Registration is now open for the 2019 Joplin Writers’ Faire, an annual, collaborative library event that connects all sorts of writers to their existing and potentially new audiences while encouraging community support of local and regional writers.

Last year, over 25 authors participated in and over 300 people attended this annual event! Registration is FREE and open to all writers, writers’ groups, and writing-related organizations.


  • The 3rd Annual Joplin Writers’ Faire is scheduled for Saturday, October 26, 2019 from 10am-2pm at Joplin Public Library.
  • Registrationis FREE and opens at 9am on Thursday, August 1, 2019 and closes at 6pm on Friday, August 30, 2019. Neither early nor late registrations will be accepted. Tables will be provided for the first 25 registrants. 
  • For an opportunity to participate in the public reading portion of this event, we request that you donate an item (e.g. one of your books, associated merchandise, a journal, pen set, etc.) to be given away as a door prize. If you’re agreeable to the donation and would like to claim one of the sixteen public-reading slots, then please state as such at the time of your registration. Note that participation in the public-reading portion of this event is optional and that slots will be given on a first come, first serve basis. 
  • Contact either Jill Sullivan (; 417-623-7953 x1041) or Evan Martin (; 417-623-7953 x1018) to register.

The Joplin Writers’ Faire is a collaboration between Post Art Library (PAL) and Joplin Public Library (JPL).

Route 66 – Highway to the Stars

Route 66 – Highway to the Stars, an educational exhibit created by local history detectives and authors William and Doris Martin, is showing now through July 31 in our Genealogy, Local History, and Post Reading Room wing. The Martins discovered a connection between William’s mother’s family and astronomer Edwin Hubble’s mother’s family, who were living in Marshfield, Missouri many years ago.

When William’s 91-year-old aunt told them, “This story needs to be told,” they wrote and self-published a book entitled Dreams and Adventures: The Edwin Hubble Story (2015). It’s an inspiring, never-before-told story about the amazing astronomer for whom the Hubble Space Telescope is named.

After publication of their book, the Martins continued to research astronomy and space exploration. William began creating original storyboards about Edwin Hubble and many other astronomers, astronauts, observatories, and planetariums. Many of these people and places, as it turns out, have connections to Route 66, such as astronomer Harlow Shapley and astronaut Janet Kavandi.

Discover the dreams and adventures of Edwin Hubble, learn about Harlow Shapley – the man who determined our solar system’s place in the Milky Way – visit some planetariums and observatories, soar with astronauts, and reach for the stars as you travel along Route 66 – Highway to the Stars!

Join the authors for a book signing from 10am-11am on Monday, July 22, 2019 in the Local History room. Note: Books will be available for purchase at this event; CASH ONLY.

Exhalation by Ted Chiang

I became familiar with Ted Chiang after seeing the movie The Arrival. If you haven’t seen it, I don’t want to spoil too much, but it’s a fascinating take on making first contact with an alien species. Chiang wrote the novella called Story of Your Life that the movie was based on. The story plays with the concepts of time and perception. It’s masterfully written. When I found out Chiang was releasing another collection of short stories, I immediately requested we purchase it. I’ll review a small number of the stories that I feel best represent Chiang’s Exhalation.

“Exhalation” — The narrator of this story is never named, but describes itself as a “student of anatomy.” By performing exploratory surgery on itself, the narrator discovers how the mechanical beings survive. Their brains are made up of sheets of thin gold. Air pressure helps these sheets conduct thoughts and actions throughout their bodies.

This discovery leads to a chilling conclusion: the mere existence of the beings is increasing the air pressure inside the dome that encapsulates their living environment. If the air pressure continues to rise, their brains will be unable to function and the entire race will die.

Perhaps a bit on the nose, this story has clear parallels to the peril of climate change. What is most interesting about this story is the complex world Chiang builds in a mere 21 pages. He spends a lot of time explaining the everyday lives of this mechanical race.

They’re really not so different from us, other than that they’re machines. They have the same worries and fears, same existential questions like “Where did we come from?” This is perhaps the great success of the story. By the time I realized the story was about humanity, I already related to and liked the beings I was reading about.

“What’s Expected of Us” — The Predictor is simply a small black box. Its only features are a green light and a button. It’s a simple game: press the button before the green light comes on. But no matter what tricks the player uses, the light always comes on just before they press the button.

