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New local biography series – Iowa City People: Steve Bridges

by on June 28th, 2016

The first episode of our new biography series, “Iowa City People” has made its debut online and on Library Channel 20. Our guinea pig guest, “Captain” Steve Bridges, has a fascinating story. Most people in Iowa City know him as the morning co-host on KCJJ 1630, but there’s a lot more to his tale.

Bob Sessions to Give Photography Presentation at ICPL

by on June 28th, 2016

Author Gary Snyder is quoted as saying, “Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.” Local photographer and author Bob Sessions makes his living showcasing the many ways nature serves as our home, from flora and fauna to the mountains and rivers.

Sessions will discuss his career as a nature photographer and how he uses Instagram to share his work during Explore Nature Photography with Bob Sessions from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 6, in Meeting Room A at the Library.

A native of South Dakota, Sessions earned a B.A. from Drake University and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Michigan. Before focusing on photography, he taught at Kirkwood Community College, Grinnell College, Luther College, and the University of Minnesota in Duluth.

As a freelance photographer, he works frequently with his wife, travel writer Lori Erickson. Together they produce Spiritual Travels, a website describing holy sites around the world, and Holy Rover, a blog hosted by Patheos. He is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers.

This free event is part of the Adult Summer Reading Program and is open to the general public. It will be broadcast LIVE on The Library Channel, cable channel 20.

For more information about Bob Sessions, including a link to his Instagram account, visit robertsessions.com.

For more information about the program, contact the Library at 319-356-5200.

I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy and I want to see fireworks

by on June 27th, 2016

FireworksMonday is July 4th and there are fireworks all over Iowa.  In fact, if you want to want to get a head start on your holiday fireworks, the City of Iowa will be hosting a fireworks display on Sunday, July 3rd.  It’s Jazz Fest weekend, a not-to-be-missed, multi-day event in the Summer of the Arts calendar.  The three-day event culminates with fireworks. Spectators are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets and take in the fireworks  from the University of Iowa Pentacrest lawn. The west lawn provides the best view, although the display will also be visible from the east side of the Old Capitol building and Downtown.Fireworks will be launched from Hubbard Park, at the intersection of Madison Street and Iowa Avenue, and will get underway sometime between 9:30 and 9:45 p.m. Inclement weather may call for flexibility in the start time. Rain date for fireworks is Monday, July 4, same time, same place.

On July 4th there are several opportunities for viewing fireworks in Johnson County.  Coralville’s fireworks start at dusk and are the final event in Coral4thFest!  Their fireworks take place at S.T. Morrison Park, between 7th and 8th Streets.   Coralville also has a parade on July 4.  The 4thFest parade begins at 10:00 am on Monday, July 4. The 4thFest parade is the area’s largest Independence Day parade.  It’s a really big parade and lots of fun.

Hills has activities planned for both Sunday and Monday with a parade starting at 5:30 on Monday and  fireworks at dusk.  Oxford has a whole weekend of activities beginning with a street dance on Saturday night and a parade at 3 pm on July 4th. Oxford, like Iowa City,  will have its fireworks on Sunday at dusk.

If you know of other fireworks in the area, please share.  And if you use fireworks at home, please be careful.

Birds of a Feather

by on June 27th, 2016

Flora is at it again in the latest installment of Molly Idle’s wordless series. Flora and the Peacocks is a beautifully wrought sequel to Flora and the Flamingo and Flora and the Penguin. In this latest iterance, Flora continues dancing through life and lessons with two new friends who just happen to be peacocks.

Characteristic of her style, Idle has dressed Flora with matching colors and accoutrements that mimic the body type of her avian dance partner: a fan with peacocks, flippers for the flamingo and ice skates for the penguin. Beautiful, delightful and humorous, audience members should prepare for this pas de trois to turn a little fowl before the bold finish. Idle  has continued to impress with this series and remains an enduring contender for the Caldecott.

For a book trailer from Chronicle Books visit: Flora Book Trailer

 

Rocketing down to Lone Tree

by on June 27th, 2016

We’re about halfway through this year’s summertime outreach, and I took my fourth trip to Lone Tree this morning.

