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Muleshoe Area Public Library Community Outreach Plan

Introduction

Muleshoe is situated on the Great Plains in an area where the plains reach their highest altitude at the foot of the Rocky Mountains known as the High Plains; more specifically it is located on the South Plains in a region known as the Llano Estacado. The area topology is gently rolling plains with a large number of playa lakes on top of a large plateau. Muleshoe lies over the largest aquifer in the United States, the Ogallala Aquifer. The aquifer provides all of the city's water and is essential for the agriculture for the surrounding area.

The physical characteristics of the region make Muleshoe an ideal place for agriculture. Much of the natural habitat of grasslands and shrubs has been replaced by cash crops and livestock, but a few areas of native fauna (called CRP) are preserved. 20 miles south of Muleshoe is a system of sink lakes found at the Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is a wintering area for large numbers of migratory waterfowl and sand hill cranes and preserves much of the native wildlife.

The Muleshoe Area Public Library is located in rural Bailey County in west Texas approximately 32 miles from Clovis, New Mexico. The Muleshoe Area Public Library is the only library in Bailey County and serves a population of 4,321 in the City of Muleshoe. The library also serves the communities of Sudan, Lazbuddie, Springlake, Earth all in Lamb County; Farwell, Friona, and Lariat in Parmer County, Threeway in Bailey County, Texico (in New Mexico), and Needmore in Cochran County. The primary industry in the area is farming and ranching. The library is fully funded by the City of Muleshoe.

Historical, Current, and Future Roles of the Library

The Muleshoe Area Public Library has a long history of community involvement. It is considered the place to go for: lifelong learning, basic literacy, recreational and educational materials, local history and where one can find free and equal access to information. The library serves as a community meeting place, a gateway to information, a community commons heritage center and a pre-school door to learning. The Muleshoe Area Public Library is currently striving to also be the place to go for a technology center and for public computer access. In the future the library would like to also become a place for cultural awareness and a center for workforce development.

Existing Programs

The library provides a number of programs for the community. These include: Summer Reading Program for children ages 2 to 12, Summer Reading Program for Teens, Migrant Outreach, Special Summer Reading Programs geared more toward issues relevant to their needs, Amo Leer Celebrating Cultures, Interlibrary Loan, Microfilm collection of the Muleshoe Journal from 1954-1983, and Extensive collection of Large Print books.

Identified Needs

The community as a whole needs ways to reach out to the teens and programs to help them develop responsibly. There is a need for activities and programs for Senior Citizens that address the issues related to their stage of life. A challenge facing the agricultural community is the closing of many dairies due to the economy. There is a need for lower cost housing options. This has resulted in job losses and a loss of revenues. Another challenge is the large number of migrants from Mexico who have limited or no English speaking skills. This makes it difficult for employers to hire them.

The Muleshoe Area Public Library has determined it can help fill the need identified to provide more programs for the Senior Citizens in the community. There is a nursing home, a Senior Citizens Activity Center, and an Independent Living Facility in Muleshoe. The library intends to begin working more closely with the Senior Citizens Group and the County Extension Office to provide programs for the elderly in the community.

Identified Assets

The following were identified as community assets: new aquatic swimming pool, Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge, country club and 9-hole golf course, various civic organizations, rural telephone company, Internet service provider in town, numerous churches, local newspaper, local Spanish radio station, local television station, and the Muleshoe Independent School District. The Sports Academy opened its doors in 2001 and has since placed Muleshoe, Texas on the national map when it involves gymnastics training and competition. The Muleshoe's Heritage Center is a place where visitors can experience the traditions of the Panhandle-High Plains of Texas at the Old Muleshoe Depot. It includes Jane's Ranch House, the Old Muleshoe Ranch cook house and a one-room log cabin, the old hotel, as well as the world's largest muleshoe. The Tour de Muleshoe is held annually. Participating bicyclist can choose one of three rides, all providing a trip along scenic farmland and sand hills. The South Plains College Muleshoe Extension specializes in the education and training of nursing students. It is a joint project involving the South Plains College, Muleshoe Education Foundation, Work source of the South Plains, Muleshoe Area Hospital District, City of Muleshoe, Muleshoe Independent School District, and Muleshoe Economic Development Corporation.

The library’s assets include a very good relationship with various organizations in the area. For example, the library cooperates with the schools by providing books on the Accelerated Reading list to help children reach their reading goals. The library has on-going collaborative projects with the Migrant Program such as hosting the Building Bridges program. This program is for very young children and their parents. The Migrant Program liaison brings the children and parents to the library to acclimate them to using the library’s services and collection. The library also has an established relationship with the Muleshoe Aquatic Center. During the summer reading program, the library provides free day passes to the center to children once he/she has read 10 books. The Muleshoe Art Association has a rotating display of art work by local artist. Most recently the library has started working with the Workforce Office. The library provides a place for the monthly meetings and sometimes is able to provide the refreshments and program for the group.

Thank You Statement

The Muleshoe Area Public Library would like to thank Frances Recio for helping the library improve its relationship with the Migrants in the community. Through her hard work and suggestions there are more migrant adults and children interested in the materials and programs offered by the library.

The Muleshoe Area Public Library would like to thank the Robert and Ruby Priddy Charitable Trust for funding the Amo Leer Program. This grant provided the library with almost 800 Spanish and Bilingual books geared toward 2 years old to 3rd grade. This grant has enabled the library to provide the reading materials the migrant community needs. The materials will help them learn to read and to develop a love of reading.

Location

Muleshoe Area Public Library
322 West 2nd Street Muleshoe, TX 79347
United States
34° 13' 30.1404" N, 102° 43' 35.598" W
AttachmentSize
muleshoe_area_public_library.pdf114.98 KB
Keywords: 
Summer Reading Program, Amo Leer Celebrating Cultures, Interlibrary Loan, Extensive collection of Large Print books

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