honor the past. celebrate the present. inspire the future.
In 1914, a few ladies gathered to discuss the value and the need of a Woman’s Club in Orange City, and from this nucleus, a Woman’s Federated Club was organized with civic improvement as one of its chief purposes. The greatest improvement and the best influence in the community, they felt, would be a public library which would interest not only the adults but particularly the young people of the community.
Immediately, a house-to-house canvass was made to acquaint the citizens with the project and also for contributions of books & funds. Then in 1915, with a few improvised shelves of books plus the ever helpful state traveling library books, the library was open. With untiring effort on the part of the Woman’s Club, the library grew rapidly until the problem of housing the library arose. With a real vision the club, in 1920, started a sinking-fund toward a community building which might offer recreation halls to the townspeople and a place for community gatherings as well as permanent home for our library. Because of this groups concentrated efforts 100 years ago, the Orange City Public Library is enriching a vibrant community by providing a comfortable space for the community to discover their roots, express creativity, and celebrate diversity through literature, information, and technology.
It is important to remember the rich tradition that all public libraries in our state and country share. Traditional things that libraries have always provided are still here and going strong such as children’s picture books and story times, best sellers, book discussion groups, and community programming, and of course the public library’s most important tradition of providing equal access to a broad range of thought and opinion, so that citizens in a democracy can be informed.
“Libraries remain the meccas of self-help, the most open of open universities, where there are no entrance exams, no diplomas, and where one can enter at any age…”
– Daniel J. Boorstin
This is not just 100 years of having a public library here in Orange City. The Public Library’s Centennial Celebration highlights a wonderful accomplishment—100 years of continually evolving and progressive service in Orange City and historical and traditional services that people enjoy and expect to find. To kick of the centennial celebration, the library hosted a chamber coffee event complete with books made of cake, special guest speaker Bonnie McKewon—the Library Consultant for the Northwest District of State Library of Iowa Services—and musical entertainment by Ensemble Royale.
The 2015 year is full of new and revamped programs for all ages.
New programs this year include a Storywalk installation during the Orange City Tulip Festival, and at the Puddle Jumper Trail in early June; a Día de los Niños/ Día de los Libros celebration in May; and a 100 Years of Books Book Club, featuring titles from the 1900s through the 2010s. The annual Summer Reading Program has been revamped in honor of the library’s 100 years, with a Carnival to be held on July 15th. Combining the City’s Citizen Appreciation Meal, the Arts Council’s OnStage Orange City, the Parks and Recreation Department’s Picnic, and the library’s Summer Reading Celebration, the carnival will have options for all ages.
At the beginning of our next 100 years the Library is poised to continue adding additional programs, services and opportunities to the Orange City area. As we go through the process of reaccreditation with the State Library of Iowa, the library has the opportunity to refocus based on the needs of our community. The next few years will bring new activities for community members, new resources, and new amenities inside and out!