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It started with a dream...

The Poplar Bluff Municipal Library District started as a dream. Mrs. M. C. Horton, president of the Poplar Bluff Bay View Reading Club, held a meeting in her home in 1915 to discuss the possibility of a free public library to serve Poplar Bluff and its citizens. A year later, a membership library opened in the basement of the Criterion Theater staffed with 14 volunteers. Members paid $1 per year for access to this collection.

This library proved so popular that in 1917, a library mill tax was passed and Poplar Bluff had its first public library. After beginning in the basement of the Criterion Theater, the library moved locations several times before landing in its permanent home on Main Street. The building at 318 North Main Street was constructed in 1936 with federal and local monies for the purpose of housing a free public library. The Missouri Library Association held its annual statewide conference at the Poplar Bluff Library when it opened its doors in Oct., 1936. At the time, the library was touted as being state of the art with electric lights and a one hundred seat auditorium.

In 1998 and 2008, the library’s home was expanded and renovated, respectively, doubling the size of the original 1936 building and more than tripling the size of the 1967 Children’s Library.

In June of 2012, ninety-five years after the community first dedicated funding for the purpose of a library, Poplar Bluff made its voice heard once again on the value it places on a democratic society that has access to free and open information when they passed a quarter cent sales tax to ensure the future of the Poplar Bluff Library. This revenue tripled the library’s budget and provides greater access to the library’s services and collections for today’s and future generations.

It was only with the support, dedication and determination of passionate individuals and a generous and caring community that this dream was realized.

We hope you will join us in helping realize our dreams still to come.

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Events at the library

Find more events and programs offered at the library in the quarterly events newsletter, Off the Shelf.

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Event Calendar

Visit the Event Calendar for a complete listing of Adult and Kids Events at the Library. Subscribe to the library's event newsletter, Off The Shelf, and receive a copy by email.

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Basic Computer Class

Improve your computer skills, have fun and make new friends when you attend a basic computer class at the library.