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A Day with Frank Lloyd Wright

by on July 23rd, 2015
A Day with Frank Lloyd Wright Cover Image
2015 07 FLW Column

Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio

Recently I celebrated a birthday that ended in a ZERO and my husband gave me a “day away.” I chose a day in Oak Park, Illinois touring the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio followed by a walking tour of his neighborhood.

I really enjoy historical fiction novels based on the lives of real people. A few years ago the book Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland inspired a Spring Break trip to New York City to see Tiffany Glass. After reading Nancy Horan’s Loving Frank and T.C. Boyle’s The Women, I’ve wanted to visit the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio in Oak Park as well as Taliesin in Spring Green, WI.

The tour in Oak Park was wonderful. The volunteer guide was very knowledgeable and I learned a lot about Wright’s architecture, style and philosophy. The tour was light on personal details but that was OK. Books can fill in the details there. It was amazing to see Wright’s experimentation through the many homes we walked by in the neighborhood and the evolution of his style.

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If you are looking for a getaway, I’d recommend reading the two historical fiction novels about Frank Lloyd Wright and then heading to Oak Park for a day.

If you are looking for more adventures in Oak Park, the Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Home and Museum is just a couple blocks from the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio. We didn’t get a chance to tour the Hemingway Museum, but if you are interested, you might consider reading The Paris Wife by Paula McLain before you go. Enjoy :)

 

 

Associated Press and Movietone Release Historical Footage on YouTube

by on July 23rd, 2015

ap-video-archive

Still of video of President Kennedy on the AP’s YouTube Channel

 Over 1 million minutes of historical footage captured by the Associated Press and Movietone dating back to 1895 will be available for anyone to watch on YouTube. The collection is still in the process of being uploaded at the rate of 30,000 videos per day to the British Movietone’s and Associated Press’ channels. This upload is the largest to date on the YouTube platform and will eventually contain nearly 550,000 videos. Several videos are currently available including footage from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Martin Luther King’s arrest in Selma, and the Hindenburg Disaster. Topics will range beyond iconic moments in history and include science, fashion, sports and celebrities as well.

To see more videos, check out the Associated Press’ channel and the British Movietone channel.

References:

http://www.ap.org/content/press-release/2015/ap-makes-one-million-minutes-of-history-available-on-youtube

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jul/22/newsreel-associated-press-movietone-upload-archive-youtube

http://9to5google.com/2015/07/22/ap-british-movietone-youtube/

 

What’s Hot, What’s Not

by on July 22nd, 2015

Librarians do love their statistics, and one thing we watch is what areas of the collection are seeing more use, and which are seeing less.  Our fiscal year ended June 30, so the numbers are coming in.  Some things are up, some things are down.  Are you checking out the trending things, or are you hanging in there with collections whose use is going down?

Downloadable books and audio books are definitely hot, with audio growing at a faster rate then ebooks.  I speculate that this is happening as people are replacing older cars that just had CD players with newer cars that allow you to easily connect your device to the car audio system.  Over 40% of all adult spoken word books checked out are now electronic.  Adult audio downloads are up 38%, ebooks up 16%.  Also in the electronic collection category, our Zinio magazine service saw a 9% increase in use.  Overall downloads still account for less than 10% of our “checkouts.”

Print fiction use is down about 5%, with mysteries down the most (Hey, I’m doing my part, what’s happening here!?).  These collections are probably most affected by the ebook downloads and if you added them together, overall use would be up.  In nonfiction the hot area is biography (up 17%), but declines are seen in the social sciences (300s) and the applied technology (600s).

I was surprised to see that DVD use is up — movies, TV, nonfiction.  I expected a drop because streaming services are getting easier to use and cheaper.  Use of music on CD, however, continues a declining trend.

If you combine Children’s print and electronic book use, circulation is up with the largest increases seen in books for beginning readers.  Using media and electronics in the library is very popular, but less media was checked out from the Children’s Room last year, including DVD and CD formats.

With almost 1.4 million items borrowed last year reading. listening, watching, and playing are all hot!

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Explore the Importance of Seeds at ICPL

by on July 22nd, 2015

The Iowa City Public Library will explore the shift of seeds from a local resource to a corporately-owned property with a screening of Open Sesame: The Story of Seeds tonight (Wednesday, July 22).open-sesame

This 2015 environmental documentary by M. Sean Kaminsky looks at the challenges facing one of the world’s most precious resources: seeds. In the past, seeds were saved season-to-season and shared gardener-to-gardener. Today, more than half of the seed stock is controlled by three major corporations. Open Sesame details the history of seeds and presents the challenges organic and small growers, seed savers and seed freedom advocates face today.

The film will be shown in Room A at 7 p.m. Popcorn will be provided.

Our exploration and understanding of seeds continues on Wednesday, July 29, with a presentation by Seed Savers Exchange from Decorah.

Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the preservation and utilization of heirloom varieties since 1975, working with farmers and gardeners to ensure that these unique varieties are not lost forever.

