Library Catalog Ask a Librarian Book a Meeting Room


Join the (Book) Club

by on February 4th, 2016
Join the (Book) Club Cover Image

One of my favorite books is Angry Housewives Eating Bon-Bons by Lorna Landvik. I picked it up because the title made me laugh, but the story of five women who come together for three decades of book club meetings (and everything in between) is why it’s high on my recommendation list.

I love books about book clubs. In a way, they are two books in one. First there’s the story, then there’s reading about the books the characters read. More often than not, those titles end up on my future reading list.

I’ll admit, sometimes writing down the title and author is as close as I’ll ever get to reading the book, but there have been times I’ve seen it through. For instance, I read Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster after the characters in Heather Vogel Fredrickson’s Mother-Daughter Book Club series read it in Dear Pen Pal.

Luckily, I spent a semester studying Jane Austen in college, so when The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler was published, I didn’t have to worry about falling down the rabbit hole of new book titles.

Like actors who aren’t doctors in real life but play one on TV, I do not belong to a book club; I only readbook-club-kit about them. However, if starting a book club is something that interests you, ICPL has you covered. Our Book Club Kits contain 10 copies of books and discussion questions, all packaged in one canvas bag. Located on the first floor near the Help Desk, each kit can be checked out for six weeks.

World Book Encyclopedia 2016

by on February 3rd, 2016

world book 1Before Google was a verb, and before we carried the internet around in our pockets, checking the World Book Encyclopedia was a popular way of looking for new information. Librarians used it.  Students used it.  If you were lucky enough, your family had it’s own set – with the annual “Year Book” updates too – and you didn’t have to go to the library to work on papers for school.

The World Book Encyclopedia debuted in 1917 with 8 volumes. (the 2016 edition has 22)  In the 6th book “E” the entry for Encyclopedia begins “Encyclopedia is a collection of information about people, places, events and things.”  Followed by a 6 page article on the history of encyclopedias and how they are created – from the editors who select the experts in various fields to write each article, to the artists and layout experts who add the photographs and illustrations to compliment or supplement the text.  There is a 12 part graphic that lets you follow the creation of an individual World Book article.

world book 2Kids are full of questions, and my parent’s standard response to an off the wall question was often “Go look it up.”   Not because they didn’t know the answer, but because they knew that for their overly-curious children, reading one entry in the World Book often led to an hour curled up on the floor by the bookcase reading other entries.

Seeing the Library’s brand new 2016 edition of the World Book Encyclopedia appear in the Reference Collection recently makes me want to sit on the floor and start flipping pages.

Just what is 1000 Books?

by on February 2nd, 2016

The 1000 Books Before Kindergarten initiative is set to launch in Iowa City this Friday, February 5th! The program is based on an idea that other libraries across the nation are doing, with great success. The program encourages parents of newborns to 5 year-olds to read a wide range of books to their child to help them get a jumpstart on learning and school. Every word you say builds your child’s brain!

The concept is simple, the rewards are priceless. Read any book to your newborn, infant, or toddler. The goal is to have read 1,000 books before your little one starts kindergarten. Does it sound hard? Not really if you think about it. If you read just 1 book a night, you will have read about 365 books in a year. That is 730 books in two years and 1,095 books in three years. If you consider that most children start kindergarten at around 5 years of age, you have more time than you think! The best part? You can repeat books and books they hear at storytimes count too!

The key is perseverance. The program was specifically designed to give babies and toddlers the best start on lifelong reading and learning skills, as well as to help parents and children get in the habit of reading on a regular basis. Doing so will improve kids’ language skills before they enter kindergarten. Can you and should you read more than 1,000 books? YES! Again, this is aimed at getting your child in a good routine of reading every day! So once you hit the goal of 1,000 books, keep on reading!

According to Reading Rockets, a national literacy program, many students enter kindergarten performing below their peers and remain behind as they move through the grades and confront more-challenging reading material. Many children entering Kindergarten are facing up to a 30 million word gap.

I believe that literacy is the cornerstone of learning and reading aloud to children – from the very beginning of a child’s life – creates the best environment for success in school. It’s a gift parents can give to their children that will pay off their whole lives!

