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A Gift from International Students

by on May 5th, 2015

Today we received a wonderful gift at the Library – feedback from some of the many International Students who we work with about their impressions of Iowa City Public Library.2015 05 05 IIEP

Each year we work with the University of Iowa’s Iowa Intensive English Program (IIEP) which is a part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. We give tours for International Students introducing the Library and its many programs, resources and services; we help students select books they might enjoy; and we invite students to use the Library for their recreational needs while they live in Iowa City.

Today one of the IIEP instructors brought us the Spring 2015 Edition of the IIEP Landscape. This is a journal of student writings about their experiences in Iowa City. Two of the entries were about the students’ experiences at the Iowa City Public Library.

The first groups of students wrote:

One day, our teacher, Erin decided with us to visit the Iowa City Public Library. Then, we visited and explored the Library. We like the way that the staff welcomed us and showed us the library sections. At the end they gave us library cards. After that day, we go there for reading and borrowing books and movies. We like ICPL. It is a great place to study, find books, and to hang out. I want to say a great thank you to ICPL.

Another group of students wrote:

Our first impression of the public library is that it is big and has many books. Our school library is like an old man, and the public library is like an energetic young man. So I love this library, it makes my life exciting. It has lots of functions, such as the video area, where you can borrow any video you want.

For me, the most interesting part is the blind date with a book. That is my favorite part of February. They cover the book with the white paper, and just give you the topic of the book. We also liked the part where they write letters to J.K. Rowling and buy some owl toys. That is so cute.

We also think that it is super convenient for us to borrow the book by ourselves. We also like the language corner. It has lots of books from different countries.

Finally, I think the people who work at the library are so friendly, and give us lots of help. They are always very excited when we come to the library.

Many thanks to our International Student friends for their wonderful gift of sharing their thoughts about the Library. It really made our day. Please visit us again soon!

Signs of spring: the IC Farmers Market

by on May 5th, 2015

Were you among the hundreds of people to converge downtown Saturday morning for the first Downtown Iowa City Farmers Market of the season? I lost track of the number of people I said hello to, including the Library’s AV Specialist who attended the market with her four-week-old daughter, as I browsed the stalls with a smile on my face.

My breakfast on Saturday, May 2, 2015. Yum!

My breakfast on Saturday, May 2, 2015. Yum!

It’s farmers market season once more.

Growing up in on the other side of the state (shout out to anyone from Webster County!), I had no experience with farmers markets until I moved to Iowa City in mid-1990s. My college roommates and I would visit the market after classes every Wednesday, during which each one of us would purchase something to contribute to our weekly roommate dinner. This is how I learned to cook using ingredients that weren’t prepackaged.

The Library wants to help you make your farmers market experience even better, which is why we created recipe cards promoting two things: ICPL’s cooking resources and the Digital History Project.

Did you know the number of cookbooks in our collection numbers somewhere in the thousands? With that many choices — not to mention our collection of food-related magazines and children’s cookbooks — you are bound to find a recipe to help you utilize the foods you purchase at the farmers market.

For those of you who love local history, we have access to some treasured family recipes thanks to the Digital History Project. Take time to explore what’s available and look through your own collection of photos. You may have something to add!

FarmersMarketLogoYou can find the recipe cards on the Iowa City Farmers Market table. In addition, Library staff will be blogging about their farmers market experiences all summer long. Feel free to share your stories with us!

We’ll see you at the market!

 

 

Free Materials Distribution @ ICPL

by on May 5th, 2015

The Library Board recently reviewed and revised the Free Materials Distribution Policy that governs which items we provide for free in the Library’s Lobby. According to Board policy:

Free Materials Distributed in the Lobby at the Iowa City Public Library

Free Materials Distributed in the Lobby at the Iowa City Public Library

The purpose of the Library’s free materials distribution policy is to make space available for newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, forms, and other informational materials from local organizations and governmental agencies. Materials distributed will focus on information about local organizations, events, performances or cultural offerings; Iowa City and surrounding areas; tourism; public facilities; and current issues as well as frequently requested forms from local, state, or federal governmental agencies. Information about children’s and parent’s activities are distributed in the Children’s Room, as space allows.

