The Pierce City Branch Library (David H. Jones Building) joined the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library system in 2001. The library had been located in the Harold Bell Wright Church on Walnut Street for many years. A financial donation from David H. Jones, a native of Pierce City and Springfield attorney, made it possible to renovate an old garage on the corner of Main and Walnut Streets with the help of many volunteers. Establishing a new library for the city and ultimately turning the building over to the Barry-Lawrence Regional Library district made it possible to add many more new books and videos, multiple computer stations for the public, and an automated system for circulation of materials.
On May 4, 2003, a tornado destroyed the new library and all of the contents. The roof caved in on the furnishings and contents. Subsequent rain and debris made it impossible to salvage books or computers.
The Barry-Lawrence Library Board made immediate plans for rebuilding the library facility. The lot to the north of the library site was purchased. Architect Richard Werner (Springfield) was hired to develop the design that would replace the library with 2,586 square feet and add an additional 1,788 square feet for a meeting room and two ADA accessible restrooms, making a grand total of 4,374 square feet of space.
The new library building was funded by insurance dollars, Federal Emergency Management and State Emergency Management funds, a Community Development Block Grant, an additional pledge of $75,000 from benefactor David H. Jones, and taxpayer dollars from the library district. Construction contract was awarded to Powers Construction (Joplin) and construction began in August 2004.
The new Pierce City Branch opened to the public on February 15, 2005. 17,701 books, audio, videos, DVDs and CD-ROMs make up the collection. Many of the books were solicited nationwide by the Friends of the Pierce City Library. New Computers have been added for public Internet access and e-mail. Other computers have children’s educational games available.
A meeting room is available free of charge for non-profit groups and for a small fee to all others. Rules and restrictions will apply. For more information and to schedule use please contact the library staff. Click here for the Meeting Room Use Policy.
The Pierce City Branch Library is located at 101 N. Walnut Street, just north of the bandstand.
Pierce City, named for Andrew Peirce, was incorporated in 1871. The commercial district, including the antique and specialty shops, were virtually destroyed by the tornado in May 2003. The town features stately Victorian homes, the Harold Bell Wright Museum, a beautiful old bandstand (newly restored), and a city park with a natural lake. The commercial district on Rt. 37 has been rebuilt.
Located on Highways 37 and 97, the scenic route to Branson, Roaring River State Park, and Eureka Springs, Arkansas, Pierce City offers a convenient and interesting travel break for vacationers.