After the Fire
Rebuilding the Sioux Center Public Library after the fire of 2003
The Sioux Center Public library was destroyed by arson on July 23, 2003. All of our shelving was destroyed. We lost our entire paperback book collection, 28% of our hard cover collection, 92% of the video collection, 37% of the DVD collection, 83% of our book-on-tape collection, 98% of our puppet collection, and all of our magazine collection. The materials lost totaled $600,000.
After our building was destroyed, all salvageable materials were taken to be cleaned. When they returned, they were inventoried, marked with a tribute to our daring fire department, and cleaned again by volunteers. We currently are using shelving loaned to us by various libraries around our area.
After the fire, the library moved into the gymnasium of the old Community Center, with make-shift office space among the shelves on the gym floor. We received an outstanding amount of support from our community of 6,000 and from various libraries throughout the state, in the form of donated books, monetary gifts, and time volunteered.
Construction began on the new facility in the summer of 2007. The new building began taking shape on the section of land just north of the Community Center Gym. In August and September of 2008, our thousands of books were moved from one building to the other, and the library began operations in a beautiful new facility.