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ICPL’s 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Celebrates One Year

by on January 30th, 2017

The Iowa City Public Library will celebrate the first year of its 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program during a special storytime Saturday, February 11, at 10:30 a.m. in the Storytime Room.img_0110

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten encourages parents and caregivers to read 1,000 books to children before they start kindergarten. In doing so, they strengthen a child’s language skills and build their vocabulary — two important tools for beginning readers.

The Library launched the program in February of 2016. Join us as we celebrate our first birthday, as well as the children who reached their 1,000 Books goal. These participants will receive a special certificate to celebrate their “graduation.” We’ll also kickoff our second year of the program, so be sure to stop by, sign up and have some cake, too.

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The Race for Paris by Meg Waite Clayton

by on January 30th, 2017
The Race for Paris by Meg Waite Clayton Cover Image

Wednesday Sisters author, Meg Waite Clayton’s, newest novel, The Race for Paris, captures the fictionalized story of two women who served as journalists during World War II. Clayton layers the story between the brutality of war, determination of the women, and the personal toll a war takes on the human spirit. Her research about women journalists in WWII brings their spirit to life and tells a lesser-known story about WWII heroes.

Liv is an Associated Press photographer who is determined to be the first photo journalist in a liberated Paris. She joins forces with Jane, a reporter who is unsure about this challenge but reluctant to abandon her friend. Together they disobey orders, barter for gasoline and supplies, and stay on the outskirts of the press camps as they make their way across France.

I listened to this story and Jennifer Ikeda’s narration is excellent. I was sad when the novel came to an end. It’s always a pleasure to find a book with excellent storytelling, a compelling plot, and solid characters who the reader cares about.

ICPL celebrates Black History Month

by on January 27th, 2017

The Iowa City Public Library will commemorate Black History Month in February with several special programs, live performances, and book discussions.

Thursday, February 2 and February 16, noon to 1 p.m. in Meeting Room A: TED Talks Celebrate Black History Month

TED (Technology, Education, and Design) Talks are ideas worth spreading. Bring your lunch and join us for fresh perspectives on black identity and fascinating insights on how to finally defeat racism.

Thursday, February 2, 3 to 5 p.m. in the Storytime Room: Tween Movie and Book Club – “The Watsons go to Birmingham”

Join our tween book and movie club us as we discuss “The Watsons go to Birmingham” by Christopher Paul Curtis and watch the movie. Tween events are for students in third through sixth grades.

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Mormon Trek Book Return Unavailable

by on January 26th, 2017

2017-01-remote-book-returnThe Mormon Trek Remote Book Return is unavailable until further notice. We’re working on a replacement. Please return books to the Downtown Library or to the Eastside book return at the First Avenue Hy-Vee. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Our remote book returns handle an average of 15% of total returns to the Library. In FY16 the Library circulated 1,369,069 items. Library Staff empty the books returns 365 days a year. Please check back for more information.

Hurry up spring!

by on January 25th, 2017

sunshineHave you missed the sun?  It’s out there, of course, though hiding behind the clouds that make our days seem so grey and dreary.  Is January the greyest month of the year or are we simply experiencing a run of gloomy skies?  It turns out that November or December are the least sunny months, with January and February giving the last two months of the year a run for their money. When trying to find easy to understand reports and statistics I stumbled across Brian B’s Climate Blog. Brian Brettschneider, an Anchorage-based environmental planner and climatoldrearinessogist, has analyzed a myriad of weather and climate statistics and created a Dreariness Index map.  He uses three variables to create the Dreariness Index – total annual precipitation, days per year with measurable precipitation and annual cloud coverage.  Iowa falls smack dab in the middle of the range, which if you are like me, knowing that we aren’t the dreariest location in the United States helps, at least a little.

If you would like to learn more about weather, the library has a good number of books on the subject, ranging from weather prediction to extreme weather to climate change.

And the Award Goes To….

by on January 25th, 2017

This is the season for awards. The Grammys, the Oscars, but most thrilling of all, the ALA YMAs. What is that you ask? They are American Library Association Youth Media Awards, and they were announced this past Monday.

The oldest of these awards are the John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature and the Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children.

I am always excited to learn who wins the Coretta Scott King, Robert F. Sibert and Theodor Geisel awards, too.

The 2017 Newbery winner is The Girl Who Drank the Moon, by Kelly Barnhill. Is about Luna, whose magical
abilities are emerging, who was raised in the forest by a witch, a swamp monster, and a dragon, but when a young man from the Protectorate is determined to kill the witch, Luna must use her magic to protect her family.

 

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat,” illustrated and written by Javaka Steptoe is the 2017 Caldecott Medal winner and also the winner of the 2017 Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award.   The book presents the life of the artist, who was inspired as a child by a book of anatomy given to him by his mother after being injured in a car crash.

