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:
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

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!

Orionid Meteor Shower reaches it’s peak this weekend!

by Beth Fisher on October 20th, 2017


orionidsIf you’re not often outside late at night, you might not be aware that something pretty special has been going on this week.  The 2017 Orionid Meteor Shower began on October 15 and ends October 29th.  Peak nights for viewing the meteor shower are tonight and tomorrow night  – with prime viewing time around around 2:00a.m Saturday and Sunday.




haleysThe Orionids happen every year in late October when the earth passes through the stream of ice particles and rocks trailing Haley’s Comet. 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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Stephen King books for young adults

by Melody Dworak on October 19th, 2017
Stephen King books for young adults Cover Image

Today I helped a family look for classic Stephen King books that tweens and teens might like. You wouldn’t expect a list like that to be very long, given that he’s a horror writer. Still, I found lots of books that young adults could pick up and read and still sleep at night (maybe).

The library has a book recommendation tool called NoveList. It’s one of our online resources that you can log into from home with a resident library card and password. NoveList has a genre called “Adult books for young adults,” which helps younger readers branch out from the Young Adult Fiction section and find good books on the first floor as well. Lo and behold, 27 of Stephen King’s books fit this criteria for NoveList.  Read the rest of this entry »

Iowa City Haunted Houses and Attractions

by Brian Visser on October 13th, 2017

I don’t like scary movies or books or anything.  Honestly, I’m a big wimp.  So, do you think I’d go 2324747282_a752896fde_zanywhere near a haunted house?  No, normally not, but I’ve got two scare-crazy kiddos.  Yes, my seven and four year old children are braver than I am.  They begged me to go through one when we were at Bloomsbury Farm (Scream Acres).  We went through “Carnival Chaos,” which was rife with killer clowns and other jump scares.  I desperately held onto to my four year old as he joyfully went from one nightmare filled room to the next.  The kids loved it, and want to go to even more.  Me?  I’m done, but maybe you can take them for me.  Here are some of the haunted houses and other attractions in and around the Iowa City area:

Field of Screams–Haunted corn maze put on by the Johnson County Jaycees.

Dates & Times: October 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 & 28. Open at 7:30 PM. Last visitor in line at 10:30 PM. Closes at 11:00 PM.

Location: 2991 Black Diamond Rd SW, Iowa City, IA 52240

Admission: $10 per person ($1 off admission, if you bring a canned food item).

Creepy Campus Crawl–Family friendly fun at the Old Capitol Museum and Museum of Natural History

Date & Time: October 27, 2017 from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM

Location: 17 North Clinton Street, Iowa City, IA 52240

Admission: Free

CAB Haunted House–The Iowa Memorial Union is turned into a free haunted house.

Date & Time: Friday, October 20 from 7:00 PM until 1:00 AM

Location: 125 N Madison St, Iowa City, IA 52245

Admission: Free

Circle of Ash–Intense attraction at the Linn County Fairgrounds

Dates & Times: Friday, October 13th, 8 PM to 12 AM (last tickets at 11:30 PM)
Saturday, October 14th, 8 PM to 12 AM (last tickets at 11:30 PM)
Friday, October 20th, 8 PM to 12 AM (last tickets at 11:30 PM)
Saturday, October 21st, 8 PM to 12 AM (last tickets at 11:30 PM)
Sunday, October 22nd, 8 PM  to 10 PM (last tickets at 9:30 PM)
Thursday, October 26th, 8 PM to 10 PM (last tickets at 9:30 PM)
Friday, October 27th, 8 PM to 12 AM (last tickets at 11:30 PM)
Saturday, October 28th, 8 PM to 12 AM (last tickets at 11:30 PM)
Sunday, October 29th, 8 PM to 10 PM (last tickets at 9:30 PM)

Location: 201 Central City Rd, Central City, IA 52214

Admission: $20

Scream Acres–Multiple attractions at one location including “Carnival Chaos” *shivers*

Dates & Times:  October 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 & 28 from 7 PM to 10 PM.

