Letter to the Editor

Library thanks city for property, trust

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Dear Editor,

Please allow me to offer my gratitude to the city of Poplar Bluff. The actions of the Council on April 5, 2021, completed the last step for the Poplar Bluff Municipal Library District to have its name on the deed of the property occupied since 1936. For the last 85 years, the Library has had the responsibility for the care and maintenance of the library building. Until 2012, this was funded by library property tax.

Beginning in 2012, property taxes were set to 0.00 and the library became supported wholly by sales tax. This enables the library to grow and advance services in the community. Confidence that the library is needed in our community has been shown over and over since 1917 when the library became a beneficiary of taxpayer support. This support has been expressed by the citizenry with the passage of property taxes, receipt of federal dollars, approved capital improvement sales tax, donations from benefactors, and awarded grants.

A 1965 statute made the library a political subdivision. The Library had the legal right to own and hold property in its name. City budgets state the library had the responsibility for the care and maintenance of its building. The action of the City Council made Library ownership of the property a reality based in law.

With the City Council action, property ownership did not change for the tax-paying citizens. The deed will read City of Poplar Bluff Municipal Library District. For the library, a tremendous step has been taken toward the future. The Board of Trustees can make decisions affecting this property, growing services, creating partnerships with the City and community at large, and continuing its strong presence downtown.

Thank you City Council for your foresight and understanding. I know this was not an easy decision but it was a decision that you can be confident in the future of our community and the Board of Trustees and Library staff to do what is best for all citizens.


Sue Crites Szostak


Poplar Bluff Municipal Library District