Library Reflects on Contributions of Founding Member Betty Adamson
GRAND SALINE--With the recent passing of Grand Saline Public Library founder Betty Adamson, the Grand Saline Librarian Kelli Bryant recently published an article recognizing Adamson’s contributions to the library and how this visionary sought to serve Grand Saline community through the written word.
The following article was shared in commemoration of Mrs. Adamson’s desire to offer access to literary works of art to the Grand Saline public.
It is with a heavy heart that we share with you the passing of our founder, Betty Adamson.
When Betty was a young mother, she saw the need in our community for a library. She had been taking her children to the library in Mineola and realized that not all families in the area could make the trip to Mineola. In 1965, Betty, who had never been to a City Council meeting, braved herself to ask the City Council to set aside part of the new city offices they were building to be a library.
The Council granted her request and with the help of a group of volunteers who championed the cause of the library, the library opened the doors to the community in 1966. Until 1982, the library was housed in the room that is now the City Council Chambers. The library then leased the depot from Union Pacific and moved into the larger facility.
Five years ago, the library celebrated its 50th Anniversary. At the time, Betty had this to say, “Fifty years can go by in a hurry. It seems like yesterday that I was taking shipments of books at my house because our facility still hadn’t opened. And so many people stepped up to help.”
In the fifty-five-year history of the library, one thing has always remained consistent, and that is the presence of Betty Adamson. She was there to ask for the library in the beginning. She coordinated the volunteers to help get the library open and get the materials to stock the library, she ran the library, coordinated programming and events, and applied for grants for many years. She was there for the massive task of cleaning and preparing the old depot for occupancy. She was there for the major renovation of the depot ten years ago. She was there to celebrate the library’s 50th Anniversary.
At the 50th Anniversary Celebration, I sat and watched people approach Betty and listened to them reminisce about their experiences in the library. I couldn’t help but think about how many lives this woman touched when she stepped out on a limb to ask the city to provide space for a library.
Betty had a dream that she put into action. She wanted the members of this community to have the life-changing access to a library. There is no way to measure how many lives have been changed due to the plans she set into motion fifty-six years ago.
Betty never wanted attention, recognition, or accolades for what she created; she just sought to impart her love of the library to the members of her community. Her portrait hangs in the library, that of which she was not a fan. Having her watch over the library is a daily reminder to me of the reason why we have this library. Her face has helped guide me in making countless decisions and plan countless events, knowing that I’m doing these things for our community, just like she did during her time at the helm of the library.
Over the last few years, I observed Betty when she visited the library. She would always sit and look around with awe at what the library has become. She frequently told me she was proud of everything I had done for the library. In truth, without her there would be nothing to do; there would be no library. She’s the one that created all of this and her dream is the same dream we pursue today.
To Jan, Grant, Johnna, and Taylor: Betty’s love and dedication to each of you was far greater than her love for the library. We feel honored that you were able to share her with us for all these years. You are in our thoughts/prayers.
Betty asked for memorials to be made to the Grand Saline Public Library or to an animal rescue organization of the donor’s choice. Betty loved animals, especially cats, as much as she loved the library. If you would like to give to the library you can give in person, drop us something in the mail (201 E. Pacific, Grand Saline, Texas 75140), or online at paypal.me/gslibrary