About Amber

Public Information Officer and Adult Programming Coordinator

Jazz in the Stacks: Brass Transit Authority

Tbrass transit authority logohe Cedar Rapids Public Library invites you to celebrate the music of the Chicago and Blood, Sweat and Tears with the BTA: Brass Transit Authority.

This free musical performance will be held on Thursday, February 12, 7:00 pm, at the Cedar Rapids Public Library downtown in the spectacular Whipple Auditorium. Tickets are not needed but registration is required. Register online at www.crlibrary.org or by calling (319) 261-READ.

What: Jazz in the Stacks: Brass Transit Authority

When: Thursday, February 12, 7:00 pm

Where: Cedar Rapids Public Library Downtown, Whipple Auditorium

Tickets: FREE registration online or by calling (319) 261-READ

Most Popular Books of 2014

This is the time of year when top ten lists are all over the news and we have one of our Sycamore_Row_-_cover_art_of_hardcover_book_by_John_Grishamvery own to share. We’ve done the research and here are the top ten books checked out from the Cedar Rapids Public Library in 2014.

  1. Sycamore Row by John Grisham
  2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
  3. The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
  4. Inferno by Dan Brown
  5. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  6. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
  7. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  8. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
  9. Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich
  10. And the Mountain Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

How many of these have you read? What was your favorite read in 2014? What books are you most anticipating in 2015?

Enjoy the Holiday Season With Help from Your Library

snowman-red-hat-scarf-glovesThe holiday season is a time of family, fun, and the highly anticipated winter break for school-age kids and families! The Cedar Rapids Public Library wants to help you make the most of this holiday season with fun programs, good company, and great reads!

Kick off the holidays right with the festivities on December 6! Join us at 2 pm for Merry TubaChristmas, a holiday concert featuring dozens of tuba players from all over the region. This performance will fill our downtown library from 2-3 pm with the sounds of the season. Stick around for the Fire & Ice Festival, which begins at 4 pm and includes activities like face painting and balloon animals, special visitors, and music. Then head outside at 6 pm for the 31st Annual Holiday deLight Parade! More info on the festival can be found here: Fire and Ice Festival

Families are invited to the White Lights Holiday Music Series throughout the month of December. Beginning with Merry TubaChristmas on December 6 at 2 pm, the series continues December 13 with Harmonize the Holidays–Cedar Sounds Sweet Adelines at 2 pm singing the songs of the season; and culminates December 20 at with Young at Harp at 2 pm, performing holiday music for all to enjoy. All events are free and open to the public.

In addition to these musical performances, enjoy a special Handbell Concert by the St. Paul’s United Methodist Church on Sunday, December 7, at 3 pm in Whipple Auditorium.

Kids can enjoy special activities every Saturday morning at 10:30 am and a 30-minute movie matinee each afternoon at 1 pm. Saturday Specials include visits from Pizzicato Penguin and Karen Liegl of Orchestra Iowa on December 6 and Holidays at Grandma’s House on December 13. Enjoy a real-life version of Candyland on December 29 at 10 am, followed by Merry Marshmallows on December 30. And celebrate the end of 2014 and the beginning of the new year with us on December 31 with a special Noon Year’s Eve Party beginning at 10 am.

We hope you will visit us all month long and take part in the celebration of the season with the Cedar Rapids Public Library. Don’t forget to grab a few good books, movies or some holiday music to take home with you!

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 Poppy Presents: “Honk Jr” in Whipple Auditorium
  • 2:00 pm–Washington High School will do teaser performance of their upcoming musical “West Side Story” at the downtown library

Sunday, November 23, from 2 – 3:30 pm, join us for a special performance by the Funky Renegades Dance Team in Whipple Auditorium. See the latest hip-hop line dances with this fun dance group from Marion. Then learn them! Audience participation is part of the program.

