Posts Tagged ‘Bookmobile’

Sept 7 – A Special Day

by Kara Logsden on September 3rd, 2019

September 7 is a very special day. Why, you ask? Well … it’s my Dad’s birthday and that’s special to me. It’s also the day the Library Board held a special meeting to award a contract to Summit Body Works in Commerce City, CO to build the Iowa City Public Library’s first Bookmobile. That meeting set into motion a wonderful journey of serving our community in a new way.

The need to serve our community away from the Downtown Library was first identified in the Library’s Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan was created with the help of a community survey, focus groups, user survey, and planning meetings to digest the feedback received and craft a plan to guide our work. Thanks to a strong vision in the Strategic Plan, support from the City Council and Library Board, and financial support from the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation, we have a Bookmobile that makes a difference in our community every day.

Recent news stories on KCRG and KWWL (click on the link to play the videos) tell a wonderful story of how the ICPL Bookmobile is taking Library service on the road and serving our community in new ways.

Every time I work on the Bookmobile, I see first-hand what a difference the Bookmobile is making in our community. One young patron and I dream together about what it would be like to live on the Bookmobile. Each time we see each other, we work on our plan. More than once, a patron has told me, “Every time I pick up a Hold on this Bookmobile, I think this is the best decision the City ever made!” So many miles, so many happy stories!

On September 7th I will say Happy Birthday to my Dad and I’ll think about ICPL’s Bookmobile journey that was set in motion by the Library Board three years ago on that day. If you haven’t visited the Bookmobile, please make a plan to see us soon. I promise it will make you smile and you may also dream about what it would be like to live on the Bookmobile. Schedule information is at



Library Card Sign-up Month

by Kara Logsden on September 1st, 2019

September is National Library Card Sign-up Month. If you don’t have a Library Card, or know someone who doesn’t have a Library Card, head to the Downtown Library or the Bookmobile to get your Library Card.

Anyone in Iowa who lives in a community that supports a public library may get a Library Card from the Iowa City Public Library. To save time, you may pre-register at Pick-up your Library Card at the Help Desk or Bookmobile. All you need is a photo ID. If your current address is on your photo ID, you are all set. If not, bring a recent utility bill, copy of your lease, or official mail to verify your local address.

Information about children and Library Cards and different card types is available at

What can you do with your Library Card? Beyond checking out traditional Library materials such as books and movies, your Library Card becomes your ticket for much, much more! Did you know the Library checks out Toys? Book Club Kits? Video Games? Giant Chess and Checkers?

Do you have Bare Wall Syndrome? Check out 2 art prints for two months from our Art-To-Go collection.

Need Internet access? The Library has many computers available for public use. Log-in with your Library Card for two free hours of use each day.

Need to catch a ride home from Downtown Iowa City on an Iowa City Transit Bus? Present your Library Card to any public service desk at the Library and get a pass for a free ride home. There is a limit of two free bus passes per week with our Ride and Read program.

If you live in our service area (Iowa City, rural Johnson County, University Heights, Hills, Lone Tree) you may use your Library Card to:

Access ICPL’s Digital Library including eBooks, eAudiobooks, Kanopy movie streaming, Digital Magazines, New York Times Online and the Local Music Project. Access is FREE. All you need is your Library Card number and password.

Browse Consumer Reports online to figure out which refrigerator to buy via our Online Resources collection.

Browse the Chilton Library in our Online Resources collection to learn how to fix your car or truck.

Check out a Laptop, Internet Hotspot, or other equipment.

There’s so many things you can do with your Library Card! If you have questions, give us a call at 319-356-5200 during regular Library hours, ask us a question online, or stop by the Library or Bookmobile. We are happy to help!


No Bookmobile Service on Labor Day

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on August 20th, 2019

The Iowa City Public Library Bookmobile will not be in service on Monday, September 2. The Downtown Library is also closed in honor of Labor Day.

Bookmobile holiday hours are always available on the Library’s website.

