North Carolina Newspapers

    JULY, 1957
SfSWi
PAGE 9
Public Library Enriches Lives Of Employees
Use Of Facilities Increasing
To the many citizens who use
the Gaston County Public Li
brary, the books and other ma
terials available there are—as
Henry David Thoreau once said
—“the treasured wealth of the
world, the fit inheritance of gen
erations and nations.”
On the other hand, those who
haven’t discovered the advantag
es of the library are missing a
great adventure in the many
services awaiting them at the
central library on West Second
avenue, its six branch establish
ments, and its bookmobile serv
ice.
The Gaston County Public
Library serves a population of
approximately 120,000 through
books, newspapers and periodi
cals, educational films, audio
visual equipment, filmstrip, re
cordings, special texts and refer
ences materials, and through
adult discussion groups and
story hours for children.
☆ ☆ ☆
Books are the compasses and
lelescopes and sexlants and
charts which other men and
women have prepared to help
us navigate the dangerous seas
of human life.
—Jesse Lee Bennett
☆ ☆ ☆
Because circulation of books
and the use of all library facili
ties have increased by more than
33 per cent in the past 10 years,
the library has become inade
quate to the growing demands
for standardized service in the
county.
RESPONDING to the acute
need for enlarged and improved
service, the local government
has authorized a special election
to be held on July 13, at all regu
lar polling places in the county.
Citizens may vote on whether
the County Commissioners shall
be granted permission to spend
$250,000 to enlarge and remodel
the central library in Gastonia
and to construct a branch library
in each of the other townships
of the county. These branches
would be built in Belmont,
Cherryville, Mount Holly, Dallas
and Bessemer City. If authorized
for spending, the money will be
taken from the “Debt Service
Fund” which has a surplus. The
other issue of the election is that
a special tax of not more than
five cents on each $100 valuation
on the taxable property in Gas
ton County be used for the sup
port and maintenance of the
public library system.
In the past, the county and the
city have made annual appropri
ations, and branch libraries have
been maintained by appropria
tions from the local communities
and gifts from clubs, business
firn^s and individuals.
It has been made clear that
the five-cent library tax, if
levied, would not mean a five-
cent increase in the County tax
rate, because the county com
missioners have already been
making an annual appropriation
of $25,000 to the library from a
general fund.
THE COMMISSIONERS have
said that they expect to be able
to raise the equivalent of the re
maining two or three cents with
out raising the present tax rate.
This would be possible because
growth and expansion of busi
ness and industry in the county
have meant an increase in tax
able property and a like increase
in the county’s tax income.
Mrs. Barbara Heafner, chief
librarian, points out that Gaston
County is 6th in population and
wealth in North Carolina, but
33rd in library books per capita
and 61st in library income per
capita.
To change this picture, the fol
lowing goals need to be reached:
1. Wider use of the library.
While it is gaining annually, the
library is still not used by a
majority of the residents.
2. To meet N. C. library stand
ards, at least two books per per
son in the county.
3. More specialized books in
textiles, business, religion, agri
culture, homemaking, shop work,
and so on, to meet the demands.
4. A larger staff to meet N. C.
Library standards and to pro
vide improved and expanded
services.
5. Recordings and films in
wider variety.
6. Improved and expanded
building facilities in every town
in the county.
7. Additional branch libraries
and deposit stations to better
serve outlying county areas.
Service Built On Needs Of Patrons
How long has it been since you visited your public library?
“Books are selected and services planned with you, the citizen,
in mind,” Chief Librarian Barbara Heafner says. “In our shelves
and cases are books for fun and relaxation, those needed by the
business man, for those studying a vocation, and many for study and
research,” she adds.
Too, your library subscribes to magazines, newspapers, educa
tional films for programs, recordings to listen to and borrow. It
conducts programs and story hours for children and many adults
come to join in discussion groups.
The library staff is well trained and in position to select the
books you need, or order them for you through the inter-library
loan system. Staff members are delighted to answer your questions
—or help you find the answers.
Questions come in many, and sometimes unusual, forms. A
housewife wants to know, “How can I rid the place of ants?” Or a
farmer inquires, “How can I get plans to rat-proof my corncrib?”
Other questions range from “How do I address my Senator?” to
“Where can I find a picture of a pre-historic horse?” Most of the
answers are in the current reference books and other materials.
From the central library in Gastonia, staff members are able to
fill your needs through the several branches throughout the county,
and through the bookmobile service.
The library invites you to come in and get acquainted with
its services and with the staff.
The Central Library at 115 West Second ave
nue was erected in 193L Trustees hope the build
ing will be enlarged and remodeled within the
next year. This would be the main project of an
expansion program that would make library
facilities adequate for the growing needs of
Gaston county.
^ r 2':
Adventure—Books are bridges to new horizons.
Bobby Pence—whose mother. Mrs. Robert Pence,
works in the New Office—explores illustrations
of a nursery rhyme book. The library has materi
als that appeal to members of all age groups.
Bookmobile Station-:—Peggy Hanna, Purchasing,
checks the latest volumes delivered to the Girls
Club. Firestone is among the 112 stations and dis
tribution points throughout Gaston County where
books are delivered every two weeks.
Research—Luther Brown, Time Study, delves
into the technical aspects of machine interference,
from a book in the special textiles section. The
central library is one of 10 public libraries in
North Carolina having specialized book collec
tions on different subjects.
Film Materials—Plant Officer S. E. Crawford
looks over a movie film from the available stock
of films and film strips at the library. The public
library keeps a list of films produced by the
Firestone Company and available in the Gas
tonia area.
    

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