Editor’s note: Last week, E-T reporter Sherry Boardman hit the streets and asked residents to share their thoughts on the Stephenville Public Library. The following is a sample of what some of those citizens who use the library had to say.

By SHERRY BOARDMAN Staff Writer

More space, up-to-date technology, and additional reference materials.

Those were just a few of the suggestions residents said they would like to see when improvements to the Stephenville Public Library are made.

From Oct. 1, 2006, through Sept. 30, 2007, there were 42,037 patrons who entered the doors of the city’s library. A total of 983 new cards were issued during that same time period. The highest usage was July, the month of the Texas Summer Reading Hour, when 4,547 local residents utilized their library. December statistics were lowest. But even with cold weather and holiday celebrations, the staff greeted 2,692 seekers of knowledge in the archives of history.

On the day this survey was taken, all library computers were in use, with others patiently waiting for their turn.

Andrew Quirl, 29, Stephenville, said his seven-year-old daughter enjoys the Children’s Story Hour. She is an avid reader and loves to browse the children’s reading section. Pauline Grimes, 72, drives a short distance into Stephenville at least twice a month. She said she researches a lot of family history and the genealogy section definitely needs more workspace. “The materials for this type of research should be much more inclusive than are available,” she said. Marcia McFarland, 66, said she makes the downtown trek four to five times a week. “Thank God,” she said when she was told a larger facility might be a possibility. “We need a larger genealogy section and a large meeting room. Also, a greater children’s section would benefit our young readers.” Carol Van Winkle, 57, Stephenville, said she researches various topics three to four times a week. “It would be wonderful to have an updated facility,” she said. Kelijon Nance, 44, Stephenville, uses her library card at least once a month. Alvin Miller, Stephenville, said he could be found at the reference sections at least three times a week. David, 26, Stephenville, uses the library’s computers when they are available for research reports. Sara Edwards, 19, said she can be found at the library an average of three times a week. Baby son Payton is usually napping contentedly in his portable baby seat at his mother’s feet while she works on her projects.

Most library supporters said they are satisfied with the present location, while others said they are excited about the possibility of moving out of the downtown area.

Everyone said they would continue their patronage, wherever the city’s public library is located.

SHERRY BOARDMAN is a staff writer for the Empire-Tribune and can be reached at sherry.boardman@empiretribune.com or 254-965-3124, ext. 229.