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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 Fairbank Public Library was a project of the Fairbank Tourist Club.  In 1960, the dream of having a library in Fairbank was made possible under the sponsorship of this club, which is affiliated with the National Federated Women's Club.

With funds they had left from their Annual Corn Show Account, they set up the library. 

In March of 1964, the local library became affiliated with the Cooperative Library System, which was a plan set up with Federal funds to make library service possible in every community.  The original library was located in the front section of the Legion Hall building on Main Street.  

After certain requirements were met, a large number of reference books were placed here in the library and a rotation of books took place three or four times a year.This meant the Cooperative brought us about 300 books and took 300 of ours and delivered them to a different library.

When all Federal funding was cut off the Cooperative was disbanded.  In time, the State funded money to help us some, but from then on, we had to purchase our own books.

When the library was first in existence it was taken care of by volunteer help from the Tourist Club.  This proved unsatisfactorory with the Cooperative head at Cedar Falls, so for a time, Mrs. Coralene Lehmkuhl was the librarian. In 1963, Mrs. F.F. Cowlishaw became the librarian and Mrs. Louis Peters the assistant librarian. 


The town of Fairbank has been most cooperative in helping to keep the library in existence, their financial backing along with the many people who have place books here in memory of loved ones.


In 1980, the library was moved from the Legion Hall to a newly constructed building a block away. This building was built much in the same way as the fire station, city hall, health clinic; with volunteer labor and community donations. The library, along with all the municipal buildings, remains an example of the spirit of the Fairbank Community!


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


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This resource is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by State Library of Iowa.