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Author: Alison Gowans

Fantastical Works from Page to Screen

By Materials Librarian Kristine Olsen Frank Herbert’s Dune is one of the most seminal works of science fiction anyone can pick up. Full of unparalleled world building and character development, ecology, philosophy, and theology, it makes for a deeply compelling yet challenging read. I didn’t tackle this book and all its sequels until I was a twenty-something… View more

Cedar Rapids Public Library Receives Grant to Expand Workforce Development

The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced this week the Cedar Rapids Public Library is a recipient of the FY2022 American Rescue Plan Grant Program for Museums and Libraries. “We are proud to be among this group of public institutions across the country who are working to provide critical services during the pandemic and… View more

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

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