Krum Public Library

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Library History

HISTORY OF THE KRUM PUBLIC LIBRARY

Last updated 10/3/2018

In May 1979, the Krum City Council passed an ordinance creating the Krum Public Library. A thousand books had already been donated to the library through the efforts of Tracy Collom, Krum Postmaster. The city council approved Collom as coordinator of the library effort and gave him responsibility for appointing a board of directors. Collom was elected the first library board chair and served with June Burns, Joe Cates, Jimmy Chisam, Harriette Harvey, and Thelma Morris (who deserves special thanks for keeping the library going until county funding became reality). Joyce Collom worked voluntarily as the first librarian.

             For the first two years, the library was housed in a small area in Venture Center provided by Jack and Catherine Mitchell. The library received numerous memorial donations in books, financial support and shelving from the citizens of Krum and the surrounding area. One of the first big undertakings was getting the books catalogued and shelved and providing a children’s story hour for the summer. Several students volunteered to help get the library in operation.

           In its infancy, the library made steady progress. In its first year, the board decided to publish a newsletter. The costs were paid by the board members and they folded it for mailing during board meetings. In July 1979, the library began offering interlibrary loan service. Eight bookshelves were filled and the board voted to purchase two more. In September 1979, the Denton County Council Commissioners Court made $1,547.00 available to the library. The first funds were received in May of 1980.

             The formal dedication of the library was held on June 21, 1980. State Representative Tip Hall, former Krum High School Principal, was the guest speaker. The library had been open for one year.

             The size of the board was expanded in May 1980. Three adult members were added, and a special position was created – each year, one outstanding high school student was to be elected to a one-year term as Junior Board Member. Denise Spivey was the first Junior Board Member.

             In 1981, the Krum City Council responded to the needs of the expanding young library by providing new quarters. The old fire hall was completely renovated to serve as the new library building. Many volunteer hours were put into painting and preparing the new building. A massive volunteer effort helped make the move from Venture Center to the new library building. The city loaned the library money to purchase new shelving. Soon, enough donations had been made to cover the total cost of the new shelves, and the loan was repaid.

             Although volunteers kept the library open from the beginning, a part-time librarian, Logan Ragsdale, was hired in January 1986. Ragsdale was succeeded by Janie Robinson, and since that time, a part-time Library Director has overseen library operations.

             In the summer of 1986, Krum celebrated its centennial. The city’s population had more than doubled since the founding of the library. The library participated in the centennial by selling specifically designed belt buckles featuring Krum’s centennial logo. Two high school students, Kevin Parks and Randy Smith, won a city-wide contest to design a logo. Mrs. Alta Luske combined the two designs into one logo. Foster’s Saddle Shop contributed gift certificates to the two winning students. This project added a total of $2,900.00 to the book fund.

             In September 1987, the library became a provisional member of the North Texas Library System (NTLS). The library was given three years in which to acquire 7,500 books. This requirement was met in 1989 and the library became a full member. In addition, the library was to spend one-fourth of its funds on books, and continue to have a budget at or above that of the preceding year. Benefits of membership have included an annual collection development allocation, participation in a rotating packet of videocassettes for check-out by patrons, access to professional consultants, and access to workshops and training events held throughout the year.

             A real high point of the library’s brief history was its being awarded the J. Frank Dobie Award in April 1988. Board Chairperson, Lawanda Boenker and board member, Linda Johnson, traveled to Corpus Christi to accept the award in the amount of $4,750.00, designated for the purchase of books.

             By 1990, the library had outgrown its home in the renovated fire hall. In March of 1991, the library moved across McCart Street to a building the city had agreed to lease to house the library. The new 2,000 square foot building was almost twice the size of the former library building. Under the direction of the Library Director, Katherine Boyer, the Library began to offer literacy programs for children and adults. As the first librarian with a master’s degree in librarianship, Katherine continued as director, always increasing services and programs until March 1994.

