Construction of new Joplin Public Library begins

Construction of new Joplin Public Library begins
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City officials break ground at the site of the new Joplin Public Library on the corner of 20th and Connecticut Streets.

Some regular library guests were invited to help during the ceremony, even the youngest library card holder, a seven month old baby, took part.

The project is a partnership with the Economic Development Administration, which awarded the city with a $20 million grant. The city is also funding $5 million.

“It’s going to be much more than a place to store books, it’s going to be a community gathering point and I think that’s the exciting part, I think that’s what citizens are wanting and I think with this great new facility here located at an area that was identified as a new corridor through the community since the tornado this is just the right way to start this development off,” says Joplin Mayor Mike Seibert.

The new, larger building will sit on 6 acres of land and will include more meeting rooms and lounge areas, a larger children’s library, and a separate teen room. Many of these improvements could not be accommodated in the current location.

“It’s such a wonderful place and they’re so landlocked right now that having the new library with all of the new space the great new features they can have, it’s just going to be even better for our community,” says Emily Stanley of Joplin.

Parents see the benefits of having a public library and look forward to bringing their kids to the new, larger space.

“The whole staff is so friendly, they know my kids by name, they love to come in and Miss Jeana says hello Miss Chelsea says hi to them every time and we love to see them in the community and I think just having people around to encourage reading, helping them pick out books, it’s just made them more excited about learning to read and being a part of the library culture,” continues Stanley.

The new library is expected to open in the spring of 2017.