Library New Building

This page has some of the pictures of what was happening before the opening.

You can still view the Time-Lapse video: Camera Link

Come into our new library to see the new building for yourself. We look forward to seeing you!

This is also where you can see our Facebook and Twitter posts. Just scroll through them to see what is up. Facebook and Twitter does not seem to be viewable in all browsers. The new version of Firefox for one, please try another browser, such as Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer if you want to see our posts. Scroll further down this webpage to see information on our New Building.














We opened in May, 2017 and our Grand Opening was June 3, 2017.

This was the camera view the morning of 4/28/17 -

The outside camera view to the west of the new library as of 4/28/2017

February 9, 2017 - Camera View on February 9th - Camera View

February 1, 2017 - Looking south from the parking lot - Looking south from the parking lot Inside looking west in the Adult Area, the Computer Lab will be in this area too - Looking west in the Adult Area, the Computer Lab will be in this area too

Looking east in the Childrens area at the recessed wall - Looking east in the Children's area at the recessed wall.

This pic is from the camera link on 12/16/2016 - the left side is the Adult area where the book stacks, Reference and Computer Lab will be. On the right is the Post Reading room and Local History.

Adult Stacks on the left and the Post Reading room on the right

Front Entrance in October 2016 - Front Entrance in October 2016

Aerial view by a drone from about 300 feet - An aerial view from about 300 feet on 8/13/16

A view from early evening on 5/10/2016 - Part of childrens and part of the entrance area

A view from the onsite camera on 3/11/2016 almost noon time

Closeup of concrete room going up

The first wall is up, 3/10/2016 -

From Casey's on 20th St

Have you seen what the ground looks like the first part of November, 2015 at the site of our new building? Here are just a few pictures.

west view view of east side to the west
The EDA sign to acknowledge the federal grant and City of Joplin for paying for the building. Looking up 20th St
Tops of buildings
As far as you can see, dirt Sloping to 20th St
I did not even see the birds when I took this picture Casey's on 20th St
More dirt Dirt above ground
18th St dirt Moving dirt around
Mounds of dirt Is that a lake of dirt?


Here are some drawings from SAPP Designs (the architects) to give you an idea of what the new bulding is going to look like as of September 12, 2015:

View from the Main Entry <-- View from the Main Entry

View of the west courtyard that you will get to from inside the Library View of the west courtyard

Reading Garden at night View of the Reading Garden at night

View of the east side walkway View of the east side walkway

Our GROUND BREAKING was on September 12, 2015 We had around 400 people able to be there. - There is a whole page of some of the pictures from that event. Go to our Groundbreaking page to take a look. We think it was a pretty good turn out with everything else that was going on in Joplin and surrounding area that day. What to get an idea of how many came through our doors last year only? Our door counters recorded over 327,000 and yes that is just in one year.

Two days before our groundbreaking some equipment started appearing including the beginning of roping off of the actual building area. If you want to see just how big our library will be, come to our Ground Breaking event. Below is the first of many pictures of this event -

6 different construction equipment that will be there for JPLs groundbreaking event

Were you at the first Open House at the Library on April 29th? We have some pictures of some of the preliminary work on our NEW building.

Preliminary Outside at 20th & Connecticutt

Thought you would like to see a close up of the current library, outlined in red below, inside the preliminary floor plan of the new library building.

Old Library outlined in Red inside the Prelim new library floor plan

If you hover over one of the thumbnail pictures below the large picture will change to that picture. The first picture was a happy accident of the library camera's flash causing a moon to appear.

Moon Over the New Library Site View Preliminary Floor Plan Various Visions
Open House 1 Open House 2 Open House 3 Open House 4
Open House 5 Open House 6 Open House 7 Open House 8
Moon Over New Library


Do you want to know some quick facts:

