Library Catalog Ask a Librarian Book a Meeting Room
Catalog Your Account Menu


ICPL Bags @ Your Library

by on November 12th, 2014

Bags editedAt the Library we try to be as green as possible.  One way we do this is by promoting the use of reusable bags to carry home Library materials.  The Library sells two different bags at the Help Desk.  Both types of bags hold a lot of materials and can be easily folded down to a small size when not being used.

The blue bags feature two handles and light-weight material.  They sell for $1 each and sport a great message:  “Read More Books: It’s good for you!”  We’ve also had people purchase these to serve as gift bags – another green idea.

The canvas bags feature one over-the-shoulder strap.  They sell for $9 and carry a message that can be interpreted in many ways:

Read Books

Eat Food

Read Food

Eat Books

The graphic encourages the imagination and deeper thought into the message.  Regardless of how you interpret the message, it’s a fun bag to carry home lots of great Library materials.  I also know from personal experience that these bags can be tossed into the washing machine for easy cleaning.

If you are looking for other ways to reduce your use of plastic bags, check out the Iowa City Landfill/100 Grannies display on the first floor, through December 10, that shares many ideas for alternatives to plastic bags.

Some Luck by Jane Smiley

by on November 7th, 2014
Some Luck by Jane Smiley Cover Image

I admit it, I can’t get enough of Jane Smiley.  And thanks to a sales rep from Random House and the recent Iowa City Book Festival I was not only able to get a advance reading copy of Some Luck, Smiley’s latest novel, but I, with several hundred other avid readers,  was able to hear her read from it at the Englert Theatre. I have heard Smiley read before and she can weave a great story in person as well as in print and she did just that on the Sunday afternoon she stopped in Iowa City.  She clearly still loves Iowa, her home for many years while she studied in Iowa City and then taught at Iowa State.  In fact, she shared the story of  her vintage bag, she said it reminded her of Iowa and her sweater, which she knit herseJane Smileylf, from yarn made from soybeans, which she thought might just have been grown here too.

The focus of Some Luck, the first of a trilogy, is the Langdon family; their farm, their kin and their lives for the next 33 years.   And what a 33 years it is.  The book begins with Walter and Rosanna and their five month old son, Frank.  The novel explores their life on the farm outside the small town of Denby. It was a rural Iowa that many of us grew up hearing about from our parents and grandparents, a time when fields were plowed with draft horses, and hired men lived with the family, schools were one room and the students were the children of the nearby families. The pace of life had a rhythm and pattern.  But change comes and Smiley illuminates the change chapter by chapter, with each each chapter covering a year in the Langdon family.

If you have been waiting for another novel from this Pulitzer Prize winning novelist you will be thrilled to read Some Luck.   And as luck would have it, there are two more books to follow.

 

 

 

ICPL to Host Annual Chess Tournament Nov. 15

by on November 7th, 2014

The Iowa City Public Library’s Kids Chess Tournament will be held from 1 to 5:15 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, in Meeting Room A at the Library, 123 S. Linn St.2013 Chess Tournament5

A staple of the Library’s tween programming, the tournament is held in honor of Steve Young, who was active in the community’s chess population until his death in 2012.

This is a free event, available to students in third through sixth grades. Younger children may participate if they are a member of the United States Chess Federation.

Registration is required. Children can register at the Library the day of the event from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., or by e-mailing Eric Vigil at evigil@gmail.com.

For more information, please call the Library at (319) 356-5200.

From the news to the shelves

by on November 6th, 2014
From the news to the shelves Cover Image

It’s always interesting and thought-provoking to read or hear about someone receiving the Medal of Honor, but especially so when it’s  150 years have passed since the act of service took place. Today, Alonzo Cushing was awarded the Medal for his actions on the field at Gettysburg; you can read about it here.

I looked in our catalog to see if we had any books about him, and we don’t. However, there is a new book about his brother, Commander Will Cushing: Daredevil Hero of the Civil War, that is just about ready to go on the shelves. Will also played an important role in the Civil War, in the Navy, and led a distinguished military career for several years afterwards.

If you’re a fan of military nonfiction, or looking for an interesting biography, this book might be a good choice for you. Put a hold on it and get to it first!

 

 

ICPL presents Read to Feed

by on November 5th, 2014

The Iowa City Public Library invites children to kick off the holiday season by giving at Read to Feed.ReadtoFeed-Poster (2)

Stop by the Storytime Room anytime between 2 and 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12, to donate non-perishable items for The Crisis Center of Johnson County. Then stick around for stories, songs, snacks, and activities.

The Crisis Center’s Food Bank provides weekly food assistance to Johnson County residents. Of all the households served, one third has children in the home. The Food Bank always welcomes donations of peanut butter and canned meat, pasta and rice, soups and stews, canned vegetables, toilet paper, baby formula, diapers, and laundry detergent. Read to Feed also will collect new children’s books for The Crisis Center.

Read to Feed is sponsored by the Iowa City Public Library and Rock & Read volunteers from RSVP, Elder Services, Inc.

For more information, please call the Library at (319) 356-5200.

Changes to ICPL’s Express collections make more popular titles available

by on November 5th, 2014

Changes to the Iowa City Public Library’s Express collection means more popular titles on the Express shelves.ExpressShelf-SocialMedia

The Library’s Express collection is comprised of popular fiction, non-fiction, and DVD titles. Collection Services Coordinator Anne Mangano says these are the items staff knows will be highly circulated or have received a lot of attention in the media.

