Library History

The first library opened in the town of Scranton on December 15, 1916. Organizations, clubs, and individuals donated 300 books and $185 to start the library in a room at the local school house. In the 1920’s the school needed the room, so the library moved to various buildings in town until the Scranton Welfare League purchased the Old Farmers Merchant Bank for the library to use. In 1937 the city of Scranton passed a resolution to establish a town library and levied a tax for its maintenance.[1]

In 1954 the town and the community planned and completed the tearing down of the old building and rebuilding on the same site. In time, because of the increase in the collection size at the library and increased use of the library by the community, a new building was needed. In 1972, through the Kiney-Lindstrom Grant and matching funds from the community, a new library was built that doubled its size.

In 2014 the city of Scranton again had a new library built that more than doubled its size. Through the bequest of H.F. & Maude E. Marchant, funds were made available to the library to build a new facility in its current location. The grand opening for this building was September 27, 2014. In September 2015 the library again received a donation from a generous donor, Halcyon Ruth Dixon. This donation continues to be of use financially to the library today.

The library in Scranton has moved several times since it was started in 1916 or even since it was established as an official town library in 1937. The interesting thing to note is all of the community support both financially and in use of the library and volunteer hours that has gone into making the library the community hub that it is today. 

There are currently 3 library employees who are keeping the library open 25 hours a week on weekday afternoons/evenings as well as Saturday mornings. The library provides books, newspapers, magazines, games, puzzles, DVDs, and audiobooks. Online resources include e-books, audiobooks, and databases. Services available include children’s programs, several coffee groups, dominoes groups, summer reading programs, copy services, faxing, scanning, and other programs based on patron requests. There are 6 public computers, 4 public laptops, and 4 public iPads available for patrons use.

The H.F. & Maude E. Marchant Memorial Library is accredited at Tier 3, which is the highest possible, by Iowa Library Services for the state of Iowa. The library, staff, and trustees appreciates the financial support provided by the city of Scranton, the Greene County Board of Supervisors, the state government, and our generous donors.


[1] 75th Anniversary (1916-1991): Scranton Public Library