Library History

On June 22, 1891, the City Council of David City adopted a city ordinance calling for one mill on the dollar to be levied for the purpose of founding a public library. Mrs. Emma Riddell, the first librarian, began her work August 19, 1891.

The David City Public Library opened on January 8, 1892 in the basement of the Butler County Courthouse. Library hours were Tuesday evenings and Saturday afternoons. The main collection consisted of donated historical, religious, and classic books.

In 1908 or 1909, the Library was moved to a room in the building on 4th Street. Due to the inconsistent electrical service, the board voted on May 8, 1911, to open the library on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons from 4 to 6 p.m. “in case the electric lights were shut off.”

At the November 22, 1916 Library Board meeting, an offer from the Carnegie Corporation was received to provide $10,000 to pay for erecting a free public library building in David City. This proposal was accepted. Construction of the library began in late 1917 and was completed in November 1918, but it’s use was delayed because of an influenza epidemic sweeping the area. The formal opening of the building at 360 E Street was held June 12, 1919. This building was well used for many years. A number of remodeling projects in the 1980’s was directed at the useable space still available in the building, and converted it into a children’s library area, magazine room and meeting room.

The Library Board of Trustees adopted a resolution in November of 1990 pledging to comply with the ADA regulations making library services handicap accessible. This was one of the first steps leading to the eventual construction of the Roman L. and Victoria E. Hruska Memorial Public Library at 399 5th Street, a single floor library facility which was officially dedicated on June 30, 1996.