Town Plans To Make ‘Excellent’ Library Even Better

The Highland Park Harvey R. “Bum” Bright Library, 4700 Drexel Drive, is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. (Photo: Lance Koppa)

With its cherry wood finishes and Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, Highland Park’s public library can remind visitors of eras as old as some of the tales preserved in its collection.

But beyond the nostalgic interior — renovated in 2008 — and thousands of books, the Harvey R. “Bum” Bright Library offers patrons a range of modern services, including searchable data bases, e-books, and online resources.

“Your current program is excellent,” town administrator Bill Lindley said, but it can become even better.

Lindley expects a 10-year master plan to identify opportunities to layer in more services, programs, and partnerships as the library expands its role as an education center for the community.

“I think of a library as a living resource,” Mayor Joel Williams said.

The town is paying consulting firm Ivy Group, of Charlottesville, Virginia, about $56,000 to develop the plan, which will involve meetings with interest groups in the community, a study of the library’s existing resources and services, and comparisons with other public libraries of similar sizes and/or budgets. Consultants will examine the library’s staffing, policies, and procedures.

“We should be staying relevant,” council member John McKnight said.

The consultants also will conduct a town hall meeting, likely in November, as well as a survey, and assess the needs of users and potential users of all ages.

“This is a very exciting time and opportunity for the library, and that’s why we’re asking for resident input to make sure we’re delivering what our community wants and anticipating and planning for our future needs,” librarian Kortney Nelson said.

Check and for updates on the schedule.

By the Numbers

$795,427 annual budget
38,288 items in collection
3,387 audiobooks
2,784 movies
2,750 e-books
1,878 valid card holders
116 subscriptions to periodicals, newspapers, and other resources

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William Taylor

William Taylor, editor of Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People, shares a name and a birthday with his dad and a love for community journalism with his colleagues at People Newspapers. He joined the staff in 2016 after more than 25 years working for daily newspapers in such places as Alexandria, Louisiana; Baton Rouge; McKinney; San Angelo; and Sherman, though not in anywhere near that order. A city manager once told him that “city government is the best government” because of its potential to improve the lives of its residents. William still enjoys covering municipal government and many other topics. Follow him on Twitter @Seminarydropout. He apologizes in advance to the Joneses for any angry Tweets that might slip out about the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL season. You also can reach him at [email protected]. For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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