Cedar Rapids Public Library Announces Launchpads

The Cedar Rapids Public Library is excited to announce the release of a new tablet designed to meet the needs of its youngest customers: Launchpads. Launchpads are made possible by the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation with a grant from ITC Holdings Corp.

Launchpads, a kid-friendly tablet designed for libraries to lend, come preloaded with educational apps that allow children to practice literacy, math and technical skills. They use specially designed educational apps that aim to make learning fun and promote digital access for all. Launchpads are designed for children ages 3-7.

“Launchpads do not require an internet connection or wifi, making them accessible to everyone in our community,” said Cedar Rapids Public Library Director Dara Schmidt. “The support of the CRPL Foundation and grants from companies like ITC allow us to continue to meet the needs of our public for access to technology in innovative ways and we are grateful for their support.”

“ITC is pleased to once again partner with the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation to put useful technology in the hands of young library patrons,” said Krista Tanner, President of ITC Midwest, the Cedar Rapids-based operating company of ITC. “Launchpads can introduce kids to technology, which we hope drives a lifelong interest in science and technical topics. That’s critical both for their success and the success of our society.”

Launchpads are currently available for checkout at the Downtown Cedar Rapids Public Library only. They are available for 14-day checkout to any card holder in good standing and with all privileges for at least three months. The card holder must present the card at time of checkout. Only one tablet can be checked out per card, renewable up to two times. Tablets may be placed on hold.

About the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation

The Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation advocates for and provides a reliable and growing funding source so that the library may impact our community and transform its quality of life through education, civic engagement, the arts, and entertainment.

About ITC Holdings Corp.

ITC Holdings Corp. (NYSE: ITC) is the nation’s largest independent electric transmission company. ITC owns and operates high-voltage transmission facilities in Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma, serving a combined peak load exceeding 26,000 megawatts along approximately 15,600 circuit miles of transmission line.


Pink Floyd Studio Albums Available on Freegal January 1

Pink Floyd released the ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ LP in March of 1973. It was on the Billboard charts for fourteen consecutive years after that date. The LP holds the record as the longest time spent on the charts. According to Billboard, the album still sells an estimated 8-9,000 copies a week and it remains one of the best-selling albums in the world.The Dark Side Of The Moon was also named the #1 Rock Album of all time by Rolling Stone. That  legendary album was only one of Pink Floyd’s massive releases.

“The Wall’ LP is also one of the top selling albums in music history, having sold over 23 million copies in the U.S. alone. Just some of the band’s other major releases include ‘Animals’ LP, ‘Atom Heart Mother’ LP and ‘The Division Bell’ LP.

Pink Floyd was named as one of the ‘Greatest Artists of All Time’ by Rolling Stone and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Starting January 1, 2016, all fifteen of the Pink Floyd studio albums, and more, will be available on the Freegal site.

Cedar Rapids Public Library card holders have access to thousands of songs for free via Freegal, the online library service for free and legal music downloads. Card holders can download up to five songs per week for absolutely free! Please note: This service is available to Cedar Rapids residents only.

Login to Freegal with your library card twenty-four hours a day, anywhere you can access the Internet.


Children’s Adventures in Coding at the Cedar Rapids Public Library

The Cedar Rapids Public Library is thrilled to offer a new four-week program designed to introduce kids ages 5-7 years of age and their adults to early coding skills based on the book Hello Ruby. Hello Ruby is a hello rubybook designed to be a whimsical way to learn about technology, computing and coding.

The four-week program, called Children’s Adventures in Coding, will meet starting January 12 at 4 pm at the downtown library. Each week will build on the previous week’s skills, including reading from the book and participating in two to three early coding activities. No computers are used in this program, but basic skills necessary to learn coding are taught to begin laying the groundwork for this new kind of language.

WHAT: Hello Ruby: Adventures in Coding Early Childhood Program
WHEN: January 12, 19, 26 and February 2 at 4 pm
WHERE: Downtown Cedar Rapids Public Library, 450 5th Avenue SE, Cedar Rapids 52401
WHO: Children ages 5-7 and their caregivers
REGISTER: Registration is required and attendance at each session highly encouraged. Please click here to register, or call (319) 261-READ for assistance.

Hello Ruby: Adventures in Coding Early Childhood Program is supported by the Giacoletto Foundation.

June 17 Construction Update

The weather is getting warmer and along with the sunshine comes dreams of the new library and grand opening day–August 24! The staff are getting ready for the big move to the new building. Right now, our IT Department is taking computers into the new library and getting them ready for use. They have over 100 public computers to prepare, along with the dozens of staff computers behind the scenes. It’s not a quick or easy job but we have a great team and they are working hard every day so we can jump right into work and be ready for opening.

Along with computers, we are seeing the arrival of furniture throughout the second floor. We have desks and computer tables set up and wired for power. Soon we will see trucks coming with our shelving–enough to hold the approximately 225,000 volumes that will fill the library!

Remember to mark your calendar for Grand Opening on Saturday, August 24 at 10:00 am. We’ll start with a party in Greene Square, then move on to a community-wide ribbon cutting. We’ll bring the scissors!

Cedar Rapids Public Library Holds Free eReader Classes

If you are one of the many American’s who received an ereader or tablet computer as a gift downloadable books-ebooks 2during the holiday season, the Cedar Rapids Public Library is offering a series of classes to help you get started on downloading ebooks from the library.

“Learning to use a new device can be difficult for many of us,” said Amber Mussman, Public Information Officer at the Cedar Rapids Public Library. “Our library offers classes on how to download library ebooks onto Kindles, Nooks and iPads.”

Classes are offered a variety of days and times:

Library eBooks for Kindle:

December 31 at 1:00 pm

January 5 at 9:00 am

Library eBooks for iPad:

December 31 at 2:30 pm

January 2 at 7:30 pm

January 3 at 9:00 am

January 7 at 3:30 pm

Library eBooks for Nook:

January 2 at 6:00 pm

January 3 at 10:30 am

January 8 at 1:00 pm

The Metro Library Network (Cedar Rapids, Hiawatha and Marion Public Libraries) share a collection of ebooks and downloadable audiobooks which are available to library card holders at no charge through a program called OverDrive. The collection grows regularly as more content becomes available to libraries.

The Library’s OverDrive program for ebooks is available for use on a variety of other devices, including:

  • Kobo eReader
  • Liberati eReader
  • Pandigital Novel
  • PocketBook Pro 602
  • Skytex Primer
  • Sony Reader
  • And others

Find a complete list of supported devices here: http://www.overdrive.com/resources/drc/Default.aspx?type=ebook.

Library staff is available to answer questions and assist with ebooks and ereaders. Visit our locations or call (319) 398-5123 for assistance, or check our website (www.crlibrary.org) for tutorials.

Book Vending Machine: “The Biblio-Mat”

Check this out! “The Biblio-Mat is a random book dispenser built by Craig Small (thejuggernaut.ca) for The Monkey’s Paw, an idiosyncratic antiquarian bookshop in Toronto. Biblio-Mat books cost two dollars. When a customer puts coins into it, the Biblio-Mat dramatically whirrs and vibrates as the machine is set in motion.”

Read more about it here.

Library eBooks from CRPL

Our reference staff has created these easy to follow instructions for using your new e-Reader with the Library! Follow our easy directions below for your type of eReader. If you don’t see your eReader on the list, follow the directions for the Nook and Sony readers.

Nook/Sony Directions

Kindle Directions

iPad Directions