The Board of the Morton-James Public Library is a governing board. The Library Board shall consist of five members to be appointed by the mayor with the consent of the City Council. Each board member is appointed for a four (4) year term in a staggered manner as required by law.
Current Library Board Members
Brook Chaney- President
Cindy Patton - Vice President
Library Board meetings
The Library Board meets on the second Tuesday of the month. The financial report, statistical report and agenda will be posted ahead of time here and the minutes will be posted by the end of the following week.
Library Board Meeting, September 8, 2015
Library Board Minutes, September 8, 2015
Library Board Minutes, October 13, 2015
Library Board Meeting, November 10, 2015
Library Board Minutes, November 10, 2015
Library Board Meeting, December 8, 2015
Library Board Minutes, December 8, 2015
Annual Report 2014-2015
Library Board Meeting, January 13, 2016
Library Board Minutes, January 13, 2016
Library Board Meeting, February 10, 2016
Library Board Minutes, February 10, 2016
Library Board Meeting, March 9, 2016
Library Board Minutes, March 9, 2016
Library Board Meeting, April 13, 2016
Library Board Minutes, April 13, 2016
Library Board Meeting, May 11, 2016
Library Board Minutes, May 11, 2016
Library Board Meeting, June 8, 2016
Library Board Minutes, June 8, 2016
Library Board Meeting, July 13, 2016
Library Board Minutes, July 13, 2016
Library Board Meeting, August 10, 2016
Library Board minutes, August 10, 2016
Library Board Meeting, September 14, 2016
Library Board Minutes, September 14, 2016
Library Board Special Meeting, October 18, 2016
Library Board Minutes, October 18, 2016
Library Board Meeting, November 9, 2016
The current policy was adopted by the Morton-James Public Library Board on November 9, 2016
History of the Library
Due to conflicting reports it is difficult to discern just when and where the first literary association was formed in Nebraska City. The Young Men’s Literary Association was organized in November of 1867 and the following year consolidated with the Nebraska City Mercantile Library Association.
In 1869, fourteen pioneer women formed the Round Table Club. In the summer of 1881 the women took possession of the library of the Young Men’s Library Association. This woman’s group was incorporated in 1882 as the Ladies Library Association and they started to raise money for a library.
At this time J. W. Steinhart, a cashier of the Otoe County Bank had an opportunity to visit with Joy Morton son of J. Sterling Morton in his Chicago Office. Mr. Steinhart told Mr.Morton about the struggles the women in Nebraska City were having in getting a library started. Mr. Morton proposed to Mr. Steinhart, that if he could dispose of an old building located on Central Avenue across from the old hotel, he could use the money to start a library fund. Mr. Steinhart had no luck in selling the property. Mr. Morton responded by offering to build a suitable building for his hometown if they would furnish and grade a lot, and equip the building. The public responded to the challenge by raising $1450.00 to obtain the 1 1/2 lots that the building now stands on and $1500.00 for the equipment and fixtures.
Since that time in 1896, many changes have occurred in our city and especially in our library. The additional 3-floor stack room to the south was also a gift of the original donor, Joy Morton in 1932. In 1975 the Strawberry Patch or children’s department was built by digging out the basement area under the north end of the library.
The latest $1.59 million addition started in 2000 and completed in 2002, expanded the library on the east and south sides. This expansion nearly doubled the size of the library. The money for the expansion was raised through donations, community groups, and grants. Much care was taken to ensure the original architectural design was left intact.