The Iowa City Public Library’s new early literacy program 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten will encourage parents to make the time necessary for this essential building block of learning. As children move through the program, they will receive special incentives that have been bought through a generous grant from Pearson. The program will kick off this Friday, February 5. Join us in the Children’s Room for our kick-off event. For more information, log onto our website at: www.icpl.org/1000books or from our press release.

1000_books_banner

What’s up with the wrapped books and CDs?

by on February 2nd, 2016

You know how you’re always judging books by their covers? Of course, we all do. For the month of February, though, we want you to see past those stereotypical cover images and go home with a book where the author’s name is way bigger than the title (or vice versa).

BlindDateAlbumLibrary staff members have selected our favorites and, based only on our descriptions, we hope you’ll find something you love, too. Blind Date with a Book was so popular last year that we’ve expanded it to music CDs. Pick up your Blind Date with an Album over by the music CDs on the 1st floor.

Blind Dates can be checked out at either a Self Check station or the Help Desk. (Avoid looking at the receipt, though, if you want to keep it a surprise until you get home.) Inside each package, you’ll find a Rate Your Date card to fill in your first impression and let us know how the date went. Return the card to the Help Desk to be entered in a drawing for $25 worth of Molly’s Cupcakes (for books) or $25 in the Iowa City Downtown District (for albums). Many thanks to our generous sponsors!

Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach

by on February 1st, 2016
Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach Cover Image

Have you ever been in a book funk?  You know, where nothing grabs your attention.  For three months, I’d read the first chapter or two of a book then never return to it.  Nothing stuck.  I buy the Young Adult books, and, in doing so, read a lot of reviews.  Sometimes I’ll read a review and get really excited about a book only to be let down.  I had a good feeling about Thanks for the Trouble when I read the review for it, then I gave a quick, silent prayer to the book gods that maybe, just maybe, this would bring an end to the funk.

It did.  It totally did!  I looooooooved this book!  Read it.  Just go read it.  No?  You need some convincing?  OK, here we go…

Parker Santé has been mute ever since his father died in a car accident five years ago.  Now he communicates via his journals and sign language.  He skips school a lot, and one of his favorite pastimes is hanging out at hotels so he can steal from unsuspecting rich folks.  One such victim is silver (not platinum) haired Zelda.  Parker spots Zelda looking perfectly sad, but also notices her fat wad of cash.  After swiping the dough, Parker thinks better of it and returns the money.  Zelda matter-of-factly states that she plans to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge after she spends all of her money on a charity case.  She agrees to spend the money on Parker as long as he agrees to go to college.  This kick-starts a weekend that will change Parker completely.  Also, did I mention that Zelda looks like she’s seventeen, but claims to be 250 years old?

I absolutely loved Parker’s voice.  He’s witty without being obnoxious, and he’s an excellent writer.  He grew up reading faerie tales–the real ones, not the sanitized Disney versions he says–and we’re treated to faerie tales that he has written himself.  Most are bleak, but he can’t help being a bit romantic.  Parker grows, and Zelda shows him that it’s better to live your life than to hide yourself from everyone else.

Do I have issues with the ending?  I do, but it didn’t take the shine off the rest of the book.  I highly recommend this to John Green fans and readers of Andrew Smith.

No Roads Lead to Buxton

by on February 1st, 2016

Southern Iowa was once the site of a thriving coal mining industry and one of the most interesting coal mining communities was Buxton.  The library bluff creek townshipis hosting a display, No Roads Lead to Buxton, from the African American Museum of Iowa on the first floor of the library during the first week of Black History Month, February 1 – February 7.

BuxtonShaft10Buxton, a once prosperous coal mining community in Bluff Creek Township in northern Monroe County,  holds a special place in Iowa history as a predominantly  black town. Beginning in the 1890s Ben Buxton, the President and principal stockholder of the Consolidation Coal Company and North Western Railroad of Chicago,  recruited black laborers to work in the coal mines of Iowa following strikes by white miners. The majority of the recruits settled in the town of Buxton, founded by the company in 1895 to house the new arrivals.   Most of the miners were from the Virginia and West Virginia coal mining regions. By 1905, Buxton had nearly 2,700 African Americans and 1,990 Europeans, mostly of Swedish, Welsh, and Slovak descent. At its peak in 1910, Buxton’s population was between eight and ten thousand people.

