The mission of the Griswold Public Library is to provide citizens with knowledgeable staff and a collection of information in a variety of formats, including electronic, to enable people of all ages to achieve personal growth through self-directed learning in areas of interest to them; assistance in using appropriate resources, whether in-house or off-site, to find and effectively use the information they need; and provide current materials to support their cultural, social and recreational needs.
Opened in 1914
In room over a hardware store on the south side of Main Street.
The Griswold Public Library has been serving the people of Griswold and the surrounding area since 1914. The first library was established in 1914 by the Women's Civic Club. It was an upstairs reading room over a hardware store on the south side of Main Street. The first librarian was Mrs. E. McCarthy. She was paid five dollars a month.
In 1922 the library moved to a back room of the bank, and for five years it was rent free. The women collected ten cents a week from the businessmen on main street to help pay expenses. The librarian was paid eighteen dollars a month.
In 1933 the library moved to the city hall building which was built by the W.P.A. Project (Works Project Administration). The Women's Civic Club was still the sponsor.
In 1940 the City of Griswold took over the sponsorship of the library. In 1954 the Summer Reading Program was started.
In January, 1977, after much hard work by many people, a new brick building was completed at 505 Main Street where we are still located. We automated our collection in 2003 and received State Library of Iowa Accreditation for the first time July 1st, 2005. In the fall of 2005 the city purchased the empty building next to the library for expansion. We have been raising funds to begin renovation of this much needed space.
In fall of 2006, Chuck Edwards from Rolling Hills Bank talked with Griswold's Mayor, Jerry Putnam, and City Clerk, Dawn Ridlen about donating the bank building to the city for the library. Of course they said yes and the legal process began. We thought we would move to the bank building sometime in the future when the bank completed a new building on the corner lot of hwy 92 & 48. However, this did not occur due to increased requirements from RHBank. Therefore, we are back to the idea of a library expansion into the building west of the current Library.