Nadine Elizabeth Sandberg grew up in Gilman, Iowa. She's no one famous. Just a hardworking Iowan who, according to a Cedar Rapids Public Library press release, worked for General Electric and helped build the Duane Arnold Energy Center.

She became one of the earliest residents at Cottage Grove Place in Cedar Rapids, and our condolences go to her family and loved ones following her passing on May 13, 2020, just shy of her 103rd birthday. Part of the secret to her long life might have been her love of books, and that love was shown with a million-dollar gift, her entire estate, to the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation, making them the sole beneficiary. CRPL director Dara Schmidt called it a "transformational gift" and told Iowa's News Now:

this gift makes it possible for the Library to continue offering critical and vital services and to strategically partner with our City to ensure a vision for the future of our west side that meets the needs of all our citizens.

According to its website, the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. This gift likely couldn't have come at a better time for CRPL. They've had challenges like many others during the pandemic. They've shifted to curbside hold pick-up, which you can learn how to reserve here and "Grab 'n Go" services to keep serving the community.

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The Cedar Rapids Public Library, its foundation and the City of Cedar Rapids will work together to look for ways to invest this donation into development, resources and opportunities for itself and the west side of Cedar Rapids, where its Ladd Library branch is located at 3750 Williams Blvd. SW.

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