Like many other historic Texas landmarks, the Frankston Depot Library, chartered in 1981, has brought new purpose and life to an otherwise abandoned building.
The depot no longer serves the railroads that ran through Frankston in the early 1900s, but inside, it’s one of the city’s most vibrant gems, with more than 18,000 items and roughly 3,000 patrons visiting each year.
At Thursday’s story time, 10 children, ages 3-5, sat eagerly, listening to children’s librarian Cathleen Hill read “The Flea’s Sneeze” by Karla Firehammer. She also talked to the kids about avoiding germs.
“What can we do when somebody is sick?” Hill asks.
“Go to the doctor,” says one.
“Tissues, cough drops,” says another, and so on.
After the talk, the children go to tables where Hill has laid out craft projects to color pictures of germs with human-like faces. After sharing their pictures with Hill, the kids visit stacks in the library’s children’s section. They eagerly pull books from the shelves and sit on the floor, where they turn the pages, looking at the words and pictures, and sharing what they find.
“Who wants to read to Miss GiGi?” Hill asks the group. No one responds, but Hill explains she has a young grandson. Her experience as a parent and grandparent shows when she explains the variety of activities she offers.
Most of the kids arrived on a bus from Lil’ Indians Day Care, also in Frankston. Patronage among the town’s youngest readers rose to 500 per year since Hill joined the staff in October 2018. She continues to look to expand children's activities, especially in the summer.
Library Director Sabrina Carter said patronage remains steady, though donations have fallen. The library receives support mainly from the City of Frankston, Anderson County, and the friends of the library. The library’s computers – nearly a decade old – also draw roughly 1,200 users a year.
The library does not charge Anderson County residents for library cards; patrons from other counties pay $15 per year.
Frankston’s library hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesdays and Saturdays; and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursdays. Story time meets each Thursday at 11 a.m. Call the library at 903-876-4463 for information or visit www.frankstondepotlibrary.org.