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Library History

Read how this library was established and how it has evolved to become such an important part of our community.

The town of Melbourne was platted February 23, 1882, by Milwaukee Land Company, in section 6 in Logan Township and was incorporated December 30, 1895.   Melbourne was the only town in Marshall County to be served continuously by 2 major railroads.


Melbourne's growth was rapid and made possible by three railroads and the population increased to 423 by 1910.   Melbourne suffered the worst disaster in the town's history- a fire consumed the whole business district in 1903 and then in 1981 the town was destroyed again by a tornado.  

Melbourne is proud to have a city library which was established in 1975 by a group of interested persons led by Avis Kracht and other dedicated senior citizens who saw the need for convenient library facilities.  Many of these people no longer had transportation to use out-of-town libraries. 

They felt that the growing town needed a library for the betterment of the community. The Melbourne Recreation Center was the first home for the library.  This was convenient for providing programs for young people and increasing circulation to a community-wide market, the library had an average circulation of 2,000 items a year.  Features included weekly exercise programs, film festivals, story hours, craft sessions and summer reading programs for children.   Sam Halter was the first library director.

The library continued to add more items and eventually outgrew the original location. In 1997 they had raised the money to build a new library building.

The library has always kept pace with the new formats and programming.  We have many different collections to choose from:  Adult fiction and nonfiction books, Junior and Young adult fiction and nonfiction books, Audio books on cassette or CD, Large print books, Videos on VHS or DVD, and Magazines and Newspapers.