The West Des Moines Public Library is funded primarily through property taxes, but private, tax-deductible donations to the library from the Friends Foundation, estates, disbursements, planned giving and simple interested generosity allows the library to go “above and beyond” and offer services that might not be otherwise possible. The library’s summer reading program, homebound outreach service, transportation van, art in the building and plastic-saving bottle-filling water fountains were all made possible through private donations. Even large portions of the library’s renovation depended on gifts from private concerns.
Contact library director Darryl Eschete if you are interested in giving to the library.
Stanley John Murdock (1925 – 2018)
West Des Moines resident Stanley John Murdock (aka Papa Dock) passed away in 2018 at the age of 92. The Texas native served in the Navy during WW2 and eventually made his way to Iowa to work on his PH. D. in agronomy at Iowa State University. Mr. Murdock was a scientist, devotee of daylily cultivation and avid reader who, in his will, left money to the West Des Moines Public Library.
With the money he bequeathed, the library has been able to rework, redesign and refurbish the library’s website, launched in December of 2020, and mobile app, launching in 2021. The current website is a monument to the forethought and generosity of Stanley Murdock and his family.
Our previous website, 2013-2020, was also made possible due to the generosity of a grateful library patron. Carmella Williams, Iowa native and longtime resident of West Des Moines, was dedicated to working, volunteering and using her money for good in the community.
She owned and operated The Conference Room Restaurant and Lounge, a popular eatery on Ashworth in West Des Moines until 1980. When Carmella passed away, she left money to 13 different charities, all causes and services that she used and valued.
Among the recipients was the West Des Moines Public Library. Those funds made it possible for the library to redesign its website in 2013 after several years of stagnation, helping the library stay current and effective. The staff and patrons of the West Des Moines Library are grateful for her generous contribution.