Library History

Ray County Library 1950

Ray County Library, 1950

1900- There was an effort in 1900 to have a Carnegie Library but when it went to the voters it failed.
 
1916- The Literary and Civic Improvement Club then took on the responsibility of providing reading material for the public and the first library was opened in the basement of the Methodist Church.
 
1923- The library was moved to the first floor of the Women’s Club Building.
 
1929- The library was closed.
 
1946- The Richmond Business and Professional Woman’s Club took it upon themselves as a project for public improvement and a county library became their focus. In April county tax payers voted a one mill tax for the establishment of the Ray County Library.
 
1946- The Ray County Court appointed the first Library Board.
 
1947- July 15th, the County Library staff reported for work. They had no books, no home except for the generosity of the County Surveyor who loaned his vault on the first floor of the courthouse.
 
1947- September 25th, the vault was crowded and the library was moved to the Women’s Club.
 
1947- November 21st, the library opened for business.
 
1948- In March the first Bookmobile was purchased.
 
1948- The library moved to the Baber Building.
 
1954- June 21st, a new building was constructed at 219 S. College, Richmond MO.
 
1963- The basement was completed for a children’s library.
 
1964- New Bookmobile was purchased.
 
1985- Reassessment brought about a major change for the library with a tax rollback from 10 cents to 7 cents per $100 assessed valuation. With expenses and books more than tripled since 1946, the library was in need of additional income.
 
1986- April 1st, the Ray County Library asked the voters for an increase of 4 cents. The issue failed.
 
1986- June 3rd, the Ray County Library officials decided to ask residents again; and then the levy passed by a heavy margin.
 
1988- Through grant funding a library van was purchased to help provide Outreach Services.
 
1994- The library entered the world of automation and everything was computerized.
 
2004- The library was moved to a new location at 215 E. Lexington, after renovation of the old C & R Grocery Store was complete and currently resides there.