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Lovett Memorial Library-McLean

Introduction

McLean is located on Interstate Highway 40 in southeastern Gray County. It is the second largest town in the county. In 1901, the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Texas Railroad Company dug a water-well and built a switch and section house three miles inside Gray County. Around this switch Alfred Rowe, an area rancher, laid out a town site. The town was named for a Texas legislator and railroad commissioner, William P. McLean. McLean was granted a post office in 1902. By 1904, McLean had three general stores, a bank, two wagon yards and livery stables, a lumberyard, and a newspaper, the McLean News. A windmill pumped water from a well drilled in the middle of Main Street, and citizens hauled the water in barrels and buckets. The town was incorporated in 1909. Soon McLean became a center for area agriculture. Several hundred carloads of hogs and watermelons were shipped annually. Four telegraph operators were required to handle the messages of the railroad business.

In 1908, and again in 1919, McLean made an unsuccessful bid against Lefors to become the county seat. During the 1920s, the town profited from the oil boom and became a shipping point for area livestock, gas, and oil. By 1940, McLean had six churches, a newspaper, fifty-nine businesses, and a population of 1,521. The growth of Amarillo and the emergence of Pampa as the county's industrial center helped to reduce the population to 1,447 in 1950. In 1970, McLean had a hospital, a library, a bank, and fifty businesses. The number of businesses dropped to twenty-five by 1980, when the population was 1,160. In addition to a garment factory, McLean has had several industries connected with petroleum and its products.

Historical, Current, and Future Roles for the Library

Historically, the library has been the place for lifelong learning, free information access, provider of educational and recreational materials, information assistance, formal education support, provider of current topics and titles, and public computer center. Currently, the library fulfills those roles plus being a place for a gateway to information. In the future, the library would like to be an adult learning center, a workforce development site and community commons.

Existing Programs

The library has a number of existing programs including: summer reading club for children, an adult basic computer literacy class, outreach to the local nursing home and inter-library loan.

Identified Needs

One identified challenge for the area is the closure of the only grocery store in McLean. There is a need for more and varied services that are closer to the community. Identified needs of the library are: more support for GED, work skills development, computer literacy and support for early childhood literacy.

Identified Assets

Community assets include a senior citizens center, public housing for low income citizens, quality schools, a nursing home, fire station, newspaper office, post office and a restaurant.

The library’s experienced staff is one of its most important assets. The staff has good people skills and good computer skills. They are friendly and helpful and maintain confidentiality of library users.

Thank You Statement

The Lovett Memorial Library would like to thank the Mayor of McLean, city council members and the library board for their ongoing support. The library would like to thank the businesses and volunteers who make the library a successful and vital asset for the community. The library is grateful that the Robert and Ruby Priddy Charitable Trust is funding the University of North Texas (UNT) PEARL project. We thank the Trust and UNT for choosing our library to participate in the PEARL project. The library’s participation in the PEARL project will assist the library in developing outreach programs for children and adults and will help in writing grants for this and future outreach programs. Director Sally Bohlar would like to thank the staff of the library for their understanding and support while she worked on developing this outreach program.

Location

Lovett Memorial Library-McLean
308 N. Main McLean, TX 79057
United States
35° 13' 28.758" N, 100° 36' 4.0392" W
AttachmentSize
lovett_memorial_library-mclean.pdf388.08 KB
Keywords: 
Summer reading club for children, Adult basic computer literacy class, Outreach to the local nursing home, Inter-library loan

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