Joplin Public Library Anniversary Celebration: 120 Years of Service And 5 Years on 20th Street

(Joplin, MO) Joplin Public Library is recognizing two major milestones this summer as it reaches 120 years of service to the community, and its five-year anniversary at the 20th Street and Connecticut location. The events will be commemorated with a celebration and a tagline of “An Anniversary Celebration: 120 Years of Service & 5 Years on 20th.” The celebration will take place on Sunday, June 12, 2022 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. A formal welcome will take place at the start, after which attendees will be encouraged to take part in activities throughout the Library. It is a come-and-go afternoon featuring live music and refreshments. All ages are welcome, and the event is free and open to the public.

“Celebrating 120 years of service, along with the five-year anniversary of being located on 20th Street, is a special achievement,” says Library Director Jeana Gockley. “The new building has not only allowed us to serve the community with greater efficiency, but it has provided us the space to be a centrally located a connecting point for the community, one that offers programming, resources, and assistance to users.”

In 1902, the Library district was formed, and the cornerstone of the Carnegie Library was laid in a grand ceremony on October 8, 1902. When the building was completed in 1903, opening day boasted a collection of approximately 2,500 books, two librarians, and one janitor. Today, Joplin Public Library has a collection of over 126,000 items, including print, DVDs, audiobooks, graphic
novels, and more; access to items through digital resources such as Libby, Hoopla, digital databases, and interlibrary loan items from across the country; and a staff of 15 full-time and 27 part-time employees.

In the course of its 120 years of service, the Library has been housed at three different locations: 9th and Wall, 3rd and Main, and 20th and Connecticut. While locations have changed, the community-minded service philosophy has persevered. Development of services and programs that fit with the constantly changing world are top of mind for staff.

“It is our goal to create and adapt programs, resources, and services in order to meet our mission of ‘opening tomorrow’s doors today’ for our users and the community,” states Children’s Librarian Christina Matekel-Gibson.

For more information about this event, please contact Lori Crockett, PR/ Marketing Assistant, at 417.623.7953, ext 1019 or

About Joplin Public Library: 

Since 1902, JPL has been fulfilling the information needs of citizens of Joplin and the surrounding community. JPL opens tomorrow’s doors today through diverse opportunities to learn, create, explore, and have fun.


Lori Crockett, PR and Marketing Assistant/Jeana Gockley, Library Director
Joplin Public Library


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