OF THE ALPINE PUBLIC LIBRARY
public library in Alpine
was first organized in 1947 by members of the El Progreso Club (a women's
study club of Alpine which merged with The Women's Club of Alpine in
1963). The first location of the El Progreso Public Library was a corner
of Henderson's Radio Shop. The first books were donated by guests at
an afternoon tea hosted by the El Progreso Club.
the spring of 1948, the Brewster County Commissioners Court donated
the use of the sheriff's garage next to the old jail. El Progreso Club
member, Bonnie Newell,
offered to serve as the volunteer librarian. As the book collection
grew and the circulation increased, the need for more space became evident.
An intensive fundraising drive to buy property was instigated by then
El Progreso president, Virginia Bailey. These money-making efforts included
the raffling off of a 1946 Oldsmobile Station Wagon and the entry in
two national contests, "Build a Better Community" sponsored
by the General Federation of Women's Clubs and the "Queen of America"
contest sponsored by the Mutual Broadcasting System. In the first contest,
El Progreso won first place in the state of Texas and second place nationally.
In the second contest, Bonnie Newell was chosen as one of five finalists
out of 50,000 entries. Through these events and various donations, the
goal of $14,000 dollars was reached for the library.
this time, the Sohl home across from the Brewster County Courthouse
was offered to the library for purchase. The dedication ceremony was
held on the courthouse lawn in August 1950. Around 1970, the two buildings
to the South were purchased and connected to the library resulting in
the Alpine Public Library's current unique and charming configuration.
In 2006, the Alpine Public Library board of directors began a Capital Campaign for a new building. The new library was built on land donated by the City of Alpine and the Alpine Independent School District. Construction was funded by donations from private donors and foundations, and with significant in-kind contributions from Brewster County. The project was completed and the new library opened in February, 2012.
The Alpine Public
Library is also unique in that it is an independent private corporation
and is governed by a Board of Directors. The Alpine Public Library association
has contracts with both the city and the county which helps supply basic
operating funds. Other expenses are made possible through grants, fundraising
by the Friends of the Alpine Public Library, and individual donations.
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