Georgetown Public Library

March marks the 50th anniversary of Georgetown Public Library

“Let’s plan a dream into reality.”

Those motivating words were spoken by PTA president Anna Aiken on October 8, 1965, at the inaugural meeting of 25 Friends of the Library. A short five months later, Georgetown’s first library opened its doors in a rented room on the square (prior to that, Southwestern University’s library doubled as the public library). The downtown location served until 1970, when the collections moved to the current council chambers on the corner of 7th and Main Streets. In 1987, the library outgrew its building again, and a new library was built on Martin Luther King Street.

The current two-story library, located at 402 W. 8th Street, opened in 2007 and boasts an expansive 50,000 square feet housing approximately 130,000 literary pieces as well artwork, a children’s library and programs, a WOW!mobile outreach service, public computers, a coffee shop, and Second Hand Prose, a used books store located on the second floor. Director Eric Lashley says, “We have a visitor from France who makes a point to stop by the library when she is in town to purchase cookbooks to add to her collection. Another noteworthy visitor is former First Lady and librarian Laura Bush, who stopped in to read for National Library Week during her husband’s term in office.”

The library is a hub of activity with live music and art shows and a bicycle rental service that allows visitors and residents to peddle around the Most Beautiful Town Square in Texas.

Volunteers working to get the books ready for the first library in 1966. Photo credit: Evans Studio

Volunteers working to get the books ready for the first library in 1966.
Photo credit: Evans Studio

The original visionaries would likely be pleased with Georgetown Public Library’s remarkable growth throughout the years. Here’s to the next 50 years—and beyond!

50th Anniversary Events

March 5th: Georgetown Public Library Gala

March 14th–18th (Spring Break): Children’s Library hosts a 50th Birthday Party

“Where people coming into Georgetown to shop can visit the library . . .”

“Where a story hour can keep small children’s minds growing . . .”

“Where works of art, old or new, can be displayed . . .”

“Where the library is a meeting place for the community . . .”

From Anna Aiken’s presentation to the Friends of the Library, October 8, 1965. Ms. Aiken is the only living original board member.

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