Joplin Public Library’s Newsletter for March 2024

Joplin Public Library (JPL) has a full month of programming and events lined up for March! A few of them include:

Please note that the Library will be closed on Sunday, March 31 for Easter. View JPL’s online calendar to see a full list of their events, and read highlights from their newsletter below.

Joplin Read Together 2024

Joplin Public Library is excited to announce the Joplin Reads Together book selection for 2024, The Henna Artist, by Alka Joshi.  In its second year, Joplin Reads Together is a community focused, month-long event centered upon one adult book and will include accompanying programs during the month of April, ending with a visit from the author on April 23.

Joplin Reads Together aims to increase awareness of the Library and its services, provide a shared experience, promote reading, and foster connection to local organizations. Community members can participate by reading the book, contributing to the Joplin Reads Together group on Facebook, and joining programs offered throughout the month of April.

Visit the webpage for the event here, join the Facebook group for updates, and register for prizes as Joplin prepares for another great community read!

Resource Spotlight: JPL Website & Reservation System

You may have noticed some subtle changes to the JPL website and calendar reservation system. After significant research, a new menu and calendar reservation system was put into effect at the beginning of the year.

The JPL website receives roughly 4,300 visitors each month and the JPL staff want it to be as clear as possible for patrons to find what they need. In addition, they hope to highlight services and programming that may be overlooked while making the reservation process for programs, rooms, etc. easier to navigate.

Check it out here.

JPL Over Spring Break

If you’re planning to stay in town for part or all of spring break this year, JPL hopes you’ll make the Library part of your plan! All events and programming are open to the public and you don’t need a library card to participate.

Come see JPL over the break and enjoy everything they have to offer!

From the Post Reading Room

Women Who Made Their Mark in Joplin History

March is Women’s History Month!

In 2019, Post Art Library partnered with Historic Murphysburg Preservation, Inc. and Visit Joplin to publish Coloring JOMO: Women Who Made Their Mark, which presents some of the many extraordinary women who’ve called Joplin home. At that time, we weren’t able to gather due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the partner organizations celebrated by distributing the coloring book digitally, eventually offering print editions once the Post Art Library reopened to the public. Because the project was well-received, print editions are no longer available; however, the digital download version is still free and available to everyone here.

Although it highlights only a dozen of the many exceptional women from Joplin’s history, Women Who Made Their Mark encourages exploration of the significant impact that women have had in the community and, in some cases, beyond. Some of these women were born in the area, others came and went, but all contributed to make Joplin what it is today while blazing a trail for younger generations of women to further their work and continue their traditions.

Here are three highlights from the book:

  • Emily Newell Blair (1877-1951) — Emily Newell Blair was born in Joplin in 1877. She was a widely published author, political leader, and suffragist. She gave her first suffrage speech in St. Louis, Missouri in 1914. In 1916, she organized the “Golden Lane” Suffrage Demonstration at the National Democratic Convention in St. Louis. She was the first editor of The Missouri Woman publication, a founder of the League of Women Voters, Missouri’s “Woman’s Delegate” to the Democratic National Convention in 1921, and, in 1928, was a cofounder of the Joplin Woman’s Club. She died in Alexandria, Virginia in 1915.
  • Melissa Fuell Cuther (1886-1968) — Melissa Fuell Cuther came to Joplin in 1905 to teach first grade. She was instrumental in founding Ewert Park, the George Washington Carver Nursery Day School, Joplin’s first African American Girl Scout troop, United Women with Minorities, and the George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond, Missouri. In 2022, a monument was dedicated to her on the former Lincoln School site and she is depicted in the community mural “Belonging to All the Hands Who Build” on Broadway-Langston Hughes Boulevard. She is buried in Parkway Cemetery in Joplin, Missouri.
  • Lena Beal (1904-1995) — Lena Beal moved to Joplin in 1946, when her husband bought and presided over Joplin Business College. He died that year and Lena assumed ownership of the college and operated it until 1972. She was the first woman to serve on the board of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce (JACC). In 1968, she became the first woman elected to Joplin City Council and was the first woman appointed Mayor, as well as the first woman to receive JACC’s Outstanding Citizen Award. She won many other awards and served on numerous other church and civic boards.

The Post Art Library invites you to download your free copy of Women Who Made Their Mark here and start your exploration of local women’s history. You’re also invited to celebrate Women’s History Month by sharing your own stories of those who have made their mark in Joplin by emailing them to JillHalbach at

Please note that any stories emailed to the Post Art Library may be added to their publicly accessible local history files and/or featured on the Post Art Library website and/or social media accounts.

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.


Joplin Public Library

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