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Featured Game: Pandemic

by on January 3rd, 2015

pandemicI love Pandemic! Unlike many games I’ve played, Pandemic is cooperative instead of competitive. Two to four people play (or up to five with the expansion) as an elite team working together to stop the spread of multiple infections across the globe. Either we all win, or we all lose, and everyone has special skills they can use to combat diseases.

You might be a Dispatcher, an Operations Expert, a Scientist, a Medic, or a Researcher, and on your turn you must coordinate your actions to stop the spread of disease and search for a cure. But at the end of each turn, the diseases will spread, and may at any time tip off an outbreak or an epidemic. Suddenly, disease spreads faster, and is harder to control. You must use your time wisely to prevent this from happening. The game is usually over in about 45 minutes, and if you haven’t discovered the cures for all four diseases, you have lost!

Whenever I play this game, it’s tense and fun. Winning is challenging, and the spread of disease is unpredictable. But the sense of accomplishment when you win – and it’s always a close one – is fantastic!

Pandemic is easy to learn and fun to play. Come by the Teen Center and ask for it!

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

by on January 1st, 2015
Yes Please by Amy Poehler Cover Image

Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

My takeaway from Amy Poehler’s Yes Please is she has worked hard, taken risks, cultivated friendships, laughed at herself, experienced good & bad in life, and made people feel good.

Poehler is best known for her work on Saturday Night Live and Parks and Recreation, but Yes Please reveals there’s a lot more to this actor than laughs and feeling good. She is a Mom, humanitarian, advocate for girls and women, community builder, and “bossy” in the very best way.

I listened to this book and because it was narrated by Poehler, with help from family and friends, the listening experience felt intimate and revealing. Kathleen Turner introduces the chapters and we hear from Amy’s parents, Carol Burnett, Mike Schur, Patrick Stewart, Seth Meyers, and others. Poehler has an infectious laugh and I found myself laughing along with her while thoroughly enjoying the listening experience.

I started this review with a quote Amy Poehler included in the book. I’ll end with Poehler’s words:

The only way we will survive is by being kind. The only way we can get by in this world is through the help we receive from others. No one can do it alone…

Happy New Year!

ICPL announces January classes for adults

by on December 31st, 2014

Want to learn more about your iPad or Android tablet? The Iowa City Public Library will offer several classes in January help beginning and intermediate users get a better handle on their tablet devices.RacpAWWRuobmX5g4

New or beginner iPad users, join us at 10 a.m. Jan. 9 for “Explore Your iPad.” Discover how to expertly navigate their device, capture and access photos and video, bookmark a webpage, set important security options, and much more.

On 2 p.m. on Jan. 12, the “iPad Tips and Tricks” class is offered for the intermediate iPad user. Learn how to customize your device, keep your iPad safe, and get the most out of your device’s memory.

Due to patron demand, the Library has expanded its tablet classes to include a class for beginning Android tablet users. Learn the basics in navigating settings, using the web browser, and making your device secure at the “Explore your Android Tablet” class at 10 a.m. on Jan. 20.

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 strategic plan finalized

by on December 31st, 2014

The Iowa City Public Library will work to CONNECT, ENGAGE, and ENRICH users under the priorities of a new strategic plan.

The plan, which covers the Fiscal Years 2016 through 2021, is the result of months of data gathering, analysis, and community conversations. It was approved by the Library Board of Trustees in September.

“Strategic planning is something we do every five years to determine the needs of our community and what the Library can do to meet them,” Library Director Susan Craig says. “It’s about looking ahead. What does our community need? What does our community want?”

A PDF of the strategic plan can be viewed online at http://www.icpl.org/policies/ or picked up at the Library. The new plan begins on July 1, 2015.

Join our Teen Activity Group

by on December 31st, 2014

Small TAG

Calling all people in grades 7-12!  The Iowa City Public Library’s Teen Activity Group is looking for new members!

The Teen Activity Group (TAG) is designed to energize teen programming and services and give teens a greater voice at the Library.  We meet monthly to discuss books, plan upcoming events, and hang out.

Want to make a difference in your Library? Maybe you just love reading or want to make new friends? We’d love to hear from you! TAG meets each month during the school year.  Our next meeting is Saturday, January 17 from 1-2 in the Koza Family Teen Center.

If you’re interested in joining TAG, please drop by and find out what we’re about!

ICPL Staff Top Picks for 2014: Best of the Best

by on December 31st, 2014

Here they are; the Iowa City Public Library’s Best of the Best Books for 2014. The books that made this list received nominations from more than one staff person.

  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (fiction)
  • Lila by Marilynne Robinson (fiction)
  • The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak (children’s)
  • Sisters by Raina Telgemeier (children’s)
  • Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (children’s)
  • The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Levy (children’s)
  • The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems (children’s)
  • Lock in by John Scalzi (mystery/science fiction)
  • The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman (mystery/science fiction)
  • Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? By Roz Chast (non-fiction)
  • What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe (non-fiction)

Children’s books had a strong showing on this year’s list, but in the end, two fiction books share the honor of being ICPL’s Most Recommended Book of 2014 — All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr and Lila by Marilynne Robinson.

anthony_doerrDoerr’s All the Light We Cannot See tells the story of two people struggling to survive while maintaining their morality during World War II. Marie-Laure is a blind girl who flees to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo after the Nazis invade Paris. Werner is a gadget-obsessed orphan whose skills admit him to a brutal branch of Hitler Youth. It isn’t until Werner is sent to Saint-Malo to track Resistance activity that Marie-Louise’s and Werner’s paths cross, but their alternating stories weave a tale that draws readers in long before their worlds collide.lila

Robinson’s Lila revisits the beloved characters and setting of her Pulitzer Prize–winning Gilead and Home. Homeless and alone after years of roaming the countryside, Lila steps inside a small-town Iowa church and ignites a romance and a debate that will reshape her life. She becomes the wife of a minister, John Ames, and begins a new existence while trying to make sense of the life that preceded her newfound security.

