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Our History

Old Books

Rock Valley had its first library, consisting of two shelves of books, in a jewelry store on the east side of Main  Street.  From there it was moved to the Rock Valley Public School.

In 1916, the Rock Valley Bee files state, "Rock Valley has its first free library with the following officers and Board members: Dr. F.L. Dixon, Dr. C.W. Renshaw, Mrs. M.S. Huie, Mrs. F.L. Huizenga, Mrs. Wayne Thayer, Thomas Helstern, Prof. Offrenga, and Prof. Prall.  Dr. Dixon is president."

The Rock Valley Federated Women's Club was instrumental in sponsoring the public library, and club members volunteered to be librarians.

Some of the progressive changes in the library which have occured during the passage of years are as follows:

1931 - The first year for which any library records are available. The library was open twelve days each month.

1932 - The library had 894 volumes.  The largest daily circulation was 78 and the smallest was eight.  There were 423 families with borrowing cards.  The library was open six hours per week.  Mrs. E. Huizenga was chairperson.

1935 - The library was moved to the city hall.  New shelving was added. Books were donated, and the library took on a new look.

1940 - Mrs. M.S. Huie was the secretary and librarian.  The library was now open four days a week.

1950 - There were 4,828 volumes.  The library was open eight hours weekly.

1955 - The library was moved into a larger room of the city hall.  New shelving was installed and table added.  Mrs. Gertie (Ivor) Dearborn became librarian.

1965 - Mrs. Gerrit DeBruin, Jr. was the librarian.  Volumes had increased to 6,436.  The library was open thirteen hours weekly.

1969 - Mrs. Wm. Buckley became librarian.  The library was now open six days a week for a total of twenty hours.

1971 - The library was moved to the new facilities in the city hall (former Roorda building).

1973 - Mrs. Gerrit De Boer and Miss Lorna Van Maanen were hired as assistants to Mrs. Buckley.

1975 - There are 9,530 volumes on the library shelves.  The library is now open twenty-five hours per week.  The average circulation is 102 books.  Board Members are: Mrs. Stan Negaard, president; Mrs. Jim Vander Sluis, secretary; Mrs. Hale Pember, treasurer; Dale Kock, Martin McNamara, Bill Rienstra, Don Klein, and Mrs. John Harmelink.

1985 - Marie Buckley retired and Lorna Van Maanen became the Director.

1989 - Circulation exceeded 100,000 a year.

1991 - The library was moved to its new location at 1531 Main Street.  The dedication ceremony was held August 24, 1991. Board Members were: Virgil Baker, president; Dan Reeves, Mable Van Den Top, Lorna Dibley, Kathy McGill, Sondra Miller, Randy Porter, Dan Roozing,  and Ken Thorson.