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New Zinio magazines, app

by Melody Dworak on October 12th, 2015
Zinio for Libraries App

Zinio for Libraries App

As of last Friday, the Iowa City Public Library has five new digital magazines we’re offering on Zinio. Plus, Zinio is offering a new app for Kindle Fire/HD users now, too! The above Zinio link directs you to a page where you can read about our Zinio service, as well as find the links for the new app on Amazon and how-to instructions for the Fire.

So what about these new magazines? Take a look: Read the rest of this entry »

Farewell Catalog Card

by Maeve Clark on October 6th, 2015

Some of you may never have used a card catalog or touched an actual catalog card, so the news from Dublin, Ohio that OCLC printed its last catalog card may not have meant much to you. To those of us who used catalog cards or took cataloging classes and used a typewriter to create a catalog card, it makes us wistful.

An excerpt from the Columbus Dispatch  10/02/2015 tells the story of the last printed catalog card: catalog card 4

Shortly before 3 p.m. Thursday, an era ended. About a dozen people gathered in a basement workroom to watch as a machine printed the final sheets of library catalog cards to be made by Dublin-based OCLC.

The final tally: 1.9 billion cards. 

OCLC long ago shifted its emphasis to online records and services, even changing its name from the Ohio College Library Center to the Online Computer Library Center. The company is known today by its initials.

“We were going to have a monk doing calligraphy on the last card,” joked Skip Prichard, the president and CEO, standing among the observers.

Catalog cards were once a key part of the company, with rows of printers running in a sunny second-floor observatory, hitting a peak output of 131 million cards in 1985. The company’s innovation was in compiling the information on the cards, which meant that libraries didn’t need to write the text themselves. As of last year, orders had fallen to less than 1 million. The final shipment was bound for Concordia College in Bronxville, N.Y., where librarians use the cards as a backup to an online catalog.

card_catalog_2In 1981 the Iowa City Public Library stopped using catalog cards. It was the dawning of a new era in the library world and Iowa City was a pioneer.   A 1982 article in Library Journal on the opening of the new Iowa City Public Library titled An Electronic Public Library for Iowa City  Connie Tiffany shared the story of how “the library used 14 full-time data entry operators who worked 21.500 hours retyping the bibliographic information for 120,000 items into the online format.  Some 10,300 patrons were re-registered …. and in October 1979 the circulation system went online”.   It wasn’t until the new library opened its doors did the physical card catalog finally disappear

The first online catalogs were very different from the ones we use today.  There was eerie wavering green type on a touch-screen terminal and they were slow; in order to find a title, subject or author the user had to keep narrowing down the search until the title of the item finally appeared.   There were eight catalog terminals when the library opened in 1981, today we have 24 online catalog spread throughout the entire library.  They are no longer touch screen monitors and the eerie green glow is gone.  Their speed is greatly improved and and access to other types of information has increased by the integration of many of the library’s online databases into a search.

While I don’t want to return to the age of the printed catalog card, I do feel somewhat nostalgic. card catalog 1 There was magic sometimes in riffling through the cards in the catalog, the mix of the new cards and old, and perhaps even the memory of past searches.

 

 

 

Traffic Cam

by Brent Palmer on October 1st, 2015

camWe have had several posts about cameras lately (see scene from above and caterpillar cam) and I thought I’d chip in with something I found out recently.  Recently a patron was asking me about the traffic cams at busy intersections in the city (OK it was my Dad).   I know I’ve heard various things about these cams so I asked my inside source at the city.  He told me that the cameras are just for traffic flow and not for citations.  They can detect when a car is sitting at a light and can even detect how many cars are waiting in order to time the signal properly.  These cameras are replacing the old sensors that are buried in the street.  The cameras have the logic built into them instead of being controlled by a central computer.  I asked if they could be used  in case there was a dispute about a traffic accident.  He said nothing is recorded and the cameras aren’t designed to give good coverage of the whole intersection anyway.  There are also a few other cameras that are strategically positioned around the city to provide information about road conditions.  These are also not recorded.  So my Dad was right.  I hate it when that happens.

