About the Library

How is the Rippey Library Funded?

Every January, February, and March, during budget proceedings, the Greene County Board of Supervisors allocate money to each of the six libraries in the county for the next fiscal year. Each town also funds their library in their own way.  This, hopefully, covers heat, lights, phone, internet, maintenance, repairs, and salaries for the year.

Books, special programs, Summer Reading, computers, or anything else the library may want or need, are dependent on volunteers, memorials, donations, and grants. The Rippey Library has been fortunate, since the begining, as the community and former residents are very supportive on projects the budget can't cover.

Many board members have worked hard over the years to keep this library a viable asset for the community. The current board members are just as dedicated.

As of 2022, the budget from the county formula is as follows:

The county has been giving each library a set amount of $4,000. Then the rural circulation figures are used to determine the additional amount to be received. Each library gets no more than 28% of the toal monies (28% of 73,000 = 20400).


Rippey Library History

The Begining! -A little history, compiled by Jean Borgeson, in January, 2010 from The Jefferson Bee, June 20, 1944

New Rippey Library

      A free public library for the town of Rippey was provided by an ordinance recently passed by the town council, and a library board has been appointed by Mayor H.E. Van Horn. 

Included on the board are Mrs. Lester High, Mrs. E.C. Fry, Mrs. C.A. Senter, Mrs. D.M. Crumley, and Mrs. J.J. Peters.

      Several years ago, an effort was made to have a library and many books were donated and several purchased. These will be used as a nucleus for the new library, and the board would appreciate further donations of good books and magazines.

      It may be necessary for the town and the library board to ask for donation of funds with which to purchase books, since the tax levy is not available until next April. In addition, travelling library books will also be used, at least for the time being.

      Anyone interested in helping with the library or in obtaining information about it is invited to call or contact any of the members of the board, which has been given full charge of all arrangements.

From the Jefferson Herald, August 10, 1944

Rippey Library to Open August 16th

      The Rippey library will be open to the public for the first time next Wednesday, Aug. 16, although the tax appropriation to support the project will not become available until next spring. With the spirited interest of the community and their combined efforts, a collection of books and equipment for the reading room has been gathered to start the project.

      A recent and sizeable gift is one of several hundred books of the library of the late W.E. Jenison, given to the library by Mrs. Jenison, who also gave the library a sectional bookcase.

      Mrs. Morton Wolfe and Miss Verna Lawton have donated magazines to be used by the library, teh first in the town of Rippey.

From the Jefferson Herald, August 23, 1945

First Anniversary for Rippey Library

      Last week marked the first anniversary of the opening of the Rippey Library to the public and the progress made has been very encouraging to those instrumental in starting the project.

      The small building used for this purpose was leased from teh Rippey Savings Bank and has been improved and fitted with cases.

The library board relied on donations of books and money from those interested until last April, when the money assessed for that purpose was available for use. This sum amounts to $350 per year, and several new volumes have been added the last few months.

      The volumes in the library total 1,326, and during the year the records show volumes loaned were 2,765. The toal cash donated since the begining is $212. Books were added as memorials for J.H. Van Scoy, R.G. Martin, C.A. Senter, Windell Hankins, and Jessie Marshall Missman. 

      The library board at present includes Helen Crumley, Lavina Fry, Wilmuth Peters, Miriam High, and Mildred Castles. The ladies are very grateful for the cooperation of residents in this community and invite the public to come in and inspect nad make use of this free public service. Only a few of the newer fiction books require a fee.

      Miss Evelyn Wilson has been teh librarian during the summer months. The position will be taken over Sept. 1, by Mrs. Mildred Castles.

From an article by Mrs. Jay(Winnie) Dtates, printed in the Globe Free Press in March, 1965:

      "When we think over the past and efforts made by the first board, we marvel at the change that has constantly been made.

      Previous to this time, 1928-1930, an effort had been made for the PTA library, which consisted of over 1825 good books, contributed by peope of this locality. No room was available at the school building and the Pelly Mercantile Company, who occupied the Masonic building, cleared a portion of the rear of their store with a shelving unit for the collection. No record is available of this library, but Mrs. Cale Ransom, now of Nashua, was instrumental in its origin.

      After a time, interest began to lag and a committee of enteprising lady citizens started a reorganization movement. They called for books from peope, who wished to help out and to their surprise, collected box after box on their trailer pickup and many were brought in later. This required a good sorting over duplicates, etc., as room was limited and remainder were sent to other library centers.

      The first board included Helen Crumley, Miriam High, Lavina Fry, Nellie Senter, and Wilmuth Peters. Later, Mrs. Sener resigned and was replaced by Mrs. Millie Castles. A few replacements have been made at various times to fill vacancies includeing Mrs. Mabyl Martin, who served for a number of years.

