This is the 12th in a series of guest posts by Abigail Van Gelder (from a stop Nov. 2–3 in Waterloo, Iowa), who with her husband, Josh, is journeying across the country on the Library’s “Gateway to Knowledge” traveling exhibition:
Our second stop in Iowa brought out the Van Gelder clan. Much of Josh’s family lives in the Waterloo area. Over the two days the Waterloo Public Library hosted Gateway to Knowledge, we had visits from aunts, uncles, cousins and more. A few times it almost equaled a family reunion.
Even though our visit coincided with the midterm elections, folks still came out in force to take advantage of the stop. There was a certain amount of excitement in the air, and guests couldn’t help but chat about congressional candidates. We even stayed up to watch the news as results came in.
The Waterloo Public Library is housed in a converted post office building. I find it very fascinating how libraries find new homes around the community. It seems like almost all of them have a unique story.
This one in particular was first the local post office, a beautiful building to begin with. It includes a courtyard just next to the steps, and they have kept the murals from the Postal Service. A community library cannot only be a place to house history, but a piece of it.