Main Street, Missouri

Originally published in MOREnetworking Vol. 2 No. 3, May 2005

The Marceline Carnegie Library enhances small-town life with advanced services

When a five-year-old Walt Disney arrived in Marceline in 1906, he found a town whose charm remained with him the rest of his life, eventually inspiring the familiar “Main Street USA” featured at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Although Disney often dreamed of the future, even he might have been surprised at the services now available in the community’s library.

By providing traditional services along with electronic offerings previously available to urban libraries with considerably more resources, the Marceline Carnegie Library in Marceline, Mo., is like many other libraries in small towns across Missouri and the U.S. According to a Gates Foundation report, libraries that serve fewer than 25,000 people make up four-fifths of all library systems in the country.

The research and reference needs for the Marceline library’s patrons are as great and diverse as those of any in St. Louis and Kansas City: medical problems, scientific issues, job opportunities, genealogy and school projects. High-speed access to the Internet and other resources allow the library to meet those needs.

“Job searches are a major patron Internet use,” said Joyce Clapp, Marceline Carnegie Library Director. “Recently a woman used our Internet connection to check out the website of a particular company for a job. She then used Gale Business and Company Resources to find out the number of people [the company] employed and the company income.”
“One patron comes to the library daily to e-mail children and send greeting cards,” Clapp said. “Another comes to download pictures of a great-grandson. Students use the Online Resources to obtain up-to-date research, and many patrons search for travel and medical information.”

“Without the Internet, we would have to take valuable space and time to store and maintain magazines,” said Mary Jane Artz, Vice President of the library’s board. “And even then, we would not be able to provide up-to-date access to the many research areas available from the Online Resources.”
Through a contract with the Missouri State Library, MOREnet provides the Marceline library with a high-speed Internet connection along with access to online resources such as EBSCO, as well as professional development offered through MOREnet Training.

“The services the Marceline Carnegie Library receives are a great example of one of MOREnet’s cornerstones, which is to provide equitable access to the network for libraries and schools,” said Bill Mitchell, MOREnet Executive Director. “State funding and purchasing power allows customers in rural areas to afford otherwise prohibitively expensive high-speed Internet access, as compared to their urban counterparts.”

“Without MOREnet’s services, we could not afford the Internet connection,” Artz said.

Online Resources are provided to MOREnet customers through funding by the Missouri General Assembly This appropriation is made to the Secretary of State’s Office and administered by the Missouri State Library. To learn more, visit

hendersonl | Sunday, May 1, 2005 | |


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