The Imboden library began during the latter part of 1942 after the establishment of the Lawrence County Library at Walnut Ridge in February 1942. Branches of the county library were also established in1942 at Strawberry and Clover Bend, and another opened in Powhatan in 1944. The Imboden branch is the only one that has survived since the beginning of the Lawrence County Library. A Lynn Branch Library was opened in 1991 and is also still in operation.
The Lawrence County Library is a tax supported institution that provides free public library service governed by a board of trustees. The library’s board is comprised of five members that are appointed by the county judge.
The Imboden Branch Library began as a sort of bookmobile. The late Mrs. Helen Henderson oversaw the bookmobile from 1942 to 1955 in the second floor of the old American Legion Hut on Highway 63 in Imboden.
At the beginning of it’s opening ,the library was open only two hours on Friday afternoons, and the high school pupils would keep the library open after school hours during those afternoons.
In 1955,the Lawrence County Library hired Donna Beavers as librarian of the Imboden Branch.Mrs. Beavers served as the librarian for three years with Bonnie Strayhorn and Bettie White, Ms. Beaver’s successors each serving as librarian for two years.
Mrs. Bobbie Jean was then hired as librarian at Imboden in 1960 and held that position until 2004.
The library was moved in 1980 from the American Legion Hut to a storage building on fourth street. The branch was located in that building less than a year and with the assistance of the City of Imboden purchased a portable metal building in 1981,moved to a location behind Peoples Bank, and relocated the library there. With that move the library’s time of operation was extended to four hours on Tuesdays and two hours on Fridays.
The library was moved to a location on Main Street in 1988. Where the summer reading programs started and the library continued to grow in patron count ,book inventory, and the addtion of computers.
Mrs. Jean served as the Imboden librarian for 44 years until her passing in 2004.
Laura Mcleod was hired as librarian June of 2004.
In July of 2004 in library was moved to it’s present location on hwy.63 at 102 Hendrix st.
The new library was dedicated to the memory of Mrs. Bobbie Jean for her many years of service to the Imboden community.
We are now named The Bobbie Jean Memorial Library. There is also a plaque to honor her 44 years as Imboden librarian located at the new library.
The new location brought on many changes to the Imboden branch. A remodeled facility with a large children’s section, new shelves,computers with high speed internet access, and new computerized catalog and barcode system to check out books. Also the hours increased to being open 25 hours a week. Monday,Tuesday,Thursday,Friday,and Saturday hours. The summer reading program is in place every summer. There is a movie night on the second friday of every month featuring both children and adult movies from popular books.
Mrs. Lisa Williams was hired as the branch librarian July 2010.