El Paso Public Library

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El Paso Public Library is the municipal public library system of El Paso, Texas.

El Paso Public Library, Main Branch

The El Paso Public Library serves the needs the public in El Paso, Texas, Chaparral, New Mexico and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. It consists of 13 branches and one Bookmobile service. Multiple outreach services are also available including a Homebound service.

The main collection consists of 902,521 items in multiple formats including books, reference, downloadble eBooks, audio books, music and movies, DVDs, CDs, large-print books, magazines and newspapers.[1] Special Collections include a Government Documents Collection, Border Heritage Collection and RAZA Collection.

History[edit]

El Paso Public Library in 1909

Beginnings[edit]

The El Paso Public Library is the oldest public library in Texas.[2] It was founded by Mary Irene Stanton, an El Paso area teacher.[3] Stanton "single-handedly becomes founder of the El Paso Public Library" when in 1894, she donated her personal collection of 1,000 books for a boy's Reading Club which was housed in a room in the Sheldon Building.[4] On June 1, 1895, women were also allowed to access this collection.[5] In 1895,the El Paso Library Association was formed, with Mary Stanton as the president, to support further library efforts.[6] On December 4, 1899, 4,000 books that were collectively owned by both Mary I. Stanton and Fannie J. Clark were moved from their location in the Sheldon Hotel to El Paso City Hall.[7] Mary I. Stanton was the original librarian. She began cataloging the books in 1899. In 1900, Belle F. Read takes over as librarian.[8]

Citizens wanted to have a separate library. Petitions were formed and circulated for the library to have its own location.[9] Finally, assistance from Andrew Carnegie came in 1902.[10] The Carnegie Foundation provided the El Paso Library Association a grant totaling $37,500 to build a separate library building to house the growing collection.[11] In agreement with the "Carnegie Formula" which stipulates that a municipality must also provide support for the public library, the City Council agreed to vote in a tax to support the building efforts. The new library would be built on an old cemetery site, Buckler Square. The Library opened on April 25, 1904 in the newly named "Carnegie Square."[12]

Mary Irene Stanton,founder of the El Paso Public Library.

The Library Grows[edit]

The new Carnegie library needed repair by 1919 and the collection had outgrown the building. In fact, many books were housed by operating "branches" in four different drug and grocery stores throughout El Paso starting in 1915.[13] A second story needed to be added to the original Carnegie building. In 1920, the library's book collection is moved temporarily to the courthouse so that construction could take place.[14] In 1945, a second official branch library is opened at the Tays Housing Project. In 1950, the Memorial Park Branch was opened.[15] The Lower Valley Branch opened in 1960. In 1961, two branches: Richard Burges Branch and the Josephine Clardy Fox Branch were opened.[16] In 1957, a Bookmobile was in operation with a second to serve underprivileged communities in El Paso to start operations in 1972.[17]

By 1943, the library's collections had again outgrown its original downtown building. By 1951, a bond issue was approved by El Paso voters for $975,000 to build a new, larger library.[18] The new library opened on September 12, 1954. The building was described as "Modern Southwestern" and contained artistic contributions from artists Tom Lea, Jose Cisneros and Ewing Waterhouse.[19] The original Carnegie Building was demolished in 1968.

Outstanding Early Collections[edit]

In 1906, the El Paso Public Library was designated a Federal Depository as part of the Federal Depository Library Program.[20] In 1908, the library began a Spanish language collection of books.[21] Later, librarian, Maud Durlin Sullivan would add to the Spanish language collection as well as grow a nationally recognized art and southwestern studies collection through the aid of donations and special funds.[22] Maud Sullivan taught herself Spanish in order to better select appropriate books for the library's collection.[23] Maud Sullivan was an avid patron of the arts and also helped create an important Mining Resources Collection for the library.[24]

Children's services at the library date back to 1912 when librarian, Marion Weil-Tappan, promoted children's literature and the connection between the library and public schools. In 1922, the library was fully departmentalized to include a juvenile department.[25]

Services[edit]

The El Paso Public Library offers many services to the public.

  • Library Card
  • Checking out Materials
  • Databases
  • Website
  • eBooks
  • Online Resources
  • Classes
  • Meeting Rooms
  • Cultural Enrichment
  • Free Wireless Access
  • Computer and Internet Access
  • Programming

Special Library Departments[edit]

These departments of the El Paso Public Library have a specific focus and/or serve a targeted group of patrons.

