Spring Break with JPL

Spring Break is fast approaching, and we’d love to be part of your plans!  We have take home kits for those of you traveling, or if you’re staying in town, make JPL your destination!  We recently appeared on Living Well to share our full slate of activities!


MLA Conference 2022

In an effort to better serve our patrons, Library staff are continually learning and growing in their fields. Recently, several Joplin Public Library staff attended the Missouri Library Association Conference, held in Springfield, MO. The focus of this year’s conference was reconnection with a goal of envisioning what is next for libraries, engaging staff, and empowering patrons.

Each staff member was able to choose which lectures to attend with choices like Performers Showcase, Library Outreach 101, Readers Advisory, and more! JPL’s Library Director, Jeana Gockley, was a featured presenter. Her talk, “From the Ground Up: Creating a Friends of the Library”, was well attended.

Another highlight from the conference was that Christina Matekel-Gibson, JPL’s Children’s Librarian, was awarded the Patt Behler Call-to-Conference Award. The Patt Behler Call-to-Conference Award is sponsored by the Youth Services Community of Interest (YSCI) and is offered to introduce working librarians to the activities and programs of Missouri Library Association (MLA) and YSCI and to encourage involvement and on-going participation in the professional activities of those organizations.

In speaking about the conference, Matekel-Gibson said, “I enjoyed being able to connect with librarians from all over the state to share ideas and celebrate our mutual love for libraries and literacy. The opening keynote with Marlene Chism about moving from conflict to connection was especially impactful!”

Each staff member is excited to put into practice what they have learned, and are already looking forward to next year’s conference!


New Penworthy STEAM Kits Announced

Joplin Public Library has added twelve STEAM and phonics kits to their collection, thanks to a Missouri State Library-funded grant. These kits are geared toward children and teens, and library cardholders can check out one kit at a time for three weeks.

Four kits will be housed in the Teen Department and can be checked out at the Teen Desk or Reference Desk, and eight will be housed in the Children’s Department and can be checked out at the Children’s Desk.

The STEAM-to-GO kits contain high and low-tech toys and games from Penworthy books that are designed to foster hands-on learning. Available STEAM kits include: Money, Math, and Economics; Letters and Numbers; Yoga for Mindfulness; Tot Game Night; Green Energy; Building and Design; Explore the Outdoors; and Family Game Night. Available phonics kits include: Ready, Set, Kindergarten; Biscuit Phonics; Pete the Cat Loves Preschool; and Little Critters Phonics.

STEAM-based learning is foundational in helping children and teens develop a variety of skills, including problem-solving, collaborative learning and critical thinking through hands-on learning. Though the Library currently offers select STEAM kits, this grant allows the Children’s and Teen departments to meet the needs of more families in more diverse ways.

This project is supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Missouri State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State.

For information on these kits or to reserve one, visit the Library’s catalog at and search “STEAM to go,” or contact the Children’s or Teen Departments (417-623-7953).

Young Artists Gallery Exhibit

We’re glad to partner with Post Art Library for the inaugural exhibit of our Young Artists Club!

Open to children through age 12, the Young Artists Club meets monthly to learn new art techniques and make artwork. Exhibited here are their self-portraits, which they learned how to create in April.

Join us on Friday, May 13th from 4pm-5pm for the Young Artists Gallery closing reception.

For more information about the Young Artists Club, visit the Children’s Library or call 417-623-7953 x 1035.

Art in the library is curated by Post Art Library.

PAL Holiday Tea to feature The Opus 76 Quartet

This year, we’ve partnered with Post Art Library and Pro Musica to bring The Opus 76 Quartet to the library for the annual PAL Holiday Tea!

Join us on Saturday, December 4, 2021 for one of two performances:

  • 10-10:45AM: Enjoy a delightful morning Bach-a-Bye Baby performance featuring author/narrator Leia Barrett in a new musical take on the classic tale of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears.”
  • 2-3:00PM: Enjoy an afternoon performance of classical string quartet favorites. Specifically, A. Dvorak: Quartet No.12 in F Major, “American,” Op.96 and The Danish String Quartet: Selections from Woodworks. At the end of this performance, PAL will give away their take-home Holiday Tea kits while supplies last.

