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CRPL News & Blog

Fifth Avenue Entrance Opens for Holds Pickup and Returns

The Fifth Avenue entrance of the Downtown Library is now open for holds pickup and material returns during regular library hours. The drive-up return is now open as well. Curbside hold pickup is available for those who prefer. The rest of the Downtown Library remains closed for cleaning and repairs at this time. Additionally, masks are requested but… View more

Library Partners with Waypoint to Offer Temporary Cooling and Computer Center

With the Downtown Cedar Rapids Public Library closed temporarily after a fire on July 27, library staff have partnered with Waypoint to open a cooling and computer center next to the Madge Phillips Center Shelter at 520 Fourth Ave. SE.  “We recognize the vital role the library plays in our community, and having access to both… View more

Reading into Success, Library Hosting Children’s Health Fair

Reading Into Success and the Cedar Rapids Public Library are partnering with Urban Dreams to host a Children’s Health Fair.  The event will be 9:30-11:30 a.m. Aug. 2 at Ladd Library, 3750 Williams Blvd. SW, Cedar Rapids.   Parents of young children are invited to attend to meet with health and dental providers and receive information,… View more

Library Board of Trustees Elects New Officers, Welcomes New Trustees

The Cedar Rapids Public Library Board of Trustees elected Clint Twedt-Ball as president and Monica Challenger as vice president at the July 7 board meeting. The board also welcomed two new members, Christine Casey and Elsabeth Hepworth.  The Board of Trustees is composed of volunteers who serve as the policy-making body for the Cedar Rapids… View more

Three New Resources for Library Patrons

The library is excited to unveil three new resources for patrons on July 1: Newspapers.com, PressReader, and Fold3. These services replace Newspaper Archive, which will no longer be available through the Cedar Rapids Public Library. The additions will ensure expanded access to historic newspaper archives and historical research via Newspapers.com and Fold3 while adding access to… View more

Library Board Member Recognized with National Award

United for Libraries awarded a Trustee Citation award to Cedar Rapids Public Library Board of Trustees member Susan McDermott at the American Library Assocation’s annual conference on June 24.  Established in 1941 to recognize public library trustees for distinguished service to library development, the award honors the best contributions and efforts of the estimated 60,000… View more

Reflections Kits Can Help Adults with Dementia, Memory Loss

This article is from the summer edition of OPEN+ magazine, available at the library and metro-area Hy-Vees or online at CRLibrary.org/open. When Dot Hinman’s husband Gene developed dementia, she struggled as his caregiver. She felt isolated, and didn’t always know how best to help him.  Gene had been a geology professor at Cornell College in Mount Vernon,… View more

Service Navigators Connect Patrons and Resources

This article is from the summer edition of OPEN+ magazine, available at the library and metro-area Hy-Vees or online at CRLibrary.org/open. Cedar Rapids Public Library Services Navigator Wes Shirley said the best part of his job is also the most challenging – helping people on their hardest days.   “Being there for somebody when they’re at their… View more

McKinley Teachers Collaborate With Library for STEM Learning

When McKinley STEAM Academy principal Jason Martinez walked into the Downtown Library April 29, he saw about 20 of his students, using the computers and spending time in the Union, the library’s teen area, after school. Right behind them were another McKinley group – teachers. They were here for a professional development collaboration between the… View more

A Day in the Life at the Library – Mark, Patron Services Specialist

Our staff are what keep our library running smoothly. Take a peek behind the scenes at the wide variety of jobs at the library with this series highlighting a day in the life of different employees. Patron Services Specialist Mark started working at the library seven months ago, and primarily works at Ladd Library. Patron… View more

Roasters Coffeehouse Caters for Meetings and Special Events Alike

Want to learn more about catering from Roasters? Email catering.roasterslibrary@gmail.com.   This article is from the spring edition of OPEN+ magazine, available at the library and metro-area Hy-Vees or online at CRLibrary.org/open When people hold their events at the library – whether they are having a business meeting or a child’s birthday party – they don’t have… View more

Tech Upgrades Increase Access in Library Meeting Rooms

This article is from the spring edition of OPEN+ magazine, available at the library and metro-area Hy-Vees or online at CRLibrary.org/open Learn more about meeting and event space rental at the library at CRLibrary.org/rental or by calling 319.261.7323. When Programming Librarian Jen Eilers wanted to hold a panel discussion on allyship in November, she had a… View more

Cedar Rapids Public Library is Certified Sensory Inclusive

KultureCity has partnered with the Cedar Rapids Public Library to make the library and the programs and events the library hosts to be sensory inclusive. This new initiative promotes an accommodating and positive experience for all guests and patrons with a sensory issue that visit either the Downtown or Ladd Libraries.  The certification process entailed the staff at the library being trained by leading… View more

