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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.

History of Springville Memorial Library

The first move toward establishing a town library was made by Monday Club in 1945.  At that time, Mrs. C.B. Willming, a member, asked for cooperation from the Springville school board and received a positive answer.  The club appointed Grace Wellner, Francis Safley, and Nell Wiley to a library committee, and long-time English teacher, Geneva Walters worked in the school to combine a town and school library.


Soon, after paper drives and other fund-raising efforts, Monday Club decided to ask the town council if they might move the library to the town hall and receive tax money in support of the project.

Dorothy Cline, Aileen Thoma, and Marcella Gaearhart met with a receptive council, and by October, 1946, the library was sponsored by the town and the council, and a library board appointed including Susan Gearhart, Nell Wiley, Grace Wellner, Roland Safley, and Glen Bowdish.  Within a little over a year from the time the plan was started, shelves were built in the town hall and the books moved from the school.


A campaign for separate library space was soon started and by 1951, the addition was reality.  The new “Springville Memorial Library” was dedicated to the Springville boys (and those of the surrounding community) who lost their lives in World War II.  Their names were placed on a bronze plaque attached to the outside wall near the entrance.

Many organizations and individuals gave to the cause; Monday Club cashed its savings bond; the Community Club furnished money; the Civilian Defense Committee turned over funds left from scrap drives; Susan Gearhart secured a gift of $500 from an estate in Cedar Rapids; and many donated labor.


Through the years Monday Club has continued to support the library, contributing at different times, books, furnishings, money, and labor.


The boys to whom the library is dedicated are Arthur Chudzinski, Marvin W Groves, Wilfred Gorious, Ellsworth Hayden, John F. Kelly, Samuels S. Koch, Russell G Miner, Irl Patterson, Robert L. Secrist, Clarence L. Smith, Jerome Schwartz, and Lester Stone.


Source of Article:

“Story of a Town-Springville, IA 1881-1981”. Springville, IA. 1981. Print

Update:

Since this article was written our library has continued great success.  Thanks to the amazing support from our community and many fundraisers we were able to build a new library in 2005.  Our new library has so much to offer.  We have much more room for books, more areas to relax while reading, more computers, a rental space available for parties or meetings, and a study room.  We continue to grow our library as time goes on and thanks to the beautiful space we have built we have plenty of room to continue that growth.