Emmetsburg Iowa - Home of five Island Lake

Community Services

Libraries - Combined Libraries

The Emmetsburg Public Library and the Iowa Lakes Community College Library, Emmetsburg Campus, have a unique relationship. Both libraries are in one complex, but have their own identity. The holdings of both Libraries are on the Online Catalog, an automated card catalog. They are also part of the Smith Wellness Center, which was a cooperative effort between Iowa Lakes Community College, the City of Emmetsburg, and the citizens of Palo Alto County. The facilities are located on the Emmetsburg Campus of Iowa Lakes Community College.

This joint effort resulted in many advantages for both libraries. It provided more spaces, handicap accessibility, expanded services, study and leisure reading space, work space for staff, and more programming opportunities. It also provided access to materials for both students and the public and eliminated a lot of duplication. Although there are separate librarians and staff, they both serve all students and citizens.

The new library also serves as a community center, offering additional and unique opportunities for growth in body, mind, and spirit. It is a monument to the perseverance and generosity that built it. The combined complex also provides special challenges, which have been solved with excellent communication between the two entities.

  • The Computer Lab is available to all students and the public. It provides access to the Internet and email.
  • The Genealogy Room is maintained by the Genealogical Society. It works to preserve records of local history. It is available for anyone who wishes to search the roots of the county, the community, or any of its institutions. Emmetsburg newspapers dating back to 1875 as well as numerous other records and materials remain an important and unique part of the collection.
  • The Children’s area is very popular with young people and provides a nice selection of books and play items. Story Hour and other activities draw children to the library.
  • The Public Library is governed by the Public Library Board of Trustees and the Iowa Lakes Community College Board of Trustees is the governing entity for the College library. Both groups have worked tirelessly to maintain quality libraries in Emmetsburg.

Both libraries are in one complex, but have their own identity. The holdings of both Libraries are on the Online Catalog, on the automated card catalog, and include numerous Reference Sites and Vertical Files.



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