The Save the Seneca Library Committee has reorganized, with a new way to collect funds and plans to establish a new name.

The Save the Seneca Library Committee has reorganized, with a new way to collect funds and plans to establish a new name.

The committee, originally formed by the Newton County Library Board to work toward saving the Seneca Library branch, was unofficially dissolved by that board last week, according to committee member and Seneca Area Chamber of Commerce president Josh Dodson.

Dodson said while the library board's members agreed to dissolve the committee in their Feb. 19 meeting, board president Keri Collinsworth was not present at the meeting, and based on the board's rules, must be the one to officially dissolve the committee.

He said that is expected to happen in the March library board meeting.

"They dissolved us because they felt that we are going into a new direction," Dodson said.
The Newton County Library Board voted last fall to close the Seneca Library, one of the two branches of the Newton County Library, due to financial concerns.

Dodson said his committee will now work in conjunction with the Neosho Area Business and Industrial Foundation (NABIFI) to collect funding to keep the doors to the Seneca branch open.

The Newton County Library board postponed the official closure decision until June, though Dodson said his committee has not been given a clear answer as to how much would need to be raised to save the Seneca branch.

Library board members have said the Seneca branch costs $76,000 annually, while Dodson said some figures have reflected a lesser amount.

While the Save the Seneca Library Branch had been working with the library board, presenting their findings at the board's monthly meetings, the group will now work independently of that board.

"We're going to have complete control over all of our funds we raise," Dodson said. "We set that up under NABIFI because they can serve the entire county."

Dodson said the committee is set to meet this Thursday, when they will decide on a new name for their group.
Those wishing to donate to the Seneca Library will then be able to visit any Community Bank and Trust location in the area, where they can make their donation out to NABIFI, while including in the memo the committee's name.
Dodson said those wishing to donate immediately can go ahead, and simply earmark the donation for the Save the Seneca Library Committee.

He said the committee will also have control over where the money goes.

"We're going to have several different tracking ways," he said.

If the June deadline is reached and the library board votes to close the Seneca branch, Dodson said the committee's NABIFI account may be able to fund the library's continuance.

If not, the group could continue to fundraise to re-open the Seneca branch. If nothing else, Dodson said having that account will allow the group to return the donations if they cannot help save the library branch.

NABIFI is a 501c3 and all donations to the cause will provide a tax write-off, according to Dodson.

For more information, Dodson can be reached by email at or by phone at 417-438-3071.