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How do I get the local TV channels without having cable?

by Melody Dworak on September 9th, 2014

TV antennaThis question came in on Saturday, and it was a ton of fun sleuthing it out.

Iowa City currently has 5 local television channels (4, 5, 10, 18, 21). These broadcast from Iowa City itself and are government or community channels like the City Channel, Library Channel, and PATV (public access).

The affiliate stations like CBS, ABC, FOX, and NBC broadcast from farther away, and that’s why they don’t come in as well without the right kind of antenna. PBS/IPTV is a little farther away as well, but word is it comes in a little better than the others. Read the rest of this entry »

What should you read next? NoveList Plus can help

by Brian Visser on September 5th, 2014

novplus200

Have you ever gone to Amazon to find a new book to read?  Maybe you viewed the page of a book you really loved and looked at the books in the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” section.  I know I have, but there’s a better way!  Behold: NoveList Plus.  NoveList Plus is a tool created to connect readers with books they will enjoy.  To access it, go to http://www.icpl.org/resources/ scroll down and click on “Novelist Plus.”   You can use the search bar near the top of the screen.  Type your favorite author, series, or book into the bar, then click “Search.”  At the results screen, click on the title that you’re looking for.  Read-alikes are listed on the right side of the book’s page:

read-alikes

These read-alikes are based on subject and genre, as well as “appeal factors” grouped by storyline, pace, tone, and writing style.  For example, Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell appeal factors are:

Genre:Love stories; Multiple perspectives; Teen chick lit
Storyline:Character-driven
Tone:Angst-filled; Bittersweet; Romantic

Like No Other by Una LaMarche is offered up as a good read-alike.  Its appeal factors are:

Genre:Love stories; Multiple perspectives; Realistic fiction
Storyline:Character-driven
Tone:Bittersweet; Moving

Sounds like a good match to me!  Give NoveList Plus a try.  You might find a new favorite book!

August 26 National Dog Day

by Beth Fisher on August 28th, 2014

August 26th is National Dog Day, and to celebrate we have two new displays on the 2nd floor.  There is a photo display of ICPL Staff Dogs and book display of with all kinds of dog books:

dog history  dog ownershipBooks about the history of domesticated dogs and owning ( or being owned by) dogs.

 

 

 

dog new dog adoption   Books about bringing a new dog into your family.

 

 

 

 

 

breeds2  breedsBooks about specific breeds of dogs.

 

 

 

 

dog parks dogs picture books  And books about fun things to do with your dog – from Dog Parks to books about photographing your dog.

School Yearbooks at the Iowa City Public Library

by Beth Fisher on August 20th, 2014

yearbooksRecently I had a conversation with one of the Library’s 2nd floor Information Pages about the yearbook collection at ICPL.  Hannah had become curious about her paternal grandfather and looked through our collection of University of Iowa Hawkeye yearbooks to see if she could find him.

dick kane2Hannah’s grandfather passed away in 1965, leaving a wife and 6 young children – Hannah’s father was four years old at the time.  Her grandmother passed away in 2005.   Hannah found her grandfather  in the 1949 year book, and she made an interesting discovery.  Her grandfather had been a member of Psi Omega Fraternity.  Hannah made a copy of the picture, and took it along to the next family gathering.  Turns out this fact was news to everyone.  The picture is now on Hannah’s refrigerator.

ICPL has quite a few yearbooks in our collection.  They are stored at the 2nd floor Page Station, and they do not check out of the library.   Unfortunately we do not have a complete collection of any of them – there are years missing from each title.   For a basic catalog search, click here.  

Yearbooks ICPL owns:

  • The Hawkeye – University of Iowa  1893-1987
  • The Red and White – Iowa City City High School  1917 – 2013
  • The Trojan Epic – Iowa City West High School 1969-2013
  • The Spectrum: Regina Catholic Education Center 1977-1996
  • The Hawkeye – University High School 1961-1971
  • Baby Hawklety – Central Junior High School  1973/74 – 1982/83
  • Reflections – North West Junior High School  1973-1987
  • On Forever More/SE Memories – South East Junior High School  1972/73 – 2002/03
  • St Mary’s High School 1921
  • C.E.C. Yearbook 1990-1992
  • P.S.#4  1978
  • The Elm -Lone Tree Community High School 1978-2008
  • The Spartan – Solon Community High School 1970-1993
  • The Clipper – Clear Creek/Amana Community Schools  1983-2007
  • The Reverie – Iowa Mennonite School 1947-1969

We would love to add missing volumes to our UI, City High and West High year book collections.  If you have a volume you would consider donating to the library, please contact Beth Fisher at beth-fisher@icpl.org to see if that volume is one we need.

 

Another round of B.Y.O.Book!

by Candice Smith on August 7th, 2014

BYOB 2014

We’re getting ready for our next B.Y.O.Book meet-up, and this time we’re taking a wild ride through the digestive system–top to bottom, so to speak!

Join us August 26 at Trumpet Blossom to discuss Mary Roach’s Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal and indulge in some great drinks, eats, and atmosphere. I’ve already gotten a good start on this book, and it’s incredibly smart, entertaining, and just the right amount of ewww/ick factor that one might expect.

