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Cedar Rapids Public Library Awarded 2022 Jerry Kline Community Impact Prize, Recognizing the Public Library as a Vital Community Asset

Prize carries $250,000 purse; developed in partnership between the Gerald M. Kline Family Foundation and Library Journal

NEW YORK, NY – November 1, 2022 Library Journal (LJ) today announced that Iowa’s Cedar Rapids Public Library is the winner of the fourth annual Jerry Kline Community Impact Prize. Developed in partnership between the Gerald M. Kline Family Foundation and LJ, this award recognizes the powerful synergy that results when a library works closely with both its local government and its community.

To honor its exemplary record, the library will receive $250,000 from the Gerald M. Kline Family Foundation and is showcased in LJ’s November 2022 issue, available in print and online. A celebration is planned at the American Library Association’s LibLearnX conference in New Orleans, LA in January 2023.

“Cedar Rapids Public Library has made a huge impact through its close connections with civic leadership and community — exactly what this prize seeks to spotlight and honor,” said Gerald (Jerry) Kline, CEO of the Gerald M. Kline Family Foundation

Whether holding a STEM Day for more than 100 eighth grade girls, building a mobile lab to introduce community members to technology, or providing a physical and virtual presentation space that also serves as an exhibit hall for the city’s first Sustainable Economy and Transportation Conference, it is clear CRPL is there for its community.

“That is essential work, to make sure that your community leadership really do like the library,” Director Dara Schmidt explained. “At their core, they believe in the work. That’s why we’ve been able to do so much.”

What Cedar Rapids Public Library has accomplished in the four years since the setting of its 2018 goals is nothing short of remarkable. The strategic plan based on the three pillars of literacy, access, and inclusion will no doubt continue to improve the community.

PATCHOGUE-MEDFORD LIBRARY, NEW YORK; and RICHLAND LIBRARY COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA; were named as honorable mentions, and are also profiled in the November issue of Library Journal.


About Library Journal

Founded in 1876, Library Journal is a trade publication serving librarians and library workers. Sharing important news and perspectives that shape the field, surfacing best practices and innovations to invest in, identifying emerging leaders, guiding purchasing decisions, and acting as an advocate for librarians and libraries-- Library Journal has been leading the field through the great changes and innovations required to keep libraries strong for nearly 150 years.