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CRPL News & Blog

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

Make Me: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child

Dear Reacher, I’m sure I’ve told you before, but, dang it Reacher, you’re adorable.  Some people think that men who are 6’5” tall and built like refrigerators don’t want to be called adorable (or cute, as I often remark during college football games), but I mean it most sincerely.   And let’s face it – I’m… 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

Take the Stage

The Cedar Rapids Public Library loves partnering with local experts to educate our community on everything from gardening to music! We are very excited to partner with local theatre group RHCR and their talented cast of “Disney’s Cinderella Kids” on a new series of theatre programs called Take the Stage! This Saturday, parents of children… View more

Gummy Bears Should Not Be Organic (and other opinions I can’t back up with facts) by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor.

I came upon this book while roving through the new adult non-fiction on the second floor and picked it up because of the giant gummy teddy on the front (it was almost break time and I was looking forward to a sugar fix and this seemed to at least temporarily appease my cravings). I immediately… View more

Piper Kerman

Piper Kerman will finish the Out Loud! Author Series on Friday, June 26, at 7 p.m. t the Hotel at Kirkwood Center. Kerman is the author of the best-selling memoir Orange is the New Black, which was adapted into a critically-acclaimed TV series of the same name. The memoir chronicles what the author calls her… View more

Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell will continue the Out Loud! Author Series on Friday, June 19, at 7 p.m. at the Hotel at Kirkwood Center. Rowell is the New York Times bestselling author of Fangirl, Eleanor & Park, and Attachments. Her latest book, Landline, received the Goodreads Choice Award for best fiction in 2014. Her work spans the… View more

Maureen Corrigan

Maureen Corrigan will open this year’s Out Loud! Author Series on Friday, June 12 at 7 p.m. at the Hotel at Kirkwood Center. Corrigan is one of America’s most trusted and loved book critics. For more than 20 years, Corrigan has been the book critic for NPR’s Fresh Air. She is also a columnist for… View more

The Nesting Place: it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful by Myquillyn Smith

Need help reclaiming your home this spring? The Nesting Place is a slightly different take on ‘the decorating book’, in that the focus is on creating personalized spaces using meaningful objects, rather than following a color and space formula to achieve “style”. Myquillin Smith, author of the popular Nesting Place blog, shares her refreshing perspective… View more

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

“Attachments” is lovely.  It takes place at newspaper towards the end of 1999 with the Y2K “crisis” in full swing.  Beth is funny, engaging, writes for the entertainment section, and has been dating a local rock star for nine years.  Her best friend Jennifer is delightful, witty, works as a copy editor, and has a… View more

Cedar Rapids Public Library wins AIA/ALA Library Building Award

The Cedar Rapids Public Library, designed by OPN Architects, has been named one of six recipients of the 2015 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards. Biennually, representatives from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Library Association (ALA) gather to encourage and recognize excellence in the architectural design of libraries. The Cedar Rapids Public Library,… View more

YOU Out Loud!

Submit your video and tell us why YOU should be the one to introduce one of our Out Loud! Authors this summer: Maureen Corrigan, Rainbow Rowell, or Piper Kerman. The rules are simple. You must be a valid library card holder in the Metro Library Network (consisting of Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha, and Marion Public Libraries). Your… View more


On the first Wednesday of March every year, World Read Aloud Day calls global attention to the importance of reading aloud and sharing stories. The Cedar Rapids Public Library celebrates this each year with a Readaloudathon on March 4 at the downtown library. Readers will begin reading stories out loud at 9 am, when the… View more

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Despite being a relative newcomer to the magical world of fantasy, Ransom Riggs makes a darn good introduction.  The first in the “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” series begins with Jacob Portman, a rather uninterested and uncommitted average teenager in Florida who is, well, bored.  He’s bored of his life as it is and… View more

Free + Legal = Freegal

The Cedar Rapids Public Library is excited to share Freegal® with our library card holders. Freegal is a free music service from the library. All you need is your library card number and PIN and you can access to nearly 8 million songs, including Sony Music’s catalog of legendary artists, and over 15,000 music videos…. View more

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

It seems you can’t turn a corner without running into a post-apocalyptic teen dystopia but I read “The Maze Runner” nonetheless and really did enjoy the story.  It features a young teen boy, Thomas, who awakes inside a rising elevator.  When it opens, he discovers he is trapped in a new and unfamiliar world surrounded… View more

