News Category


It’s Snapshot Day at the UI Libraries, April 12

To celebrate National Library Week, the UI Libraries are taking a “snapshot” of activities in the library today. We need your help.

  • Check our Facebook page ( and tell us what you’re doing in the library today.
  • Visit the library and check out our physical Facebook page and “Like” the reason you’re at the library
  • Take a picture of yourself in the library, outside the library, using the Libraries website, reading an article you downloaded from a library database – then post that picture on our Facebook page.

We can’t wait to see what you’re doing in the library.


Share Your Library Story in 17 Syllables and 140 Characters

Love your library/Write a twaiku today/You could win fifty

Share your love of libraries with the world by composing a library themed twaiku for National Library Week! You might win a $50 gift certificate to Amazon.

What’s a twaiku, you ask? Simply put, a twaiku is haiku sent via Twitter. Twaiku use the same basic structure of 3 lines with 5-7-5 syllables respectively. Unlike a true haiku, a twaiku can only be 140 characters, or 130 with our #nlwtwaiku tag.

The National Library Week twaiku contest ends Wednesday April 13. All submissions must be tagged #nlwtwaiku.

The staff of will post a selection of the best twaiku on, where everyone will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite through the end of National Library Week (Saturday, April 16).

The most highly rated twaiku will receive an Amazon gift certificate!

To learn more about twaiku visit Twitter Fan Wiki.


Elizabeth Berg to headline the Iowa City Book Festival, July 15-17

Novelists Elizabeth Berg and Jane Hamilton, journalist and historian Adam Goodheart, and poets Camille Dungy and Robyn Schiff are among a rich lineup of writers who will take part in the Iowa City Book Festival (ICBF) this summer, the University of Iowa Libraries announced today.

The ICBF is a three-day celebration of books, reading and writing presented by UI Libraries Friday, July 15 through Sunday, July 17. The book festival will begin on Friday with an author dinner in the Main Library. Saturday is festival day in Gibson Square with booksellers, music, children’s activities, food vendors, book arts demonstrations and readings and panel discussions. Sunday will be “A Day in the City of Literature.” Local businesses of all kinds throughout Iowa City, Coralville and North Liberty will participate with readings and special activities all day.

Berg will be the keynote speaker for the ICBF Author Dinner on Friday; she will also present a public program on Saturday as part of the Shambaugh Auditorium Author Series. Berg is the author of many bestselling novels, two collections of short stories and two works of nonfiction. “Open House” was an Oprah’s Book Club selection, “Durable Goods” and “Joy School” were selected as American Library Association Best Books of the Year, and “Talk Before Sleep” was short-listed for an American Booksellers Book of the Year Award. Her writing has been translated into 27 languages and she adapted her novel “Pull of the Moon” into a play that has been successfully performed on two stages in the Chicago area.

Hamilton will appear on Sunday with Paul Ingram from Prairie Lights for an ICBF edition of Paul’s Book Club. Hamilton’s first novel, “The Book of Ruth,” won the PEN/Ernest Hemingway Foundation Award for best first novel and was a selection of the Oprah Book Club. Her second novel, “A Map of the World,” was an international bestseller.

Goodheart will appear as part of the Shambaugh Auditorium Series. He is regular columnist for The New York Times’ acclaimed Civil War series, “Disunion.” His new work, “1861: The Civil War Awakening,” will be published in April. Goodheart is a historian, journalist and travel writer. His articles have appeared in National Geographic, Outside, Smithsonian, The Atlantic and The New York Times Magazine, among other publications. He is also the director of Washington College’s C. V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience.

Stephanie Kallos, author of “Sing Them Home,” the 2011 All Iowa Reads selection, will present on Saturday in the Shambaugh Auditorium Series. She has received the Raymond Carver Award and a Pushcart Prize nomination for her short fiction. Kallos’ first novel, “Broken for You,” won the Washington State Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award and was chosen as a “Today Show” book club selection. “Sing Them Home” was a Pacific Northwest Independent Bookseller bestseller and a January 2009 IndieNext pick.

Festival programming on Saturday also includes UI Press award-winning authors Will Boast, “Power Ballads”; Julie Hanson, “Unbeknownst”; Thisbe Nissen, “The Good People of New York”; Josh Rolnick, “Pulp and Paper”; and Don Waters, “Desert Gothic.”

Fiction writers featured at the ICBF are Bonnie Jo Campbell, “Once Upon a River: A Novel”; Gregg Hurwitz, “You’re Next: A Novel”; Jeremy Jackson, “Hot Lunch”; Julie Kramer “Silencing Sam”; David Mullins, “Greetings from Below: Stories”; and Mary Helen Stefaniak, “The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia: A Novel.”

Nonfiction writers include Jerry Harp, “For Us, What Music?: The Life and Poetry of Donald Justice”; John T. Price, “Man Killed by Pheasant and Other Kinships”; and Robin Romm, “The Mercy Papers: A Memoir of Three Weeks.”

Poets Camille Dungy, “Suck on Marrow”; Robyn Schiff, “Revolver” will headline the poetry readings.

