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Here’s our 2017 Book Madness Elite Eight!

by on March 27th, 2017

Many NCAA March Madness brackets blew up this weekend — and the same could be said for our Book Madness brackets, too. We were surprised to see which titles didn’t advance to our Elite Eight (sorry, Drama). We have no idea what our Final Four will look like. Be sure to stop in before the Library closes on Sunday to vote for your favorite remaining books!

2017 BOOK MADNESS – CHILDREN’S BRACKET

Banned Books

  • The Giver by Lois Lowry vs. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein

Forgotten Classics

  • Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren vs. George and Martha by James Marshall

Series and Sequels

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney vs. Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Best Book Artists

  • Mo Willems vs. Brian Selznick

2017 BOOK MADNESS – TEEN AND ADULT BRACKET

Dystopian Fiction

  • 1984 by George Orwell vs. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Graphic Novels and Comics

  • Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto vs. Blankets by Craig Thompson

Historical Fiction

  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak vs. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Whodunit?

  • The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle vs. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

email Notice Problems

by on March 24th, 2017

It has come to our attention that some of our email notices are being rejected or blocked by two major Internet providers.  CenturyLink has been rejecting our email courtesy notices with a message that they are spam.  MediaCom as also been blocking our hold notices with no messages at all.  While they are not bouncing back, many of our patrons have told us that they are not getting through.  Unfortunately the tech support from these two companies has been extremely unhelpful.  Some of our patrons have contacted CenturyLink but were not able to get anywhere either.  I know it’s frustrating, but we are frustrated too!  We know that many of you not only appreciate our holds and courtesy notices, but actually rely on them.  So what can you do?  Well you have a few options.  If you have another email address to use, you could switch to that.  (You can do this by accessing your library account online or simply give us a call at 319 356-5200 during regular library hours and we’ll do it for you).  You could also try our new mobile app to keep track of your holds and due dates.

Love eBooks and digital audiobooks? Meet Libby!

by on March 24th, 2017

Attention OverDrive users! Are you tired of navigating the difference between your shelf and the loans page in the OverDrive app? Do you dislike not being able to stream from the app? Or logging in each time you check out a book? Or the million different steps to it takes to check out and read an eBook?

Then you should try OverDrive’s new app Libby. For the past few months I’ve solely used Libby to listen Read the rest of this entry »

Spotlight on Short Stories

by on March 23rd, 2017

civilwarlandI love short stories! They’re a fun way to try out a writer’s work without a 300 page commitment. If you don’t like one of the stories, you can pick another at random or put the whole collection aside.

2017 has been a great year for new short story collections, but my all time favorite is from twenty years ago, Civilwarland in Bad Decline by George Saunders. “Set in a dystopian near-future…these stories constitute a searching and bitterly humorous commentary on the current state of the American Dream (Goodreads).” Upon re-reading, this book is still very relevant and very funny. Civilwarland, the brilliant setting for one of the stories, is a Civil War reenactment theme park staffed by hilarious and doleful characters. A side note: check out Saunder’s first novel that just came out, Lincoln in the Bardo (2017).

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ICPL to Host Community Seed Share

by on March 23rd, 2017

Interested in starting a vegetable or flower garden this spring, but don’t want to invest in large quantities of seeds? Do you have extra seeds that you’d like to share with other gardeners? Come to the Iowa City Public Library from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, April 2, for a Community Seed Share!seedshare

Sponsored by the Library and the Iowa State Extension Master Gardeners of Johnson County, this event is a great opportunity to share seeds you’ve saved or get some free seeds to try growing something new.

This event is part of the JCMG Growing Together efforts to reduce food insecurity in Johnson County. With donations from Burpee, Baker Seeds and Seed Savers, nearly 30 varieties of vegetable, herb and flower seeds will be available.

The event is free and open to all – you do not have to bring seeds to participate. Seeds will be available on a first come, first served basis, so attendees are encouraged to arrive early.

If you need disability-related accommodations in order to participate in this event, please contact the Library at 319-356-5200.

ICPL announces April Classes for Adults

by on March 22nd, 2017

Want to learn as much as you can about digital movie editing? The month of April is devoted to learning about and trying various digital-video editing tools at the Iowa City Public Library.

On Monday, April 3, at 2 p.m. the class, Tools for Video Editing, will help you learn the basics of how editing works so that you can asked informed questions when selecting a video editor. Get an overview of the types of tools that come standard with most editing software and see how they help to create great video.

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ICPL Art Advisory Committee seeks new members

by on March 21st, 2017

The Iowa City Public Library’s Art Advisory Committee is looking for new members.