The majority of the leadership roles in Buxton were held by African Americans -the postmaster, superintendent of schools, most of the teachers, two justices of the peace, two constables and two deputy sheriffs. Buxton’s most prominent early resident, E.A. Carter, the son of a black miner who arrived in the 1890s,  is believed to be he first black graduate from the University of Iowa, Medical College, in 1907. Dr. Carter returned to Buxton where he became assistant chief surgeon for Consolidated Coal.  In 1915 he was appointed chief surgeon for the company.  Prominent attorneys and one-time Buxton residents George H. Woodson and Samuel Joe Brown were among the co-founders of the Niagra Movement, a predecessor to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), in 1905.

Schools in Buxton were racially integrated and taught by both black and white instructors. The Consolidated Coal also treated blacks and whites equally, with regards to housing and employment matters. Buxton changed during the start of World War I in France. Coal production had peaked and the black population began to slowly decline. Fires destroyed buildings and homes in Buxton, and by 1919, there were only a few hundred of people left. In 1923, the coal company moved its headquarters and sold out to  the Superior Coal Company in 1925. The Buxton mine  closed in 1927.

Drop by the library to learn more about Buxton, a fascinating chapter in Iowa history.

ICPL announces February Classes for Adults

by on February 1st, 2016

Want to make a connection? In February, the library is offering several classes that show users how to understand and utilize social mediums like Facebook and Twitter.

Come to the Facebook Basics and Beyond session to learn how to use this popular social media. A technology librarian will go over some privacy settings and show you how you can connect and stay connected with friends, family and organizations. Join us on Friday, Feb. 12 at 11 a.m.

On Saturday, Feb. 20, at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. you can learn about Pinterest, a social media that helps you organize the things you find online. Learn to navigate the Pinterest interface and understand how your online finds (or pins) are shared and followed.

Can you really get all of your news in 140 characters? Find out how Twitter is used by its many followers and tweeters to stay up on the news, stay current in their career or simply connect with friends and family. Class begins at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 23.

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.

ICPL Announces February Music is the Word Events

by on January 30th, 2016

Join the Iowa City Public Library as we celebrate all things musical with Music is the Word. This special series of programming, to continue through May 2016, welcomes the University of Iowa School of Music building to downtown Iowa City. Here’s what’s happening in February:

7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 2, at the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center Gymnastics Room: Yahoo Drummers. This Family Drumming Session at the Robert A. Lee Recreation Center will have families exploring and playing percussion instruments from all over the world. No fee; no registration required.

7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, in Meeting Room A: Film screening – “Bessie.” Queen Latifah stars as legendary blues singer Bessie Smith in this HBO Films presentation, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Dee Rees. 112 minutes (2015)

10:30 to 11 a.m. and 1:30 to 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 5, in the Storytime Room: Book Babies – West Music’s Sing, Play, and Grow.

2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, in Meeting Room A: Concert – Gospel Explosion Ministry’s Choirs. Join the Gospel Explosion Ministry’s Praise and Worship Team, GEM Teen Mime Ministry and Precious GEM’S as they share hymns and gospel songs.

Noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10, in Meeting Room A: Music on Wednesday @ICPL with Preucil School of Music.

10:30 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 11, in Meeting Room A: Preschool Storytime – Preschool Valentine’s Day Dance.

7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 11, in Meeting Room A: Documentary – “Twenty Feet from Stardom.” The backup singer exists in a strange place in the pop music world; they are always in the shadow of the feature artists even when they are in front of them in concert while they provide a vital foundation for the music. Through interviews with veterans and concert footage, the history of these predominately African-American singers is explored through the rock era. 91 minutes (2013)

10:30 to 11 a.m. and 1:30 to 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 12, in the Storytime Room: Book Babies – Preucil’s Music Together.

2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14, in the Storytime Room: Sing-Along – “Tangled.” Will Rapunzel ever find her way out of her tower, or discover that she’s really the lost princess of the kingdom? Stop by the Storytime Room to sing along and find out! This Disney movie features music by Academy Award-winning composer Alan Menken.

5 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17, in Meeting Room A: Concert — Traditional Chinese Music Performance featuring Wu Man. Wu Man is an internationally renowned pipa (Chinese lute) virtuoso.

