1935 Ashton Study Circle with help from Legion Auxiliary of William Ben Hoffman Post 290 decided to start a library as a service project. An old cupboard in the Legion Hall housed the books donated from the community.
Soon they began borrowing 50 books for three months from the Iowa State Traveling Library.
- 1939 Two junior Legion Auxiliary members were hired for $1 a month to staff the library on alternate months.
- 1940 The 408 books were moved to shelves in the Legion Hall kitchen.
- 1941 Ann Thies appointed first librarian.
- 1944 Phyllis Schutt was allowed $5.56 to sort, access and catalog all books.
- 1946 Collection moved to old town hall on corner of Third Street and Third Avenue; library open on Wed and Sat evenings.
- 1949 Women's Club voted to continue the program -- carried by one vote.
- 1950 They approached the Ashton City Council who agreed to remodel the condemned city jail, enact a 1/4 mill tax levy for library upkeep, and provide utilities.
- 1951: First formal library board, seven members; Elizabeth Aykens hired as librarian at a salary of $4.00 per MONTH; Total books--570; circulation--650 checkouts per year.
- 1963: Total books--1720; circulation 3,352 checkouts per year; librarian's salary--$312 a year.
- June 24, 1963: Osceola County Library Association formed
- 1965: Librarian Elizabeth Imhoff and board asked for more room; town council swapped buildings.
- 1968: County Association got $10,000 allocation from supervisors to be shared by the four county libraries.
- 1970-73: Worked to get bigger library, moved to present location in May, 1973.
- 1982: Library is open 8.5 hours a week in summer; 10.5 hours in winter. Received $3,250 from county and $1,500 from town plus building, utilities, and insurance. Circulation reached 13,731; over 12,000 books, magazines, phonograph records and children's book/tape sets.
- 1992: Purchased first computer; 1997 free Internet service from Rural Connections.
- 1995: obtained outdoor 'drop box'
- 1999: increased our open hours to 20 a week.
- 1999: Large anonymous donation spurred automation discussion; June, 2000 card catalog was online and automated circulation began.
- Cake pans were added in 1988; VHS tapes in 1990, audio book tapes in 1997, and DVDs in 2002.
- 2006: Library became 'accredited' by fulfilling State Library requirements, conducting a community survey, and remodeling to make a handicap accessible restroom.
- 2007: Collection includes 6000 adult books, 6,600 juvenile books, and about 50 magazines along with 600 VHS videos, over 250 DVDs and 180 audio books.
- 2008: Library Card Catalog available on library website.
Our library hours are:
Monday: 4 pm to 7 pm
Wednesday: 10 am to 7 pm
Friday: 8:00 am- 12:00 pm
Saturday: 9 am to 1:00 pm