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OverviewJohn Ed Keeter Library

HISTORY OF SAGINAW PUBLIC LIBRARY

The Saginaw-Blue Mound Library was established in 1963 and was housed at the Boswell High School Library.  Mr. Al Griffin served as the librarian for both libraries.  In 1965, the Jaycees and their wives renovated a bus to be used as a book-mobile.  The book-mobile was used on Saturdays from 10 – 12 in Saginaw, and then from 1 to 3 in Blue Mound.  Mrs. Dyer became the Saginaw Librarian in 1966.

The Library was moved to its S. Saginaw Blvd location in 1967, and became the Saginaw Public Library.  Blue Mound and Saginaw divided the books between the two libraries.    In 1976 Mrs. Cowan became the Librarian. 

In 1984, City Hall moved to new offices, and the library was expanded from 1,155 sq. ft. to 1, 840 sq. ft.  With a lot of help from the people of Saginaw and surrounding areas, the library took on a new look. Even in 1984 the citizens of

Saginaw supported the library.  In 1984 Mrs. Copeland became the Librarian.

With the help of a strong group of Library Boosters, in 1990, a larger than expected turnout of Saginaw voters approved tax bonds for a new library to be built at 355 W. McLeroy.  Because of Saginaw’s growth, new library facilities were a necessity.  The Saginaw Public Library  continued to thrive adding new programs such as the Intergenerational programs with the Senior Citizens, and adding more Story times.

Finally in May of 1992 ground was broken and the building began for the 5,000+ Sq ft. library.  The new library was finally opened in October, 1992. About this time the City Council added $1.00 donation on every Water Bill.  This $1.00 is divided between the Library and the Recreation Dept.  The library still receives this donation monthly, which amounts to as much as $2,500 monthly.

In the winter of 1994, the library changed directors.   Yvonne Flippo became the Director then, and was given the challenge to automate the library.  Because of the water  donation money, the Library Board had saved enough money  for this automation process.

In the fall of 1994 our Mayor John Ed Keeter suffered a massive heart attack and died while in office.  The City council decided to change the name of the Saginaw Public Library to the John Ed Keeter Public Library of Saginaw.

Complete automation was accomplished by spring of 1995.  This was funded by Water Bill money….over $40,000.  As time went on Internet computers were added with the help of TIF money (Texas Infrastructure Funds), as well as more Water Bill money.

TIF money comes from the TIF tax on your phone bills, etc.  

As the years have gone by we have added more programs. The first to add more story times  to the monthly calendar, providing one evening story time per week, one general public story time per week, and then story times for Day Care groups, and Mother’s Day out groups each month    For the past 5-6 years a story time has been given daily for some group.  Afternoon Homework help was added, as well as  monthly Adult classes.  These classes have included Adult computer classes, Internet classes, Genealogy classes,  book reviews,  Diabetes classes, Budgeting classes,  Dating Old Photographs, Car Smarts,  Credit Card Scams, etc.  Two programs next week include Family Violence on Thursday, October 3 at 7:00 p.m., and Asthma Education on Saturday, October 5 from 9 a.m. until noon.  The most recent adult program added is  Literacy program.  We have a list of five local people (adults) who want to learn to read.  In the past, we have sent them to the school district to take classes, but we have found that some of these people need classes during the day, when most of the school’s adult training is done at night.    Therefore, we have been fortunate enough to get two women trained from the Tarrant Literacy council as tutors to begin teaching these people to read on a one on one basis.  

Outreach baskets are now available for Day Care groups, Mother’s Day out groups  to check out and take to their facility for reading.  These are books which would have normally been discarded because of age or condition.

Out reach baskets are also taken to the Senior Citizens Center monthly, which have large print books, audio books and Videos.  The Senior Citizens then check them out there at the Log Cabin…..most of them only get out to go to the Log Cabin, and would not otherwise have access to library materials.

In the summer of 2000 voters again voted to increase the size of their library.  With this bond issue in the amount of $1.3 million  (doubling the size of the library) was decided as well as to renovate the existing portion of the building.  This addition and renovation was complete by July of 2002.  The Library Board used Water Bill money to purchase seven new computers and to re-cover reading chairs for the new building.  The Board also used Water Bill money to re-frame some beautiful, old  oil paintings by local artists, to hang in the new building.   If you haven’t been in to see our newly expanded and renovated library, come by this Saturday from 10 – 12 a.m. for our formal Open House.  We will have a short ceremony, then have refreshments, tours, and entertainment.

The library has been fortunate to have the support of the community over the years.  As the city has grown, the voters have seen the need to increase the size of their library.    If the city continues to grow in the future like it has in the past, Saginaw will have to build a second Library Branch on the East side of town.

The Library has a good rapport with a landscaping company who has kept the flower beds in the front with seasonal color, and is in the process of landscaping  the rest of the beds around the new facility.  What a sight!  Now as you sit in the back of our expanded reading  area, you can look out the window on to a peaceful pond with a waterfall.  We are very excited to have such a special landscaping friend.

The Library Boosters continue to be a strong group who adds money to the Budgeted Summer Reading Amount  each year, by conducting money-making projects such as the Annual spring Craft Fair, and helping with the Saginaw Festival each year.  

The Boosters have also started and will continue an Annual Author Reception for local authors.  Most of these authors live in and around the Ft. Worth and Saginaw area.  This has become a very popular event and has added to the excitement for the Book Discussion group.  

Recently,  our  library has received $1,000 grant from Wal-Mart as well as $1,000 from the boosters to be used to add to our DVD and CD collection.  We have recently had a thorough evaluation done of our collection, and are in the process of following through with the suggestions made.   Our library will also receive Lone Star Money this year from the state of Texas in the amount of $2,525.   This money will be used to purchase both children’s an adult’s Spanish non-fiction materials. 

Our library is still growing and will be a visible part of the Community through the coming years.  We feel  the more involved the children of Saginaw are in a positive activity the less likely they will give our police department trouble.  Our City Council and City Managers are always very supportive of  our library, and help keep our Budget adequate for the needs of the library.

September 26, 2002, Yvonne Flippo