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Mason County M. Beven Eckert Public Library

Introduction

Mason County is located in Central Texas, just south of the geographic center of the state and just over ninety-five miles northwest of Austin. The western part of the county lies on the edge of the Edwards Plateau and is characterized by generally flat terrain surfaced by shallow, stony clays and loams. The eastern part of the county, in the Llano basin, is characterized by rolling to steep terrain surfaced by deeper sandy clay loams. The area is rich with natural resources derived from stone and granite formations underlying these areas and includes quarried stone, crushed rock, gravel, sand and lime. The county's abundant wildlife, particularly deer, wild turkey, dove, and quail, has made it a popular hunting and fishing area. The Llano River, which flows west to east through the center of the county, drains the majority of Mason County. Other rivers include the James River, which enters the Llano from the south, and the San Saba River, which crosses the extreme northwestern corner of the county. There are also a number of spring-fed creeks. The western edge of the county overlies the Edwards-Trinity (Plateau) aquifer, and portions of the county overlie the Hickory Sandstone and Ellenburger-San Saba aquifers.

Historical, Current, and Future Roles for the Library

Historically, the library has been the place for lifelong learning, free information access, a meeting place, and provider of educational and recreational materials, information assistance, local history, formal education support, provider of current topics and titles, public computer access, place for early childhood literacy and a pre-school door to learning. Currently, the library fulfills those roles plus being a place for adult learning, a gateway to information, a support for business, and a place to get help with career and workforce development. In the future the library would like to provide Spanish and bi-lingual books, GED tutoring, an early literacy station for children, and teen programs.

Existing Programs

The library has a number of existing programs it offers to library patrons: weekly Story Time for pre-school aged children, annual summer reading program for children and teens, a lecture series, exam proctoring, digitized local newspapers, summer movies for kids, and inter-library loan.

Identified Needs

One identified challenge for the area is an underserved minority population. Approximately 21% of the population in Mason County and 33.5% of the population in the city of Mason is Hispanic. Identified needs of the library are: a lack of Spanish language materials and Spanish-speaking staff; no ESL or GED services and low participation in programs.

Identified Assets

Community assets include a public swimming pool, tennis courts, exotic animal ranches, vineyards, topaz fields, an airport, public parks, historic Ft. Mason, the Mason County Museum on the Square, and the County Museum in the Historical Building, bat cave, walking trails, and campgrounds.

The library’s enthusiastic and professional staff is one of its most important assets. They are able to manage detailed project often funded by grants and exhibit good budgeting skills. The staff is committed to early literacy, willing to collaborate with community partners to expand or improve customer service, and display an appreciation for diversity. T he library is fortunate to enjoy support from the Richard and Beven Eckert Trust. The library houses Fred Gipson‘s Old Yeller memorabilia, an asset that attracts tourists.

Thank You Statement

The Mason County Library would like to thank the county judge and commissioners, the mayor and city commissioners, the library board, Friends of the Library, the Mason Study Club and the Richard and Beven Eckert Trust 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 us in writing grants for this and future outreach programs. Director Patti Grote would like to thank the staff of the library for their understanding and support while she worked on developing this outreach program.

Location

Mason County M. Beven Eckert Memorial Library
410 Post Hill Rd. P.O. Box 1785 Mason, TX 76856
United States
30° 44' 45.0456" N, 99° 13' 57.0936" W
AttachmentSize
mason_county_m._beven_eckert_public_library.pdf495.43 KB
Keywords: 
Summer reading program, Exam proctoring, Digitized local newspapers, Inter-library loan

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