 

The 2017 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent affirms new talent and offers visibility for excellence in writing and/or illustration at the beginning of a career as a published African-American creator of children’s books.  This year’s winner is Nicola Yoon for “The Sun Is Also a Star”.  Is about Natasha, whose family is hours away from being deported, and Daniel, a first generation Korean American who strives to live up to his parents’ expectations, unexpectedly fall in love and must determine which path they will choose in order to be together.

The complete list of winners and honorees is available here. Take a look to see which of these honored books you might enjoy sharing with your children.

 

 

ICPL announces February Classes for Adults

by on January 25th, 2017

Social media usage is the focus of February’s adult classes at the Iowa City Public Library.

“Facebook Tips and Tricks” is a class for current Facebook users. It will be offered at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 3, and again on 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 18. Come and learn how to get control of your timeline and home feed. Find new ways to connect on Facebook by creating an event or group.

“Social Media Safety: Protecting your Privacy Online” will discuss the advantages/disadvantages of using the privacy settings on several social networks. Learn how to adjust your settings and techniques for discovering information about you online. This class will be held on Monday, Feb. 20, at 10 a.m.

Discover how to organize and use your Pinterest account to its fullest potential at “Pinterest Tips and Tricks.” This class will be offered on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 10 a.m. Learn how to search for boards using various search terms, follow and unfollow boards, make a secret pin board, and much more!

All classes for adults are held in the Library’s Computer Lab on the second floor. Classes are free, but registration is required. Register online here or by calling the Library at 319-356-5200.

ICPL to Circulate Mobile Hotspots

by on January 24th, 2017

The Iowa City Public Library will add mobile hotspots to its list of materials available to check out on Monday, Jan. 30.

ICPL HotSpot allows users to connect to the Internet anywhere on any wireless-enabled device, such as a laptop, tablet or smartphone. Check one out to complete homework assignments, catch up on current events, apply for jobs or explore the Internet.

The Library has seven ICPL HotSpots available to check out by themselves. Three others are bundled with ICPL’s circulating laptops.

ICPL HotSpots are available to Library users living in Iowa City or one of ICPL’s contract service areas — Hills, Lone Tree, University Heights, or unincorporated Johnson County – with accounts in good standing. A hotspot can be borrowed for seven days. At this time, users won’t be able to renew hotspots, as the Library wants as many patrons as possible to gain access to the devices.

Overdue hotspots will have Internet access deactivated. The fine for overdue hotspots is $1 per day. The replacement cost for hotspots that are lost or damaged beyond repair is $75.

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

Inauguration history

by on January 20th, 2017

inauguration-quarrelWhen major historical events happen before our eyes, it can be fun to turn to the wayback machine and explore what it was like in the past. Thanks to the Historical New York Times database, I can take this trip down the collective memory lane. Read the rest of this entry »

Happy Birthday, ICPL — 120 and going strong!

by on January 20th, 2017

cod-steam-laundryHappy 120th Birthday, Dear ICPL. The Iowa City Public Library  first opened it’s doors on January 21, 1897. The effort to establish a public library in Iowa City started in 1896 so we get confused about whether the institution’s “real” birthday started with the egg (the organizational efforts) or the chicken (opening the door).   I think opening the doors is a good thing to celebrate. The first library location was two rooms measuring 100 X 30 feet over the newly constructed brick building at 211-213 Iowa Ave. The ground floor was occupied by the C.O.D. Steam Laundry.

The directors hired a librarian (a bookkeeper who received a annual salary of $600), and three committees were appointed to select books and periodicals. They also purchased bookcases, newspaper racks, tables, chairs, a desk for the librarian, five hundred sheets of letterhead, blank library cards, thirteen 16-candle power lamps with porcelain shades, board games (crokinale, archrena, checkers, chess and Parcheesi) as well as some basics like a wastebasket, ink stand, stamp pad, broom and dustpan.

The first library was open ten hours a day six days a week and four hours on Sunday to anyone age ten or older. People could borrow one book at a time with a five cents a day fine on books past due. One hundred and twenty years later we serve people of all ages and are open eleven hours four days a week (M-Th), ten hours one day (Fri), eight hours on Saturday and five hours on Sunday (3 total hours more than in 1897) and our fines are 25 cents a day for most things — well under the inflation rate.

At the opening ceremony the words of speech written by president of the Iowa City Public Library Association still remind us 120 years later of the core mission of the public library. “…this library is and will be public in the fullest sense of the word.  It belongs to no person nor class of persons. It is to be under the control of no particular race nor creed. … Parents may feel that their children in coming here for books, whether they be rich or poor are placing themselves under obligation to no one. They are simply exercising a right… Every person in the city shall feel perfectly free to seek the advantages of this library.”

If you want to learn more about the history of ICPL look for Lolly Eggers’ book, A Century of Stories:  the History of the Iowa City Public Library, 1896-1997. where I found this historical information.

Public libraries have transformed my life and I hear stories every day of the impact this library has had on others’ lives. Happy Birthday, ICPL! May you prosper for another 120 years.





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