Library Launches Winter Reading Challenge

From January 1 to January 31, the Cedar Rapids Public Library will participate in Beanstack’s Fifth Annual Winter Reading Challenge, “Read for a Better World,” sponsored by Lerner Publishing Group.   “Read for a Better World” encourages readers of all ages to explore diversity, empathy, and action through literature. Our community will have unlimited access to digital copies of Lerner’s “Read for… View more

Cedar Rapids Public Library Celebrates 125 Years

On Jan. 15, 2022, the Cedar Rapids Public Library will mark 125 years since first opening with exhibits and celebrations at the Downtown and Ladd Libraries. The exhibit at the Downtown Library’s Third Floor Gallery, at 450 Fifth Ave. SE, will explore the timeline of the library’s history. The exhibit at the Ladd Library Gallery, 3750 Williams Blvd. SE, will spotlight library… View more

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

Cedar Rapids Public Library Seeks Input on Permanent Westside Facility

The Ladd Library is currently in a leased space located at 3750 Williams Blvd SW. In 2020, the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation received a significant gift from the estate of Nadine Sandberg which will lead the way toward establishing this permanent location on the city’s west side. The Library, City of Cedar Rapids, and Linn… 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

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

From school tours to solving problems in emergencies, Jessica Musil keeps things running at the Library

Senior Administrative Assistant Jessica Musil has been an integral presence behind the scenes since before both the current Downtown and Ladd Library locations opened. She’s our latest featured staff member in our series introducing the people of the Cedar Rapids Public Library. What does your job typically include? My primary role is to assist the… View more

‘Making the community a better place’ is the goal for Ladd Library Branch Manager Stephanie Hall

Meet the Staff For this week’s staff profile, meet Ladd Library Branch Manager Stephanie Hall, who started working at the Library in 2015. What does your job typically include? I manage the building, so I take care of maintenance issues by informing those who can help. I keep track of staff with breaks and lunches,… View more

Want to program a robot or make slime? Librarian Jen Eilers can help

Meet the Staff Programming Librarian Jen Eilers is our newest featured staff member in our series introducing the people of the Cedar Rapids Public Library. Jen started working here just over two years ago. What does your job typically include? It’s hard to say what I typically do because programming is such a varied job…. View more

Read It Before It Becomes a Movie

Read the book before the film hits your screens! These children and young adult stories were recently acquired for film or television adaptation. Check them out before everyone else does and stay off the holds list. Written by Stephanie Perkins for a young adult, horror-loving audience, There’s Someone Inside Your House was purchased by Netflix… View more

Ladd Library Supervisor Tina Pipkin loves helping patrons learn new technology

Meet the Cedar Rapids Public Library staff Our series profiling Library staff continues with Ladd Library Branch Supervisor Tina Pipkin, who has been with the Library since 2015. What does your job typically include? Working closely with the Ladd staff and problem solving, helping with reference as needed, and helping patrons with library related questions,… View more

A year later, Library staff and volunteers recall helping with derecho response

When the derecho roared through Cedar Rapids a year ago, Ladd Library Branch Manager Stephanie Hall wasn’t at the library on Cedar Rapids’ west side. But she could see how bad things were, and she called Branch Supervisor Tina Pipkin to check in. The building had only been reopened on a limited basis for computer… View more

New Library team member Linden Galloway loves cooking and science fiction

Meet the Cedar Rapids Public Library staff One of the newest Library staff members is Programming Librarian Linden Galloway. He started at the Library at the end of July, and we wanted to introduce him as part of our ongoing series profiling Library staff. What does your job typically include? I just started, so mostly… View more

Karla McMurrin has worked at every Library building in more than 40 years on staff

Meet the Cedar Rapids Public Library staff This week in our ongoing series introducing Library staff, meet Patron Services Specialist Karla McMurrin. Karla has worked at the Library since 1980 and has held numerous jobs at the Library over the last 41 years. These days, she can usually be found Downtown. What made you want… View more

Children reading to dogs is one of Patron Services Specialist Melia Tatman’s favorite Library memories

Meet the Cedar Rapids Public Library staff This week in our ongoing series introducing Library staff, meet Patron Services Specialist Melia Tatman. Melia has worked at the Library since 1998 and can most often be found at Ladd Library. What does your job typically include? Guiding patrons in all aspects of the library experience, from… View more

For Patron Services Specialist Sampurna Ghosh, Library is ‘a temple of positivity’

Meet the Cedar Rapids Public Library staff This week we’re introducing Patron Services Specialist Sampurna Ghosh, as part of our series on the employees who make the Library great. Sampurna started at the Library in September 2019, and primarily works downtown. What does your job typically include? I like to think of my role as… View more

