The Anamosa Library and Learning Center provides the residents of Anamosa and the surrounding areas with excellence in service, access to books, other library materials and technological resources to meet its informational, educational, cultural and recreational needs.
History of the Anamosa Library and Learning Center
The Anamosa Public Library was begun through community activism and support. In 1900, Walter S. Benton, a former resident, bequeathed $10,000 for purchasing library books, with the city expected to provide a building by 1903. After a failed compromise between the city and trustees for the estate, the Francis Shaw Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), under the leadership of Miss "Lou" Shaw, took charge of the campaign and raised construction funds. In January 1903, the library was handed over to the city, built solely from private funds. The structure remained greatly unchanged from its opening until the 1990s, struggling to meet the seating, programming, and technology needs of a growing community.
The path to a new library facility began in 1998 with a building assessment and the donation of a construction site by Ernest J. Buresh, a former Anamosa resident. In December 1999, Buresh's family also committed $500,000 to the project, contigent upon the community raising a million dollars by December 2002 to receive the pledge. OPN Architects of Cedar Rapids, Iowa was secured as the facility's design team, and the capital campaign launched in April 2000. By August 2000, the campaign settled on a new library facility with 12,000 square feet at a cost of $2.2 million dollars. The Anamosa City Council, the Jones County Board of Supervisors, numerous local individuals, several Iowa foundations, and the Vision Iowa program all pledged funds to the project. Funds to match the Buresh pledge were secured before the established deadline, a volunteer feat unmatched in the city's history without the aid of a bond referendum.
The new Anamosa Library and Learning Center opened to the public in November 8, 2004 with a grand opening celebration in December of that year. The facility features modern technology, an expanded circulating collection, the Jones County Genealogy collection, a community meeting room, private meeting/study areas, and aesthetics reflecting Jones County's limestone history created by Weber Stone Company, Stone City, Iowa. We serve residents of the city of Anamosa, as well as those of greater Jones County.