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Library History

Read how this library was established and how it has evolved to become such an important part of our community.

The Clarence Library was organized in 1940 with the town council levying 1/4 mil tax in 1941. At this time the library was located in the Town Hall. In 1951 the Edna Zybell Estate made her home available to be used as a library. The home was remodeled to also include an apartment for the librarian. Another remodel took place in 1994 to improve handicapped accessibility. As needs for additional space for the collection, programs, meetings and technology grew a Library Building Committee was formed. This committee has been busy making plans and raising funds to build the first new library in Clarence. We hope this goal will be completed in 2015. The existing building will be demolished and the new, larger facility will take its place.

The library has continued to improve its collection, programs and services and is now certified by Iowa Library Services. The library offers free public computers and free WiFi to the community. In July 2007, the collection was totally automated with almost 9,000 items on record including books, audiobooks, and DVDs. In 1998 we received our first large print books. Approximately 400 individuals and families hold patron cards.

The library has continued to serve as a repository for printed historical materials. To assist with providing access to these materials, the Friends of the Zybell Library raised money to purchase a microviewer to view newspapers on film.

A focal point in the children's room is a mural painted by Jen VanOort.

Librarians who have been employed by the Library Board since it has been at its present locations include Lois Brink, Wanda MacIntosh, Eleanor Stonerook, Deb Minar, Kim Butler, Karla Tenley, Sandi Brunscheen, and currently Tami Finley. Present members of the Library Board, are Karla Tenley, Sue Elijah, Jamie Wilhau, John Dayton and Molly Hansen. Everyone is excited to be a part of the library and look forward to its continued growth.