On Friday, the Poteet Public Library held its Grand Opening Ceremony to celebrate the opening of its new building.
“The new library has been in the works for over 15 years,” said Poteet Librarian Lisa Burbridge.
According to Poteet City Administrator Eric Jiminez, a $182,000 donation was made to the city about 20 years ago by the Muellers for a new library, but nothing had ever been done since.
“The night I was hired as city administrator last August, is when the city approved the construction of the new library. From there, it was a matter of about eight months for the building to be completed,” said Jiminez.
A few bumps in the road stalled the construction from being approved such as obtaining a grant for construction and furniture for the building. Eventually, a grant was given to the city to begin construction.
“The Tocker Foundation really came through for us by giving us a grant for furniture,” said Jiminez. “Every piece of furniture you see here in this building came from them.”
The Tocker Foundation is implemented to help small, rural Texas libraries serving populations of 12,000 or less. Such libraries can apply for grants through them to obtain money for items needed for their facilities such as furniture, books, programs, etc.
Karen Gerstenherber and Pat Tuohy of the Tocker Foundation have been helping Burbridge obtain grants throughout the process of the new building. The Poteet Public Library received a $50,902 grant from them for the shelving and furniture of the new building.
Gerstenherber and Tuohy also donated a Texas Flag to the library for when the facility gets its new flag pole. The flag was flown over the US capitol during Independence Day.
Gilbert LaFuente, outreach coordinator for Henry Cuellar’s office, was also in attendance at the ceremony.
“It’s great to see Poteet’s appreciation for our book donations,” said LaFuente.
The new building consists of a brand new teen section, something the library has never had before now along with a children’s reading section for little ones to come and hang out at after school.
“We also have a conference room that people can rent out for meetings or small gatherings and we have expanded our adult reading section,” said Burbridge.
“This building is a great success for the City of Poteet. It really shows just how much our community supports our city staff and organizations,” said Jimeniz. He further commented on the effect the new library has on the Poteet community.
“We have seen an increase in the number of patrons who come by. Some are returners and some are new. Part of that has to do with Lisa, she’s truly amazing. She speaks Spanish fluently so that has helped us expand our literacy to the Spanish speaking in our community.”
The new building was open to the public back at the beginning of summer. Be sure to stop by and check out this wonderfully built library in Poteet when you get the chance. The Poteet Public Library is located right behind the old library at 500 Avenue H in Poteet.