      The RIppey Savings Bank should receive a worth menton in this project, having leased their building to the library board for $50 per year and even remodeled it for their use. Later they installed lights and were generous and considerate of the needs of the board. Later, the back room was refinished for the overflow and fluorescent lights were installed.

      To help with expenses, the board leased their room one year to a Perry attorney, one day each week. The ladies also did the cleaning to cut down overhead expenses.

      The library board expressed to the town council the need for $298, which was granted an dincluded in the annual town budget. The tax money from this budget estimate was received September 1945. At that time, a librarian was hired with regular scheduled hours. From that time the progress interest steadily increased."


      Saturday, April 17, 1965, the library was moved to its new location, which was formerly the Jay States Sundries Store. The trustees at the time were Lavina Fry, Miriam High, Cleone Killam, Wilmuth Peters, and Dorothy Scharingson.

      In 2010, the library continues to be a vital part of the Rippey and surrounding community. This has happened only because of th emany board members and willing to volunteers that have served over the years. The community is fortunate to have a library and as long as this support is in place, it will continue to serve patrons who choose to take advantage of its services.


Rippey Iowa P.T.A. Library Reopens September 1933

Jefferson Herald, Thursday, September 7, 1933

      The P.T.A Library hours are the same as they have been during the summer months : Tuesday afternoon 4-4:30, Saturday afternoon 3-5:30, Saturday evening 7:30-9:30. In addition to three hundred volumes of books belonging to the library, we have a loan of sixty excellent books, both fiction and non-fiction, for adults, from the State Library in Des Moines. The juvenile books will be available later at the school house. These books from Des Moines are free. In addition to these books, we have a number of good magazines. It is hoped that everyone who enjoys good reading will patronize the library in the Rippey Mercantile store.

Rippey Iowa P.T.A. Reopens Library October 1940

Jefferson Herald, October 24, 1940

      The P.T.A. library has been reopened in the rear room of Pelley store. A committee appointed by the president of the P.T.A. has selected books from the traveling library in Des Moines and will soon be available to the people of the community. Arrangements are being made to have a girl appointed by the N.Y.A.(National Youth Administration) to be in charge during the library hours, which will be Tuesday afternoon and Saturday evening during the school year.

Rippey, IA Ordinance #48 Established a Free Public Library June 12, 1944

At a meeting of the Town Council, Ordinance #48 was Passed and Adopted

From a postcard to Lavin Fry, dated June 13, 1944:

           Dear Madam:

     At a meeting of the Town Council on June 12th, 1944, Ordinance #48 was passed and adopted, establishing a free public library for the Town of Rippey. Also at said meeting you were appointed as on of five trustees to serve on the Library Board.

             Yours Respectfully,

             Jay States, Town Clerk


Rippey Library Moving Day, April 17, 1965

From the Globe Free Press, Rippey News, April 22, 1965

Library Moves to New Location

      Saturday, April 17, was a busy day for those helping get the Rippey Public LIbrary moved to its new location, which was formerly the Jay States Sundries Store.

      By 9 a.m. the block between the two libraries was lined with coaster wagons, pulled by grade school children. Each child and each wagon had a number tag. The books had also been tagged to eliminate confusion in the moving. One crew of women supervised by Mrs. C.W. Killam, loaded books into the wagon and another crew, supervised by Mrs. Gladys Anderson and Mrs. Carville Scharingson, placed them upon the shelves in the order previously planned.

      Everyone thought that there would be a lot of space on the shelves, but as the day wore on, several men were called in to bring additional shelves. By evening, the entire library had been transferred, and the new library looked just like most homes look on moving day. Mrs. Anderson said, "We finally locked the door on the confusion and staggered home, tired, but proud of what had been accomplished." Monday, the librarian, board members, and volunteer helpers finished with the arrangement of books and furniture.

      A new desk and swivel chair has been purchased for the use of the librarian. A new children's reading table has been donated by Mr. and Mrs. J.J. Peters in the name of Dan Peters, Sheila DeMoss Johnston and Lloyd DeMoss. Six chairs for this table were purchased from the Ogden Church and refinished by Mrs. Killam.

      A new reading table and six new chairs are being added and two maple arm chairs have been donated by Delma Fisher Manett. Mr. and Mrs. Peters bought and donated the stove. The lumber yard gave the paint for the ceiling. Mr. and Mrs. Jay States donated the paint fo rthe walls, a printing set, the wall clock and two show cases. Mr. and Mrs. Killam furnished the vinyl floor covering at cost, Mr. and Mrs. W.E. Watt ran the ads and pictures in their paper at no cost and Guy Rice repaired a chair. 

      Curtains will be added to the windows son, and a restroom will be added later.

