Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tarleton Thursdays: Did You Know?

20th Anniversary of the

Friends of the Dick Smith Library

We have reached a milestone! This month is the 20th anniversary of our Friends of the Dick Smith Library! The first membership meeting for our Friends group was held on Dick Smith's birthday, September 9, 1991 in the library multipurpose room! The group had humble beginnings - besides the organizing committee, only 4 people attended. Mrs. Ivy Lou Cleveland, shown on the left in the photo above, was one of the attendees. Mrs. Nedra Maddox, on the right above, was also an early member. The Friends had a bank balance of $290.64 the fall of 1991 from bake sales and the sell of aluminum cans!

The Friends group, even though small in number, started a number of events that still exist today! The first book sale was held in 1992, and the first Dinner in the Stacks was held October 1993 with Tarleton's Major William Brown speaking on the Civil War and 96 in attendance! In addition, the Friends of the Dick Smith Library co-sponsored with the Friends of the Stephenville Public Library a genealogy workshop with Salt Lake City's Ron Bremer in October 1993 with almost 100 in attendance, and co-sponsored with the Erath County Genealogical Society a program by Lady Jeanne Luckahoo on Pocahontas!

It was several years before the group officially elected officers. Dr. Ann Albrecht was elected president in October 1997. By that time the Friends had $4125. in their account! They continued to have book sales and dinners. Money was also obtained by memberships. Soon they had enough to create an endowment! In 2009 a business membership category was created.

The Friends have purchased popular titles, display cases, art, a map case, and furnishings for the Local History Room, replaced worn Stephenville Empire Tribune microfilm, and provided the seed money to digitize the JTAC! They are truly Friends of the Library!

This Saturday night we will celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Friends of the Dick Smith Library with Dinner in the Stacks, featuring Sherri Knight and James Pylant and their new book "The Oldest Profession in Texas, a History of Waco's Legal Red Light District"! Information about the dinner can be found on the library website!

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