Library Improvements & Upgrades 2023

The Polk County Library is excited to announce the renovation of the Rayl Family Library in Bolivar, beginning in Spring of 2023.

Click here to donate!

Reimagining Library Services

As we reimagine services, how the community uses the library is upmost in our minds. We want the library to really be the community living room. Libraries aren’t just a quiet place for finding and reading books anymore!

The update will focus on how the community uses the library now and in the future with an expanded children’s area, a dedicated teen area, more community and collaborative spaces and a more contemplative area for adults.

Renovation Highlights

  • Expanded Children’s Area to read, play and learn
  • Area close to Children’s for parents and caregivers to relax or study
  • A new Teen Area with gaming system
  • Newly designed Meeting Rooms and areas, both small and large, to learn, study, and collaborate
  • A more grownup space for adults to read, relax, and learn
  • Outdoor space for reading and enjoying nature
  • A more efficient staff area to get the books out to you faster

From the Director’s Desk

It is my pleasure to serve as your Library Director. As someone who grew up in Bolivar and has very fond memories of the Carnegie Library on the Bolivar Square, I was excited to visit the new Rayl Family Library in 2001 even though I did not live in Missouri at the time. This facility was built entirely on donations from the community.

Recognizing that a modern library could not operate on a tax levy set in 1948, the residents of Polk County voted in a new library tax levy in 2015. Your library has been using that extra money wisely to add 2 new locations, new materials, new services like downloadable e-content, and new programs to help facilitate the educational and recreational needs of the community. Some of the revenue was allocated to capital improvements.

However with growth, change must come. The Board of Trustees and library staff began planning for the future of library services, first with community surveys and then with a strategic plan. Once we knew the direction the library should take for the future, we began looking at ways to fulfill that vision.

We visited other libraries to find alternative ways of meeting our needs. Flexibility of Design became evident to us fairly quickly as the best way forward. We did not need an expansion, but a way of making our library more flexible for your needs, a better traffic flow, and matching size of areas to the size of patron usage. The good news is the price tag on this project is at $1.5 million, and the library has saved about half of that.

We do need your support on this project as it is not our library but YOUR library.

Colleen Knight, Executive Director

Improvements and Upgrades

Strategic Plan Focus Areas

In 2021, PCL held community surveys and received input on how best to serve you in the coming years. We also analyzed data using our library and other libraries to determine our focus for the future. These focus areas inspired the improvements and upgrades.

Click here to view the complete Strategic Plan.

How You Can Help

Your donation can help the children of Polk County realize their potential by developing their SMARTs (Science, Math, Art, Reading, & Technology) by allowing them access to resources and materials in a more conducive space.

Your donation can help develop the work skills of Polk County by allowing them more hands-on computer and technology help and by the library conducting more work force development workshops.

Your donation can help Bolivar become more vibrant by creating a “Community Living Room” within the Library.

Recognizing Donors

An all new donor recognition wall will be built. All donations of $2000 or more will be recognized on the spines of the books of the wall pictured above.  Add your name to a book on our donor shelf!

Click here to donate!