The Harper Library began in June, 2004, with a letter to the editor in The Harper News. Seven people met in response to this letter. This group began meeting monthly to plan and organize for a library. The library opened its doors to the public on April 6, 2006.
The library started in a small house behind Dauna's on Hwy. 290 with donated books from area residents and other libraries. The library soon outgrew the first site and moved to our second location in November, 2006, rented from Wild Ride Ministries . Along with the move, the library staff converted the entire collection to an automated program, Biblionix Apollo, allowing patrons to browse the collection, renew and reserve books from home.
In 2009, the library board purchased our current building that we share with our Library Resale Shop. Grand opening was April, 2010, with a new renovated 4000 sq. ft. space. Now the collection totals about 12,500 materials-- books, audio books, DVD movies, periodicals, and newspapers. There is a public meeting room available for local organizations to reserve. Six computers and WiFi connection are available for public use. Our parking lots are WiFi "Hot Spots".
In 2011 Harper Library became a member of the Texas State Library System allowing our patrons to have access to Inter Library Loans and the TexShare databases for research. Now our patrons can also download digital media (eBooks and audio-books) through our Overdrive account.
Without the grant support from several foundations the library staff would not have been able to grow so successfully. Support also has been very generous from our area land owners and residents. Gillespie Co. now provides some annual funds for operations. Many fund raising events have been held including Music Fests, two home tours, Double B Fireworks Jamborees, Attic Sales, Saturday in the Park, raffles, and many, many book sales. The Harper Library Resale shop was opened in May 2008. Their profits are a wonderful and largest source of income needed to help fund our operating expenses.
Summer Reading Programs have been held each July for children since 2005. We also have "Books on Wheels", a program where we will deliver books to persons unable to drive. Special programs are held throughout the year for our patrons. Our Adult Literacy Program provided English as a Second Language, GED tutoring, Pathway to Citizenship, Spanish classes, and basic literacy tutoring free to our area residents. This program is on hold due to lack of students.
All of these accomplishments have kept our Library volunteers very busy! Yes, everyone at the library and resale shop are volunteers except for our new director hired in January 2017. Thousands of hours have been spent making the Harper Library and Resale Shop a vibrant and important part of the Harper area. The volunteers are very proud of their accomplishment and invite all in the area to come and enjoy all the library services and to shop our wonderful resale shop.