  Just be sure to bring along one of these:

  • Iowa driver’s license
  • Iowa non-operator’s ID card
  • Out-of-state driver’s license or non-operator’s ID card
  • US passport
  • US military ID card
  • ID card issued by an employer
  • Student ID card issued by an Iowa high school or an Iowa college

The League of Women Voters put together a website so that you can make an informed decision on who to vote for–Vote411.  You can enter your address to bring up the races applicable to you and easily compare candidates.  The Gazette has an election center as well.  If you click on the “Election Guide” and put in your address, it will show you your ballot.  The Johnson County Auditor’s website has links to all of the candidates websites here.  This is not a moment; it’s the movement.  Vote.  Don’t throw away your shot–Lin-Manuel won’t stand for it 😉

Orionid Meteor Shower reaches it’s peak tonight!

by Beth Fisher on October 21st, 2016

orionid nasaIf you’re not usually outside at night, you probably aren’t aware that something special is going at night this week.  Last night and tonight are the peak nights for viewing the 2016 Orionid Meteor Shower. The Orionid meteor shower began on October 16 and ends around October 27th.  It happens every year in late October when the earth passes through the stream of ice particles and rocks trailing Haley’s Comet.

haleys

Haley’s Comet has a highly elliptical 75.5 year orbit around the Sun. It last passed through the inner part of the solar system in 1986.  Each time it passes the Sun a bit of the ice on the comet melts and rocks and larger chunks of ice break off and join the stream of debris following the comet.

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Banned and Censored Music

by Jason Paulios on September 29th, 2016

ICPL is currently celebrating Banned Books Week and we have a strong history of supporting people’s Freedom to Read. As the music selector, the theme this week has also made me reflect on how amazing it is that the U.S. still creates lyrically censored versions of music because “won’t somebody please think of the children“. The National Coalition Against Censorship created a great list last year of 40 banned and censored songs that I felt needed to be shared as an ICPL display with a vintage shot of Tipper Gore and the Parents Music Resource Center.

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There were some surprises on their list, I never would have guessed someone would have a censorship concern about Phil Collins! I definitely remember MTV censoring Tom Petty’s use of the word “joint” in “You Don’t Know How it Feels”, you can check out the original from us.

As a youngster, I was minimally affected by the PMRC and further outcry, though the summer after 4th grade my friend wasn’t allowed to get the Whitesnake cassette for me for my birthday because my mom told his mom it was too racy. Just imagine the person I might be today if I’d been able to rock out to “Here I Go Again” that summer! I recall being in Musicland just a few years later attempting to convince my Dad that the Parental Advisory label on the Tone Lōc cassette was probably put on by mistake. To his credit, he bought me that tape and I rapped along to “Cheeba Cheeba” blissfully unaware of what Tone was talking about. And while Tone Lōc might not be musically or historically interesting enough to warrant inclusion in the ICPL collection, I’m happy to report that we only purchase unaltered lyrical versions of other albums and leave the decision up to your household to decide what is appropriate. I highly recommend all parents take the risk and check out “Appetite for Destruction” for their kid(s), I learned an important 5th grade playground life lesson about swearing at classmates when parroting Axl from their song “It’s So Easy“! Feel free to share your own stories in the comments!

Common eAudio Errors and One Simple Fix

by Anne Mangano on September 20th, 2016

Checking out, downloading, and listening to an audiobook on your device from the Iowa City Public Library is easy as pie.

Until it isn’t.

overdriveerrorEvery once in a while I encounter skips as if I’m listening to a scratched CD.

Or I receive the error message “Bad Audiobook Part: This audiobook part cannot be played because of a bad file.”

Or the audiobook won’t open at all.

Don’t panic. It is easy to fix these problems. Something probably happened in the downloading process and you need to delete the bad file(s) and redownload.

This pretty much fixes the problem. Except if you are out running and have to wait until you get home to redownload it. For that, I sympathize and apologize.

 

 

Finding a Family, part 2: From Missouri to Iowa

by Candice Smith on September 17th, 2016

In my last post, I’d found my grandfather Carl in the 1925 census. I also found out that his father and his grandfather were born in Missouri, which came as a surprise to me. For as long as I’d known them, my father’s family of aunts, uncles, and cousins were all in Oelwein, Iowa, and I’d never thought to ask if they’d moved there from somewhere else. Oelwein can kind of seem like a place where, the people who live there, they’ve always just been there and nowhere else. I don’t mean that in a disparaging way, just that it’s a small town and community, everyone knows everyone and all their family members, all of their stories, and the stories of their parents and grandparents. They know where everyone works, who built what, who lives where, who everyone’s children got married to, etc. Oelwein is familiar and self-contained.

So, just who were these Missourians that came to Oelwein? Read the rest of this entry »

The Northwest Passage

by Tom Jordan on September 8th, 2016

On August 16, the cruise ship Crystal Serenity departed from Anchorage on a voyage through the Northwest Passage.  The ship is along the west coast of Greenland this week, making stops in Sisimiut and Nuuk, and it will end up in New York City next week.  Here’s the route: NW passage cruise map

The first trip by sea through the Northwest Passage was Roald Amundsen’s 1903-1906 expedition.  Though ships are using this route more in recent years (30 did in 2012), the Crystal Serenity is the first large-scale luxury cruise liner to make the transit.  Ticket prices ranged from $22,000 to $120,000, and the ship is accompanied by the icebreaking R.R.S Ernest Shackleton. Read the rest of this entry »

Back to School! Home Schooling Resources

by Jennifer Eilers on September 4th, 2016

file791271781089Last week was my kindergartner’s first full week of school. While my kiddo has only reported back to me about the fun she’s had at recess, her backpack is full of the school work she’s been doing but doesn’t bother mentioning. Since I plan and put together the curriculum for the adult computer classes at the library, I know that crafting an interesting lesson for any learner can be a challenge. I have to applaud not only the teachers who plan out my child’s learning on a daily basis but the parents that choose to home school their kiddos as well. While I know many home school parents have started school already, I thought it might be helpful to mention of few of the library’s resources as well as the resources I’ve run into that may make lesson planning a little easier. Read the rest of this entry »




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