Although the Bookmobile and Library are closed, online services are available 24/7 at This includes account access and, for those who live in our service area, access to ICPL’s Digital Library including eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines, The New York Times and Kanopy video streaming.

We’ll see you back on the Bookmobile or at the Downtown Library on September 3!

The Bookmobile is on a Break – Where are my Holds?

by Shawna Riggins on August 19th, 2019

The Fall Bookmobile schedule begins Monday, August 26 and runs through Thursday, December 19. The week before the Fall schedule begins, August 19 –  23, the Bookmobile is out of service for a seasonal maintenance break. If you had holds you were expecting to pick up on the Bookmobile, those items are currently available at the Downtown Library building. Simply ask at the Help Desk for help finding these materials. All holds that have been requested to be delivered to the Bookmobile have also been extended to give folks a chance to pick them up during our first week of service. If you are unsure about when or where you can find an item you placed on hold, call the Library at 319-356-5200.

If you haven’t seen the Bookmobile’s 2019 Fall Schedule yet, take a look to find the stop that will work best for your schedule.

We look forward to seeing you on the road!

Checking in with the Bookmobile

by Shawna Riggins on August 14th, 2019

As we wrap up our last week of the Summer Schedule on the Bookmobile, now is a great time to think back to some Summer highlights and look ahead to Fall.

Throughout the Summer, our annual series, Stories in the Park, continued with stops at Willow Creek, Wetherby and Mercer Parks where a weekly storytime or special special program for youth was offered alongside the Bookmobile. Some memorable Storytime presenters included two friendly llamas, three sweet wolfhounds, two great goats, and many magnificent musicians. Staff were delighted to connect with families at these stops, as well as the occasional farm animal.

Another Summer Series the Bookmobile participated in this year was Party in the Park. Through this annual series, sponsored by the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department and the Neighborhood Outreach Division, the Bookmobile visited a different local park every Thursday evening throughout the Summer. Party in the Park continues this Fall on Sundays, though without the Bookmobile. Visit for details.

Stores are stocked with fresh notebooks and pencils, nights are cooling off, and soon it will be hard to avoid pumpkin-spiced flavors – Fall is nearly here. The Iowa City Public Library is welcoming the change in seasons with a new Bookmobile Schedule, which can be found on our website. The 2019 Fall Bookmobile schedule will run from August 26 – December 19, with all stops open and available to the public. While the Bookmobile is on a seasonal service break next week, take a moment to place holds and get ready to meet us on the road starting on August 26.


No Bookmobile Service Aug. 19 through Aug. 23

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on August 5th, 2019


The Bookmobile won’t be in service Monday, August 19, through Friday, August 23. We’ve had a great summer and look forward to a seeing everyone again in the fall!

A break between schedule periods gives us time for vehicle maintenance, deep cleaning, and restocking the Bookmobile with great new Library materials.

During Bookmobile service breaks, Holds and ILLs scheduled for pickup on the Bookmobile may be picked up at the Help Desk in the Downtown Library. We will not capture any holds when the Bookmobile is not in service, so there may be a period of time when the Bookmobile is on break when holds will be at the Library waiting for pick-up. Don’t worry, though, because the 7-day waiting period for picking up a hold does not begin until we “trap” the hold. That’s when we send the eMail or mail your Hold Pick-up Notice.

For full Bookmobile schedule information, visit

A GREAT YEAR on the Bookmobile

by Kara Logsden on July 17th, 2019

Students from Alexander Elementary after a bookmobile visit.

FY19 numbers are in and what a great year we had on the ICPL Bookmobile! We set a new record on June 24 for the number of transactions in a single day – we had 353 checkouts on that day. Our greatest number of visitors came one day in the first quarter of the year when we had 279 visitors in one day. Our busiest day on record is from June 24, 2017 when we had 433 visitors in one day.

In FY19 we checked out 31,436 items and welcomed 16,349 visitors onto the Bookmobile. We offered Bookmobile services on 193 days and the Bookmobile was in service for 759 hours.

Wednesdays are our busiest day for visitors on the Bookmobile with an average of 96 visitors each Wednesday. On Fridays, we have the most visitors per hour with an average of 32.

