History of CPL
History of the Coralville Public Library
|On September 13, 1965 the Coralville Public Library opened its doors in the basement of City Hall, then at 405 2nd Avenue, with 2,250 catalogued books in its collection. The volunteer effort that established the Public Library for Coralville was an ambitious, community-centered project that has left a legacy for the citizens of Coralville. From the initial Girl Scout bake sale in December of 1964, which raised the first funds for the library, through the dedicated efforts of many volunteers during the following months, the library was established through a grass-roots effort and initially maintained by volunteers donating their time and expertise. Upon opening, the library was staffed 23 hours per week by seven volunteer librarians serving on a rotating basis: Patricia Dee, Della Hartvigsen, Pauline Lovetinsky, Faye Peters, Frances Rogers, Jean Schwab, and Virginia Wenman, with Penny Bloom conducting a regular story time. Within the first year, the library was serving 350 families and rapidly outgrowing its designated space in the corner of the community room in the City Hall basement.|
|The Coralville Public Library has maintained that pattern of growth over the years. In January of 1967, the Library Collection (then 5,733 books and other materials) was moved, again by volunteers, to its new location at 806 5th Street. Initially, the library shared these quarters with the Recreation Department and the Heritage Museum Foundation. Over the next few years, the Recreation Department moved to a new building as did the Heritage Museum Foundation, and the Library eventually grew into the entire one-story space at 806 5th Street.|
Space, parking, and facility concerns led to the establishment of a Planning Committee in the early 1980s, and in November of 1984 a bond issue for the construction of a new library was passed overwhelmingly by the community. In March of 1987, the library opened in its present location at 1401 5th Street with a collection of over 50,000 items and 4,250 registered library patrons. Today, with a collection of over 85,000 items and more than 17,000 registered borrowers, the library is once again planning an expanded facility at the current site. The 40th anniversary celebration on September 13th is truly a celebration of the extraordinary community commitment and support that has maintained the growth of the Coralville Public Library.