Caruthersville Public Library was founded on February 18, 1922 by the Caruthersville Women’s Club. Its first permanent home was a house which is still visible from Carleton Avenue on 10th Street. In 1940, a WPA project brought a brand-new library to the corner of 10th and Ward. Though that building is now the Caruthersville Municipal Court Building, the word “Library” still is visible above the front door. In 2002, a large, modern 12,000 square foot building was built on the original Brown Shoe Factory property at the corner of Laurant and West 13th.
Caruthersville Public Library contains over 25,000 books, along with numerous magazines, videos, computers for public use, two conference rooms – one with a large-screen smart television – and the Baxter Southern Auditorium, which is a 104-seat theater/auditorium with projection screen and internet capability for conferences and events. The library also contains a children’s room with books on a variety of reading levels, from board books and easy reading to juvenile fiction and non-fiction, and a genealogy room houses hundreds of volumes for various states, along with a microfilm reader and a designated computer. This room, named after Kaye Norton Gill, a prolific area genealogist, contains much of her personal collection of genealogy volumes which she donated to the library before her death.
We have a beautiful fish pond with a waterfall on the back patio under the John L. VanAusdall Jr. Reading Pavilion, a wonderful place to enjoy a lunch,snack, or just some outdoor weather while reading.
Caruthersville Public Library services a population of 5616 (in 2016) and is supported primarily by city funds, but also receives funding through the state of Missouri, as well as local donations. In 2017, a one-half cent sales tax to support the library was passed overwhemingly.
The library is governed by the Board of Trustees, who are all residents of the city:
President Terri Callen
Vice-president John Barnett
Secretary Paige Gillock
Treasurer Sally Fisher
Member Teddy Cheek
Member Jock Grantham
Member Shawndrae Isable
Member Wenlan Reno
Member Betty Toles
Library Address: 707 West 13th Street Caruthersville, MO 63830
Front Desk Phone: (573)333-2480
Fax Number: (573)333-0552
Mission and Vision Statement
It is the Caruthersville Public Library’s mission to meet the informational, educational, cultural, and recreational needs of our patrons. We seek to provide our patrons with collections, programming, and service, which take full advantage of technological resources. We strive to provide the most advanced technology within staff, budget and building considerations. It is the vision of the Caruthersville Public Library to serve our patrons and the community as a gateway to an expanding world of knowledge by utilizing current technologies and high speed Internet access to improve library services. Technology will continue to be integrated into the library program as an essential partner with other library holdings. The library will provide the staff with the equipment and training needed so they may better serve the public.
Library Policies (Revised 2020)