Library Streaming Video

by Tom Jordan on September 25th, 2015

The Library often has events I’d love to attend, but other life things (having children) make it a stretch. Steven Pinker was here last Tuesday, for example, and there was lots of excitement. A young couple asked me earlier that day if they would get seats by getting here an hour before he started speaking. I said I thought they would.

If you have cable through Mediacom, then you can watch events like this on Channel 20, The Library Channel.

V1

What’s neat is that a lot of ICPL’s videorecordings are available to watch any time at http://video.icpl.org/. As with the catalog, you are able to browse by subject or search by keyword. If there is a recording that you know the Library has but you’re not seeing on the site, then you can request it be added by writing us here: webmaster@icpl.org.

First Presbyterian Church on ICPL’s Digital History Project

by Candice Smith on September 12th, 2015

fpc

This weekend culminates a year-long celebration of First Presbyterian Church’s 175th anniversary, with events planned at the Church and at their previous location at Old Brick. Here at the Library, we are very excited to unveil a new collection of items in our Digital History Project–materials from the Church’s extensive archive of items from throughout its history!

This collection of items is the product of many hours of work in the Church’s library with archivist Dwight Miller, as well as behind the scenes at the Library, finalizing images and adding data. In these documents you’ll find the story of the early Church and its founding as well as its changes throughout the years, details about the construction of the first church building along with that of Old Brick and the current structure, and a lot of information about various people who have been part of the Church. You’ll also find part of the story of Iowa City; the Church was formed while Iowa was still a territory, Iowa City had only been settled for about ten years, and prominent people, business owners, politicians, and every day people from that time are all represented in some of the items here.

We hope you enjoy browsing through these pieces of history. If you have any information or historical material you’d like to add to the collection, feel free to use the comments box on the Digital History website, or contact Candice Smith at csmith@icpl.org or Melody Dworak at mdworak@icpl.org

Make Your Own Wish List in the Catalog

by Heidi Lauritzen on September 10th, 2015

One of my favorite features in the ICPL catalog is the ability to store titles on a wish list.  Too often I find things I want to borrow from the Library, but I am already deep in one book with two or three more in a holding pattern on my nightstand. I get reading ideas from all kinds of sources:  publishers’ fall releases are becoming available all at once, the author line-up for the Iowa City Book Festival is being publicized now, and there’s also the excellent ICPL staff blog “From the Shelves” and the New Materials Lists in our catalog.  What to do when you want to read those titles some day–but cannot commit to placing a hold on them just yet?

In your online account at the Library, make your own personal wish lists in “My Lists”.  You make a direct link to the catalog when you put a title on your list, and then in that rare moment when you are not sure what to read next, check your list and find your next book.  Works for movies and music too!  Here’s how to do it:

Please note:  you must use our “Catalog Classic” with the title/author/subject searches for this feature; unfortunately, My Lists is not acatalogclassicwithedit feature in Catalog Pro–our keyword search catalog.

 

 

 

Find a title in the catalog that you want to save for later, and at the top of the page click on Add to My Lists.

Add to my list with edit

 

Follow the instructions to login to your account with your library card number and password/pin.

Use the drop-down menu at “Select a List” and choose “Create a New List”.  Name your List anything that will be helpful to you.  My example below is “Movies I Want to Watch”.  Write in a further description of the list if you wish (I left mine blank).

Create List Movies I want to watch with edits

 

 

 

 

Click on “Submit” and you will get a confirmation that the record has been saved.  This list is now created and available to add more titles to in the future.  It will be a choice when I use the “Add to My Lists” feature.

To retrieve your wish list records later, login to your account with your library card number and password/pin.

