It may be worth the wait. In the wake of the 2008 flood, it was easy to feel terrible about the fate of the Cedar Rapids Public Library, a facility that I liked very much and visited fairly regularly.
I don’t think I’ve been much of a library patron since the flood. That doesn’t reflect any lingering bad feelings about the failure to protect the library—even though I think that was more human error than a natural disaster. It’s more a lifestyle change. Without school age children at home needing trips to the library, I’ve been depending more on Half-Price Books for my literary needs these days.
But I miss the library and look forward to the main branch’s return to downtown.
I miss the video selections (although that had been a bit downgraded by changes in the library and pre-date the flood). I miss a downtown location that was easy and fun to bike to. I miss the serendipity of picking a section or topic, like media history or biography, and just browsing to see what I could find rather than working very hard to find something in particular.
Well, it will be back in 2013. Here are links to a KCRG story and a Gazette story about the library’s plans. I’m sure there will be a lot of grousing (there already has been on the Gazette’s story) about the project, but I’m pretty psyched. I like a number of aspects about the new library, including:
• It’s location at Greene Square Park and near the art gallery. It seems like a nice place for the library to be, and a much better place in terms of avoiding future flood disasters. I’m glad The Gazette didn’t move, too.
• The design of the new building. I’ve only seen the drawings from the outside, but I like the description that I read in The Gazette and that I saw on KCRG.
What suggestions would I make for the new library? I would like to see more movies and books in Spanish. The Spanish collection was pretty small at the old library, and the Latino population in Cedar Rapids is growing. I would like to see convenient bike racks. The downtown location will be very convenient to the nearby bike trial, which passes just south of the park, so a nice bike lane leading to the facility and a good place to chain my bike would be welcome.
I would also like more data on the library’s own web site. After the drawing were unveiled, I went the library’s site, expecting a nice home page link to, and more information on, the plans. Didn’t see them there, so I went to the news page. There was a press announcement that the drawing were released—but where are the plans?
Yeah, it’s not a huge deal, I got enough of a peek for now at KCRG and The Gazette. And I am starting to get excited about visiting a downtown library again.