On With the Show

The Cedar Rapids Public Library is always excited to share our space with entertaining music and theatre performances, especially when they are brought to us by local partners. This month we have several opportunities to check out the amazing performances happening in Cedar Rapids. Join us Saturday, November 8, for two fun-filled opportunities: 10:30 am–Playtime… View more

The Millennials: Connecting to America’s Largest Generation by Thom Rainer and Jess Rainer

The Millennials are coming! The Millennials are coming! Over 78 million young adults will be entering the workforce and shaping the cultural habits of this country over the next 10 years. Are the older citizens prepared for this new generation? I have heard my generation described as “lazy”, “the boomerang generation”, “narcissistic”, and “trophy kids”…. View more

Doll Bones by Holly Black

A coworker of mine was very enthusiastic about Holly Black’s work thus far, specifically mentioning “Doll Bones” so I popped over to Overdrive and checked out the audio version read by Nick Podehl. The story, if anything, is about imagination.  Zach, Poppy, and Alice are in middle school now and everyone around them is getting… View more


Did you know that there are hundreds of attempts to ban books each year in the United States? The Cedar Rapids Public Library is proud to participate in Banned Books Week, September 21 – 27, a national movement to remind Americans of the importance of preventing censorship and ensuring the freedom to read. This year,… View more

Learn a New Language Anywhere

The Cedar Rapids Public Library has a wonderful program called “Pronunciator” that provides card holders with instant access to the world’s largest language-learning service. Choose from over 80 languages and learn from your computer, tablet or even your smart phone! Pronunciator features speech recognition, so you can test your pronunciation in real time; scored quizzes… View more

YOU Out Loud!

Submit your video and tell us why  YOU should be the one to introduce one of our Out Loud! Authors this summer: Sarah Vowell, Wally Lamb, or Elizabeth Berg. Your video should make a compelling case for why you should be the one to introduce one of our three 2014 Out Loud! Series Authors—Sarah Vowell, Wally… View more

Summer Reading Starts June 1

The Cedar Rapids Public Library (CRPL) kicks off the annual Summer Reading Program on Sunday, June 1. Programs are available for babies (0-36 months), children (age 3 through 11), young adults (ages 12-17) and adults (ages 18 and up). Registration begins June 1 and the program runs through July 25. Register online at www.crlibrary.org beginning… View more


The Cedar Rapids Public Library and the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art are partnering to offer badge-earning opportunities to local Girl Scouts. In April, fifty Junior Scouts and their leaders gathered in Whipple auditorium to earn their Scribe writing badge and their Jeweler badge. We have invited two of our 4th and 5th grade participants to serve as guest bloggers and share some of the details of their experience.

World Read Aloud Day 2014

The Cedar Rapids Public Library is gearing up to participate in the third annual World Read Aloud Day on Wednesday, March 5. This event, sponsored by LitWorld, calls attention to the importance of literacy as a human right. Literacy is one of the keys to intellectual curiosity, of course, but it’s also fundamental to emotional wellness,… View more

Employ U

Are you hunting for the perfect job in 2014? Have you been looking but haven’t found the right thing? Or are you back in the market for work after being laid off? The Cedar Rapids Public Library is thrilled to partner with RuffaloCODY to provide a free series of classes for job hunters called Employ… View more

Best Books of 2013

The new year is upon us and for many people that means deciding what books to put on their to-read list. Getting recommendations from those who read for a living (and no, this time I don’t mean librarians!) is always a great way to find something new to read. Gazette reviewers Rob Cline, Laura Farmer… View more

  Here’s a must-read for Halloween from the children’s library. Nightmares come and go, but after reading Go Away, Big Green Monster by Caldecott winner Ed Emberly, your child’s nightmares just may go away forever. The ingenious construction of this book “builds” a monster’s face as children turn the pages: first the yellow eyes, next… View more

Peter and the Wolf

Director Suzi Tempteton’s short film, Peter & the Wolf, is an imaginative new take on Sergei Prokofiev’s famous composition and children’s story. Using stop frame animation, Templeton succeeds at creating a visually stunning retelling of this well-known tale about a boy and his adventures with a duck, bird, cat, and wolf. Although no words are… View more

Thank You Cedar Rapids

We’ve had a fabulous time the past few weeks welcoming old friends and new to the beautiful new downtown library.  Thousands have visited, checked out books, used the public access computers, played, gathered and appreciated.  What a delight to serve as a community gathering place for book clubs, board meetings, story times, lunch dates, and… View more

3M eBooks

We’ve added a new eBook service called 3M Cloud Library to the Cedar Rapids Public Library webpage! It features a streamlined downloading process, easier browsing, and a new selection of titles to choose from. Have a tablet? Just download the app from your app store and get started right away.  Click here for details! Detailed… View more

The Painted Veil

Prior to viewing director John Curran’s 2006 version of The Painted Veil, one might expect a typical romance full of clichés and predictability. This film, however, is anything but that. As the story unfolds, one is given an honest and captivating look into the minds and hearts of distant lovers. Based on the novel by… View more

Save the Date!

