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350 W. Main
Fairfield, TX 75840
History of the Library
The Fairfield Library first opened its doors August 2, 1954, in a small brick house on the Courthouse square with just 224 books. In 1957, the library moved to the rear of the History Club clubhouse with hours from 4:00-5:30 Thursday afternoon. The library had 400 books for children and was in possession of some shelving, printed stationery, a card catalog, and $10 in cash. From 1961 to 1964 the library was closed most of the time.
A charter was issued in 1967 to Fairfield Library Association, a nonprofit corporation in the State of Texas (at the time, the library operated on private donations only.) A group of interested citizens met in May 1968, elected a board of directors and hired Dora Bonner as librarian. At that time, the library’s assets consisted of: 2,420 books and $990.26 in cash, liabilities (in the form of a note) were $7,000.
In 1974, the City of Fairfield began to support the Library and by 1977, the Fairfield Library had satisfied all the requirements for accreditation as a member of the Texas Library System. A matching grant of $125,000 from the Moody Foundation in 1979 enabled the construction of a new 5,300 square foot library building. In August of 1981, with a good deal of local support, a new library opened. Through generous efforts from many families in the community and a donation of the Moody Grant Foundation, the Fairfield Library became a place where families could spend time together reading and enjoying the abundant resources.
Over the past decade, library usage began to decline. The library no longer satisfied the needs of the majority of Freestone County citizens. Because of the computer age, the former library was no longer keeping pace with the new technology demands. In 2016, the Fairfield Library Association began to push forward and make plans for change. A library survey was sent to citizens which revealed some positives, but many concerns - musty old smell, stained carpeting, mismatched furniture, cramped space, poor children’s book collection, lack of teen area, and the need for an updated meeting room for the community. The Fairfield Library Association board of directors hired a consultant, Tammy Gawryszewski, to plan the renovation process. A collection analysis was completed and weeding began. A Teen Library Corps, TLC, was created to help clean, organize, transport books, recycle, and create wish lists. The Fairfield Library board welcomes their fresh ideas and excitement about being a partner in this endeavor.
The Fairfield LIbrary Board would like to give the citizens of Fairfield and Freestone County quality resources, the latest books, new technology, quality enrichment options for all ages, and a comfortable, welcoming place for the community-- a 21st century library.
To inform, educate, entertain, engage, and enrich the community.
Mission Statement Statement
Fairfield Library Association supports the advancement of knowledge and education in Freestone County and works to assure the perpetuation of quality library services for future generations.
The Fairfield Library Association completely renovated and modernized the library the summer of 2017 with the assistance of a $50,000 furniture grant from the Tocker Foundation. To accommodate the needs of the community, new flooring, energy efficient LED lighting, updated restrooms, modern furniture, and new technology were all brought in and installed. Looking to the future of libraries, all worn and outdated books were removed and donated. The library will rely more on ebooks and online databases for nonfiction reading and research. Weeding these books and removing the office helped expand the floorspace and allow for cozy areas for all- teens, children, and adults.
With the help of designer Michael Taylor, of Library Interiors of Texas, the library purchased functional and innovative furniture to create a fun learning atmosphere. The children’s corner, adorned in primary colors, has various forms of seating, a train table, a Lego building table, TV, two computers, and new children’s books. A new teen area has also been added that offers two computers, a collaborative table for group projects with a TV and Chromebooks, and video console which houses an Xbox gaming system. This section also offers over 700 new young adult books, as well as new board games. There is an adult reading area with comfortable seating for lounging with a good book. Sixteen computer stations are available for use by the public (eight Windows based and eight Chromebased, three of which were donated by Fairfield Rotary Club, and there is a technology table, complete with charging stations, for patrons to set up their personal laptops or tablets. The Community Room has new flip-and-nest furniture that facilitates multiple configurations for conferences and meetings. There is also a movable lectern and wall-mounted TV for use with presentations.
In addition to the cosmetic upgrades, with the help of federal E-Rate funding, the data network has been rewired and updated, offering higher internet speed and better functioning wifi. The library’s website, www.FairfieldTxLibrary.org, offers a user friendly version that will be kept up-to-date with events and programs the library has to offer. The library now offers one-on-one technology assistance, adult technology training, various family programs, weekly children’s storytime, and much more!
Gary Wiggins, Library Director
Jennifer Kilkenny, Library Assistant
Lela Erwin, Children & Teen Programs
Library Board of Directors
Scott Mills, President
Tammy Gawryszewski, Vice President
Ralph Billings, Secretary
Carol Bradley, Treasurer
Mary Jean Alford