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Composting: Recycling at its finest

by on March 16th, 2017
Composting: Recycling at its finest Cover Image

 

Recycling is a popular topic these days, and for homeowners and gardeners composting is simple way to deal with lawn and garden waste.  By combining it with a bit of water, sunlight, and time you end up with “black gold” in the form of compost you can add back into your gardens.  It’s the ultimate recycling.

Composting itself is pretty simple.  The hardest part is figuring out where and how you’re going to compost.  Piles, pens, bins, tumblers and pits – there are all sorts of ways to corral your compost Read the rest of this entry »

Wonder Woman’s Rebirth

by on March 13th, 2017
Wonder Woman’s Rebirth Cover Image

While Superman supposedly represents the values of “Truth, Justice, and the American Way”, there is no greater champion of “Truth” than Wonder Woman with her magic lasso.  Her creator, psychologist William Moulton Marston, invented the lie detector, (check out The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore for more), so one could say that Truth is in her DNA.  Unfortunately, not even Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth can help her discover the actual nature of her origin.  Was she formed from clay by the queen of the Amazons and given life by the gods of Olympus?  Or is she the biological offspring of Queen Hippolyta and Zeus, ruler of the gods?  As she observes in the opening pages of Wonder Woman: The Lies, the first volume of DC Comics’ Rebirth era, her story keeps changing. Read the rest of this entry »

2017 Book Madness: Time to vote for the Sweet Sixteen

by on March 13th, 2017

The Book Madness brackets have been updated to show titles advancing to the Second Round.

2017 BOOK MADNESS – CHILDREN’S BRACKET

Banned Books

  • Drama by Raina Telgemeier
  • The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
  • Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  • Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss
  • Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George

Read the rest of this entry »

Fresh Picks: Strong Heroines

by on March 9th, 2017
Fresh Picks: Strong Heroines Cover Image

I grew up reading stories filled with strong female characters, from L.M. Montgomery’s Anne to Roald Dahl’s Matilda to Tamora Pierce’s Alanna the Lioness. I also loved reading biographies about my real-life heroines, Susan B. AnthonyEleanor Roosevelt, and Amelia Earhart. Reading about strong female characters is important for both girls and boys, as reading has a strong influence on children’s ideas and opinions about themselves and others. In honor of Women’s History Month, here are some new books full of both fictional and factual heroines.

Fiction

The Crystal Ribbon by Celeste Lim

After being sold as a bride to a wealthy family that treats her poorly, eleven-year-old Jing, with the help of her animal spirit friends, runs away. Her subsequent journey is filled with both magic and adventure.

The Runaway by Kate O’Hearn

In the second installment of the Valkyrie series, Freya and Archie are sent back to Earth by Odin in order to locate a banished Valkyrie and bring her back to Asgard. But Brunhilde has built a life for herself on Earth and has no desire to return. And what Freya learns about that life, changes her understanding of her own family.

Disenchanted :The Trials of Cinderella by Megan Morrison

For generations the Charming men have been cursed, but now that the witch Envearia is dead the curse should be broken–however things are complicated at Charming Palace: King Clement is still nasty, Queen Maud has fled with the help of her son, Prince Dash, and Ella Coach (called Cinderella) would rather be at home sewing than living in the palace at Charming Prep school.

Nonfiction

Hidden Figures : The Untold True Story of Four African-American Women Who Helped Launch Our Nation into Space by Margot Lee Shetterly

In this young reader’s edition of the adult title, discover the stories of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden, a group of dedicated female African-American mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules, and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.

Fannie Never Flinched : One Woman’s Courage in the Struggle for American Labor Union Rights by Mary Cronk Farrell

Fanny Sellins was a union activist who fought and gave her life for equality and labor reform. This biography shines a light on the long and often dangerous fight for worker’s rights, with the period photographs providing stark reminders of the reasons for the fight.


Ten Days a Madwoman: The Daring Life and Turbulent Times of the Original “Girl” Reporter, Nellie Bly by Deborah Noyes

A biography of Nellie Bly, the pioneering journalist whose showy but substantive stunts skyrocketed her to fame. Her exploits included impersonating an inmate at an asylum for the mentally ill and reporting on the terrible conditions, as well circling the globe in 72 days and interviewing a controversial anarchist.

You’ll find these titles on the Children’s Room New Shelf for the next couple of months. While you’re there, you might find other heroines to be inspired by.

ICPL Bookmobile Update

by on March 9th, 2017

2017-03-bookmobile-drawingComing soon to a stop near you – ICPL’s new BOOKMOBILE!

The Iowa City Public Library is pleased to introduce new Bookmobile services to our community. The purpose of the Iowa City Public Library’s Bookmobile is to offer collections and services beyond the Downtown and extend Library services throughout our community. The idea for a Bookmobile came from months of Strategic Planning and asking a simple question, “What is the best and most affordable way to extend Library services into our community?”

The Bookmobile will have three annual schedule periods. The Summer Schedule (June-August) focuses on serving children and the Fall and Spring Schedules (August-December and January-May) focus on serving people of all ages.

