Wichita Falls Public Library celebrates centennial anniversary

Local News

With every flip of a page, Andrew Jelen goes back in time.

“It’s basically a history of the library up to 1965, sort of an assessment of what the future might be like for the library,” Jelen, an assistant library administrator, said while flipping through an old book.

On June 14, 1918, the Wichita Falls Public Library opened its doors at what is now the Kemp Center for the Arts.

In 1998, the library located to 11th Street and Jelen said it has been going strong ever since.

“When they started it 100-years-ago it was a current sort of thing that a community wanted to have, and they set it up and it’s lasted all that time and I think that’s really great that something has had that much staying power,” Jelen said.

Jelen has worked at the library for nearly two decades, and he admits to seeing a lot of changes, especially with technology advances, but he said it hasn’t had much of an effect on the library.

“I don’t think it has changed the number of people that come in, we still have lots of people that are interested in checking out our print books,” Jelen said.

With technology rapidly growing every day, the library has evolved too.

“We have a digital sorter now, so patrons can stick their books in and then it sorts them into bins and we still have people go into our shelves and the actual physical shelving, but it makes it easier for inventory purposes,”  Systems Librarian Janice Bailey said.

With just a few clicks, you can also do things like get your library card, order books, and much more. The simplicity is something Angela Hill, an assistant library administrator, believes is an important tool to have in this day and age.

“For some people that have had access to devices and computers their entire life, that’s what they’re looking for, they’re looking for digital resources from home,” Hill said. “So that’s what we have added to our collection, is a lot of digital resources.”

For the next 100 years, organizers at the public library say they will forever be adapting to fit the needs of every book lover.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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