“Gunter’s first library swings open its doors.”
Our Humble current day Gunter Library opened its doors in 2003. Of course, it wasn’t in our current location at 10 S. Hwy 289 ste. 4; but it was nearby.
In 2010, the Library was in the 500 block of W Main St which had housed restaurants and doctor’s offices in earlier years I believe Dr. Bounds may have had his office in the same location. The use of the building was graciously donated by Dee Smith the owner of Smith Design and Manufacturing.
But the Office Area needed a lot of work, about that time here come the volunteers, The Mayor, City Council Members, Boy Scouts and many others. They built shelves, replacing flooring and made many upgrades. But they needed more, so what did the volunteers do but ask for and receive grants and donations. One donation paid for the heating and air system, while another gave computers, software and books. One of the big blessing was the four truck loads of books from the Van Alstyne Library that really got our Library off the ground. The layout of the library included a children’s room/museum, a room for adult fiction and non-fiction, a workroom, and a storage room. The museum contained many objects donated by individuals.
But lo and behold, problems appeared with leaks and structural problems. With the lost of some of the boxes of book stored away and other Collectibles, Gunter library was forced to move. The collection was weeded down to about 1/4 of its holdings. Museum items were either stored or returned to donors. With this minor setback we were forced to move from the original building to our current location in the Gunter Center in 2014.
. It is the dream of the Friends of the Library to eventually be able to expand into larger facilities in a few years, either through building a larger library to house the collection and museum or by doubling space by expanding into additional office space adjacent to the current space.
The Friends of the Gunter Library & Museum is a nonprofit corporation. Donations from community organizations, individuals, and from area businesses support the library. After the move and getting settled again in our new location. It’s time to request donations and that’s when our citizens really come through again. In 2013 we got off the ground with donations from the city of Gunter, The Gunter Chamber of Commerce, The Battle of the Bridges, Preston Rotary, Landmark Bank and more. Many individuals had donated small sums and lots of books. This was Our Community coming together for one joint effort. This is what makes Gunter the Great Little Big Town that it is.
Because of the Due Diligence of so many of our Volunteers Gunter Library & Museum belongs to a consortium of small north Texas libraries which provides a rotating collection of audiobooks on CDs. The rotating collection changes four times a year, helping small libraries in the area to provide a fresh collection of audiobooks to their patrons. Among other services, it provides a rotating collection of large print books which changes three times a year, enabling patrons with visual problems to read library books. Our rotating large print collection comes to us through NETlibs (Northeast Texas Library Consortium). The library also applied in 2014 to become a demo library for the Texas Talking Books program. This program provides down loadable e-books and audio books to the blind, or to people with visual problems and other disabilities, since then upgrades have been done to this system. In 2016 we received a Texas Book Festival grant and a Woll grant that enabled us to order $3000 of current books for our collection, including many award winning children's books. The library continues to provide computer training, pre-school and bi-lingual story times, genealogy classes, and other programming. With new ideas growing each day from the Current and Past Board Members.
Spring is here and winter should be leaving, we hope that you have had the chance to visit the Gunter Library and Museum this past season to catch up on all the new happenings. We also hope that you will become a member of Friends of the Gunter Library and Museum, which is vital to the support of our programs and services.
Volunteering at the Library is another way to be a part of helping our "little gem" grow. We know that you would find it very rewarding. We stack returned books in their proper shelving, work with the DVDs, and in the areas of phoning patrons when an ordered book is available among many other things. The Friends are always looking for persons to volunteer and serve.
It is a wonderful opportunity to meet and work with great people who have the library interests at heart and want to make it even better. If you're interested and have a special talent call the Library and we will get in touch with you to see where your expertise may fit in. You'll be happy that you did!!! In the meanwhile, have a safe and happy summer and we Hope to see you at the Gunter Library, Soon.