Items in the Express collection have a shorter check out time (two weeks for books, two days for DVDs) and can’t be renewed. The Library has anywhere from 200 to 400 titles in the Express collection at a given time.

“It’s always a great place to go and look for the title you just heard about,” Mangano said.

Mangano also points out that while most popular titles come with a long holds list, holds can’t be placed on Express items. That means there’s always the chance that the book or DVD a patron wants is available on the Express shelf.

“Anytime you visit the Library, the Express collection is a great place to start,” Mangano said. “I like to call it the serendipity collection because you never know what will be available.”

For more information, please call the Library at (319) 356-5200.

Remember the Great War at ICPL

by on November 5th, 2014

Come to the Iowa City Public Library at noon Tuesday, Nov. 11, for “On the Centenary of the Great War: Poems, History and Songs of World War I.”

Voices of Experience will open the program, followed by poetry reading presented by members of Reading Aloud from the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center.

Local historian Loren Horton will present “Europe on the Edge of Catastrophe.” Horten worked for the State Historical Society of Iowa for nearly 25 years.

The program will end with songs of the period, performed by members of Voices of Experience from the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center. The group is directed by Joyce Brokke.

“On the Centenary of the Great War: Poems, History and Songs of World War I” is sponsored by the Iowa City Public Library and the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center. The program is free and open to the public.

For more information, please call the Library at (319) 356-5200.

ICPL announces eReaders and Tablets Classes for Adults

by on November 5th, 2014

Thinking about purchasing an eReader or Tablet for the holidays? The Iowa City Public Library would like to help you understand some of the differences between the most popular devices out there.ereaders

A Library’s technology specialist will talk about the differences between eReaders and tablets at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 22; 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 25; 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 5; and 10 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10.

Attend a session to learn more about what each of the major brands offer consumers and which of these brands work best with the Library’s eMedia collections Overdrive and Zinio. After each presentation, a handful of devices will be available for participants to try out.

All classes for adults are held in the Library’s Computer Lab on the second floor. Classes are free, but space is limited to 10 people per program, so patrons should register early. Visit www.icpl.org/classes to register online. You can also register by calling the Library at (319) 356-5200.

Remote Book Returns @ Your Library

by on November 5th, 2014

Did you know the Library has two remote book returns available for returning most materials to the Library?  This is in addition to the outside book return located along Linn Street near the staff entrance to the Library.  All outside bo2014 10 23 return booksok returns are available 24 hours a day and are a convenient way to return Library materials.  Some materials, such as audiovisual equipment and oversize items that do not fit into the book returns, must be returned to the Help Desk during regular Library hours.

There are two remote book returns in Iowa City – one on the east side at the First Avenue HyVee Pharmacy Drive-through and one on the west side at the Mormon Trek University of Iowa Community Credit Union Drive-through (far right lane).  More information is available here on the Library’s webpage.  Items returned at the remote book returns must be in the box by 1:00 PM each day or the item is considered returned the next day.

Four times a year we count the number of items returned through the Library’s remote book returns so we have an idea of the level of service they are providing.  During the week of October 12-18, 2014, 15.6% of all items returned to the Library were returned through the two remote book returns.

Remote books returns are one of the many conveniences that make the Library easy to use.  If you have questions, please give us a call at 319-356-5200 during Library hours or contact us through our “Ask a Librarian” link.

Review: Superman For All Seasons

by on November 4th, 2014
Review: Superman For All Seasons Cover Image

 

 

 

I never got excited about Superman because I couldn’t relate to him. I have a friend who felt the same way, until he read Superman For All Seasons. He said I should give it a shot. He was right – this book changes everything for me. Well, no, not everything, but Superman For All Seasons casts the man who masquerades as Clark Kent in a whole new light. Suddenly he is complex and relatable, and perhaps more heroic for it.

This book is made up of a four issue series written by Jeph Loeb and with art by Tim Sale. Bjarne Hansen is the colorist, using watercolors that move between bold primary, easter-eggy, and sad purples. The art style is Rockwellian and evokes a simple life – the graphics are all Americana, with gentle subtleties provided by both the coloring and the writing.  Each issue is told from the point of view of a different main character, and with each switch the reader gains a new bit of insight into our hero. I was left with an image in my mind of someone utterly more conflicted and connected and brave than I had thought.

We begin with a farm boy, a dog, a dear mother and father, and a highschool sweetheart. There’s that simplistic Superman I have no patience for. Only, highschool is ending, his powers are growing, and Superman, like many American teenagers, has the scary and exciting task of deciding, “what next?” The decision is more complicated that he wants it to be, and no matter what he must give some things up.

The story unfolds from here with standard comic book elements – heroics, races against time, feats of strength, villains. But in this story too are questions about honesty and making connections. About what you leave behind when you go and what good it will do to return. About the impressions a person leaves, and about figuring out who we really are. Teenage Superman has a lot to figure out. He gives something up when he decides to be Superman, and it’s hard for him. Even though he is Superman, he has to live with his choices, and they are the kinds of choices we can all relate to.

Other superheroes may have more shadowy appeals, and I like that. But in Superman For All Seasons we realize that just because Superman is from another planet and possesses what for earthlings are super powers, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t struggle like the rest of us, and it doesn’t mean he isn’t human after all.





login