About Amber

Public Information Officer and Adult Programming Coordinator

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.

Out Loud! Author Series Continues July 11 with Wally Lamb

Lamb, Wally by Elena Seibert_Color

Credit: Elena Seibert

Out Loud! The Metro Library Network Author Series will continue this Friday night at 7 pm with bestselling author Wally Lamb presented at the Hotel at Kirkwood Center. The collaborative program of the Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha, and Marion Public Libraries will also present Elizabeth Berg in a free event July 18.

Wally Lamb is the author of four New York Times best-selling novels: Wishin’ and Hopin’, The Hour I First Believed, I Know This Much is True, and She’s Come Undone and was twice selected for Oprah’s Book Club. His fifth novel is We Are Water. Lamb also edited Couldn’t Keep It to Myself and I’ll Fly Away, two volumes of essays from students in his writing workshop at York Correctional Institution, a women’s prison in Connecticut, where he has been a volunteer facilitator for the past 14 years.

Lamb’s first two novels, She’s Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True, were # 1 New York Times bestsellers, New York Times Notable Books of the Year, and featured titles of Oprah’s Book Club. I Know This Much Is True was a Book of the Month Club main selection and the June 1999 featured selection of the Bertelsman Book Club, the national book club of Germany. Between them, She’s Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True have been translated into 18 languages.

Lamb’s third novel, The Hour I First Believed, explores chaos theory by interfacing several generations of a fictional Connecticut family with such nonfictional American events as the Civil War, the Columbine High School shootings, the Iraq War, and Hurricane Katrina. The book reached #4 on the New York Times bestseller list. In 2009, Lamb published Wishin’ and Hopin’, a comedic look at the year 1964 through the eyes of Felix Funicello, a parochial school fifth grader and a distant cousin of the iconic Annette. Wishin’ and Hopin’, too, was a New York Times bestseller. Lamb’s fifth novel, We Are Water, is an intricate, multi-voiced account of a New England family coming to terms with the past and one another during the first years of the Obama presidency.

Elizabeth Berg, one of America’s most beloved chroniclers of female friendship, will close out the series on Friday, July 18, at 7 p.m. Berg has been on the New York Times Bestseller list multiple times. 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.

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 dates. 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.

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.

YOU Out Loud!

You-Out-Loud-Broadcast-Your-Fandom-for-webSubmit 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 Lamb, and Elizabeth Berg. The Metro Library Network will select the best videos and post them on our Facebook page, where you can vote for your favorite. The top winner for each author will be invited to introduce their selected author at the Out Loud! Author Series this summer.

Contest Rules

  • You must be a valid library card holder in the Metro Library Network (consisting of Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha, and Marion Public Libraries).
  • Videos will be judged according to the following criteria: creativity, persuasiveness, speaking ability, and engagement.
  • Your entry must obey all laws, including all applicable copyright and privacy laws. This also applies to any music samples used in your video.
  • You agree to let the Metro Library Network place your entry on respective YouTube channels and Facebook pages, and use your video in its promotional and educational efforts.
  • Your video should be no longer than three minutes. Videos longer than three minutes will be disqualified.
  • Entries must be submitted by midnight on Wednesday, June 11, 2014, to be eligible. No extensions. Anything submitted after this day will not be considered.
  • Entries may not contain commercial, sexually explicit, disparaging, or libelous content; promote any product or service; or contain any trademarks, copyrighted works (including music that is not within the public domain), or other intellectual property not owned by the submitter(s).
  • The Metro Library Network reserves the right to reject or return for editing any video that doesn’t comply with these guidelines.

How to submit your video

You may submit your video one of two ways:

Online Submissions

1. Upload your video to YouTube or Vimeo.

2. Send an email to outloud@metrolibrarynetwork.org, including:

a. A link to your video
b. Your name and contact information (email and phone)

3. We will send you a confirmation email that we received your video within 24 hours.

Snail Mail or In-Person Submissions

1. Save your video to a CD, DVD, or flash drive

2. Put it in an envelope addressed to Cedar Rapids Public Library, ATTN: Out Loud! 450 5th Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 52401. Inside the envelope, please include:

a. Your name
b. Your contact information (email and phone)

3. Submissions must be postmarked on or before June 11, 2014.

4. In-person submissions need to be delivered to the Cedar Rapids Public Library, 450 5th Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 52401, by 9:00 pm on June 11, 2014.

