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Puxico Public Library

Library Mission & History

The mission and history of Puxico Public Library.

Mission and History of Puxico Public Library

The mission of Puxico Public Library is to serve the citizens of Puxico and the surrounding communities with resources and services for learning and fun.  

The library system is housed in 5200 square feet of space and  includes books, audiobooks, movies, computer resources,  online resources through Libby and our website, and programs in person and through our Facebook page (Puxico Public Library).  

Our library was founded in 1937 under the sponsorship of the Puhicah Club and was first housed on 3 shelves in the Harry White Drugstore.  Rita White took care of these books.  Donations and new books were purchased by city council and the community.  By 1939, the library was moved to the old Brit Reasons Shoe Shop building on EL Hawks, just south of the present post office.  

In the meantime, a log building was built to serve as the Mingo National Wildlife Headquarters.  This was temporary location until the Headquarters was moved to the current refuge.  The building also served as a school for a time before the schools consolidated.  In March of 1939, the WPA gave the city funds which enabled it to open the library 5 hours a day, 5 days a week.  In July 1939 the building became both a library in the front, and city hall in the rear of the building.  The one room held about 3,000 books.  In December 1941, when WWII was declared, the library became the "War Information Center" as well.  The public had access to pamphlets and books pertaining to the war at that time.  When the war ended, funds ended as well.  Mrs. L.A. Kelly worked with the community to keep the library going and to gain support.  She served until 1962. 

In 1979, the library expanded to included the entire log structure.  City Hall relocated to the converted stables where it is presently located.  Mayor Harlan Lamb applied for government funding to aid the library and Mrs. Elizabeth Ruser was hired as librarian.  Story time and the annual library tour were begun by Mrs. Ruser. 

Since then the library has expanded by leaps and bounds.  In 2015, the addition of the Harty Annex was opened through the generosity of Norman Harty and family.  The library went from 1200 to 5200 square feet of space.  The children's area and main computer area have been added with this expansion. 

In 2021, the library has been able to offer Libby, due to state funding and are able to offer resources through the website.  The library is always changing and growing to serve the needs of the community and we are proud to serve. 

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