1129 7th Street NorthWest
Annual community surveys consistently showed that a library was one of the top priorities for the citizens of the growing Piedmont community. Although the city did not have funds to construct a library, Mayor John Bickerstaff and City Manager Jim Richardson were supportive of the idea and encouraged Parks and Recreations committee chair Marcie Moore to pursue it. In the fall of 2000, Marcie, city secretary Heather Flynn, Mrs. John Bickerstaff (Arita), and community member Lisa Gigstad attended "On Stage Oklahoma" at Rose State College. There we met Ann Weisman, Executive Director of the Assembly of Community Arts Councils of Oklahoma. In January 2001, Ann came to Piedmont to meet our fledging group and pointed us in the right direction to become a not-for-profit group. City employee Betty Thompson suggested the name for the organization.
Our first board meeting was held November 2000. Board members were Marcie Moore, Arita Bickerstaff, Heather Flynn, and Lisa Gigstad. In January 2001, Marcie Moore resigned and moved out of state. Our committee members were Annalisa Campbell, Rhonda Banks, and David Davis, city attorney. The mission statement we adopted was: "To serve people of all ages in the Piedmont community; to encourage development of a library and contribute to its ongoing mission; To facilitate a variety of cultural events n our community." Our immediate goals were: "To establish a public Library in the city of Piedmont; to provide support of the Piedmont Public Library through the administration, daily operation and programming; to promote education, recreation, and cultural opportunities." The Board met quarterly in 2001.
About this time, the Daily Oklahoman newspaper ran an article discussing our efforts to establish a library in the community. As a direct result of reading this article, we were contacted by an Okalahoma City couple, Justin and Marguerite Vogt, whose grandchildren attended Piedmont Schools. Over the course of the next year, they contributed $450,000 to construct the building and make our dream a reality.
In April 2001, we expanded the Board to include Diana Tunnell, Nedra Funk, and Annalisa Campbell and established additional committees. In April, the city established the Piedmont Library Trust Authority to administer funds for the construction. In August, after several failed attempts to produce land for the library, Nedra Funk offered 2.5 acres she owned on Seventh Street for the site. The balance in our bank account at this time was $84. In September, Jack Robinson became our seventh board member.
P.L.A.C.E.S. sponsored a ground-breaking ceremony for the library on May 4, 2002. During the course of that year, and the years following, we sponsored numerous cultural events and fundraisers. In June 2003, we met our new librarian, Glenna Schnell, who was introduced by the Chairman of the city's Library Board, Bruce Campbell. On October 31 we lost Glenna to a sudden illness. Pat O'Bryant became the next librarian, followed in 2004 by Thuy Nguyen.