Library History

The Norelius Community Library has been at its current location since 1904, when the Denison Carnegie Library was constructed with $10,000 from the Carnegie Foundation. Prior to that, the first circulating library was organized in 1874, consisting of 30 books circulated at the West Brick schoolhouse. After a bequest in 1884, McKim Hall was constructed with the McKim Reading Room on the top floor that served as Denison’s public library until 1904. After several upgrades and changes, the library board decided that more space was needed in 1978. The following year, the lot next to the existing library was purchased by the City of Denison. 

In 1980 the Denison Library Friends organization was formed to promote fundraising activities for library expansion.  Diane Norelius spearheaded the fund drive, with a goal to raise $580,000.  Mr. and Mrs. E. A. Norelius and Mr. and Mrs. Raymond Schroeder gave major gifts.  Additional donations from individuals, clubs, businesses and memorials, city and county revenue sharing funds, and a grant from the Kinney-Lindstrom Foundation made it possible to begin construction.  With strong support from the community, the project was completed in the spring of 1985.  Dedication of the new addition was held on May 4, 1985, and the name was changed to Norelius Community Library.

With the expanded space, the library has realized a tremendous increase in use of materials and services.  The mission of the Norelius Community Library is to provide a center where residents in our diverse community may obtain information, resources, education, and recreation through a full range of library services.

In addition to many thousands of items available for checkout, the library offers special events and educational opportunities for youth and adults. Other services include:

  • Books, magazines, videos, books on tape and CD and other media
  • Electronic card catalog accessible online
  • Inter-library loan
  • Bilingual materials for families who speak Spanish and English in the home
  • Adult learning opportunities
  • Year-round programs for children and teens
  • Annual Summer Library Program for children
  • Weekly story times at the library for children
  • Outreach story times to local preschools
  • Wireless Internet
  • Internet-ready computers with popular software installed
  • iPads with games and educational apps, as well as learning puzzles and toys
  • Meeting rooms
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Notary services
  • Copies, faxing, and laminating

For the current activity schedule, click here.

Library Policies

The library board has established these policies to govern the library. These policies serve as a blue print for effective library operation, underscore the library’s service philosophy and ensure that customers receive consistent service.  The policies are reviewed regularly to help guarantee that they remain timely. More information on library policies, administration & governance, personnel, access, services, programs, collections, computers, technology, relationships, rights, and responsibilities can be found on our policies page.

Strategic Plan

A Five Year Strategic Plan was adopted on May 17, 2018, with the goal of improving services and the library in the following areas: collections, programs, services, customer service, staffing, facilities, and environment.


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