Contest Timeline

  • Deadline for submitting videos: Midnight, Wednesday, June 11, 2014 (9:00 pm for in-person submissions)
  • Metro Library Network selects finalists: June 12-15, 2014.
  • Videos posted on the Metro Library Network’s Facebook page for popular voting: Monday, June 16, 2014 – Friday, June 20, 2014 at 4 pm.
  • Winners contacted by June 22, 2014.
Sponsored by Hills Bank
Sponsored by Hills Bank

Judging

Entries will be reviewed for eligibility and compliance with the contest rules. A panel of judges drawn from within the Metro Library Network will judge the entries on the following criteria:

  • Creativity: 30%
  • Persuasiveness: 30%
  • Speaking Ability: 30%
  • Engagement: 10%

Questions? For more information, contact: Amber Mussman, Cedar Rapids Public Library, mussmana@crlibrary.org or (319) 261-READ.

Summer Reading Starts June 1

fizz boom read header-color for flyerThe 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 June 1 or visit the Downtown or Ladd Library to get started.

The Children’s Summer Reading Program theme this year is “Fizz! Boom! Read!” and includes a variety of special programs and events. Children read or are read to by a caregiver in order to reach levels and receive special prizes, including the chance to win one of the three bicycles given away at the end of the program. Activities include weekly story times held both at the library and out-and-about; craft programs, and films shown every Monday and Friday afternoon.Robotandboy

Special events include “Rooftop Science,” a weekly program held Wednesdays at 1:30 pm on the LivingLearning Roof at the Downtown Library. These 45 minute programs are geared for 4-12 year olds but are interesting for the whole family.

Thursday Special Programs are held weekly (10:30 am and 1:30 pm) in Whipple Auditorium at the Downtown Library and include visits from IPTV’s Dan Wardell, singer and song-writer Tom Pease, and Madcap Puppets, among others. Children are encouraged to participate in the programs along with reading for prizes.

For our Little Scientists (ages 0-36 months) we offer Little Scientists Mondays with select Monday’s 10:00 am at the downtown library featuring a special guest. June 16 enjoy Music Together with Amy, a program from Orchestra Iowa. June 23 and July 21, explore Baby Yoga with Sayde. June 30 and July 13, it’s Music and More with Tammy. And July 7 and July 28, have a blast with Music on the Move with Lisa. Each program is designed to get the smallest members of the family moving this summer.

For young adults, we want you to “Spark a Reaction” this summer! Kids ages 11 to 18 are invited to read for prizes and choose from a variety of Library programs and services to gain additional entries for the grand prize. Prizes will be given to every participant who completes the program between June 1 and July 25, including two tickets to an After Hours Awesomeness Event at the Downtown Library on Friday, August 1.

Spark Teen English PosterSummer teen programs cover a of interests, including Duct Tape Designs, Gaming, Paint Balloons, Blanket Forts and much more. Registration is requested for events and can be done online at www.crlibrary.org.

For adults we have “Ignite Your Summer” a program designed to get adults reading and interacting with the library. Read three books of your choice, attend a special program or library event, and write a book review and you’ll receive a prize! All participants will be entered to win the grand prize, a Nexus 7 Tablet. Programs include All That Jazz, a free jazz program in on the LivingLearning Roof at the Downtown Library on June 26; Out Loud! Author Series featuring Sarah Vowell June 27, Wally Lamb on July 11, and Elizabeth Berg on July 18; and author Frederick Blanch on Tuesday, July 8 at 4 pm.

Ignite book backgroundThe Summer Reading Program runs June 1 – July 25. Prizes will be drawn following the completion of the program. Registration begins June 1 online at http://www.crlibrary.org or by the Cedar Rapids Public Library.

The Children’s Summer Reading Program is sponsored by Hills Bank and Trust Company. The Young Adult and Adult Summer Reading Programs are sponsored by the Friends of the Cedar Rapids Public Library.

For more information, call (319) 261-READ or visit www.crlibrary.org.

 

GIRL SCOUT DAY AT THE LIBRARY

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.

Books to Read and Sights to See
By Leah Slaton
We went to the public library for a Girl Scout badge clinic in Cedar Rapids on Saturday, April 12. The library has swirly chairs, a table computer tablet and tons of books! There are so many great books that I don’t think just one person could read all of them. Going to the library was a really fun experience to have. We got to go on a tour of the library and we got to have snacks on the roof and we just had an amazing time. It was so nice of the library to allow the Girl Scouts to have our event there. Even if you aren’t in Girl Scouts, you should definitely visit the Cedar Rapids Public Library.

The Best Time of My Life
By Nicole Rick
Junior Girl Scouts attended the Cedar Rapids library badge clinic and earned two badges in just four hours. We got our Girl Scout Scribe badge and our Girl Scout Jeweler badge. For the Scribe badge you got a packet and you were basically the author of it. For the Jeweler badge you got to make a necklace with only wire and beads. We met a third generation painter who helped us with our projects. It was the best time of my life!