This event begins at 7 p.m. in Meeting Room A. It is co-sponsored by New Pioneer Food Co-op and will be broadcast LIVE on The Library Channel, Iowa City cable channel 20.

Both events are part of the 2015 Adult Summer Reading Program.

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

Twice as Nice!

by on July 21st, 2015

Often in my civilian life I am recognized and greeted by patrons, whether at HyVee, the bus stop, even on the plane home at Christmas.  Sometimes it isn’t me though – it’s my identical twin sister who also lives in Iowa City.  Instead of regaling you with anecdotes of a twin’s life, I’ll let these authors enlighten you about these special siblings.

Separated @ Birth cover.phpIn Separated @ Birth: A True Love Story of Twin Sisters Reunited (2014) by Anais Bordier and Samantha Futerman, two sisters discover each other’s existence because of a video on YouTube.  Told from alternating viewpoints, this book chronicles that beginning of their relationship, their first face-to-face meeting, and other milestones.  Even if you are not adopted, nor a twin, this heartwarming memoir will make you smile.

There are two related items:  one is a companion documentary “Twinsters” released in 2015; the other is an article in the 12 July 2015 New York Times Magazine titled “The Mixed-Up Brothers of Bogata” about two sets of twins switched at birth and raised as fraternal twins.

Trading Faces cover.phpTrading Faces (2009) is the first book in a series written by identical twin sisters Julia De Villers and Jennifer Roy.  It introduces Payton, the “pretty” one, and Emma, the “smart” one.  Because of a wardrobe malfunction, they must switch clothes and identities for the day.  Needless to say, that becomes not the only time; however, they learn that it’s okay not to adhere so rigidly to labels and how to use their individual skills to help each other as well as others.

The Third Twin cover.phpThis final suggestion is a fascinating novel; I have read it multiple times.  The Third Twin (1996) by Ken Follett features Dr. Jeannie Ferrami who is studying nature versus nurture.  She is raped but the suspect claims his innocence.  Further investigation uncovers another man with identical DNA.  And, as the title indicates, there emerges a third character.  Part mystery and part thriller, the plot is quite intricate and intriguing.

Nowadays, multiple births are common.  Even if you are not lucky enough to have congenital buddies, you can experience some of the joy here.

Live music @ IC Farmer’s Market

by on July 21st, 2015

The Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department and the University of Iowa Community Credit Union announced the line-up for this month’s live music at the Iowa City Farmer’s Market several weeks ago, which could make this post seem outdated, but it’s not.

Tomorrow’s Market Music performers are the Awful Purdies. If you don’t get the chance tlmpo see them perform from 5 to 7 p.m., you can check out their music through the Library’s Local Music Project.

The Local Music Project is a collection of albums by eastern Iowa musicians available for free download to your computer. We also have music by David Zollo in this collection. He performed at the market on July 8.

The musical line-up for the rest of July is as follows:

  • Wednesday, July 22: Awful Purdies
  • Saturday, July 25: Ryne Doughty
  • Wednesday, July 29: Lew Knudson

Market Music is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays and 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturdays.

eBook cookbooks? So convenient!

by on July 20th, 2015
eBook cookbooks? So convenient! Cover Image

Recently I wanted to take a new cookbook home with me, but I was on my bike and didn’t want the extra weight. The answer to my woes? Finding an e-book cookbook!

I wound up checking out the Gourmet Vegetarian Slow Cooker and found an excellent (and easy!) recipe for slow cooker risotto. And I am excited for leftovers tonight.

Here’s how to browse what cookbooks we have available through Digital Johnson County on OverDrive.  Read the rest of this entry »

Shelves of Memories

by on July 20th, 2015

My family recently celebrated seven years in our house. That might not seem like a big deal, but it’s the longest we’ve ever lived at one address.

The only downside of establishing roots is the stuff that tends to multiply when you aren’t moving every year or so. I realized when I opened the linen closet with an armful of clean towels that couldn’t fit on the shelf that it was time to purge.

I started in the kitchen, emptying the drawers of multiple utensils (no one needs three pizza cutters) before tackling the unfiled filing drawers stuffed with bank statements, health insurance claims and the passport I thought I lost in 1997. (If you aren’t sure where to start, the Library’s collection of de-cluttering and home organization books can be found on the second floor.)

I coordinated the “our-house-is-too-full-of-stuff” cleansing with my children’s changing of their rooms. Now that they are in their teens, we no longer need to use the fourth bedroom as a toy room. My son moved into that one and my daughter gave up her tiny room for his former bedroom.bookshelf

Before this could happen, though, they had a decade’s worth of toys to sort through. That took about a week and in the end I was surprised with how much they were willing to relinquish. Except for books.

The books on the shelves in the toy room when stories long-since outgrown, but too beloved to part with. Amelia Bedelia, George and Martha, Arthur and D.W., and Captain Underpants are part of their childhood, just like Anastasia Krupnik, Karana and Rontu, and Harriet M. Welsch were part of mine.

We reached a compromise, moving the dollhouse bookshelf to my daughter’s old bedroom, now the office, filling it with the books they don’t want to keep on their bedroom bookshelves. Later, I went through the storage tub of books I held on to after moving out of my parents’ house, adding them to the collection.

