Deaf Smith County Library has come a long way since 1910 when it boasted of 400 books in the back room of a store on South Main Street. Because of the hard work of the WomanÕs Monday and Bay View Study Clubs, the library became an official part of the county in 1930 when the Commissioners' Court voted to allow the library to occupy a room in the Court House and approved a tax levy to support it.
In 1974, the library expanded and moved to its present location at 211 East Fourth, across the street from the Court House. The library now houses a collection of 79,000 items that includes videos, books on tape, magazines, newspapers, and books. In addition to its sizable collection, the library offers audio-visual equipment checkout, preschool story times, Summer Reading Club, adult programming, and inter-library loan.
As a member of the Harrington Library Consortium (a multi-type, wide area network), our library to offer local residents access to more than one million items. This cooperative group has made it possible for Texas Panhandle library members to have a universal library card. This means that residents having a Deaf Smith County Library card are able to travel to any of the Harrington Library Consortium libraries and borrow books and materials.
Because we share common patron and item databases, Hereford residents are able to see which libraries have the desired material and if those items are available for checkout. Deaf Smith County Library has also advanced with technology. Through several grant opportunities, the library is now able to offer users access to the Internet, an online card catalog, word processing capabilities, and various electronic databases. The Internet connection has allowed local residents to renew professional licenses, apply for student financial aid, perform genealogy searches, and access the Texas State Electronic Library.
Because the Deaf Smith County Library has a philosophy of sharing resources and encouraging life-long learning, we partner with Hereford Independent School District, Region 16 Educational Service Center, Panhandle Region Planning Commission, and the Workforce Investment Act to provide Hereford residents an opportunity to further their education through the Graduate Equivalency Diploma program. A computer equipped GED lab is housed in one of the meeting rooms of the library. The Deaf Smith County Library has a large meeting room that is available for use by county, city, business, and civic organizations for meetings, special classes, and workshops.
The library is open 55 hours per week, which include Monday and Thursday late evenings and Saturday mornings.
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