JOICE, Iowa - It's been three days since the public library in Joice unexpectedly caught fire. Now, community members are coming together to help rebuild.
Tyler Schroader says he was shocked when he heard of the fire at the library.
"I spent a lot of time in Joice as a kid, and that was the place to hang out. There's not a lot to do in town. And I know a lot of people that learned how to read at that library. and I think it's important. I think it's an important part of the community."
Schroader's grandmother recently passed away, and left behind a trove of books, between 1,000 and 2,000.
"She was an avid reader. She's got cards in the front cover of all the books saying the last time she read them. I think 1984 was the earliest date, so we got books that she's been buying since the early 80s."
After KIMT reported on the fire, the idea of donating the extensive collection of books came up.
Schroader's fiance Ashley Melton tells KIMT she is happy they can help out.
"Everybody likes books. I can't think of a single person who doesn't have a book that they read in childhood or adulthood that didn't touch them on a more personal level."
Melton adds that the outpouring of support is impressive.
"I think it's great. I think it speaks a lot to people's character. Everyone falls on hard times, and it makes it easier when you have somebody there saying 'hey it's ok, we're gonna help make this better.' So I think it's great that everyone's coming together making it whole again."
And if Schroader's grandmother was around, he says she would likely be OK to part with her collection for others enjoyment.
"If she was still here, I don't know if she would be willing to part with the collection, but I think if she was here today, and knew that she wouldn't be here tomorrow, that this is something that she would approve of, definitely."
Joice Mayor Mark Thoma says that there is no set timeline as to when the library will be rebuilt, but city council is looking at options, including a mobile trailer to house a temporary location.
For those who are interested in donating, you can donate money and/or books to the Farmers State Bank in Joice as well as their other locations across North Iowa. There is also a GoFundMe page set up that is looking to raise $1,000 for the library.
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