Press ReleaseICPL Offering Staff Picks...Just for You

Staff Picks Just For You

How can you find something new when you can’t meander through the Iowa City Public Library collections? That’s easy: Let librarians find it for you. 

The Iowa City Public Library’s new service, Staff Picks…Just for You, connects you with library staff who will scour the collections for you to find those fantastic books you didn’t know you wanted. Ask for titles to put on your to-read list or request a curated book bundle for you to pick up curbside. Library staff are here to serve your reading, watching, and listening needs, ready to be your eyes and ears while the building is closed. 

“With book bundles, we have created a way to get some ‘surprise’ books to families based on their interests,” Children’s Services Coordinator Angela Pilkington said. “But it’s also a great opportunity for students to receive materials they need to support their classroom work.” 

"It’s interesting to see that when we are pulling holds for Children's books, a lot of them are classics," adds Collection Services Coordinator Anne Mangano. “And that makes sense because you just go with what you know. As readers, it's hard to know what to try. With everything else going on, it's hard to keep up with what's being published right now." 

Keeping up with the publishing market is the Library’s job. Library staff know the hottest bestsellers so readers don’t have to comb through long lists to find the books everyone is talking about.  

This service expands to anything you can check out from the ICPL collections. Ask for new movie recommendations, books to help your child learn how to read, or even artwork to hang on your wall. Convinced you have read every mystery novel you will ever like? Librarians want to prove you wrong. Eager to read an unforgettable true story while learning something new? Librarians cannot wait to find you that story. Expert readers are within your reach. 

“We know many families are missing the ability to browse the library shelves, especially those who check out lots of books for young children,” said Pilkington. “We hope readers will enjoy these books and discover some new favorites.”    

"When you are in the Library, there's the opportunity for discovery, for serendipity,” Mangano said. “We can’t offer that right now, so this is one way we can try to get books into your hands." 

To get started, call the Library at 319-356-5200 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday to have staff help you fill out a questionnaire. Or fill out the form yourself at