Honey Grove Library & Learning Center
Optimize small library spaces
“We are so excited that our community has come together for the cause! I give this [Smart Spaces] project total credit for kick-starting our capital campaign and getting things moving.”
Former Library Director, Honey Grove Library & Learning Center
At the Honey Grove Library & Learning Center, the 1880s building’s interior layout and furnishings inhibited opportunities to engage community members in hands-on learning and social connections. The immovable shelving and large, awkwardly shaped furniture restricted library programming. Former Library Director Pattie Mayfield hoped that participating in the Small Libraries Create Smart Spaces Project led by WebJunction “would help us to better serve those in the community that come to the library for the learning and growth center it needs to be. There is no other place locally to turn to.”
The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded the Small Libraries Create Smart Spaces grant to OCLC, enabling WebJunction (an OCLC Research program) to lead two cohorts of 15 libraries each through a 15-month orientation to space and service transformation. The orientation covered principles of active learning, community engagement, design thinking, phases of community discovery, action planning, and implementation. As part of the grant, OCLC distributed subgrants to participating libraries to purchase equipment and furnishings for their smart spaces. Mayfield had explained that the grant was a kick-start to considering the renovation of the entire facility.
“We applied for this grant with only a very narrow plan: to update one room. …Now, we have a whole new feeling for the board, staff, and entire community.”
Changes included updating the library’s name from Bertha Voyer Memorial Library to Honey Grove Library & Learning Center, which involved the creation of a new logo and website. The board launched an ambitious capital campaign to repair and renovate the library's 130-year-old building, update restrooms, and install new doors to assist mobility-challenged patrons and those with strollers. In addition, a new elevator makes 3,600 square feet of previously unused upstairs space available for adult education, early childhood education, and art programs.
The subgrant from WebJunction allowed the library to begin to implement its plan while the fundraising campaign began. For example, staff replaced the current furniture with smaller, more mobile computer stations and they began to weed the large, crowded shelves. The full renovation, set for completion in spring 2020, will provide enhanced space for the library collections, access to electronic resources, and programs for patrons of all ages. The library board, staff, Friends of the Library, volunteers, donors to the capital campaign, and the entire community are excited about the opportunities to come.
- Honey Grove, Texas, United States
- Serves a community of fewer than 5,000 people
- Provides access to local history and genealogy resources
- Serves lunch to senior citizens three days a week along with other community programs
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