The City of Lone Tree contracts with ICPL for library service, and the 4-H on Wheels group in Lone Tree’s North Park is a good place to find kids eager to check out books.

flightbooks2The students were still shooting paper rockets from various contraptions and measuring their results when I got there.  Knowing that flight was their topic this week, I brought about 30 books on that STEM subject as well as perennial favorites like Ripley’s Believe it or Not and some DIY creativity guides.  With a laptop and a wifi hotspot, I got everyone checked out from my pop-up library on a picnic table and then headed back to ICPL!

Seeking Maura Murray

by on June 26th, 2016
Seeking Maura Murray Cover Image

I first heard about this missing persons case from the podcast Missing Maura Murray, created and hosted by Lance Reenstierna and  Tim Pilleri. On the evening of February 9, 2004, Maura had a minor car accident on a winding road in New Hampshire; a person who lived nearby came out to offer assistance, but Maura said that she’d called AAA and didn’t need help. When the police showed up a few minutes after being called, they found Maura’s car and many of her belongings, but she was not there. She hasn’t been seen or heard from since.

In True Crime Addict, author James Renner recounts how he became involved, seven years later, in trying to find out what happened to Maura.  Read the rest of this entry »

Iowa Land Records

by on June 24th, 2016

Iowa Land Records is a website where you can search for and view Iowa real estate documents.  It’s put together by the Iowa County Recorders Association.

In order to use the site you’ll need to register with a username and password.  After logging in, select the Land Record Search link.  The next page requires you to select the counties you’d like to search; it looks like this: Read the rest of this entry »

10 Cloverfield Lane

by on June 22nd, 2016
10 Cloverfield Lane Cover Image

I hated Cloverfield.  Hated.  It.  The 2008 film followed a group of 20-somethings in New York the evening of an attack by a Godzilla-like monster.  All of the characters were terrible, annoying, self-absorbed people.  By the end of it, I was rooting for the monster.  I really wanted them all to be eaten.  Spoilers: They get eaten.  So, when 10 Cloverfield Lane, a sort-of sequel, was announced, I wasn’t interested at all.  But, my curiosity got the best of me, and I watched the first trailer.  I was very intrigued by what I saw.  Besides, it didn’t appear to have anything to do with its namesake.  I watched the movie this weekend, and I am very happy that I didn’t dismiss it out of hand.

Cloverfield was a found footage monster movie, while 10 Cloverfield Lane is a traditionally shot, claustrophobic thriller.  It stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Michelle–a woman who wakes up after a car accident to find herself in a bomb shelter.  She’s shocked when she realizes that her leg is shackled to a pipe, and there’s an IV in her arm.  Howard–played by John Goodman–informs her that he saved her after the accident and brought her to his bunker.  He claims that there has been some sort of chemical attack and that it’s not safe to leave.  Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.), a man who helped Howard build the shelter, is the other occupant.  All three actors do an amazing job, and the movie plays with the audience about whether Howard is telling the truth or is maybe just plain crazy.  I would’ve preferred if they hadn’t connected this to Cloverfield at all, because I think the ending would’ve been a bigger shock.  I highly recommend this to anyone who likes tight, tense movies.

Water Fun with Little Ones!

by on June 22nd, 2016

Beat the heat! Summer is a great time to get babies and toddlers into the water. Water play encourages the development of eye/hand coordination through pouring, squeezing, stirring, and squirting. Water helps release their emotions by pounding, splashing, swishing, stamping and kicking feet.

Here are some watery nursery rhymes to share with your child. Read the rest of this entry »

Beer Caves

by on June 21st, 2016

beer caveThe Iowa City Press Citizen ran a story today about the beer caves found under Brewery Square! The story by Andy Davis is about the work the Office of the State Archaeologist and the University of Iowa Geographical and Sustainability Sciences Department in making high definition 3-D images of the caves.  Seeing the maps will bring me even closer to my dream of getting to actually down in them.   At Weber Days last year, Marlin Ingalls from the Office the State Archeologist, gave a talk on the not only the beer caves below Brewery Square, but the other caves in Iowa City as well as the caves in Cedar Rapids.  You can watch the program, Prohibition, Breweries and Beer Caves, and learn about the history of the brewers, when Iowa City went dry, (it was more than once), and find out about the beer riots.

If you want to read more about beer in early Iowa City history Irving Weber has also written about bars, brewers and all sorts of carrying on.  You can read Irving Weber’s columns through the University of Iowa’s Iowa Digital Library.  And if you are interested in learning about beer and finding the best ones to try,  the library can help you with that too.





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