Springfield, MO

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No. 30 Library Center, district expansion

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When the Library Center opened at 4653 S. Campbell Ave. in a former Payless Cashways building in November 1999, it was the newest and largest branch of the library system as well as the most resourced.

The $6.5 million destination library offered extended hours as well as expanded resources to include collections on business, local history and genealogy. It offered computer labs, state-of-the-art reference technology and a business resource center where visitors could use fax machines, computers and copiers.

The Library Center renovation was financed through a variety of funding collected by the Springfield-Greene County Library – $2 million came from the sale of two buildings, $3.1 million came from the sale of bonds and $1 million came from a fundraising campaign.

The balance was funded through short-term financing.

From there, other library branches began popping up.

In 2000, the Fair Grove Branch opened in its city hall complex. In 2003, The Library Station opened at 2535 N. Kansas Expressway, featuring law and automotive repair collections in addition to a gift shop and a Panera Bread. It replaced the Kearney Branch Library.

Branch growth remained static until 2008 when the Park Central Branch, the ninth branch in the district, opened at 128 Park Central Square featuring a new urban concept in library service.

The 10th branch opened in Strafford in 2008 and in 2009; new branches opened in Willard and Republic.

From its beginnings in 1905 with one branch, 700 volumes and a circulation of 8,657, to its current standings with 10 branches, 550,000 volumes and an annual circulation of 3.93 million, the Springfield-Greene County Library still is bringing knowledge and technology to its patrons.

See the full list of pivotal points chosen by the Springfield Business Journal here.
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