The new Cedar Rapids Public Library will open to the public on Saturday, August 24, 2013. The public is invited to participate in a grand opening celebration, including an interactive ribbon-cutting, special programs and events, refreshments and more throughout the day. Stay tuned to our website in coming months for more information. Construction continues inside… View more

Books about Books

Check out some of these books about books! The bookshelves of famous authors, discussing books & all the pretty ways books can be lined up on shelves! My Ideal Bookshelf by Jane Mount Judging a Book by Its Lover by Lauren Leto Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores by Jen Campbell Bookshelf by Alex Johnson… View more

Ladd Library Love

The Ladd Library is open and the community is celebrating the first week in the new space. The staff worked long and hard to make sure the space was ready for the public on Saturday, February 23. The response has been wonderful. We still have many things to improve and make more user-friendly, but overall… View more

New E-Reader?

Did you just get a new e-reader or tablet? Get your eBooks for free through the Cedar Rapids Public Library Overdrive page! Don’t know how to download eBooks? No problem. We’ve got directions for you. Our Overdrive selection has new titles added all the time, so keep checking back! We also have several upcoming classes… View more

Writers & their Books

From the new book, Unpacking my Shelves: writers & their books, we see short interviews with famous authors about what their most favorite books mean to them complete with pictures of their library shelves! Jonathan Lethem, author of Chronic City and Motherless Brooklyn. Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story one of the… View more

A Jobs Lab Success Story

Mark Vogel was unemployed and seeking work. Three months ago he started coming to the Jobs Lab on Monday mornings from 9 – noon at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. A librarian by the name of Nancy helped him set up an email account, redo his resume, and learn how to apply for jobs online. Thanks to her help, he had three separate interviews with local companies and successfully landed a job.

Zinio Magazines

We have an exciting new service available at the CRPL eLibrary called Zinio Magazines. You can read over one hundred magazines from your computer or mobile device. All you need is your library card number and PIN, and a little patience for setting it up. Like all of our free digital offerings, it takes a… View more

Doc Martin (TV/DVD)

If you’re looking for something fun to watch over the holidays, I highly recommend Doc Martin, a BBC television comedy/drama series.  The show centers around Dr. Martin Ellingham’s new career as a GP in the fictional town of Portwenn, a job he applied for after developing an unfortunate aversion to blood while a surgeon. Martin… View more

West Side Story Continues

In early 2013, the permanent west side library branch will open in a former Target building on Williams Boulevard, across the street from Westdale Mall. This space is currently under construction to make it into a beautiful and efficient space for the residents of the city’s west side. Features of the new library include an… View more

Banned Book Week Continues: the Grapes of Wrath

Our founding fathers protected our free speech knowing that a healthy, strong society must have a free exchange of ideas. Banning books is a fear-based exercise which tries [grapes of wrath] to block this exchange by suppressing words that might inspire or enlighten. When I come across a book that has been banned, I immediately want to read it to find out what it is that someone else thinks I shouldn’t know. That is why banning a book will never work .

The Grapes of Wrath

Our founding fathers protected our free speech knowing that a healthy, strong society must have a free exchange of ideas. Banning books is a fear-based exercise which tries to block this exchange by suppressing words that might inspire or enlighten. When I come across a book that has been banned, I immediately want to read it to find out what it is that someone else thinks I shouldn’t know. That is why banning a book will never work .

Banned Book Week 2012

For the past thirty years, at the end of September, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom holds Banned Book Week celebrating the [beware_med] freedom to read. Banned Book Week is an opportunity to bring communities together: librarians, publishers, journalists, teachers and readers of all kinds, and remember the importance of the freedom to seek and express ideas, even those some consider unpopular.

Banned Books Week 2012

For the past thirty years, at the end of September, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom holds Banned Book Week celebrating the freedom to read. Banned Book Week is an opportunity to bring communities together: librarians, publishers, journalists, teachers and readers of all kinds, and remember the importance of the freedom to seek and express ideas, even those some consider unpopular.

