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Super Smash Bros Video Game Tournament at ICPL

by on May 12th, 2016

Hey teens, celebrate the first day of summer vacation at the Iowa City Public Library – and get your game face on because it’s Video Game Tournament time!

We’re throwing down Super Smash Bros for Nintendo Wii U. The battle will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. Thursday, May 26, in the Koza Family Teen Center.

All teen events are open to students in grades 7 through 12, including students who will start seventh grade in the fall.

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

2016 Children’s Day

by on May 11th, 2016

It’s May and by the end of the month school will be letting out for the summer! At the library, we are planning an exciting kick-off to your summer season—Children’s Day, June 4, 2016! 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—On Your Mark Get Set…Read!  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! Here is a quick glimpse of the day:

SATURDAY, JUNE 4, 10 am to 3 pm

Sponsored by MidWestOne Bank

Family Stage

Sponsored by Dr. Suzanne Stock, Orthodontist

10:00 AM   After School Specials rock concert (by Shimek Before & After School Program kids)

10:30 AM   FEAT Acrobatics show

11:15 AM   2 FEAT Acrobatics stilt walker costume characters

11:30 AM     Bluegrass banjo music by Jon Eric

12:30 PM     Dr. Goober T. Goodfoot, Certified Public Fool Show

1:15 PM     Dream Divas, Tumblers, and Set the Atmosphere show (from the Dream Center Performance Arts Academy)

2:15 PM    Ecuador Manta

Strolling Entertainment

10:00 AM – 3:00 PM   TJ Regul, Magic in the City

11:00 AM – 2:00 PM   Dean Franzen, The Dean of Juggling

1:15 PM – 2:30 PM     Dr. Goober T. Goodfoot

Activity Booths:

  • On Your Mark, Get Set, Read! ICPL Summer Reading RegistrationChildrensDay2
  • Catch the Beat with Yahoo Drummers
  • Celebrate Caribbean-Style Carnival with the Iowa City Carnival Project
  • Chess Quest with Douglas Narveson
  • Dinosaur Hollow sponsored Jack Neuzil
  • Furry Friends with the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center
  • Iowa Children’s Museum
  • Magic in the City with TJ Regul
  • 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

 

Disney World or Bust

by on May 11th, 2016

I really love amusement parks–the towering roller coasters, delicious food that’s super awful for you and beloved characteDisneyworld_fireworks_-_0228rs walking around for photo ops.  The crown jewels of American amusement parks are Disneyland and Disney World.  There’s a lot of debate online about which park is better.  The differences are obvious: Disney World is much, much larger than Disneyland.  Disney World is a ridiculous 43 square miles, which is almost twice as big as Manhattan, and it contains four (!) different theme parks and two water parks.  Disneyland is smaller, but it’s the original and dense with things to do.  As an unabashed Disney movie fan, I’d be happy at either park.  My family is planning a trip to Disney World this summer, and the Library has resources to help figure things out.  I swear, we are going to have a magical time or else!

There are oodles of travel books that you can consult for your Disney World vacation.  The first I grabbed was Birnbaum’s 2016 Official Guide to Walt Disney World.  It’s official, so you know it can be trusted :)  Right off the bat, the book gives recommendations on the best time to go to Disney World.  We’re going in June, which they rated as “Most Crowded” and totally not the time to go.  Whoops!  It says to expect waits “of as much as two to three hours (or more)” for BWDWpopular rides and attractions.  That’s OK.  We can make that work.  The rest of the early sections of the book focus on the logistics of getting to the park and paying for it (including making a budget–food is expensive in Disney World).  The really good stuff is the sample schedules.  Those gave me an idea of what all we can plan to do, because it’s impossible to see and do everything.  The schedules have a list of “Musts,” which are the attractions that they highly recommend.  They also have “Line Busters.”  Those are attractions that have shorter or faster-moving lines for when the park is busy.  The amount of stuff that you can experience at these parks can be overwhelming, so these schedule sections have been invaluable.

One of the other books that was helpful was The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids (unofficial–sketchy, I know).  This one kicks off with a discussion of how old your kiddos should be to get the most out of the parks.  Again, we have failed the book.  They think the ideal age is 8-12.  Our oldest just turned six, and our youngest is two and a half.  The authors do admit that how well your children do is a case by case basis.  We just had friends who UGWDWWKbrought their five-year-old, and they said the trip was a success.  I think our kids are outgoing and energetic enough for us to get a lot out of the parks.  The book recommends that, if you’re taking kids younger than their suggested age, there’s prep work to help make the experience better.  Part of that prep work is figuring out which rides are better for those younger kiddos.  Luckily, this book breaks down every ride and attraction to let you know the appeal factor by age and if there is any “fright potential” for the youngins.  Should we go to The Haunted Mansion?  Nope!  Nightmare City–Population: Our Daughter.  How about Peter Pan’s Flight?  Super safe.

