Sumner Public Library

206 North Railroad Street
Sumner, IA 50674


Library History

The Sumner Public Library opened in March of 1937, with a total of 1,200 books through the donations of businesses, organizations, and individuals.  After the building of the new city hall was completed, the library moved into the second floor.  As the library continued to grow, the quarters became cramped.

In the 1960's, Virginia Whitmire offered the old Ford building to the city for a nominal price, and with the help of many dedicated citizens, funding was raised and the necessary renovations were completed.  This building, located on the corner of First Street and Pleasant Street, became the home of the Sumner Public Library by 1966 and was shared by the Sumner Fire Department.  For 35 years the library continued to grow and many services were added.  Books in paperback, large print, and audio were added as well as puppets, puzzles, movies, cake pans, and catalogs.  With the increasing technological advances, a microfilm reader/printer, slide projectors, film projectors, videocassette and audiocassette players and recorders, copy machine, computers, and Internet connection were added.

The library had begun to outgrow the space available and in January of 1998 Sumner voters approved a local option sales tax that would fund a new library and aquatic center.  With seed money to begin, a capital campaign, Project Reach was organized and money was raised for the two projects.  A new library was built at 206 N. Railroad Street and the move into the completed building took place in January, 2001.  At the new location there was room for more computers, a meeting room, a large play/reading area for children and additional areas for reading and studying.

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