Broken Harbor

Tana French’s fourth book in her Dublin Murder Squad series, Broken Harbor, now follows Detective Frank “Scorcher” Kennedy as he investigates a mysterious family murder in a quiet suburban village outside of Dublin, Ireland destroyed by the recession.  Scorcher is also dealing with flashback memories of the death of his mother and a younger sister… View more

Show your card and be rewarded!

The Metro Library Network, consisting of the Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha and Marion Public Libraries, is partnering with local businesses in September to celebrate National Library Card Month. Metro Library Network card holders can show their library card at participating businesses and receive a special discount September 1 – 30. The discounts consist of a variety… View more

Cedar Rapids Public Library Partners with Community Organizations to Promote Literacy in Preparation for Inside Out with Tony Hawk

The Cedar Rapids Public Library is partnering with local volunteers and seven non-profit organizations to reach reluctant readers through the Revolution(ary) Readers program. This program is a part of the Inside Out with Tony Hawk event held on Friday, September 7. Throughout the week of August 24, community volunteers distributed 200 copies of books from… View more

First Pallet of Books

Along with the destruction of the main library building, the loss of two-thirds of the collection in the flood of 2008 was tremendously devastating to the staff of the Cedar Rapids Public Library. While the building construction project continues to progress, the collection development team at the CRPL have been working for months to develop the opening day collection.

J. Edgar

J. Edgar,  AFI’s 2012 Best Picture winner, is a darkly compelling biopic of the strange and powerful  leader of the FBI for almost fifty years – J.  Edgar Hoover (Leonardo DiCaprio) When Hoover began his career at the FBI, evidence from crime scenes was thrown away and most professionals thought fingerprinting was hocus pocus.  To… View more

New Library Construction Update

Progress on the new Cedar Rapids Public Library continues. Highlights include: Concrete floor slab pours continues Structural steel erection continues Structural steel fireproofing is ongoing Exterior wall framing has commenced Above ceiling mechanical rough-ins have started Here is a brief update with images from the construction manager Ryan Companies.

Heft by Liz Moore

There are times when books leave you feeling heartbroken that they are over. This was the case with “Heft” by Liz Moore. In “Heft” we meet the severely obese Arthur Opp, a former professor who hasn’t left his home for over a decade. Arthur’s struggle with his weight and the shame of it keep him inside and it takes the chance phone call from an old friend to shake things up.

CRPL Wins Honorable Mention “Best of Show” and Communicator Award for 2011 Annual Report

The Cedar Rapids Public Library (CRPL) 2011 Annual Report has been awarded honorable mention in the 2012 American Library Association (ALA) “Best of Show” competition. This annual competition recognizes outstanding library public relations materials; winners are selected based on content, originality, design, format and effectiveness. “Our panel of judges was very impressed with their work,”… View more

Winter’s Bone

Winter’s Bone is the Oscar nominated drama based on the novel by Daniel Woodrell. The story follows a teenage girl named Ree in the search for her missing father. Ree and her family live in a remote part of the Ozarks, surrounded by a tight-knit community of meth cookers and dealers. Ree’s father has offered… View more

Cutie Pies by Dani Cone

The title tells it all in this fabulous cookbook:  single serving, yummy looking pie.    The book begins with interchangeable versions of pie crust, and then takes on the fillers and toppings.  You can bake your treats in piejars (mini mason jars) or create cutie pies, petits or piepops.  Fillings from apple-cheddar-rosemary to berry black bottom… View more

If Jack’s In Love

“If Jack’s In Love” by Stephen Wetta is a very pleasant surprise. This first novel by Wetta is set in the late 1960’s, the summer when Jack turns 13. Something terrible has happened in Jack’s small town–a popular boy has gone missing–as Jack’s older brother is the only suspect. To make matters worse, Jack is… View more

Cedar Rapids

We all heard about the movie Cedar Rapids when it appeared in theaters in February, 2011.  But I, for one, didn’t make the time to see it until recently.  I’m glad I finally decided to sit down and watch it. Ed Helms stars as naïve, idealistic insurance agent Tim Lippe, who is sent to a… View more

My Library

This commercial will begin airing on local OnMedia cable beginning April 16. Let us know what you think! A big thanks to DeNovo Alternative Marketing and their “Video Dude” Arsalan for the great work. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2Mhksr9be4]

Share Your Story

The staff who work at the Cedar Rapids Public Library are passionate advocates for literacy and lifelong learning. Each day, hundreds of people visit the Library and use the resources available to assist them with finding a job, researching a school project, or accessing the latest materials. Library staff work hard every day to provide the public with assistance to meet all of their unique needs.