Patron Services Specialist Elysha Holley loves helping patrons and Harry Potter

Meet the Cedar Rapids Public Library staff This week we’re introducing Patron Services Specialist Elysha Holley, who goes by Lysh, as part of our series on the employees who make the Library great. Lysh started at the Cedar Rapids Public Library in July 2018 and primarily works Downtown. What does your job typically include? I… View more

Meet the Cedar Rapids Public Library Summer Reading Corps members

Serving at the Cedar Rapids Public Library for the summer through AmeriCorps, you’ll see these three Summer Reading Corps members at outreach events at area parks with the Mobile Technology Lab, and they’ll be helping out with the Summer Dare Reading Program and other Library events and programs. Katie Struckman-Johnson, from Vermillion, South Dakota, graduated… View more

Additional Services Now Available

Both locations of the Cedar Rapids Public Library are excited to welcome the public for additional Library services beginning today, June 21, 2021. Meeting room spaces are now available for public booking on a 90-day rolling calendar, Library programming will soon be available in person in buildings, and a new Integrated Library System (ILS) has officially launched. … View more

New and notable LGBTQ+ titles, from novels to memoirs to photography

The 2000s Made Me Gay: Essays on Pop Culture by Grace PerryPublished June 1, 2021. Social Science. A longtime contributor to The Onion and The Reductress, Perry turns her pen to the 2000s pop culture she grew up on. In a time when queer representation was largely missing from mainstream media, she recounts finding it… View more

Library publishes student book for Reed Park Story Walk

Cedar Rapids fifth grader Reese Olalde is a published author, and she’s loving it. “I’ve always wanted to write a book,” she said. “I’ve been making a lot of stories at home. I really like how I can be creative with them.” She’s one of four students from Cedar River Academy at Taylor Elementary who… View more

Mobile Technology Lab ready to roll to Cedar Rapids parks

The Mobile Technology Lab is rolling to a Cedar Rapids park near you this summer, and this is not your average library outreach. Instead of a traditional bookmobile, the Cedar Rapids Public Library’s new van is fully loaded with all kinds of technology, from laptops to 3D printers to Ozobots – tiny robots designed to… View more

Summer programs are here, from virtual camps to the Summer Dare

• Register for virtual summer camps for families and teens at events.crlibrary.org/events. • Register for Summer Dare at crlibrary.beanstack.org. • This article is from the summer edition of Open+ magazine, available at the Library and metro-area Hy-Vees or online: fliphtml5.com/homepage/rofy. When the pandemic forced the closure of in-person events last summer, the programming team at the Library… View more

Roasters opens new cafe at Downtown Library

Growing up, Amanda Steines loved visiting libraries.  “I’ve always had a connection to libraries throughout my life. In hard times, they have been places of solace,” she said. “Books are like friends when you’re lonely. I’ve just always found solace in libraries.” So when she had the opportunity to take over the cafe space in… View more

Asian and Asian American Young Adult Books to Binge

Asian and Asian American authors and characters represent a wide variety of stories and cultures. Asia is, of course, an enormous continent home to a wide-ranging experiences and identities. It would be a mistake to look to Asian culture as a homogenous identity. Instead, we celebrate a variety of cultures and creators during Asian/Pacific Islander… View more

Laptops now available to borrow from Cedar Rapids Public Library

The Cedar Rapids Public Library now has laptop kits available for patrons to borrow and take home from the Downtown and Ladd Libraries. The kits are part of an effort to expand internet and computer access for patrons, a need highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic, and to offer options for patrons who prefer home access… View more

Through pandemic, volunteers step up to help meet growing Library needs

When Dona Ditri walks into the Library, she said she feels like she’s home. “The Library is my happy place, and I just love it. The people, the staff, are so friendly and appreciative,” she said. “And now that the patrons are allowed back in, I love helping them.” As a volunteer on the Holds… View more

New and notable recommendations for National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month, and Librarian Kim Martens-Tyo gathered this list of recommended titles that are currently part of the Library’s collection or are on-order. All were published in 2020 or 2021, and they represent a diverse range of voices and poetry styles, from a collection documenting African American poetic history (African American Poetry:… View more

Urban Dreams brings job help, food pantry to Ladd Library

The Urban Dreams Cedar Rapids Food Pantry opens at the Ladd Library on April 15 at 9 am. Regular operating hours will be Tuesday and Thursday, 9 am to 5 pm. Walk-ins are welcome. Masks and physical distancing are required. This article is from the spring edition of OPEN+ magazine, available at the Library and… View more

Read Woke: In conversation with Monsoon Asian and Pacific Islanders in Solidarity