             Pam Reandeau became interim librarian until a new permanent Library Director could be hired. Becky Benedict was hired as the new Library Director in May 1994. Blanche Dodd, hired through the Green Thumb program, was her assistant.

             The City of Krum purchased the building it was leasing to house the library in November 1995, to be used to relocate the Krum City Hall and municipal offices. The Library was to be relocated to the KYCC (Krum Young Citizen Club) building at 803 E. McCart Street.

             The renovation of the KYCC was a major volunteer project. Men’s groups from the local churches volunteered to add partitions, remodel and renovate the restrooms, and paint the exterior of the building. A Boy Scout painted the interior for his Eagle Scout project. The Krum Volunteer Fire Department volunteered to move the library when the renovations were complete. The library reopened in this new location on April 1996. 

             In 1998 the library was given a Tocker grant. With it they got a computer appropriate circulation desk, a side desk, and two public computer workstations. Also in 1998 they received the TIF grant. It paid for an automation system, the Athena Operating System, Marcive to create MARC records of the collection, two public workstations, two staff workstations, one laser network printer, router board and Internet Connection for one year.

             In 2003 there was a donation of library furniture and children’s/teen’s library shelving from Denton Public Library. The furniture was estimated at $30,000. This was another joint effort of the library staff, the Krum Volunteer Fire Department and other community volunteers who broke down the shelving at Denton Public Library, loaded them on trailers, brought them to the Krum Public Library and put them back together. The Library Director worked hand in hand with Friends of the Library to dismantle the old shelving and transfer the collection to the new shelving.

             In 2005 the library got the Ryland Homes land donation. The library Board proposed a new building project, with a building fund set up with an initial donation of $10,000 by a concerned citizen. The conceptual drawing was done by a board member. The Ryland property was deemed unusable as a library site and KYCC Board request for the donation of the current building was denied. However, the KYCC Board did allow the library to continue to use the building, leased at $1.00 per year.

           Becky Benedict was replaced in 2006 by Elizabeth Hubbard.  Elizabeth was replaced in August of that year by Rebecca Ivy.  Rebecca’s assistant was Amy Albrecht.  In February 2007 Rebecca and Amy quit.  After a two week period where the library was run by the Friends of the Library, primarily Paul Leibrock and Sandy Clere, Donna Pierce was hired as the new director.  

             In 2006 the Library became a City Department and the board changed from a governing board to an advisory board.  The Library Board created a charter in 2010 to replace the old bylaws and to reflect the advisory status of the library board. This charter was approved by council in August 2010, and a revised version was again accepted by council in February 2013.  In September 2017 the city revised the ordinance establishing the library in order to reflect the library’s status as a city department with an advisory board.

             Beginning in May of 2007 Donna wrote grants for new books, children’s shelving, a children’s computer and programs.  In 2007 she received a total of $33, 321 in grants.  The following year she received $33, 621 for junior shelving, books and funding for professional conferences.  Her intern, Laura Klenke, also wrote an accessibility grant for $6,200 which gave Krum the most accessible technology of any public library in Denton County.

            In 2009/2010 Donna received grants for seven new patron computers, 700 children’s Spanish and bilingual books and various on-line classes for a total of $31,458. In 2010 to 2012 a total of $6198 was received for books and programs.  In fiscal year 2012/13 the library received a grant for $32,561 for new adult shelving.  At this time the entire library was rearranged with every shelf being moved.  With the exception of display shelving, which was donated by the First Baptist Church of Krum, every shelf in the library had been replaced.  With two adjustable height folding tables and one regular folding table the library was able to accommodate various programming needs from preschool to adult. The computer tables are also height adjustable and each is 36” wide, allowing for flexibility in the future.

            In 2010 the Library Board re-wrote the Library Board By-Laws. The new charter reflected the change from a governing board to an advisory board as the library had become a city department in 2006. 

