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Library History

In early 1965 a group of interested persons met to discuss the possibility of having a public library in Meservey.  The first library opened in December 1965 in the town council meeting place.  This building also served as the city jail in earlier years (shown on left).

The first librarian was Dorothy Nordman with Evelyn Gaetzke as the assistant.  There was also a seven member library board.  Wooden planks were used to serve as book shelves and we borrowed books from the Area Extension service in Mason City, Iowa.  Books were also donated by the community.  Children from the school came periodically to check out materials.

In 1968, a new brick building was erected across from the public school.  Pledges were taken from the public and matching funds were received from the Kinney-Lindstrom Foundation to finance the project.  The size of the library was 32' x 44'.  Floor space was 1408 square feet, an all open area.  We had 936 square feet of library shelving, having added more shelf space twice.  Available chairs and tables were added, also card catalogs.

According to library standards at the time, minimum floor space should be at least 2000 square feet.  An addition was added to the west end of the library and completed in 1976.  This added 672 square feet.  This addition was also funded by the Kinney-Lindstrom Foundation.  

After the death of Dorothy Nordman in 1971, Evelyn Gaetzke was hired as the head librarian and Linda Van Osten was hired as the assistant librarian.  In 1981 Darla White was hired as the assistant and she took over as head librarian when Evelyn Gaetzke resigned. In 1992 Darla White resigned and Valerie Koehler was hired as head librarian and stayed until 2003, when Tonya Uhde replaced her as director.  Pat Suntken was the next library director, and Chelsea Price replaced Pat as director in April 2015, with Diane Peterson as librarian. Diane then retired as librarian in the spring of 2019 and Samantha Hafermann became the librarian in June 2019.

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