Changes coming to the Tulsa City-County Library system

Wednesday, January 16th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

It's a story of change at the Tulsa City-County Library - and the ending is still uncertain. The library plans to open two new buildings - close one - and move a popular collection.

News on Six reporter Emory Bryan says every library has plenty of fiction - but a growing number of people are looking for facts - the truth about their ancestors. Barbara Herndon came here and traced her family all the way back to England. "The more you study these people the more they seem real. They're not just pieces of paper." But just the pieces of paper are fascinating - old wills and marriage licenses from relatives long dead, but still alive at the library. "I never knew my grandparents because they were so much older, and they died before I knew them, but studying them in these books helps me to know more about them and know who they are." That's why she's eager for the library system to expand its genealogy section - just part of several changes in the works.

The current Hardesty library will close next year - replaced by a new and much larger branch under construction at 93rd and Memorial. They’ll also open a branch at 51st and Memorial - and are considering moving the genealogy collection from Schusterman to the Nathan Hale Library. The loss of the regular collection of books at Nathan Hale is part of the reason a new branch is planned two miles away - in a shopping center on 51st.

Library director Linda Saferite, "Those residents would still have a library within three miles of their home and that is the test we have used, drawing three mile circles around each library, trying to cover every resident with equal drive times."