40th Anniversary of the Carey E. Burdette Building
November 15, 2020 marked the 41st anniversary since Mrs. Audrey Burdette made her generous gift to the Carlock community by donating the building that houses our library. The building honors her husband who had a deep love of books and reading. He was raised in the Carlock area and graduated from Carlock Community High School in 1929. The entire community continues to reap the benefits of Mrs. Burdette’s gift.
Our Library Staff
The Library has an excellent history of service from its staff. Barbara Welch was the first librarian and worked out of the one room library in Carlock Elementary School. Barb resigned in July 1979 and Char Proctor became the new librarian. In 1985, Linda Spencer took over the administrative duties of the library with Char Proctor as consultant. Jane Randall worked as a library assistant from 1980 to 1985. She returned in June 2004 as Assistant Librarian. She retired from this position in 2011. Peg Hayden served as Director from 1989 to 1990 and Linda Spencer was named Director in 1990. She retired from this position in 2017. Denise Litwiller joined the staff as Director in May of 2017 (she was also our Toddler Time Leader). She retired from this position in 2021. Christie Lau joined the staff as Director on July 1, 2021. Leanne Welch joined the staff as library assistant in 1997. In 2015, she became the Assistant Librarian. Dawn Neblock leads our Summer Reading Program Eric Larson and Linda Spencer are current staff members.
Other people who have contributed as staff members over the years have been: Eunice Gigstead, Dawn McNair, Jessica Randall, Sandy Schwoerer, Melissa Reiss, Sheri Stephens, Veronica Inselmann, Gina Aberle, and Erin Welch. Student helpers have included Sheila Petty, Kori Suhr, and Natalie Melzer.
In addition to our paid staff, countless volunteer hours have been donated over the years by many people. All of these folks have helped make Carlock Public Library the excellent, community-oriented library that it is today.
“It’s bookmobile day!” That was a familiar refrain heard around Carlock in the late 70s. Corn Belt Library System brought the bookmobile to Carlock for families to get new books to read. The bookmobile’s last stop in Carlock was December, 1978. A Library Board began planning the formation of White Oak Township Library in 1978. A room in the Carlock Elementary School was the first library with 1,000 books donated by Corn Belt and private donations. The Library was open once a week, 4 hours on Thursdays.
During 1979 discussions were ongoing with Mrs. Audrey Burdette of Urbana who wished to purchase a building in Carlock for a library. She wished to honor her late husband, Carey, who had lived in Carlock as a child, by naming the library after him. Mrs. Burdette gave the White Oak Library Board a check for $40,000 in November 1979 to purchase the old bank building on Washington Street. The library would be named the Carey E. Burdette Memorial Library. The bank building was renovated into a library and the Carlock school children helped to move the books to the new building. The dedication of the Carey E. Burdette Memorial Library took place on April 8,1980.
After serving White Oak Township for over ten years, the Library expanded its service area in 1989, adding Kansas and Dry Grove Townships to form a district library. The library now serves over 2,900 residents in the three townships.
The Library expanded into the adjacent building in 2000 to meet the growing needs of our patrons. The board voted in 2004 to change the name to the Carlock Public Library District in the Carey Burdette Building, continuing to honor the Burdette family’s generous donation. Once again, in 2015 the library expanded in to the adjacent building. The Children’s and Juvenile collections were moved to this room and a new 50 seat conference room was also added. The circulation desk was moved to the middle room. A new History Room was constructed in the area that housed the circulation room. The project was completed in 2017.
The last 41 years have brought change and growth to the library. In the future, as the northwestern area of McLean County grows, the library will continue to grow to serve its patrons.