Love My Library Essay Contest Winner Announced

Sixteen year old Bailey Zaputil of Cedar Rapids, a tenth grader at Kennedy High School, has been selected as the winner of the “Love My Library” Essay Contest held by the Cedar Rapids Public Library.

Students in grades 6 – 12 were asked to write an essay about what the Cedar Rapids Public Library means to them and why they “love” their library.

Bailey will receive a Nook Color e-reader and will read her essay at the new library groundbreaking celebration on Saturday.Please see Bailey’s essay below.

Runners up are sixth grader Arianna Frazee and sixth grader Breanna Kenney, both of Cedar Rapids. They will also receive special recognition during the groundbreaking ceremony as well as a $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble Booksellers.

Groundbreaking for the new Cedar Rapids Public Library is Saturday, May 5, 10 am – 12 pm. A brief program will be held at 10 am followed by refreshments and activities for the whole family. The community is invited to participate in this special event.

The Love My Library Essay Contest is sponsored by the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation. Learn more about the Library 3.0 Campaign to build your new Cedar Rapids Public Library at www.crlibrarycampaign.org.

For more information on the Cedar Rapids Public Library, visit www.crlibrary.org or call (319) 398-5123.

Welcome Home

            No matter where it stands, or what shape it takes, the Cedar Rapids Public Library has been, and is, my home. Not in the sense of “a home away from home.”  Home is not a location, like most people think, but a place in one’s heart: and every time I go the library, that place awakens.

What makes a home? One part is time. In my memories, the Downtown library is still perceived through the eyes of a child:  the magnificent spiraling staircase, the glittering chandeliers, the smell of books—some old and crumbling, some glossy and new. It is preserved, unspoiled by the disillusionment that comes with age. Even now, the architecture and the atmosphere is still a part of me. I learned to read there. I learned to love books there. It’s given me an opportunity to explore and learn of new worlds through books I could not have attained otherwise. I learned lessons through the words on book pages, and indeed, through the dreaded numbers of book fines.

The other thing that makes a home is love. So much was lost four years ago to the flood. But our community has moved on, proved that we were stronger than a disaster. The CRPL is where I can always fall back to when I’m bored or lonely or angry or happy. It’s a quiet place. It’s a quiet hearth tended by a strong community. I’ve always felt safe and content with the books and the people there.

Love and time has made the CRPL a part of my home—and people, if nothing else, should always have home to rely on. Even if it might change, the heart of it all is still the same—and that is what CPRL means to me: welcome home.

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