By Rita Cook / The Ellis County Press
WILMER – About 50 people attended the Wilmer library dedication last month for a dedication ceremony during National Library Week for the library’s new youth center.
Members of the Library Board, the Friends of the Library, the City Council and the Ballard family were in attendance.
In 2013 a Friend’s of the Library group was formed to raise funds for youth center.
The group had car washes, bake sales, and rummage sales and the community also donated money.
The Ballard family got involved, according to Jennifer Ramirez, MLS, Library Director, E. M. Gilliam Memorial Public Library because their mother helped raise money for Wilmer’s first library and they wanted to do something in her honor.
In fact, Jerry Ballard and his brother were the two main monetary contributors to the new youth room, which was named Katye Lynn Ballard after their mother.
There was also a Mayoral Proclamation naming April 12 as Katye Lynn Ballard Day in Wilmer.
Overall, the money raised came out to about $30,000 to $35,000.
Ramirez said, “At least $20,000 was donated by two Mrs. Ballard’s sons and other family members donated money as well.
The Friends of the Library raised some, and the City of Wilmer matched what they had raised to complete the necessary amount.”
The Ballard matriarch had actually helped raise funds for the first library in Wilmer and was a huge supporter when she still lived in the city.
She has since passed.
The Library’s Youth Center will house the children’s collection and three children’s computers.
Ramirez said this is an excellent addition to the library because “it allows us to expand the adult collection and the children have their own space.”
As for the design and look of the library’s new addition the youth room was designed the same way that it was imagined back when the concept was first conceived.
“It looks very similar,” Ramirez concluded.
“The only real is that there is an extra chair and the computers are split into two desks instead of a big one.”