Mission & History

Seward Memorial Library enables and encourages our community to
READ frequently and diversely

LEARN continuously and objectively

CONNECT locally and globally


Seward Memorial Library News - person reading a newsletter

Library newsletters are posted to the website around the 25th of each month.

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Annual Reports

The Seward Memorial Library Annual Report is presented to the City Council in February of each year.

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Library History

people forming a line to pass book from old library to new building

Seward Middle School students moving books from the old building in August of 2003 (Photo by Eric Kettenburg).

The Seward Public Library was first organized as a reading room in 1888. In 1913, despite a tornado which tore through the town, the reading room was reorganized as a city library and was housed in a new building made possible through local donations and a grant from Andrew Carnegie. Major renovations took place in the late 1960s and in the mid 1980s. In 1990 the Seward Library Foundation was formed to raise money for a new library building and on September 2, 2003, the new Seward Memorial Library opened its doors to the public.

September 2020 marked 17 years in the “new” library building, but as the pandemic surged in our community, we were thankful that a bank-style window in the north alley was included in our building plans. The library can lend materials without opening the doors; protecting staff and patrons with a contactless option for library services. When we added the lower level we knew that there would be many additional aisles of shelving, but we did not realize that our collection would expand beyond printed and bound materials.

Old Seward Carnegie Library

An historic postcard of the Seward Public Library and YMCA building in 1915.

As our collection continues to grow, we lend out cake pans, games, puzzles, equipment, and the Fit4Seward collection. The paperless readers are enjoying our digital materials of ebooks, audiobooks, and magazines on their devices. The library in 2021 has something for everyone and is changing to meet the needs and interests of its patrons.

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