Curiosity Kits Launched

At Joplin Public Library, we strive to encourage learning through fun. To help meet that goal, we are thrilled to announce new STEM kits for our youngest patrons and their families! These STEM kits, also known as Curiosity Kits, include activities designed to explore various sciences through hands-on learning!

Discover electronics and circuit building with Snap Circuits:

Coding and robots with Ozobot:

Electronics and inventions with Makey Makeys:

Curiosity Kits can be checked out for three weeks. Only one kit per card is permitted. Available kits include: two Snap Circuits, two Ozobots, and three Makey Makeys. The suggested age range for Curiosity Kits is 7-12 years old. The Makey Makey requires both an internet connection and a computer or tablet. Search for available kits in our catalog or put one on hold today!

Reading for Change: Books by Black Authors

All of these titles can be found via the JPL catalog

Picture Books

M is for Melanin

Concepts ABC Rose

That is my dream! : A picture book of Langston Hughes’s “Dream variation”

People Diversity Hughes

What’s the Difference?: Being Different is Amazing

    People Diversity Richards


    People Mom Mora

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut

    Self Self Esteem Barnes

Just Like Me

Self Self Esteem Brantley-Newton

Magnificent Homespun Brown: A Celebration

    Self Self Esteem Doyon

I am Enough

Self Self Esteem Byers


    Self Self Esteem Nyong’o

Hey Black Child

    Self Self Esteem Perkins

You Matter

    Self Self Esteem Robinson

Freedom Soup

    Stories Food Charles

The Undefeated

Stories History Alexander

Let the Children March

    Stories History Clark-Robinson

The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read

    Stories History Hubbard

Before She Was Harriet

Stories History Ransome

Easy Fiction and Easy Nonfiction

Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel

    Easy Fic Grimes Nikki

Jada Jones series

    Easy Fic Lyons Kelly Starling

The Amazing Life of Azaleah Lane

    Easy Fic Smith Nikki Shannon

Let’s Talk About Race

    Easy Nonfic 305.8 L56L c. 1

Child of the Civil Rights Movement

    Easy Nonfic 323.11 Sh4c

Trombone Shorty

    Easy Nonfic 788.9 An2t

The Stone Thrower

    Easy Nonfic 796.332 Ea5r

Juvenile Fiction and Juvenile Nonfiction

The Crossover

    J Fiction Alexander Kwame


    J Fiction Draper Sharon

The Parker Inheritance

    J Fiction Johnson Varian

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky

    J Fiction Mbalia Kwame

Ghost Boys

    J Fiction Rhodes Jewell Parker

Betty Before X

    J Fiction Shabazz Ilyasah

Piecing Me Together & Ways to Make Sunshine

    J Fiction Watson Renee

Genesis Begins Again

    J Fiction Williams Alicia

Brown Girl Dreaming

    J Fiction Woodson Jacqueline

My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich

    J Fiction Zoboi Ibi

New Kid

    J Nonfic 741.5 C84n

We are the Ship: the story of Negro League Baseball

    J Nonfic 796.357 N33w

Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets

    J Nonfic 808.1 AL2o

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement

    J Nonfic 817 H11w

The Women Who Caught the Babies: A Story of African American Midwives

    J Nonfic 973.0496 G82w

Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History 

    J Nonfic 973.0496 H24L

Teen Fiction

Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles

     Teen Coles Jay

Let Me Hear A Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson

     Teen Jackson Tiffany

How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon

     Teen Magoon Kekla

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

     Teen Reynolds Jason

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

     Teen Stone Nic

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

     Teen Thomas Angie

If You Come Softly and Behind You by Jacqueline Woodson

     Teen Woodson Jacqueline

Teen Non-Fiction

Teen Graphic Novels

March, Books 1-3 by John Lewis

      Teengn Lewis John March

I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina

      Teengn Medina Tony I Am


The Vanishing Half

    Fiction Bennett Brit

The Water Dancer

    Fiction Coates Ta-Nehisi


    Fiction Yaa Gyasi

The Broken Earth series

Fiction Jemisin N.K.

Such a Fun Age

    Fiction Reid Kiley

Real Life

    Fiction Taylor Brandon

Sing, Unburied, Sing

    Fiction Ward Jesmyn

The Nickel Boys

Fiction Whitehead Colin

Red at the Bone

    Fiction Woodson Jacqueline


Bad Feminist

    305.42 G25 2014

How to be an Antiracist

    305.8 K34h 2019

Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America

305.8 K34s 2016

Heavy: An American Memoir

    305.896 L45h 2018

How We Fight For Our Lives

    811 J71h 2019

The Yellow House

    921 B79y 2019

Easy wireless printing at JPL!

