Today was a big day at the Cedar Rapids Public Library — the grand opening of the downtown library, once destroyed by flooding. No longer under construction … the doors opened this morning, and it became a busy, bustling place. Unless you stared at the ceiling …
… you saw lots, and lots, and lots of people. This meant lines everywhere — for tours (see the little flag in the photo just above — it barely shows, but I loved seeing these triangles bobbing through the crowds), for library cards, for check-out stations, for the elevator from the roof top. In the first hours after the new facility opened, it was evident that this town was enthralled by every cool feature, every vista, every possibility.
If you listened to all these people meeting their new public library, you heard great things. A woman standing in line behind me told me the new library was a credit to the city. Kids shrieked with excitement before dashing to explore the children’s room — puppet theater, cool seating options, and, yes, books. Sometimes a stranger would pause beside you and simply say, “This is wonderful.” And it was.
There was a surprise for me, too. As I passed the coffee shop one last time, I glanced at the librarian in the nearby teen room. A familiar face — one I’m used to seeing in my classroom. Molly, whose feet were last seen in these pictures of our students’ final research presentation, now treads the floors of this splendid new facility. One more wonderful find at the brand new Cedar Rapids library.