The Hunter by John Lescroart

 The Hunter is another great standalone thriller by John Lescroart. One of Lescroart’s dynamic, recurring characters, San Francisco private investigator Wyatt Hunt, stars in a very private story about family and identity. The Hunter begins with Hunt receiving a cryptic text about the biological parents who abandoned him: “How did ur mother die?”  We quickly… View more

World Read Aloud Day

Wednesday, March 7, is World Read Aloud Day, an opportunity for the world to come together to raise their voices and celebrate the power of words. More than 793 million people are illiterate in the world today. World Read Aloud Day is a chance for kids, parents, educators, caregivers, and families to advocate for the… View more


Sherlock is a smart modern retelling of the classic Doyle stories about the brilliant Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Fans of the original stories won’t be disappointed, this series is like a love letter to the devoted but it is still exciting and accessible to anyone who hasn’t read them. You might miss some jokes… View more

‘Righteous Porkchop’ is 2012 selection for Linn Area Reads program

An acclaimed investigation into the conditions and effects of factory farms has been selected as the 2012 title for the community reading program known as Linn Area Reads. “Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms” by Nicolette Hahn Niman will be the centerpiece of this year’s programming. Linn Area Reads is a program of the Metro Library Network, which is made up of the Cedar Rapids, Marion, and Hiawatha Public Libraries.

Portlandia Season 1

“Portlandia” is a sketch comedy show created by Carrie Brownstein and Saturday Night Live’s Fred Armisen. The sketches mostly poke fun at the ultra-liberal, politically correct hipster culture in Portland, Oregon and while they sometimes wildly exaggerate, they are often comically accurate. The comedy is incisive but manages to stay good-natured. It’s clear that Fred… View more

Cedar Rapids Public Library Annual Report

Each year, the Cedar Rapids Public Library presents the City Council and the community with an annual report. The goal of the annual report is to share information such as the annual Library operating budget, some valuable statistics, and highlight some of the successes from throughout the fiscal year. The Library presented the Annual Report to the City Council at last night’s meeting and is very excited to share it with the public online now. We hope you will enjoy the unique format and share it with your friends and family.

Read it First!

Going to a movie over the holidays? Read the book first! We have a great selection of print, eBooks, and eAudiobooks of the season’s hottest book-to-movie adaptations. Click on the picture of the book to go to Overdrive, our collection of eBooks and eAudiobooks. Or check the catalog for the print copies! eBooks:    … View more

Friends of the Cedar Rapids Public Library Celebrate 40 Years

The Friends of the Cedar Rapids Public Library this month celebrate 40 years of service in the community. For the past 40 years, the Friends have committed countless hours and dollars to their mission: The Friends supports the Cedar Rapids Public Library services and programs, promotes literacy through outreach programs that encourage and enhance reading throughout the community and conducts fundraising activities to assist with library and outreach projects.

Spooky Staff Picks

Jeff- Them! – A classic 1950’s horror movie involving giant mutated ants attacking the Southwest. Dixie- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, True Blood, and the Halloween movie series with Michael Myers. Renee- Rot and Ruin and Dust and Decay are fun zombie thrillers by Jonathan Maberry. Curtis- The Last Sin Eater– A dark dramatic… View more

Shaun of the Dead

Join Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Bill Nighy as they battle zombies!  Simon Pegg stars as everyman Shaun who we find is a little down on his luck when we meet him.  After his community experiences a zombie outbreak, Shaun must step up to the plate as never before as he tries to save the… View more

New for Oct. 18

Iris Johansen continues her series on detective Eve Duncan in Bonnie, which tells the story of Eve’s daughter. Infernals by John Connolly is the sequel to his supernatural thriller The Gates. Christmas Wedding is a rare romance from the prolific James Patterson. Local favorite Ed Gorman has a new SamMcCain mystery called Bad Moon Rising.

