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Bridgeport Public Library

Introduction

Bridgeport is in Wise County in North Central Texas located at the intersection of Highways 380 and 114. The city is about 50 miles northwest of Fort Worth, Texas.

The City of Bridgeport, population 6,045, grew out of a settlement on the banks of the West fork of the Trinity River where a toll bridge was built to aid the Butterfield Stage in crossing the river. The Butterfield Overland Mail operated in Texas from 1858 until 1861. The original wooden toll bridge collapsed and was later replaced with a steel bridge in 1883. The old town and toll bridge were located south of Bridgeport on Highway 920 and the site is noted with a state historical marker. At that time it was primarily used to transport material between Decatur to the East and Ft. Richardson to the West.

The discovery of coal in the late 1800’s contributed to the growth of Bridgeport. When the railroad came through the area, the town relocated two miles to the East to be near the railroad. The waning of the coal industry came about as the oil and gas industry developed in the area.

Bridgeport has adapted many times to the changes in its economic climate. Currently the city is experiencing a slowdown in the business and housing sectors. Many residents are commuting to the metropolitan areas of Ft. Worth and Denton. The surrounding area is still rural but growth in housing is gradually changing this.

Historical, Current, and Future Roles of the Library

Historically and currently the library has fulfilled the following roles in the community: lifelong learning; free and equal access to information; community meeting place; current topics and titles; educational and recreational materials; technology center; information assistance; gateway to information; formal education support; information literacy; public computer access; career and workforce development; early childhood literacy, and pre-school door to learning. In the future the library would like to develop local history and genealogy services, business support, and become a heritage center.

Existing Programs

Weekly story times and a very active summer reading program contribute to the development of reading skills in area children. The library provides 12 computers for use by the public and holds classes as well as providing one-on-one assistance to library patrons. The library offers a canned food for fines drive on an occasional basis.

In the future the library would like to expand its programs to include teens and to develop an outreach to the homebound in Bridgeport and the surrounding area.

Identified Needs

The Bridgeport area depends heavily on the oil and gas industry. The production of crushed rock of varying sizes for everything from roadwork to landscaping is another important resource of revenue and jobs. The slowdown in building in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area has adversely affected the rock industry as has the constant fluctuation in the oil and gas production. This makes the economy of the area very volatile. There is a need for job opportunities.

The library’s identified needs are: more staff, better promotion of the library and its programs, programming for teens, more audio books, and the addition of eBooks.

Identified Assets

Community assets include: a public swimming pool; active parks and recreation department in the city; city hall; police station; chamber of commerce; hospital; assisted living and nursing home; Senior center; community center; churches; newspaper office; elementary, intermediate, middle and high schools; Bridgeport Heritage Museum; private golf course and country club; post office; privately owned and operated State Prison; oil fields, rock quarries; Lake Bridgeport; rodeo grounds; municipal airport, and Volunteer Fire Department.

Library assets include: very supportive community; helpful, friendly, trained staff; stand-alone facility on a major Highway (US 380); active well-attended children’s programs; 12 public access computers; one bi-lingual staff person, and meeting room for public use.

Thank You Statement

The Bridgeport Public Library would like to thank the Bridgeport City Council and the Wise County Commissioners for their continued support of the library and its programs. The library would also like to thank the Robert and Ruby Priddy Charitable Trust for the opportunity to participate in the UNT PEARL project. We would like to thank Barbara Blake and Louise Greene for all of their help with this project.

Location

Bridgeport Public Library
2159 Tenth Street Bridgeport , TX 76426
United States
33° 13' 21.7056" N, 97° 45' 29.7792" W
AttachmentSize
bridgeport_public_library_outreach_plan.pdf399.67 KB
Keywords: 
Summer reading program, Canned food for fines drive

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