The Forest City Public Library opened in 1899. The concept of a library in the community was introduced in 1895 by Mrs. Edwin Perkins, the wife of a local doctor, who gathered a few of her own books and those of friends to start a reading room stocked with good, wholesome reading material.Citizens gathered to establish a library association in 1897 in hopes of organizing a library. The association became a corporate body May 24, 1897, incorporated for 50 years, optional with its members. Voters approved establishing a library on March 28, 1898 at the general election, which carried by a big majority. The library formally opened with a public reception on September 14,1899, at 8 p.m. All those attending were asked to bring one or two books and donate them to the library to increase the collection, as at that time there was no fund for purchasing books. Almost 500 volumes were handed in that night, far exceeding expectations of the board, with more donations coming in. Thus, Forest City had a free public library and reading rooms, in a building owned by the city and without a cent of debt, all donated by generous and patriotic people.