Children’s Book Author to Speak at Marshall Public Library

Marshall Public Library will host a book talk with children’s author Jody Jensen Shaffer on July 10 at 10am.

Shaffer plans to read her picture book “Creep, Leap, Crunch! A Food Chain Story” and hold a craft session.

“Creep, Leap, Crunch!” is a narrative picture book that follows the science of the food chain, demonstrating how each element in nature is interdependent. The book was recognized by the National Science Teaching Association in their science recommendations for students K-12.

Shaffer is most known to Missourians for her picture book “Prudence the Part-Time Cow,” which was a 2019 Show Me Award nominee. She has written dozens of books published by Penguin, Doubleday, and Random House, including the Amazon best-seller “It’s Your First Day of School, Busy Bus!”

Shaffer lives in Liberty, Missouri, with her family. When she’s not writing, she can be found spending time with family and walking her rescue dog. Shaffer has a bachelor’s degree in English from William Jewell College and a master’s in English from Truman State University.

“After 12 years in the business world, I left to raise my children,” says Shaffer. “That’s when I fell in love with children’s literature.”

This family event is free and open to the public as part of the library’s summer reading program.

You can find Jody online at

[Supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provision of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Missouri State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State.]

Missouri Folk Musician Forrest McCurren to Perform at Library

On July 2, residents of Marshall will be treated to two free music performances by Fulton-based country and folk musician Forrest McCurren at the Marshall Public Library. The first performance will be at 10:00 a.m. followed by an evening encore at 6:00 p.m.

After his debut album “Oh Me, Oh My” was released in 2022, McCurren and his wife Margaret played nearly 200 shows around the Midwest from Indiana to Texas, including the Blue Note in Columbia. He plays guitar and she plays fiddle.

According to McCurren his performances are a mix of stories and song, engaging his audiences on a human level. He promises a “set of songs and stories about our sweet Show-Me State and The Heartland that will light up the room and leave folks smiling.”

McCurren’s website:

[Supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provision of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Missouri State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State.]

Missouri River Artist To Visit Library June 25 for Two Free Programs

On June 25 at 6pm, Missouri artist Steve Snell will talk about his “Adventure Art on the Mighty Mo’” film series, in which he traveled the length of the Missouri River painting what he saw. Starting at the headwaters in Montana, he created more than 100 paintings while on expedition down the river.

This presentation is free and open to the public as part of the Marshall Public Library summer reading program.

Several of Snell’s Missouri River paintings will be on display at the library throughout the month.

Before the evening presentation, Snell will host a “plein air” watercolor workshop at Indian Foothills Park at 3pm, inviting local residents aged 16 and up to learn how to paint landscapes. En plein air is a French expression meaning “in the open air” and refers to the act of painting outdoors.

The library will supply free paint, brushes, and paper limited to the first 20 participants who sign up to the workshop. The 6pm library presentation does not require signup.

Snell’s work has been shown in galleries and film festivals throughout the country. He has been an Artist-in-Residence at the Tallgrass National Preserve in Kansas, the Teton ArtLab in Wyoming, and along the Chilkoot Trail in Alaska and British Columbia, which was sponsored by the National Parks Service and Parks Canada. Steve is also an avid paddler, spending time each summer exploring local rivers and painting watercolors.

Snell earned his M.F.A. in Studio Art from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2011 as well as a B.F.A. in Painting and B.S. in Art Education from Miami University in 2006. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri where he is an Associate Professor of Art in the Foundation Department at the Kansas City Art Institute.

See Snell’s artwork here:

Workshop Sign Up:

[Supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provision of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Missouri State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State.]

Kids Hone their Reading Skills by Reading Books to Dogs and Cats

Reading to furry friends is where the adventure begins. We’ve had an awesome turnout so far at Read and Rescue this summer! Kids are loving their time with these adorable little fur balls. As part of our summer reading program, children age 10+ (with guardian present) can work on their reading skills, spend time with furry friends in need, and maybe find a new best friend!

Join Heather and Carla Tuesday afternoons 3:30 to 4pm (June 18, 25; July 9, 16, 23) at the Saline Animal League. Grab a book of your choice and choose a dog or cat to sit with and read to. Spending time with these animals in need helps to prepare them for their new homes while giving the child reading confidence and an opportunity to help a four-legged friend in need!

Saline Animal League is at 665 W. Clay in Marshall.

[Supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provision of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Missouri State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State.]

“PAWsitive” Dog-Themed Play at Library Saturday

Bring the whole family to the library this Saturday, June 8th, for special performances of “The Wonder of Jim: a PAWsitive Tail” by the Martin City Melodrama and Vaudeville Company. We’ll have two performances: 1-2pm and 3-4pm. This show features small senior rescue dogs and human actors, celebrating the legacy of Jim the Wonder Dog through song, dance, and comedy. Suitable for all ages!

The Martin City Melodrama and Vaudeville Company is based in Grandview, MO. See their website for more information:

[Supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provision of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Missouri State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State.]

Library Kicks Off Summer Reading Program

Wow, what an incredible evening we had at last night’s Summer Reading Program Kick-Off Event! We are deeply grateful to everyone who joined us to celebrate the start of our summer adventure at Marshall Public Library.

A special shout-out to The Optimist Club of Marshall for their generosity in giving away over 120 hot dogs, bags of chips, and refreshing lemonade. Your support truly made the event deliciously memorable!

