Appeared In the News-Leader 9-1-2010
By Katy Pattison
The Clever Public Library, currently housed in a 325-square-foot space, will soon move to a new a 1,200-square-foot unit in the Southwest Center business strip on state Route 14, across from the Dollar General. A Christian County Library tax levy increase failed in November 2009 and again in April 2010, putting plans of a county-wide expansion of library facilities and services on hold. But the city of Clever had the $180,000 Sims Fund, a bequest given to the city by the Sims family specifically to provide public library services in Clever.
In 2007, the City of Clever and the Christian County Library partnered to create the Clever Public Library, with the Sims fund paying for the Clever Public Library’s current location, building maintenance, and utilities, and the library providing staff, materials, and technology. But only a small portion of the Sims Fund was being used. The city hoped to use the Sims fund to help with the 5,000-square-foot branch the Christian County Library had planned for Clever. When the tax levy increase failed, they decided to find another way to use the money, and entered into discussions with the Christian County Library board.
The result is an updated library - city agreement, where the city pays costs associated with the new building, and the library continues to provide staff, library materials and services, and internet. The Christian County Library will add Monday hours and open an hour earlier on Saturday, taking Clever Public Library from 20 to 25 hours per week and expand the selection of materials available for check-out. The city will increase the number of public computers from one to three, and like the Christian County Library in Ozark, offer free Wi-Fi at the Clever Public Library.
As plans for the expansion came together, donations worth thousands of dollars began to roll in: shelving from the University of Missouri at Kansas City; a book cart, two computer desks and many chairs from the Republic School District; and a circulation desk from the Nixa School District. The owner of Campbell Tile in Clever happily donated his tiling services for the building’s restrooms, telling Library Board president and Clever resident Ken Barthelette that he first got into the tiling business because of books and DVDs he checked out at a library. The Clever Public Library is slated to open its new location October 16th.