Two Campuses . . . Two Wonderful Libraries
HCYR's Founder Gary Priour was a professor of English
Literature at Schreiner College when he started the Youth Ranch in
1977. Just as education was to become a pillar of the HCYR
program, so the Mabee Library was to become the home base for the
Says Priour, "Libraries are the cornerstones for our
educational institutions. They are a universe and university
all to themselves. That's why the first educational facilities
we built at both children's homes, at Ingram in 1983, and at Big
Springs Ranch in 2001, were libraries."
The Mabee Library in Ingram went up in 1983, right
after the first three children's residences and the Community
Center. The Community Center was required by state standards
as an indoor activity area for children. But the state had
nothing to say about libraries.
"For me," says Priour, "it was the required next
step. Libraries are our windows to the larger world. In
our program, it has been a place of learning and healing.
Often, it is a place of solace where children can find comfort or
stir their imaginations, leaving troubles behind or gaining new
perspective on them."
As soon as the new campus at Leakey had its first
three children's residences, by 2001, HCYR repeated the same pattern
for the new Big Springs Ranch. The M. S. Doss Library came
first, then other facilities for education and recreation.
"We will always be seeking to enrich them," says
Priour, "because they will enrich the children in geometric
Marcy Dorman, librarian at the Ingram campus, is
shown left during a reading hour, which is a favorite among
students, as is her book club through which students earn points and
buy books for themselves.