From humble beginnings to approaching its first year open, the Fordland Memorial Library serves a big purpose in its little town. “In 2015 the Webster County Library grant agreement with the Fordland High School that allowed the school to stay open in the evening for people to come in and check out books, ran out,” reflected Becky Fisher, board secretary-treasurer and fiduciary agent for the Fordland Memorial Library. “Nicholas Inman started contacting people. He and Judy (the librarian at the Fordland High school at the time) put their heads together about starting a library here (in Fordland).”
The Fordland Memorial Library came together piece by piece. Starting with a double wide trailer, that was formerly a preschool, donation followed by the opportunity to rent a plot of land from the Life 360 organization.
“We got a grant that allowed us to get software to let our patrons have digital library cards, a grant for flooring, wiring, sewer, we had to make a lot of repairs,” shared Fisher. “2017 was when things really started happening, it took a lot of money to do all those things.”
Fast forward to April 21, 2021 and the library opened for the first time to the public. Overseen by a six member board, the library has put in a lot of work to get to where they are now, and that work hasn’t stopped. The library applied for one of the Webster Electric Round-Up grants this last quarter to cover the cost of repairs to the front sidewalk and stairs. “We have a lot of senior citizens and we want it to be safe for them,” shared Fisher.
The Fordland Memorial Library has worked hard to create a space in Fordland that anyone can come and enjoy. “We have a story hour once per month on Saturday. We feed everyone that comes too. This past Saturday we had ‘the snake lady’,” laughed Fisher. “We have over 200 patrons as of this month and over 7100 books.”
“We will have our next story hour on June 24 and this time local authors will come, maybe read their books, and sign them. Tiffany Cruise, graduate of Marshfield High School class of 1999 will be reading her first book: What Did Your Dinosaur Do Today. It came out on Amazon at the end of March,” Fisher explained with excitement over the local author.
The Fordland memorial Library is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9-1 and 2-5 as well as the fourth Saturday of each month. There is a yard sale fundraiser coming up later in July to support the Library as well as a car and bike show later in September. If people would like to make a donation they can make them to the library by mailing them to P.O. Box 265 Fordland, MO or drop them by the library.
“The community has been really supportive; we really want to express our gratitude to Webster Electric, the local businesses, and the community. Dollar General and Shop n Go donate to us, some people donate time, some money and we are so thankful,” shared Fisher.
This is the third story in the Webster Electric Round-Up Grant recipient series. To read about the other winners, continue to pick up your copy of The Marshfield Mail.
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