History of Cordova District Library

The first library group started as a reading room only in 1876. The first meeting was held in the Cordova Baptist Church under the auspices of the Cordova Temperance Reform Association. This association hoped to keep control of the library movement, but it was soon voted to set up the Free Library and Reading Room with a voluntary group to support and manage it. 

A petition was circulated and at the April 1878 election, the voters favored a one mill tax on township property. W.K. Dean offered a room with heat and lights and a librarian for $5 per month. Rules must be made and after long and spirited discussion it was decided what kinds of books could be put in the library. Finally, Rule 14 was adopted—“No book, pamphlet, periodical, tract or newspaper shall be excluded from the library on account of the opinion expressed therein, if not immoral.” 

In September of 1881, Dr. Freek (Board Secretary) reported that the library had 351 books and that 1836 books had been in circulation that year. Half were fiction, a fourth religious and scientific and a fourth historical and miscellaneous. Up until March 1914, the Library had been renting spaces. 

In 1914, they resolved to buy the building at 402 Main Avenue for $360.00 from Mrs. C.L. Walker. There are now 4,000 volumes in the Library. A Library addition was added in 1917. A second addition was added in 1930. There was even living quarters in the library for the Librarian. 

Ground breaking for a new library took place on May 28, 1997. The old library was demolished on June 2, 1997 to make way for the new building. The new library opened in January 1998. The new 5,684 sq. ft. building celebrated with a Grand Opening celebration on April 25, 1998.