Texas Book Festival awards $100,000 to public libraries

McAllen Public Library in McAllen, Texas
Students use the Study Zone at the McAllen Public Library in McAllen, Texas. Photo courtesy Texas Book Festival.

Let’s hear it for public libraries!

The Texas Book Festival has awarded $100,500 to 41 public libraries across the Lone Start State as part of its Texas Library Grants program. Festival officials made the announcement today at the annual Texas Library Association conference in Austin.

TBF’s Texas Library Grants support collection enhancements which allow public libraries to meet the needs of their communities by updating, improving and expanding the variety of the books offered to their patrons. Since its inception in 1995, TBF’s grants have distributed over $3 million to more than 800 libraries.

In the small North Texas town of Denison, for example, library leaders plan to use their grant to add more books by multicultural authors.

“Our patrons have little access to books by Native American authors, and with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma less than 20 miles away, we realize our book collection was completely inadequate in this area,” says Kimberly Murray, Denison Library director. “Our collection should reflect and serve the needs and interests of everyone that comes through the doors.”


Murray also plans to add more books by and featuring Latinx, African American, and Muslim people in the library’s continued efforts to combat prejudice. “This grant will allow us to bring the richness and variety of stories to patrons that would not normally encounter these authors.”

Terrell County, on the U.S.-Mexican border, is one of the least populous counties in the state and this year its one and only public library is a first time grant recipient. In fact, recent budget cuts have left the Terrell County Public Library, in the tiny town of Sanderson (pop. 837), with only one full-time staff member. The next closest library, in Marathon, is 54 miles away.

The Terrell library will use its grant funds to purchase more than 200 new books for children and teens that will help fill out a much outdated and incomplete children’s section.

2019 Texas Book Festival Library Grant Recipients: 

  1. Temple Public Library
  2. Cedar Park Public Library
  3. Friends of the Round Rock Public Library
  4. Polk-Wisdom Library
  5. Terrell County General Fund
  6. Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Library
  7. McAllen Public Library
  8. Mineola Memorial Library
  9. Maribelle M. Davis Library
  10. City of Lancaster Veterans Memorial Library
  11. Cockrell Hill Library
  12. Lewisville Public Library
  13. Hutto Public Library
  14. Whitehouse Community Library
  15. Corsicana Public Library
  16. North Branch Library
  17. Marlin Public Library
  18. Marathon Public Library
  19. J.R. Huffman Public Library
  20. Palestine Public Library
  21. Dublin Public Library Board
  22. Leon Valley Public Library
  23. Garden Ridge Library
  24. Pflugerville Public Library
  25. Carl and Mary Welhausen Library
  26. Denison Public Library
  27. Charlotte Public Library
  28. Henderson County Clint W. Murchison Memorial Library
  29. Arlington Public Library
  30. Fannie Brown Booth Memorial Library
  31. Grand Saline Public Library
  32. Sarah Bain Chandler Public Library
  33. El Paso Public Library
  34. Judy B. McDonald Public Library
  35. Brookshire Pattison Library
  36. Friends of the Longview Public Library
  37. Leadership Academy Library
  38. Whitesboro Public Library
  39. Buna Public Library
  40. Roberta Bourne Memorial Library
  41. Cleburne Public Library
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