Mount Ayr’s first formal library was established in November 15, 1913, with its initial collection of books donated from a number of local groups and individuals. After 18 months of operation, the library committee submitted a proposition to the voters to approve a maintenance tax to support the library. It was approved by a two-thirds majority, and the city officially began funding the library in July 1915.
At that time, a board was established, and they quickly applied for a grant from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation. Eight-thousand dollars was awarded to the community, and in August 1916, a contract was awarded to construct the building. Work was completed by the end of the year, and the library was officially dedicated January 3, 1917. The historic building, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, continues to serve residents of Mount Ayr and the surrounding areas.