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Libraries Changed My Life
The need for a community library was first brought forth by the Mt. Vernon Key Club, a local women’s group, in January 1977. The first of March that year community volunteers manned an office space provided by the First National Bank (now serving as office for the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce), and opened the library for donations. This included books, furniture, and cash.
An initial $5,192 was raised to establish the library as a member of the Northeast Texas Library System. Also needed was 3,500 books (donated or purchased) within a three year period. By the close of 1977 the Key Club reported the Library had received cash donations of $25,000 and had exceeded the three-year goal for accumulation of books.
The library opened to check out books and in other means serve the public of the community with a full time librarian on April 1, 1977.
In December of 1977, the First National Bank of Mt. Vernon deeded the historic old bank building ( 1912 ) to the county for use as the library. In January, 1979, the library opened the downstairs of its current location and in 1980 the library expanded to the second floor. There have been several renovations made throughout the years, the latest in 1997.
Now, the beautifully restored building blends its unique history with a full-service modern library. The ornate handcrafted ceiling, marble counters and original vault doors add to the beauty of this historic building. Franklin County Library is a must see when touring downtown Mt. Vernon.
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