The Library Building Committee met twice in January with the architect, Denelle Wrightson of PSA/Dewberry, for schematic design meetings.

At these meetings, we discussed how the building will sit on the site and space relationships within the building. We have narrowed our choices to two layout schemes and have asked the architect to take what we liked from both schemes to create one layout for us to consider.

The county is now advertising for the construction manager at risk to work on the project. If you would like to see the request for qualifications, go to www.rockwallcountytexas.com/libraryCMR. The company should be chosen by the end of March or the beginning of April.

For the past two weeks, we have been talking to groups about what they would like to see in the new library. We will also have a survey available at the library and on our Web page, www.rocklib.com, for people to fill out. We want to know what programs, services and materials you would like to see in the new library.

Something we found out from these groups is that many people do not know what services we currently offer at the library. In this and future articles, we will be highlighting the programs and services available to you in the library at this time.

Your library card is the key to the resources at the library and online. The library has two online subscriptions to the Dallas Morning News. One of the subscriptions is for full text articles from 1885 through 1977, and the second subscription is for full text articles from 1984 to the present time. You are able to access these two databases from your home computer as well as from the computers in the library. Your library card number allows you access from your home computer. You will find the link to the Dallas Morning News by clicking on the Research button on our Web site. On the Research page, you will find the necessary link to the newspaper.

The Texas State Library provides libraries throughout the state with quality databases for research. This “Library of Texas” allows a user to find full-text articles in encyclopedias, almanacs, journals, newspapers and even allows a user to read entire books. Best of all, these services are reliable, credible and appropriate for children and easily searched by subject, topic, keyword and various other ways.

Those who are interested in genealogy will find HeritageQuest Online and the Handbook of Texas in these databases. There are literary criticism databases for students who are working on English assignments and much, much more. If you have a Rockwall County Library card, you can access this “Library of Texas” from home. Just ask at the front desk for the address and password.

Those who have used the library for a while probably know that we offer Interlibrary Loan. If we don’t have a title you want, we can try to get it for you from another library. Another service that allows you to access the collections of other libraries is the TexShare card. This card issued to patrons in good standing, allows you to go directly to participating libraries, such as Dallas Public Library and borrow materials at no charge.

“The Library of Texas,” Interlibrary Loan and the TexShare card allow us to offer more resources than we could possibly provide our patrons in our current facility. We urge you to take advantage of these services.

The Rockwall County Library is located at 105 S. First St., next to the Rockwall police station. Our telephone numbers are 972-882-0304 or local 972-722-1855 ext. 340. Library hours are Monday and Wednesday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Kathy Melston is the Rockwall County Library director. She can be reached at 972-882-0340.

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