May 28, 2022

Missouri: Part of Joplin Library Collection Lost in Tornado

From KMOX, St. Louis:

The public library in Joplin escaped damage from a tornado that devastated the city, but the institution still lost thousands of dollars’ worth of items when residents couldn’t locate the books or DVDs they’d checked out or found the items were too badly damaged to be salvaged.

Between 1,200 and 1,500 items were lost, with an estimated value of $30,000, Joplin Public Library Director Jacque Gage said. And in the two months after the May 22 tornado, the library waived about $35,000 in fines and fees for residents trying to recover from the storm, The Joplin Globe reported.

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See Also: Joplin library lost 1,200 to 1,500 books, DVDs in May 22 storm (via The Joplin Globe)

None of the books damaged in the tornado that people brought in could be repaired, said Gage, because they had gotten wet and had become moldy. Some books also were returned with glass and pieces of drywall embedded in them.

“Some were brought in with mud and twisted covers,” she said. “If it went through the tornado, it was not salvageable.”

The library’s insurance company wasn’t helpful in that regard, she said. The policy from America First Insurance covers damage to materials that are inside the building, but not what has been taken outside the building.


About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.