A History of the Roland Tisinger Memorial Library
(From conception of idea in Dec. 1962 to Open House, June 1963)
(This history was saved along with all the old articles and board minutes before the library became the Shepherd Public Library. There is nothing to tell us who authored the piece. The library was visited by Mrs. Tisinger's grandaughter, April Brahinsky, and on viewing the article she believed it to have been written by Mrs. Tisinger herself, based on the handwritten corrections that were on the article. We reprint it here for you with pride and affection.)
In September of 1958, Mr. and Mrs. Roland Tisinger purchased the "Old Dixon" home in Shepherd, Texas and named it "Orchard House", with the hope that it would be fruitful in it's blessings for family and friends.
The Roland Tisinger Memorial Library had it's beginning in December, 1962, during the Christmas season, a year and a half after the passing of Mr. Tisinger. It is an appropriate testimonial to his life, for he was a gentle man, who loved children, who loved books, who loved wisdom, knowledge and understanding.
One of the truths that Mr. and Mrs. Tisinger had always lived and taught their daughters was the beauty and joy of giving and sharing. It was natural then, that the darkness of loneliness which followed the passing of her husband was pierced for Mrs. Tisinger by the illumination of an idea of giving and sharing. The angel thought of establishing a memorial library in Orchard House for the use of the Community of Shepherd, came to one of her daughters, and when presented to Mrs. Tisinger, was eagerly and gratefully received.
The birth of the library was made possible through the enthusiasm, energy, and prayerful devotion of Mrs. Tisinger, who bore the initial expense and responsibility, and who from the conception of the idea worked selflessly for the correct and harmonious unfoldment of the idea.
Through the help and encouragement of another daughter, and son-in-law, the library was begun on a correct basis. Established libraries were visited, experienced librarians were consulted, books on proper procedure were studied.
The library idea was early shared with three Shepherd friends, whom Mrs. Tisinger felt would be interested in the project; Mrs. Evilee Diamond, Mrs. Earline Jones, and Mr. Jimmy Carrier. Soon others in the community knew of the project and were interested. The interest was keen, because Shepherd had previously had the use of a book mobile, which served the community for only one year. Efforts to have this service continued were unsuccessful, but it had served to whet the reading appetite, and stimulate the desire for Shepherd to have it's own library.
Much credit should go to Mr. Jim Carrier. Through his heartfelt interest, careful planning, artistic ability, and desire to work with Mrs. Tisinger on the project, the "play room" at the back of Orchard House was transformed into a library. The shelves were built and arranged to gain a maximum of book space in the small area provided by the narrow room and side porch. The wisdom of his planning was confirmed when Mrs. Schultz, field representative of the State Library visited for the initial inspection. She had much praise for the construction as well as for the operation of the library.
The library was a community project, and through community interest and work, the project grew. Ladies of the community, high school girls, and elementary school children processed the books which had begun to pour in from many sources. No books were purchased, but on opening day, about 2000 books had been donated.
On May 23, 1963, books were checked out for the first time, and on June 30, six months after the inception of the idea, the official "Open House" was held. Thus, the idea of a library for Shepherd, supported by the shining example of family and community unity and devotion to a cause all considered worth while, has culminated in the establishment of the "Roland Tisinger Memorial Library".
Copyright Shepherd Public Library