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History of the Library

The first Adair County Library Board was appointed by Jack Shelton, Presiding Judge of Adair County Court, on September 12, 1984. A county library was not yet established.

Voters passed a tax levy of 15 cents per $100 property evaluation on April, 1986.



The Sojourners Club Library collection was purchased for $1 and the Adair County Public Library opened in the Sojourners Building at 201 N. Elson St (now the Adair County Historical Society Building) as a tax-supported library July 1, 1986.


Opening Day Adair County Public Library—Sojourners Building, July 1, 1986


A new 9,800 square foot library facility opened to the public on November 1, 1989, at One Library Lane (just south of Swimming Pool Park on Highway 63).


Adair County Public Library—1989


Marilyn Prosser served as the first library director from 1986-1990. During her tenure the new library building was built and opened to the public in November, 1989.

Circulation in the first full year of library service in 1987 was 41,841 items, and in 2006 the annual circulation was 252,403 items.

Voters were given the opportunity to increase the Library’s levy from 15 cents to 20 cents per $100 property evaluation in February, 2001. This was soundly defeated. To continue to operate in the black, library hours were reduced from 58 hours per week to 44 hours per week, the book budget was decreased, and library staff hours were reduced. Due to these cuts in March, 2001, the Library continues to operate in the black.

Currently, average daily attendance is just over 400 people per day.

The Children’s Summer Reading programs are very popular as are the weekly children’s story times.

A community fund drive and grants raised $72,718 needed to replace the roof in 2003.

The Dare to Dream Children’s Book Campaign in 2005 raised over $40,000 for new children’s books.

A grant was written and funded to replace the library’s automated computer system in 2007. This replaces the automation system implemented in 1996, for which maintenance, updates, and equipment were no longer available.