Renovation of the Computer Lab

by Beth Fisher on November 28th, 2017

Starting this week ICPL’s second floor Computer Lab will be closed for renovation. The Lab was originally designed as a computer classroom, and it served us well. Over time technology and community needs change, so we are reconfiguring the space to allow for more flexibility and innovation.

The new space will support training and programs and provide access to technology to assist in digital media creation. The footprint of the room will grow, as walls are being moved. The furniture will be movable, and a new large screen monitor will add additional options for display. Some activities (Minecraft, tax assistance) will continue to use the entire space, but at other times the room can be used for multiple activities at once. The new space will be open in late February.

While the room is under construction, we’ve had to relocate all of the regularly scheduled classes and events that happen in that room. The majority of events, like our Drop-in Tech Help sessions (Monday-Thursday) the Community Writing Center (Tuesdays) will be moved down the hall to Meeting Room E, while other events (VITA Tax Help) have relocated to other places in the building. The Library’s Calendar will list the updated locations, and Staff at the Help or Information Desks can help you find the right rooms.

We look forward to our new Computer Lab and hope you do to.

Buying with Consumer Reports Confidence

by Alyssa Hanson on November 22nd, 2017

I recently helped my mom pick out a new printer after her old one died. Not knowing which one she wanted, we headed to the Consumer Reports section on printers to see what models had the best ratings. With a couple of features she knew she wanted like good photo quality prints as well as duplexing in mind, it was helpful to see a quality rating comparison chart of various models as well as a breakdown of each printer’s features.

If you have no idea what type you want or need, the product’s Buying Guide is the best place to start. It gives you a break down of different types as well as various things to consider when buying. For printers there are two types – all-in-one printers or regular printers – and the Buying Guide also recommended keeping in mind how much maintenance costs might be, which for printers includes pricey ink cartridges.
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Keep Track of Your Library Reads

by Anne Mangano on November 21st, 2017

Always wanted to keep track of what you borrowed from the Iowa City Public Library? There are a couple of ways to do this, depending on what you are borrowing.

Reading History in Library Account

If you are checking out print books, DVDs, compact discs, or anything that is in a physical state, turn on your Reading History in your account. Turning on this option will save everything you check out from Read the rest of this entry »

Great Iowa Treasure Hunt

by Maeve Clark on November 20th, 2017

FREE MONEY!!!! (Maybe) Every year Micheal Fitzgerald, State Treasurer of Iowa, publishes information about unclaimed property. It is called the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt. I have never entered my name in the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt because I couldn’t imagine I had unclaimed property. This year, for some reason, I entered my first and last name and the city where I reside and voila, there was a link to unclaimed property of under $100. (The unclaimed funds were from CenturyLink and must have been what was owed me when I canceled my landline.)

To claim my unclaimed funds I had to share more information with the Iowa State Treasury Department. This can be done online or, if you are concerned about security, by phone of mail. I threw caution to the wind and shared the required information and received a message stating that I would get an email with the next steps to follow.

An email from Iowa Unclaimed Property arrived almost immediately with the message that my claim was small enough that no further documentation was needed.  It further stated that in five to seven days I would receive a check for the grand total of $19.69.  My lucky day!  Take a look at the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt.  There might just be a treasure, big or small, waiting to be claimed by you.

Larry Ginter Wins the Pace

by Anne Mangano on November 17th, 2017

Every morning I drive to the end of Summit to turn onto Kirkwood Avenue and I look at a brick and iron fence with the word “Ardenia.” And every morning, I ask myself, “Why Ardenia?” After several months driving this route, I finally looked it up in “Irving Weber’s Historical Stories about Iowa City.” It was a house with an interesting history of its own, but I quickly abandoned that research when I stumbled across the name of Larry Ginter.

You see, Larry (also spelled as Larrie) Ginter is a horse, but not just any horse. Larry Ginter is the type of horse you would name a street after, which Iowa City did (Ginter Avenue). And he wasn’t just a local celebrity—he was known nationally and in Canada, described by a newspaper in Manitoba as “one of the gamest, hard-hearted performers emanating from the Hawkeye State.” Read the rest of this entry »

Let us now give thanks, and eat.

by Candice Smith on November 10th, 2017

The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth, Jennie A. Brownscombe (1914), Pilgrim Hall Museum

I love finding out what is behind our holidays and traditions–why do we put a tree in the house? why the painted eggs? why did he put ashes on my forehead?–but Thanksgiving is one of those that I hadn’t given much thought to. According to Bruce Forbes and his excellent America’s Favorite Holidays, the holiday we celebrate today is pretty straightforward and connected to events that happened in our country’s past, although not in the way I had imagined.

