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Library Mission & History

The mission and history of the Reynolds County Library District.


The Reynolds County Library District proposes to provide the opportunity and encouragement for all individuals and groups to educate themselves continuously.

We do this by providing:

1. All of our libraries with a good reference collection.

2. Five conveniently located branches.

3. Materials and information to all citizens of this area.  The library will provide books, magazines, newspapers, videos, DVD's, and audiobooks. The library will also provide public access to computers, computer networks, and the internet. The library will promote and encourage the maximum use of these materials and services to all citizens of the Reynolds County area.

4. Well trained personnel to assist the public.


Reynolds County 
Library District History

The first Reynolds County Library was opened in Centerville in 1949.  Ellington Library was opened in 1954.  In 1954, The Reynolds County Library joined the Current River Regional Library system (CRRL).  This was a system that grew to include Carter, Reynolds, and Ripley Counties. The Current River Regional Library system later expanded to include Oregon County as well.  While under the Current River Regional Library system, new libraries were acquired within Reynolds County. Bunker Library was first opened in 1964. Lesterville Library was opened in 1966. Oates Library was opened in or around 1975. 

The Current River Regional Library system covered a pretty large portion of rural Southeast Missouri. The system ran a bookmobile to communities throughout the system and grew to include quite a few libraries. A 1976 report lists the following Branch locations under the CCRL:

In Carter County; Ellsinore, Grandin, and VanBuren (served as headquarters for CRRL)

In Oregon County; Alton, Koshkonong, Myrtle, Thayer, and Thomasville

In Reynolds County; Bunker, Centerville, Ellington, Lesterville, and Oates

In Ripley County; Doniphan and Naylor  

On January 6, 1987, a meeting was held with the Reynolds County Library board members and the local Friends of the Library group where a resolution was drawn up supporting a possible withdrawal from the Current River Regional Library system. A news article was published announcing that the Reynolds County Library Board members had the support of their local Friends of the Library members.  In April of 1987, Reynolds County Library Board gave their notice of intent to terminate their partnership with the Current River Regional Library System.  On November 1, 1987 Reynolds County Library became the Reynolds County Library District.  The Reynolds County Library District kept all 5 Reynolds County library branches.  Today, these 5 libraries remain a part of our district; Bunker, Centerville (district headquarters), Ellington, Lesterville, and Oates.  They have relocated to different buildings over the years, but our 5 libraries remain an invaluable asset to the people of Reynolds County and all who enter our doors. 

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