2017-04-20 / News

Chandler library turns 30

Special to the Statesman

The first public library in Chandler was the old book mobile belonging to Henderson County. (Courtesy Photo) The first public library in Chandler was the old book mobile belonging to Henderson County. (Courtesy Photo) CHANDLER - The Chandler Public Library is celebrating its 30th birthday this month and the 20th anniversary of the building dedicated in April 1997. On Saturday, April 22, friends of the library, patrons and current and former volunteers are invited for coffee and cake from 10am - noon at the library.

In 1987, a group of local citizens led by Alice Murl Kidd and Joy Clark, commandeered the county’s broken down Book Mobile and converted it into a permanent library “structure.” The popularity of the new library led to the purchase of a vacant café on Broad Street, and it was renovated to fit the needs of the community. In 1992, the library added children’s programs, including the very popular Curl Up and Read Nights and the Texas Reading Club.

The old café building began to show the wear and tear of increased circulation and, once again, Mrs. Kidd and Mrs. Clark, spearheaded a fundraising campaign to build a new library. Luster and Greg Kidd donated land on SH-31. David Kidd served as contractor, and in April 1997, the new library was dedicated. The library was one of the first in the area to have internet access and a computerized card catalog. The Kidd family was honored by the Texas Library Association at their annual conference in San Antonio in 1998 for their efforts in establishing a library in Chandler and the construction of the new library.

The county hired Nancy Bertholf to serve as part-time director. She had been a library volunteer and had implemented the children’s programs at the library. After Bertholf retired from Tyler ISD in 2011, the city of Chandler asked her to assume fulltime duties which she continues today.

In 1997, the library circulation was 600+ items per year. Today over 20,000 items are checked-out including E-Books and Audio Books. The library sponsors the Texas Reading Club to encourage summer reading for children and provides public access computers, copy services, Wi-Fi and is the local distribution point for IRS forms. The Kickapoo Literary Society and Book Club meets monthly at the library. The library is an authorized member of the Texas State Library System.

The library is funded by the City of Chandler and Henderson County. Additional funds come from grants, local donations and the Friends of the Chandler Public Library on-going book sale. Mrs. Bertholf is assisted by a team of 16 library volunteers, including Benny Huff, who oversees the computers. Tammy Kidd has served for more than 20 years as a volunteer.

A recent grant awarded by the Hancer Foundation was used to create a Teen Zone. Rebecca Odom, a senior at Brownsboro High School, won the poster contest that was included in this award. She will be presented $100 at the upcoming birthday party.

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