Great job, Scouts! If you are a Scout or leader who is interested in attending a badge clinic at the Cedar Rapids Public Library, please contact the Girl Scout office or check the Girl Scout event calendar for upcoming dates and times.

Author Jennifer Wilson to Read at CRPL to Conclude Linn Area Reads 2014

ImageJennifer Wilson, author of the Linn Area Reads 2014 selection “Running Away to Home: Our Family’s Journey to Croatia in Search of Who We Are, Where We Came From, and What Really Matters,” will read from her work on Saturday, March 29, at 3 pm in Whipple Auditorium at the downtown library.

Wilson is an Iowa native and travel writer who has spent the past 15 years writing and traveling. “Running Away to Home” received the Best Nonfiction of 2011 Award from the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the Emerging Iowa Author Award in 2012.

Booklist had this to say about her book:
In thinking about her suburban life, epitomized by refereeing two arguing kids in a Target shopping cart whilst balancing a Starbucks, Wilson thinks: “If this is the American dream, it sorta sucks.” To refocus her family and connect with ancestors, she uproots her Iowa household and relocates to the mountainous, two-road village of Mrkopalj, Croatia. For the next four months, they adjust to the Balkan speed of life, in which rooms scheduled for completion in four days remain unfinished for weeks, meals of meat come with a side of meat, a language of consonants is marked with guttural accents, and they discover what they’d lost in the melee of their breakneck American lives: family. Wilson’s memoir isn’t so much about assimilating to Croatian culture as it is about finding family and, therefore, acceptance in unlikely places. A fun-filled, revealing peek into the Croatian countryside nevertheless, it will be enjoyed by travelogue lovers and admirers of Peter Mayle’s A Year in Provence (1989) and Frances Maye’s Under the Tuscan Sun (1996).—Katharine Frank

Linn Area Reads is a program of the Metro Library Network, which is made up of the Cedar Rapids, Marion, and Hiawatha Public Libraries. All Linn Area Reads events are free and open to the public. To register for the event, click here or call the Cedar Rapids Public Library at 319-261-READ.

Linn Area Reads Selects “Running Away to Home” for 2014

he planning committee for the annual community reading program known as Linn Area running back to home-book-coverReads has selected Running Away to Home: Our Family’s Journey to Croatia in Search of Who We Are, Where We Came From, and What Really Matters by author Jennifer Wilson for the 2014 edition of the program.

Linn Area Reads is a program of the Metro Library Network, which is made up of the Cedar Rapids, Marion, and Hiawatha Public Libraries. All Linn Area Reads events are free and open to the public.

Running Away to Home tells the story of the author’s trek to the land of her ancestors. For more information on the author or the book, visit www.jennifer-wilson.com.

“This is a story we thought would appeal to a broad swath of our community and encourage discussions about where we all come from and what matters to us,” said Amber Mussman, Community Relations Manager with the Cedar Rapids Public Library and member of the selection committee.

Linn Area Reads 2014 programs include:

  • Weekly Book Discussions: 6:30 pm,  March 6, 13, and 20 at Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 333 Collins Rd. NE, Cedar Rapids.
  • Family Legacy—Find Meaning in Your Family’s Story, presented by Linda Schmidt: 2:00 pm on March 8 at the Hiawatha Public Library, 150 West Willman Street, Hiawatha.
  • Heirloom Recipe Swap: 2:00 pm on March 15 at the Marion Public Library, 1095 6th Avenue, Marion.  Share your family favorites with new generations. Registration is requested for this free event. Register online or contact a metro library.
  • Author Visit: Jennifer Wilson: 3:00 pm, March 29, at the Cedar Rapids Public Library, 450 5th Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids. Registration is requested for this free event. Register online or contact a metro library.

For more information, visit our Event Schedule.

Linn Area Reads is supported by Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Friends of the Cedar Rapids Public Library, Friends of the Hiawatha Public Library, Friends of the Marion Public Library, and the Metro Library Network.

One Book Two Book Children’s Literature Festival

onebooktwobookThe third annual One Book Two Book Children’s Literature Festival, presented by the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature and sponsored by the Pearson Foundation, will be held Jan. 17-19, 2014.

The weekend features author presentations, children’s book character meet-and-greets, a book fair, recognition of student writing and more, nearly all of it free and open to the public.

