Former First Lady, General Attend Opening of Renovated Library - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

Former First Lady, General Attend Opening of Renovated Library

By Devin Sanchez

NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - The new state of the art Midland Centennial Library opened its doors Saturday, with the help of some high profile friends

"A town is known for what it invests in, and I'm proud my town invests in libraries and books and education and reading," Former First Lady and Midland native Laura Bush told the crowd at the library's dedication ceremony.

Mrs. Bush greeted the crowd and explained what an integral role the Midland County Library played in her childhood.

"The writer Jorge Luis Borges said 'I always imagined paradise would be a sort of library' truly that's what the Midland library was to us," she said.


The revamped library isn't your usual library.

"We're going to keep to a tradition; we have a quiet reading room, but we really want to change the perception of what public libraries are, how they're perceived and what you think of when you think of a public library," John Trischitti, director of Midland County Public Libraries said.

It's equipped with "next generation" technologies, that can't be found in any other library,
according to Midland County Judge Mike Bradford

"The Dewey Decimal System is alive and well in the Midland County Public Library, however it exists in the electronic age we're the only ones in the country that have the touch screen system and it will tell you where your book is," Judge Bradford said.

Don't expect to see a librarian holding a QUIET sign.

"This building is dedicated to the idea of creativity, imagination, reading, learning and succeeding," Judge Bradford told NewsWest 9.

The 33,000 square foot facility, also boasts an interactive exhibit about General Franks.

"You can come here and take an exhibit and the thought is you can go around the world and never leave this building," said Judge Bradford.

The exhibits contain pieces of General Franks's own personal library, which he donated to the county.

"When you have a chance to be in a facility like this that not only educates and provides the opportunity for education, but provides intellectual stimulation and so I view it as a big deal," General Franks said. "I view the Centennial library as a big deal. "

Before the general began signing copies of his memoir "American Soldier", he told NewsWest 9 the new and improved library is proof Midlanders take pride in what's theirs.

"I'm proud of Midland, have always been proud of Midland. It's a special place, it represents something special to the country," he said.


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