The complete policy is available at: www.icpl.org/pdfs/policies/804-pamphlet-distribution.pdf

Each year the Library distributes over 29,000 items in the Lobby. Popular items include Iowa City Transit schedules, Iowa City Recreation Department class schedules, Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center Program Guides, Little Village, Modern Maturity, and Iowa City Visitors Guides.

If you have free materials for your local organization you would like to distribute, please drop them off at the Library’s Help Desk. Library staff will review the items to assure they meet our policy and then add the materials to the inventory of items we distribute.

For more information, please call the Library at 319.356.5200.

Event Board @ ICPL

by on May 2nd, 2015

The Library Board recently reviewed and updated the policy that governs the Event Board where posters about community events are found in the Library’s Lobby.

Iowa City Public Library Lobby Event Board

Iowa City Public Library Lobby Event Board

According to the Board Policy:

The purpose of the Library’s public event board is to make space freely available to display information about events sponsored by or benefiting non-profit organizations (defined as those entities granted tax-exempt status by the IRS under section 501(c)(3) or other tax exempt sections of the Internal Revenue Code), a candidate’s campaign committee (as defined in Iowa Code §68A.102(5)), a political committee (as defined by Iowa Code §68A.102(18), or a governmental subdivision, or a department/bureau of a governmental subdivision.

The complete policy may be viewed at www.icpl.org/pdfs/policies/803-event-board.pdf

If you would like to post a flyer about an upcoming event in Johnson County, please take the flyer to the Library’s Help Desk. Library staff post flyers each morning. Please note we often receive more flyers than we have room for, especially in the spring and fall. Preference is given to smaller flyers (8.5″ x 11″ or smaller) so we are able to post more items.

If you are looking for something to do, a stop at the Library’s Event Board is a great place to find out about events in our community.

Dig out your photos! Bring your IC-related pics to ScanIt@ICPL–May 9, 2-5 p.m.

by on May 1st, 2015

tbt42315I was digging through some boxes of photos the other day, and found this one that made me especially happy for two reasons. The first is because of the carousel–the Drollinger carousel in City Park. This is one of the rides that is still in the park, but when this picture was taken (I think in 1997 or 1998?) there were other rides that are no longer there. I like to think of all the times I was in the park, all the kids and families enjoying Iowa City’s very own amusement park that used to be just a little bit bigger.

I’m sure there are many of you who have similar items tucked away at home–maybe some photos of picnics or ballgames in the parks around town, or of your kids messing about in the old fountain in the ped mall (that old, wonderful, vaguely dangerous, somewhat evocative fountain), of family outings to the Devonian Fossil Gorge right after it was created. Pictures of the floods, of the tornado’s aftermath, of buildings that used to be downtown, old pictures from school, scenes of neighborhoods and homes from a while back. We want to see them! We’re looking for photos and documents related to the history of Iowa City to scan and add to our Digital History Project, and we’re hoping our patrons and community members can help!

The second reason I was happy to find this photo? Because the two tiny little children in it are turning 22 today–happy birthday, Peter and Rachel!

Overdrive Tips: How to return a title

by on May 1st, 2015

A question we get quite often about Overdrive is “How do I return a title”.   Just as a reminder, you don’t have to return an item checked out from Overdrive.  After the loan period is over the item you borrowed will be returned automatically and you never receive late fees for them.  But there are a couple of reasons why you might want to.  First if  you are at your five-item limit, then you will have to return something in order to check out new items.  The other reason is just to be a good citizen.  If you are done with the book, returning it allows others to check it out sooner.

Now, how you return an item depends a little bit on what format  you chose and how you checked it out.   In most cases, you have to

  1. find the item in your device bookshelf.  (see the previous tip on two bookshelves)
  2. Tap and Hold the item until another menu appears with the options to return or delete the item.
  3. Select return.  (If you select delete, it will only remove it from your device without actually returning it to the library).

There are exceptions to this method (e.g. using the Overdrive Windows desktop version or Kindle eBooks).  For more information about all the different ways to return an item see Overdrive Help.

