Earlier today I was skimming through a history of Wapello County, Iowa and started to think about libraries. The history included information about the founding of the library in Ottumwa and I started to think about the first libraries I visited while growing up.
My first library memories are from the Pickwick Library in Ottumwa, Iowa. Unfortunately, the library branch no longer exists, and the building is now a dentist’s office.
However, my memories of the library live on. One memory that always comes to mind is attending a library program where they showed a film about Stone Soup.
I remember going to the library with my sister while pulling my red wagon to take back or bring home the many books we checked out.
I also have memories from the main Ottumwa library, especially checking out 35mm movies that we would watch with friends. The library no longer has a branch on the south side of town like it did when I was growing up.
The library was a Carnegie library and was built in the early 1900’s. Someday I plan on writing a post about the library.
When I was in High School, as my Eagle Scout project, I helped move our town library to a new building that was built. The old library was on Main street and I have many great memories of visiting it.
I then volunteered in the new library until I went off to college. While in college I worked for several months in the school library as part of a work study program.
Through the years I have had library cards in all the different places that I lived. In some places, like Kansas City, I had library cards in multiple library systems at the same time.
A strong library helps build a strong community and I am glad that I have lived in places with good library systems.