Round Rock Public Library
There is a public library in Round Rock, Texas known as the Round Rock Public Library (RRPL).
The shooting between Sam Bass and his pursuers in 1878 took place on the corner lot where the library building now sits on Main Street in downtown Round Rock. The parcel of land belonging to the library has been utilized by a variety of businesses in addition to the City of Round Rock. The current library building was designed by architect Ray Gill of the firm Ray Gill Architects around the year 1997. The architect aimed to create a structure whose architecture would reflect the site’s local heritage. Robert G. and Helen Griffith, two locals who were instrumental in the establishment and upkeep of the library, inspired the naming of the building that houses the library.
There have been many different purposes served by the library’s site. The east half of the corner lot was occupied by a storehouse for sashes, doors, and blinds in 1885; however, by 1902, the lot had become vacant. When the usage of automobiles became more common in 1925, a 30-car garage moved in to take up the corner. In 1937, the garage was converted into a sales and service showroom for Ford automobiles, and on the western half of the land, a building that served as a hybrid City Hall and volunteer Fire Department was constructed.
At some point in the early 1960s, a library was built on the corner lot. It was in 1962 when the Round Rock Ladies Home Demonstration Club came to the conclusion that the city required a library. They recruited a group of Round Rock residents to serve as the inaugural board for the Round Rock Public Library. Then, they purchased the previous Ford Motor Company structure that presently serves as the location of the East Main Street and Sheppard branch of the library. The former showroom could be converted into space, but the process would take twenty months to complete. A building and trade class from Round Rock High School as well as local craftsmen were responsible for the construction work on the showroom.
At initially, the library was managed by the Round Rock Public Library Association, which is a state-chartered, nonprofit organization. After that, in the year 1977, the City of Round Rock became the proprietor of the library.
The library was forced to close due to damage to its structure in September of 1978. The library was transferred to a temporary structure on Liberty Street during the spring of 1979. A number of community members and volunteers assisted in moving the books and equipment into the interim location. Up until the year 1980, the library was open to the local community.
On July 20, 1980, a building with two stories and a cost of $0.5 million was dedicated on the site of the original building. The city council chamber was located on the second floor of the building, while the library was located on the first floor. Ray Gill was the architect behind the building’s design, and his goals were to preserve the historical Texas character that is present in other buildings on Main Street and to create a seamless integration with the structure that already housed the city hall.
The entire structure had to be remodeled in May of 1988 since there was a pressing need for additional space. At that time, the library decided to switch from using a card catalog to an automated library system. It wasn’t until 1992 that a Library Foundation was established, incorporated, and given a 501(c)(3) non-profit designation, which gave it the authority to supplant the Library Board.
In January of 1996, residents of Round Rock voted on and approved a bond issue that would cost $3.5 million and increase the size of the library from 11,000 square feet (1,000 m2) to about 43,000 square feet (4,000 m2). The new addition’s construction began in March 1998 and was completed seven years later in July 1999. The renovation work on the older structure started right away and was finished in December of 1999. On November 20, 1999, a ceremony to celebrate the opening of the library was conducted, and on that day, the building was given the name Robert G. and Helen Griffith Library in honor of the couple, who have been supporters of the library for a very long time.
Researchers and genealogists will have easier access to the history of the city, the county, and central Texas as a result of the collaborative efforts of the Williamson County Genealogical Society (WCGS) and the Williamson County Library. The WCGS Library is in charge of storing and cataloging the organization’s collection of local genealogical and historical materials. These materials were donated by the WCGS. Both of these groups host educational research sessions at the Library, where they also make contributions to the collection’s maintenance and expansion efforts.
RRPL provides a teen program that includes gaming competitions, a blog, and a book club for its young patrons. Story time, toddler time, and reading programs for the summer are just some of the offerings geared specifically at young patrons that can be found on the lower level of the library.
Ask a Librarian is the name of RRPL’s online reference service, which gives customers the opportunity to pose queries to the library’s reference librarians and receive emailed responses to their inquiries within forty-eight hours.
Next Point of Interest: Longhorn Cavern State Park