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Author: Alison Gowans

Striving for more mirrors: Using data to analyze, diversify library collection

“Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of a larger human experience. Reading, then, becomes a means of self-affirmation, and readers often seek their mirrors in books.” ― Rudine Sims Bishop For the last three years, librarians have… View more

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library asks preschools for help reaching kids

When a child in her preschool brings in a book from Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to show her, Julie Hanlin smiles. “It’s so rewarding,” she said. Hanlin is director of early childhood education at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, where she runs a preschool for children up to five-years-old. They also have summer camps for… View more

Events Specialist Kami Zbanek Hill loves ‘making magic’ at the Library

Events Specialist Kami Zbanek Hill just started at the library about a month ago, but this isn’t her first time working here. She was previously a summer seasonal employee for three seasons before starting on the Community Relations team. What does your job typically include? Coordinating events held in the Library and the use of… View more

Branch Supervisor Trevor Hanel likes that the Library ‘makes our community shine just a little more.’

Meet Downtown Library Branch Supervisor Trevor Hanel, the latest in our ongoing series of staff profiles. Trevor started as a shelver in October 2007. What does your job typically include? One of the most exciting things about my job is that I build many relationships with patrons. I assist staff in resolving issues with library accounts,… View more

YA fantasy, sci-fi and magical realism recommendations for Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15 to October 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month. Started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson, it was later expanded to a full month under President Ronald Reagan in 1988. The period also coincides with independence anniversary celebrations in several Latin American countries. We wanted to take the opportunity to draw… View more

Celebrating the Freedom to Read During Banned Books Week

Sept. 26-Oct. 2 is Banned Books Week, and the library is celebrating our commitment to your freedom to read. Started in 1982 in response to a surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries, Banned Books Week brings together librarians, teachers, publishers, journalists, and readers who are to the ideals… View more

These 5 Graphic Novels Will Move You

By Programming Librarian Meredith Crawford Don’t every let anyone tell you graphic novels don’t count as reading, or that they’re only for younger readers. Whether you’re a graphic novel enthusiast or newcomer to these illustrated stories, here are five great titles published in the last year. These recommendations are from a virtual program in our Read Woke series. Full… View more

Have a question about turkey vultures or what to read next? Ask Patron Services Specialist Tricia Semple

Patron Services Specialist Tricia Semple is this week’s featured staff member. If you see her at the Downtown Library, be sure to say hello! What does your job typically include? Patron care, assisting library patrons with reader’s advisory (book recommendations), helping navigate computers and other resources available in the library, and attempting to answer any… View more

Celebrating Welcoming Week at the Library

It is Welcoming Week in Cedar Rapids, part of a nation-wide initiative to create inclusive and welcoming communities. Cedar Rapids started marking this week in 2018, when the City and partners including the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, the Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation, the Catherine McAuley Center, the Intercultural Center of Iowa, and YPN… View more

Breaking Down Stigma During Suicide Prevention Month

If you or someone you know is expressing thoughts of suicide, call 911 or Foundation 2 Crisis Services at 319-362-2174. All Foundation 2 services are confidential and free. Learn more about suicide prevention and find additional resources at https://foundation2.org/suicide/suicide-prevention/. September is Suicide Prevention Month, and the Library is partnering with Foundation 2 to share information… View more

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