Bristow, Oklahoma was originally called “Chaska Talfa” (Oak Town) by the members of the Muscogee Nation who settled here after removal to the new Indian Territory in the nineteenth century. The settlement became known as "The Woodland Queen" and featured at least a trading post. The St. Louis and Oklahoma City Railroad (later the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway) built a line from Sapulpa to Oklahoma City in 1989. Named for U.S. Senator Joseph L. Bristow (of Kansas), a post office was established on April 25, 1898. Charles C. Crane served as the settlement's first postmaster. A. H. Purdy opened the first bank, and settlers built a one-room schoolhouse. The town had a population of 626 in 1900. (See also: Linda D. Wilson, “Bristow,” The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, https://www.okhistory.org/publications/enc/entry?entry=BR017).
The Culture Club of Bristow created the town's first library in 2012, within the American National Bank Building. From these humble beginnings, the library shuffled between church basements, school rooms, even grocery store offices, until the Carnegie building was created for the Bristow Public Library in 1919. In 1997, efforts began to move the library to its present home at 111 W 7th Avenue. In 2000, the move occurred, enabling the library and its staff to broaden collections and services.
Today, the Montfort & Allie B. Jones Bristow Public Library serves a fifty-mile radius, as well as the immediate town of Bristow. Our library lies within the boundaries of Muscogee (formerly known as Creek) Nation, and boasts large-city amenities with a small-town heart. We offer programming for children, teens, and adults. Our physical collection is 25,000 items strong, and growing.
We are also a part of the OverDrive consortium via the Oklahoma Virtual Library. Additional services include, but are not limited to: meeting room use, printing and faxing services, public-use computers and Chromebooks. We have recently been awarded mobile hotspots through the Emergency Connectivity (Broadband) Fund. We aim to expand our services and collections to better serve the needs of our patrons.
Director: Heather D. Hutto
Driven by caffeine and the determination to provide fair and inclusive access to information. Also serves double-duty as our Adult Services Librarian. Heather earned her Masters of Science in Library Science from the University of North Texas.
Children's Specialist: Elsie George
Has a magical-like ability to connect with littles on their level, Mrs. Elsie always incorporates imagination, the arts, and creativity into her weekly Storytime programming. Elsie is a gifted musician and has a B.S. in Psychology. She's also our resident black belt martial artist.
Teen & Youth Specialist: Justice Sweger
Event planner extraordinaire, Justice has just started at the library and has already made strides with our new Teen & Youth programming. Whether processing new items, readers' advisory, or assisting in research Justice is a Jane-of-trades and really brings magic to our team! Justice is earning her bachelor's degree in Library Science.
Technology Specialist: Matthew B.
Whether troubleshooting your operating system or calculating your specialized printing needs, Matthew's got you covered. Matthew has earned several professional trade certifications in the IT field. Our resident problem solver, he's also adept at maintaining the library's network configurations and calculating new ways of accomplishing things.
Local History & Genealogy Specialist: Amanda Harding
Amanda has served the library for four years and counting. She is our resident expert on all things historic, and does additional work cataloging/accessioning items for the Bristow Historical Society. Amanda received her B.S. in Biology from Northwestern Oklahoma State University while also working at the library, and is currently working on her Masters in Geology and Paleontology at Oklahoma State University.
Circulation Specialist: Vicki Vanderslice
A life-long area resident, Vicki can remember your reading preferences, what you liked about the protagonist in the book you read last August, and your grandmother's favorite recipes. Vicki manages all Inter-Library Loan requests for the library and processes all of our new books.