Wednesdays are also our busiest day for checkouts with an average of 187 items checked out each Wednesday.

Mondays are our busiest day for checkouts by the hour. On Mondays we average 57 checkouts per hour, followed closely by Fridays with an average of 54 checkouts per hour. During the entire year, we checked out 9,121 items on Mondays.

At the beginning of the fiscal year we set a goal of 331 Bookmobile visitors per week. I’m happy to report we exceeded that goal with an average of 367 visitors each week. The 4th quarter (April-May-June 2019) was our busiest quarter with an average of 453 visitors each week. The first quarter (July-August-September 2018) was also busy with an average of 413 visitors each week.

The third quarter (October-November-December 2018) was the slowest with an average pf 277 visitors each week. Although we had fewer visitors in the third quarter, we still checked out an average of 620 items each week. Remember our awful winter?! Brrrrr …

But numbers don’t tell the whole story. Recently a patron told me, “Every time I pick up a hold on the Bookmobile instead of driving downtown, I think the Bookmobile is the best idea ever!” In FY19 we delivered 7,135 Holds to the Bookmobile and averaged 77 Holds on the Bookmobile each day waiting to be picked up.

Recently I was at a Stories in the Park Storytime with 2 Llamas and over 100 interested humans. One child told me, “I just love when the Bookmobile is at Storytime at Mercer Park!” Lots of people agree. In FY19 there were 104 Children’s programs offered as a part of Bookmobile services with 2,897 attendees.

My favorite statistics is Books Per Mile. In June we averaged 9 books checked out per mile driven. For the entire year we averaged 7 books per mile. 7 books per mile and thousands of stories. Come visit us on the ICPL Bookmobile. Schedule information is at



ICPL Bookmobile @ Science Thursday

by Kara Logsden on July 17th, 2019

Each week you can find the ICPL Bookmobile at Science Thursdays on the UI Health Sciences campus at the College of Medicine Courtyard. Science Thursdays feature great music, food trucks and the Bookmobile! It’s a great event and we see many friends who stop by to say HI to the Bookmobile staff (and many people who pick-up Holds).

Check out the Science Thursdays schedule and then come out and enjoy the music, food and Bookmobile. We’ll see you soon!

PS – The ICPL Bookmobile’s last day at Science Thursdays is August 15. Then we take a week off for cleaning and training. Our fall schedule begins on Monday August 26 and our College of Medicine Courtyard stop moves to a different day.


by Kara Logsden on July 11th, 2019

Have you ever admired the graphics at Iowa City Public Library? Have you ever wanted to own one of the cool ICPL t-shirts staff wear? If so, Society6 can help!

Many of our most awesome graphics, including ICPL Bookmobile graphics, are available at Society6 and can be printed on t-shirts, mugs, pillows, wallets and much more. Just navigate to and search for “Iowa City Public Library.” Or, you can click on THIS LINK.

Proceeds from all sales of ICPL items on Society6 goes to the Iowa City Public Library Friends Foundation.  The Foundation supports the Library in many ways including funding Summer Reading Program, purchasing Library materials and supporting special guests or programs.

If you buy something with an ICPL graphic on Society6, you’ll be admired for your style and you will support the Library.

Inside tip: Society6 runs a lot of sales and offers many coupons. Make sure you takes advantage of that when ordering.

Telephone Notification System for Library Holds

by Kara Logsden on June 25th, 2019

ATTENTION: Patrons who receive notifications about Library Holds by telephone

Telephone calls announcing Holds available for pickup at the Library will end on June 30, 2019. This service is ending because the software that supports the telephone notification system is no longer supported by our vendor. Beginning July 1, 2019, we will send print notices via U.S. Mail to everyone who received telephone notices.

If you are affected by this and would prefer receiving an email notice instead of a notice via U.S. Mail, please call the Library at 319-356-5200 during regular Library hours. Please ask the staff member who answers the telephone to add your email address to your Library Account.

We are sorry for the inconvenience this will cause for some of our patrons.