Moving Begins Today into New Cedar Rapids Ladd Library

By Addison Speck, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The Cedar Rapids Library officially closed the doors on its Westdale Mall location. Library staff and volunteers will now spend the week moving into a permanent west side home.

"It's a big process. It's not a long drive, we're just going across the street, but it's a big move. We are taking all of our materials over there," said Amber Mussman, the Public Information Officer at the Cedar Rapids Library. Mussman said 60 to 70 thousand books and materials will need to be moved.

The new Ladd Library will offer amenities that the Westdale Mall location couldn't offer. "One of the great things that we are looking forward to is the natural light. There are big, beautiful windows in that place that just make it a wonderful place that you want to spend time in," said Mussman. The 21 thousand square-foot library will also feature study rooms, free Wi-Fi, and public restrooms. "It's just really exciting. I hate having to tell people they have to go somewhere else to use the bathroom," said Katie Pauls, a Volunteer at the Cedar Rapids Library.

Before the flood, the library used a 25 hundred square-foot storefront branch in Westdale Mall. In February of 2009, they expanded in Westdale to become a temporary main library. After booming business, leaders were confident there needed to be a permanent and significant west side library branch established. "I think this is a good move and I think people, especially on the west side, appreciate our moving to a site here on the west side," said Carol Hoke, the Youth Services Manager at the Cedar Rapids Library.

Until Saturday, there will be no west side library location available. "We tried to keep the time-span as short as possible for this move because we know how important it is to our customers that we here and open," said Mussman. The Armstrong Center downtown will be open Tuesday - Friday 9:00 a.m. To 5:00 p.m. Library goers can also use the Marion and Hiawatha libraries.

The grand opening of the Ladd Library will be this Saturday at 10:00 a.m. at 3750 Williams Blvd SW.
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