Library History

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

In December 1977, the Exira Thursday Club made provisions for the transfer of the Thursday Club Library, established January 25, 1894, to the city of Exira.  The city council drew up an ordinance to provide for the establishment of a free public library and for the creation and appointment of a board of trustees.  The change from a private to a public library made income available from county library taxes, revenue sharing, and municipal funds for the maintenance of the library.

The library is a member of the Southwest Iowa Library Service Area (SWILSA) located in Council Bluffs.  Many services are offered to library patrons through SWILSA as well as the State Library of Iowa.  Continuing Education classes, funding opportunities, online databases and interlibrary loans are just a few of these services.

The library's collection includes print books, audio books, periodicals, music CDs, videos, DVDs, and puzzles of over 18,000.   There are three public access computers and one staff computer all with Internet access.  Wireless Internet connection is available inside and outside of the library.

Other services available to patrons include a fax machine, photocopier, and microfilm reader.  Stafff and volunteers are in the process of transferring the library's entire collection to an automation web-based program which will allow us to electronically register patrons, make accurate statistics for state, regional and local reports. 

A preschool story time is conducted weekly from September through May and a Summer Reading Program is available for children from preschool age through young adults. 

Current staff members include Sandy Bauer, Director: Lydia Wahlert, Assistant Librarian/Children's Librarian: Shirley Schlater, general desk duties: and Julie Johnson, part time children's librarian.  Maude Oldaker, Eloise Jensen, Carolyn Sams, Mary Greving, Rhoda Williams and Deb Gust are among those who served as librarians through the years.  Current volunteer Library Board of Trustees include Scott Kristy, Christie Knudsen, Helen Runge, Charlotte Smetana, David Schrampfer, Natalie Smouse and Cherie Petty.

Besides county and city funding the library receives funding from individual patron donations, memorials and business donation.