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Brownwood Public Library

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The current Brownwood Public Library building was completed in 1966 and ushered in a new era of services to the citizens of Brownwood and Brown County.

The original city library building (below), constructed in 1904, was one of 2,509 funded by Andrew Carnegie in the U.S. and other English-speaking countries. Brownwood's pillared, two-story library building was financed by Carnegie at a cost of $15,000. In turn, the city government agreed to provide an annual budget for materials (books, etc) and maintenance.

For 61 years, this Carnegie building served the community-providing materials of both educational and recreational value; as a club and activity center; as a stage for live entertainment; and, during World War II, providing space for the Red Cross to make surgical dressings for military personnel. As the decades passed, and Brownwood grew and provided more accoutrements customary in a smaller town, the library focused its energies on providing reading materials to the public. For a number of reasons, the Carnegie building proved inadequate to meet even this limited need. Of significant note, as book stacks are very heavy, structural problems rendered the second floor only useful for storage. Consequently, the old building was torn down in 1965 after arrangements had been made to provide a new building.

A city bond issue for $95,000 was passed on 24 September 1963 to construct a new building. This bond issue, along with funding provided under the auspices of the Texas State Library and the federal Library Services and Construction Act of 1964, provided the $175,000 necessary to defray construction costs. Construction began with a groundbreaking ceremony performed on November 4, 1965. Materials were moved into the new building in August 1966.

The Brownwood Public Library Association is chartered by the State of Texas as a nonprofit corporation, but receives the bulk of its funding from the Cities of Brownwood, Early, Bangs, and the County of Brown. It is governed by an eleven-member board of trustees who are appointed to three-year terms by the Brownwood City Council. The library is directed by a professional librarian.

Society has become more complex over the years and the Brownwood Public Library has followed suit to keep abreast of developments. Currently, the library is embarking on an ambitious modernization program. A computer network with nine terminals has been installed for public use. These terminals currently include the Internet, Microsoft Office 2000, and Corel Office 2000. These programs include word processing, presentation programs, spreadsheet programs, and a publishing program, among others. We also have a wide array of CD-ROM's of interest to children and adults alike. The library is also in the initial stages of converting the card catalog into a computerized catalog. We anticipate introducing this system to the public in the late spring of 2000.

The library also has an extensive collection of materials in more traditional formats. At the present time, it holds approximately 75,000 books. These books include easy readers for young children learning to read; juvenile fiction and nonfiction; young adult fiction and nonfiction; and adult materials subdivided into the following categories: Texana, Nonfiction, General Fiction, story collection (short stories), Westerns, Science Fiction, Mysteries, and large print books for the blind and visually impaired. We also carry a wide array of audio books of benefit to the blind and visually impaired, as well as those who would prefer this format. The extensive reference collection, developed over many years, includes materials needed by children, young adults, and adults.

We also carry newspapers and magazines in both the conventional paper and the newer electronic format. The State of Texas provides the library with First Search. Currently, First Search contains access to over 70 databases in a wide range of subject areas and over 1.5 million full-text periodical articles.

The library has a Genealogy Section that is currently being expanded into larger quarters. Also contained in this section will be materials pertaining to local history. This move, in conjunction with closer cooperation with the Pecan Valley Genealogy Society, will mean improved service in this area.

Additionally, the library also has programs for children that include Story Time, which is held at 10:30 on Thursday mornings, and a Summer Reading program. Please call the library at 646-0155 for details on this program. We also carry accelerated reader books (AR) for participating school districts in Brown County. This includes lists for most of the schools in the area along with point values.

For situations where the information/ education needs of the public cannot be met in-house, we participate in an Inter Library Loan (ILL) program with the state of Texas. If we don't have what you're looking for we can probably get it.

The Brownwood Public Library has a long and illustrious history of serving the residents of Brown County. We continue to strive for ways to improve and serve you better.

Come visit us!

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Hours of Operation: Not Listed
Notes: None Listed
Hours:Main Library Hours Monday, Wednesday, Friday.......... .........9:00 - 6:00 Tuesday, Thursday.......... .........9:00 - 8:00 Saturday.......... .........9:00 - 1:00 Genealogy and Local History Branch Hours 213 S. Broadway Brownwood, Texas 76801 325-646-6006 Tuesday thru Friday . . . . . . . 9:00 - 6:00 (Closed on Mondays and Weekends)


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