Much-needed renovation was recently completed on Glendale’s downtown Velma Teague Library.
The celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony featured Mayor Jerry Weiers, Ocotillo district Councilmember Jamie Aldama, and City of Glendale Chief Librarian Michael Beck. Also included in the event’s speakers list were Library Advisory Board Chairperson Paula Wilson and members of Velma Teague’s family.
Velma Teague Library opened 44 years ago in Murphy Park. Today, 50 percent of Velma Teague’s circulation comes from the checkout of children’s materials. And new for today, Velma has 58 public computers with more than 67,000 sessions.
In addition to new carpeting and tile and a new color scheme, the public restrooms were renovated and a wall was removed to allow for the expansion of the story time room.
Velma Teague has new summer hours and is open three more hours a week. The renovation is due to a $199,000 Community Development Block Grant and an additional $25,000 to cover the additional three open hours. A constituent of the Ocotillo district suggested that the library be open earlier in the day. Library patrons who walk to the library can now do so when it is not so hot.
John LeGendre, Velma Teague’s great nephew, shared a story about Velma Teague. It seems that on Sundays, when the library was closed, Velma would head up to Prescott Downs and check out the ponies. LeGendre also referred to his great aunt as a “dynamic woman.”
His mother, Mary Ellen LeGendre, worked for Teague who. was a teacher and after she married she gave up teaching. She volunteered for probably three years before being hired. Once she took over, she opened the library from just one afternoon a week to three or four days. Teague liked an orderly shelf.
Mary Ellen LeGendre said, “I love this library. It’s kept just like Velma liked it - all the books right on the edge and in alphabetical order.”
Visitors to Murphy Park have Teague to thank for the park. She reviewed the plans for the library and wanted a park, so there would be no parking to close to the building.