EARLY HISTORY

In 1984 a group of citizens began to build support for establishing a library in Bulverde. In a random survey of Bulverde residents, 98% of those surveyed stated that they felt a need for a library in the area.
The citizens group consulted with the Texas State Library District 10 in San Antonio and followed their guidelines for entry into the Texas Library System as they worked to establish and build a new library.
In 1985 the Bulverde Public Library was incorporated with the state as a non-profit organization. The first Board Members were Mildred Watson, Doris Haecker, Willie Tyler, Howard Pettyjohn, Beverly Kirk, Clara Muerer, and Laurie Murphy. From March 1986 to 1988 the library operated in a rented building in downtown Bulverde with 5,300 books on the shelves and an average of 350 books a month circulated. All operating funds for the library in that two-year period came from supporters including: Comal County, GVTC, S.T.A.G.E., Bulverde Optimist Club, Bulverde Lions Club, memorial donations, raffles, and book sales.

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In 1988 the Commissioner’s Court of Comal County provided funding and the portable building was installed on Cougar Bend. This building was renovated with the help of the Bulverde Optimists (new roof, porch), the Bulverde Lions (new carpeting), the 4-H (assisted with the move from the old building), and other community minded businesses and individuals.
In 1989 a second building, also from C.I.S.D., was added to the first and the two buildings were renovated and painted by a small army of volunteers. Requirements for membership in the San Antonio Area Library System were met and the library became part of the Texas State Library Association.
In 1989, due to a donation made by the Express-News from review copies of books sent by publishers, the Bulverde Public Library met its 6,000 volume accreditation requirement.

CHANGES

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In 1996, a campaign began to raise the money necessary to build a permanent library building. The library launched its first building campaign with a raffle. A new era began with an incredible 50 day petition drive for a special election conducted by Gary Tanner, Linda Nielsen, Ann Gaydos and Pat Howard.
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January 2000 a special election established the Bulverde Area Rural Library District funded by a ½ % sales tax. The library’s name was changed to The Bulverde/Spring Branch Library to reflect the larger service area of the Library District. After the creation of the Library District, the Friends of the Bulverde/Spring Branch Library incorporated as a 501 (c)(3) organization.
The
BARLD Board of Trustees realized that the size and location of the current buildings would not serve the population of the Library District. They began a search for a more centrally located plot of land large enough for a new permanent building.

GROWTH

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The Bulverde/Spring Branch Library opened in its new 6,000 square foot location in the H.E.B. Shopping Center at the crossroads of Texas 46 & Highway 281 North in November 2002. Moving to the new location saw an increase in the number of card holders, visits and circulation that continued through the library’s stay in the H.E.B. Center. The 2001 Board of Trustees, Gary Tanner, Roger Geraghty, Linda Nielson, Molly Martin and Scott Watson undertook a study of the Library District which resulted in a recommendation that the library seek a more central location for the permanent library building. Mayor William Cole led the effort to discover and acquire a location for the permanent library building. After talking with several developers, the library received a donation of land worth $1.6 million from SCC Development Company as part of the agreement for developing the Home Depot site on Warren Hill.
Under the leadership of Don Clark, a committee formed to develop a plan for building a new library. At a ground-breaking ceremony in January 2007 the library was dedicated as the Bulverde/Spring Branch Library at the William J. Cole Library Park. Friends of the Library initiated the “Discover the World from Here” campaign to fully furnish and landscape the new site.
The
new 18,680 square foot Bulverde/Spring Branch Library opened its doors on May 1, 2008.

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