Lata D’Mello, Co-Director of Programs at Monsoon Asian and Pacific Islanders in Solidarity, spoke with Librarian Meredith Crawford for the latest installment of the Cedar Rapids Public Library’s Read Woke discussion series highlighting organizations and books that center marginalized groups. The conversation followed the March 16 shooting in Atlanta that killed eight, including six women… View more

‘Welcome to your library’ is National Library Week theme

April 4-10 is National Library Week, and this year’s theme from the American Library Association is “Welcome to your library.” Though the Cedar Rapids Public Library closed its doors in March 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic, staff worked hard to pivot and find ways to keep welcoming patrons through digital services, curbside hold pickup,… View more

Thousands of new courses available as Lynda.com becomes LinkedIn Learning

What you can find on LinkedIn Learning LeadershipProject ManagementMental wellnessSalesJob HuntingPhotographyVideography3D and AnimationCADCloud ComputingPythonExcelData ScienceDigital MarketingAnd more! Lynda.com, a database of training courses available for access to Library patrons, is transitioning to LinkedIn Learning. Lynda.com users will see a new look when they log on as of Monday, March 15 – and thousands of additional… View more

Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation Receives Million Dollar Bequest

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… View more

Women’s History Month: Celebrating women’s lives through literature

March is Women’s History Month, and Librarian Heather Meyer-Boothby has curated a list of recommended reads. Narrowing down a short list wasn’t easy when considering the literary impact of half of humanity. “I picked voices that I felt have had a profound cultural impact on women’s lives. I didn’t reach back into classics so much… View more

Workforce development is part of Library’s strategic plan

This article is from the spring edition of OPEN+ magazine, available at the Library and metro-area Hy-Vees or online: fliphtml5.com/homepage/rofy Whether you’re looking for help updating a resume, finding job opportunities, practicing for an interview or getting training in a new job field, the Library has resources to help. Workforce development is part of the… View more

How Library volunteers are using YouTube to make programming more accessible

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the Library’s YouTube channel didn’t get much use. There were only 20 videos uploaded in its first five years.  Then, the pandemic hit, the Library doors temporarily closed, and in-person programming ground to a sudden halt.  “Our programming team did an amazing job of pivoting to online programs,” said Library volunteer… View more

Read Woke: Books about protest and social justice

Throughout the Library’s Read Woke program, our librarians have been interviewing community members and collecting book recommendations designed to challenge people to educate themselves about others through deliberate, thoughtful reading.  For the “Read Woke: Policing and Protest” program, African American Museum of Iowa Executive Director LaNisha Cassell discussed the museum, how the museum’s “Unwavering: 21st… View more

Picture Books Celebrating Black Hair

Picture Books Celebrating Black Hair

Cool Cuts and Happy Hair by Mechal Renee Roe These two picture books from Roe celebrate many different haircuts and styles for Black children with full page illustrations. Each beautiful, confidence-boosting style highlighting variations in hair texture from person to person is paired with affirmations to charge up self-esteem. Cool Cuts is intended for masculine-presenting… View more

Black History Month

Black History Month

Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American female astronaut is quoted as saying, “Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.” During Black History month we celebrate the unending creative contributions of the African American community.  The unlimited imagination that Black excellence has modeled through history is witnessed in the American canon; whether it is W.E.B…. View more

Cedar Rapids Public Library Returns to Curbside Services Only

The Cedar Rapids Public Library will close buildings to the public and return to curbside services only beginning Monday, November 16, 2020. Book drops remain open and materials go through a 72-hour quarantine period before returning to circulation. “Our libraries are critical community resources and we continue to monitor the situation and respond to the… View more

HelpNow Offers On Demand Student Supports

Students now have access to HelpNow by Brainfuse – on demand personalized homework help in core subjects (math, reading, writing, science and social studies), skill building, test prep, and free online tutors available daily from 2 pm – 11 pm. HelpNow provides differentiated learning solutions for students of diverse needs and backgrounds. Students communicate with… View more

Resources for Storm Recovery

If You Need Assistance: 211 General Assistance Food, funding, and shelter Dial 2-1-1, text your zip code to 899211 or visit 211iowa.org Food Pantries https://www.foodpantries.org/st/iowa Financial Help Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program Disaster Case Management Note: Make sure you’re keeping your receipts from disaster expenses (& pictures) for possible future assistance from feds. Mental Health… View more

Black American Children’s/YA Authors to Celebrate

Black American Children’s/YA Authors to Celebrate

Historian and author Ibram X. Kendi has published five books and countless articles on the construction of an anti-racist movement including the 2016 National Book Award winner Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America and the New York Times bestseller How to Be an Anti-Racist. His 2016 work was adapted with author Jason Reynolds… View more