Obviously, there are a lot of books that you can read to help plan your trip.  I was curious if there were any helpful articles in Ebscohost, so I did a search in Catalog Pro for “Disney World” after selecting the “Articles” tab.  One of the first hits was “The Best Disney for Your Family” from Scholastic Parent & Child.  It breaks down by age the best park to experience.  For Ages 3 to 5, they say The Magic Kingdom is the way to go.  YES!!  That’s what we had planned.  I didn’t let the article down.

The internet has you covered too.  There are sites devoted to getting the most out of your Walt Disney World visit.  I was impressed by Walt Disney World Prep School.  They’ve created a six step planning process for a trip.  Step Six is “Add Extra Magic,” so you know they aren’t messing around.  I’m hoping for at least a regular amount of magic on the trip.  Honestly, the thought of the whole thing makes me tired, so wish me luck.  I’m sure we’ll have a blast, and I’ll invite everyone over to our house to look at pictures from our vacation when we get back.

“The thing that I am seeking should not be far to seek”

by on May 9th, 2016

bookOver the weekend, we were reunited with a book from long ago, Aline Kilmer’s Vigils (1921). We weren’t looking for it; the book was legitimately withdrawn from the collection. But, perhaps the book was seeking a return to us. Of course, I was interested in the history of this particular book and perhaps you are too. So, to the accession records!

In storage, we hold accession records for books we purchased dating back to January 14, 1897. In the ledger, each book was given a number, assigned in the order in which it was added to Read the rest of this entry »

Music on Wednesday 5/11: Crystal City

by on May 7th, 2016

2016 05 06 Crystal CityOK … confession time. I’ve never heard Crystal City perform live. They came highly recommended to me and when I read this review from Hillfolk Noir, who could resist?! “Crystal City from Iowa City, Iowa, is a versatile combo centered around Dave’s midwestern sincerity. His honest songs and Sam’s lilting harmonies can warm a weary heart and get bedraggled feet stomping. -Travis & Ali Ward, Hillfolk Noir”

Dave Helmer and Sam Drella are Crystal City. Their music is described as “Heartland rock band with blue-collar roots” with “themes of love and loss, being good to each other, and celebrating life.” While preparing for this program, I’ve enjoyed listening to their music online (listen here) and getting to know their music a bit better. If you live in Iowa City or an area that contracts with us (Iowa City, rural Johnson County, Hills or University Heights) you can download their album for free with your ICPL card and password via our Local Music Project.

Please join us on Wednesday May 11 at Noon in the Library’s Lobby for a toe-tapping musical performance with Crystal City. I dare you to not tap your toes and hum along. And who knows, maybe some bedraggled feet may begin stomping! See you at the Library!

 

Do you need meeting space? The Library can help!

by on May 6th, 2016

2016 05 05 Meeting RoomRecently the Library Board reviewed the Library’s Meeting Room policy and approved a couple minor changes. The Meeting Room and Lobby Use Policy provides guidelines for how the Library’s meetings rooms and Lobby are used for Library and community events and programs. It also guides how Library Staff manage this resource.  The Library has five meeting rooms.  Rooms A, B, C, and D are just off the Lobby and available hours beyond when the Library is open.  Room E is on the second floor and is available Library hours only.

According to the Policy, “The purpose of the Library’s meeting rooms is to provide space for library programs and events, to fulfill the Library’s role as a community center, where the public can attend informational, educational, cultural events and to champion the principle of intellectual freedom by providing a forum for the free exchange of ideas.”

Also, according to Policy, “Rooms are available to non-profit corporations (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), a non-profit citizen’s group that provides appropriate contact information, a governmental subdivision, or a department/division/bureau of a governmental subdivision. Rooms are not available for use as a regularly scheduled classroom or study space by educational institutions.”

The Library’s meeting rooms are very busy and many community groups depend on the Library’s Meeting Rooms. In FY15 there were 3,261 events in the Library’s meeting rooms and Lobby. Of those, 1,528 were meetings and events hosted by community groups. The rooms are used most on Tuesdays and the busiest start time for meetings is 10:00 AM.

More information about the Library’s meeting rooms is available at icpl.org/meeting-rooms. The Library’s building calendar is available at calendar.icpl.org. There’s a handy link on both pages for eligible groups to self-schedule a meeting room. Or give us a call (319.356.5200) or stop by – Library staff are happy to help with scheduling or answer any questions you have.