If you need a copy of the book, they are now available at the Info Desk on the second floor of the Library–stop by and sign one out! You can also go here to register for the event.

 

Help Yourself

by Tom Jordan on July 24th, 2014

The thought of reading self-help books makes me uncomfortable.  I imagine sitting down in an office with Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer (both of whom I’m sure are wonderful people) and having this feeling that something really bad is about to happen and that it’s going to involve their teeth. However, when I speak to people I trust who’ve read self-help books, it sounds like I’m missing out.

ScottAdamsSo I read one. How to fail at almost everything and still win big by Scott Adams. He’s best known for being the Dilbert creator. Adams is funny and values simplicity a great deal. Throughout the book, he reminds the reader to be skeptical of the wisdom he’s imparting; he’s a cartoonist, not a guru.

Here are some of the topics he covers: why systems are better than goals; your programmable mind; the importance of tracking your personal energy; and doing sleep, fitness, and diet right (avoid relying on willpower).

Adams also writes quite a bit about his own life. He’s self-deprecating and owns up to his mistakes. “Some of My Many Failures in Summary Form” is the title of Chapter Four.

A revelation for me was in a section entitled Simplifiers Versus Optimizers. He makes the “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” argument in a way that validates the worthiness of simplifiers in a world that tends to appreciate optimizers. This section alone makes the book worth reading.

You’ll find most self-help books in the 158.1 area. This one, both memoir and self-help, is in with the biographical works about cartoonists and graphic artists at 741.5092.

Browsing New Materials…Online!

by Heidi Lauritzen on July 15th, 2014

Any new books at the Library?  There’s a quick answer for that, on the front page of the catalog.  Once a week–usually on Tuesday–the list of materials just added to the Library collections is updated.  Not all sections will have something every week, but most do and sometimes the lists are quite long.  Just click on the “New Materials Lists” link to get started.

New Materials ListThe New Materials Lists page is easy to search and browse:  it first is divided into Adult, Teen and Children’s collections, with more sub-categories listed below those headings. If you like Adult Fiction, you can limit your browsing to just Mysteries or just Large Print books.  If Nonfiction is your first choice, the list is separated by the Dewey Decimal classification numbers:  100/200/300 and so on.  I routinely check the 900s and Biography, because I like reading about history and travel.  And then I check the DVD TV section, because I’m hooked on a number of British TV series.  And then it’s on to the Mysteries…

Most formats are represented, including DVDs, music compact discs, books on disc, and eBooks and eAudio. The display of the book cover (or DVD cover, or CD cover) beside the title is helpful, and there’s a direct link to the regular catalog entry where you can place a hold if you wish.

The majority of the items on the list are newly-published, but you will also see other things new to our collection even if they were published several years ago.

It’s a great way to browse our virtual New shelves.  Check back once a week!

State Fair Tidbit

by Mary Estle-Smith on July 9th, 2014

We all know that the Iowa State Fair famous for it’s butter sculptures.  In addition to the ubiquitous Butter Cow there are always other examples of this quaint artistic medium each year.  The theme for the 2014 fair is “Field of Dreams” which will feature elements of baseball and rural landscapes. The link below gives some additional history of Iowa’s butter art over the years.

http://www.iowastatefair.org/fair-attractions/butter-cow/

While Iowa takes credit for starting the tradition of butter sculpting exhibitions at fairs in the United States,  what you may not know, is that butter sculpting originated 100′s of years ago.  In Tibet it is an ancient Buddhist tradition; yak butter and dye are still used to create temporary symbols for the Tibetan New Year and other religious celebrations.  There is also reference to a banquet in 1536 with centerpieces constructed from butter.

So,  if you find this curiously fascinating, you may also enjoy the 2011 movie  Butter.  A bit of a dark comedy about “the cutthroat world of competitive butter sculpting”  it will lurk in the back of your mind as you tour the extravaganza of butter at the fair this year.   Very entertaining with an excellent cast playing unexpected characters, it may make you want to play with food too.

 

Salad Days of Summer

by Beth Fisher on June 25th, 2014

patricia wells salads

On these long steamy days of summer is there anything that sounds better than a nice fresh salad?

Some people  can create wonderful salads as if by magic.  But I’m not one of those people.  Even wandering through farmers market I get stumped on what would go well together.

ICPL has a some great salad cookbooks.  (Does one cook salad?)  Check out the new Salad pop-up display on the 2nd floor west of the Reference Desk, or at search in the ICPL catalog for subject Salads for some great ideas.

 

raising the salad bar schwartz salads williams sonoma salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s it called when you see rain in the distance?

by Melody Dworak on June 25th, 2014

The other day a patron asked what the meteorological term for when you see rain falling in the distance. He said had a bet with a friend, and as I am more than happy to use information-seeking skills to stack the odds, I started searching. It turns out, as I learned, the term he was looking for was “virga.”

According to the National Weather Service, virga is actually “Precipitation falling from the base of a cloud and evaporating before it reaches the ground.” It’s common enough of a phenomenon that I could picture it when he asked, but if you don’t know what that looks like, check out this image from Wikipedia. 

640px-Nimbostratus_virga

Thanks to Simon Eugster for the wiki pic!

 




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