Bubba Ho-Tep

Join Bruce Campbell in this zany adventure also starring Ossie Davis.  Bruce Campbell stars as an aging Elvis, yep, he didn’t really die, in a retirement community where the residents seem to be dying off at a much higher rate.  Sensing something is amiss, Elvis goes to see his fellow resident and buddy Jack, who… View more

Troll 2

So why on Earth would I recommend Troll 2? Because it’s widely considered to be one of the worst films ever made, it’s even the subject of the documentary Best Worst Movie (which the library also owns). Most of the crew, including the director and screenwriter, were Italian and spoke very little English. The actors… View more

New for Sept. 20

Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy contains seven interviews Mrs. Kennedy conducted in 1964 on her life with the President. Heat Rises is the third Nikki Heat book by Richard Castle. J.D. Robb continues her In Death series with New York to Dallas. Deer in the Headlights: My Life in Sarah… View more

New Titles for Aug. 31

      In My Time is the new tell-all by Dick Cheney getting all kinds of buzz in the press, sure to be controversial and thought provoking. James Patterson’s latest thriller Kill Me If You Can, is one of Patterson’s co-written stand alone titles. Flash and Bones is Kathy Reich’s 14th installment of the… View more

House Rules

House Rules by Jodi Picoult is, in my opinion, one of the best fiction titles around whose main character lives on the Autism spectrum. Meet Jacob, a teen with Asperger’s Syndrome. He’s a forensic analysis junkie – over-focused on one area, like many other kids with AS. He has steered the local police in the… View more

Show Your Card and Be Rewarded

The Metro Library Network, consisting of the Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha and Marion Public Libraries, is partnering with local businesses in September to celebrate National Library Card Month. Metro Library Network card holders can show their library card at participating businesses and receive a special discount September 1 – 30. The discounts consist of a variety… View more

New for Aug. 22

  To Have and to Hold by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller is the duo’s latest Christian Fiction romance. It is part of their Bridal Veil Island series. Richelle Mead starts a new paranormal series with the first called Bloodlines, the new series takes place in the same world as her wildly popular Vampire Academy… View more

Buried Prey by John Sanford

John Sandford’s latest entry in the Prey series brings back Lucas Davenport and all the characters we’ve grown to love: Del, Marcy, Weather and Letty, Shrake and Jenkins.  It’s a terrific suspense novel. Two plastic-wrapped bodies are unearthed at a construction site, and Davenport has to see for himself.  He is certain these are the… View more

New for July 26

    Felix Francis is adding to his father Dick Francis’ mystery tradition with Gamble. Ghost Story is the highly anticipated 13th installment of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. Spellbound is the continuation of Kelley Armstrong’s paranormal adventure Otherworld series. Diana Palmer’s Merciless is the latest addition to her Western themed romances.

New for July 19

Jaycee Dugard’s long awaiting memoir A Stolen Life is out now. Get yourself on the hold list now because this one is going to be crazy popular! Portrait of a Spy is the 11th installment of Daniel Silva’s series on his character Gabriel Allon. Prolific author Danielle Steel has a new romantic family drama called… View more

New for July 5, 2011

       The latest in J.A. Jance’s long running J.P. Beaumont mystery series, Betrayal of Trust, is out this week. The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen continues her Rizzoli and Isles series. The Kid by Sapphire is the sequel to her novel Push, which inspired the award winning film Precious. The Pretty Little Liars… View more

Just Arrived!

James Patterson’s latest thriller Now You See Her was just released on Tuesday. Keep an eye on our QuickPicks to snag a copy without the wait! Jamrach’s Menagerie, an imaginative nautical tale by Carol Birch is described as “intensely atmospheric, and thundering with tension”. The Dark Enquiry is the latest installment of the historical Julia… View more

New for June 21

      Janet Evanovich has a new addition to her blockbuster Stephanie Plum series called Smokin’ Seventeen. Leaving by Karen Kingbury is the continuation of her Bailey Flanagan series, started with this past Spring’s Leaving. Alexander McCall Smith’s new “Corduroy Mansions” novel, The Dog Who Came in from the Cold, continues the story of… View more

A Discovery of Witches

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness joins the crowded paranormal genre with a story of vampires, witches, and demons. But this one has a different feel from many of it’s counterparts, with libraries and yoga pants instead of stakes and leather. The main character is a history professor named Diana, most of the story… View more

Coffeehouse Mysteries

If you wished you lived in a coffeehouse, Cleo Coyle’s Coffeehouse Mysteries are for you! Start with the first one – On What Grounds, though, as there is a sequential storyline in the series. There is an abundance of information on the mysteries of coffee and it’s spin-offs – latte, cappuccino, espresso, and more, as well… View more

New for June 14

          Known for his legal thrillers, David Baldacci goes in a a new direction with his new family drama One Summer. Against All Enemies is the newest adventure from Tom Clancy, complete with thrilling conspiracies and gripping action. Sister by Rosamund Lupton is a high quality crime fiction novel getting very positive reviews,… View more

