Education

Cedar Rapids library staff go door to door for library card signups

Cedar Rapids Public Library employee Heather Meyer-Boothby (right) processes a library card renewal for Mona Myhlhousen as volunteer Jazon Lea talks to her about library services during a door-to-door library card drive as part of Library Card Signup month in the Time Check neighborhood in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)
Cedar Rapids Public Library employee Heather Meyer-Boothby (right) processes a library card renewal for Mona Myhlhousen as volunteer Jazon Lea talks to her about library services during a door-to-door library card drive as part of Library Card Signup month in the Time Check neighborhood in Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2015. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — Six groups of Cedar Rapids library staff and volunteers spent Tuesday evening in neighborhoods signing residents up for library cards.

September is national library card signup month, which sparked the idea for the direct community outreach.

“We decided to go out and meet people where they are, Library Director Dara Schmidt said. “We want to let them know that they can get a library card, that its part of their taxes, its already paid for, and they should come and use the amazing resources that are available to them.”

Schmidt said a lot of things have changed in the library, and they want to let the community know what a 21st century library can offer.

The library is also facing a November vote on a 27-cent property tax levy, which supporters were able to put on the ballot earlier this month.

Without the levy, the library will have to cut back on services and hours, officials said. Currently, about five percent of the city’s total operations budget goes toward the library, and its foundation provides funding for things beyond basic operation.

The city and the foundation have provided extra funding toward the library over the last several years to get the downtown and Ladd locations up and running, but Schmidt said the funding is no longer available.

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT

“We’re definitely looking at, at least closing one day a week at each location. We also will have to cut back significantly on our outreach. We’re going to have to just concentrate on keeping the doors open,” Schmidt said.

Cynthia Monroe has volunteered with the library for more than a decade, and she says the community knowing what the library has to offer is important.

“For me libraries mean freedom, information, and equality. We are so blessed in this city, and this land to have our libraries. They have their arms open to everyone,” Monroe said.

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

CONTINUE READING

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.