Fifty years ago, Boris Pasternak's novel “Doctor Zhivago ” was the number one bestseller, Fidel Castro assumed control of Cuba, a loaf of bread cost 13¢, the hula-hoop was all the rage, Missouri was preparing to meet Georgia in the Orange Bowl… and the Daniel Boone Regional Library was formed.
In July 1959, the board of trustees for the Daniel Boone Regional Library system conducted its first meeting. The system didn't actually have a name yet; the name Daniel Boone was the result of a contest and was suggested by Ruby Hulen of Sturgeon. The name, along with bylaws, personnel policies and a budget were adopted at the August 1959 meeting.
These early community leaders brought together a group of library districts to form DBRL in order to provide better library services to everyone in their districts. They each realized that, together, they could better serve the community by pooling resources. Now, each district shares one cataloging system, one director, one materials processing department, one finance and human resources department, etc., allowing more resources to go toward materials and library services such as programming.
Our statistics demonstrate tremendous growth over the years. This year, we are on track to check out two million items, up 400,000, or 25%, from just five years ago!
Fifty years after our inception, we are giving the system a bit of a facelift by adopting a new strategic plan  with new vision and mission statements and a new logo. In addition to launching our new initiatives over the next few months, we hope to reintroduce you to the services our system provides and better explain how this cooperative effort benefits your community.
With a regional system, you have access to the full selection of items held at all of our libraries and bookmobiles. We currently have facilities in Ashland, Columbia and Fulton and two bookmobiles. You can check out an item at one location and return it at another. We all work together to provide library materials and popular regional programs such as Summer Reading and One Read.
As we celebrate 50 years, I hope you're as excited as I am to see what new services and collections we can offer in the years to come.