Columbus Junction Public Library History

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

Columbus Junction's first library was located in a building built in 1882 for a public school. In 1936, the building was transferred to the town of Columbus Junction by the school district. For a few years time, it was used as a community building. The first library was started in the west room upstairs. Individuals donated books and various organizations held fund raising projects to help out. In July 1948, the town council passed an ordinance establishing a library and board of trustees. The first meeting was held on July 18, 1948.

Fire damaged the building in 1959 and the library was moved to the west room on the main floor. In 1971 the library was moved to the larger east room. In 1982, the library received a $23,000 grant from the Kinney-Linstrom Foundation of Hanlontown, Iowa, for remodeling the library. In 1990, with permission from the city, the west room was added to the library to be used as a children's library and meeting room.

In 1990, Marie Spaethe, former library board of trustees member, left $250,000 to be used for the construction of a new library. A city study was done, and a steering committee and foundation was formed. A decision was made to construct a building that would hold the library, city hall, and police department. After 15 years of fund raising, the Columbus Community Civic Center became a reality in 2005. A ribbbon cutting and open house was held on February 13, 2006. The library was open the next day, and, by the end of the month, 74 new card holders had been registered.

If you are interested in more local history, please visit the Iowa State Historical Society.