The weekend begins with the annual “Once Upon a Time” banquet at the Sheraton Iowa City, on Friday, January 17. That event features a keynote presentation by bestselling children’s author and illustrator Loren Long, creator of the New York Times bestselling Otis series, and illustrator of President Barack Obama’s Letter to My Daughters: Of Thee I Sing and the newest edition of the classic The Little Engine that Could.

In addition, the evening will feature readings by one student from each Iowa City area elementary school, including all Iowa City Community School District schools, Willowwind and Regina. These 21 students were hand-picked by their schools to participate in the event. Thanks to sponsorship by Terry Lockridge & Dunn and World Trend Financial, each participating school will receive a free table for students and guests to attend the event.

Saturday, January 18, features readings by Long and other popular children’s authors, skits, music and a book fair. Events will be held in the Sheraton Iowa City ballroom and the Iowa City Public library from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The events are free and open to the public. Attendees are eligible for door prizes.

Presenting authors include Loren Long, Sarah Aronson, Laura Purdie Salas, Brian Farrey, and Katherine House.

Two events on Saturday offer older students the chance to work with professionals to create and polish their own creations. Comic Book Confidential, a comic book workshop featuring Eric Gapstur, Aaron Gillespie, and Phil Hester, will be held from 10 a.m. to noon in the Carver Room by Share in the Sheraton, the trio will share highlights from their own portfolios and then guide participants through the process of transforming an idea into a comic. Comic Book Confidential is for students in grades 5 and up; pre-registration is required. Visit www.onebooktwobook.org/comic-book-confidential/ to sign up today.

The Junior High Writing Jam will bring together seventh and eighth grade students to share ideas and be inspired. Held from noon to 2 p.m. at Fair Grounds Café at 345 S. Dubuque, this event is moderated by the Youth Writing Project and will feature visiting authors Sarah Aronson (Head Case; Beyond Lucky; and Believe) and Brian Farrey (The Vengekeep Prophesies series; With or Without You). ; Pre-registration is required. Visit http://www.onebooktwobook.org/writing-jam/ to sign up today.

Sunday, January 19, brings “Write Out Loud,” a celebration of student authors that will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Englert Theatre in Iowa City. Hundreds of students in grades 1-8 wrote one-page pieces for the festival, and the best will be recognized at this special new event.

Two students from each grade will be honored for “excellence” in one of the following

categories, The Write Stuff and From the Heart, and they will read their work on stage. Other student “Writers of Distinction” will be recognized and are eligible for door prizes.

Refreshments will be served as this event, which also is free and open to the public.

Volunteers still are needed for Friday and Saturday events. Visit http://bit.ly/1B2Bvolunteers for more information or to sign up.

Support for the festival comes from the Pearson Foundation, Terry, Lockridge & Dunn, World Trend Financial, ACT, Hills Bank, Sheraton Iowa City, and Pearson.

For more information on the One Book Two Book festival presented by the Pearson Foundation,  please visit www.onebooktwobook.org or contact the City of Literature office at (319) 887-6100 or info@cityofliteratureusa.org.

Press Cafe Offers Drive-Up Access

The weather outside is frightful, but the drive-up at Press Cafe downtown gives you easy access to hot beverages (and food!) without ever leaving your vehicle.

Press Cafe, located on first floor of the downtown library, features a full menu of great coffee drinks as well as tea and soda. They make fresh pastries daily, which will suit any sweet tooth, as well as a full menu of soups, sandwiches and salads for lunch. Specials vary! They are worth a visit, either by foot or by car.

Press Cafe Hours
M-Th 6am-9pm
Fri 6am-5pm
Sat 7am-5pm
Sun 10am-5pm
*Includes drive-up

Employ U

professionals-meeting-presentationAre 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 U. These classes kick off on January 21 at 1:00 pm with a special open house and presentation.

Each session teaches different aspects of job hunting, resume building, and career development. Victoria Spain, recruiter from RufalloCODY, is volunteering her time to bring her knowledge to the public. Classes are free and registration is required. Click here to register online or call (319) 261-READ to have a staff member assist you.

January 21: Kickoff Open House, 1 – 3 pm, Beems Auditorium, Downtown Library

January 28: Job Search Basics, 2 – 3:30 pm, Technology Learning Center, Downtown Library

February 11: Resumes, 2 – 3:30 pm, Technology Learning Center, Downtown Library

February 25: Online Job Searching, 2 – 3:30 pm, Technology Learning Center, Downtown Library

March 11: Interviewing, 2 – 3:30 pm, Technology Learning Center, Downtown Library

March 25: After You Get the Job, 2 – 3:30 pm, Technology Learning Center, Downtown Library