About the Library
Your Friends want you know what the Library is all about!
The Richardson Public Library began in 1947 as a branch of the Dallas County Library. It occupied a few crowded shelves in the back room of the Cash Dry Goods store at 108 East Main. Miss Jessie Durham, the proprietor of the store, served as librarian. The population of Richardson was then 1,200 and the library collection numbered four hundred volumes.
Eleven years later, a city ordinance authorized the library as an official city department. A $100,000 bond issue was approved to cover the costs of construction of a new building. On November 22, 1959, citizens literally carried the books from Cash Dry Goods store to the new location at 310 East Tyler. This 5,800 square foot, red-brick building sat behind the police station and consisted of two rooms separated by the circulation desk. The population of Richardson was then about 12,000.
By 1965, the library had again outgrown its space. In July, the citizens approved bonds to finance a new location. The current library building opened its doors December 1, 1970, at an estimated cost of $2 million. The city population was then nudging 50,000. The 81,650 square foot, four-story building opened with the use of two floors and a small portion of the basement. By 1980, the basement reference department had been added. In 1993, a bond election was approved to finish the third floor, install a second public elevator, and totally renovate the remaining space. In February, 1995, the work was completed after many months of work in which each floor, one by one, was gutted and remodeled. The most recent renovation, in 2006, expanded the space dedicated to the Youth Services Department and created a Teen room. Other spaces and collections in the library were reorganized to accommodate the Youth Services expansion.
In 2009 the library’s collections had surpassed 250,000 items, circulation was more than 1,269,000, and there were more than 490,000 total visits to the library. The library has a staff of 32 full time employees, 40 part time employees, and is also assisted by many generous volunteers all dedicated to making Richardson Public Library the best library around. Current collections and services include: Books – World language books and magazines – Popular magazines – Music CDs – DVDs – Audio books on mp3 players and CD – Downloadable audio books – Book club kits – Online databases – free wifi – Computers with Internet access and Microsoft Office – Storytime programs for younger kids – Fun, interesting programs for teens and adults – Book discussion groups – Literacy programs.