Technology Vision: It is the vision of the Estherville Public Library to continue to provide good quality equipment and to expand and ensure equal access to electronic information resources to all citizens.
The Friends of the Estherville Public Library are the second-largest contributor of funding for library programs and services. In 2016 alone, over $7,000 were contributed towards the following:
In January of 2012, the Friends began sending out what will become an annual membership drive letter. Click here to view / print a copy, which can be used to join this low-cost organization that brings back considerable value to our community. Those who join will receive a mailed or emailed (your choice) edition of our quarterly newsletter, which gives all of the behind-the-scenes information about upcoming events at your library.
The library dates to 1903, after Estherville became Iowa’s twelfth community to receive a Carnegie library grant. The entrance was shifted when the library was significantly expanded in 1995; the renovated library was rededicated in November of that year.
January 18, 1871
First meeting of The Progressive Society and Library Association
February 23, 1880
Monday Club was formed
City of Estherville was Incorporated
April 17, 1882
Monday Club voted to start a library with a collection of their own books
First Library: Warren Barber Home (where Middle School now stands). Mrs. Barber served as Librarian.
Second Library: Bemis Store (where the Post Office now stands).
Third Library: Dr. McMillan's Office (where the City Offices are now located).Fourth Library: Second floor of Coon Block (above what is now Don Jose's Restaurant).The question of a suitable building for housing the library was expressed in 1897 (and had been brewing for several years prior).Ordinance No. 120 of the City of Estherville, approved on February 6, 1897, and signed by E.E. Hartung, Mayor, and N.B. Egbert, Citiy Clerk, authorized the submission of the question of levying an eight cent tax for the support of the library to the voters at the next general municipal election. This was done and the voters, by a small majority, decided in favor of the tax. This election was held in March, 1897. However, on Tuesday evening, June 8, 1897, the trustees decided to close the library because of lack of funds. All books were called in by June 15, 1897. The special tax became available April 1, 1899, and the library resumed business.W.P. Ward, City Supervisor, corresponded with Andrew Carnegie in regard to a gift for a Library building in Estherville. Mayor Hartung received a letter from Carnegie stating he would give $10,000 to the city with the understanding that the city furnish a site and pledge $1,000 annually for its support.
Carnegie building was completed and occupied by Fall. First official Librarian: Sade Davidson.
Registered Borrowers: 1,095
Registered Borrowers: 430
Registered Borrowers: 410
Taxes approved for addition to balcony.
Lucile Peterson became Librarian. The first redecorating took place.
Registered Borrowers: 2,400
Registered Borrowers: 3,150
Complete redecoration, new lighting system, and rewiring of building.
Registered Borrowers: 3,465
Registered Borrowers: 3,073
First Children's Librarian: Maye Case.
Estherville Public Library became affiliated with the State Library of Iowa.
Registered Borrowers: 3,943
Carolyn (Knutson) Walz began employment.
June 1st, Lucile Peterson retired after 42 years. Ethel Lyman was appointed Librarian.
County approved Library support.
Estherville Public Library joined Siouxland Co-operative. Later Siouxland changed to War Eagle Co-operative.
A Large Print collection was introduced.
Rural town support was received.
Registered Borrowers: 4,798
Bond referendum for a new building defeated by 81% .
Ethel Lyman retired. Christine Anderson was Director.
Christine Anderson resigned and Carolyn Walz was named Acting Director.
Carolyn Walz appointed Director of Library Services.
Air conditioning installed.
Purchase of first microfilm machine (made possible with donations from local service clubs).
Redecorated Library: paint, paper and carpet.
Water blasted, sand blasted, tuck-pointed, mortar and caulked the outside of the Library.
Registered Borrowers: 9,280
Registered Borrowers: 10,522
Feasibility Study of the library.
Bond Referendum passed by 81%
Capital Campaign for Fundraising
October 30, 1993 Closed Carnegie building.
November 8, 1993 Opened temporary location.
April 4, 1994 Groundbreaking Ceremony for new addition.
Volumes to date: 55,430
Circulation to date: 41,105
Registered Borrowers to date: 10,798
November 5, 1995
Grand Opening of newly expanded facility.
November 28, 2011
Tena (Sunde) Hanson hired as Director of Library Services. Carolyn Walz retired January 7, 2012 after 50 years of dedicated service.