Posts Tagged ‘Local History Project’


Storytime Recap: Old and New

by Anne Wilmoth on August 1st, 2017

It all started when I was combing through the milk crate of flannel board stories in our back room, searching for something to share at my Monday toddler storytime.  I stumbled upon a “House That Jack Built” story so old that its accompanying story sheet had been typed on a genuine typewriter; even better, the story was typed on the back of a children’s room calendar from 1976!  I adore vintage paper ephemera, so my mind immediately began to race, imagining how I could create an entire storytime around this fascinating bit of library history.

Had my storytime been on a different day this week, I could have easily paired it with a pleasingly alliterative catchphrase: “Throwback img_0222Thursday” or “Flashback Friday.”  Even “Way Back Wednesday” might have worked in a pinch, right?  But alas, my storytime is on Monday each week, so I simply called it “Storytime: Old and New.”

I shared the 1976 “House That Jack Built” flannel board story, handing out the many flannel characters to my toddler attendees ahead of time, inviting them to come forward and place their piece on the flannel board when their character appeared in the story: the “man all tattered and torn,” the “cow with the crumpled horn” and the “priest all shaven and shorn” arrived on cue.  I paired this old flannel board story with a new one, that of Pete the Cat and his four groovy buttons, which is great for toddlers in that it’s colorful, involves repetitive singing and counting, and teaches the Buddhist principle of non-attachment.

I showed everyone the retro calendar I’d found and then showed them a picture of the children’s room in 1965, which I fo6d81bbe1ff985dee2cd794e1db607768-1und on ICPL’s Digital History Project.  Gratifyingly, the parents seemed as delighted as I was by these items.

I read an old book, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, and a brand-new one – Feathers and Hair: What Animals Wear by Jennifer Ward.  Children rang handbells and danced to an early ’70s hit, “ABC” by the Jackson 5.  Interspersed throughout were songs and fingerplays that I chose because of their nostalgia factor for my own childhood – I vividly remember singing “Gray squirrel, gray squirrel, swish your bushy tail” at the now-defunct Jack and Jill Preschool.

Despite the regretful lack of a catchy title, I think we had a blast (from the past) anyway!

Celebrate Local History with Weber on Wednesday at ICPL

by Meredith Hines-Dochterman on April 24th, 2015

Are you ready to be WOWed?

WOW — Weber on Wednesday – is a month-long program created specifically for local history buffs. On every Wednesday in May – and a few other dates – the Iowa City Public Library will host an event that delves into Iowa City’s history.

WOW is held in conjunction with Irving B. Weber Days, which are held every May in honor of Iowa City’s unofficial historian, the late Irving B. Weber. May also is National Historical Preservation Month.

Plum Grove Gardens Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Wednesday, May 6 at 7 p.m. in Meeting Room A

Iowa State Extension Master Gardeners Betty Kelly and Carolyn Murphy will talk about the gardens at Plum Grove, the home of Iowa’s first Territorial Governor, Robert Lucas. Co-sponsored by the Johnson County Historical Society and Master Gardeners of Johnson County.

ScanIt@ICPL

Saturday, May 9 at 2 p.m. in Meeting Room A

Bring your photos and documents related to Iowa City and Johnson County history, and have them added to the Library’s Digital History Project. Staff will help you scan your items, and send you home with your original and a digital copy. Please bring a USB thumb drive.

A Pictorial History of Downtown Iowa City

Wednesday, May 13 at 7 p.m. in Meeting Room A

Author Marybeth Slonneger will present a program on the history of Downtown Iowa City. Co-sponsored by The Friends of Historic Preservation.

Prohibition, Breweries and Beer Caves in Iowa City

Saturday, May 16 at 2 p.m. in Meeting Room A

Marlin Ingalls, Architectural Historian, will give a presentation on prohibition, breweries and the beer caves in Iowa City.

Iowa City Food History from 1830 -1900

Wednesday, May 20 at 7 p.m. in Meeting Room A

Rachel Wobeter, a University of Iowa Museum Studies student, will give a tour of Iowa City’s food history, sharing photos and historical notes about the town’s early grocers, brewers, and more. Refreshments will be provided. Co-sponsored by Historic Foodies.

Helen Lemme: A History

Tuesday, May 26 at 7 p.m. in Meeting Room A

Learn about Helen Lemme from the Lemme Elementary sixth-grade girl history detectives. Join them for an ice cream social after the program.

Images of America: Coralville

Wednesday, May 27 at noon in Meeting Room A

Author and Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Director Emeritus Timothy Walch will share stories about Coralville from his new book “Images of America: Coralville.”

History of Iowa City’s Grocery Stores

Wednesday, May 27 at 7 p.m. in Meeting Room A

Tom Schulein, citizen historian, will present a program on the history of Iowa City groceries from the corner store to the superstore. Co-sponsored by the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior Center.

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