7 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18, in Meeting Room A: Film program — And the Oscar for Best Original Score goes to “The Adventures of Robin Hood.” Sir Robin of Locksley, defender of downtrodden Saxons, runs afoul of Norman authority and is forced to turn outlaw. Guest speaker Nathan Platte, Assistant Professor of Musicology at the University of Iowa School of Music, will introduce the film and give a short history of the Academy Award for Best Original Score.

2 to 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 20, in Meeting Room A: Family Event – Dancers in Company. Dancers in Company, the University of Iowa’s premiere touring dance company, performs work by nationally and internationally active faculty and guest choreographers throughout the state and region. This year, the company has created a series of works around the theme of “water.” The show will feature dances that investigate personal, local, and global issues underlying the beauty, vitality, and necessity of water by faculty choreographers Armando Duarte, Eloy Barragan, Jessica Anthony and Michael Sakamoto, and guest choreographer Rennie Harris.

Noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, in the Lobby: Music on Wednesday @ICPL with Anthony Arnone. Called “a cellist with rich tonal resources, fine subtlety and a keen sense of phrasing,” cellist Anthony Arnone enjoys a varied career as a soloist, chamber musician, conductor, recording artist, composer, and teacher throughout the country and around the world. Associate professor of cello at the University of Iowa School of Music, he is also on the faculty of the Preucil School of Music in Iowa City, where he teaches and conducts.

Noon to 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 26, in Meeting Room A: Music on Friday. Please join students from the University of Iowa School of Music as they share a hour of music over the lunch break. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the amazing talent of our University of Iowa students.

For more information, visit www.icpl.org/mitw or call the Library at 319-356-5200.

All Iowa Reads Lila

by on January 29th, 2016
All Iowa Reads Lila Cover Image

Lila by Marilynne Robinson is the 2016 All Iowa Reads book and I want to encourage everyone to read it. Robinson is a brilliant author,  her last four novels have been: a finalist for the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, awarded the 2005 Pulitzer, awarded the 2009 Orange Prize for Fiction, and awarded the 2014 National Book Critics Fiction Prize.  Lila, the fourth in this list and the third book revolving around the small Iowa town of Gilead is a remarkable story of how a child grows into a woman dealing with abandonment and deprivation, struggling to understand her past and envision a more hopeful future.  Sounds grim, doesn’t it?  And, yet, somehow it is an inspiring tale of a fierce, obstinate woman I wish I could talk to.

This is the first time the All Iowa Reads committee has selected a second book by the same author (Gilead was an earlier selection), but this story and how it is told deserves a broad audience.  I find Lila a much easier read than Gilead.  I like Lila more than I did Reverend Ames.  I find her story compelling and the narrative– although it jumps from present to past and is not sequential– easier to follow.  Several people I know tried to read Gilead and put it down before they were finished, I urged them to give Lila a try, and one who did said it was an excellent book they enjoyed very much.

The Library has many copies of the book — in regular print, large print, e-book, audio on compact disc and downloadable, plus a book club kit.  I highly recommend the book to all readers and it is a great discussion book for reading groups as well.

ICPL to Debut 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program

by on January 29th, 2016

Sharing books and stories is important to a child’s brain development, which is why the Iowa City Public Library is pleased to partner with Pearson for our new 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program.1000 Books Before Kindergarten_GeneralPoster.indd

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten encourages parents and caregivers to do just that: read 1,000 books before the child starts kindergarten. In doing so, they strengthen a child’s language skills and build their vocabulary — two important tools for beginning readers. With the support of a $10,000 Employee Challenge Fund for Literacy grant from Pearson, the Library will assist and encourage parents and caregivers as they help children become lifelong readers.

The program will launch at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 5, following Book Babies. Staff from the Library and Pearson will be on hand to register children for 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten. Children also can register at the Children’s Desk during regular Library hours after Feb. 5.

Each participant will go home with a bookmark to track their first 250 books. Once it’s complete, children can bring it to the Children’s Room for their next bookmark, each one in 250 increments, until they’ve read 1,000 books. Children also will receive a prize after completing each level of the program: a book bag after 250 books; a book plate to be inserted in any children’s book in the Library’s collection after 500 books; a growth chart after 750 books; and a new book of their own at 1,000 books.

“We’re so excited to bring this program to our community and want to thank Pearson for their help in making it an experience that will benefit our young patrons for years,” Library Director Susan Craig said.





login