2 programs at Hannibal Free Public Library combine history of Black business districts, summer reading overnight adventure

Stuffed animals are huddled around an informative panel about Hannibal's Wedge business district, sharing the history of the businesses owned by African-Americans in Hannibal. The traveling exhibit also highlights similar districts in Jefferson City, Columbia, Kansas City and St. Louis. The animals were in the library for the Teddy Bear Sleepover, a part of the Summer Reading Program.
For the Courier-Post
Posted: Jul. 10, 2019 6:32 pm

Two programs kept Hannibal Free Public Library staff members busy on Monday evening, July 8 — the Teddy Bear Sleepover and the opening reception for "Boom! The Rise and Fall of Missouri's Black Business Districts."

These programs intersected unexpectedly in the rotunda on the library’s second floor.

"Boom! The Rise and Fall of Missouri's Black Business Districts" is a traveling exhibit on loan to Hannibal Free Public Library through Wednesday, Aug. 14. The Missouri State Museum provided the traveling exhibit, which was inspired by the Missouri State Parks booklet, "The Business: African-American Business People from Missouri's Past." The exhibit interprets the history of five black business districts throughout the state: the Foot in Jefferson City, the Wedge in Hannibal, the Sharp End in Columbia, Vine Street in Kansas City and the Ville in St. Louis.

The panel featuring the Wedge in Hannibal highlights the people who influenced the growth and development of some of Hannibal’s most prolific and enterprising men and women. The exhibit is viewable during library hours, Monday and Tuesday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

The Teddy Bear Sleepover is an annual event at the library. Children are invited to bring their teddy bears and other stuffed animals to the library and leave them for a sleepover. Young adults participating in Teen Night supervise the antics of the critters while Library Assistant Director Caitlin Greathouse photographs them. She then makes a scrapbook of the photos, which may be seen on the TV in the library’s Children’s Room or online at

These programs and other events are offered free of charge at the library. The library’s year-round calendar may be found at Library staff members are are available to provide additional information at 573-221-0222 or in person at 200 S. 5th St.


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