From its hometown of Kansas City, The Opus 76 Quartet has become recognized in journals worldwide for its entertaining and energetic interpretations of the classics. Which is to say we are very excited to welcome them to our library!

These programs are free and open to the public. Registration not necessary.

PLEASE NOTE: in an effort to offer safe programming, masks will be required for all attendees ages 2 and older (per CDC guidelines), regardless of vaccination status.

The 2021 PAL Holiday Tea is a partnership between Post Art Library, Pro Musica, and Joplin Public Library. For more information about this event, contact PAL Director Jill Halbach at 417-623-7953 x1041 or

Art Exhibit: The ABCs of Folklore and Slang

The ABCs of Folklore and Slang, an exhibit featuring 26 linocuts by artist Deby Gilley, is open now through Sunday, May 30, 2021 in The Bramlage and Willcoxon Foundation Gallery located off of our main lobby.

Inspired by positive feedback about the titles she gives her works, this series is based on an alphabetical sequence of key letters of the words within the titles. Gilley created these works, which reflect an Ozark heritage, using the relief-printmaking process.

“I am hopeful that my chosen images and titles offers a new and refreshing experience to the use of the slang and familiar sayings. Some of the images are people and animals that I know very well,” said Gilley.

Her book, The ABCs of Folklore and Slang Told in 26 Linocuts, was released in 2020. For more information, contact Post Art Library director Jill Halbach at 417-623-7953 x1041 or

Art in the library is curated by Post Art Library, a 501c3 not-for-profit arts organization located inside Joplin Public Library.

Post Mail Art Projekt 2021: Show Me Mail Art

In 2014, Post Art Library put out an international call for mail art for an exhibit inside the library that has since turned into this project. In addition to accepting mail art submissions on an ongoing basis, they release active calls for mail art that coincide with exhibiting their collection. We’re excited to share that we’ve partnered with Post Art Library and Connect2Culture for Post Mail Art Projekt 2021: Show Me Mail Art!

This international call for mail art is open to anyone who would like to participate, with residents of the State of Missouri (USA) being particularly encouraged to participate in celebration of the Missouri Bicentennial. How cool would it be if we received 200 pieces of mail art from Missourians in addition to those from across the country and the world?!

Inspired by Missouri’s unofficial slogan – “show me” – the theme for our 2021 call is “Show Me Mail Art.” What’s something about your hometown/state/country/etc. that you would like to show the rest of the world? Show us! Mail art may be addressed to:

Post Mail Art Projekt 2021: Show Me Mail Art
c/o Post Art Library
1901 East 20th Street
Joplin, Missouri 64804

…One of the tenets of mail art is that it’s reciprocal. As such, if you send us mail art (that includes your return address), then we’ll send you a mail art thank you. Be well and in the mail!

Starting Thursday, July 1, 2021, Post Art Library Mail Art Take-Home kits are available on a first come, first serve basis while supplies last. Adult kits may be picked up at the Reference Desk; Teen kits may be picked up in the Teen Department; and kid’s kits may be pick up in the Children’s Department.

Post Mail Art Projekt 2021: Show Me Mail Art is a collaboration among Connect2Culture, Joplin Public Library, and Post Art Library, all 501(c)3 not-for-profit organizations located in Joplin, Missouri. #PMAP2021 will be on exhibit inside the library from March 1, 2021 through January 31, 2022. For more information, visit Post Mail Art Projekt or contact Jill Halbach at 417-623-7953 x1041 or This project is endorsed by Missouri 2021, an initiative of The State Historical Society of Missouri.

Please note: no returns (i.e. mail art pieces will not be returned to senders); documentation (i.e. participants will receive mail art in return if they include their return addresses); not all pieces received will go on exhibit, though they will be added to Post Art Library’s mail art collection; and your mail art may be digitized and may appear on Post Art Library’s website, social media sites, or in a digital library collection (with attribution to the sender, of course). Please do not send perishable items.

Art in the library is curated by Post Art Library, a 501c3 not-for-profit arts organization located inside Joplin Public Library.