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History of the Missouri State Library

The First Ten Years 1907 - 1916

The first ten years yielded a great success for the Library Commission in the number of traveling libraries and their corresponding stations established, as well as the creation of new libraries throughout the state.

But as financial constraints limited the provision for working in the field, much to the Commission’s frustration, extension work was often limited to correspondence and an occasional library science course or workshop offered in cooperation with other libraries or universities.

The Commission’s desire to serve the General Assembly to the best of their ability led to the creation of a new department, Legislative Reference, which then morphed into a separate entity, the Legislative Library.

And while establishing a permanent place of residence proved difficult, relocating twice in its first year and two more times after the Capitol fire in 1911, the progress and growth of Missouri libraries was in no small way attributed to the encouragement and services provided by the Commission regardless of where its office was located.