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Heart of America Library celebrates 100th birthday

By Staff | Jun 28, 2011

The Heart of America Library is observing its 100th birthday. The library board and staff cordially invite everyone to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of public services. An open house will be held Friday, July 1 from 1-4 p.m. at the library.

The Rugby Public Library had its beginning in the courthouse in 1911. A library committee was organized in 1911 also, with the first city levy authorized in 1917 by the state legislature. The first official library board was appointed in 1939. The library became a city/county library after much effort by the library board and with help and support of many other civic groups and clubs during 1967-68.

Construction of a brick building began in 1968 with the new Heart of America Library open to the public July 1, 1969. The library has the distinction of being the first business to use the name “Heart of America.” The primary sources of income for the library are from city and county tax levies, memorials, and gifts.

Technology was introduced to the library in 1988 with the compilation of circulation and treasurer records. Public computers were added in 1998 with matching grant funds. These computers are continually being updated with grant funds and donations.

The library collection was automated in 2005, and the library became a part of the North Central Library Authority through Minot Public Library with a grant from the North Dakota State Library. The present system, which was updated in 2008-09, is a web-based program that can be accessed from a patron’s home computer. The library participates in Online Library Resources that has been made available by the State Library through funding appropriated from the North Dakota State Legislature. The library includes 30,382 items for public use in formats of books, magazines, books on cassette and CD, videos, and DVDs.

An addition was completed on the west side of the library in 2006. This was completed through many grants and gifts to the project. An elevator to the lower level was not possible at that time. Fundraising has continued to complete the project of installing an elevator and restroom for the lower level. The elevator/restroom project should be a reality in 2011-12.

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