Five Points Location
In 1969 Sam Fleming, who was born and reared in Williamson County, offered to give $25,000 toward the building of a library. There were several conditions up on which the gift would be made. One of these was that it be built upon the old elementary school property at Five Points and that this property be made available to the library at no cost to them.
On August 14, 1969 a committee was appointed by the Library Board to investigate the possibility of a library being built on this property. The City Council voted to give the city's interest to the library, and the Ninth Special School District was asked to give theirs. The latter took it before Attorney General John Henderson who ruled that the Special School District could give the land for a library.
The School Board appealed and the Court of Appeals reversed the decision. They ruled that Franklin City was only trustee for the property and that the Ninth District School Board had either to use the land for school purposes or to sell it and use the money for their schools.
Plans for Another Building
The library had outgrown its present facilities so other plans for locating a building had to be made. On May 1, 1976 Mrs. Livingfield More, chairman of the Library Board, appointed a Sites and Future Plans Committee to deal with site selection and building plans for the proposed new library. Those asked to serve were:
- Dale Miles, chairman
- Tyler Berry III
- Billy Billington
- Duncan Callicott
- J. W Cross III
- Sam Lee
- Bill Peach
Mrs. More, Library Board Chairman; Mrs. Walter Carlisle, John T. Flaugher and Mrs. James H. Campbell, former Board members; Mrs. Judy Brookshire, librarian; and Mrs. Glenna Patton, Regional Librarian, were also to sit in on the committee's meetings. Mrs. More asked when she appointed this committee that Mrs. Patton and Mrs. Brookshire furnish the committee with their conception of facilities needed in the new structure. As of this date David Filler has replaced Mrs. More as Board chairman; Leigh Gusts is librarian and Joy Mowery is from the Blue Grass Regional Center; John T. Flaugher has moved; and two have been added - Ken Brison and R. C. Bailey, Mayors of Fairview and Brentwood respectively.
Building Finance Committee
Fuller Arnold was later appointed chairman of the Building Finance Committee. Those serving with him are:
- James H. Armistead
- Matt Harwell
- Hubert Hill
- Mayor, Mrs. Ed Fryer
- Wilbur Kelley, Jr
- Paul Ogilvie
- Barton Pope
- Tandy Rice
- Walter Short
- John Sloan, Jr
- Barton Pope
- County Judge, Ed Woodard
Assurance of Funding
When the Quarterly County Court met on July 19, 1976, the Library Board asked the Court for assurance of funding for a library when a site could be selected and plans drawn. The Court voted that the County would make up to $800,000 available for a library building. With this backing, the committees are at work on finding a location and making plans for the building.
At the Library Board meeting on September 2, 1976 it was voted to accept the$60,000 offer that the Heritage Foundation had made for the present library property. The Foundation will begin renovation of the outside of the building in the near future but will not get possession until the new library building is completed and the present building is vacated.
Miss Lilita Gusts, librarian, lists the following as the services of the library in 1976.
LIBRARY SERVICES - 1976
1.) Book loans* Books may be checked out for 2 weeks. New titles and best sellers are checked out for 7 days.
* Reserves are taken for books on order or for books which are in circulation.
* Approximately 220 in collection
* Records are checked out like books
3.) Art Prints
* May be checked out for one month and may not be renewed
* All are on loan from Blue Grass Regional Library, we have approximately 20 here at any one time. The prints are rotated within the region so that every three months we have a new supply of different prints.
* Library has approximately 80 periodicals, covering a variety of subject areas. Periodicals may not be checked out, but a copying machine is available.
* Library subscribes to local newspapers (Review-Appeal, Williamson Leader,
Nashville Tennessean), and national newspapers (Wall Street Journal and the New York Times Sunday Edition).
* Only the Franklin papers are kept on microfilm. Others are discarded.
6.) Genealogy materials
* Library owns many of the Williamson county records (Wills, marriage, burial, census, tax books, etc.) in either book or microfilm form. Some records from surrounding counties are also available. Information files are kept on various family histories with some family histories available in book form. These and other local history items are non-circulating but can be used for research in the library.
7.) Children's services
* Library has a special collection of books for children. The Children's Collection is divided into two sections. Easy and Picture books for ages 4 to 8 are on the ground floor and books for fiction for ages 8 to 14 are arranged on the second floor. Non-fiction books on a juvenile level are shelved with adult books on the same subject.
* A story hour is provided weekly on Wednesday mornings from 10 to 10:45 a.m. At this time the "Pocket Lady" tells stories and shows filmstrips for age groups from 4 to 8. Special story hours for groups can be arranged at any time.
* Tours of the library are provided to special groups and classes by appointment.
* A Xerox copier (coin operated) is located in the reference room on which copies may be obtained for 10$ each.
* A microfilm Reader-Printer machine is available for reading the film; copies of pages may be obtained for 25$.
LIBRARY SERVICES - 1976 (continued)
9.) Area Resource Center
*Provides books or photocopies of subjects not found in our collection. Books are obtained on inter-library loan from any library in the United States or Canada. Photocopies are supplied from materials which cannot be borrowed from the owning library. Services of inter-library loan are free unless the loaning library makes charge (these instances are rare) and the charge for photocopies depends on the rates of the supplying library.
*Films are supplied through the Area Resource Center. Patron chooses film from catalog listing and film is loaned for use at requested time (subject to availability). Films are loaned for 24 hours. Requestor must be borrowing to show in home, civic group, church group or other non-profit making organization. Films may not be borrowed for showing in public school classrooms. Patrons are charged only for postage needed to return the film.
* When money is donated to the library in memory of or in honor of a person, an event or a cause, the library will mail a card to the family involved and will acknowledge the gift. Abook provides a lasting memorial that can be appreciated by the family and by everyone who derives pleasure and information from it.
ALL LIBRARIANS ARE CHEERFUL AND PLEASANT, AT NO EXTRA CHARGE
History of the First Forty Years
This completes the history of the first forty years, lacking two months, of a public library in Williamson County. It spans the period of time from January 19, 1937 when the Business and Professional Women's Club voted to get behind a movement to establish a library for the citizens of Franklin and Williamson County until November 19, 1976 when this history was presented to the War Memorial Public Library.
The library today stands as a tribute to all the many people who through these years have given so unselfishly of themselves and their means so that library services can be available for the pleasure and education of all who live in Williamson County, Tennessee.
Written by -
Lula Fain Major
(Mrs. Herman E)
October and November 1976