Monday, November 24, join us at 1 pm for a one-time performance of “Romeo and Juliet” by WCP’s Black Hawk Children’s Theatre in Whipple Auditorium. In this play: Romeo and his crew are up to no good when they crash the party of their rivals, the Capulets. Little does young Montague know that one escapade leads to love with Juliet. This encounter sets up a series of events spiraling to a tragic ending for this star-crossed pair. With passion and poetry, we share Shakespeare’s timeless tale of young love that brings unity to fighting factions. Recommended for upper elementary and middle school students and their families.


battle of the bannedDid 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, the CRPL is challenging you to a #battleofthebanned in honor of Banned Books Week. Pick up a #battleofthebanned button at one of our two libraries and check out the display of just a few of the books that have been challenged. Take a photo of your favorite banned book, get creative, and share it on Instagram using the hashtags #notyouraveragelibrary and #battleofthebanned and be entered to win prizes.

Prizes will be given in the following categories: Best Overall Photo, Best Photo with a #battleofthebanned Button, and Best Photo with a Banned Book.

According to the American Library Association, the Top Ten Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2013 reflects a range of themes and consists of the following titles:

  1. “Captain Underpants” (series), by Dav Pilkey.
    Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group, violence
  2. “The Bluest Eye,” by Toni Morrison
    Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group, violence
  3. “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” by Sherman Alexie.
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group
  4. “Fifty Shades of Grey,” by E. L. James.
    Reasons: Nudity, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  5. “The Hunger Games,” by Suzanne Collins
    Reasons: Religious viewpoint, unsuited to age group
  6. “A Bad Boy Can Be Good for A Girl,” by Tanya Lee Stone
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, nudity, offensive language, sexually explicit
  7. “Looking for Alaska,” by John Green.
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  8. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky
    Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, homosexuality, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group
  9. “Bless Me Ultima,” by Rudolfo Anaya
    Reasons: Occult/Satanism, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit
  10. “Bone” (series), by Jeff Smith
    Reasons: Political viewpoint, racism, violence

Show off your support of the freedom to read during Banned Books Week with the #battleofthebanned.

For more information on this and the Cedar Rapids Public Library, visit www.crlibrary.org or call 319.261.READ.

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 so that you can track your progress and measure results; and even a virtual coach to give you real-time, real-life instruction.

Downloadable audio lessons allow you to continue your study even off-line, which can be great for traveling.

Click here try Pronunciator for yourself!

Out Loud! Author Series Concludes July 18 with Elizabeth Berg

elizabethberg-authorOut Loud! The Metro Library Network Author Series will conclude this Friday night at 7 pm with bestselling author Elizabeth Berg presented at the Hotel at Kirkwood Center. The collaborative program of the Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha, and Marion Public Libraries previously presented Sarah Vowell and Wally Berg to capacity audiences.

Elizabeth Berg, one of America’s most beloved chroniclers of female friendship, has been on the New York Times Bestseller list multiple times. Her latest book, the New York Times bestselling Tapestry of Fortunes is about a motivational speaker who isn’t great about taking her own advice finally does.

Durable Goods and Joy School were both selected as one of the American Library Association’s Best Books of the Year. Talk Before Sleep was shortlisted for the Abby (American Bookseller’s Book of the Year). Open House was an Oprah’s Book Club Selection. In 1997, Elizabeth won the New England Booksellers Award for her body of work. She has been translated into 27 languages.

Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including Ladies’ Home Journal, Redbook, and the New York Times Magazine. She has also taught a writing workshop at Radcliffe College. She lives near Boston, Massachusetts. For more information on Elizabeth Berg, visit www.elizabeth-berg.net.

While no tickets are required, series organizers are requesting preregistration in order to gauge audience size—seating is general admission and not guaranteed. To register, visit http://bit.ly/OutLoud and navigate to the event date. Alternately, patrons may contact any of the Metro Libraries or send an email to events@crlibrary.org.

All Out Loud! authors will take questions from the audience and sign books following their presentations.

More information about the Out Loud! Author Series is available at www.metrolibrarynetwork.org/outloud.elizabethberg-author

Out Loud! The Metro Library Network Author Series is supported by the Giacoletto Foundation with media support from the Gazette and event book sales provided by Barnes & Noble Booksellers. Additional support comes from Hills Bank and Trust, the University of Iowa Community Credit Union, the Friends of the Hiawatha Public Library, the Friends of the Marion Public Library, OPN Architects, and Nancy and Stephen Miller.