office 325.625.3043
fax 325.625.3629
Sue Dossey, Director
Cindy Dempsey, Clerk
Mary Lou Garret, Assistant 

About Us

 

Who We Are

The Coleman Public Library is located at 402 Commercial Avenue in downtown Coleman. We provide free services to all residents living within the Coleman city/county boundaries.

Our Mission

The Coleman Public Library serves as a community center by providing technology, educational resources, and reading materials for the enjoyment of its patrons.

History

On January 26, 1885 the Coleman Public Library was among the first of the public supported libraries to be organized in the State of Texas, operating many years in the courthouse and the back room of a pioneer drug store.  In 1905 the Self Culture Club took the responsibility of raising the money for a new building.  Every conceivable means of earning money was tried.  Ice cream suppers, oyster suppers, minstrel shows, art shows, programs, carnivals and circuses.  Club women sold cakes and coffee on the courthouse square every first Monday and it was reported one club women planted a field of cotton for funds.  On July 7, 1909 the first cornerstone was set on the northwest corner of the courthouse square.  In 1920 funds ran out and the library almost closed its doors.  Organizational club volunteers took turns keeping the library open, when this no longer worked, pioneer ranch woman Mrs. J.A.B. Miller offered her services two afternoons a week and was able to keep the library open for the next 41 years.  In 1978 a Texas historical marker was placed in front of the little building in honor of Ms. Mattie B. Miller for her dedication to keep the library open as an unpaid librarian.

In 1969 the City of Coleman took over the operations of the library and provides as the main source of day-to-day financial support.  Friends of the Library formed in 1971 and has been crucial in supporting the library with fundraisers and volunteers.  That same year, the library joined the Big Country Library System which was disbanded in 2012.  The 750 sq. ft. historical building became inadequate for the library collection, and members of the board began to look for solutions to the problem.  In 1982, the City of Coleman purchased a vacant grocery store building.  Over $100,000 raised within the community from patrons, local businesses and in-kind labor from the City of Coleman made the completion of the library remodeling project which is now considered one of the major assets of our community.   Expansions have continued since then with the purchase of the Annex building and the Tilliman building which were made possible from donations and support from the Coleman Developmental Board. 

The Coleman Public Library continues to look for opportunities to update our facility as usage and demand dictates.  While our role in the community since Coleman’s pioneer days has changed drastically, we know our overall goal remains the same: to serve Coleman County residents as a community center providing access to information and services needed to keep learning active in today’s environment.

Related Resources

TX Library Assoc.