What books from your childhood do you hold close to your heart?

One Small Step…

by on July 18th, 2015

Today at Family Storytime we celebrated the 1969 Moon landing that took place 46 years ago on July-16-24. The United States’ Apollo 11 was the first manned mission to land on the Moon, on July, 20 1969.

Books about astronauts, the moon, rockets, space, planets and aliens are always a favorite read aloud for kids! How could you go wrong?

My new favorite book, Zar and the Broken Spaceship, actually started out as a song by one of my favorite guys, Dino O’Dell, who visited the ICPL just last week. If you missed his concert you can check out the video of the book here.

Zar is all about three friends who hear a strange and otherworldly sound as they walk through a park. The otherworldly sound is a spaceship that has crashed and the friends meet a green, three-eyed alien named Zar. As they fix Zar’s broken ship, they pickup a bit of the space-alien language, learn a lot about teamwork, and make a new and unusual friend.

Here are some other great space books to help you celebrate!

Eight Days Gone by Linda McReynolds 8days

Snappy verse and retro art recount Apollo 11′s historic, eight-day mission to the moon in 1969. Young readers learn the basics about the gear, equipment, and spaceship used by the astronauts, as well as the history of NASA’s moon mission.

The magic school bus lost in the solar system by Joanna Cole.

The fieldtrip to the planetarium is foiled when the museum turns out to be closed, but Ms. Frizzle saves the day. The Magic School Bus turns into a spaceship and takes the class on a trip zooming through the atmosphere, to the Moon, and beyond!

Roaring Rockets by Tony Mitton

Rockets have power. They rise and roar. This rocket’s waiting, ready to soar. Rockets carry astronauts with cool, white suits oxygen helmets and gravity boots. Blast off with more out-of-this-world couplets! This time it is machines that fly. In bright and bold illustrations that are as witty as the text, the animal crew roars and whizzes into outer space.

I Want tastronauto Be an Astronaut by Byron Barton

From picture-book master Byron Barton, this is the perfect story for young readers who love outer space and want to know more about how NASA astronauts do their job. Up into the sky goes the space shuttle! Once in orbit, the astronauts get a taste of ready-to-eat food, experience zero gravity, go for space walks, and even fix a satellite. It’s fun to fly aboard the shuttle…and then come back to earth.

 

Zoom, Rocket, Zoom! By Margaret Mayo

Ride a rocket to the stars as astronauts go zooming, booming, flying, and guiding their way through the solar system. Watch as they make moon landings, explore a new terrain, repair a satellite, and more in this exciting early introduction to all things outer space! A rhythmic, rollicking text pairs with bold, bright illustrations to capture the imaginations of young space explorers everywher

Goldilocks and the three Martians by Stu Smith

Goldilocks is fed up with chores and homework. Why can’t a girl hagoldilocksve any fun? So she builds a spaceship and blasts off for the adventure of her life. After touring all the planets (and finding something wrong with each of them), she finally lands on Mars and is soon ringing the doorbell of a Martian house. You guessed it no one’s home, but some tasty alien stew is cooling on the table. After a little nap and a narrow escape from the returned occupants, Goldilocks heads for Earth, which suddenly feels . . . just right after all. With a terrific rhyming text that’s great fun for out-loud reading, this bright picture book offers a wacky twist on an old favorite.

 

Trash to Treasures

by on July 16th, 2015
Trash to Treasures Cover Image

Summer the season of sun, fun and Rummage in the Ramp!  This year Rummage in the Ramp is calling on you creative types out there to upcycle a castoff into a work of art.  Rummage ReDux, a new event which supports the creation of artwork from items donated to Rummage in the Ramp, Iowa City’s annual mega-reuse and recycling event. Rummage ReDux will take the concept of reuse one step further by demonstrating how a little love, creativity and skill can convert usable, as-is, donated items from something that’s simply serviceable to something downright spectacular.

Selected applicants, who may include Johnson County individuals or businesses, will be allowed to choose one item from Rummage in the Ramp at no charge to repair, repurpose, or upcycle. Participants will be invited to work on their item during the last day of Rummage in the Ramp at a “meet the artist” event on Sunday, Aug. 2. Finished items will then be showcased at up to three public events in October and November.

If you are looking for inspirations, the Iowa City Public Library can help.   Two books by Danny Seo “Upcycling : create beautiful things with the stuff you already have” and “Upcycling celebrations : a use-what-you-have guide to decorating, gift-giving & entertaining” as well as “ReCraft: how to turn second-hand stuff into beautiful things for your home, family and friends” by Sara Ducahars and Sarah Marks  might be just what you need to get that creative spark.  If you recrafting is more than you want to tackle this summer, but you love a bargain and the hunt, take a look at the books in the library under the subject heading Found Objects (Art) in Interior Decoration.  Nothing is more satisfying to me, (well, except maybe ice cream and the perfect summer night), than finding an object on the side of the road or at a garage sale, taking it home and having it fit right in. Try it, you might be surprised.





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