There can be situations where there is no way to return the item or where you just can’t figure it out.  If that happens, please call the library and ask for help in manually returning an Overdrive item.  We can always do it for you if necessary.  If you want more help we have time and staff dedicated each week to answer your questions about Overdrive in Drop-In Tech Help.

Chuck Felling is our Volunteer of the Year

by on April 30th, 2015

Last night, we were pleased to award Volunteer of the Year to Chuck Felling, who has volunteered at the Iowa City Public Library for nearly 15 years.  Chuck can be found checking in books here every Tuesday morning.

ChuckFellingVotYSusan Craig, Chuck Felling, and Nancy Sereduck

“I always enjoyed the Library and I’ve always loved books,” Chuck says.  “There seem to be trends.  We have mystery days and science fiction days and non-fiction days.  Another change is the increase in graphic novels.  When I started volunteering, there weren’t that many, but now I check in a lot every week.”

Also a volunteer at the Food Bank and the Senior Center, Chuck is retired from a career as Director of Speech, Language, and Audiology at the University of Iowa, where he taught, wrote grants, did research, and worked with students and colleagues.  Our Volunteer of the Year may no longer teach formally, but he teaches through his actions and kindness, and we are honored by his commitment to the Iowa City Public Library.

If you are inspired by Chuck and interested in volunteering at the Library, here’s how to get started.

Childrens’ Day 2015!

by on April 30th, 2015

IMG_1254 Children's Day

It’s almost May, and we all know how quickly the rest of the school year goes! At the library, we’re planning an exciting kick-off to your summer season—Children’s Day, June 6, 2015! Mark your calendars now for this annual event produced by the Iowa City Public Library with Summer of the Arts during the Iowa Arts Festival. This is a great time to sign up for the ICPL’s summer reading program—Every Hero Has a Story. You can also get creative at the activity booths and enjoy a show on the Family Stage. With live performances, arts and crafts, fun activities, and Planting Day for ICPL’s Children’s Garden, there’s something for everyone!

 SATURDAY, JUNE 6, 10 am to 3 pm

Sponsored by MidWestOne Bank

 Family Stage

sponsored by Dr. Suzanne Stock, Orthodontist

10:00 AM    Jester Puppets H.E.R.O.s

10:45 AM    Zach Metzler Juggling

11:00 AM    Mr. S and the Sand Box Band

12:15 PM     Zach Metzler Juggling

12:30 PM     Mrs. HinkyDink Clown and Magic Show

1:00 PM     Zach Metzler Juggling

1:15 PM     The After School Specials concert by Shimek Elementary BASP

2:15 PM     Zach Metzler Juggling

2:30 PM     Kol Shira band

Strolling Entertainment

10:00 AM – 12:30 PM     Dean Franzen, the Dean of Juggling and Unicycling

12:30 PM – 3:00 PM     Tubador

Activity Booths:

  • Every Hero Has a Story ICPL summer Reading Registration
  • Catch the Beat with Yahoo Drummers
  • Celebrate Caribbean-Style Carnival with the Iowa City Carnival Project
  • Chess Quest with Douglas Narveson
  • Crazy Locks Hair Salon with ICPL
  • Dinosaur Hollow with Jack Neuzil
  • Electrifying Spin Art with Johnson County 4-H and Big Brothers, Big Sisters
  • Fiber Art Kids with the Craft Guild of Iowa City
  • Furry Friends with the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center
  • Make Your Mark in the City of Literature with ICPL
  • making “Music Together” with Preucil School of Music
  • Paint the Town with ICPL and Blick Art Materials
  • Picture This! Silly Props for Photo Ops with ICPL
  • Read, Learn, Grow! Children’s Garden with Scott Koepke & Soilmates
  • Sing & Play & Learn Today with West Music
  • Sit, Stay, R.E.A.D. with the Therapy Dogs of Johnson County
  • Super Hero Capes with the Iowa Children’s Museum
  • The Wheels on the Bus with Iowa City Transit

 

Rabbit hole of enlightenment

by on April 30th, 2015

Have you ever watched a video on Youtube, which then led you to another and another. Then you realize you have fallen down the rabbit hole. I sometimes do that with books. I will be reading a book which references a person, a subject or another book. So I will run out to the stacks to see what we have on that. This leads to having multiple partially read books, which I may or may not ever finish.

