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5 Things you probably don't know about Kendall Young Library

June 10, 2016
Anne Blankenship ( ,

Kendall Young Library, a gift to the citizens of Webster City from one of its earliest benefactors, has been among the the most treasured aspects of local history.

Many children will recall the hours they have spent combing through the stacks of childrens books or attending storytime. Genealogists know that the files of clippings, photos and newspaper accounts can be valuable to their family history searches. The works of dozens of local authors - including Pulitzer Prize winners MacKinlay Kantor and Clark Mollenhoff - can be found at the Kendall Young Library.

The library is also a rich source of educational programs for children and adults alike. Programs by magicians, balloon artists, zookeepers, authors and others have brought the outside world to our corner of Iowa. Engaging summer reading programs are just getting started for readers of all ages, including adults.

Article Photos

The Foster Doll Collection, located in glass cases on the lower level, features 170 dolls collected by Mrs. Evelyn Foster. The oldest doll in the collection is circa 1800.

Even with all of those great collections and programs,

we suspected there was

more to discover at the Kendall Young Library.

We asked Angie Martin-Schwarze, library director,

to help us come up with a few surprising facts about the Kendall Young Library.

Here's our list of five things you might not know about Webster City's public library:

The Library is not supported by city taxes.

While most public libraries rely on city taxes as their primary means of support, that is not the case for Kendall Young Library. Over 90 percent of the Library's operating income comes from an endowment that includes farmland and financial investments. The other 10 percent comes from donations, fees, fines, and county tax support for rural patrons.

You can download eBooks and digital magazines for free.

With a valid KYL library card, patrons from Webster City and rural Hamilton County have access to over 33,000 eBooks and downloadable audiobooks that can be borrowed for free. You can also download issues of nearly 200 magazines.

Your library card expires after 3 years.

"People are often surprised when we tell them that their library card has expired, which happens 3 years after you sign up for your card," said Martin-Schwarze. "This allows us to make sure that we have current information for you."

Getting a library card is easy. Simply bring in your picture ID with proof of current address and fill out a short form.

The library's DVD collection offers thousands of movie and television selections.

The Library has over 3,000 DVDs available for checkout and you can keep them for 7 days at a time. The collection is diverse - new releases, classics, children's films, TV series, award winners, and more. And best of all, it's free to check out with your library card.

There is a 140-year-old Arapaho dance bustle on display at KYL.

The Van Ness Native American Collection was donated by Mr. Van Ness in 1898. Van Ness lived in Hamilton County from 1882-1895. When his wife died he moved to El Reno, Oklahoma and began to collect Native American artifacts. Forty-two items collected by Mr. Van Ness are on display in the Juvenile Department of the library. The Arapaho dance bustle ca. 1875 is the oldest item in the collection.



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