Do you have something you need to print? You can print straight to the JPL computer lab printer from your own device! 📲 Printed items are $.10 per page for black and white & $.25 for color.

All you have to do is..

1) Visit

2) Enter our Printer ID 105000

3) Select either Black & White or Color print option

4) Upload the file(s) you want to print

5) Adjust qty or “other” for print options

6) Accept the Terms & Conditions, Select “Pay At Desk” & Input a name for use at Pickup

7) Visit the Computer lab to pick up your document at any time during the same day! 

NO LIBRARY CARD REQUIRED! Quick and easy, no more searching everywhere for a printer! Like and share to spread the word! 👍⏩

JPL offers Curbside Pickup

We’ve got shocking news, winter in the Midwest can be COLD! If you don’t want to leave the comfort of your vehicle, if you would rather avoid germs, or if you just don’t want to change out of your PJs, we’ve got you! Use curbside pickup at Joplin Public Library! Watch the video below to see just how easy it is.


Best Books of 2021

The best books of 2021 have been announced, based on reader reviews, hosted by the book suggestion website Goodreads. 👈 Click this link to browse the list. Winners in each category have been tagged to the Joplin Public Library online catalog for your convenience. Happy reading!

Welcome our two new Librarians!

Joplin Public Library is thrilled to announce the appointment of two brand new librarian positions. New librarian appointments are rare for the Library, with the last unique job addition taking place in 2006, when a teen services librarian was added. On August 2, the Joplin Public Library promoted Jason Sullivan, a reference assistant, to the newly created role of electronic resources librarian, and on September 27, welcomed Derek Moser as its first adult programming librarian. There has been a strongly perceived need for both of these positions, and their addition will likely provide a significant enhancement to patron services.

The new positions come with some exciting opportunities.  Moser will coordinate in-house and outreach programs for adults, assist users with research, reader’s advisory, and other services, and strive to connect with community partners.  Sullivan will manage and support access to the Library’s digital information resources, coordinate interlibrary loan services, and administer the integrated library system.

Sullivan has worked in the Library’s reference department since 2007. His longevity and dedication to the Library, combined with his educational experience and the skills acquired in the Reference Department make him an ideal fit for his new position.  He holds a Masters in Library Science from Kent State University, a Masters in Education from University of Missouri, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from University of Denver.

Moser’s education, work experience and professional skill set make him a noteworthy addition to the Library team.  He holds a Masters in Library Science from the University of Kentucky, a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from MidAmerica Nazarene University, and is a veteran of the Joplin Public Library where he previously worked from 2016 to 2018.  First, as a children’s library assistant and then later as the assistant circulation supervisor.  In 2018, he accepted the library director role at the Seth Wilson Library at Ozark Christian College.

“One of the best aspects of working at the Joplin Public Library is the amount of buy-in the staff has regarding the Library’s mission,” said Moser. “The Library is filled with people committed to ‘opening tomorrow’s doors today through diverse opportunities to learn, create, explore, and have fun.’ To be a part of a staff committed to such a task is truly an honor.”

Joplin Public Library is recognized with a State Award in Public Relations

On September 29, 2021, The Missouri Library Association (MLA) awarded the yearly state-wide Public Relations Achievement Award to Joplin Public Library at their annual conference in St. Louis. On hand to accept the award were Joplin Public Library’s Director Jeana Gockley and Public Relations/Marketing Assistant Chelsey Gatewood.

Factors contributing to the recognition were the key steps JPL took during the previous year to develop a strong and connected relationship with their public. Gatewood was hired in September of 2020 as the Library’s first staff member dedicated to these goals. In November of 2020, a new strategic plan was developed, implementing the Library’s improved mission and vision statements. The Library’s messaging, operations, and customer interactions became focused around the newly formed goals of service, awareness, outreach, inclusion, and enrichment. Additionally, new and strengthening community partnerships were prioritized to assist in the Library’s goal of identifying and connecting the people of the Joplin community with what they truly need.

To quote a press release from the Missouri Library Association, “(Joplin Public Library’s) ability to adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic was greatly recognized and appreciated by their community.”

The Public Relations Achievement Award was one of only four MLA awards given to Libraries in the State of Missouri in 2021. The other recipients included: 2021 Missouri Library of the Year – St. Louis University’s Pius XII Memorial Library, Community Partnership Award – Maplewood Public Library, and the Excellence in Genealogy and Local History Award – Kansas City Public Library.

MLA is a non-profit organization which strives to support the work of libraries and further advancements in the profession. The organization’s mission is to promote library service, the profession of librarianship, and cooperation among all types of libraries and organizations concerned with library service in the state. Learn more at

Bargains Galore: The JPL “Sale Shelf”

The Joplin Public Library already offers their community a tremendous value for their dollar with their daily operations, but did you know that the Library also has a place where you can BUY books, magazines, DVDs, and more?

