Though the books–nearly 200,000 of them–won’t arrive by the truckload until July 18, a staff of seven people have been deciding what books will sit on the new library’s shelves for two years.
The collection that was lost in the flood of 2008 had been curated by many people over a period of more than 100 years. Though roughly 100,000 of those books were saved, they are currently in circulation out of the Ladd Library and only a few of them will be moved to the new downtown location. That means the downtown location will be comprised, almost completely, of a brand new collection.
Erin Horst, collection and reference librarian, said she’s enjoyed the process.
“It really is a book-lovers dream, having this kind of selection you just kind of get to build your ideal library, but I’m also trying to keep in mind what the people here are going to want, so you really try to be objective about things and really try to do what’s best for the community,” Horst said. “It is a really huge responsibility, beyond being fun and exciting for me personally, this is the government’s money and it’s the community’s money and so we want to make sure we’re spending it the right way.”
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Note: The grand opening of the new Cedar Rapids Downtown Library is scheduled for August 24, 2013. Learn more here.