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Sioux Rapids Memorial Library
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History

This could be a long story, but space forbids telling of all the details involved from the first thought to the final realization. The Womans Study Club of Sioux Rapids called a meeting of all those interested in establishing a library, at the Methodist Church, October 16, 1923, the purpose to organize a Library Association. On October 22, 1923 the constitution and bylaws were read and adopted and the first board of Trustees elected, consisting of 9 members, later changed to 7 and even later 5. After careful investigation our library was housed in two rooms over Larson's Hardware Store, on the corner of 2nd and Main. The first library director was Denora Skinner, paid $5.00 a month. She was librarian for 4 years. Replacing her in Aug. 1928 was Mrs. Luella Fairchild at the same salary, which was increased to $25.00 a month and then to $40.00. The money to buy books was paid for by various methods, first by a member drive, where everyone paid a dollar per membership. Then through various fundraisers and mostly by generous contributions of the very generous citizens and businesses in town. Memorials also played and still do play a big part in our operation and upkeep of the library. Over the years the library was housed in several business basements and upstairs, even in the depression, when we suffered the loss of all of our funds, we struggled to keep going. We asked for a tax levy and July 16, 1928 the town council voted to sponser the library. This really kept the library on the move from building to building. A new building project was started in 1947, and after about two years we had our beautiful new library. Which is the building we still are housed in today. It was built by the efforts of the Lion's Club, on land donated by Dr. & Mrs. T. R. Campbell, who continued to be lifelong supporters of the library along with many other Sioux Rapids Residents. Small changes have been made inside the library over the years, but basically today it stands as it did when the building was completed in 1949. And we are extremely proud to be able to offer the fine old fashioned service of almost 100 years ago and the wonderful new service that comes with the 21st century. Just a note of interest, since its organization in 1923 to the present day, only 7 librarians have been employed by the Sioux Rapids Memorial Library. I think we are very fortunate that these women loved their jobs, and cared so much about the library and the community.

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