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Atkinson Public


PO Box 938

Atkinson, NE 



Phone/ Fax:












History of the Atkinson Public Library

bullet1926 - The first public library in Atkinson was established. It was called the Atkinson Township Library and was located in an upstairs room of Mrs. Deck's house on the southwest corner of the city square.
bullet1939 - Mr. Roy Richards, the Librarian's husband, rented the west room of his building on 108 West State street (currently the Atkinson Family Dental Center) to the library.
bullet1945 - The library moved to 105 East State Street (currently Uptown Hair Design)
bulletMay 1953 - The Utile Dulci Club, avid supporters of the library strived for a permanent home for the library. Utile member Francis Weller and her husband Ernie matched all donated monies given toward a library building fund. This enabled the purchase of a building from the American Legion Club. (next door to the current Senior Center).
bulletMid-1960s - Mrs. Swingley donated $10,000 for the purchase of library furnishings such as tables and chairs. This furniture was refinished and is being used in the new library.
bullet1975 - A room measuring 25' x 40' was added to the southwest corner of the library building.
bulletAugust 7, 1995 - The Friends of the Library Foundation, Inc. was formed. The board is governed by a Board of Directors.  The mission of the Friends is to raise money exclusively for the benefit or support of the library.
bulletNovember 1998 - Citizens of Atkinson voted to have the library operate as a City Library instead of a Township Library. Citizens voted for a half-cent sales tax to be used for library operations.
bulletApril 1, 1999 - The Atkinson Township transferred ownership of the Atkinson Township Library building and contents to the City of Atkinson by way of a Warranty Deed and Bill of Sale.
bulletMay 21, 2001 - The City of Atkinson transferred the Library Memorial Fund, including the Pease Memorial Endowment monies to the Friends of the Library Foundation, Inc. which is identified as a "501(c)3" organization which is not controlled by or dependent upon the City of Atkinson (Resolution 01-08).  Interest income from the 50-year Pease endowment will be used by the Foundation to purchase needed equipment for the library.
bulletNovember 8, 2002 - The Friends of the Library Foundation, Inc. held a free soup supper to provide details of a proposed new city library building.  The blueprints of the new library were unveiled to over 350 people.  Architects, Prochaska and Associates from Omaha, Nebraska were present to answer questions.
bulletNovember 2002 - A steering committee was formed to determine where the new library should be located.  After much research, the steering committee recommended that land at 210 West State Street be purchased from Paul & Karen Seger.
bulletNovember 2002-2005 - Almost 80 fundraisers, including the sale of memorial bricks located in the foyer, were held with over $400,000 raised for the new library building. Along with these fundraisers other important contributions helped the Foundation reach their goal.  These included:
bulletThe Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) in the amount of $250,000 was awarded to the City of Atkinson on behalf of the library.
bullet Peter Kiewit Foundation Grant was awarded in the amount of $75,000.
bulletThe estate of Dr. Mary Ellen McKee, former Atkinson resident, in the amount of $74,000.
bulletThe U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant in the amount of $53,360.
bulletNov. 23, 2005 - A groundbreaking ceremony was held at 210 West State Street.
bulletMarch 22, 2005 - Site preparation for the new library building commenced.
bulletOctober 31, 2005 - Construction of a 6,875 square foot library building was completed.  A human chain of over 300 students and many other volunteers helped move the library contents into the new building.
bulletNovember 6, 2005 - A dedication ceremony was held by the Friends of the Library Foundation, Inc. to dedicate the new library building.  During the dedication ceremony the Friends honored the many clubs, past alumni, schools, organizations, patrons, donors, grantors, and the City of Atkinson who made the dream of a large new library building come true.
bulletNovember 21, 2005 - An enthusiastic crowd was on hand for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Atkinson Public Library.  The event was sponsored by the Atkinson Chamber of Commerce.
bulletMay 12, 2006 - Atkinson Library Director, Judy Hagan was one of three librarians chosen to attend the American Library Association Conference in New Orleans.  Judy was selected and her trip was funded by the Bill Gates Rural Library Sustainability Project. 



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