The Committee is made up of six members and terms run for three years (this term would end in April 2020). Candidates must reside in Iowa City or rural Johnson County, and are appointed to the Committee by the Library Board. Library employees are not eligible for appointment. Ideal candidates are individuals involved and interested in the arts community in some way — artists, framers, instructors, students, gallery employees, collectors and serious enthusiasts.

One of the primary responsibilities of the Art Advisory Committee is the judging of artworks submitted to the annual Art Purchase Prize contest, with the winning works being purchased by the Library and added to the Art To Go collection. The framed posters and original works are available for check out. Other tasks include reviewing and deciding upon any gifted works for Art To Go, as well as any proposals for art to be added to the Library’s permanent collection.

Interested persons must fill out an application (available at http://www.icpl.org/art/advisory/) and return it, in person or via email, to Candice Smith (candice-smith@icpl.org).

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

It’s here: Book Madness Sweet Sixteen!

by on March 20th, 2017

Here are the titles that advanced to the Sweet Sixteen round of our 2017 Book Madness competition:

2017 BOOK MADNESS – CHILDREN’S BRACKET

Banned Books

  • Drama by Raina Telgemeier
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
  • Yertle the Turtle by Dr. Seuss

Read the rest of this entry »

This Won’t End Well: Tragic Middle-Grade Reads

by on March 17th, 2017

If, like me, you don’t mind wallowing in despair, as long as a good story has led you there, try one of these new works of juvenile literature.  Eye-opening and morally challenging for middle-grade readers, and equally moving for adults, these two novels and one biography will be read through tears.

Thumbnail   The Dog, Ray by Linda Coggin

Dog books are notoriously sad, and this one is no exception.  However, instead of doggie death coming at the end of the story, in this book tragedy occurs right at the beginning – 12-year-old girl Daisy is killed in a car crash, and her soul returns to Earth in the body of a dog.  A mistake has been made, though, that allows her to recall her previous life as a girl while living her new life as a dog.  Daisy’s one goal is to find her former home and return to living with her parents, but as their dog.

This intriguing concept plays out in a story that is heartbreaking but also sweet and humorous at times.  Daisy finds that “the responsibilities of a dog are enormous” and though her life may be heading in a completely new direction she can’t control, there is meaning and love and hope in store for her.

 

Thumbnail   The Plot to Kill Hitler: Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Spy, Unlikely Hero by Patricia A. McCormick

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a German minister who conspired with others to assassinate Hitler at the height of the Holocaust.  Long a crusader for social justice, Bonhoeffer was one of the earliest critics of the Nazi regime.  At first, he sought the support of other church leaders in condemning Nazism – few did.  Later, Bonhoeffer graduated to espionage, traveling widely outside Germany to share news of the horrors being leveled against Jews – almost no one believed him.  Finally, Bonhoeffer determined that he had no choice but to take part in a daring scheme to end Hitler’s life.

This juvenile biography raises fascinating moral and ethical questions; through reading, we are privy to Bonhoeffer’s decision to turn to violence, despite his religious convictions and commitment to pacifism and nonviolent social change.  Bonhoeffer’s courage and willingness to stand alone is breathtaking; readers will relish this page-turning volume that exposes little-known history.

 

Thumbnail   The Only Road by Alexandra Diaz

To escape gang violence in their small Guatemalan village, 12-year-old Jaime and his cousin Angela embark on a risky journey north, through Mexico and across the border to Texas and safety.  The drug-trafficking gang that controls their town has killed their cousin and promises they’ll be next; their impoverished family, terrified, scrapes together the money needed to finance their escape.  Along the way, Jaime and Angela are locked in a sweltering boxcar for days, dodge murderous gangs as well as the police, endure hunger, and put their lives in the hands of strangers.

This morally complex book is an important read at a moment when immigration is a hot topic around the world. As USA Today reported, in the first 11 months of the 2016 fiscal year, 54,052 unaccompanied minors made the trek from Central America into the United States.  Based on true events, this novel is the tense, heartfelt story of two of these children, for whom an incredibly dangerous journey is their only hope for the future.

 

 

 

Composting: Recycling at its finest

by on March 16th, 2017
Composting: Recycling at its finest Cover Image

 

Recycling is a popular topic these days, and for homeowners and gardeners composting is simple way to deal with lawn and garden waste.  By combining it with a bit of water, sunlight, and time you end up with “black gold” in the form of compost you can add back into your gardens.  It’s the ultimate recycling.

Composting itself is pretty simple.  The hardest part is figuring out where and how you’re going to compost.  Piles, pens, bins, tumblers and pits – there are all sorts of ways to corral your compost Read the rest of this entry »





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