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Popo’s Halloween and Spooky tales

by on October 16th, 2014

Saturday, October 25th marks our annual Popo’s Puppet Festival.  Joining us this year along with our favorite clown, Popo, are Jester Puppets and a rendition of Bony Legs by Buffy Quintero.   Bony Legs also known as Baba Yaga, follows little Sasha as she goes to borrow a needle and thread from her witch of a neighbor.  Will Sasha find a way to escape the horrifying Baba Yaga before she gets made into dinner? Stop by the library from 10-12 to find out and for other wonderfully creepy and fun shows for the entire family to enjoy.

As the holiday approaches and our collection of jHoliday books begins to dwindle keep the following titles in mind for spooky reading

Bony LegsBrown: A Dark, Dark Tale, Chaperon: Eerie Dearies, Cole: Bony Legs, Cyrus: Your Skeleton is Showing, Ehlert: Boo to You!, Gorey: The Gashlycrumb Tinies, Idle:Zombelina, Kohara: Ghosts in the House & The Midnight Library, Rohmann: Pumpkinhead, Schwartz: A Dark, Dark Room, Van Allsburg: The Witch’s Broom, Wilson, Who Goes There?

For more spooky titles outside of the Halloween collection, stop by the children’s department!

"I is for Insomnia"

“I is for Insomnia”

 

 

Cats! Cats! Cats! and some kittens.

by on October 16th, 2014
Cats! Cats! Cats! and some kittens. Cover Image

Breaking news: Lots of people who work at ICPL have cats. Crazy, right?? Librarians and bookish people and cats??!!

It’s true, and right now we have a lovely little display of some of our cats on the second floor…well, photos of our cats, not the actual cats. I would NEVER bring a cat to work. No.

Also, today is National Feral Cat Day. This is a day to bring attention to the situation of cats living wild in the outdoors, and a method of controlling cat populations with trap-neuter-return. If you’re interested in learning more about it, check out Alley Cat Allies. You can also learn how to build a nifty outdoor shelter for cats, which I did, and not only was it useful and sturdy, it was also a really nice father-daughter bonding experience — this is something my love for cats does not usually produce. Many of my cats were born feral and socialized at a young age, and became wonderful, loving, (large) indoor cats. It happens.

So, come in to the Library, check out some books on picking out a cat, on understanding your cat, or grab the latest, wonderful addition to our section of poetry by cats, I Knead My Mommy. This is the sequel to the well-reviewed I Could Pee On This, and coincidentally, dedicated to “…all the stray cats that need a loving home.”

Meow.

Video Staff Picks: All Iowa Reads with Susan

by on October 15th, 2014

Need a good book to read? Join our library director Susan for some wonderful book recommendations taken from the All Iowa Reads list.
This year’s author, Thomas Maltman, visited ICPL recently. A video of that talk is here: http://video.icpl.org/maltman

Thanks to our 8th grade volunteers

by on October 15th, 2014

Most Iowa City residents are probably familiar with the 8th grade Personal Development class, which gets teens volunteering for 4 hours in the community.  At ICPL, we are delighted to be a place that many students choose to volunteer.

In the past few weeks, we’ve had several 8th grade volunteers helping to straighten books on the shelves, keep the magazines in order, and put together the Begin With Books packets that are distributed to the families of newborns.  Thanks to those volunteers!

If you are an 8th grader who hasn’t done your volunteering yet, there’s still time!  Contact the Library right away to make your October 20 or 21 deadline.  And if you are taking Personal Development later in the school year, consider ICPL as a fun place to make a difference.

ICPL to Host Teen NaNoWriMo Kick-Off Party

by on October 15th, 2014

The Iowa City Public Library will host a Kick-Off Party for teens interested in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, in the Koza Family Teen Center.nanowrimo-logo

National Novel Writing Month, often referred to as NaNoWriMo, is an annual, international challenge to write the first draft of a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. Younger writers have the option of choosing their own, less daunting, goal.

Seasoned teen writers, first-timers and the merely curious are welcome to attend ICPL’s kick-off party where Teen Services Intern Ella will describe the NaNoWriMo process. You may even find writing allies to help you through the month. The Library will provide tea, hot chocolate and light snacks to fuel teens’ creativity.

For more information about NaNoWriMo, visit nanowrimo.org.

For more information about the Teen NaNoWriMo Kick-Off Party, call the Library at (319) 356-5200.

Iowa City Public Library honors veterans

by on October 15th, 2014

The Iowa City Public Library will host “Remembering Our Fallen,” a touring photo display honoring Iowa servicemen and servicewoman who have died from wounds suffered in a war zone since September 11, 2001.   ROF-Poster

The exhibit will be on display in the Library’s first floor gallery Nov. 1 through Nov. 8. The exhibit’s stop at the Library is supported by U.S. Bank.

