Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Iowa City Public Library

123 South Linn St.

There appears to only be one branch of the Iowa City Public Library, but it's pretty nice, especially so after the ones in Chicago made me sad. It's located downtown, next to some pedestrian shopping streets, a playground, a fountain I always saw kids playing in, and some pianos just sitting out for people to use!

At first I was quite impressed by their graphic novel selection. That photo above (including those shelves way in the back that you can barely see) shows less than half of their collection. Awesome! And while I definitely spent some time here reading comics, I also discovered why it's important to have people that know the subject matter in charge of ordering books.

While I think that Grant Morrison's run on X-Men is something that libraries should consider having available (at least if they want a strong modern superhero collection), do they really need it in three different formats? I think the answer is "no", but the question of why a library might have it in three different formats is because it's available in _a lot_ of different formats. There are like four different formats that I can think of, which collect his run in 1, 3, 7, and 8 volume versions (and several of these come in both hard and softcover versions). If you're not super aware of what's in these it seems like it would be easy enough to order on accidentally. Plus Marvel is infamous for letting books go out of print (and maybe replacing them with a completely different edition). If you need to reorder a volume due to damage or theft, how do you figure out which edition you need? (And this was just one example.)

In non-comic book library info, the Iowa City library also let you borrow art! All of the paintings/photos/posters above could be borrowed for up to eight weeks! The only thing that would make it better is if you could actually look at the images on their catalogue.

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