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ICPL to Host All Iowa Reads 2016 Book Discussion

by on September 30th, 2016

The Iowa City Public Library will host a discussion about the 2016 All Iowa Reads book, Lila by Marilynne Robinson, from 7 to 8 p.m. Monday, October 10, in Meeting Room B.

Lila, homeless and alone after years of roaming the countryside, steps inside a small-town Iowa church – the only available shelter from the rain – 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.

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Three Cheers for ICPL!

by on September 29th, 2016

To2016 09 Book Cart Drill Teammorrow the Iowa City Public Library’s Book Cart Drill Team will hit the streets as a part of the 2016 University of Iowa Homecoming Parade. The fun starts at 5:45 and we’re entry #25.

Every year Library staff have a lot of fun at the parade – it’s an awesome experience to feel the love for the Library from the crowd. We also have a lot of fun entertaining the crowd with the Book Cart Drill Team with various maneuvers such as the “Pinwheel” and “Snake.” Watch closely because there may also be a special appearance from our Super Hero, Book Man! Read the rest of this entry »

Banned and Censored Music

by on September 29th, 2016

ICPL is currently celebrating Banned Books Week and we have a strong history of supporting people’s Freedom to Read. As the music selector, the theme this week has also made me reflect on how amazing it is that the U.S. still creates lyrically censored versions of music because “won’t somebody please think of the children“. The National Coalition Against Censorship created a great list last year of 40 banned and censored songs that I felt needed to be shared as an ICPL display with a vintage shot of Tipper Gore and the Parents Music Resource Center.


There were some surprises on their list, I never would have guessed someone would have a censorship concern about Phil Collins! I definitely remember MTV censoring Tom Petty’s use of the word “joint” in “You Don’t Know How it Feels”, you can check out the original from us.

As a youngster, I was minimally affected by the PMRC and further outcry, though the summer after 4th grade my friend wasn’t allowed to get the Whitesnake cassette for me for my birthday because my mom told his mom it was too racy. Just imagine the person I might be today if I’d been able to rock out to “Here I Go Again” that summer! I recall being in Musicland just a few years later attempting to convince my Dad that the Parental Advisory label on the Tone Lōc cassette was probably put on by mistake. To his credit, he bought me that tape and I rapped along to “Cheeba Cheeba” blissfully unaware of what Tone was talking about. And while Tone Lōc might not be musically or historically interesting enough to warrant inclusion in the ICPL collection, I’m happy to report that we only purchase unaltered lyrical versions of other albums and leave the decision up to your household to decide what is appropriate. I highly recommend all parents take the risk and check out “Appetite for Destruction” for their kid(s), I learned an important 5th grade playground life lesson about swearing at classmates when parroting Axl from their song “It’s So Easy“! Feel free to share your own stories in the comments!

Digital Johnson County introduces combined digital magazine collection

by on September 29th, 2016

Tired of impulsively buying magazines at the grocery store? Save big bucks by downloading magazines for free through Digital Johnson County’s Zinio collection.

Beginning October 1, Coralville Public Library, Iowa City Public Library and the North Liberty Community Library will offer a combined digital magazine collection through Zinio to area residents. This is a free library service, but patrons must live in Coralville, Hills, Iowa City, Lone Tree, North Liberty, University Heights or rural Johnson County, and have a Library Card and password from their home library in order to use it.

Library users can check out and read a magazine using a web browser, or by downloading the Zinio for Libraries app, which is available for iPhone, iPad, Android, and Kindle Fire/HD/HDX.

For more information about Digital Johnson County, call the Coralville Public Library at 319-248-1850; the Iowa City Public Library at 319-356-5200; or the North Liberty Community Library at 319-626-5701.

What are your baby’s favorite books?

by on September 29th, 2016
Karen and Morgan read a high-contrast book on baby's first trip to the library.

ICPL’s Karen and Morgan read a high-contrast book to my 6-week-old baby on his first trip to the library.

Today my baby turns 10 months old. That’s 10 whole months of me learning firsthand about early literacy. He doesn’t sit still much these days. Rather than listening to a book beginning-to-end, he’d rather turn their pages, or pull as many books off the shelf as he can, which staff in the Children’s Room found out Saturday at close. Still, he has delighted at many of the books I’ve put in front of him, and I’d like to share the types of books that have captivated him even before he can understand their words and stories.

ICPL’s board book collection in the Children’s Room is one of those high-turnaround beasts. They take a beating and we buy whatever we can to replace them when they are mangled. If you can’t find one of these titles, look for the following features that make them attractive. Read the rest of this entry »

ICPL to host Well Fed, Well Read on Oct. 7

by on September 28th, 2016

The Iowa City Public Library is working with the Johnson County Crisis Center to fight hunger. Children can help by attending Well Fed, Well Read from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Friday, October 7, in the Storytime Room.

