May 24, 2022

Iowa: Cedar Rapids Public Library Builds Brand New Collection of 200,000 Items

From The Gazette (Cedar Rapids):

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.

See Also: High hopes for new Cedar Rapids library (February 10, 2013; via The Gazette)

See Also: Work begins on new Cedar Rapids Public Library (December 5, 2011; via The Gazette)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.