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The Couple Next Door

by on February 9th, 2017

If you are feeling a bit blah these February days, why not pick up a thriller? The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena was just what I needed to get me out of a winter reading rut. The book introduces us to young professionals Anne and Marco, who arcouple-next-doore struggling to adjust to life as new parents. Marco convinces Anne to step out for a dinner party at the couple’s house next door. Begrudgingly, Anne agrees, and goes to the party with her baby monitor and hopes of turning in early. Later that evening when they go home, their baby girl Cora has been kidnapped. From there, events move quickly, unfurling a spiral of secrets. This fast-paced tale is part mystery, part psychological thriller. It is a quick read which you will likely find difficult to put down!

Brooklyn Then and Now

by on February 9th, 2017

This morning IPR began a “one-day” fundraiser at 6:00 am. One of the musical segues was “How Deep is Your Love,” by the Bee Gees. Corny, and not altogether appropriate for the circumstance, I thought. We are “living in a world of rules breaking us down,” but public radio fundraising is not that world.

And, I could not get the song out of my head. Dylan, my two-year old silver standard poodle, pricked up his ears as I sang out loud, a capella. Not pretty. Not sure he liked it. And I started thinking about the movie from which the song emanated, “Saturday Night Fever.” I came to work, went to the movie area on the 1st floor, retrieved, and checked out ICPL’s copy of the 30th Anniversary Special Collector’s Edition. I plan to immerse myself in the song and eliminate its worminess. At least that is my hope.

I asked a number of staffers if they had seen SNF, and, being alot younger than I, to a person all had not seen the movie. And I was a bit disheartened. I was asked if it was about dancing. And it is about dancing. And it is John Travolta’s breakout role. But it is also, and more importantly, about socio-economics, and finding a way out of the neighborhood, in any way you can. In this case, the neighborhood is Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. In the 70’s. When it was not hipsterish to live there. When it was a place one yearned to leave by whatever means possible. Paint store clerk loser by day, dance floor king at night.

Times have changed. Now Brooklyn (okay, I was born there) represents the arts, and craftiness, and cooldom. But I like to think the spirit of Tony Manero lives on, despite Brooklyn’s renaissance and emergence as the hippest place to be (okay I was born there).

So I’m gonna go home, put on the 30th anniversary edition, remember where I came from, and how it used to be, and dance my a off.

 

 

So Big by Edna Ferber

by on February 8th, 2017
So Big by Edna Ferber Cover Image

Selina Peake doesn’t have a lot of options when her father, a professional gambler, is killed by a stray bullet in a Chicago gambling parlor. This being the turn-of-the-century, Selina, armed only with an education and enough money for two dresses (one in burgundy cashmere), decides to become a school teacher and takes a position in the Dutch farming community of High Prairie just outside of the city. Let’s Read the rest of this entry »

Book Display: Relationships

by on February 8th, 2017
Book Display: Relationships Cover Image

 

With Valentines Day right around the corner, many people’s thoughts are turning to romance and relationships.  There many different types of relationships, and ICPL has all sorts of books on them too.

Romantic relationships come in all shapes and styles, just like couples do.  Young or old, straight, gay, or lesbian, there’s someone out there for everyone.  (Click on the cover for more information)

5-love-languagesgeeks-guide-to-datingask-a-queer-chickoutlaw-marriages

 

 

 

 

There are also people who are between relationships, recovering from the end of one, or who are doing just fine on their own and are happy in their singleness. We have books for that too:

30-day-love-detoxloves-me-notthis-is-why-youre-signlegoing-solo

 

 

 

 

And there are people who research relationships by analyzing their own or by conducting sociological research studies in an attempt to figure out this thing called love.

modern-romance-ansari40-days-of-datingwe-should-hang-out

 

 

 

 

Check out the display on the Library’s 2nd floor for these and lots of other books on relationships.

Evaluating News Sources

by on February 7th, 2017

Fake news. Alternative facts.  The post-truth world.   In this rapid-fire world of social media, how do yohow-to-spot-fake-newsu know which sources to trust and which to dismiss?  First of all, ask us. Librarians have been teaching information literacy for as long as there have been libraries.  The International Federation of Library Associations infographic and blog post can help you make educated decisions in evaluating news sources, (and Internet sites in general). Be wary of clickbait, those eye-catching and provocative headlines can lure you in but what you find when you click may be of no substance at all.  If you aren’t familiar with an author, do a search.  What else has he or she written and which publications or online sites publish his or her work? Another clue the credibility of a source is the date.  And older article can, of course, be relevant, but can also be misleading.   And don’t forget to check your bias.