In addition to children’s book characters and other hands-on activities for kids, the ICBF has expanded programming by inviting children’s and young adult authors: Ibtisam Barakat, “Al-Ta’ Al-Marbouta Tateer (Flight of the Tied T)”; Linda Gerdner, “Grandfather’s Story Cloth”; Claudia McGehee, “Where Do Birds Live?”; Sarah Prineas, “The Magic Thief”; Laurel Snyder, “Penny Dreadful”; and Tess Weaver, “Opera Cat.”

The UI Libraries again is partnering with the UI Press, Iowa City Public Library, the UNESCO City of Literature and Prairie Lights Book Store to organize ICBF. The ICBF receives significant support from Humanities Iowa as well as the Community Foundation of Johnson County, the City of Iowa City and MidWestOne Bank.

For more information about the ICBF, to register as a vendor at the festival or to submit a program idea for the Day in the City of Literature activities, please check the website:


Persson Recognized as Person with Heart & Soul

UI Librarian Dottie Persson was profiled along with dozens of other community members in the Iowa City Press-Citizen’s Heart & Soul publication. She is one who gives all she has to the community. Dottie’s giving nature is not news to the hundreds of students, faculty and staff members she has worked with during her years at the University of Iowa Libraries.

Read more about Dottie and her work with the Shelter House.


“You Say Khaddafi, I Say Gaddafi”

Got 15 minutes?  Develop your research skills and learn about a database that will be sure to add credibility to your paper or speech.  

“You Say Khaddafi, I Say Gaddafi”: Focusing Foreign Media Coverage

Wednesday, March 23th
Main Library, Rm. 4037
Noon – 12:15

Snacks Provided.


Looking for Lucretia, Elizabeth and Susan B.: women who put the “rage” in suffrage

Got 15 minutes?  Develop your research skills and learn about a database that will be sure to add credibility to your paper or speech.  

Looking for Lucretia, Elizabeth, and Susan B. : women who put the rage in suffrage:

Wednesday, March 9th

Main Library, Rm. 4037
Noon – 12:15
Snacks Provided


Walton earns NLM fellowship

Linda Walton, associate university librarian and director of the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences, has been accepted for the prestigious National Library of Medicine’s 2011 fellowship program in Biomedical Informatics held at the Marine Biological Laboratory located in Woods Hole, MA. This week-long survey course is designed to familiarize individuals with the application of computer technologies and information science in biomedicine and health science. Taught by a nationally known faculty, the course prepares students to become actively involved in making informed decisions about computer-based tools in his/her organizational environment.


UI Libraries bind 10,000-page, two-foot thick book of poetry

The University of Iowa Libraries now has a massive volume of poetry in its collection, a 100-volume work of 10,000 pages of poetry, measuring two feet thick.

The book, “Poetry City Marathon” was written by Iowa City poet Dave Morice (aka Dr. Alphabet) during a 100-day poetry marathon this summer. The marathon was a highlight of an UI Main Library exhibit from July to October 2010 about the history of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the Actualist Poetry Movement.  The full text of the book and is at

Sponsored by Sackter House Media in Iowa City, the book was made as part of the celebration of Iowa City being named a City of Literature by UNESCO. The final text of 10,119, 8 1/2 by 11-inch pages was printed out by Bu Wilson and bound by Bill Voss of the UI Libraries Preservation Department. 

Nancy Kraft, head of the Preservation Department, said it was no small task to bind a 10,000-page book. It usually takes about three hours to bind a 200-page book, but “Poetry City Marathon” took 24 hours to bind, spread over four days with a half day devoted to making a special press to put all the pages together.

“You can’t get your hands around all 10,000 pages at once so the book needs to be assembled into smaller units and then bound together using a specially constructed press to hold everything in place, nicely squared up, until the book text block is dry,” she explained.

Kraft added that the book must be supported while reading, which can be done by using blocks to support the “shorter” side and adjusted as the reader turns the page.

Now that the work is complete, Preservation staff and Morice are considering submitting “Poetry City Marathon” to the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s thickest book.
For more details and photos of the binding process, see


UICB @ 25 Exhibit in Main Library

The new exhibition in the North Hall of the Main Library celebrates the 25th anniversary of the UI Center for the Book, UICB @ 25: The Future of a Legacy (

The UICB is a unique program that conjoins training in the technique and artistry of bookmaking with research into the history and culture of books. The first twenty-five years of the UICB reach back to the University’s distinctive programs in art practice at the graduate level, while looking forward to the new media world we find ourselves in today.

Trace the history of the UICB through the work of current and former students, faculty and staff. Remarkable works held in the Libraries Special Collections as well as beautiful pieces loaned from alumni bookartists. Learn about the disciplines studied in the UICB – papermaking, letterpress printing, calligraphy and book binding – and view the tools book artists use.

The exhibit is free and open to the public in the University of Iowa Main Library during regular library hours through the end of February.


Measuring Our Worth

UI Libraries would like your comments regarding the type of information that you use for your research.  In particular, we would like to know your experience with federal government information, the services provided, and how you find information that you need. 

Here’s a link to a 16-question survey that will help us better understand the value and learning outcomes from using government-authored resources at the UI Libraries:

Thanks for completing the survey, so we can do a better job in serving you.