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History

A history of the Library

Library History

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

The first library of Nashua was started with books donated at a book shower. These books were gathered in a room over the Bartish & Nafus Racket Store along with books from the traveling library out of Des Moines. The first librarian was Miss Fanny V. Eastman. In 1903 the library was moved to a building on Madison Street after a 3-mill tax was passed in 1902 to cover expenses.

In 1903 several members of the Nashua Isabella Club began corresponding with Mr. Andrew Carnegie asking for enough money to build a library facility in Nashua. The correspondence was, however, one-sided. Some of the residents of Nashua joked that Mr. Carnegie did not give libraries to such small towns! Others commented we must have a least $10,000 before he would even consider us worthy of notice. But the women of the Isabella Club had a mission and they were not going to be easily discouraged. Their correspondence continued for months with Mr. Carnegie.

Close to a year passed and like a thunderbolt from a clear sky a proposition arrived from Mr. Carnegie - an offer of  $5,000 to put up a building if the council would support the tax and the citizens furnish the site. The council accepted the conditions, the site was secured, the plans and specifications were drawn and the contractor was hired. Nashua was going to have a library building that they could be proud of. The Carnegie Library was completed in 1905 and dedicated in 1906.

The Carnegie Library served the community of Nashua for 80 years. In 1986 a building addition to the Carnegie was completed. The Carnegie Library had become too small to adequately meet the needs of the community. The new addition has 3,000 square feet for the lobby, furnace room and bathroom. The facility was totally paid for by local donations and grants when the doors opened. As Mr. Andrew Carnegie's generosity provided the community with a beautiful library, it is the communities support that has kept the shelves filled with books and the door open for close to a century.