We also want to extend our heartfelt thanks to Cranks Critters Petting Zoo for bringing their delightful animals, adding an extra touch of magic for everyone to enjoy. And to Raymond Coslet, the endless rides on your amazing miniature Fire Wagon were a highlight for many!

None of this would have been possible without the dedicated staff of Marshall Public Library and the wonderful volunteers from the Friends of the Marshall Public Library and the Board of Trustees. Your hard work and enthusiasm keep our community thriving.

As we continue through June and July, be sure to join us for more exciting events under our theme, Adventure Begins at Marshall Public Library. Together, let’s keep moving forward by reading and building our community!

Thank you again, Marshall!

[Supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provision of the Library Services and Technology Act as administered by the Missouri State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State.]

Spring Book Sale Across the Street May 18

Join the Friends of Marshall Public Library for their Spring Book Sale across the street from the library at the Municipal Court Building. Browse a wide assortment of used books and DVDs throughout the morning and afternoon on Saturday! See you there!

Saturday, May 18
8:00am – 3:30pm
Municipal Court Building – 5 East Eastwood, Marshall MO
(across the street from the library)

MPL Invites Community to Open House Unveiling Future Plans

 The Marshall Public Library is thrilled to extend a warm invitation to the community for an Open House event on Monday, April 22nd, from 4 to 7 pm, at the Marshall Public Library, 214 N. Lafayette Avenue. This event marks an exciting milestone as the Board of Trustees will be revealing architectural renderings of the proposed new library.

The Open House promises an engaging opportunity for community members to connect with the library’s vision for the future. Light refreshments and snacks will be provided, fostering an atmosphere conducive to lively conversation and collaboration.

“At Marshall Public Library, we are committed to serving our diverse community with resources and experiences that educate and enrich lives across life’s journey,” said Library Director Matt Rahner. “This event is a testament to our dedication to providing a safe and welcoming space where individuals can access knowledge, collaborate on ideas, and receive exemplary service.”

The Board of Trustees, alongside Library Director Matt Rahner, and other esteemed members, will be present to answer any questions regarding the library’s future plans. This is a free event open to all, and we extend a warm welcome to everyone interested in shaping the future of our community.

For more information, please contact Matt Rahner at or (660) 886-3391.

We look forward to your presence at this significant event and your valued contribution to our vibrant community.

Flyer that invites the public to our open house event.

Get Free Books Through Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

All Missouri children under five years old are now able to register for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. There is no deadline to register. The Imagination Library is dedicated to inspiring a love of reading by providing age-appropriate books each month to children free of charge.

In order to receive books, a parent or guardian must register their child on the Imagination Library national website. Books will be mailed directly to the homes of registered children every month.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has already been available in some areas of the state thanks to the great work of the 57 local affiliates that distribute books to more than 17,000 Missouri children. Those children currently registered will be automatically enrolled in the new statewide program.

The statewide expansion of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library was made possible through Section 178.694, RSMo, and $11 million included in DESE’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget for the distribution of books.

Since launching in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has become the preeminent early childhood book-gifting program in the world. The flagship program of The Dollywood Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, has gifted over 200 million free books in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and The Republic of Ireland. This is achieved through funding shared by The Dollywood Foundation and Local Community or State Partners.

The Imagination Library mails more than 2.6 million high-quality, age-appropriate books directly to children’s homes each month. Each child enrolled in the program receives one book per month from birth to age five – at no cost to families. Dolly envisioned creating a lifelong love of reading and inspiring children to Dream More, Learn More, Care More and Be More.

The program’s impact has been widely researched, and results demonstrate its positive impact on early childhood development and literacy skills. Penguin Random House is the exclusive publisher of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. For more information, please visit

Growing Together in Our Backyards

MARSHALL, February 20, 2024 – Marshall Public Library is delighted to announce a captivating series of evening programs aimed at fostering a sense of community and promoting the joys of experiencing the outdoors. Titled “Growing Together in our Backyards,” this program series will feature local experts sharing their knowledge on various aspects of gardening, landscaping, and backyard activities.

The series kicks off on Thursday, February 29, at 6:30 with “How does my garden grow?” presented by John Carton. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced gardener, Carton will provide insights into maximizing your backyard space for a bountiful harvest without overwhelming maintenance.

Isabelle Guthrey takes the stage on Thursday, March 14, at 6:30 with “I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree.” Offering guidelines on planting lasting yard features, Guthrey will delve into the selection of tree varieties suitable for our climate and essential considerations before planting.

On Thursday, March 28th at 6:30, Carter Fawkes will explore the buzzing world of bees with “What’s that buzz?” This program will provide practical beekeeping tips while emphasizing the critical role bees play in our ecosystem.

Janet Bryan invites attendees on an off-site adventure on Thursday, April 11, at 5:30 with “For the beauty of the earth.” Participants will gather at the library before heading to Bryan’s backyard on Brunswick St., where a variety of flowers will serve as the backdrop for learning how to cultivate a beautiful flower garden.

Concluding the series on Thursday, April 18, at 6:30 is “Here a cheep, there a cheep; cheep, cheep,” presented by Kristi Butner. Sharing her experiences as a backyard chicken and duck farmer, Butner will provide tips on raising these feathery friends and anecdotes to keep the audience entertained.

All programs are free and open to the public. Marshall Public Library encourages everyone to join and discover the joys of growing together in our backyards. For more information, please contact Library Director Matt Rahner at 660-886-3391.

Promotional Flyer for the Growing Together Series
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