What are the implications of a game that knows you’re going to play before you do? Well, I can’t really go much further with reviewing this story. It’s only 4 pages long. But let’s just say that humanity has a very important choice to make. Whether we want to or not.

“Dacey’s Patent Automated Nanny” — In 1861, Reginald Dacey invents a mechanical nanny to take care of his child, Lionel. “Rational child-rearing will lead to rational children,” he believes. The nanny is a huge success until one child is killed by their caregiver. Despite Dacey’s discovery that the nanny was tampered with, the damage to its reputation is done.

Years later, in an attempt to right the wrongs done to his father’s legacy, Lionel Dacey attempts to reintroduce the Automatic Nanny. His research is hidden from the public until an unusual young boy is found at an orphanage. The boy, Edmund, was raised by the Automatic Nanny and is severely underdeveloped.

At first, those caring for the boy fear it was his removal from human contact that delayed the boy’s development. However, they quickly realize it was his removal from the Nanny that has caused the problems. Is there any chance for Edmund to live a normal life?

In Chiang’s notes at the end of the collection, he notes that this story was written for a collection of stories about fictional museum exhibits. The Automatic Nanny never existed, but the philosophies behind the story certainly did.

Victorian-era parents had a much different view on how to raise their children. Chiang’s story examines what might have happened had these views. How would humanity have been changed by a co-dependent relationship with technology? Hmmm, I’m sensing that this story may not be about the past as much as it seems.

Chiang is an award-winning author and his mastery shines in this collection. Even though many of these stories have dark themes, they are never bleak. The narrators always have hope. I don’t know if I would go so far as to call this collection uplifting, but it certainly will make you think about humans and our place in the universe.

Find in Catalog

Book review by: Leslie Hayes

MSSU Senior Sneak Peek

MSSU Senior Sneak Peek, an art show comprised of artworks by recent or soon-to-be recent graduates of Missouri Southern State University’s Art Department, is on display in our Local History, Genealogy, and Post Reading Room gallery. A preview of the artists’ senior shows, Sneak Peek features art by Jocelyn Lechuga, Lydia Humphreys, McKenzie Wesley, Sydney Buffington, and Jacklyn Kidd.

Library exhibitions and displays are curated by Post Art Library. Their mission is to enrich the community of Joplin by perpetuating Dr. Winfred L. and Elizabeth C. Post’s love of art, architecture, history, and history preservation through public access to arts-related library resources and services, educational programming, events, and exhibits. Visit for more information.


Antique Photographs on Display

Gone are the days of laborious photographic processes. Most of us use cellphones rather than cameras to take photos. No doubt – and more often than not – the photos we take remain stored on electronic devices or in virtual clouds instead of tangibly tucked away in albums gracing our shelves or frames decorating our walls.

With modern technology, it’s understandably easy to forget about historic photographic processes, such as those used to make ambrotypes, CdVs, and tintypes. Fortunately, we still benefit from the results of these processes by way of antique photographs, such as those in Allen Shirley’s collection, a selection of which we’re showing now through March 2019.

Although the display is largely comprised of tintypes, a photograph made by a direct positive on a thin sheet of metal coated with a dark enamel, it includes a small selection of ambrotypes, a positive photograph on glass, and carte de visite photos, a type of small photograph patented in Paris. The photographs depict George and Martha Washington; Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln; Edgar Allen Poe; Harriet Beecher Stowe; Frederick Douglass; Albert Einstein; Sitting Bull; Calamity Jane; Annie Oakley; the aftermath of Gettysburg and other Civil War era photographs; and more.

Library exhibitions and displays are curated by Post Art Library. Their mission is to enrich the community of Joplin by perpetuating Dr. Winfred L. and Elizabeth C. Post’s love of art, architecture, history, and history preservation through public access to arts-related library resources and services, educational programming, events, and exhibits. Visit for more information.

Maker Cart for Elementary School Aged Children

Maker Cart
The Rosemary Titus Reynolds Children’s Library in Joplin Public Library is proud to announce a new program for Children in 1st through 5th grade. The Maker Cart program is funded by the MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES and is offered on the first and third Saturdays of the month. Come use recycled materials to explore STEAM concepts!