Post Classifieds

Commerce Public Library bolsters future

By Caleb Slinkard
On February 2, 2011

The Commerce Public Library, buoyed by local funding efforts, is more financially secure than it has been in previous years according to Library and Literacy Director Gayle Gordon. This is due in part to the success of "A Pictorial History of Commerce, Texas" by Dr. Jim Conrad and Chery Westhafer, the proceeds of which are donated to the library.

"We're doing better than last year and the year before," Gordon said. "The 'Pictorial History' has been selling well. We have had pretty good success with our used book sale and we did an end of the year donation request that we sent out to a lot of people in the community. We had a good response from them."

Commerce Public Library Executive Board member Resa Smith said the library's greatest need, aside from donations, is volunteers to assist with the various programs. The Summer Reading Program for area children is tentatively scheduled to begin in mid-June.

"We do need some help for the summer reading program because what we're hoping to do this year is, once a week, read some stories and do some crafts with the children," Smith said. "We really need volunteers with the crafts because you need one adult for every four to six kids, and last year we averaged between 30 and 50 children a program."

The library also offers GED and ESL classes at the writing center in the Hall of Languages and needs student volunteers.

"We could really use students to help teach the GED and ESL classes," Gordon said. "We need private tutors to help people with their reading, writing and math skills, or any GED subject they feel comfortable with."

The Commerce Public Library is a not-for-profit organization, which means that it is not a function of the City of Commerce.

"Since we are not-for-profit, we are open for membership for anyone who lives in the state of Texas," Smith said.


Students who want to sign up for a library card need to bring in a picture I.D. and proof of current residence, such as a phone bill. Library members are allowed to check out one book their first time and six books each subsequent checkout. Recently the library added passports and passport photos to its list of services that it provides at a cost of $25 for the passport application and $8 for the passport photo.

"We also offer books on CDs and tape, faxing, copying, inter-library loans, a local history archive, free computer and internet access and a notary," Gordon said. "Students can also use our online resumé maker from the comfort of their own home by going to"

A&M-Commerce sophomore Samantha Reece recently used the Commerce Public Library for another one of its many uses: getting a passport.

"I'm glad they have it, because I didn't know where else to go," she said. "It's good to have, especially for a small town and for little kids. I know when I was a kid, we'd go to the local library."

To contact the Commerce Public Library call 903-886-6858 or visit to see library hours, view the list of services the library provides and to contribute to the library.

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