We can thank the Puritans for getting us started with the holiday. Much of the reason they wanted to leave England was to have their religion the way they wanted it, and one of the things they wanted was fewer holidays. The Church used to be pretty big on them, with lots of days to recognize saints, have feasts, practice penitence–well over 100 days per year for a long time, including Sundays–and all of this time off meant less work, less pay, more goofing off. Puritans felt that Sundays should be used for worship and other religious acts, and aside from that there should only be a few days a year for either giving thanks and feasting (when good things happened) or for fasting and penitence (when not-so-good things happened). These days were most often proclaimed by religious authorities, and started to be somewhat common, although only when warranted. However, as the population of the colonies grew, the desire for the traditional harvest festival did as well, and even the Puritans were swayed by that. Read the rest of this entry »

Old School Voting – Voting on the Day of the Election

by Maeve Clark on November 6th, 2017

I am totally old school about voting.  I like to vote on the day of the election and say hey to all my neighbors.  However my election location, the old school of Longfellow, is undergoing a remodeling and having a much needed addition built. (Happy 100th birthday, Longfellow Elementary!)  So what to do?  The answer to my question can be easily found at the polling places section Johnson County Autitor’s website or by calling the Auditor’s Office at 319-356-6004.  My favorite tool at the website is the easy-to-use find your polling place option.  Just pop in your address and it returns all the information you need to know about where to vote, but it also lists your precinct number, the location of your polling site, the hours it is open, a sample ballot and the elected officials in your precinct.

If you have questions about voter’s registration, click on the link to voter’s registration.   And you can register to vote on the day of an election, but you must have identification with you and proof of residence.  The Iowa Secretary of State’s election day registration page outlines just what you need to bring with you to register on election day.

 

If you are looking for candidate information the Iowa City Press Citizen, the Gazette and the Daily Iowan all have links to each person’s website as well as their editorial endorsements.

All Iowa Reads Program is now for All Ages

by Beth Fisher on November 5th, 2017

 

Begun in 2003 by the Iowa Center For The Book, the All Iowa Reads program was created to build a sense of community through reading.  Once a year adults across the state were encouraged to read and talk about the same book. The All Iowa Reads titles are selected by a committee of ten rotating members representing public libraries, academic libraries, a publisher or bookstore, a state government agency, and the State Library Commission.  They read a variety of books to come up with each years selection.  A list of the runners up can also be found at the All Iowa Reads website.

In October at the annual Iowa Library Association state conference the AIR selection for the next year is announced.   This year there was an even bigger announcement: the all All Iowa Reads Program is no longer just aimed at adults.  There are now three All Iowa Reads selection each year: one for Kids (ages 8-12),  for Young Adults (ages 13-18), and for Adults (18+).

 

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Iowa Health Insurance Marketplace Renewal and Open Enrollment

by Maeve Clark on November 2nd, 2017

Open enrollment for Iowa’s Health Insurance Marketplace is health-care

November 1, 2017 – December 15, 2017.

Apply for and enroll in health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace at: www.HealthCare.gov
For help by phone, call the Help Center at 800-318-2596.
Open enrollment ends December 15, 2017. – DON’T WAIT – APPLY NOW!

If you need assistance in completing your enrollment there is help in Johnson County. Karen Wielert is a Certified Application Counselor and she can be reached by phone at 319-535-2679or by email at Johnsoncountycac17@gmail.com

If you need computer access Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty, and Solon Public Libraries all offer free computer access.
In collaboration, Johnson County Public Health and Iowa City Free Medical Clinic are offering CAC (Certified Application Counselor) services to help people in the community complete enrollment and renewal applications.  Office hours are available at Johnson County Public Health, Iowa City Free Medical Clinic, and the local public libraries.

Coralville Public Library – meeting room B
Monday, November 20 (10am-4pm)
Friday, December 1 (10am-4pm)

North Liberty Public Library – meeting room A
Wednesday, November 29 (4-7pm)
Wednesday, December 13 (4-7pm)

Iowa City Public Library – meeting room C
Wednesday, November 15 (4-8pm)
Wednesday, December 6 (4-8pm)

Johnson County Public Health and Iowa City Free Medical Clinic
(Tuesdays and Thursdays during the day – call Karen for hours)

Don’t let language be a barrier. Ask for help at any access point.
Ne dejes que el idioma sea una barrera. Pida ayududa en cualqier punto de accesso.
Ne laissez pas que la langue soit un obstacle. Demandez de l’aide à tout point d’accès.

Get ready … get set … WRITE!

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on October 25th, 2017

In one week, writers of all ages will take on the ultimate challenge: to write a 50,000 word novel in one month.typewriter-801921_640

National Novel Writing Month is an internet-based creative writing project that encourages anyone who has ever thought of writing a book to use the 30 days of November to accomplish that goal. Participation is easy. Just sign up on their website before November 1 and you’ll receive notifications of local writing meet-ups, pep talks from well-known authors, tips for beating writer’s block, etc. throughout the challenge.

The Library is a great NaNoWriMo resource. We have plenty of space for you to write, nonfiction titles about writing, databases and other research materials for the fine details pertinent to your story, and published books that started as NaNoWriMo novels to inspire you. These include:

Each one of these writers started with a dream. NaNoWriMo gave them the incentive they needed to get the first draft of their dream on paper/a computer screen. There’s no reason why the next author on this list can’t be you! As Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”

Happy writing!