On the Media, a WNYC program which airs on Iowa Public Radio, offers guidance on assessing the credibility of a source onthemedialn-blog480of fast breaking news.  Anonymous sources are a red flag.   If something doesn’t ring true, trust your instincts and find another credible source or two to confirm the original story or prove it wrong.    The American Press Institute lists six questions to ask yourself when determining whether or not what you are reading is trustworthy.    They suggest you evaluate what type of content you are reading.  Is it an advertisement or opinion piece or is it a rigorously researched investigative article.  Look for what sources are cited to buttress the piece – are they credible?  Does the article or post tell the whole story or do find yourself  asking what is missing.

If you want to read more about how Americans consume news, the Pew Research on Journalism and Media has been studying how media is consumed for years.  The results of their most recent surveys are sobering.  If you have questions about a news source,  ask a librarian.  We are ready to help you.

No-Cry Sleep Training for Noobs

by on February 2nd, 2017
Budeme všichni spát by Czech artist Barbora Bálková, via WikiMedia

Budeme všichni spát by Czech artist Barbora Bálková, via WikiMedia

A week ago, I begged experienced mom and fellow Info Desk staffer, Jen, for help finding books on sleep-training for new parents like me who don’t know what they’re doing.

“I can’t do Cry It Out!” I cried. We got a Dewey number for me to check the shelf, and she promised to get back to me with a couple titles that would be right up my alley as a tears-adverse bedtime executive. Read the rest of this entry »

Teen Homework Help at ICPL

by on February 2nd, 2017

Teens, do you need help with your homework?

The Iowa City Public Library offers free tutoring sessions in all subjects for students in grades 7 through 12.

To sign up for your session, contact ICPL’s Teen Services Library at 319-887-6076 or via e-mail at teens@icpl.org.

ICPL Announces February Crazy 8s Math Club Programs

by on February 1st, 2017

Join the national movement to make math the cool thing to do after school by attending Iowa City Public Library’s Crazy 8s Math Club. This fun and educational program for elementary students in kindergarten through second grade meets from 4 to 5 p.m. in the Storytime Room every Tuesday.

Crazy 8s from the Bedtime Math Foundation is designed to get kids fired up about math. Participants will build things, run and jump, make music – even make a mess – while making new friends and increasing their understanding of math.

Registration isn’t required and participants don’t need to attend every club meeting – but they’ll probably want to!

Here’s what we have planned for February:

February 7: Funky Fractals

Get funky with patterns and mazes! Create crazy patterns with wax sticks, and connect them to make a giant version. Then design your own waxy maze to stump your friends.

February 14: Walk on the Wild Side

How do ladybugs, crabs and lizards run so fast with all those extra legs? They use math! We’ll run, walk and gallop like animals to learn some fancy footwork.

February 21: Super-Cube Shuffle

Math and art collide when you use specially colored cubes to create cool designs. After a round of design copy mania, you’ll be a super-cube pro!

February 28: Epic Air Traffic Control

This week we will build an Epic Air Traffic Control: Build your own airport, complete with finger-light airplanes and glow stick runways. Use your math skills to land all the planes safely!

For more information, call the Library at 319-356-5200.

Human Rights Resources from the City of Iowa City

by on January 31st, 2017

2017-01-human-rightsToday I learned about a series of “Know Your Rights” brochures, available AT THIS LINK, provided by our Human Rights Office. The brochures are available in English, French, Arabic, Spanish and Chinese and cover these topics:

Unlawful Discrimination

Hate Crimes

Your Housing Rights and Rental Subsidies in Iowa City

Housing Discrimination Read the rest of this entry »

Changes to Our Catalog

by on January 31st, 2017

You may not have realized this, but for several years, the Iowa City Public Library has had two catalogs. If you regularly search to see if ICPL owns a book or a DVD, you probably noticed differences in the way some of your searches look.

catalogs

 

There is our reliable, workhorse Catalog Classic, a catalog technology introduced to the world before Google existed (it is twenty years old now). It searches as you would search an index in a book, Read the rest of this entry »





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