The banking industry, while an integral part of any community, rarely gets recognized for the services they provide outside financial services. Through a memorial library book donation program, Clarke County State Bank, one of south-central Iowa’s longest standing financial institutions, has been giving back to their local communities for decades.

With generations of deep community roots, Clarke County State Bank staff gets to know their customers and their customers’ families – so much so, that some feel like family. That’s why, since 1994, the CCSB team has been donating a book to the Osceola and Murray public libraries for each customer that passes. From children’s books to fiction and suspense, each book donated in the name of a deceased customer adds to the inventory each library can offer to the community.

“We hope to leave a legacy for our customers,” said Diane Ogbourne, CCSB Vice President of Business Development. “When we donate the books in memory of our friends, they are respectfully honored for generations to come.”

Judy Coe, Director of the Osceola Public Library since 2002, has seen the impact the Library Memorial Program has had on the community.

“Memorial books are a lasting tribute that can be enjoyed by many patrons,” she said. “Osceola and the surrounding community is pretty close-knit, so library patrons remember and are touched by the names they see inside the cover of a book they are about to read.”

Each book donated by the bank holds a memorial plate inside the front cover, honoring the memory of each individual who has passed. Since 2012, when record keeping for the program started, Clarke County State Bank has donated over 330 library books honoring departed friends of the bank.

“We try to choose books that reflect the interests of each person,” said Joan Callison, who’s been the city of Murray’s librarian since 1991. “It really helps keep their memory alive.”

With three branches in south-central Iowa, Clarke County State Bank and its team members strive to maintain a close, personal connection with their customers. They understand that volunteering at the county fair, providing Valet Parking for Clarke Prom, hosting a trunk for children at Trunk or Treat, or providing this memorial book program, it’s all a part of being a community bank!

President Dave Selene adds, “Community Banking is all about giving back to the communities we serve and I truly believe that here at Clarke County State Bank that is demonstrated very well by our staff.”

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