For over 140 years, the Council Bluffs Public Library has served our community. From a single room in 1882 to the multi-level building with state-of-the-art technology and ADA accessibility that we know today, the Library has continued to expand and evolve in order to meet the changing needs of our community. Throughout that time, the Library has been housed at five different locations, and for the past 25 years, it has been here at 400 Willow Avenue.
This building is a testament to the tireless efforts of individual citizens, who knew what an important pillar the Library is for Council Bluffs and recognized that without their support, it would not remain a cornerstone for information, exploration, and education in the community.
Though the building is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this September, the road to get there was much longer and hard-fought. As early as 1945, it was identified that the Council Bluffs Public Library had outgrown the space of the Carnegie library building at 209 Pearl Street. Various efforts to meet the expanded needs of the community were made and failed, but each setback did not deter the citizenry for long in the continual push for a new library building.
It was not until 1983 with the formation of the Council Bluffs Public Library Foundation, that traction was gained in building a new library with the help of the private community.
From there it still took another 14 years to break ground. Stories of the efforts and process to bring this building about, as told by some of those who were involved, can be found here, along with photos and other historical documents of the time.
Throughout the month, we are taking time to celebrate! Join us in marking the occasion:
Cookies & Coffee in the Atrium
Friday, September 1 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Stop by the library for cookies and coffee! (while supplies last)
Memory Booth - 25 Years on Willow Ave
Fridays, September 1, 8, 15, & 22 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Mondays, September 11, 18, & 25 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Share your memories of the building and help us build our Oral History Collection. With your permission, audio recordings will be preserved in Special Collections and made available through the Digital Archive. Drop-Ins welcome. Appointments recommended. Call the Reference Desk at 712-323-7553 ext. 4014.
25th Anniversary T-Shirts, Tote Bags & More
For a limited time starting Tuesday, September 5
For a limited time, visit the online Anytime Tees store to purchase Council Bluffs Public Library t-shirts, tote bags, hoodies, sweatshirts, and long sleeve shirts.
Store link will be made available HERE on September 5.
Join, Renew, or Update Your Card
September is also Library Card Sign-Up Month, a perfect time to get, renew, or update your library card and "Discover it here" at your public library!