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Library History

Read how this library was established and how it has evolved to become such an important part of our community.

The Donnellson Public Library


The Donnellson Public Library was first organized in March, 1935, during the height of the Great Depression.  A local doctor donated space in his waiting room to house the library, and the first librarian was a volunteer, named Mrs. McMurren.  Both books in German, and in English were approved by the Board at it’s first meeting, to be included in the library’s collection.  Donnellson had many citizens who were first generation immigrants at this time.  The Board gathered 55 books from area donors, and agreed to spend an additional $10.00 on books to stock the shelves.  Thus, the Donnellson Community Library was born, and stayed in the same space until 1952.

The growing library moved from the doctor’s waiting room to the Krebill Building, and shared space with a feed store from 1952-1958.  The Librarian, Miss Katie Krehbiel, had to sit on sacks of seed and feed during the spring planting season, while she waited on patrons.

In 1958, the library moved to a space above the Citizen’s State Bank, and continued to grow.  A major bequest was given by Helen Paisley in 1973. The current building, known as the Harris Building, at 500 Park St., was purchased in increments.  Half of the building was renovated to house the library beginning in 1972.  The other half, which was used as an insurance office, was purchased and renovated in 1986, and the library was further expanded into the building that houses it today.

A new library is going to be built right on Donnellson's Main Street, in the lot formerly occupied by the Wooden Pig Restaurant.  Fundraising will begin in the winter of 2010-2011, after the soil testing is completed, and the property rights are transferred to the City of Donnellson.





This resource is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by State Library of Iowa.