Asian and Asian American Children’s/YA Authors to Celebrate

Asian and Asian American Children’s/YA Authors to Celebrate

Beloved actor, author, and activist George Takei is many things to many people; Sulu, helmsman of the U.S.S. Enterprise on Star Trek, Broadway performer, groundbreaking activist for LGBTQIA+ people as well as Asian and Asian Americans, and author of the bestselling They Called Us Enemy, a graphic memoir of his childhood in the American concentration camps during… View more

Thank You to Our Library Volunteers

The Cedar Rapids Public Library is honored to work with a dedicated, diverse group of community volunteers. Volunteers are vital to the Library’s ability to effectively and efficiently meet its mission. Volunteer assistance with programs, patrons, and materials engages individuals and organizations to invest in their Library and strengthen their community. In April, we virtually… View more

All that Hoopla!- National Poetry Month

All that Hoopla!- National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month, but like any special month like this one, I think poetry should be read year-round. Poetry houses the framework for language. For children, it can highlight imagery, diction, rhyme and phonetics. As we get older, great poems express the human condition in bite-sized nuggets of gold. At any rate, there… View more

Children’s Book Series and Where to Find Them

Children’s Book Series and Where to Find Them

With our community working hard to stay home and healthy, it might be difficult to figure out what to read next! Check out this Childrens Fiction Series List and start a new series for yourself or as a family read aloud. This list includes the series name as well as the first title in the series to… View more

Spring into Reading

Now is the perfect time to challenge yourself during our Spring into Reading program. Read 360 minutes and explore some fun at-home activities between now and April 30 to complete the program. Put your reading minutes into our online system and earn your badges. This program is great for the entire family. Click here to… View more

Curbside Hold Ends and Drop Offs Closed UPDATE 3-21

As part of our continued commitment to our community’s health and safety, we are monitoring and responding to guidelines from local and state authorities, as well as working closely with our local municipalities. We are also following communication from the State Library as each day unfolds. In response to these guidelines, we are announcing two… View more

Spark a new interest at the Library!

Spark a new interest at the Library!

Libraries across the country are transforming how they serve their communities. New programs pop up to meet current trends; new platforms are developed to support emerging technologies; and new materials are added to library collections. The Cedar Rapids Public Library has a very special collection of items called Spark Kits, which are specifically designed to… View more

Winter Goals

Winter Goals

Ladies, gentleman, and non binary friends- I have news. Winter is here. We can deny it all we want, but we know it is just around the corner. This time it is not playing by any rules either. I don’t think I have ever before seen fall leaves on top of winter snow. Have you?… View more

Stay Healthy This Winter at the Library

The Cedar Rapids Public Library invites everyone to stay healthy and engaged with their community this winter, despite falling temperatures. The Library offers a variety of programs to keep everyone moving, learning, and creating throughout the cold weather months. Programs include: Cooking Up Nostalgia: Bring your favorite recipes and stories from days gone by! We’ll… View more

I’m Not Really A Waitress: How One Woman Took Over the Beauty Industry One Color At a Time

I’m Not Really A Waitress: How One Woman Took Over the Beauty Industry One Color At a Time

If you’re a manicure aficionado, you’ve probably heard of a nail polish company called OPI.  (In fact, you’re probably wearing one of their colors right now.)  Lincoln Park After Dark and Let Me Bayou a Drink are just two of the whimsically-named polishes this company has produced over the years. If you know OPI, then it’s time… View more

Dystopian Days

Dystopian Days

Dystopian fiction has had a great deal of readership in the past few years and recently released titles such as Margaret Atwood’s “The Testaments” continue to check out at a quick pace. We have several copies of her book available in our collection, including some Quick Pick copies with 10-day checkouts which may be available… View more

Batman and Hoopla

Batman and Hoopla

I’m trying to be less reliant on my phone for everything. Between work, playing games, and those time sucking social media apps whose purpose I’m always questioning, I am on my phone way too much. I didn’t want to find another use for it, but then two great forces converged and made it well worth… View more

A Refreshing  and Accessible Window into the Wonders of Mythology

A Refreshing and Accessible Window into the Wonders of Mythology

I fell in love with the wonders of Mythology in college. It was the similarities between mythologies that grabbed me at first, like the reoccurring stories of younger gods defeating older gods. But as I delved deeper into it, I became equally fascinated with how different cultures in different landscapes view the world with fascinating originality. There… View more

Cuz I Love You

Cuz I Love You

Summer finally arrived! I had doubts for the entirety of June when it seemed we were stuck in a November-like rain and cold schedule.  Now those rains have left the ground saturated for the perpetual state of humidity/corn sweat we are now in.  Recently a patron reminded me that only six months ago the temperature… View more

