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Daily News Editorial – Be a Friend to your library

By Staff | Feb 8, 2008

Around the beginning of the 20th century, Andrew Carnegie invested heavily in American literacy by donating a library to just about every town that wanted one. And these were not cardboard box buildings. These were the brick and stone monuments that you still see today.

The average cost of the Carnegie libraries was around $10,000. No matter how you figure it, that’s an enormous amount of money by today’s standards, not to mention the fact that many of the materials and that sort of craftsmanship is rare to find today.

A few years ago, Estherville voters had the vision to not only restore their Carnegie library but to build on to the north. As a result, our community has a library of which cities many times our size would be very proud.

The Friends of the Estherville Public Library want to continue the tradition of providing an exemplary library for our community. Toward that end, the Friends are always looking for volunteers for such activities as the summer reading program as well as children’s reading programs throughout the year.

The cost of being a Friend of the Estherville Public Library is very minimal. Following are the yearly membership costs for individuals and organizations:

n Student or senior citizen, $2.50.

n Individual, $5.

n Family, $7.50.

n Children’s Summer Reading Program Sponsor, $25.

n Business or Organization, $25.

n Newsletter Sponsor, $50.

Donations go to the library general fund to purchase books, fund programs, or other purposes. Just write a note to say where you would like your contribution applied.

Library patrons also have the opportunity to donate to the library book fund or to memorials. In July, the flag project gives people the opportunity to donate $5 to light each bulb on the flag on the front balcony. Thanks to a very generous anonymous donor, the library has an excellent computer system and computerized circulation system.

Memberships or contributions to: Friends of the Estherville Public Library, 613 Central Ave., Estherville, IA 51334.