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History of PLANT

PLANT first took root during the summer of 1965, in a series of meetings of North Texas public librarians to discuss matters of common interest.

The organizational meeting was on June 14, 1965, in the Mesquite Public Library.

Leaders in those early meetings included Lowell Lindsey of Garland, Nelleen Womack of Mesquite, Lillian Bradshaw of Dallas Public Library, Marguerite Anderson of Richardson, and Elizabeth Stetson of Dallas County Public Library.

Also attending the early meetings were Traphene Hickman of Cedar Hill, Doris Padgett of Sunnyvale, David Hennington and Lee Brawner of Dallas Public, Bama Hopkins of Duncanville, Pattie Lambright of Grand Prairie, Mary Talley of Garland, and Josephine Bartlett of Dallas County.

In those early meetings the subjects discussed included wages and employee classification, interlibrary cooperation, and services of the Texas State Library.

On August 18, 1965, the group agreed to call itself the Dallas Metropolitan Area Public Libraries Association.

The original priorities of the new group were membership in the Texas Municipal League for librarians and a Technical Processing Center. The first goal was accomplished in the first year of DMAPLA; the group they founded eventually became the Texas Municipal Library Directors Association. The second proved much more difficult; despite much work, and a specific recommendation complete with a detailed budget, the processing center never became a reality.

Even though the Technical Processing Center was never established, one aspect of interlibrary cooperation became a reality through PLANT: the North Central Texas Film Cooperative. The Articles of Incorporation for the cooperative were passed on August 27, 1970. Members of the first board of directors were Lowell Lindsey (Garland), Nelleen Womack (Mesquite), Ann Honea (Farmers Branch), Marguerite Anderson (Richardson), and Joella Orr (Denton). The Film Coop was dissolved because most libraries had begun videocassette collections, and NETLS provided a similar film service; the films were donated to NETLS.

At the suggestion of Lowell Lindsey and Nelleen Womack, the DMAPLA officially changed its name to the Public Library Administrators of North Texas (PLANT), providing the organization with a more accurate title and a better acronym.

Throughout the years, PLANT grew like a weed, and its programs and projects contributed much to understanding and cooperation between area libraries.

Its activities included public relations for local libraries, including television, radio and newspaper coverage; the exploration of ways of greater cooperation between local libraries and their city administrators; discussion and research into new library technology; and discussion of mutual problems of administration, such as staff relations, salaries, planning, etc.

For example, on February 9, 1974, an interlibrary loan agreement was signed by PLANT members, and plans were made to cooperate in collection development, so that PLANT members could complement each other's collections to avoid wasteful duplication of expensive materials.

In 1985 PLANT published A GENEALOGY UNION LIST OF P.L.A.N.T. MEMBER LIBRARIES. Denton Public Library produced the text on its Wang computer, the Graphics Department of Skyline High School (DISD) printed 100 copies, Printer's Bindery collated it with the covers Nancy Smith of Mesquite provided, and Lewisville bound it.

In 1985 PLANT applied for and received tax exempt status from the IRS as a 501 (c) (6) organization.

In 1991 PLANT wrote and in 1992 the Texas State Library published PUBLIC LIBRARY ADVISORY BOARD HANDBOOK. In 1999-2000 PLANT revised the handbook, and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission published it.

The Constitution was amended in 1996 to provide for 2 secretaries.

PLANT has accomplished much since 1965, and will continue to pursue new methods of library cooperation in the years to come.