Click on “My Lists” and then select the List you want to browse. mylists with edits

 

 

 

 

In this example, clicking on Movies I Want to Watch will take me to the titles I have saved there, with their links to the catalog so I can see if they are checked in now or not, and the option to Request it (place a hold).

better list of my lists

 

 

 

Please let us know if you would like some help getting started with Your Lists.  I predict that your biggest problem will be lists that get too long!

Iowa City Community School District 2015 Election

by Jennifer Eilers on August 31st, 2015

ICCSD Logo

 

 

 

 

On Tuesday, September 8th, voters can choose five new representatives to the ICCSD school board. There are four, 4-year term seats vacant and one, 2-year term seat vacant due to Tuyet Baruah’s resignation in July. Typically members serve a total of 4 years. School board elections are  held every odd year with a total of 4 seats vacant at a time to allow overlap between new board members and old board members. There are 13 candidates vying for the five positions in this year’s election. None of the candidates are incumbents. Below is a list of  candidates with some helpful links to news coverage, their websites, and social media platforms they participate in:


 

Four-Year Term

1. LaTasha DeLoach

Press Citizen Profile

Gazette Profile

Candidate Website

Facebook

Twitter

2. Shawn Eyestone

Press Citizen Profile

Gazette Profile

Facebook

Twitter

3. Todd Fanning

Press Citizen Profile

Gazette Profile

Website

Facebook

Twitter

4. Phil Hemingway

Press Citizen Profile

Gazette Profile

Website

Twitter

5. Jason Lewis

Press Citizen Profile

Gazette Profile

Website

Facebook

Twitter

6. Brian Richman

Press Citizen Profile

Gazette Profile

Website

Facebook

7. Lori Roetlin

Press Citizen Profile

Gazette Profile

Website

Facebook

8. Lucas Van Orden IV

Press Citizen Profile

Gazette Profile

Facebook

Twitter

9. Briana Wills

Press Citizen Profile

Gazette Profile

Website

Facebook

10. Tom Yates

Press Citizen Profile

Gazette Profile

Facebook

 

Two-Year Term

1. Chris Liebig

Press Citizen Profile

Gazette Profile

Candidate Website

Twitter

2. Paul Roesler

Press Citizen Profile

Gazette Profile

Facebook

Twitter

3. Megan Schwalm

Press Citizen Profile

Gazette Profile

Candidate Website

Facebook

Twitter

To listen to interviews with all of the candidates from local station KXIC personality, Jay Capron, click here.


 

Early voting is currently going on at the Johnson County Auditor’s Office until Friday, September 4th at 5pm. Mail-in ballots can be returned to the the Auditor’s Office or mailed with a postmark date of Saturday, September 5th.

A great blog that has a lot of information about the candidates and the ICCSD election in general is located here.

To see a current list of board members and their contact information visit Iowa City Public Library’s elected officials page. Results of the race and the members contact information will be updated once the information is made available.

 

 

Quick Guide to Local Newspaper Resources @ICPL

by Melody Dworak on August 25th, 2015
Irving B. Weber

The headstone of Iowa City historian, Iriving Weber. Findagrave.com

Use this guide to find obituaries and articles in Iowa City area newspapers. To access the premium databases listed here, you must reside in Iowa City or one of the library’s contracted service areas. You will want to have your library card number and password ready. Call 356-5200 if you need assistance.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tales of a Budding Bicyclist Part 2

by Brian Visser on August 18th, 2015

RAGBRAII rode the last day of RAGBRAI this year. The route was from Coralville to Davenport—68 miles—and I absolutely loved it! The best part was the people. The small towns celebrated our arrival. In Atalissa, a row of kids along the road gave riders hi-fives. People in several towns sat at the end of their driveways with hoses and offered to spray riders down to cool them off. About 10 miles away from Davenport, I had to rest, so I stopped and laid down in someone’s lawn. A little girl walked up and asked if I wanted a popsicle. All of this made me smile the biggest smile.