Border Heritage[edit]

The Border Heritage Center is located at the Main Library and combines the library's Southwest, RAZA and Genealogy departments into a central location. The Border Heritage Center manages several special collections, some of which are digital. In addition to these collections, the Border Heritage department provides an online newspaper headline and obituary search for years 1997 through 2011 through its El Paso Public Library Headline & Obituary Search Page.

  • El Paso Times on Microfilm: The Border Heritage Center has microfilm readers and printers for archived El Paso Times newspaper articles. For those who cannot visit the library, the Center provides mail services.
  • Southwest Collection: a historical archive of materials relating to the history of the El Paso-Juarez Border region. Beginning in 1902, the library has been collecting and archiving reference works, related monographs, photographs, architectural drawings, manuscripts, clippings, vertical files, maps, periodicals, postcards and other materials as they relate to the region.[26]
  • RAZA Collection: dating back to the 1970s the RAZA collection contains works by and about Mexican Americans.[27]
  • Genealogy Collection: relating specifically to individuals and families of any nationality that lived in the El Paso-Juarez Border Region.[28]
  • Historical Documents Online: a small collection of important El Paso area historical documents is available online from the Border Heritage Center. See Historical Documents Online.
  • Otis A. Aultman Photo Collection: collects the historic photographs of Aultman, who lived and worked in El Paso. Part of the collection is available online. See Otis A. Aultman digital photo collection.
  • Yearbook Collection: this is an archive of El Paso area high school yearbooks. Starting in 2007 the library began to digitize this collection. Some yearbooks go back to 1885. See Digital Yearbook Collection.

Children's Services[edit]

Children's services include special collections and programs at each branch of the system. During the summer months, the promotes an 8 week long Summer Reading Club in order to encourage literacy among children. The library was Ranked #6[29] in the list for Top 10 Libraries for Children by Livability.com. In addition, the library celebrates the annual Dia de los Niños/Dia de los Libros festival for children and literacy.

Government Documents[edit]

The El Paso Public Library is currently a selective Federal Depository for Government Documents, receiving 35% of documents published by the Government Printing Office (GPO). This department is also a depository for Texas State documents starting in 1966.[30] Some items may be checked out and others are accessible online at the library's Government Documents page. On this page are guides and resources in addition to information about the Federal Depository Program.

Teen Services[edit]

Services specifically for teens are much newer. In the El Paso Public Library, Teen Services are created and implemented by the Teen Hangout Committee. Each library branch sends a member to the committee. Teen services include programming, special teen collections and a celebration known as TeenFest which is celebrated annually.

Branches[edit]

All El Paso Public Library Branches share resources and are connected to the same database. Materials from one branch may be requested and received at another.

  • Main Library (Downtown El Paso) at Oregon and Franklin
  • Armijo Branch (Armijo Library) on 7th
  • Cielo Vista Branch, on Hawkins
  • Clardy Fox Branch, on Robert Alva
  • Dorris Van Doren Regional Branch, on Redd Road
  • Esperanza Acosta Moreno Regional Branch, on Pebble Hills
  • Irving Schwartz Branch, on Dean Martin at Trawood
  • Judge Edward S Marquez Branch, on Yarbrough
  • Memorial Park Branch, on Copper
  • Richard Burges Regional Branch, at Dyer and Will Ruth
  • Westside Branch, on Belvidere
  • Ysleta Branch (Ysleta), on Alameda

In addition, the system offers a bookmobile service[31]

Partnership Libraries[edit]