The Social Network

Startlingly fast-paced and desperately honest, The Social Network is a movie filled with such rapid-fire dialog and electrifying performances that the viewer can’t help but watch open-mouthed as the protagonist bares all. Jesse Eisenberg’s portrayal of  Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire founder of Facebook, is fierce, brilliant, and absolutely compelling.  Zuckerberg’s ironic fatal flaw is blatantly obvious… View more

Wicked Appetite

If you like Janet Evanovich and her “Between the Numbers” books featuring Diesel, you will love Wicked Appetite.  Diesel is now the main attraction with new characters in tow. Still fun-loving, mysterious, and sexy in an honorable way, Diesel is on the hunt for his evil cousin – someone to really be afraid of. Janet’s… View more

Celebration of the Stars

Celebration of the Stars: Children’s Music by Grammy Celebrated Artists is a wide mix of talent, musical genres, themes and messages  jam packed into this delightful cd. Educational without preaching, patriotic without being trite, the cd is multicultural and multilingual not to mention nonsensical, just to round things out. Danny Glover speaks a story called,… View more

Jeeves and Wooster

Jeeves and Wooster is an award winning television series based on the beloved stories of British author P.G. Wodehouse. His stories are the original source of that stereotypical butler named Jeeves. In this series, a young British aristocrat named Bertie Wooster (played by Hugh Laurie) hires a valet named Jeeves (played by Stephen Fry). Bertie… View more

New This Week

       Clive Cussler’s latest novel, The Kingdom, continues adventures with the Fargo husband and wife treasure hunters. Critically acclaimed author Ann Patchett has a new novel called State of Wonder, which is already getting rave reviews. Laurel K. Hamilton (our Outloud Author this week) has a new addition to her Anita Blake series… View more

Sum by David Eagleman

Let’s assume, for a minute, there’s an afterlife. Most people already do this. However, one step past the assumption the road diverges. One person imagines this particular heaven, while another pictures that one. A third might envision being reborn as a wholly different life form,  a fourth a return to some ultimate state of being,… View more

The Walk

Fans of Richard Paul Evans will not be disappointed in his new series, The Walk, with the first book of the same title. It is the ongoing journal of a man who has been devastated by loss and his walk to Key West, Florida. He deals with the good and the bad as he stoically… View more

Dead Reckoning

Dead Reckoning is the latest in the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris, which means it is sure to be a huge hit. This installment is  a continuation of the the drama from the last few books. Sookie’s vampire boyfriend Eric Northman and his sidekick Pam (my favorite character in the series) are in political… View more


The Alex Awards  are given each year to books originally written for adults that  appeal to a young adult audience.  As a Young Adult librarian, I really wanted to read at least one of the winners, and I was really pleased with this year’s awards.  The list was full of exciting titles, from vampire families… View more

Love Finds You…

The Love Finds You… books are an eclectic group of light Christian romance stories. Half are written in past time periods, and the other half written in modern-day. All are in different locations in the United States, and most are written by different authors. Melody Carlson, Sandra Bricker, and Melanie Dobson are just a few… View more

David Stark Design

David Stark Design (by David Stark) is a treasure of a book for anyone who wants to spend a few dreamy hours ogling seriously cool “art masquerading as a party.” Stark heads a team of event planners that use ordinary objects (peanut butter jars, bubble wrap…) to create over-the-top installations. The book is full of… View more


Nowhere to run. Nowhere to hide. Except in your own body, where ignorance is not bliss. Meet Wayne Blake, a child growing up unaware of his infant diagnosis of hermaphroditism. Mother and midwife sense girl, father and doctor insist boy. As he is being raised male in Labrador, where one bows to the supremacy of… View more

Knit. Sock. Love.

Can a sock be a work of art? If it’s designed by Cookie A. it can be. Knit. Sock. Love. is Cookie’s newest collection of coveted knitted sock patterns. This collection is probably better for intermediate to advanced knitters but it will give beginners inspiration. She gives multiple options to accommodate all shapes and sizes… View more

Technology for Everyone

In the Library world we talk a great deal about the importance of providing access to technology in our communities. According to the recently released Public Library Funding & Technology Access study conducted by the American Library Association, 83% of Iowa libraries offer the only free access to computer/Internet in their communities. The national average is 67%. More than just offering computers and Internet access, Iowa libraries offer licensed databases, homework help, virtual reference, ebooks and downloadable audio books.

National Library Week

It is National Library Week and a wonderful time to stop and think about what the Library means to you. National Library Week was established in 1958 by the American Library Association (ALA). It is celebrated each April with a special theme and opportunities to promote use and support of the library.

