Big fundraisers start this week for the Ozark County Volunteer Library

Ozark County Volunteer Library Board president Joanne Krupp prepares to sort books that were recently donated to the library. The library's big sale that starts Friday will offer more than 2,000 volumes at super-low prices; almost all of the sale books were donated by library supporters.

Library volunteers Carrie Laird, left, and Diane Easterday sort some of the paperback westerns that will be sold at 10 for a dollar at Friday's big fundraiser sale. Library board president Joanne Krupp can be seen working at a bookshelf in the back.

Ozark County Volunteer Library's big sale Friday will feature nonfiction books at three for $1. Subjects include cookbooks, diet and health, politics, biographies, history and more.

Also beginning this week, the library is selling, as a fundraiser, four, limited-edition pen-and-ink prints by Illinois artist Marianne Lisson Kuhn. The prints, which are professionally framed and matted, depict rural and farm scenes of days gone by. The prints are priced at $125 each.

The Ozark County Volunteer Library's devoted volunteers are gearing up for one of biggest book sales in the library's history. Touring the library's brightly lit basement last week, library board president Joanne Krupp waves her arm to indicate all the books in sight – which are all available for sale: about 2,000 volumes, she estimates.

The books in the library's basement are always for sale at bargain prices, such as $1 each for hardback fiction and 50 cents for paperbacks. But during the special sale, to be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, April 5, even those prices will be slashed. Nonfiction books, including cookbooks, craft and sewing how-tos, biographies and histories, will be three for $1. Western paperbacks, such as those by Zane Grey and Louis L'Amour, will be 10 for $1. Hardback fiction books – there are two shelves of Tom Clancy bestsellers – are 50 cents. Paperback fiction will be a quarter each. There's a nice selection of children's books too, which will be sold for next-to-nothing.

There's even a rumor, not yet confirmed, that the library may offer something akin to K-Mart's old "blue-light specials" during the sale when books are sold at an astonishingly low price for a whole bagful.

And here's a thought: If you're someone who says you don't have room on your own bookshelves for a bagful (or more) of books, there's an easy, charitable way to recycle them: Donate them back to the library to sell again! 

Joanne notes that "almost all" the books in the library have been donated. She and other library board members, including Aletta Moore, a retired professional librarian, sort them as they come in. Some of the donated books go upstairs onto the shelves of books that are available for traditional library loan. If the library already has duplicates, a book goes to the basement, where it is put among the carefully sorted and displayed books that are always available for sale. 

The library also offers free wi-fi and has computers that are available for public use. 

The sale prices that begin Friday will continue throughout April. The library’s regular hours have recently been adjusted as new volunteers have stepped up to help keep the doors open. Operating hours are 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Saturday except for extended hours on Monday, when the library is open until 3:30 p.m., and Thursday, when it’s open until 1 p.m. For more information, contact the library at 417-679-4442 or


Limited-edition art prints offered for sale

In addition to the library's big book sale on Friday, another library fundraiser starts this week as well: four limited-edition pen-and-ink prints by Illinois artist Marianne Lisson Kuhn are offered for sale for the first time. The prints, which are professionally framed and matted, depict vintage farm and rural scenes around the artist's hometown of Naperville, Illinois, when it was a small farming community many years ago.   

The original artwork was given to the library by an anonymous donor, who offered them as a fundraiser. The four prints are now displayed at the library and are being offered for $125 each. The library's announcement of the art exhibit and sale notes that "Lisson Kuhn's artwork is distinguished by her attention to nature and fine details and her ability to capture the beauty in both our present everyday life and in those precious days gone by. . . . We believe that Ozarkers will enjoy Marianne Lisson Kuhn's tractors, trucks, churches, farmhouses and old barns as universal symbols of rural life."

Since the 1990s, Lisson Kuhn has also become known as a muralist. To learn more about the artist and her work, visit her website at


Generous donors from near and far

First-time visitors to the library are sometimes surprised to find such an appealing and well-organized facility, considering that it is operated completely by a handful of volunteers (right now there are fewer than a dozen), and it depends solely on donations to meet its regular budget, which totals about $5,100 a year. Unlike most public libraries, the Ozark County Volunteer Library receives no tax money.

That means the library board is especially grateful for its generous patrons from near and far. When the Harlin family designated the library as one of the charitable organizations suggested for memorial gifts in honor of John Harlin after he died on March 15, 2023, more than $5,000 in donations poured in, Joanne said. Some of that money will be used to repair and renovate the library's board room, which was damaged by a water leak. When renovated, "the room will be named for John Harlin," Joanne said. 

Another generous donor came forward when one of the library doors was broken by a burglar several years ago. A Springfield resident read about it in the Times, "and he paid for a new door," Joanne said. Since then, the distant donor has sent a regular $50 gift to the library each month.

Members of the board have also looked for other ways to maintain and repair the old, rock-faced building, which was built in 1937 for the First Christian Church. In 1989, after the church moved to a new building, the library board bought the building with $40,000 in gifts and donations. To keep the old building in good shape, the board has gratefully received grants from nonprofit organizations, including the Ozark County Community Foundation, that have paid for things like a new roof, new paint and other repairs . A recent grant from the county paid for a new HVAC system, complete with covid filter. 


Friends of the Library

In addition to the occasional donations of funds and gifts that come in, the library's regular operating costs are supported by a small group of people called the Friends of the Library. 

The organization, formed several years ago, "gives people who may not come in a lot, but want to support the library, a way to do so," Joanne said. Membership dues are $10 per month, which entitles members to the library's regularly published newsletter that announces upcoming events, such as planned activities for adults and children, schedule changes and the latest art exhibit as well as recent acquisitions and needs. 

The library provides self-addressed envelopes and forms for those who want to mail in their monthly dues. Others choose to pay the $120 membership fee annually. Currently, about 25 people comprise the Friends of the Library group. More members are eagerly welcomed. 

Friends of the Library dues and other regular contributions may be dropped off at the library at 200 Elm Street, across from the Gainesville post office, or mailed to the library at P.O. Box 518, Gainesville, MO 65655. Gifts and Friends of the Library membership dues may also be made directly to the Ozark County Volunteer Library account at Century Bank of the Ozarks. 

Ozark County Times

504 Third Steet
PO Box 188
Gainesville, MO 65655

Phone: (417) 679-4641
Fax: (417) 679-3423