What was your favorite read of 2014?

ICPL Tech Help Special Event

by on December 30th, 2014

Often patrons are surprised to find out that we offer free “Tech Help” sessions every week at the library.  This is a great place to learn how to do something new with your laptop or figure out some feature on your new tablet.  We get all levels of users from people who are trying to learn how to use the mouse for the first time to others who need help with editing a video.  We get a large variety of questions in Drop In Tech Help.

For example, One of our regulars has been working on scanning family photographs going back for years.  She drops in regularly with her box of photos and a thumb drive and has patiently worked through her whole stack.  Periodically she gets stuck or needs help modifying a photo.

Other users have one or two quick questions. One user had trouble finding the flashlight app on his phone.

Sometimes we help people fill out job applications.  If you have never used a computer before it can be intimidating to figure out how to open a browser, much less navigate the multiple steps it takes to first find the online application, register for the site and fill out multiple forms.

One of our users needed help submitting her poems to an online poetry competition.

Another asked for help uploading songs to BandCamp, an online music sharing site.

One of the most common tasks is to help people set up their mobile devices to use our e-Books, e-audiobooks and e-magazines.  These services are pretty user-friendly, but those initials steps can be tricky.  We will be glad to get you started.

Periodically, we get requests to fix a laptop or other device.  Unfortunately we can’t help with requests to repair hardware problems.  For some software problems involving virus or malware removal, we can’t fix them for you, but we usually try to suggest some software for tackling the problem and will even help you get it installed and configured.

In January, we are hosting some special Saturday Editions of ICPL Tech Help.  If you got a new gadget over the Holidays that’s got you perplexed, bring your questions and the gadget down to the Library and we will try to help.  We hope to see you there.

Saturday, January 10 and January 17, 2015
10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
ICPL Computer Lab

 

 

Tween Minecraft at ICPL

by on December 30th, 2014

The Iowa City Public Library is pleased to announce the continuation of its Tween Minecraft program the first Monday of the month in the Computer Lab.

Tween Minecraft Time is held from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. and 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. on the first Monday of the month January through May (Jan. 4; Feb. 1; March 7; April 4; and May 2). Participants in grades third through sixth are welcome to play for an hour at the Library. They can build peacefully in creative mode or fight to stay alive in survival mode.

Registration is required for Tween Minecraft Time. You can register online at calendar.icpl.org by clicking on the date of the event you wish to attend. Each participant may only register for one time slot.

Tweens need to have a Minecraft account to play in multiplayer mode. Players without an account may use a library account, but these are limited and first come first serve. Otherwise players without an account may still play in single player mode.

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

ICPL’s digital collection meets patrons’ technological needs

by on December 30th, 2014

The Consumer Electronics Association stated that the 2014 holiday season will have the highest level of spending on consumer electronics since the association started tracking holiday spending in 1994. If you received a tech gift this season, the Iowa City Public Library has the digital resources to help your gift reach its full potential.DigitalICPL

  • OverDrive offers eBooks, eAudiobooks and local video that patrons can download to their computer or mobile device anywhere, anytime.
  • TumbleBook Library is an online collection of animated, talking picture books, audiobooks and eBooks for children.
  • Zinio offers cover to cover access to more than 100 magazine titles to download to computers or mobile devices.
  • Local Music Project is a collection of albums by eastern Iowa musicians available for free download to your computer.

Need help understanding your electronic device? The Library also offers drop in tech help in the second floor Computer Lab from 10 a.m. to noon Mondays and Wednesdays, and noon to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays. Senior Tech Zone, drop in tech help for seniors, is available from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every Thursday.

The Library also offers tech classes on everything from iPad Tips & Tricks to exploring social media sites like LinkedIn and Pinterest. For more information about upcoming classes, including registration, visit www.icpl.org/classes.

Access to some digital collections are limited to residents who live in the Iowa City Public Library’s service area of Iowa City, unincorporated rural Johnson County, Hills, University Heights and Lone Tree. If you live outside of Iowa City Public Library’s service area please contact your local public library regarding availability of digital collections.

For more information about the Library’s digital collection, visit www.icpl.org/emedia or contact the Library at (319) 356-5200.

ICPL Staff Top Picks for 2014: Children’s Books

by on December 30th, 2014

The Library’s Children’s Staff stepped things up this year, providing the longest list of recommended titles. These books range from stories perfect for bedtime stories to chapter books for independent readers. Perhaps your child’s new favorite is on this list!

ICPL BEST CHILDREN’S BOOKS OF 2014

The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

The Glass Sentence by S.E. Grove

A Library Book for Bear by Bonny Becker

The Way to the Zoo by John Burningham

Hermelin the Detective Mouse by Mini Grey

Revolution by Deborah Wiles

Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms by Katherine Rundell

Gabriel Finley & the Raven’s Riddle by George Hagen

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher by Dana Levy – II

Puddle Pug by Kim Norman

Space Case by Stuart Gibbs

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

Return of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

Sparky by Jenny Offill

Quest by Aaron Becker

The Pigeon Needs a Bath by Mo Willems

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat

Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio

The Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc

Flora and the Penguin by Molly Idle

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

Mix It Up! By Herve Tullet

Flashlight by Lizi Boyd

Maple by Lori Nichols

Moo! By David LaRochelle

Underwater Dogs: Kids edition by Seth Casteel

Found by Salina Yoon





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