CR Library finalist for community service award

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- The Cedar Rapids Public Library is among 30 finalists for the nation's highest honor that goes to museums and libraries for service to the community, the National Medal for Museum and Library Service.

The Cedar Rapids Public Library downtown branch on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette-KCRG)

From those 30 finalists, the Institute of Museum and Library Services will pick five winners to honor in Washington D.C. Each will receive a $5,000 grant.

The Cedar Rapids Library is asking for your help. It wants you to share your experiences at the library on the IMLS Facebook page.

The president of the board of trustees says the library truly represents the community of Cedar Rapids.

"This is the melting pot of Cedar Rapids. Our community rooms, our activities are here and open for everybody. And we are very proud of what the library accomplishes," said Harriet Kalinsky.

The institute will pick the winners next month.

Budget cuts last year forced both branches of the Cedar Rapids library to trim the hours they're open. Since then, usage, circulation, and visits have dropped. Despite that, the library said program attendance increased last year.