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History of the Burnet Library

Source:  Clippings from the Burnet Bulletin, 1948-1952
Researched and gathered by Joel Frazier, 2008.  Thanks, Joel!
Transcribed by JoAnn Myers, November 2009

Thursday, 22 July 1948

Notice to the Pen Chat Club Members

There will be a general meeting Tuesday, July 27th at 9:30 A.M. at the Court House for the purpose of discussing and deciding upon further procedure regarding the immediate construction of a library building and the purchasing of books for same.  Please be present!

...from column by Maggie S. LaForge
Burnet Development

...I'll mention two things to which money was donated:  $1,500 to the public library.  Nothing could be more educational and cultural, or lend more dignity to a town.

Thursday, August 12, 1948

Free Library Room Completed

With remodeling of the Burnet County Free Library room in the county jail completed and cataloging of volumes already underway, members of the Burnet County Library Board and the library committee of the Pen Chat Club are making a plea for everyone to donate books.

The Pen Chat Club has given $500 for the purchase of new books, and other funds will be available later for the same purpose.  A few volumes have been donated by individuals but many more are needed to start a well rounded library.  Popular literature, both fiction and non-fiction and children's books are wanted.

Books should be left at the library room, or will be collected if the donors will call Mrs. Tommy White, Mrs. Joe Shepperd or Mrs. Wallace Riddell.  Miss Fairy Simpson, librarian of the Burnet schools, started cataloging volumes this week, with the assistance of Mrs. William Norvell.

The first "in memoriam" book has been given to the library in memory of Mr. L. C. Chamberlain.  It has been suggested by the library board that such lasting tributes to the memory of well loved citizens would enrich the life of the whole community.  All "in memoriam" volumes will be marked with a book plate.

Remodeling of the pleasant upstairs room in the county jail was done with county funds made available by the Commissioners Court.  The walls and woodwork have been painted a soft green, the floor has been sanded and waxed, and modern steel book stacks have been installed.  A fluorescent lighting system will be completed this week.

The questionaires recently circulated throughout the county proved that a library was the thing most wanted by a majority of the citizens of all communities.  The library room in the jail is the first step in a long range plan which will eventually give Burnet county a permanent library.  All funds which have been donated to the Pen Chat-sponsored library project, unless specifically earmarked for the purchase of books, are being reserved for the erection and equipment of a permanent library building.

The growing library bank account includes

$1,500 from the Burnet County Community Development Program,
$500 from the Burnet Chamber of Commerce,
$200 from the Kiwanis Club
$25 from the Eastern Star,
and various donations from
Home Demonstration Clubs and
Individual Citizens.

The permanent library will be erected on a lot, just north of the square, that was purchased several years ago by the Pen Chat Club for that purpose.  Meanwhile, the temporary library must rely largely upon private donations of books to fill its shelves with interesting reading matter.

Members of the Burnet County Library Board, through whose efforts the present library space was obtained, are:

Judge James A. Steele, Fairland, Chairman
Mrs. Waddell Northington, Burnet, 1st vice-president
Mrs. M. H. Huckabee, Spicewood, 2nd vice-president
Mrs. Granville Knox, Bertram, secretary-treasurer
Mrs. Snow Skaggs, Briggs and
Mrs. G. L. Jones, Bertram, purchasing committee
Mrs. Hall Anderson, Marble Falls
Mark Feild, Lake Victor
Mrs. N. G. Covington, Burnet

All members of the board are responsible for contacting persons in their respective communities who might donate books.  Their plea is:

"Give the books you have enjoyed to the Burnet County Free Library
so that others may enjoy them.  And DO IT NOW."

Thursday, 6 Jan 1949


The Burnet County Free Library will have its formal opening in its temporary home in the jail on January 9th from 1 P.M. to 5 P.M.

Everyone in Burnet County is asked to call during these hours, for this is your library!

The four County Commissioners will greet visitors in the downstairs hall and the nine members of the County Board, together with the librarian, Miss S. E. Goree, will receive in the library room on the second floor.

No books will be loaned on this day, but on Monday, January 10th from 1 noon until 7 P.M., books may be charged out by any individual living in Burnet County.  The library will be open each week day.  Plans are going forward for an early opening of branch stations at Marble Falls and Bertram, so that books may be more accessible to people living in those communities.

Thursday, 7 April 1949

...received beautiful books from non-residents, showing the kindly, helpful interest on the part of distant book-lovers for a struggling little library.  These donors are: 

Mrs. James H. Parke of Washington DC
Mrs. F. Lois Mora, New York City
Mr. H. E. Jenkins, Ward, Penna.,
Mr. J. E. Stoudenmire, Wilmington, N. C., and
Miss Lorene Alyea, Bothell, Washington.

Mrs. James Tucker, who broadcasts about Burnet County over KHIT every Wednesday at 4:15, has discussed the Library on two of her programs.  Another appreciated service came from Mr. G. G. Gates, who made and presented two beautiful native cedar table displayers.  You will find Memorial and other gift books in these table containers.

The Library continues to be a community project. 

Mrs. N. G. Covington,
Mrs. John Garner,
Mrs. Howard Stewart,
Mrs. G. P. Boase,
Mrs. A. H. Jenkins,
Mrs. Ed Young,
Mrs. Edison Fowler,
Mrs. Ward Wilson,
Mrs. Tom O'Donnell,
Mrs. E. T. Cor____
Mrs. W. H. Dodson

helped with desk work, accessioning and pasting during the month.  Three grade school children, Diane Kincheloe, Jane Holman and Janice Germany shelved books and pasted, while Bobbye Germany, who works two or three hours each week and tries to learn the "Why" as well as the "How" is increasingly useful and helpful.