Celebrate ICPL’s Music is the Word Finale with Free Catfish Keith Concert

by on May 5th, 2016

Join the Iowa City Public Library for a free concert featuring Catfish Keith from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, May 21, on the Pedestrian Plaza outside of the Sheraton Iowa City Hotel.MITW_CatfishKeith_May 21

Called a “guitar genius” by Living Blues and “The real acoustic blues king!” by Rock ‘n’ Reel, Catfish Keith has established himself as one of the most exciting country blues performers of our time. A two-time W. C. Handy Blues Music Award nominee for Best Acoustic Blues Album and a 2008 inductee into the Blues Hall of Fame, Catfish Keith has fifteen No. 1 independent radio chart-topping albums to his credit.

Catfish Keith regularly packs houses all over the world with his dynamic stage show. His performance in downtown Iowa City serves as the finale for Music is the Word, the Library’s celebration of all things musical.

For nine months, ICPL has hosted a series of musical programming for all ages to welcome the University of Iowa School of Music to its new location in downtown Iowa City. The Voxman Music Building, located at the corner of Burlington and Clinton streets, will open its doors to students in the fall.

“This has been a great opportunity for us to share Iowa City’s rich musical culture through live performances, presentations, displays, hands-on activities, movies, and sing-alongs,” Library Director Susan Craig says.

We hope you’ll join us for some foot-stomping, deep delta blues and American roots music on May 21, with sound and lighting by Steve Cook Sound Production. In case of rain, the concert will be moved to the Library’s Meeting Room A.

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

Teaching Your Baby to Sign

by on May 4th, 2016

My baby is turning 6 months old soon which was about the age that I began introducing my preschooler to sign language (well maybe a little later–second baby after all).  I decided to teach my first child to sign because sign language helps children express their needs. Research shows that most children can understand language earlier than they can express it verbally. Sign is a great method for expression because it takes advantage of a child’s early hand coordination while introducing them to language.

If you are interested in teaching your child to sign, the library has many ways to help you learn. There are several great books and DVDs in our non-fiction and children’s collections like Baby talk: a guide to using basic sign language to communicate with your baby and Baby Signing Time. The library also has a language learning program, Mango, that offers a course in American Sign Language. You can access Mango from home if you are a resident of Iowa City, University Heights, Hills, Lone Tree, and rural Johnson County. You just need your library card and password/pin to login.

While my preschooler started to use sign language less and less as she became more capable of expressing herself verbally, sign language still plays a role in her life. I like that I can communicate with her from across the playground signing “STOP” if I want her to be more cautious.  And I’ve enjoyed seeing her enthusiasm for signs bubbling up again as she shows the baby signs for “milk” and “more.”

Swan Tales: The Life and Adventures of Chauncey Swan

by on May 2nd, 2016
chaunceyswanportrait

Portrait of Chauncey Swan from Weber’s Historical Stories About Iowa City

Chauncey Swan is not, as I thought when I moved here, a species of water fowl. (I know, I know, but I’m not an ornithologist.) He is also not two people; there is no Mr. Chauncey. He is one man, a founding father of Iowa City. He was one of three appointed by the territorial governor (Robert Lucas) to determine the location of the capital of the new Iowa territory. It should be noted that Chauncey Swan deserves the most credit of the three men as he was acting commissioner for the survey, reported back to the legislature, and Robert Ralston was three days late and didn’t really help at all. It should also be noted that they chose the site of Iowa City on May 1st, 1839. It wasn’t really official until May 4th because they were waiting for Ralston. So, a Happy Chauncey Swan Day to you! Read the rest of this entry »

Summer Library Bus

by on May 2nd, 2016

Do you have a Library Card? Are you ready for summer? Why do I ask?

The Summer 2013 Summer Library BusLibrary Bus program at the Iowa City Public Library kicks off on Thursday May 26th.

An Iowa City Public Library card is a child’s ticket to ride an Iowa City Transit bus FREE this summer. The Library will provide free bus rides to children through 12th grade, and the adult caregivers who are with them, on any Iowa City Transit bus route, from the day after Iowa City Schools dismiss (Thursday May 26th) until the day before school starts (Tuesday August 23), on weekdays between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm.

Bus riders should show their Iowa City Public Library card to the bus driver to gain free access to the bus.

More information about riding the bus to the Library is available at this link: icpl.org/hours-location/ride/

Information about applying for a Library Card is available at: icpl.org/cards

Three cheers for SUMMER and the SUMMER LIBRARY BUS! We’ll see you at the Library!





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