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Cedar Rapids Public library offers easy access for students

By Mitch Grauberger
On December 3, 2018

The Cedar Rapids Public Library, as well as the Ladd Library on the southwest side of Cedar Rapids, the Marion Public Library and the Hiawatha Public Library, make up the Metro Library Network. 

“The library is great place where we have a ton of different materials. We have books, we have movies, magazines, audio books, music CDs, graphic novels, all that great stuff.  And it’s great because it’s all free.  You can get a library card for free, you can use the space for free, so if you have a group meeting, you want to work on a project, play practice, whatever you have,” said Molly Garrett, Young Adult Librarian.  “A lot of our resources online are very accessible.” 

Many of the online resources and databases offered by the public library system are also offered by the Kirkwood Library but there are some that are unique.  One of these is the digital archives with the Cedar Rapids Gazette.  

Garrett added, “It has everything that the Gazette has published, ever, under any of its newspaper titles.  That is from its start and it goes up to 2016.  They’re constantly adding more and it’s just a great resource if you’re doing a project or something like that.” 

Garrett went on to discuss how to get a library card. “You can come in and get a Quick Card no questions asked. We just need your name.  We don’t need any other information, no ID, nothing.  You get three checkouts per time and after 12 total checkouts, your card shuts off and you have to renew your privileges for it,” explained Garrett. 

One step up from a Quick Card is a Metro Lite Card and then the full access card is the Metro Card. 

“You need an ID to get one, anything with your picture and address works, so if you have a lease and your student ID, you can bring that in. If you have something with your current address, mail, anything.  You just bring it in. Metro Card allows you to have 99 items checked out, it never expires, so you don’t have to renew your privileges ever, $20 is the max fines you can have.” 

Garrett added there are volunteer opportunities for students who want to get more involved. “We have many in-house volunteer opportunities,” she said. 

For more information on volunteering at the Cedar Rapids Public Library, contact Jessica Link at  For more information on the services offered by the library, visit

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