Whitewright Public Library

Long Range Plan

Whitewright Public Library
Long Range Plan

Executive Summary

The challenge for the library is to provide efficient, cost-effective services to meet the needs of our community. Additional challenges are posed by the library's currently limited space.

 Our services will be provided through the following:

1. Providing Access to Resources and Information - It is the goal of the library to provide resources and access to accurate information in the most cost effective manner.
2. Providing Access to Up-to-Date Technology for Both Staff and Patrons - Technology is vital to operating today's library, especially in a small library with limited funds for maintaining an up-to-date print reference section. Maintaining a presence on the web allows us to communicate with customers outside our area regarding genealogy and local history, as well as keep local users updated on library services and resources.
3. Providing a "Commons" Area for the Community - "Third spaces" (places outside of home or school/work) allows children, teens, adults and seniors to come together on “neutral ground,” where people can gather to discuss, interact, and enjoy the company of others in the community.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Whitewright Public Library is to inform, educate, and culturally enrich the lives of the greatest possible number of citizens of all ages and from varying cultural and economic backgrounds by collecting, organizing, and providing easy access to educational, informational, recreational and cultural resources to meet their changing service needs.

Library History

The Whitewright Library traces its roots back to the town’s Friday Literary Club, which in 1966 presented a program entitled, “Does Our Town Need a Library?” Inspired by the program, members began preparations to open a public library in the former bank building, which had been donated to the City.

With 1,200 books on the shelf, members of the club staffed the operation with volunteer assistance. The city officially sanctioned the operation in 1969 with an ordinance. In 1978 the library was accepted into the Northeast Texas Library System, making it an accredited and part of the Texas State Library System. That year the library moved to its current 2,000 square foot location in the Municipal Building at 200 W. Grand Street.

Community support is still very strong for the library, but our "community" reaches far outside the immediate area. Patrons from nearby towns and rural areas with no local library and many from Dallas’ growing northern suburbs use our facilities.

Community Description

The city was established in 1878, on a tract of land in the path of the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railroad, and was incorporated within ten years of its founding. Education has played an important role in the town's early history, with Grayson College operating from 1887 to 1912.

Whitewright is now considered a “bedroom” community to the burgeoning northeast Dallas metropolitan area, though it still retains much of its rural roots in agriculture.

The City of Whitewright has a population of 1,740 according to the 2000 census. Our Texas State Library population served is 2,748 according to Texas Public Library statistics for 2005.

Goals and Objectives

Providing Access to Resources and Information

1.      Maintain the integrity of the collection

  • Evaluate allocation of funds for all resource formats (ongoing)
  • Acquire new formats as appropriate (ongoing)
  • Evaluate usage of materials (ongoing)
  • Use Texas State Library guidelines to determine best practice for weeding the collection (ongoing)

2.      Provide access to resources that support genealogy and local history research (ongoing)

3.      Maintain integrity of catalog database (ongoing)

4.      Promote the use of interlibrary loans as needed to enhance the collection (ongoing)

Providing Access to Up-to-Date Technology for Both Staff and Patrons

 1.      Empower users to use self-service options

  • Promote the use of The Library of Texas to place interlibrary loan requests (ongoing)
  • Pursue upgrade of circulation system to include online access to the catalog to allow patrons to search the library outside of open hours, as well as place reserves, renewals, etc. (2008)
  • Improve public access to library website and databases, both onsite and remotely (ongoing)

2.      Improve communications with patrons

  • Pursue the ability to improve overdue notifications, including via email (2008)
  • Update web site to provide the latest information on services (ongoing)

Providing a "Commons" Area for the Community

1.      Provide space for the community to gather for business, educational and recreational activities in a new building

  • Work with architects to design a building with space for meetings as well as quiet rooms for private study (ongoing until project completion)
  • Provide areas designed for children, teens and adults, allowing each to have their own "space" within the library (ongoing until project completion)

2.      Provide library programs to bring the community together

  • Host an open house when the new building opens for citizens to meet library staff, volunteers, advisory board, etc. (2009)
  • Provide more programs for children and teens on a weekly or monthly basis. (ongoing)
  • Provide continuing education programs, such as adult literacy or computer courses. (2009)
  • Offer use of meeting space to other City departments for training and community events such as a "meet the candidates" night. (2009)