The Kendrick Memorial Library is a weekly stop for many folks in Terry County and is often a hub of quiet activity as people come in to peruse the newspapers and magazines, use the internet service, or select books to read. But just where did all this start.
According to the “Early Settlers of Terry County” history book, the library began in 1907 in the office of Dr. J.W. Ellis, located in the Randal Drug Store building. It had a total of 23 books. Through the donations of local residents, the number of books grew to 275 by 1908.
The library was moved to the second floor of the Courthouse as more space was needed. And, in 1930, the library had their first paid librarian.
In 1956, the Friends of the Library was organized, and Story Time and Summer Programs were added to the services.
In 1957, the heirs of the R.M Kendrick Estate deeded the Kendrick home on Tate to Terry County for a library. After much renovation, the Kendrick Memorial Library opened to the public on March 1, 1957 with Miss Louise St. John as the librarian.
It is interesting that even in the very beginnings of Brownfield and Terry County, the importance of a County Library was seen.
Today, that Kendrick Memorial Library has seen much growth both in books and technology. Not to mention the services provided.
Current Librarian Nicole Acevedo is very proud of the service that the Kendrick Memorial Library provides to Terry County residents. “We see more than 200 people a week walk through our doors. We take a lot of pride in being a place people feel comfortable coming to for reading, relaxation or to use our internet services.”
Acevedo stated that most all the people who use the internet do not have any other way of accessing the internet. And this computer and internet service is free to the public.
The library has magazines, videos, and audio books for all ages. They also house the microfiche reader used to access old newspaper articles. And these are just a few of the things our local library has to offer.
They offer children’s programs year around, and have space dedicated for children’s play and learning. In fact, our library has nearly 3,000 items, including books, dedicated to use by children. The library averaged around 50 or so kiddos in attendance at the Summer Programs this year. Summer Programs and Story Time are both headed up by Sarah Basquez.
During the Summer Programs this year, the library hosted special guests such as Raider Red, a beautiful talking bird, the Masked Rider, the Southwest Dairy Education trailer, and Michelle Cooper of South Plains Underground Water Conservation District. The kids enjoyed all the programs.
In 2019, the last normal year, Kendrick Memorial Library had over 12,000 visits, and there are nearly 4,000 registered users. But, in the month of June of this year alone, over 863 items were checked out of the library!
Clearly, our library is a facility people use and love.
Some of the regular users of the Kendrick Memorial Library had some great things to say:
Hilda Neufeld – My children have really enjoyed the summer reading program and they consider the library a special treat. So Thankful to have such a nice library in Brownfield to check out books at and help my children’s growth in reading.
Erica Gonzales – The library is a vacation. It is a known comfort and an unknown mystery. It is all the words I have ever wanted to say. It is tranquility. The library has always been a part of my life. I have been going to this library since I was four. Going to the library is a tradition that I want to continue with my son James. Seeing him get excited about all the books makes me so happy! It is a good thing when he has a hard time trying to choose just a few, because he wants to check them all out. Nicole, Sarah, and Gloria are always so helpful and encouraging. It is always a fun trip and something we look forward to.
Diana Jackson – Nicole and her entire staff at the library have always been my “go to spot” . . . computer/printer services when I cannot do it from home has been invaluable. I have purchased books at great prices. The ladies are always happy to help. I worked at the library during high school summers when Mrs. Head was the librarian, years ago, and I know she would be “right-proud” of Nicole and her staff.
Erica Dill – We are so thankful for our local library! Our son Hayden has loved going for several years now. He loved when they had the play area (pre-COVID) and still loves going and picking out new books. We appreciate the ladies who work at the library. They are so helpful, fun, and knowledgeable. They are sweet and love when little faces come in and see them to visit, learn, and read.
Aaron Steagall – I just want to give some appreciation for all the hard work the Kendrick Memorial Library staff put into this community. Your kindness, professionals, and personal touch makes this library a welcoming place to not only borrow books and utilize the computer resources, but to see friends that are more like family. Other libraries around the country might have more books, but they pale in comparison to this institution’s heart.
Theresa Sanchez – The Kendrick Memorial Library has been part of my life since I could pick up a book and read. The library is a place for me to getaway even for a couple of minutes. I love to walk up and down the aisles and look at all the books to be read. I love my library and the ladies that take care of it. I look forward to my visits to the library. It makes my heart happy.
Certainly, we are fortunate to have such a great library in Terry County! Those folks from 114 years ago would be proud.