History of the Bonham Library
Established in 1901 by the Current Literature Club as an outgrowth circulating library. There was no community support in these early days, and monies were raised mainly by benefit entertainment and by membership tickets, which were $1 a year.
The facilities usually consisted of rooms around the square, and at one time was housed on the third floor of the Court House. A fire put the library out of business from 1920 - 1926, but the Delphian and the Current Literature Club reactivated it.
In 1938 the first city support was made when they approved the move to a room between the fire station and city hall. At this time, during the presidency of Mrs. R E Risser, a Governing Board was set up to administer, with members selected from the Current Literature Club, Delphian, and later other clubs as they organized. Today, members are carefully chosen from the community for their dedication to and involvement with the library program and remain on the Board year after year.
In 1926, the first official librarian, Miss Katherine Phillips was hired. She served until 1940.
In 1959, the city hall was torn down and the library was then moved to the Burrow Building on North Main.
In1962, the Current Literature Club disbanded, and the representatives of the Governing Board appeared before the County Commissioners, explaining the county-wide use of the library.
The 60's provided a much more sophisticated library. Under the Texas State Library Association, there was an interchange of books and information between libraries, and the Summer Reading Program was started in cooperation with the Elementary and Junior High School Libraries. In 1965, a Story Hour was begun for preschoolers. In December 1968, an ordinance was passed by City Council establishing the legality of the Bonham Public Library.
In 1974, the Governing Board suggested to the City Council that they acquire title to the lot next to the city hall for a new library. The library had long outgrown its quarters and the city was in need of the room, as well. The building program was begun. Under the leadership of Mrs. Barbara Jones, President of the Governing Board, the dedicated board gave their time, talents, and monies for the building fund over a three-year period.
The Bonham Public Library is the place to educate, excite, entertain and inspire. Research genealogy, plan a vacation, make a career change, learn to read, or find yourself in the middle of a great adventure. The Library is the place to discover. You can find just about everything you need to know to succeed in your personal and professional pursuits. To discover the resources and services available to you, we welcome you to come and visit.
If you are interested in a particular book and would like to know if it is available, please check our online catalog. The Library provides free services to all residents living within the state of Texas.
The library system holds many kinds of materials: books; DVDs; audiobooks; eBooks; and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) kits are available for check-out. In addition to these items, additional services available are print and electronic reference resources, access to the Internet through the Library's fiber-optic connection, state-of-the-art Wi-fi service, Library exhibits, and the Library's many events.
Mission Statement of the Bonham Public Library
The Mission of the Bonham Public Library is to meet the informational, educational, cultural, and recreational needs of the Bonham community. It strives to meet these changing needs by maximizing resources and keeping current with technology, offering the best service to its users, and by making the library a center for both information and the creative use of leisure for children and adults alike.
Library Governing Board Members
Jo Ellen Clardy: 2011 - Present
Kay Sisk: 1980 - Present
Sue Smith: 1974 - 1988 & 1991 - Present
Reagan Fletcher: 2018 - Present
Jane Gehalo: 2008 - Present
Tina Rhienhart: 2011 - Present
Carole Stubsten: 1987 - Present
Janet Webber: 2006 - Present
Julia Todd: 1988 - Present
Bonnie Blose: 2014 - Present
Janeen Karm: 2022
Our friendly and professional staff are eager to serve you.
Welcome to the Bonham Public Library!