New Book Alerts

There is a new way to find out what is new at the Cedar Rapids Public Library! Visit our website and click on “New Additions to the Collection” under Library Services to find New Book Alerts. Scroll through the latest additions including fiction, DVDs, cds and more. The site also includes reviews and links to… View more

Helpful Tutorial to use Library eBooks on iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone

The Orange County Library System in California created a wonderful and easy to understand video to help anyone who wants to download library ebooks to their iPad, iPod Touch or iPhone. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGNLFJpGAw8&w=640&h=390] This helpful tutorial applies to the Metro Library Network as well (Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha and Marion Libraries). Simply use your own zip… View more

Out Loud! Author Series: Cabot, Hamilton, Martini, Stefaniak, Lovely, Shaffer

Vampires, political thrills, family dramas, and philosophers with lousy love lives are on tap for the 2011 edition of Out Loud! The Metro Library Network Author Series. For the first time the collaborative program of the Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha, and Marion Public Libraries will feature six events, all free and open to the public. All series events in 2011 will take place in Ballantyne Auditorium on the Kirkwood Community College Campus.

Power Wall

The changes continue this month at the Cedar Rapids Public Library at Westdale. The latest change is the addition of a special display known as a “power wall.” This display is currently being built by local carpenters and our own talented staff. When it is complete, it will hold a variety of non-fiction subjects for… View more

FEMA Recognizes Libraries as Essential Community Organizations

On January 7, FEMA changed its policy to recognize libraries as essential community organizations, thus making them eligible for temporary relocation funding in times of disaster or emergency. Under section 403 of the Stafford Act, which is the statutory authority from which FEMA derives the majority of its policy, only essential organizations are eligible for temporary relocation funding during major disasters through FEMA’s Public Assistance Program.

Good luck, Charlie!

I received a call today from a gentleman named Charlie who lives in British Columbia. He is part of an organization working to build a new library and he wanted to know what type of digital content and new media they should be thinking about when they design their new building. I was caught slightly off-guard, to be quite honest, but the question got me thinking. What comes to mind when you think about technology at your library? How would you answer Charlies’ question?

eBooks on the Rise

This years projected number one gift for the holidays is the ebook reader, whether that means the Sony eReader, the Barnes and Noble Nook (or Nook Color), or the Amazon Kindle. Studies estimate that sales of ebook readers will increase nearly 80 percent this year over last. That means more and more of people are… View more

Red Wall Gallery

The Library has been working to make the CRPL West a welcoming, comfortable and warm environment for our customers. We are making a series of changes over the next few months, one of which officially begins November 1. The Red Wall Gallery, a specially designed display area in the CRPL West, will open on November… View more

In the Armstrong Centre

There is a transformation underfoot at the small downtown library located in the Armstrong Centre. This 2200 square foot space has been radically changed to accommodate what our customers were most asking for–computers and specific types of materials. These materials include popular books, magazines and movies.       The library is experimenting with new… View more

The history of our block

When the City Council elected to build the new Cedar Rapids Public Library on the “TrueNorth” block (on the corner of 5th Avenue and 5th Street), they chose a location with a varied past. The more we learn about the block and the history that surrounds it, the easier it will be to design a building that represents the community.

What’s the value?

We have asked you before why you value the library, but now we are asking you to put a number to it! Using out library calculator, find out what you save each month by using the library. You may be surprised to see how much it is. And then send us a note or post here to let us know the total savings to your family.

Library a Go Go

When you think of vending machines, it’s rare you think of anything good for you. Often it is candy, soda, or coffee you imagine filling the wire traps. Imagine if you could flip through the contents of a vending machine and get a library book.

Young Professionals Invited to Give Feedback on New Library Design at Reception

In an effort to gain insight and input from the young professionals in this community on the design of the new library, the Cedar Rapids Public Library, together with ImpactCR and the United Way of East Central Iowa’s Young Leaders Society, are hosting a reception on Wednesday, August 18, from 5 – 7 pm, in the Linge Lounge at Theatre Cedar Rapids, 102 Third Street SE.

Library Forums

The Cedar Rapids Public Library will host two public forums in June to discuss the building process for the new Library. Community members with an interest in learning about the design and building process of the new downtown library are invited to attend. Wednesday, June 16, Noon – 1:00 p.m. at the Cedar Rapids Museum… View more

Connect with us

The mission of the Cedar Rapids Public Library is to provide a complete spectrum of information to the community through a variety of materials, appropriate technology and a well-trained staff. This blog is an opportunity for us to engage with the community on the development and construction of the new library. We welcome your input… View more