Library History

The town of Mitchellville was founded by Thomas Mitchell in 1856. The city library was originally established in 1951 on the second floor of the fire station. Besides books, today the library offers audio books, DVDs, access to countless online databases, and free wi-fi. The library has 9 public access computer stations and has 6 laptops available for in-library-use checkout. They also have several iPads available for in-library-use and 3 day checkout. The staff has grown over the years and is now made up of a part-time library director, a full-time programming librarian, and one part-time library clerk.

    The Mitchellville Public Library opened its door for the first time on October 21, 1951.  It was located on the second floor of the old fire station.  By the mid-1950s, a new library was soon needed, as the many steps to the second floor kept some older residents from using the facility. A local physician, Dr. David T. Nicoll, said that he would donate money for the building of a new library if the city would donate the land. In November of 1958, a red brick structure at 204 Center Ave. North became the new home of the library.  Measuring only 20' x 20', it was much smaller than the old one, but was accessible to all citizens.

    By the end of the 1960s the little library was packed to its limit with books.  There was not enough space to hold the children at storytime.  In 1976 the library board established a fundraising committee, with the goal to add about 1,000 square feet.  The library was housed in an old bookmobile during construction.  In 1979, the completed structure opened its doors. Finally there was plenty of room for children's programs.  But by the mid 1990s an old problem reocurred...the library was out of space again.
    In 2004 the City of Mitchellville accepted an empty former grocery store to house a new library.  This was located across the street from the old library. A Library Foundation was established with the goal to raise $600,000.  Remodeling started in early 2007, with a grand opening of the new library held on Sept. 15, 2007 at 205 Center Avenue North. 
     Our present library now covers 5,000 square feet with plenty of space for growth.  It houses a reading room with fireplace, activity room, teen corner, children's learning area with learning computer, and 6 public computers, with laptops available to use within the library as well.

 

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