The “Sale Shelf” located on the Eastern end of the main lobby presents our public with a browsable selection of donated and weeded items at hugely discounted prices. Part “bargain shop”, part “garage sale”, all good fun – who can resist the urge to buy a stack of new to you items at prices like these…?

DVD’S $1.00
CD’S   $1.00
Visit us today to shop the sale shelf, no Library card is required. Joplin Public Library accepts cash, cards, and checks. Joplin Public Library also accept donations of new or like new, stain and odor-free materials, just bring them to us at the front desk or call 417-623-7953 to arrange a drop off.

Who gets a card and why?

There is a Joplin Public Library card waiting for YOU

Learn about the types of Library cards, who gets one, and for how much!

Resident Library Card

  • Annual property tax from the residents who live within the city limits of Joplin provide a great deal of the Library’s funding. (THANK YOU JOPLIN!) Due to this, everyone who lives within the city of Joplin gets a “free” JPL Library card. To  apply, you must provide a photo ID. If the ID has your current address, you are good to go. If not, you also need to bring a computer generated piece of recent mail that has your current address listed on it to apply. It is that easy! Apply in the Library (1901 E. 20th Street), or online at

But, what about those who live outside of city limits? The Library has multiple types of “non-resident” cards that are incredibly affordable or completely free! Here is a list:

Non-Resident Library Card

  • Non-resident cards are VERY affordable. If you live outside city limits, none of your tax dollars currently help fund the Joplin Public Library. The application/membership fee amount charged is calculated as the average amount an in-city resident pays to the Library from their annual property tax payment.
    • Non-residents are asked to pay a fee of $50 per year for your whole household. (Only $4.17 per month), OR, an exciting new option is our “trial card” which costs only $12.50 (for your entire household) and is good for 3 months! 

Company Library Card

  • Anyone who operates a business within Joplin city limits qualifies for a FREE Company Library card! (Ownership of the business is not required.) The application must be conducted by the Owner, CEO, Director, or President and then that person and several authorized users can enjoy the benefits of checking out and downloading materials from Joplin Public Library! Any type of material can be checked out with this card.

Student Library Card

  • University or College students residing in student housing in Joplin are eligible for a FREE Library card!
  • K-12 Students who live outside of Joplin city limits, but attend a school in Joplin, qualify for a reduced rate card of $10 per student!
    • Proof of attendance at the school is required (student ID, report card, email from teacher/building, etc).

The powers of the Joplin Public Library card are limitless. With your Library card you can check out popular, interesting, classic, and new release books, DVDs (including films, documentaries, and TV shows), and more! With most card types the item limit is 50 items checked out, at a time, per card! Also, your card can access our Digital Resources – downloadable ebooks, audiobooks, and more – at no additional cost though fun, free, and convenient apps. Additionally, your card can access our Online Databases or expert Librarians for assistance with Job Hunting, Research and Genealogy, Language Learning, Cooking, DIY, and more. 

This is your Library, we can’t wait to meet you and unlock the Powers of a Joplin Public Library card in your life! Come and see us today (20th and Connecticut) or visit us online at You may also call us at 417-623-7953. 

Joplin Public Library opens tomorrow’s doors today through diverse opportunities to learn, create, explore, and have fun.

Here to help you! JPL & Economic Security Corporation

The local branch of the Economic Security Corporation’s official Mission statement is: To provide comprehensive services that will instill hope and share opportunities to eliminate the conditions of poverty and help neighbors achieve self-sufficiency. We also feel that this is a vital and essential mission of the Library. In the spirit of that partnership, an Outreach Worker from the Economic Security Corporation is available once per month (every third Friday) in the Library lobby from 1 to 3 pm.

Economic Security is an incredibly helpful community hub for any and all sorts of help. Some of the most common needs they work to meet include rental payment assistance and energy bill assistance for those struggling financially. They can even help to assist in ways such as providing a no cost smart phone, finding insurance or low to no cost medical or dental care, or even to connect to legal assistance. Other helpful resources fall under the umbrella of case management. In this instance, an Outreach Worker builds a complete relationship with a family and assists all of their needs. This resource can include helping search for employment, assisting in transportation for the family, looking into free or reduced childcare options (Headstart), and more!

ESC also runs a program called Housing Connect for people experiencing homelessness. They have resources for job searching and programs in place to lead these vulnerable community members out of the dangers of being unhoused, and into a safer and more stable future.

Economic Security is a LARGE, complex, and incredibly helpful organization. If you, or someone you know, are experiecing any types of stressors or obstacles due to financial situation, please visit us at the Library on Friday, August 20 from 1 to 3 pm OR visit their home office at 302 South Joplin Avenue ( in Joplin) or call them at 417-781-0352.