The people riding RAGBRAI were also great. Several times I saw bicyclists with flat tires Bike Repair & Maintenancepulled off to the side of the road. Other riders always stopped to offer assistance or would ask if they needed help. I took comfort in this because I have no idea how to fix a tire. If I had gotten a flat, I would’ve had to rely on the kindness of strangers to get back on the road. I had the thought that I should try to remedy that, and the Library has plenty of books to help teach you how to handle common repairs. One that I really liked was Bike Repair & Maintenance by Christopher Wiggins
. It has big pictures and simple instructions that even I could follow. We have a lot of other titles that you can check out here.

BicyclingI still feel like a bit of a casual rider. There’s a culture around biking that I don’t quite get yet. I’ve been reading two digital magazines that the Library offers through Zinio*– Bicycling and Bicycle Times — to help figure it out. Also, there are a lot of blogs around cycling that I’ve been checking out. One of them, Fat Cyclist, is really good. The author started his blog after he noticed that he had put on some weight and decided to shed the pounds by biking (sounds familiar, right?). He now posts stories about races and bike trips that he goes on. His writing is affable and humorous. He’s also really into mountain biking, and it’s hard not to get excited about it too. Maybe that will be the next thing I’ll try :)

I can’t wait for next year’s RAGBRAI. I need to train more, and I should get some common sense gear (like gloves!) to make the ride more manageable. I want to take more rides around the state. The Library has books about that too. You can find those here. I’ll see you on the trails!

 

*Magazines through Zinio are available to patrons who live in Iowa City, Hills, University Heights, Lone Tree, or rural Johnson County.

The 2015 Perseid Meteor shower has begun.

by Beth Fisher on July 30th, 2015

perseid showerThis annual celestial event occurs each year in late Summer, with peak viewing near the 2nd week of August.  In 2015, the peak will be August 9-13 when up to 60 meteors an hour should be visible in the night sky, especially in the hours between midnight and dawn.

The Perseid Meteor shower is what we see when the Earth passes through the orbital path of the Swift-Tuttle comet.   Swift Tuttle orbits the Sun every 133 years, and each time it gets close to the Sun, small pieces break off and join the cloud of debris in the comet’s orbit.  Each year when the Earth passes through the Swift-Tuttle’s debris field,  the debris bounces off the Earth’s atmosphere creating the Perseid Meteor Shower.

Perseid_Vic_radiantsThe Perseids appear to originate from the top of the constellation Perseus. During August, Perseus will be found in the Northeastern part of the sky, left of the Big Dipper.   The point in space where the shower seems to originate is called a “Radiant”.   The map to the left, from Sky & Telescope, the radiant is shown in yellow text.   All the Perseid meteors will appear fly outwards from that point in the sky.

There are many great Astronomy websites with information about the Perseids.

stardateUniversity of Texas at Austin McDonald Observatory’s web site “StarDate” has a lot of information for people new to star gazing and astronomy.  Clicking on the “Stargazing” tab on their homepage will give you a list of the things visible in the night sky this week.  This is also where you’ll find a link to their Meteor Shower page.

earth sky The Earth Sky website managed by Deborah Byrd, the host of the long running public radio series EarthSky: A Clear Voice for Science, is a great science web site for non-scientists.  The information about the Perseids   section of their website is easy to read and has lots of information about the origins of the Perseids as well as how and when to find them and general tips on viewing.

NASATo learn more about Comets, Meteors and meteor showers, the NASA website is a great place to start.   Plantes, asteroids, meteors, and comets – there are all sorts of neat things at NASA.

 

 

2015 meteor showers

There are many other regular meteor showers throughout the year if you can’t make the Perseids.   Some of the most common can be found on this table, from the University of Texas at Austin McDonald Observatory’s  StarDate website mentioned above.

Of course, the Iowa City Public Library has lots of material about Astronomy and Stargazing and the staff at any of the public service desks in the Library can help you find more information.

 

 




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