“Remembering Our Fallen” was created to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Photo exhibits exist in 18 states so that the men and woman who made the ultimate sacrifice will never be forgotten.

In addition to the exhibit, the Library will host a book reading with Miyoko Hikiji from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 5, in Meeting Room A.

Hikiji is the project director for the non-profit group Veterans National Recovery Center in Iowa and an instructor for the “Writing My Way Back Home” workshop. She served with the Iowa National Guard for nine years, and earned 14 military decorations for service. Her memoir, “All I Could Be: My Story as a Woman Warrior in Iraq,” details more than 70 missions throughout the northwest quadrant of Iraq in 2003 and 2004.

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

National Book Award Finalists Announced

by on October 15th, 2014

nba_winner_medallionThe National Book Foundation announced the National Book Award Finalists this morning.  Our own Iowa City author, Marilynne Robinson, is on the shortlist for Lila, her third novel about the fictional Iowa town of Gilead.   The winners will be announced on November 19, you’d best get started now.

What Is the National Book Award? and

Who Are the Judges?

The National Book Awards were established in 1950 by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization. Each year, the Foundation selects a total of twenty Judges, including five in each of the four Award categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature. Historically, Judges are published writers who are known to be doing great work in their genre or field, and in some cases, are past NBA Finalists or Winners. As of 2013, judging panels will no longer be limited to writers, but now may also include other experts in the field such as literary critics, librarians, and booksellers. One of the five Judges on each panel is selected as the panel chair. This person acts as the voice of the panel and the liaison to the Foundation. The Foundation staff takes no part in the Judges’ deliberations, except to verify a submission’s eligibility.

Who Can Submit Books?

Each April, the Foundation sends the official National Book Awards guidelines and entry forms to the publishers in its master database.

In order to be eligible for the Award, a book must be written by an American citizen and published by an American publisher between December 1 of the previous year and November 30 of the current year. Self-published books are only eligible if the author/publisher publishes the work of other authors in addition to his own. Books published through services such as iUniverse are not eligible for the Award.

Each publisher must submit a completed entry form to the Foundation by May 15. They must then mail one copy of each entered book to the Foundation, as well as one copy to each of the five Judges in the appropriate category, by July 1. The entry fee is $135 per book.

How Are the Finalists Chosen?

Each panel reads all of the books submitted in their category over the course of the summer. This number typically ranges from 150 titles (Poetry) to upwards of 500 titles (Nonfiction). As of 2013, each panel will now compile a “longlist” of ten titles, to be announced in mid-September. They will then narrow down that list to five Finalists, to be announced in mid-October. They may arrive at these choices using whatever criteria they deem appropriate, as long as they do not conflict with the official Award guidelines.

The Finalists Announcement has taken place at various literary sites around the country, from William Faulkner’s front yard in Oxford, Mississippi (2005) to the Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home in Savannah, Georgia (2010). In 2011, the Finalists Announcement was made on Oregon Public Broadcasting’s morning radio program “Think Out Loud,” and in 2012, the announcement was made on TV for the first time, on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” This year the finalists were announced on NPR’s Morning Edition.

How Are the Winners Chosen?

No one, not even the Foundation staff, learns who the Winners are until the day of the National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner, which takes place in mid-November in New York City. That afternoon, over lunch, each panel collectively decides who the Winner in their category will be. Often, this decision has been made ahead of time, but occasionally the panel works to come to a consensus until the very last minute. The panel chair announces the Winner at the Ceremony that evening.

What Does the Award Entail?

The night before the Awards, each Finalist receives a prize of $1,000, a medal, and a citation from the panel at a private Medal Ceremony. Immediately following the Medal Ceremony, all twenty Finalists read from their nominated books at the Finalists Reading. The four Winners in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature are announced the following evening at the National Book Awards Ceremony and Benefit Dinner, where each Winner receives $10,000 and a bronze sculpture.

Then What?

Once an author has been a National Book Award Finalist or Winner, he or she becomes a permanent member of the National Book Foundation family. We do our best to keep in touch with both the authors and publishers, promote the authors’ new books and upcoming readings, and invite them to future National Book Award-related events. (nationalbookaward.com)

 

Ancestry.com is much more than family trees

by on October 14th, 2014

We recently helped a patron find information from a Kansas City City Directory.  And guess where we found it?  Give up? It was Ancestry.com.   (Before I go any farther let me remind you the library’s subscription to this very useful resource limits its use to only in the library and only at our database stations.)

I can see by that look on your face that you want to know what else you can find on Ancestry.com. There is so much more and you can find out just what is available under Quick Links:

quicklinks ancestry

 

 

 

 

 

 

City directories are found in the link, Schools, Directories & Church Histories which has a wealth of other listings too:

narrow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see there is a tremendous amount of information available and we haven’t even narrowed it down to only city directories.  At times it feels like one has fallen into a rabbit hole with so many options and so very many possibilities.