Watch for the Bookmobile to appear around town in May, with a set schedule beginning in June. For more information, visit www.icpl.org/bookmobile. This under construction webpage will eventually be the “online home” of the Bookmobile. Online this week you will see a map with stop location information and photos showing the construction of the new Bookmobile. Check back often for schedule and photo updates.

Ready! Set!! Bookmobile!!!

icpl-bookmobile-logo

 

 

 

Mormon Trek Remote Book Return is BACK!

by on March 9th, 2017

Yesterday was a happy2017-03-remote-1 day! The West Side Remote Book Returns are once again available at the University of Iowa Community Credit Union drive-thru located at 825 Mormon Trek Blvd. The Remote Book Returns at this location were damaged in a “Car vs. Book Return” incident in January.

When our Maintenance Manager went into the UICCU branch yesterday to let them know the Book Returns were back, the staff applauded. We received a lot of feedback about the missing Book Return-many people expressing what a difference it made in their busy lives. Sometimes we forget little things mean a lot. Although we don’t want incidents like this to happen often, the silver lining is we hear from people who appreciate our services. Thank you!

The new Remote Returns are a bit different. There are three bins for returning materials. Any material that can be returned in the remote bin can go into any bin. Since the Remote Book Returns were installed 18 years ago, the manufacturer changed the sizes of the bins. To get the capacity needed, we had to order three of equal size. Things change and that’s OK.

When we emptied the drop at 1:00 PM yesterday, there were 6 books waiting to be picked up. I’m sure there’s more today.

Eat Out to Read Tonight: Hudson’s

by on March 8th, 2017

Support ICPL and one of Iowa City’s newest restaurants, Hudson’s, tonight, Weds. March 8. Hudson’s is at 482 Hwy 1 West, Iowa City. Parking is accessible off Highway 1 between Riverside Dr and Hudson Ave.

The community night is scheduled 5-10 pm, and the ICPL Friends Foundation will receive a donation of 15% of the sales of everything, including carry out. Thanks for your support tonight!

Her Idleness Strikes Again!

by on March 7th, 2017

Flora and the Chicks Today, Molly Idle has released her first board book which happens to be the fourth entry in her seminal Flora series.  Flora and the Chicks is an adorable, mostly wordless, counting primer.

Your little one will love exploring numbers 1 through 10 with Flora and her brood of hatching chicks. The old adage regarding playing while mom’s away definitely applies here, much to the delight of the chicks and the chagrin of Flora who does her best to keep up with their the ever increasing number.

Image result for flora and the chicksDefinitely a sequel to check out while we wait, impatiently, for the next installment, Flora and the Ostrich: an Opposties Book, also a board book, coming in September.

Can’t get enough Flora? Be sure to stop by ICPL to see all of her other work and the books she’s illustrated for other authors–our friendly staff would be happy to help you find them all!

 

Modern Reads for Women’s History Month

by on March 6th, 2017

I recently wondered how March came to be National Women’s History Month. Luckily National Women’s History Project had some great information.

If you’re like me and you like to celebrate holidays by nerding out on information overload, here’s a great list of book titles to pick up from ICPL. For this list, I’m choosing to focus on more recent choices that highlight great feminist literature and nonfiction.

My Real Children by Jo Walton

I won’t go into too much detail about this book because I don’t want to give this wonderful book away. If you’re a fan of realistic fiction like John Green and Rainbow Rowell, but you’re willing to read something written for and about adults, you’d like this book. This is a story about what it means to have choices in life, and ultimately how women function and age within society.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This book has won a zillion awards for its powerful story of race and identity. Bonus: North Liberty Community Library has selected it for its Bring Your Own Book Club on March 31 at Beer Burger – you’ve still got time to participate.

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

There’s a reason the City of Literature recently awarded Roxane Gay with the 2016 Paul Engle prize. She’s a tremendous writer doing important work across media and genre. This book of essays is a great introduction to her writing, and it’s also really fun to read.

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein

So much of the story of 90s music in the pacific northwest comes from the perspective by and about men, that it’s particularly interesting to read this story of a young woman finding her calling as part of that scene.

Not only is this story riveting, but Brownstein is a just a fantastic writer and I often recommend this as one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read. She not only chronicles her turbulent journey but is impressively self-aware, finding deeper meaning as she looks at her story in hindsight.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

This debut novel from Angie Thomas just came out in February and is already proving very popular. It’s a YA book that everyone should read. The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books describes it as follows: “Ultimately the book emphasizes the need to speak up about injustice. That’s a message that will resonate with all young people concerned with fairness, and Starr’s experience will speak to readers who know Starr’s life like their own and provide perspective for others.”

This just in: St. Patrick, not actually Irish.

by on March 3rd, 2017
This just in: St. Patrick, not actually Irish. Cover Image

Is that a load of blarney?? No. Okay, many of you probably knew that, but I confess that I did not, or that I had forgotten. St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, was born in some part of Britain while it was under Roman occupation. It’s not known for sure whether his parents, Calpornius and Concessa, were also born in Britain, or Italy. Little is known about his family and upbringing; his biography, Confession, gives some details, but for the most part is pretty vague about locations and dates.

So, what do we know about this very popular (especially in March) and beloved saint? Read the rest of this entry »





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