By Mollie LaSalle
WOODVILLE – The Allan Shivers Library and Museum held its grand re-opening, Friday and Saturday, Jan. 27 and 28.
Friday evening saw a VIP event in the museum, where visitors were welcome to tour the facilities and see all the updates, both in the library and the museum. Saturday, January 28, was the grand re-opening with a reception and ribbon cutting held in the museum.
Kay Timme, director of Allan Shivers Library and Museum welcomed visitors to the festivities Saturday with a brief history of the facilities. Timme said, “we are proud of what we have been able to accomplish here” and wanted to recognize the governing board which consists of representatives from the city, county, and Woodville ISD.
County Judge Milton Powers was in attendance, along with Woodville mayor Amy Bythewood.
Timme also recognized Pct. 3 Commissioner Mike Marshall; Woodville City Administrator Mandy Risinger; WISD superintendent Lisa Meysembourg and WISD Board of Trustees member Josh McClure, for all their hard work on behalf of Allan Shivers Library and Museum.
A brief history of the library and museum: In 1962, former Governor Shivers and his wife purchased land adjacent to the school and donated it to the school district. Their intention was to build a library and museum for the children of Tyler County. Governor shivers purchased the house, which was built in 1881 by R.A. Cruse, after it was scheduled for demolition, in 1963, and had it moved to its current location with the intent to house both a library and museum. They quickly realized that it wasn’t going to be enough space. The complex was formally dedicated in October 1966, and renovations and upgrades have continually taken place over the years. The current complex contains the museum, library, children’s reading room and the newest addition, the John and Rosemary Bunch reading and meeting room.
One new addition to the facility is an elevator, which will accommodate patrons with mobility issues. The elevator was purchased and installed through a generous grant from the TLL Temple Foundation, Timme said. Extra funding from the grant is being used for re-wiring.
The complex also received a grant from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in the amount of $10K; part of the money was put toward purchasing glass display cases in the museum, the rest was used to purchase new furnishings for the Marialice Shivers Children’s room in the library.
Timme gave a shout out to her leadership team, which took over in 2021. “We came on board and got busy”, she said. She reiterated that the library/museum is in capable hands under the team of herself, assistant director and head librarian Carolyn Williams, and museum manager Roschelle Springfield.
She also wanted to thank the Friends of the Library, and its president Felina Pence for everything they have contributed, and also the many volunteers who help.
The library was closed for two weeks for remodeling and inventory, and together with the newly renovated museum, will serve the citizens of Woodville and Tyler County for many years to come. Timme explained, “the library is a friendly and usable space, every book on every shelf was removed, catalogued, and put back; carpeting was laid. It’s been a monumental effort. A good library offers more than just books.”
She also cited Springfield’s dogged determination in getting the museum re-modeled and updated. “We handled every item in the museum, everything that was moved. There were days when everything was stirred upside down; now, it is something to be proud of.”
Kay, Roschelle, and Carolyn invite everyone to come and check out all the library and museum have to offer. The library is open Monday-Friday, 9-5, and Saturday, 10-2. You can call them at 409-283-3709 to learn more of what they offer or schedule a tour of the museum.