Story Hour on Saturday morning at 10:30 is well attended with Mrs. Fisher, Mrs. Lary, Mrs. Cornelius and Mrs. Kroeger giving a morning each month to this rewarding service.

At the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Burnet County Free Library on Monday, April 4, three new directors were appointed. 

Mr. Dick Feild of Burnet replaces Mr. Mark Feild in Precinct 1
Mrs. Tom O'Donnell replaces Mrs. Waddell Northington as Pen Chat representative
Mr. J. C. Wright of Briggs replaces Mrs. Snow Skaggs, resigned in Precinct 2.

Officers elected were:

Judge J. A. Steele,  President
Mr. Dick Feild, Vice President
Mrs. M. H. Huckabee, Spicewood, 2nd Vice President
Mrs. Granville Knox,  Bertram, Treasurer.

The librarian serves as ex-officio secretary.

Thursday, 5 May 1949


The healthy growth of the Library during April was indicated by the registration of more adults and a greater demand for factual books.  The librarian helped the Bertram ladies to get their library opened on April 30.  Books will be sent to Briggs early this month.

Book gifts have been unusually interesting; 225 have been received.  two sister libraries have greatly enriched our shelves with their duplicates, most of them perfectly new. 

Tom Green County Library, San Angelo, has sent 33 and the
Department of Libraries, Harper Hospital, Detroit, Michigan,
has sent 21. 

Mr. Eanes of Georgetown,
the father of our Lucille Eanes,
gave us 23 issues of Frontier Times,

carefully selected from his files to give us as much material as possible on Burnet and adjacent counties.  This is a priceless gift.

Mrs. Joe A. Shepperd generously gave copies of her new juvenile [book] for Burnet and Bertram, and Mr. Shine Phillips of Big Spring, through Mrs. Don Tatum sent an inscribed copy of his corner drugstore saga, Big Spring.

Miss Mittie Depew gave a box of books -- 108 titles -- in memory of her nephew, Orla Whitney, who gave his life overseas. 

Other gifts were received from
Briggs PTA,
Mrs. Sam Paschall
Bobbie Germany
Mrs. W. H. Koon
Mrs. James C. Tucker
Clyde Smith, Jr.,
Mrs. Ward Wilson, and
Mr. James W. Davis,
all of Burnet
Mr. J. E. Stoudenmire, Wilmington, NC
Kiwanas Club gave $24.00 for new books for children

Story hour has been well attended with the regular readers on hand except on the 5th Saturday, when Mrs. Ward Wilson delighted the children with a group of stories, including one she had written herself.  Other helpers this month were Mrs. Seidensticker, Mrs. Jenkins, Mrs. O'Donnell, Mrs. Covington, Mrs. Cornelius, Mrs. Wilson, Mrs. A. B. Read, and Miss Bobbie Germany.

The librarian attended the Texas Library Association meeting at Abilene and found the County Library Institute especially helpful.

Thursday, 5 January 1950


The Library's new year will begin January 9th, the anniversary of its opening.  Here is what has been accomplished in 1949 as nearly as figures can tell the story.

At the headquarters library in the county seat,
  • 775 people use the books. 
  • Branches have been set up in Marble Falls, Bertram and Spicewood and Briggs had books all summer. 
  • The Rosebud H. D. Club is using a small collection. 
  • The reported circulation for the year all over the county is 9,546, but often a book is read by more than one member of a family. 
  • Bertram has reported its monthly circulation 5 times, Marble Falls and Spicewood 4 times each, so our figures are incomplete.
  • We have cataloged 2093 books belonging to Burnet County and we have
  • 1000 on loan from the State Library.
While the quality of the collection is high, we have serious subject gaps.  Recently we have been asked for
  • a book of quotations,
  • an automotive handbook,
  • books on oil painting,
  • books of plays, stunts and other entertainment aids. 
We failed to meet the demand for Christmas program material.

We are so crowded we cannot make full use of the books we do have.  Some bookshelves on loan or as a gift would be gratefully received.

After some experimentation, we have adopted regular hours daily except Sunday.  We are open from:
1 to 7 every weekday
2 hours more on Saturday morning for the special benefit of rural patrons
Story hour for children is held also Saturday morning, from 10:30 to 11:30

A few evenings the library has grown very cold, and several times the librarian has felt ill and closed a little early.  When we do this, please forgive us.

In 1949 a small library in Georgia won a national award for the best library service given by a small library.  The library had almost no funds but the good service was made possible because of the almost 100% cooperation of citizens.  We have had wonderful cooperation, but we know there are others who would like to share in the Library's progress in 1950.  Please get in touch with your librarian; perhaps we can win this BEST SMALL LIBRARY award.

There are many, many people we should like to thank by name, beginning with the Commissioners and the Judge who appropriated funds for the library's organization.  So many have given aid to the Library and encouragement to the librarian, but THE BULLETIN, which has contributed immeasurably to the library's growth by generous space for book notes and library news, could hardly spare the room for a long list of names.  We can only say THANK YOU once more, wish you a happy and prosperous year, and wish for the Library your continued support and friendship.

waiting to be transcribed, and coming soon!

Thursday, 10 Jan 1950

Thursday, 12 Jan 1950

Thursday, 16 March 1950

Thursday, 11 May 1950

Thursday, 17 Jan 1952


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