            In the spring of 2014 the children’s computer (an AWE Early Literacy Station purchased with grant funding in 2008) died.  Donna wrote a $7578 CoServ grant for another Early Literacy Station and an After School Edge computer (for older children), along with a table for the two computers.

            Krum Public Library was part of the founding of the North Texas Library Consortium (NTLC) in 2008. A group of fourteen libraries of various sizes, mostly medium to small libraries, with the help of the North Texas Regional Library System, banded together to share an operating system and their materials.  Using the open source software, Evergreen, not only did the libraries have the ability to borrow from each other, effectively increasing the collection size of all members, but all the libraries were able to have their catalogs on-line, something which many of the smaller libraries were unable to afford.  Other benefits included the ability of patrons to place items on hold from home and receive e-mail notices about their items. 

            In 2011 the Regional Library systems were disbanded, due to lack of funding from the state.  At that time the North Texas Regional Library System became the North Texas Library Partners.  They were able to continue overseeing NTLC until 2013 when they were forced to close.  At that time NTLC became its own 501(c)3 and was independent of any state agency.

            During this time Donna updated and wrote many policies, including a policy for reconsideration of materials, internet usage, social media and library loan policies.  Several of these needed to be revised due to the library being a member of NTLC.

            From 2006 to 2013 the library’s service population grew from 3935 to 5231, a 31:% increase.  Circulation increased by 62% and gate count increased by 172%.  This required an increase in staffing from 1.5 FTEs to 2.8 FTEs in 2014.  There were no full time employees other than the director but the four part time staff worked from 12 to 27 hours per week.  The library hours were set 33 hours per week when Donna began, with the library open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays.  The library was traditionally closed on Thursdays to facilitate the director’s attendance at the Denton County Library Advisory Board.

            In May of 2013 the city voted $1.3 million in bonds for a new library building.  It passed by a 60% margin (215 to 139).  In November the city voted for bonds to build a new fire station and a new Public Works facility. In October 2014 the Mayor choose a committee consisting of the Library Director, the Fire and Police Chiefs, the Public Works director and a councilman to choose two firms out of the five top rated firms completing the RFQ. The two firms (Steele & Freeman and Tim Beatty) presented to council.  The decision was made in December 2014 to hire Tim Beatty Builders with Kirkpatrick Architects and 720 Design as the library consultant.

            Actual construction of the new building began in July 2016 with the building up of a pad site so there would be no danger of flooding in the new library.  Once the cement pad was poured questions began concerning the size of the new building.  Although the new building would be 5311 square feet, compared to the old building’s 2400 square feet, the pad looked significantly smaller!  Apparently this is an issue with all new buildings and is just an optical illusion.  By September walls began to go up and pavement was poured.  On November 12th the local Mason’s group held a Cornerstone Ceremony for both the Fire Department and the Library. 

            Although the original completion date was December 2016 in reality the building was completed by the end of March 2017.  With the help of professional library movers, who moved the shelving and the books, the library moved into the new building.  The old library “closed” (we still had people making copies and picking up items on hold) on March 28th and re-opened on April 25th.  There were a few hiccups – the first day in the new building there were no restrooms and no internet or phones.  But those were on in the old building so work went on! 

           Donna’s philosophy was one of service – to the patrons and to the city.

            The Library has continued to update and improve its services and resource’s to serve the community and its citizens. The future looks bright for the Library and our focus continues to be one of serving the citizens.

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Upcoming Events
Reading With Rover Aug 24, 2019 10:00 AM (US/Central)
Children's Hour Sep 10, 2019 10:00 AM (US/Central)
Community Blood Drive Sep 10, 2019 01:30 PM (US/Central) — Krum Public Library
Book Club Meeting Sep 12, 2019 06:30 PM (US/Central)
American Girl Book Club Sep 14, 2019 10:00 AM (US/Central)
Children's Hour Sep 17, 2019 10:00 AM (US/Central)
Minecraft Survival Club Sep 21, 2019 10:00 AM (US/Central)