Celebrate National Library Week

  April 7-13, the Cedar Rapids Public Library joins libraries nationwide in celebrating the many ways libraries lead their communities through the transformative services, programs and expertise they offer. April 7-13 is National Library Week, an annual celebration of the life-changing work of libraries, librarians and library workers. Libraries aren’t just places to borrow books… View more

12th Annual Out Loud! Author Series to Feature Three Nationally Recognized Authors

Out Loud! The Metro Library Network Author Series brings another solid set of authors to the metro area this summer for the 12th consecutive year. The collaborative program of the Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha, and Marion Public Libraries will present Craig Johnson, Cristina Henríquez, and Jennifer Weiner on three Friday nights in June at the Hotel… View more

Reality Bites Takes on Politics

  The Cedar Rapids Public Library invites the community to engage in discussions and dialogues about complex topics through a new series called “Reality Bites”. This participatory series involves learning, discussing, and sharing. “The program was designed to address salient issues in our community; like race, immigration, mental health, and politics,” said Victoria Fernandez, Patron… View more

Freegal Mixtapes

Freegal Mixtapes

Mixtapes are an effervescent, emotionally-illusive, and joyful instrument of expression.  Created by yourself they are a reflection of a curated collection that has its perennial go to songs, beats and rhythms that allow someone else to feel how you do, or the opposite, for you to feel how they do.  They can also be a… View more

Cedar Rapids Public Library Takes on Complex Issues with “Reality Bites” Series

The Cedar Rapids Public Library invites the community to engage in discussions and dialogues about complex topics through a new series called “Reality Bites”. This participatory series involves learning, discussing, and sharing. “The program was designed to address salient issues in our community; like race, immigration, mental health and politics,” said Victoria Fernandez, Patron Services… View more

Cedar Rapids Public Library Adds Film Streaming Service, Kanopy

The popular on-demand video streaming service Kanopy is now available for free through the Cedar Rapids Public Library. Cedar Rapids Public Library card holders can access Kanopy and sign up to start streaming films on demand instantly by visiting https://crlibrary.kanopystreaming.com. Offering what the New York Times calls “a garden of cinematic delights,” Kanopy showcases more… View more

Fall for Garage Rock

Fall for Garage Rock

If music genres and seasons pair well together like wine and cheese, then fall is garage rock season.  Deep Scorpio skies call for fuzz tone effect peddles and leaves falling from trees recall amateurish lyrics that have more truth than practiced customer service greetings and little conversations.  It’s the vehicle that allows us to understand… View more

CRPL Recognized as Top Innovator by Urban Library Council

With funding around the United States and Canada constrained, libraries are leveraging the public’s investment by finding innovative approaches to strengthen their communities. The Urban Libraries Council recently recognized 10 libraries as “Top Innovators.” These libraries have proven themselves unfazed by the rough terrain and are providing their communities with essential resources through inventive programs…. View more

New Partnership Works to Digitize Local News for Future Generations

The Cedar Rapids Public Library is partnering with The Gazette and Advantage Companies to digitize past issues of The Gazette from 1857 through the present day. “In the past we would have been totally reliant on an outside vendor to provide access to this important historical archive,” said Erin Horst, Materials Manager at the Cedar… View more

Cedar Rapids Public Library Receives National Medal

The Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew, along with renowned journalist and reporter, Cokie Roberts, presented the Cedar Rapids Public Library with the 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Service during a ceremony at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. this afternoon. For 23 years, the National… View more

New in Children’s – June 2017

Inspired by the infamous rebuking of Senator Elizabeth Warren while reading the words of Coretta Scott King during the confirmation hearings of then-Senator Jeff Sessions, author Chelsea Clinton introduces 13 women in “She Persisted” who have shown persistence throughout American history. The women she chose to include this book are varied in race and career… View more

Best of Book to Screen

Best of Book to Screen

Hulu’s adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is the latest example of fine literature being adapted for the small screen.  In the past few years, dozens of successful books have turned into thoughtful, exciting, or fantastic screen versions of themselves.  The Handmaid’s Tale, a streaming television event on Hulu, has already proven itself… View more

Get your hands dirty!

Get your hands dirty!