These libraries are a collaboration between the El Paso Public Library and another entity.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/ld/pubs/pls/2009/plsstats.php
  2. ^ Murphy, James R. (2009). Images of America: El Paso 1850-1950. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing. p. 61. ISBN 978-0-7385-7120-1. 
  3. ^ Timmons, W.H. (1990). El Paso: A Borderlands History. El Paso, Texas: Texas Western Press. p. 194. ISBN 0-87404-213-5. 
  4. ^ Metz, Leon C. (1993). El Paso Chronicles: A Record of the Historical Events in El Paso, Texas. El Paso, Texas: Mangan Books. p. 123. ISBN 0-930208-32-3. 
  5. ^ Indelacio, Laurel. "Mary Irene Stanton". El Paso Public Library. City of El Paso. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  6. ^ Sarber, Mary A. "Stanton, Mary Irene". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  7. ^ Metz, Leon C. (1993). El Paso Chronicles: A Record of the Historical Events in El Paso, Texas. El Paso, Texas: Mangan Books. p. 136. ISBN 0-930208-32-3. 
  8. ^ Lovelace, Lisabeth (1972). "XII". In Harriot Howze Jones. El Paso A Centennial Portrait: A Project of the El Paso County Historical Society 1973 Centennial. El Paso, Texas: Superior Printing, Inc. p. 175. 
  9. ^ Indelacio, Laurel. "Mary Irene Stanton". El Paso Public Library. City of El Paso. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  10. ^ Lovelace, Lisabeth (1972). "XII". In Harriot Howze Jones. El Paso A Centennial Portrait: A Project of the El Paso County Historical Society 1973 Centennial. El Paso, Texas: Superior Printing, Inc. p. 175. 
  11. ^ Jordan, Anne. "Carnegie Libraries". Texas Handbook Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  12. ^ Metz, Leon C. (1993). El Paso Chronicles: A Record of the Historical Events in El Paso, Texas. El Paso, Texas: Mangan Books. p. 144. ISBN 0-930208-32-3. 
  13. ^ Lovelace, Lisabeth (1972). "XII". In Harriot Howze Jones. El Paso A Centennial Portrait: A Project of the El Paso County Historical Society 1973 Centennial. El Paso, Texas: Superior Printing, Inc. p. 175. 
  14. ^ Metz, Leon C. (1993). El Paso Chronicles: A Record of the Historical Events in El Paso, Texas. El Paso, Texas: Mangan Books. p. 198. ISBN 0-930208-32-3. 
  15. ^ Metz, Leon C. (1993). El Paso Chronicles: A Record of the Historical Events in El Paso, Texas. El Paso, Texas: Mangan Books. pp. 237&244. ISBN 0-930208-32-3. 
  16. ^ Lovelace, Lisabeth (1972). "XII". In Harriot Howze Jones. El Paso A Centennial Portrait: A Project of the El Paso County Historical Society 1973 Centennial. El Paso, Texas: Superior Printing, Inc. p. 178. 
  17. ^ Lovelace, Lisabeth (1972). "XII". In Harriot Howze Jones. El Paso A Centennial Portrait: A Project of the El Paso County Historical Society 1973 Centennial. El Paso, Texas: Superior Printing, Inc. p. 178. 
  18. ^ Lovelace, Lisabeth (1972). "XII". In Harriot Howze Jones. El Paso A Centennial Portrait: A Project of the El Paso County Historical Society 1973 Centennial. El Paso, Texas: Superior Printing, Inc. p. 175. 
  19. ^ Lovelace, Lisabeth (1972). "XII". In Harriot Howze Jones. El Paso A Centennial Portrait: A Project of the El Paso County Historical Society 1973 Centennial. El Paso, Texas: Superior Printing, Inc. p. 178. 
  20. ^ "Government Documents". El Paso Public Library. City of El Paso. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  21. ^ Metz, Leon C. (1993). El Paso Chronicles: A Record of the Historical Events in El Paso, Texas. El Paso, Texas: Mangan Books. p. 155. ISBN 0-930208-32-3. 
  22. ^ Lovelace, Lisabeth (1972). "XII". In Harriot Howze Jones. El Paso A Centennial Portrait: A Project of the El Paso County Historical Society 1973 Centennial. El Paso, Texas: Superior Printing, Inc. p. 177. 
  23. ^ Kohout, Martin Donell. "Sullivan, Maud Durlin". The Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  24. ^ Kohout, Martin Donell. "Sullivan, Maud Durlin". The Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  25. ^ Hertzog, Carl (1954). El Paso Public Library. Guynes Printing Company. p. 20. 
  26. ^ http://www.elpasotexas.gov/library/_documents/Archives_Guide_2009.pdf
  27. ^ http://www.elpasotexas.gov/library/ourlibraries/main_library/border_heritage.asp
  28. ^ http://www.elpasotexas.gov/library/ourlibraries/main_library/border_heritage.asp
  29. ^ http://www.elpasotimes.com/opinion/ci_19879641
  30. ^ "Government Documents". El Paso Public Library. City of El Paso. Retrieved 26 September 2012. 
  31. ^ "Our Libraries." El Paso Public Library. Retrieved on March 6, 2010.