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Perry Memorial Library

Introduction

Located in the extreme northeast corner of the Texas Panhandle, Perryton is just seven miles south of the Oklahoma state line. The nearest city with a population over 20,000 is Liberal, Kansas (47 miles). The region’s large city with a population of over 180,000 is Amarillo (120 miles). Oklahoma City, Wichita (Kansas) and Santa Fe (New Mexico) are all closer to Perryton than Fort Worth or Dallas. The seat of Ochiltree County, Perryton is served by US Highway 83 and state highways 15, 70, 143, and 192.

The major economic industries in this region are farming, livestock, and oil. The county is home to 50 ranches with an average size of 10,000 acres and the 370 farms average 1,588 acres.

The 2010 census counted 10,223 people in the county. 8,640 live in Perryton with the remaining population residing in several small communities of fewer than 200 residents.

Historical, Current, and Future Roles of the Library

Historically the library has provided local history and genealogy information for county residents. Current library roles include being a community meeting place, supporting lifelong learning, recreational reading and entertainment on DVD. The library meets technology needs by providing public computers and online services. In the future, the library plans to provide support for people learning English as a second language.

Existing Programs

The library provides three story times each week for children aged 2 to 5 years, two sessions in English and the third in Spanish. The library also offers annual summer reading programs for elementary school children and for teens; homebound outreach; exam proctoring, and inter-library loan.

Identified Needs

One of the challenges for the area is the dependency on the cattle ranches and farmlands. If there is a bad year for crops or cattle, that creates an economic hardship for the cattle ranchers and farmers. It results in a loss of jobs by the laborers who typically work on the farms and ranches, and has a ripple effect on businesses. Similarly when the oil field is working the community is prosperous; when the oil dries up the community suffers. The library surveys revealed the need for more programming for older children and adults and for individuals for whom English is a second language. Additional staff or committed volunteers are needed to expand occasional programs into regularly scheduled learning opportunities for the community.

Identified Assets

Community assets identified include: public swimming pool; tennis courts; a public park; rodeo grounds; cattle ranches; farmland; oil fields; wind farms; elementary, middle and high school; Frank Phillips College – Allen Campus; City Hall; County Courthouse; Ochiltree General Hospital, the Seasons Assisted Living Center, and the outpatient health clinic; City owned utilities; Post Office, and the Community Center.

Library Assets

Library assets include the community room, library computers and network, paid staff and volunteers. Three of the five staff are bilingual in English and Spanish. The library benefits from membership in the Harrington Library Consortium. The Consortium provides a library automation system, training, and associated services.

Thank You Statement

The Perry Memorial Library would like to thank the County Commissioners, and the people of Ochiltree County for continuing funding and support. The library thanks the Robert and Ruby Priddy Charitable Trust for funding the University of North Texas (UNT) PEARL project. The library’s participation in the PEARL project will assist the library in developing outreach programs for Senior Citizens and will help in writing grants for this and future outreach programs.

Location

Perry Memorial Library
22 SE 5th St. Perryton, TX 79070
United States
36° 23' 43.296" N, 100° 48' 8.7372" W
AttachmentSize
perry_memorial_library.pdf353.34 KB
Keywords: 
Summer reading programs, Homebound outreach, Exam proctoring, Inter-library loan

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