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Olton Area Library Community Outreach Plan

Introduction

The City of Olton town was founded in 1908 on land that was originally part of the Colonel C. C. Slaughter Runningwater Ranch. The town is in Lamb County in the west part of Texas on State Highway 70. There are 2,288 people in the city, and the population of Lamb County is 13,162 as of 2009.

Olton is about 51 miles northwest of Lubbock and 60 miles east of the New Mexico. It is 23 miles west of Interstate I-27. The town itself is approximately 3 miles from the Hale county line and about 8 miles from Castro County. It is 29 miles from Littlefield, the county seat.

Historical, Current, and Future Roles for the Library

Historically, the library has emphasized: life-long learning; basic literacy; ESL; free and equal access to information; information assistance; cultural awareness; current topics and titles; early childhood literacy; pre-school door to learning; formal education support and local history. In addition to those roles, the library current provides: educational and recreational reading materials; is a technology center; provides public computers; promotes adult learning and serves as the only free public Internet access in the area. It is expected in the future that programming and use of the Internet will increase.

Existing Programs

Currently the library has the following programs.

    • Head Start Partner: The library is a partner with the federally-funded Head Start program. Library staff provide a story time at the elementary school once a week during the school year for the Pre-Kindergarten classes.
    • Amo Leer Grant Program: The library recently received almost 800 Spanish and bilingual children’s books and funds to promote their use from The Robert and Ruby Priddy Charitable Trust. The first program was a Book Carnival with a meal and games hosted by the library and Olton ISD Migrant Council.
    • Women’s Exercise Class: An exercise class held at the library open to all women began in October 2009. It meets 3 times a week for 1 hour sessions.
    • Annual Summer Reading Program: There are at least 4 and sometimes 5 large events (one attendance was 240!) for children held in conjunction with the Summer Reading Club.
    • ESL: The library is a partner with a summer elementary ESL class that visits the library once a week for six weeks and stays about an hour.
    • Care Center Auxiliary: The library has an informal partnership with the local Care Center Auxiliary. The library orders large print books through ILL for the residents.
    • Home School Families: The library works with several home schooling families by ordering books they need. Some are not in Olton; they are not charged late fines.
    • Building Bridges: The library is a partner with Building Bridges, a home visit part of the Migrant program for 3 year olds. Occasionally the Migrant program parent liaison brings the mothers and their children to the library for a program. Stories are read in English and Spanish.
    • Wii gaming came to the library in 2008. Children 12 and over are allowed to use it with parental permission.

Other programs include: Digital Literacy Center Beginner PC classes; AMO Leer family nights, and AMO Leer after school stories.

Identified Needs

Community needs include: more reasonably priced homes to buy and rent; job opportunities and more diversified businesses.

Identified needs for the library include: more computers, new books, and funding; more programs for teens, and more physical space. Some of the challenges the library faces includes: library staff serve as the museum staff when there are visitors; the town is too small for direct USPS delivery, and the library is distant from most County elected officials.

Identified Assets

The Olton community has many assets. The Runningwater Draw Care Center and Sandhills Assisted Living facilities are respected across the state. There is productive farmland; good city management; a weekly paper; a country club with a public pool and a golf course; an active Museum board and Friends of the Museum/ Library; a community park with excellent equipment for children and a fishing lake; local dedicated teachers; a health care clinic; strong community pride; varied sports programs for children; beauty and barber shops; agriculture businesses; the Wild Plum bed and breakfast; five restaurants; Post Office; Volunteer Ambulance association; the Dollar General; a pharmacy; about fifteen active churches; a grocery; two convenience stores, and the library. The most important asset is the sense of community pride residents feel.

The library’s assets include: facility shared with the Sandcrawl Museum; extensive Spanish collection for children; language instruction software (Rosetta Stone); community pride and library support; public Internet access; interlibrary loan; Friends of the Sandcrawl Museum/Library and one full-time bilingual staff member.

The library has existing partnerships with the Parents’ Migrant Council; Head Start; HP Webb Elementary School; West Texas RC&D; Alpha Rho Delta Sorority; City of Olton; Security State Bank; City Bank, and Olton Economic Development.

Thank You Statement

The library would like to thank the Lamb County Commissioners, County Judge, and the people of Olton for their support of the library. We would especially like to thank the Lamb County Commissioners’ Court for making it possible for the library to have a full-time bilingual staff member. Since October 2010 the library has had a full-time bilingual employee. This vote of confidence from Lamb County Commissioners’ Court has made our Spanish speaking residents more comfortable in the library, brought new users into the library, and allows the Director to develop new service options for the community.

Location

Olton Area Library
701 Main Olton, TX 79064
United States
34° 10' 55.8156" N, 102° 8' 5.784" W
AttachmentSize
olton_outreach_plan.pdf332.8 KB
Keywords: 
Amo Leer Grant Program, Head Start Partner, Women’s Exercise Class, Home School Families

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