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Deaf-Smith County Library

Introduction

Deaf Smith County Library serves Hereford, Texas and all of Deaf Smith County. Hereford is located about 45 miles southwest of Amarillo and 100 miles north of Lubbock, at the intersection of U. S. Highways 60 and 385. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Deaf Smith County boasts 19,372 residents, of which 15,370 live in Hereford.

Hereford was named for the fine Hereford cattle first brought to the area by Rat Jowell, after having been called Blue Water (for the clear water in Tierra Blanca Creek) and Troy for the builder of the first house in town, Troy Womble. The name proved fitting, as the town became one of the country’s largest cattle shipping points on the “Peavine” Railroad. Today, Hereford is known as the “Beef Capital of the World.”

Historical, Current, and Future Roles of the Library

Since its inception, the Deaf Smith County Library has filled many roles in the community. Historically, these roles have included basic literacy, English as a Second Language, cultural awareness, and business support. Historically and currently, the library’s roles include lifelong learning, free and equal access to information, community meeting place, educational and recreational materials, information assistance, local history and genealogy, formal education support, information literacy, adult learning, current topics and titles, gateway to information, public computer access, early childhood literacy, and preschool door to learning. Future roles include being a community commons and providing career and workforce development.

Existing Programs

The library offers several programs to the Deaf Smith County community. These include a summer reading program for children, GED preparation tutoring, regular art displays, outreach to the senior citizens center, regular story time for daycare centers, exam proctoring, interlibrary loan, story time in Spanish, and the digitizing of the local newspaper.

Identified Needs

Deaf Smith County is in need of a literacy education program. There is a large Spanish speaking population that requires assistance in learning English. Additionally, the county needs more local jobs. There is also a need for a drug-free workforce, including both skilled and unskilled labor. The drug problem in Deaf Smith County would be ameliorated with the provision of more drug rehabilitation programs. Finally, there is a need among the younger population for a mentoring program that would help them realize their college aspirations.

According to surveys distributed to the community, there were two top needs that were generally identified: assistance learning to use e-readers and basic computer skills training. There were also requests for adult craft classes and book discussions.

Identified Assets

Hereford and Deaf Smith County have many assets. Recreational organizations and facilities include an extremely well equipped and modern aquatic center that boasts a heated year-round swimming pool. Tennis courts, soccer fields, baseball fields, rodeo grounds, municipal golf course, campgrounds, and walking trails provide entertainment and recreation for youth and adults. Hereford also has an active senior citizens center that provides opportunities for a variety of educational, recreational, and nutritional programs for older residents.

Railroad lines, the intersection of two major highways, an active trucking industry, and close proximity to airports in Amarillo and Lubbock facilitate transportation. A new $28 million hospital provides health and medical care to the surrounding area.

The local economy largely depends on agriculture due to rich farm and ranch land, which supports an abundance of horse ranches, cattle ranches and dairies. The area's position on the High Plains affords the wind speed and consistency to make this a prime area for alternate energy wind farms.

Thank You Statement

Deaf Smith County Library is grateful to Judge Tom Simons and the Commissioner’s Court who generously fund and otherwise support library operation. The library would not be what it is today without the Friends of the Deaf Smith County Library, who volunteer, take on special projects, and provide funding for needs that are not budgeted by the county. Special thanks go to the Robert and Ruby Priddy Charitable Trust for funding the Amo Leer Grant, and for funding the University of North Texas PEARL project.

A major asset for Panhandle libraries of all types, Harrington Library Consortium has historically given public libraries in the Panhandle stability unmatched in the rest of the state, but especially during the Texas State Library’s recent financial crisis. Through the years, HLC has fostered and facilitated cooperation among libraries that has greatly expanded the libraries’ ability to do things they could not do alone. This library appreciates the opportunity it has had to be a part of HLC and the benefits it derives from its membership.

Location

Deaf Smith County Library
211 East 4th St. Hereford, TX 79045
United States
34° 49' 5.7612" N, 102° 23' 55.7232" W
AttachmentSize
deaf_smith_county_library.pdf854.93 KB
Keywords: 
Summer reading program, GED preparation tutoring, Regular art displays, Outreach to the senior citizens center

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