Blanco Library

Who We Are

Mission Statement

The mission of the Blanco Library is to provide open access to information and to promote literacy, love of reading, and lifelong learning opportunities for all members of the community.

Vision Statement

The Blanco Library seeks to inspire intellectual and cultural curiosity in a neutral and safe environment, while building partnerships and responding to the needs of our diverse community.

Blanco Library History:

The Blanco Library was founded by the Blanco Woman's Club on October 12th, 1938. Mrs. Maude Chick was the Blanco Woman’s Club president and Mrs. Elmer Dale was the chairman of the library committee. The ladies raised funds through their first Silver Tea for the library. Mr. Robert Fulcher provided the shelf space and a reading table in his drug store (now Strickland's Drug Store). The library officially opened November 19th, 1938 with the 400 books that the Texas State Library loaned as a starter collection. For 47 years the Blanco Library received no public funds and was mainly supported by a per capita assessment from the membership of the Blanco Woman's Club plus fundraisers such as bake sales, cake walks, luncheons, and book sales and private donations and memorials. The ladies auxiliary of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles helped develop the collection by providing several grants for the purchase of large print books.

On April 27th, 1976, the Woman’s Club filed to create the Blanco Library, Inc as a non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation, so that donations  given to support the library were tax deductible. After a series of moves, in 1988 the Library was able to purchase 310 Pecan Street on the square due to a legacy from James A. Williams. Mr. and Mrs. Williams left their home and property in their will, stating that the library could use the home for a new location or sale the property to purchase or build another library. To honor their memory, the library was renamed the James A and Evelyn Williams Memorial Library. Later, the library purchased the adjacent building and expanded to have a children’s room.

The library was given the property at 1118 Main, which had been a restaurant. After a fundraising effort from members, the local community and some foundations, the restaurant building was expanded to a 3,800 square foot building. The proceeds from the sale of the building on the square were also used toward construction. The grand opening at the new location was April 2000. The librarian, Sandra Paine, was still a volunteer (she received $1 a year in salary which was donated back to the Library).

When Texas passed laws allowing for Library Districts, an election was held to form Blanco County South Library District. In February, 2002, Blanco Library, Inc. transferred operation of the Library to the elected District Board of Trustees. At that point, the law allowed one half of one percent (or 0.005) of sales tax collected in  Precincts 1 and 4 in Blanco County, excluding the City of Blanco, to be used for Library operations. Sales tax is only one way the Blanco Library is funded. Blanco County now contributes $6,000 per year and the city of Blanco contributes $15,000 for operations. The library obtains grants for specific projects such as expanding the number of computers, presenting special programs, or purchasing equipment. Mildred Doran, an early member of the Woman’s Club, willed to Blanco Library, Inc. assets that only the interest could be used and they would be allocated for staff salaries.

The Friends of the Blanco Library raise funds to support the library through membership dues and other activities. Thanks to the donations and fundraisers, Friends are able to purchase the books, movies, and other materials for the library, as well as help to fund a variety of special events and needs.

Blanco Library Inc. still owns the library building and maintains it through the dues of members of the Blanco Woman's Club, their annual Silver Tea, private grants, fundraisers, and generous donations.

Blanco Library’s 3 funding support organizations.jpg

In 2016 the three boards of the Blanco Library completed fundraising for expanding the building. The expansion and renovation created a new large conference room, small conference room, two study rooms, a reading room, a kitchen, storage, and a computer lab. The library was expanded by half again the size it was in 2000.

To serve the needs of the growing population and increasing use of the library, we began planning for the future. Land has been purchased for a new building and plans drawn. Due to the downturn of the economy, fundraising efforts for the new building have been put on hold. Even in poor economic times, the library continues to serve the City of Blanco and the surrounding community. Blanco is a farming, ranching, tourist area north of San Antonio and west of Austin in the lovely Texas Hill Country on the beautiful Blanco River.

The library serves a population of 6,527 people in the south half of Blanco County and additionally serves surrounding communities of Spring Branch, Kendalia, and Henly. Facilities include a large general collection area, areas for children and youth, a genealogy room, computer areas for children, teens, and adults as well as spacious public meeting rooms and a kitchenette. The Blanco Library strives to provide library materials and services to support the informational, educational, and recreational needs of the Blanco citizens and community.

About the Collection:

We have a collection of over 24,000 materials, including the latest best sellers, a large selection of children's books, videos, audiobooks, and more. 

Visit our Genealogy Room with rare books, documents, and the classic South Western Journals collection.