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Library History

Read how this library was established and how it has evolved to become such an important part of our community.

  The Community Library was initiated and adopted in 1951, but it took 3 years of sponsoring bake sales, basketball games, serving community dinners, Memorial Day, silent auctions, etc., before the financial goal was reached. The library open house was held at the Rudolph Untiedt home on October 17, 1953. The first librarian was Mrs. John Hotopp. There were more than 800 books available on opening day. In 1965 the library was moved to the Beaman Junior High Building with 2,675 books on the shelves. Club members served as librarians. Ella McKinney served as the main librarian in the school house. Edna Medberry was her assistant.

In 1973 the school stated there was no longer room for the books in the school building. They chose to purchase and fix up the old bank building. In 1973 the Beaman Community Memorial Library finally had books on its shelves, after a major remodeling. Helping to keep the library in shape were the past librarians: EllaBeaman Library McKinney, Ethel Denner, Susie Kuykendall, Edna Medberry, Crystal Case, Emma Nichol, and LaVonne Sternhagen.

In May 1985 the fundraisers began for a new building, which would be five times the size of the old bank building. Emma Nichol was the librarian at this time. On November 4, 1989, community members had a “book brigade” from the old library to the new library to move most of the 5,000 book collection. In 1991 LaVonne Sternhagen became the librarian. The Beaman Community Memorial Library became state accredited in 1991.

In 1995 the work on a new Beaman Heritage Center began. One big fundraiser for the Heritage Center was personalized bricks made into a sidewalk on the south side of the library leading up to the door of the Heritage Center. In May 1996 the open house was held.

In 2001 the Beaman Community Memorial Library became automated through the “BCLUW Linking Libraries” Project with money from the LSTA Partnership Grant and a Monsanto Educational Grant. Also, in 2001 a lot north of the library was bought with a generous donation from John Henry Nickerson. The house was burned down and the lot leveled.
Discovery Garden
In May 2002 the Beaman Discovery Garden started to take shape. We had many volunteers that transplanted, and helped paint the bricks for the “yellow brick road” in “The Wizard of Oz” garden. A water fountain, brought in rocks, planted flowers and trees, and did many other miscellaneous things. The kids had a craft day butterfly garden and a bridge over a tree were added. In May 2003 the gazebo was added to the Beaman Discovery Garden.

How the library has grown!

City of Beaman History


Interested in more history? Check out the Iowa Historical Society!

This resource is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by State Library of Iowa.