      Around 5,000 books were transferred in one day, along with all the magazines, paperbacks, boxes of supplies and furniture. It had been expected that it would take two days to do this, and thus several women of the Searchlight Club and others were not called upon to help. It is expected they will be called upon later to help with the Open House.

      Also, assisting throughout the day Saturday were the Honor Society of the East Greene School, with Carol Norgren acting as committee chairman. Three dens of cub scouts and a few others did the job of pulling coaster wagons. Some of the Searchlight Club members and others aided in the work.

      Those helping throughout the day Saturday were : Cleone Killam, Dorothy Scharingson, Miriam High, Gladys Anderson, Lila Johsnon, Hazel Lauver, Grace Ridnour, Charlene Clatt, Winnie States, Carol Norgren, Barbara Norgren, Kristine Anderson, Cynthia Anderson, Janice McDowell, Hazel Nye, DIane Kever, Patty Grow, Cheri Muir, Teresa Nail, Margaret Burrell, Wilmuth Peters, Dorothy Kupfer, Nelle Derry, David Chase, Mike Minnihan, Ted Johnston, Duane Coon, Terry Fry, Gary Hagler, Jerry Rains, Jim Walzer, Steve Muir, Bob Gilroy, Brian Mowrer, Roger Norgren, Jeff Tiffany, Jim Erickson, Dennis Kever, Jake Peters, Wilton Killam, Ralph Johnson, and Walter Johnson.

      The names of those who helped previous to moving were not available this week.


Fund-Raising Begins for Rippey Library Renovation, December 4, 2010

      The Friends of Rippey organization and teh Rippey Library Board of Trustees hosted the first fundraising event for the remodeling of the former Masonic building on December 4, 2010.

      From the Rippey History, page 107: "...on June 4, 1885, a charter was issued and granted as Elmo Lodge No. 465 A.F. and A.M. There were 17 members on the charter". After much discussion and deliberation, the members voted to close their lodge in teh beginning of 2010. The building was deeded to the City of Rippey for the use of the library.

      Just as in 1965, when Jay States deeded his store to the City of Rippey, for the use of the library, there needed to be some remodeling to accomodate the needs of a library. The community pulled together and held fundraisers, volunteered their time and talents to complete the front of that building, so the contents of the library could be moved to this site.          This was completed in April of 1965. Later improvements were made over the years, all with local volunteers, fundraising, memorials, donations, and grants.

      As time passed, the Iowa Legislature has passed legislation to guide library boards and cities, concerning public libraries After many meetings and much discussion, there is a plan to go forward to complete the remodeling of the former Masonic building into a library. Again, the funding this endeavor will depend completely on donations, grants, and support form the community, just as in the past.


Rippey, IA Council Approves Library Move, December 20, 2010

Published in the Jefferson Herald, Thursday December 23, 2010

City of Rippey

Special Council Meeting Minutes

December 20, 2010

 The Rippey City Council met in a special session on December 20, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. at the Rippey City Hall with Mayor Dan Brubaker presiding. Council members present: Garry Higgins, Ned Johnston, Gail Monthei, Rick Liebich, and Heidi Chapman. Absent, none.

 After discussion from the Rippey City Council and Dale Haman representing the Rippey Library board. A motion was made by Gary Higgins, seconded by Ned Johnstno to move the library to existing mason room with all future changes to be approved by the city council prior. Ayes: Higgins, Johnstn, Liebich, Monthei, Chapman. Nays: none.

 A motion was made by Rick Liebich, seconded by Heidi Chapman to adjourn at 8:00 p.m.

 Next regular council meeting will be January 3rd, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. at Rippey City Hall.

  Dan Brubaker, Mayor

ATTEST: Sarah Gomez, City Clerk



Rippey, Iowa Public Librarians 1944-2022

Mildred Castles, 1944-1944   --   Moved to Dallas Center

Susie (Kobolt) Wilson, 1945-1962

Gladys (McDowell) Anderson, 1962-1969

Helen (Norgren) Rice, 1969-April 1989         Jan Friess, Assistant, 1982-April 1989

Doris Tipton, April 1989-September 1995     Jean Borgeson, Assistant, Oct. 1989- Aug. 1995

Jean Borgeson, Aug. 1995-Aug. 2000            Teresa Bebb, Assistant, Sept. 1995-2001

Pam Anderson, October 2000-September 2001

Susan Kruchenberg, Sept. 2001-2005     

Toni Roberts 2005- October 2012        Lloyd Smith, Assistant, Feb. 2012-Oct. 2012

Sarah Killgore, October 2012-January 2015

Andrea Williams, March 2015-October 2016

Katrina Buttler, October 2016-October 2016

Shawneene Kenan, November 2016-August 2018

Phyllis Bardole, October 2018-June 2021

Sara Heinen, August 2021-February 2022

Cara McCoy, May 2022-Present