For almost ten years, Charlotte Gower and Frances Jones have been contributing to our community by serving on the Grayson County Public Library Board of Trustees.
In this past decade, Charlotte and Frances never shied away from making our library one of the best in the state.
In 1997, the daunting responsibility of automating library functions was finished, allowing library staff to check in and out much faster, keep better track of materials, place holds on materials, find status of materials, and so much more.
Bill and Melinda Gates grants came in 1998, and the library bought five computers and wired the building for free public internet access.
In December 1999, the library was given a face-lift. New carpet was laid, walls painted, new ceiling tiles installed, the staff work area was completely rearranged, and the library was cleaned. Since then, the library has been landscaped, new signage added inside and outside, the InfoCube was erected, and the parking lot repaved.
A major grant was awarded to the library in 2000 to buy a new bookmobile and equip it with mobile internet service. This was the first one of its kind in the state, and only the third one in the United States.
The website allowed subscriptions to databases, making the site a virtual branch, allowing access to the catalog, electronic books, practice tests, United States census records, and more.
Encouragement to apply for grants and willingness to finance them beyond the grant period led to the library winning one for digitizing local history. This database now includes over 2,000 items that can be searched by keyword and phrases.
These ladies have been instrumental in increasing the materials budget to buy more books, audiobooks, videos, DVDs, etc. They have increased the budget for continuing staff education, and written and re-written policies to make the library more inviting. During their tenure, the library was named Outstanding Board of Trustees in 2001, and the library received an Enhanced Level of Service award in 2004.
Now the library is at another crossroads, but Charlotte and Frances won't be there to provide guidance. Because they dared to envision better library service, everyone in Grayson County has benefited.