Library Department

Sutton Memorial Library
201 S. Saunders Ave.
PO Box 433
Sutton, NE 68979
(402) 773-5259

Library Hours
Monday - Thursday: 3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Friday: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and
2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Saturday: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Shelly Reed - Director
Carole Grady - Assistant Librarian
History of the Sutton Memorial Library

In the early 1900's a Woman's Club was organized by 25 women of Sutton. Each of these members paid $1 into a general fund which was used to purchase books. Circulation of the books was at first restricted to the 25 members, but as time went on, and with further organization, circulation was expanded to include approximately 100 people. In May of 1907, these 25 women became convinced that the expansion of the library was was developing to such an extent as to make it burdensome for them to continue to operate as they were. The, therefore, asked the City Council to take over the operation of the library, to make it a public library, operated by the City as provided for by the laws of the State of Nebraska. In June of 1907, the City Council passed an ordinance taking over the library as provided for by the statutes of the State of Nebraska, and a tax was levied for support of the library. In January, 1908, bylaws were adopted and a charter was granted by the Nebraska Library Commission establishing the Sutton Public Library. After the City had taken over the library the problem of a suitable building in which to locate it confronted the City Council, as the law stated that a building shall be provided. It was decided that the library be located in the Burke Building. In February, 1909, a committee was appointed to contact Mr. Andrew Carnegie regarding the construction of a Carnegie Library Building. Word was received that Mr. Carnegie would donate $5,000 towards construction of a new building, so a ground site was purchased by public subscription and deed given to the City. In 1910, the Carnegie Library Building was constructed in Sutton, NE. This was the location of the Sutton Public Library for over 50 years.

In April of 1966, the library board requested that a study be made of the general condition of the library facility. The report that was filed addressed a number of problems, both on the exterior physical and interior physical condition of the Carnegie Building. It was concluded that major renovations would be needed and that "the amount of money required to completely restore this building would not be money wisely spent". In 1967,the building was condemned and the library board began searching for a location for a new library building. In 1969, it was determined that the library had to move out of the Carnegie building immediately, and with still no funding or location for a new building, it was decided that the library, temporarily, move into the A.W. Lewis Jewelry Building which was available at that time. A down payment was made and the library books and furnishings were moved in August of 1969.

The library operated from this site until 1986, when due to a need for further expansion and handicap accessibility, a new site was sought. When a sizable donation was received from a Sutton resident, the serous search for anew site was undertaken by the newly incorporated Friends of the Sutton Public Library. A grant was applied for and received from the Nebraska Library Commission, and a successful fund drive collected the necessary matching funds. By November of 1986, the Sutton Library had purchased and moved into its new and present location, the former Sutton Lumber building at 201 South Saunders Ave. At that time, the name of the Sutton Public Library was changed to the Sutton Memorial Library, "honoring all those both past and present who have served and supported the Sutton Library with loyal devotion."

When the library moved into the Carnegie Building back in 1910, the collection consisted of 1,426 books. Today, the library's collection numbers between 16,000 and 17,000 total materials including books, videos, puzzles, audio tapes, magazines, large print materials, and several computer CD-ROM programs. The library also offers such services as computer and internet access, interlibrary loan, laminating and a photocopy machine.