Libraries have been a staple in communities since the beginning of time. They are not just homes to only books on shelves arranged by the Dewey Decimal System but places that house the knowledge of everything there is to know. Since the birth of the internet libraries are slowly becoming old-fashioned but just like all else, they are adapting to the new age and succeeding. Yes, in a regular library there are thousands of books on shelves for anyone to check out and read but there are also computers, meeting spaces, activities, and sometimes even coffee shops. They have become places where people can go for leisure, entertainment, learning, and more. We have four amazing public libraries in our Curious Communities with the Iowa City Public Library, University of Iowa Main Library, Coralville Public Library, and the North Liberty Community Library. Why do we love our libraries so much? Because they all offer opportunities to learn with programs, recourses, and activities for all ages while staying heavily involved with the communities around them.
The Iowa City Public Library is located downtown on Linn St. With rows of shelves, it holds over 250,000 books on two floors. The kid’s sections can be found in the Ellen Buchanan Children’s Room. The whole book collection spans the entire range of the Dewey Decimal System and can all be looked up on their website for more information on availability. Throughout each month the library holds a variety of educational events and programs for all ages including bilingual storytelling for kids or digital media classes for adults. They have wi-fi and desktop computers for anyone to use along with study and meeting rooms. Their website is also home to a blog with articles written by staff members like tech & creativity events for adults in December.
The University of Iowa Main Library is a five story building on W. Washington St. east of the Iowa River. Although run by the university, anyone in the public is allowed in and use limited recourses if you don’t mind being around literally hundreds of students. There are other university library buildings but the others are unique to a specific major. Out of all the University of Iowa Libraries, there are over 5,000,000 books. Exhibits at the Main Library give the general public access to the rich collections including historically significant items. Also inside the main library, there are several study and work areas. If you get hungry or thirsty, you can head to the on-site cafe.
Located on 5th St. the Coralville Public Library is home to 81,500 books all on a single level. You can check out the full collection on their website with books even categorized in sections like “New York Times Best Sellers of the Week”. Inside the library there are several places to sit and read or work. One favorite spot to many is by the fireplace. There is wi-fi and also multiple desktop computers available. If you have a group there are meeting spaces you can sign up for. The Coralville Public Library has several educational programs for all ages from children to adults including free beginner english class and story time fun. They also hold events for special occasions like a New Years Eve scavenger hunt. The on-side cafe is the perfect place for a drink or snack.
The North Liberty Community Library is attached to the Community Building on W. Cherry St. and holds nearly 42,000 books. All their books and other materials like magazines or DVDs can be found on their website with some in categories like “Winter Stories.” There are several great spots to sit and read or do work with wi-fi available along with desktop computers. Meeting rooms are also available to bring groups to. Just like the others, the North Liberty Community Library offers several recourses and educational classes for all ages. Among those, each summer they hosts five reading programs for children up to adults with weekly activities for each. On their website, you can find a blog with several articles along with educational podcasts.