Read how this library was established and how it has evolved to become such an important part of our community.
In the spring of 1911, a women’s club in Alta worked to establish an association library for the community. The women’s club collected funds and approximately 500 books. In addition, the Iowa Library Association contributed 100 volumes of literature.
Sponsors from the women’s club presented a petition to the city council in 1913 asking for an election to determine a tax in support of the library. The initial vote turned down the tax with 116 voting for and 123 against. With the vote being so close, the women’s club was determined to try again, and in 1919, the tax passed with a vote of 165 in favor and 62 opposed.
The first Alta Library was established in the southwest corner of the old opera house in town, now known as the Roxy Theater. After a few years, the library’s next location was upstairs in the Lichtenberg Building. The Lichtenberg Building housed the library for five years until a dedicated building was erected. The town of Alta contributed $10,000 toward an American Legion monument and a building where two rooms were set aside for the library and the city clerk’s office.
Then, in 1991, the library was moved to the Community Center. This move was facilitated by contributions from an anonymous donor. In 2003, the public library moved again, this time merging with the school library to create the Alta Community Library. This merge was made possible by a contribution from long-time Alta resident Addie Peterson. Since then, a 28E agreement has been established so both the school and the library have equal legal responsibilities.
Past library directors have been: Grace Clemons, Naida Koehler, Marion Obst, Eleanor Johnston, Betty Pace, Paulline Conard, Sue Pedersen, Raquel Nelson, Andrea Hogrefe, and Tirzah Price.
(Historical information taken from "1878 Alta 1978, Century of Progress.")