10% Happier

10% HappierIt started when I saw this author on one of the morning talk shows and ads for it kept popping up on websites. He suffered from PTSD, drug abuse and a lot of bad choices, leading to an on-air panic attack during a live news broadcast. The book is about his search for a way get his head on straight. Along the way he meets people like Eckhart Tolle, Depak Chopra, and Ted Haggart.

 

 

 

 

Full Catastrophe living

Full catastrophe livingThis is one of the authors and books mentioned in the previous title. Kabat-Zinn started the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, to help people dealing physical and mental traumas. I made it about half way through this book before…

 

 

 

 

 

The Obstacle is the way

The Obstacle is the wayWhile reading, online either about Kabat-Zinn or meditation in general, I found this title on the Tim Ferris book club list. It is a collection of stories about a lot of successful historical figures and they would turn losses into wins. It leans heavily on the stoic philosophy of Seneca and Marcus Aruelius. I actually didn’t read this, I listened to it in the car. I feel like I miss things because I am not entirely focused on listening while I am driving.

 

 

 

 

Meditations and The stoic philosophy of Seneca

The Stoic philosophy of SenecaMeditationsThe previous book had a lot of quotes from these two men so I thought I would checkout more of what they actually said. Sadly, I am not sure if I opened either of these books. Maybe some day.

 

 

 

 

A guide to the good life

A Guide to the good lifeSince I wasn’t going to read the previous two I thought I would at least try to find something else which would summarize their works. The cover looks sort of depressing but it really isn’t. It starts with a brief history of Stoicism, followed by general psychological techniques such as negative visualization and meditation. It also gives advice on  specific problems like handling anger, dealing with insults, and death.

 

 

 

 

The Nerdist way

The Nerdist wayReading through all of the above books I saw a lot of things which I thought would be helpful for teens, I have two of them. But I knew mine would not have any interest in investing the time in those books. I stumbled across this one which seemed like it might be a little more appealing to them. I don’t know if I would put them in the nerdist category, but they are both gamers so I thought that aspect might draw them in. Plus the Body section has illustrations of a bear with a headband doing exercises! It is divided into three sections Mind, Body and Time. I made it through most of the Mind section before I passed the book on to my son. He seemed interested in at least looking at it.

 

 

Thank you! Thank you!

by on April 30th, 2015

Nine thousand one hundred and forty hours contributed by Library volunteers in one year.  The average American working full time works 1,700 hours in one year.  The more than 9,000 hours contributed to the Library in 2014 by our 292 volunteers is the equivalent of more than five full time people.  WOW

Tonight we will be thanking the many dedicated people who volunteer to help the Library.  Hour by hour they provide support in a variety of ways and also inspire others to give back as well.  In 2014 volunteers performed a variety of tasks, including checking in books; sorting gifts, staffing The Book End and maintaining the free shelf; helping with book discussions and reading programs at local care centers; and providing children’s programming.

This year is a special because we are celebrating the program’s 35th anniversary.  Although people had been contributing time before then, the official beginning of the volunteer program occurred in 1979 when the first volunteer policy was adopted by the Library Board, just in time for the hundreds of volunteers who formed the human assembly line that moved library materials from the Carnegie building across the street to 123 S Linn in 1981.

Our wonderful volunteers reflect a great community of involved people who support many local efforts.  Our Children’s Services Coordinator who came to Iowa City three years ago has told me more than once that she is amazed at the support that children’s programming receives on a volunteer basis.  A library director who has invested in an automated materials handling system to check in library materials marvels that we are able to accomplish that task with volunteers – ICPL has successfully recruited check in volunteers for more than thirty years.

I can’t list everyone’s name here, but want to call out the people who will be recognized tonight for contributing 1,000 and 1,500 hours to the Library.  We are thanking Kerry Evans, Mary Lou Matheson, Margaret Nelson, and William Pontarelli for 1,000 hours of support, and Jeanette Carter and Richard Dobson for 1,500 hours.

Couldn’t do it without you!





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