History of Our Library

The Wellman-Scofield Public Library strives to meet the challenge of the founders at the formal opening in 1908. “On this solid foundation of public good will, we trust that future years will build a structure which will materially manifest in a handsome building filled with the best reading matter which will be free to all.”

1889:  In October, evidence that a library association was in operation is available by a notice  that Jennie Turnipseed, librarian, requested the return of overdue books.

1894:  An association was organized with J. W. Gemmill, president, Dr. W. P. Gardner, vice- president; Carrie Waite, secretary and B. W. Nicola, treasurer.

  • W. E. Stump, post-master, served as librarian and the books were kept at the post office.

1908:  Mrs. C. C. Gardner hired J. W. Hunter to make the trip to Washington and bring home a wagon load of books that she had previously viewed during an interview with the Scofield family.  Along with the 900 volumes of books from the estate of Hiram Scofield, Washington book collector, came the stipulation that the library be called The Wellman-Scofield Library.

1908:  On October 10, Mrs. Gardner hosted several ladies of the community to meet in her home.  A library association of 50 members was formed with membership dues being one dollar per year.

  • As president of the association, Mrs. Gardner met with the secretary of the State Library Commission and attended library meetings in Cedar Rapids.
  • The first home for The Wellman-Scofield Library was on the second floor of the Sander’s Store (now known as the Marketplace).  The space was rented and the books were readied for the shelves.

1908:  On November 21, the library was open to the public.  Open hours were on Saturday afternoon and evening.  As members of the association, librarians received no pay.

1909:  In November, Jennie Dodds became the first paid librarian of The Wellman-Scofield  Library.

1916:  A petition was presented to the Town council asking for a special election to secure a tax levy to support the library.

1917:  The tax levy passed. The Wellman-Scofield Library became The Wellman-Scofield Public Library.

1936:  The library moved to the front portion of the former Security Savings Bank located at 217 Eighth Avenue.  The City Hall offices and the jail were also housed in this building.

1958:  A move to the new Municipal Building located at 316 8th Avenue was made.  Once again the library shared a building that housed the City Hall offices, and the jail.

1982:  Mrs. Benton (Marian) Jolliffe presented the library a $5,000 gift in memory of her mother, Helen Durst, a longtime trustee.

1984:  A $10,000 grant was received from the Kinney-Lindstrom Foundation and $5,000 was donated by supporters of the library for remodeling.

1988:  Fourteen interested members formed a Friends of the Library group.

1990:  Technology (a computer) was introduced to the library.

1996:  The library received a $25,000 bequest from Hazel Stricker Sitler’s estate.  Half of the interest from this money is to be used for books.

1997:  With the help of a $20,000 grant from Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust and a $2,000 anonymous contribution, the City of Wellman remodeled the old fire station located at 711 4th Street, giving the library twice as much space to   hold a collection of nearly 15,000 items.

1999:  The automation of the collection was completed.

2004:  The Wellman-Scofield Public Library is open thirty-six hours a week.

  • The library has a collection of 14,380 books, 647 audio books, 43 books on CD, 32 periodicals, three daily newspapers, two weekly newspapers, 727 videos, 60 DVDs, 29 CDROMs, and 7 CDs.  In addition to the above mentioned 15,930 items, the library participates in an audio book, video, DVD, CDROM, and CD rotation plan which compliments The Wellman-Scofield Public Library’s collection.
  • The library has three public computers with internet accessibility, one card catalog computer for public use, two circulation computers, one office computer and the server computer.
  • Board of Trustee members are Gary Bontrager, president; Tim Smit, vice-president; Mary Marcia Yoder, Secretary; Eileen Driscoll, Kim Parrott, Gene         Scott, and Glennis Stutzman.  The board meets at 7:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at The Wellman-Scofield Public Library.
  • Staff members are Sandra Aggson, Director; Fran Rogers, Assistant Director; Sandy Miller, Children’s Librarian and Karen Duttweiler, Circulation Desk Clerk.

2005:  Board members: Outgoing – Eileen Driscoll & Glennis Stutzman; Incoming – Paula Buckwalter & Martha Nye.

  • New Director, Steve Miller – June 1, 2005.

2006:  All new (Microsoft Windows based) computer and network technology purchased, installed and configured by Director Miller
Serving as librarians and directors:

1889:  Jennie Turnipseed

1894:  W. E. Stump

1909:  In November, Jennie Dodds

1914:  Ella Weller (first paid librarian)

1936:  June Wishard Williams

1947:  Martha Adams

1951:  Lorraine Iames

1968:  Elsie Guengerich

1986:  Ginny McClelland

1990:  Martha Boise

1994:  Loris DeGroff

1995:  Holly Huffman

2000:  Sandra Aggson

2005:  Steve Miller

2014:  Carol Wilkins