Rural Library Nominated For National Award - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

12/29/04-Lindale

Rural Library Nominated For National Award

These are the faces of the Lindale Library, which supporters say deserves a national award.

Take a stroll through the aisles and you'll see the books reflect what's popular among the patrons.

"I think it's wonderful," Elizabeth Churchill, a patron from Hideaway Lake, said. "It's totally child-oriented, which makes it unique."

"We have a passion for our community and passion for literacy," Carrie Custer, the library's director, said. "Our Spanish-speaking population is increasing, plus the fact that we have such a great English as a Second Language program that brings them into the library."

Not only is the Spanish literature section growing. So are the collections of African-American books and Christian fiction, serving the area's missionary population.

"Another nice thing about the library is it's not a silent library," Johanna Cox, a patron from Garden Valley, said. "So that noise there is ok," she said, referring to one of her four young children.

It's also OK to read out loud, which many mothers do, while homeschooling their children.

To give you an idea of just how much the library has grown, the number of patrons has tripled over the last year. So has the number of book and video checkouts and the hours of internet usage.

What makes the library stand out is that it's not truly a public library. Partly supported by the city, the treasure trove of books is owned by a board of directors, which gives them more creative freedom to support the community's literary curiosity.

When it first opened, the Lindale Library relied on more than 6,000 books donated by children.

If it wins the Library Journal award, it will get $10,000 in cash and other perks. The winner will be announced in February.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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