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Library Timeline

Timeline of the Kalona Public Library:

1934—Mrs. E.J. (Amy) Hesselschwerdt founds the Kalona Public Library with help from Fred E. Bourgeois and Mrs. Willis (Cleola) Grady Gingerich in the old Legion Hall

1936—Library moved to the rear room of the City Hall and later that year was turned over to the town to be administered by the Town Council

1961—Library moved to the old Post Office facility on 5th Street and for the first time since its founding, the library was on a ground floor, street-facing location separate from any other business

1973— Former Kalona High School (later the junior high) building renovated into the Community Building and the library was given the school’s former auditorium

1994—Anne Skaden started as Director of the library

1997—“Space Needs Assessment” George Lawson, consultant

1999—“Building Program Development” George Lawson, consultant (State Library grant).  Library Foundation established.

2000—Velma Skola gifted post office deed to the Library Foundation.  Engberg-Anderson Design Partnership firm hired as architects.  Local Option Sales Tax passes.

2003--$1.4 million bond issue passes by 81% during Nov. 4 general elections

2004—Groundbreaking ceremonies held in May.  Construction progresses smoothly throughout the remainder of the year.

2005—City Council takes official ownership of building in mid-March.  On March 19, hundreds of volunteers help move books and materials into new facility.  Library opens: March 28.

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