Devote a day to yourself. Explore the Camden County Libraries. There is one near you to explore in Climax Springs, Macks Creek, Osage Beach, Stoutland, Sunrise Beach or the main branch in Camdenton. The main Camden County Library moved into its present location on the old Jar Bar H Rodeo grounds in 2000. In the beginning, the Women’s Literary Society was formed with the idea of establishing a library. Each of the nine founding members donated ten books. Along with fifty other borrowed books they opened their ‘library’ each Saturday at the Camden County Courthouse. In May 1934, a librarian was paid 50 cents per Saturday to run the library. Within months they had a total of more than three hundred books. By 1961 they had almost ten thousand volumes and the local library was, officially, opened.
The Mission of the library states that the “Camden County Library District aims to provide a well balanced collection of materials and services suited to the total populace it serves with the purpose of enriching lives and the community; whether the need is personal, business, educational or other information, or for recreation and relaxation, the goal is to provide it in the most efficient and comprehensive manner possible.”
Some of the things visitors can expect to find at the library are: peace and quiet in a relaxing atmosphere, current and archived publications, a variety of databases, catalog of available books and resources, special library options for teens and for “kidz”, over 55+ options including internet health links and database sources, a variety of encyclopedias, school educational databases, do-it-yourself research, and, of course, books of every variety. The library has public access computers. For the stay-at-home patrons there are an abundance of online databases to access remotely from home.
Searching for ancestors is a nation-wide pastime. The in-house ancestry library database has “more than 4,000 databases and two billion names in their genealogy collection. Heritage Quest offers more than 20,000 book titles, including nearly 8,000 family histories and over 12,000 local histories. Additionally, there are more than 250 primary-source documents such as tax lists, city directories, probate records, and more. Search a collection of over 22 million recent records from hundreds of U.S. newspapers, updated daily, from 1937 to present day.”
There are several library-sponsored programs and activities. The Camden County Library District allows qualifying groups to use the meeting room as a service for nonprofit, civic and community groups. Events and programs include computer classes, genealogy lab workshops, summer reading programs, preschool story times, family movie night, book sales, and the Astronomy Club.
“Beyond the bookshelves” are eBooks, audio books, movies, encyclopedias, career help and job postings, US census, and special collections. The Reveille newspaper, now the Lake Sun, is archived on microfilm dating back to 1894.
Page 2 of 2 - If assistance is needed, “ask a Librarian” either in person or on line. How does the public receive a library card: be a resident of Camden County, a resident who pays property taxes within the county, a resident of counties adjoining Camden County, temporary summer resident with a motel/hotel or general delivery address, or living with relatives, and Individuals that reside at homeless shelters or safe houses may have a free temporary card with access to public access computers.
The Camden County Library offers to the public “Services for the 21st Century.” What a great way to spend a day. Check out potential resources, hunt through the archives for a lost relative, explore what is available, or just sit quietly and read a book.