The People’s Library: Rebuilding the Collections of One Rural Library In the Ozarks

Rachel Reynolds Luster, Librarian, Myrtle Library (MO)
Four months ago, I took the position as the librarian for the Myrtle Library, a small rural outpost library of our county’s system in the southern Missouri Ozarks. Shortly after starting a reporter called me requesting an interview and the trajectory of my efforts to rebuild our collections was forever changed. Now with two NPR stories about our little library under my belt, I have had the privilege of receiving hundreds of calls and emails from around the country from people sharing their library stories, visitors wanting to tour our small one-room library and donations from local residents, book lovers across the world, and other libraries. Our 632 sq ft. library has become a people’s library reflecting not only the materials that local patrons want and need but also has been shaped by the perceptions of urban dwellers of what our rural library needs.


New Librarian Seeks to Turn One-Room, Rural Library Into Hub for Learning, Community
Rachel Reynolds Luster took the reins at the public library in Myrtle, Missouri, one month ago

A Small Library with Big Ideas
Although it only has 632 square feet of space, the Myrtle, Missouri, library leaves a big imprint on its patrons. Librarian Rachel Reynolds Luster shows how libraries create access and opportunity in rural communities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *