The Friends of the Cedar Rapids Public Library this month celebrate 40 years of service in the community. For the past 40 years, the Friends have committed countless hours and dollars to their mission: The Friends supports the Cedar Rapids Public Library services and programs, promotes literacy through outreach programs that encourage and enhance reading throughout the community and conducts fundraising activities to assist with library and outreach projects.
It was 1971 when the 15 charter members of the Friends announced their intention to support and encourage library growth. The first Book Sale in 1973 made the public aware of the group and brought in financial support to the library in a time of challenges. In 1974, the book sale netted over $1,700 to finance programs and purchases on the library’s behalf. More than 600 active members of the Friends participated in programs throughout the year.
Just three years into existence, the Friends numbered over 950 members and had raised more than $10,000 for the library. This amazing start to the organization is something to remember, but the group hasn’t stopped yet. In 2011, the Friends pledged $400,000 to the new library project campaign, Library 3.0. In addition to this financian gift, the Friends give annually to support library programs (such as Jazz in the Stacks), and a number of literacy initiatives within the community:
- Babies and Books–hospital packets for parents of newborns
- Reading is Fundamental (RIF)–distribution of paperback books to preschoolers
- Clifford the Big Red Dog appearances at library story times, preschools and elementary schools
- America Reads
- Literacy Initiative help to service agencies such as Madge Philips Center and the Free Medical Clinic
- Books-By-Mail service for the homebound
For forty years, the Friends of the Cedar Rapids Public Library have made it possible for so many programs, for necessary equipment, and even additional staff hours when needed. They have offered help, support and encouragement. We thank them for their continued support and encouragement and look forward to another forty years together.
To learn about becoming a Friend of the Cedar Rapids Public Library, visit www.crlibrary.org/friends.
The annual Fall Book Sale will be held this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the former Stuff Etc. building at 3750 Williams Blvd SW. This is an amazing opportunity to show your support to the Friends and get some great deals on books.
Friday, October 28, 5 pm – 9 pm, $5 per person,$2 hard cover, $1 paperbacks
Pre-Sale, Friday, October 28, 3:30 – 5 pm, $20, Rare and Collectible books only 3:30 – 4:30 pm, all books 4:30 – 5:00 pm.
Saturday, October 29, 9 am – 5 pm, $3 per person, $1 hard cover, $.50 paperbacks
Sunday, October 30, 12 pm – 4 pm FREE admission
Box Sale: $8 per box on Sunday