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Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation Receives Million Dollar Bequest

Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation Receives Million Dollar Bequest

Nadine Sandberg is pictured, standing outside in a blue dress.
When asked why she was making a bequest to the Library, Nadine Sandberg said, “Books have kind of been my life.”

The Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation announced this week it is the sole beneficiary of the Nadine E. Sandberg Estate, which is valued in excess of $1 million.

“Mrs. Sandberg has left us a truly transformational gift,” Foundation Director Charity Tyler said. “We are grateful for her investment in this community and excited to use these funds in a way that will make a meaningful impact on people’s lives.”

Nadine Elizabeth Sandberg grew up in Gilman, Iowa. When asked why she chose to leave her estate to the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation, Mrs. Sandberg replied, “Books have kind of been my life.”

Mrs. Sandberg passed away at Cottage Grove Place on May 13, 2020, at the age of 102 – just two months shy of her 103rd birthday.

“We are incredibly humbled by Mrs. Sandberg’s generosity,” Cedar Rapids Public Library Director Dara Schmidt said. “This gift makes it possible for the Library to continue offering critical and vital services and to strategically partner with our City to ensure a vision for the future of our west side that meets the needs of all our citizens.”

As the west side of the community continues to grow in population, the City and community partners continue to evaluate opportunities for additional resources to support the individuals and families who live there.

“It is clear that Ms. Sandberg’s transformational gift presents many opportunities,” Ms. Schmidt said. “The Library and Library Foundation are committed to working with the City to ensure that the planning process will maximize all stakeholder investments while focusing on enhancing the quality of life for members of our community.”

The Cedar Rapids Public Library, its Foundation, and the City of Cedar Rapids are committed to supporting residents on the west side of Cedar Rapids. Representatives from these groups will meet with stakeholders and various partner organizations over the next year to identify west side community areas of need and to further define how these opportunities for investment align with the City of Cedar Rapids and the Cedar Rapids Public Library’s long-term goals.

About Nadine Sandberg

Nadine Elizabeth Sandberg was born on July 8, 1917, to Frank and Myrtle (Hakeman) Housman, She grew up in in Gilman, Iowa, where she attended school and excelled as a basketball player. After college, Mrs. Sandberg went to work for General Electric. Her career there included running GE’s regional office during the time the company was helping build the Duane Arnold Energy Center. She was married to Charles Sandberg, and the two of them were among the early residents of Cottage Grove Place. Mr. Sandberg passed away there in 1996. The Sandbergs did not have children, but they enjoyed spending time at their cabin on the Wapsi River in Quasqueton.

About the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation

The Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation mobilizes community resources and relationships that empower our Library to deliver innovative programs and services. The Library Foundation serves as the vehicle through which private funds are used to enhance the Cedar Rapids Public Library’s collections, programs, and technologies while supporting the Library’s strategic initiatives. For more information, visit CRLibrary.org/Foundation or call 319.739.0411.

One Comment

  1. I’m disappointed to learn that Mrs.. Sandberg‘s entire estate is going to the west side. It seems to me that it should be used to benefit our entire community rather than just one area. Surely there are needs in all parts of the Cedar Rapids.

    Sheri Blumer
    Mar 13, 2021 Reply

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