Concerns about the future of the former downtown Joplin public library

Changes could be on their way to the former downtown home of the Joplin Public Library. The facility has been vacant for over four years after the new library opened its doors in 2017. On Tuesday night, officials from Missouri Southern State University hosted colleagues from the city of Joplin, Joplin School, and the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce to discuss Operation Launchpad.

Joplin Schools Board Member John Hird has concerns about parking at the downtown location. “It’s just a concern because if you look at how do you access downtown Main Street, it is very true, you don’t go a block without hitting a stoplight. If you think about how kids get to from other schools if things go forward. Well, where does the bus park? And there’s a lot of traffic there.” Hird questioned whether Operation Launchpad be located at the Northpark Mall. The mall has lost two anchor retailers recently, and the location would provide plenty of parking space.

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