At the very bottom of the above image is the link to the mother lode – the Card Catalog.  The options displayed under Card Catalog show the full breadth of Ancestry.com.

The Card Catalog uses facets, features on the left side of the screen that give users the options in filtering a search.  A search can be filtered by Collection, Location, Date and Language or a combination of any of the four.

As you can see Ancestry.com can be used for many kinds of searches besides a genealogy inquiry.  Come visit us at the library, we can show you how to use Ancestry.com.  And if you still can’t find the answer to your question using Ancestry.com, come and ask us. We are after all, trained reference librarians.

Beware My Power – Teen Comic Book Club

by on October 14th, 2014
Beware My Power – Teen Comic Book Club Cover Image

green-lantern

The next meeting of ICPL’s Teen Comic Book Club will be on Thursday, October 30 from 4-5 in the Teen Center.  We’re discussing all things Green Lantern related.  Pick any Green Lantern comic to read and we’ll geek out about it at the meeting.  Need some ideas?  Here are a few comics about the emerald knights:

Green Lantern : RebirthHal Jordan was considered the greatest Green Lantern of them all. But Jordan lost control, allowed himself to be corrupted and transformed into the villainous Parallax. Later, Jordan reappeared and made the ultimate sacrifice —and became the Spectre, the Wrath of God.  See how a man born without fear and seeking to rebuild his life, puts cosmic forces into motion that will have repercussions not only on Earth but across the universe.

Green Lantern : Secret OriginWhile Hal Jordan is inducted into the Green Lantern Corps, the Green Lantern called Sinestro investigates the death of Hal’s predecessor, Abin Sur. Who–or what– could have killed this Lantern? And what does it all have to do with the “Blackest Night”?

Green Lantern Vol. 1 : SinestroIn the aftermath of a deadly showdown between the Green Lantern Corps and a mysterious foe from the past, Hal Jordan has been stripped of his ring. Left standing is an unexpected new Green Lantern in town: Sinestro! And now, this renegade GL has set a course for Korugar with one purpose: To free his homeworld from the scourge of his own Sinestro Corps, with the not-so-willing help of Hal Jordan!

Green Lantern Corps Vol. 1 : FearsomeWhen a new menace, The Keepers, begins to march across the space sectors and devouring not only their natural resources but their entire populations, it is up to The Corps, severely outnumbered, to stop them. The Corps soon find one of their own held by the ruthless Keepers and must figure out a way to save their comrade and defeat the Keepers without the Green Lantern’s most powerful weapon, their power rings.

 

Post From the Past.

by on October 13th, 2014

letter2   A couple weeks back the Info Desk received a letter in the mail from someone who had recently purchased a postcard mailed from Iowa City. The card had been sent in 1875, and had a unique stamp that was the postage cancellation mark. This person wanted to know if we were able to determine anything about that mark and what it might mean.

Where to begin, right? I’m not very familiar with the collecting and/or research of letters and stamps, and we had little to go on. The cancel mark itself looked like the letters ‘JIC’ and didn’t appear to be handwritten. I didn’t even know what to call the mark, so I started by looking at some general resources about the postal system. I found that, before the advent of machine-generated stamping and marking, postmasters would cancel postage in various ways, including uniquely-carved stamps that were often made of cork. The marks that these stamps made are often called ‘fancy cancels.’ I then started looking for other postcards that had been recorded or auctioned that were sent from Iowa City, as well as looking though numerous different fancy cancels from Iowa. I eventually did find one other postcard that had been sent from the area that had a very similar cancel, but was unable to find any specific information about it. However, that was enough to make me think that we were indeed dealing with a stamp that was regularly used by one of our postmasters.

Without ever being able to positively identify what the initials stood for, a good guess would be ‘Johnson Iowa City.’ Other fancy cancels served a similar purpose of identifying place of origin. I also wondered that it might be the initials of a postmaster…but how would I find that out? I started browsing some of the resources contained in the database Ancestry, and lo and behold, it contains the aptly titled Appointments of U.S. Postmasters, 1832-1971. I was easily able to view all of the postmasters from Iowa City who had appointments during the time this postcard was sent, and…nothing. No names matched those initials. What I did find, though, was that several of the area’s well-known people were appointed as postmasters, including Samuel Trowbridge, Chauncey Swan, and Edward Lucas, son of Robert Lucas. There were other notable names too, such as landowners Jacob Ricard and George Clark, and store owner John Whetstone. Finding these names in this database tells a little more of the story of Iowa City, of the people who lived here and helped build it.

In the end, I was not able to provide a definitive answer for our patron, but I did enjoy trying. If you have any information or ideas related to old postage marks from Iowa City, please leave a comment.

Want to try out Ancestry Library Edition? Stop by the Info Desk for help!

Want to see some old letters mailed to Iowa City? Check out our Digital History Project!

Want to read an oddly fascinating book about postal systems? Check out The Crying of Lot 49!





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