  • New Building at northeast corner of 20th and Connecticut with address: 1901 East 20th Street
  • 6 acres site.
  • New Building of approx. 56,000 sf, One Story.
  • (Existing building is approx. 34,000 sf not including the mechanical mezzanine.)
  • Steel, steel stud, masonry, and standard high-durability systems, materials, and finishes.
  • Energy Efficient: equivalent to a LEED Silver building, but will not be certified as such.
  • The new Library will feature:
    • Connection to local trail system.
    • A Trolley stop on site.
    • Outdoor event space; plaza and/or open lawn area for various Library sponsored events or programs.
    • 170 parking spaces (Existing Library has a total of about 60 spaces.)
    • On-site connection to adjacent commercial development, (future.)
    • Drive-up book drop.
    • Covered drop-off at main entry.
  • Library Services and Amenities will include:
    • Four Meeting rooms of various sizes: two of which can be combined into an auditorium for approx. 220 seats.
    • One Meeting Room or “un-conference room” with lounge furniture for less formal meetings and collaboration.
    • The two larger meetings rooms will also serve as a Storm Shelter, of adequate size for the normal daytime occupants of the building.
    • A coffee lounge and reading area: initially served by vending machines, but adaptable to become a bistro type coffee shop in the future.
    • An enlarged Children’s Library, with a larger and flexible “story-hour” space, for children’s programs, crafts, and other activities.
    • Maker-Spaces: two to three flexible and adaptable creation-spaces; may include tools and support services such as booklet and brochure publishing, video production and/or editing, audio recording or editing, 3d printing, crafts, etc. Flexible spaces designed to adapt to community needs and wants.
    • Outdoor courtyards and patio space for patron use.
    • Self-Check kiosks.
    • A separate Teen area.
    • History and Genealogy reading room and research area.
    • The Post Reading Room; with special attention to art history materials, research, programs, and displays.

More progress at the "corner" and discussions about the "corner":

3 different drawings of potencial buildings

On the spot shot #1 On the spot shot #2

On the spot shot #3 On the spot shot #4

I have played with my camera on my phone and found I can say a magic word and it will take a picture. That will be helpful and hopefully let me take better focused pictures when I am driving by our "new corner". Here are few I took, some before I found my "voice":

Progress at the site on St Patrick Day 2015

2nd Progress at site on St Patrick's Day 2015

3rd Progress on the site on St Patrick's Day

First picture of the 20th & Connecticut on 3/6/2015 approximately 1 pm.

Part of the new library site

Our first "building block" ideas: Initial start of using building blocks to get ideas of what will work for our new library area

Timeline for 2015-2017

The Library project is a partnership with the Economic Development Administration, which awarded the City a $20 million grant to assist in the redevelopment of the 20th Street area following the 2011 disaster. The project will include site infrastructure repairs and improvements, as well as the new facility. It is a matching grant from EDA of 80% to 20% City resources, the City will fund $5 million of the project; approximately $4.5 million in TIF funding and $500,000 match in land value of property the City owns  at 20th and Connecticut.

Construction is planned to start in the fall 2015 and is expected to take approximately 18 months to complete.

Challenges of current Joplin Public Library


  • Current Library not ADA compliant.(built before ADA went into effect.)
  • Book stack aisles 29-30” apart; ADA specifies 36-42”.  Space limited so cannot move aisles.
  • Some wheelchairs won’t FIT in the aisles. Patrons in wheelchairs cannot reach top row of books.
  • Our collection space is full without room for expansion. Prime example: Large Print collection - shelves full, including shelf by floor. Seniors have to crawl down to floor level to find some books
  • Inadequate Parking, especially on days w/ special programs
  • Library is Land-locked.  Cannot build out or up. Only have existing space.
  • When adding new service, it encroaches on patron areas (computer lab added, lost “quiet” reading area)
  • Many times, all tables full of patrons working. Does not have enough spaces for patrons to work.  People prefer to work in their “own space” & not be elbow-to-elbow working at tables where they do not know person working next to them.
  • Need to have a space available for quiet reading.
  • Need some private study rooms that provides quiet space to work alone or in groups of two or three.
  • Not enough space in “hidden” areas of the library.  Tech Services (processing &  cataloging) out of space for work places & storage of supplies. Staff stores supplies under desks.  IT dept. needs more space for both storage & work space.
  • Servers need climate controlled space. Currently stashed in admin wing, with fans on them; keeping them from getting too hot is constant concern. NO servers = halt for majority of library patrons & staff.
  • Programming space lacking. Children’s programs sometimes have to turn people away. Budget constraints limit multiple offerings of programs.
  • Wiring issues. Multiple electrical closets. Library built prior to computers & technology called for increased electrical demand  that today’s services require. General lack of access to electrical outlets, causing difficulties for patrons wanting/needing access for personal devices
  • Building not designed for extensive computer use that today’s libraries utilize & provide.  Computer connections can’t be installed all the places they are needed, & building construction makes internal Wi-Fi connections erratic, causing dropped connections.
  • General structural issues with roof & foundation. Better than past, although still a concern and expense. Spend $10,000-$20,000/year on roof inspection, maintenance, and repair.
  • Need to increase security at Library security. Improve line-of-sight in all areas for safety of patrons. 
  • No workroom for maintenance.  Our janitors do basic maintenance, but have no place to perform these simple repairs.