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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.

Picture of library

    Readlyn is proud to have a city library which was established in 1965 by Mrs. Ethyl Rommell who felt that the growing town needed a library for the betterment of the community.   The Readlyn Community Library first originated in the back room of the City Hall on March 27, 1965.  Books were purchased from money raised locally and donations from towns people.  The library continued to add more items and eventually outgrew the original building.   The new building was constructed in 1968, and a multi-purpose room was added in 1992. 
 
   Glennis Meier was the first librarian and served for 26 years until August 1991.  Carol Strottmann was director for 14 years from August 1991 to March 2005.   Barb Sowers served as director from 2005-2013 and again 2017-present,  Amie Whiteside 2013-2014 and Linda McCarty 2014-2017. The staff has gone through many adaptations over the years and is now made up of two part-time employees, Barb Sowers and Nancy Lockard.

   The library has always kept pace with the new formats and programming.   The Video collection was introduced in the late 70’s and now has about 1,200 selections.  Public computers made their appearance in the 1980’s and the automation system was launched with the new millennium in 2000.  Today the library offers audio books on CD, DVDs, computers, WiFi and of course books. The library has four public access computer stations and a wireless network for laptop users.

The state of Iowa started an accreditation process in 1994 and Readlyn has been very proud to be accredited at the top level of three possible levels every three years. In fact, the first time, Readlyn was one of only 81 libraries who reached the top level out of 580 libraries in Iowa. There are twenty-nine required measures that must be met and forty-three of fifty-nine additional measures that must be met. The accreditation covers Governance, Administration, Funding, Staffing, Collection, Public Relations, Access and Facilities. This accreditation report is now quite important as the library receives state funds based on the accreditation level the library has achieved.

   To keep up with the changing times, the Readlyn Community Library has evolved in many ways.  Today's libraries are multi-faceted – many things to many people. They are a resource providing assistance, knowledge, entertainment and a sense of community. The library has always held an important role in the community of Readlyn and the surrounding area. That will never change.

 Interested in more history?  Check out the Iowa Historical Society.