For many, the first thought upon reading the title of this blog would be, "who uses the LIBRARY anymore?" Well, for starters, me. Secondly, kids. Dolly Parton's Imagination Library is an initiative that has come to Cedar Rapids, giving kids the chance to have free books to read on a regular basis.

You can do more at the library than just check out books, magazines and CDs. You can also check out the modern day electronic versions of them, free of charge.

Free internet access may not impress you, but for folks without access to it, the library lets them apply for jobs online or do their homework. The Cedar Rapids Library hosts book clubs, including the summer DARE program for youth to keep them learning all summer. There are also computer classes and sometimes even free entertainment from local jazz bands and school music classes.

You can even stop in for coffee or lunch at the Greyhound Cafe.

If you'd like to celebrate National Library Week this week (April 7-13), here are a few ideas:

  • Visit your local library and fill out a "thank you card" for the work they do.
  • Pick up a "Library Supporter" sticker or a "Follow Me To The Library" bumper sticker to show your support
  • Pick up a new bookmark to display your love for your library
  • Post on social media using the hashtag #nationallibraryweek
  • Simply stop by and thank your local librarians in person for their dedication

It's a community resource whose demise is being greatly exaggerated, if Cedar Rapids branches at 450 5th Ave. SE and 3750 Williams Blvd. SW are any indication.

[Via Cedar Rapids Public Library]