Stop by with a book and/or food donation for a family in need, then stick around for stories, snacks, and activities, including upcycled crafts, a sorting game about composting and recycling, and a lesson on planting an indoor garden by Jenni Mettemeyer from Farm to School.

Miss Jamie’s Farm will present a special interactive storytime about buying local, eating healthy, and the importance of farms in our community from 2 to 2:45 p.m. Hy-Vee Nutritionist Cathy Gehris will teach participants how to make healthy snacks from 3 to 3:30 p.m. and 3:30 to 4 p.m. Well Fed, Well Read will conclude with a screening of What’s on Your Plate?, an educational documentary about farming and the environment.

The Crisis Center’s Food Bank provides weekly food assistance to Johnson County residents. Of all the households served, one third has children in the home. The Food Bank always welcomes donations of peanut butter and jelly, pasta and rice, soups and stews, canned vegetables, canned fruit, toilet paper, baby formula and food, diapers, and laundry detergent. Well Fed, Well Read also will collect new children’s books for The Crisis Center.

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

ICPL announces Pajama Storytime in October

by on September 27th, 2016

Add variety to your bedtime routine with Pajama Storytime at the Iowa City Public Library.

Join Casey from 6:30 to 7 p.m. every Monday night in October, except Halloween, for a special nighttime storytime with books, songs and activities focused on sleep preparation. This program is geared towards families with children of all ages. Parents and little ones are encouraged to attend in their PJs. Stuffed animal friends and dolls are welcome, too.

Pajama Storytime will be held in the Storytime Room. For more information, contact the Library at 319-356-5200.

ICPL’s Sunday Fun Day Presents October Improv!

by on September 26th, 2016

The Iowa City Public Library invites children interested in the performing arts to visit ICPL Sunday afternoons for October Improv!

Using a variety of drama techniques to bring popular children’s stories to life, October Improv! will explore the many ways there are to tell stories, and how actors can experience the character, action, and themes inside of stories. These weekly drama sessions will be led by AmyRuth McGraw and students from the University of Iowa’s Drama in the Classroom course as part of Sunday Fun Day.

Sunday, October 2: Caps for Sale

Designed for students in grades kindergarten through second, children are invited to take on the role of monkeys and experience this well-loved story in a new way. They’ll also learn to build a story with their bodies, voices, and an empty room.

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ICPL to launch redesigned Event Manager

by on September 22nd, 2016

The Iowa City Public Library’s redesigned online calendar, known as Event Manager, will go live on Monday, September 26.

The program features a streamlined design to improve user experience, both for those adding meeting and program information to the calendars, and people searching for upcoming events.

“Part of our long-term strategic plan was to make improvements so that Event Manager is easier to navigate,” says Brent Palmer, the Library’s Information Technology Coordinator.

Elements were incorporated into the calendar to ensure an optimal viewing experience on both desktop computers and mobile devices. The public is encouraged to explore the new Event Manager and provide feedback on the survey located here.

The new Event Manager is the first part in the Library’s plan to redesign the entire website, again focusing on making it more user-friendly. ICPL plans to launch the new design in 2017.

“We look forward to sharing the redesigned calendar with our community and will continue to explore ways to improve users’ online experience,” Palmer says.

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

Hamlet’s Dreams : the Robben Island Shakespeare – Join the book discussion

by on September 21st, 2016
Hamlet’s Dreams : the Robben Island Shakespeare – Join the book discussion Cover Image

Shakespeare in prisons is a thing, a powerful and life-changing thing. The library has books and documentaries on how Shakespeare’s works are used in prisons and other unconventional locations, such as Shakespeare Saved My Life : ten years in solitary with the Bard by Laura Bates about her Shakespeare in Shackles program at the Indiana Federal Prison.  Caesar must die Cesare deve morire, a is a documentary about inmates at a high-security prison in Rome preparing for a public performance of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. The prisoners discover how the play resonates with them as they rehearse.

On Tuesday, September 28, Collen Kennedy will lead a discussion at the library on another work about Shakespeare in prison, Hamlet’s Dreams: the Robben Island Shakespeare by David Shalkwyk.  Shalkwyk uses the circulation of the so-called ‘Robben Island Shakespeare’, a copy of the Alexander edition of the Complete Works that was secretly circulated, annotated and signed by a group of Robben Island political prisoner in the 1970s (including Nelson Mandela), to examine the representation and experience of imprisonment in South African prison memoirs and Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It looks at the ways in which oppressive spaces or circumstances restrict. Copies of Hamlet’s Dreams are available from the Info Desk on the second floor of the library.  This brief, but powerful work, is fascinating in its examination of the Robben Island prison and just how Shakespeare changed the lives of the political prisoners who read his works.   Please join us to share your thoughts on Shakespeare and the beauty and force of his words.  This program and other Shakespeare related programs and displays are done as a partnership with the University of Iowa Library and its First Folio exhibition.