Creepy Charlie has popped up along with the (often more desired) tulips and daffodils. The garden centers are stocking up on soil and mulch and some eager beavers have already started their indoor seeds. There is still plenty of time to start a garden and reap its benefits. If you’re thinking of taking control of… View more

Eve Rossi Thrillers by Stefanie Pintoff

Eve Rossi Thrillers by Stefanie Pintoff

I love character driven thrillers with a perfect sense of place.  Tight plotting.  Page turning.  I read thrillers to transport myself.  My love affair with (…the books of…) Harlan Coben, Lee Child, and David Baldacci is rooted in their characterizations of hero:  Everyman against the world.  Sinister sucks.  These seasoned writers are tough to compete… View more

The CRPL Summer Dare Everywhere volunteers (Susy Jones, Sandy Steckler, Jeri Vincent, and Vicki Brubaker) are finalists for United Way’s Outstanding Group Volunteer Award. Summer Dare Everywhere Volunteers Last summer, the Cedar Rapids Public Library piloted a new summer reading outreach program, Summer Dare Everywhere, with the Cedar Rapids Metro YMCA. The program brought the library to youth… View more

Cedar Rapids Public Library named National Medal for Museum and Library Service Finalist

Cedar Rapids Public Library named National Medal for Museum and Library Service Finalist

The National Medal for Museum and Library Service is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries by the Institute of Museum and Library Services in recognition of exceptional service to the community and for making a difference in the lives of individuals, families, and communities. We are honored to share that Cedar Rapids… View more

You are the sum of your parts

You are the sum of your parts

It’s official! It’s 2017! You’ve started on that vision board. You have your Fitbit ready to measure your every move. But have you considered managing your microbiology? More and more, the tiny, non-human make-up of your body has become increasingly interesting to scientists. Microbiology plays an integral role in your life and your body is… View more

Home by Harlan Coben

Home by Harlan Coben

Home is a desperate mix of loyalty, pain, family and friendship.  But it’s loyalty that takes center stage in Harlan Coben’s latest New York Times bestselling mystery.  Home stars Myron Bolitar and his lifelong friend, Windsor Horne Lockwood III (aka “Win”). When Myron gets a call for help from Win, the man who never asks for anything, he… View more

City Atlas: Travel the World with 30 City Maps, written by Georgia Cherry, illustrated by Martin Haake

City Atlas: Travel the World with 30 City Maps, written by Georgia Cherry, illustrated by Martin Haake

“I was surprised, as always, by how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility.” – Jack Kerouac Before there were Google maps and GPS, there were Atlases. I remember as a child scouring over villages and towns; examining how cities oozed into suburbs and suburbs… View more

Pied Piper Concerts: Brass

Pied Piper Concerts: Brass

Join Orchestra Iowa’s talented chamber ensembles as they introduce preschool-aged children to the instruments of the orchestra! Focused on fun and learning, Pied Piper Concerts offer children the opportunity to enjoy an up-close and personal chamber concert absolutely FREE! Concerts will be held June 9 and 10 at 9:30 am, 10:15 am, and 11:00 am… View more

The Last Mile by David Baldacci

The Last Mile by David Baldacci

One of my favorite antiheroes, the improbable Amos Decker, is back. We met a few years ago in David Baldacci’s Memory Man, and I instantly fell in love with Amos’ exceptional brain.  You see, he is gifted and cursed with hyperthymesia and synesthesia resulting from a helmet to helmet collision at his first professional football… View more

Ketzel, the Cat who composed, by Leslea Newman and illustrated by Amy June Bates

Ketzel, the Cat who composed, by Leslea Newman and illustrated by Amy June Bates

Moshe Cotel is a composer who loves to listen to the sounds of the city. He listened outside himself and he listened inside himself, just as his teacher had taught him when he was a boy. When he was done listening, he would turn all those wonderful sounds into beautiful music. One day, after he… View more

Books to Share With Your Preschoolers

Awake Beautiful Child Words by Amy Krouse Rosenthal Illustrated by Gracia Lam What a wonderful ABC book! Awake Beautiful Child, written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, is a mesmerizing walk through a child’s day.  On each page, a three-word “ABC” description tells the reader about what’s pictured.  It’s the illustrations that captivated me.  There’s a crisp,… View more

I’m Traveling Alone by Samuel Bjork

Add Samuel Bjork to this list:  Jo Nesbo, Henning Mankell, Anders Roslund and Borge Hellstrom, and Stieg Larsson.  All of these Scandinavian authors write delicious thrillers, and Samuel Bjork’s American debut, I’m Traveling Alone, assures him a spot among the greats. If you’ve never read Nordic Noir – yes, that’s a thing – let me… View more

Prince: June 7, 1958-April 21, 2016

“All these non-singing, non-dancing, wish-I-had-me-some-clothes fools who tell me my albums suck. Why should I pay any attention to them?” -Prince I opened up the internet yesterday and gasped out loud.  I understand that the last few months may have made celebrity death reactions a near cynical experience, I’m there with you on that level, but… View more

