St. Paul Public Library saw its beginning in 1995. Its first facility was a retired bookmobile, so old that it had an 8-track tape player mounted in it. The Madison County Library Board and the St. Paul Public School worked out an arrangement where the bookmobile could be located on school property which allowed easy access to both the school community and the St. Paul residents.
The bookmobile had been home to the Kingston Community Library for several years. After it was no longer needed in Kingston, it was relocated to St. Paul by the staff of the North Arkansas Regional Library (NARL). At the time, St. Paul and other libraries in the Carroll and Madison Library System were members of NARL. Although the red and white exterior of the old bookmobile showed signs of wear, the interior always gleamed with new books and bustled with activity.
In 2011, the St. Paul Public Library made the big move to a much larger facility. St. Paul’s new home is five times larger than its former space.
Several years prior, Madison County Judge Wes Fowler purchased a 3-bedroom mobile home from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) for the library’s use. It was originally acquired by FEMA for families in need of homes due to Hurricane Katrina. The interior of the new library was completely redesigned for library use. The wall color is cheery, the wooden book shelves are in rich tones, and the Children’s Room is cozy and full of new materials.
Like its predecessor, the modest exterior of the new library belies the building’s dynamic activities and colorful interior. The structure is still located on the St. Paul Public School campus, thereby assuring that the excellent partnership the library has with the school community will continue for many years to come.
With the library’s growing popularity within its community and with well-attended programs which challenge the library’s space, there are dreams of expanding the dearly-loved “Book House” in the coming months.