Location: 3260 69th St, Atkins, IA 52206

Admission: $20 for two attractions.  $30 for four attractions.

Five Things You Can Do With Your Library Card Right at Home

by Anne Mangano on September 5th, 2017

In honor of September, National Library Card Sign-Up Month, here are five ways you can make the most of your ICPL Library card, right at home:

Try digital audiobooks on your smartphone or device today using OverDrive's Libby app.Listen up—You’re busy. Whether it’s work or school, caring for others or commuting, chores or exercising, there isn’t always time in your life to snuggle up with a book. Why not give audiobooks a try and listen to a book wherever you are? ICPL has thousands of audiobooks to choose from, whether you are in the mood for a heart-pounding thriller or an in-depth history. And OverDrive’s new app, Libby makes listening super easy.

Distraction Reading—If getting into that in-depth history—or even that heart-pounding thriller—isn’t in the cards right now, there is nothing like a magazine to give you the short distraction you need. With your Library card, you can read over 175 magazines Read the rest of this entry »

Most Popular Books from the Adult Summer Reading Program

by Beth Fisher on September 2nd, 2017


One of the most interesting parts of the Summer Reading Program comes at the end when we take a look back at at what actually happened during the summer.  While over 1000 people registered for the Adult Summer Reading Program, only 289 avid readers completed our 5 Books in 11 Weeks challenge – reading a total of 1770 books!  Taking out the 82 books that were logged without titles and the 233 duplicate entries, there were 1,455 individual titles read. That’s pretty impressive!

Of the 153 books that were read by more than one person, here are the Top Five Books of the 2017 Adult Summer Reading Program.  How many have you read?


into-the-waterInto the Water” by Paula Hawkins

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return. Read the rest of this entry »

A Historical House and a Holy Hooligan

by Candice Smith on August 31st, 2017

sanxay2The Press Citizen recently had an article about Gloria Dei Lutheran Church’s plans to relocate a historical home on their property, before selling said property to the UI. That house was at one time owned by Theodore Sanxay, one of Iowa City’s early citizens and business owners. He was also one of the founding members of the First Presbyterian Church, and you can find his name on the Church’s original 1847 Constitution, as well as two letters written by him, on the Library’s Digital History website. Those two letters tell a small part of a very interesting story: the beginnings of the First Presbyterian Church, and the Reverend Michael Hummer. The letters were written to Rev. Hummer while he was out east raising money for the new church that was being built, and they discuss various details related to the ongoing construction and various costs, but also relate gratifying little bits of information and news: “Mr. Trowbridge has married the widow Willis!” and “I am commencing business here once more…My father wanted me to try business in some other place as he thought I had made a perfect failure here.” Reverend Hummer eventually returned to his flock, and the Church was completed in 1850. Before that, though, things got a little weird. Read the rest of this entry »

Summer Love through Online Dating

by Jennifer Eilers on August 30th, 2017

Dating can be tough but dating as a “senior” can be really tough. In partnership with the Senior Center, the library created and put together an online dating class series that took place over four weeks and included a wrap-up session this past Tuesday. Each session focused on a different aspect of online dating from finding a site to going on that first face-to-face date. Some of the participants from the Online Dating class pose with teacher

 Pew research shows that nearly half of all Americans know someone who has used an online dating service. With this growth has come an enormous amount of choice in the online dating platform realm. Choosing a platform that fits your needs can be hard and even knowing what options are available can be a challenge as well. The first session helped patrons get familiar with the benefits and draw backs of the various popular dating sites that are out there from Tinder to Our Time.

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How to watch the eclipse online

by Maeve Clark on August 21st, 2017

eclipseHave you got the rainy days and Mondays blues? Couldn’t make a trip to see the total eclipse of the sun and now the inclement weather is going to cloud your partial viewing. You can still watch the eclipse in totality online.  And while you are waiting, take a trip back to 1979 with Walter Cronkite reporting on that wondrous celestial event.  Or come down to Meeting Room A at ICPL and watch with all your friends and neighbors.