The Moniteau County Library District achieved a milestone Nov. 20, 2013, by accepting a donation of the library building, its furnishings and collections and operating checking accounts from the Wood Place Library Board. This $1.8 million donation establishes a Moniteau County Library for the first time in Moniteau County history.
The Wood Place Library was established in 1955 by a donation from the First Christian Church, acting as trustees of the Elia Wood Paegelow Trust. The library's first location was in the Wood-Paegelow home in the 200 block of South High Street in California. In 1998, the library was moved to a commercial location on South Oak Street provided by California Progress, Inc., to reach beyond the city limits of California with library services. Since this move, the library services have continued to expand to provide residents in Moniteau County a 21st Century library.
Traditionally, when a county library district is formed, its primary purpose is to establish a county library system. However, in 1997, when the Moniteau County Library District was established, and levies were later passed in two sub-districts, the district board chose to contract out for all county library services. This generous donation of the debt-free, Wood Place Library allows the county library board to own and operate its own Moniteau County Library. The board has the option to contract, on a yearly basis, with other libraries for additional library services in the county, as they deem necessary.
The county library board has hired Connie Walker to serve as the first county library director. The transfer of operations, which includes the current library staff, will be effective Jan. 1, 2014.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place Jan. 30 at 12:15 p.m., followed by an open house hosted by the Elia Wood Paegelow Foundation Board.
The library is located at 501 S. Oak Street, California. Library hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, and 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Saturday.
The library provides materials for all ages, in a variety of formats such as ebooks, audio books, videos and magazines, in addition to a print collection of 19,300 books. The library provides 14 public access computers and four early literacy computers. The library provides, through its Web site at www.woodplacelibrary.org, access to the card catalog, where visitors may access their library account to place a hold on or renew library materials. Programs include a 10-week summer reading program, designed for children from preschool through high school; the Wood Place Book Club; the adult winter reading rewards; and preschool storytime. English as a second language and high school equivalency classes are held at the library Monday and Wednesday evenings during the school year. College test proctoring is available by request.