Callaway County Library Timeline


February 25, 1907 – Fulton Women’s Club hears a lecture by Westminster’s Professor Willis Kerr on the topic of books and is inspired to create a public library.

1907-1908 – Donations of books and money were solicited and a library association was formed.

July 2, 1908 – The library first opens in rented rooms on the second floor of the Odd Fellows Building.

April, 1910 – Library supporters put a 10¢ tax levy proposal to a public vote; it passed and the library was officially turned over to the city board and named the Fulton Free Public Library. Correspondence began with Andrew Carnegie about his support for a library building.

April, 1911 – Mr. Carnegie offers $12,000 to build a library if the public will provide a site and agree to maintain it (“at a cost of not less than $1,200 per year” which was already covered by the tax levy.)

May 24, 1911 – A special election was held to vote on a $4,000 bond issue to buy a lot for the library building. It passed overwhelmingly with a vote of 280 to 11.

June, 1911 – A lot was purchased from D.C. McCue at 709 Market Street along with a 5-foot passageway to Court St. Architect M. F. Bell, working with Mr. Carnegie’s representative, designed the building.

November 2, 1911 – The cornerstone for the building is laid.

July, 1912 – The library moves into the completed building where Miss. Frances Watson is the librarian and the hours are 1-6 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. every day except Sunday.

1917 – A wooden floor and a stage were installed over the cement in the basement through a donation.

1950 – A telephone was installed for the first time.

1951 – A hand railing was installed on the front steps.

1955 – Expanding the library was first discussed

1958 – The first significant remodeling took place. A room was set aside just for children.

1960 – The Fulton library entered into a one-year contract for services with the Daniel Boone Regional Library. (DBRL had just been formed in 1959 by a contract between the Boone, Callaway and Howard County library districts and the City of Columbia library district.)

1961 – Because the benefits of the regional system, the Fulton Free Public Library consolidated with the Callaway County Public Library, thereby becoming part of the DBRL effective January 1, 1962.

1967 – A tax levy increase was passed and the levy was then 20¢ (per $100 of assessed valuation). The library was remodeled again. This time the basement meeting room became a children’s library and interior walls were removed upstairs to provide a larger adult reading room.

1977 – Overcrowding was very severe by this point and the board began planning for a new building, hiring Kenneth Wischmeyer and Partners to begin a design.

1978 – The League of Women Voters conducted a study of the library and endorsed the board’s building plan. The regional board agreed to place tax revenues generated directly from the Callaway Nuclear Plant would be placed in a special building fund.

1980 – The board uses the money in this special fund to buy the two lots south of the library on Market St. and the two directly behind the library on Court St. to allow for an addition.

September 1980 – The tax rate was rolled back from 20¢ to 16¢.

1981 – A proposal to raise the library tax levy to 20¢ failed.

1982 – A second attempt to pass the levy fails. The board then “worked with the architects to adjust the plans to fall within the scope of the tax levy finances to be generated from the nuclear power plant.”

April 8, 1984 – The library broke ground for the new addition.

1985 – Reassessment reduced the tax rate and then it was rolled back from 16¢ to 10¢.

July 1985 – Phase I of the building project was “essentially complete.” This included “the outer shell of the new building joining the old building, the parking lot, and the landscaping.” At this date, Phase II was being reworked to suit available funds, but is was hoped that it could be finished by the end of 1985. Phase II was: “the interior finishing of the new structure including heating, plumbing, walls, floors, ceilings and fixtures and the opening of the wall between the old and new parts of the building.”

February 12, 1987 – Front doors of the completed addition were opened for the first time, according to a newspaper article.

May 3, 1987 – Formal dedication of the expanded library took place.

April 1989 – A proposal to raise the library tax levy by 5¢ (to 15¢) failed.

1990 – Some documents make reference to an open house this year to celebrate the final completion of Phase III of the addition. Phase III called for “the renovation of the top floor of the original building” according to a 1985 pamphlet.

1993 – The tax rate was raised to 13¢ by the State Auditor. (It was later increased to 14¢.)

1999 – A Master Facilities Plan for the DBRL was written. It included repairs and major remodeling of the Callaway library.

April 6, 1999 – A proposal to raise the library tax levy by 18¢ (to 32¢ to match the regional system) failed.

April 4, 2000 – A proposal to raise the library tax levy by 6¢ (to 20¢) finally passes.

March 15, 2001 – The DBRL board forms an Ad Hoc CCPL Building Committee to make plans for repairs and renovations.

Fall 2001 - Winter 2002 – Improvements were made to the steps and sidewalks on the east and south sides of the building. A new retaining wall and new lettering reading “CCPL” was put in on the Market Street side of the building.

Winter 2002 - January 2003 – Exterior improvements continued: sandblasting, replacing some bricks, grouting, tuck-pointing and painting. New handrails were put on the Court St. steps and new handles were added to the doors. Repairs to some mechanical systems also began.

February 2004 – The library moved to temporary quarters at 1201 S. Bus. 54 to expedite the remodeling efforts which were completed in nine months. All the furniture, lighting, data wiring, interior finishes and signs, and the majority of the shelving were replaced. The floor plan was rearranged to include more patron reading areas and staff work space, a new computer lab and a renovated Friends room that can be divided into two rooms. Upgrades and repairs were made to the building’s HVAC system. A new, more universally accessible main entrance was constructed at parking lot level, complete with automatic sliding doors. Outside, the library got new sidewalks and curbs and the parking lot was resurfaced. The library also installed a new computer network and telephone system.

November 3, 2004 – Temporary library closes to move the library back to original building.

November 9 & 10, 2004 – The newly remodeled Callaway County Public Library held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and program on November 9 and reopened to the public on November 10. An estimated 275 people attended the ribbon-cutting, and a record 3,107 people visited in the first week after reopening.

November 13, 2004 – The family-oriented grand opening event drew over 800 patrons and featured clowns, magicians, musicians and face painting.

January 2005 - Wireless Internet access was made available for patrons.

May 14, 2005 – The Chamber of Commerce held a rededication ceremony for the state historical marker at the library.

November 2005 – Rost, Inc. completed new landscaping around the library. This aspect of the project benefited from a $5,000 gift from the Allison Morrison estate. The Fulton Garden Club and the Night Bloomers also made plans at this time to plant and care for annual flowers in the spring and summer.

December 2007 – After 22 years of service, CCPL manager Linda Hodgkins retired on December 31.

March 2008 – Greg Reeves joins the library staff as the library manager. Greg has worked for DBRL for ten years, starting in Fulton where he was the reference librarian for two years, and then working at the Columbia library.

April 24, 2008 – The first of several events commemorating the library’s 100th anniversary is held when local historian Carl Kremer gives a presentation about library history at the annual Friends of the Library meeting.

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