“Furiously Happy: a funny book about horrible things,” by Jenny Lawson

Life is a struggle. Sometimes just getting out of bed can be hard. Trying to justify to yourself that you are good enough merely for waking and running errands, while it may be a stretch, is completely necessary sometimes. Jenny Lawson is mentally ill. Sometimes, she admits that she sets the bar unabashedly low that… View more

Dowager Countess Approved

The sixth and final season of award-winning costume drama, Downton Abbey, has come and gone.  For those of us following the adventures of the Crawley family, Sunday nights have become a bit of a lonely affair.  Cast adrift and clutching our teacups, we must now sit back and wait for writer Julian Fellowes to pen… View more

The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth and Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore, by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

“Books will help him clear the weeds and plant the seeds so he’ll succeed” – Lewis Henri Michaux Lewis Henri Michaux opened up The National Memorial African Bookstore in 1932 and it became an integral hub in Harlem for African Americans, drawing prominent figures such as W.E.B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Muhammed Ali, Eartha Kitt… View more

Youth Graphic Novel Round-Up

A growing trend in readership and publishing comes in the form of the graphic novel.  Perhaps a connection with the film industries penchant for comic book superheros, readers are reaching out for bright colors, bold pictures, and quick interchanges of graphic novels.  One should not assume that though the interactions between the characters are brief… View more

Another News Post

Another News Post

Almarian blanco calmindon caves of androth demons dor-cúarthol drúedain of beleriand durin’s day (day) dírnaith dúnedain eldest galadriel hasufel haven of the swans house of hador hrívë irmo kin-strife lord of the rings mungo baggins máhanaxar númenórean sindarin ringlord rochirrim somath spies of the valar tuilérë valaraukar valinor woodmen. Amon rûdh arvedui last-king awakening of… View more

Latest News Post

Latest News Post

Almarian blanco calmindon caves of androth demons dor-cúarthol drúedain of beleriand durin’s day (day) dírnaith dúnedain eldest galadriel hasufel haven of the swans house of hador hrívë irmo kin-strife lord of the rings mungo baggins máhanaxar númenórean sindarin ringlord rochirrim somath spies of the valar tuilérë valaraukar valinor woodmen. Amon rûdh arvedui last-king awakening of… View more

The Princess and The Pony, by Kate Beaton

  Princess Pinecone is not your average Princess. With dreams of being a warrior, she has been disappointed to find that on previous birthdays, while waiting for a horse that is strong and fit for battle, her parents have instead bestowed countless cozy sweaters. The latest one displaying the words “special girl” across her chest… View more

Mystery Monday: Agatha Christie

Today I have visions of tea, scones and arsenic dancing in my head. While scouring the stacks at the Cedar Rapids Public Library, I discovered that we have an incredible selection of Agatha Christie novels. For a mystery lover, this is a treasure indeed. Dame Agatha Christie, the doyenne of the proper English murder mystery,… View more

SENG* Guided Discussion Group for Parents Starts Feb 1 at the Downtown Cedar Rapids Public Library

The SENG & Guided Discussion Group for Parents has been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience. *** Parenting is a difficult yet highly important job. Understanding our children is fundamental to supporting them and parenting effectively. There can be unique challenges and nuances involved in parenting gifted children. Their parents often express feeling isolated and… View more

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story by Dan Harris

Dan Harris, current co-anchor of ABC News’ “Nightline” and co-anchor of the weekend edition of “Good Morning America,” has worked with ABC News since 2000 and has become a regular fixture on the channel’s various news programs. Following a long stint covering war in Baghdad in 2003, he returned stateside suffering symptoms he did not… View more

The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz

Lisbeth Salander, the brilliant and fierce heroine of the Millennium Series, recently returned to international bestseller lists in The Girl in the Spider’s Web. Salander fans know that Stieg Larsson, the author of the original Millennium Trilogy – The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked… View more

Setting the Table: The Tranforming Power of Hospitality in Business by Danny Meyer

Last month the reference librarians at the Library were assigned to read Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business by Danny Meyer. Since I sit in on the meetings of this group, I also read it. My expectations were similar to other books on customer service: good ideas, but pretty dry reading…. View more

Vote November 3

On Tuesday, November 3, 2015, voters will be asked to vote on a special 27 cent levy to provide funding for the Cedar Rapids Public Library. The Library Board of Trustees determined that the library needed to find a sustainable source of funding to maintain service at current levels. While the demand for library services… View more

Mystery Monday: The Gentle Art of Murder by Jeanne M. Dams

I have always loved mysteries, especially series mysteries. You can get to know and like a character even if they sometimes frustrate you with their obtuseness or naiveté. Such is not the case with Dorothy Martin in The Gentle Art of Murder by Jeanne M. Dams.  Dorothy is an older woman, a retired teacher married… View more