History

The Lawrence County Library is a tax-supported institution providing public library
service to the citizens of Lawrence County through a library headquartered in Walnut
Ridge and branches located in Lynn and Imboden. It is governed by a Board of Trustees,
which is composed of five members who are appointed by the County Judge.

The Lawrence County Library was started in February of 1942 with the help of the
community, but with special recognition going to Mrs. Lawrence Sloan. In November of
1948, the citizens of Lawrence County voted to support the library with a “one mill” tax
on real and personal property. This also made the library eligible for state grant-in-aid.
In 2001, Lawrence County residents voted to increase their support to 2 mills.

These two entities, local millage and state-aid, as well as local support, are still what
financially support the Lawrence County Library. Location, however, has changed
several times throughout the years.

The headquarters library in Walnut Ridge had its first beginning at the Lawrence Hotel
building until 1945, the library then moved to the corner of West Main near the Missouri
Pacific Railroad crossing above the Wilcoxson’s Store. From 1955 until 1983, the main
library and offices were housed at 215 Southwest Second Street in Walnut Ridge. From
there, the library moved to the old Going’s Drug Store at 1315 West Main in Walnut
Ridge. In August 2008 the library moved to its current location at 115 West Walnut
Street, returning to the downtown area formerly Hutcherson Furniture.

Branches were begun in late 1942 in Strawberry, Clover Bend, and Imboden. Another
opened in 1944 in Powhatan. Imboden is the only one of these branches that has
survived, with a new branch being opened in 1991 at Lynn. This branch is for the service
of the entire Driftwood area, and is so named.

The library serves people of all ages and from all walks of life. Special materials and
services are provided for culturally and educationally deprived persons. The library
augments its collection when requested, and supplements those of other libraries in the
area.

The library is a cooperating agency, interacting with schools, colleges, universities, and
community action programs. It also acts as an information and recreation center for
the public. Present are an ever-increasing number of students: from grade schools to
high schools all over the County; from Williams Baptist College; from Arkansas State
University in Jonesboro; and Black River Technical College in Pocahontas, all of whom
use the library when doing research work.

The library has established a record of service within Lawrence County, and strives to
continue to meet the needs of its patrons.

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