Dallas Public Library
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Dallas Public Library
Dallas Public Library
CountryUnited States
Location1515 Young Street
Dallas, Texas
Access and use
Population served1,281,047 (2014 Est.)
Other information
Budget$31,177,105 (FY 2015-16)[3]
Staff392.5 FTE[3]
References: [6]

The Dallas Public Library system serves as the municipal library system of the city of Dallas, Texas (USA).


The cornerstone of the old Carnegie Library, which was demolished in 1954

In 1899, the idea to create a free public library in Dallas was conceived by the Dallas Federation of Women's Clubs, led by president Mrs. Henry (May Dickson) Exall. She helped raise US$11,000 from gifts from public school teachers, local businessmen, and Alfred Horatio Belo of The Dallas Morning News.

The library became a reality when Mrs. Exall requested and received a US$50,000 grant from philanthropist and steel giant Andrew Carnegie to construct the first library building in Dallas. On October 22, 1901,[7] the Carnegie library opened at the corner of Harwood and Commerce streets with a head librarian, three assistants, and 9,852 volumes. The first story held the entire collection; the second floor held the Carnegie Hall auditorium and an Art Room. The art room was the first public art gallery in Dallas and eventually became what is known today as the Dallas Museum of Art.

The modern Dallas Public Library building opened in 1954 and included controversial artwork.

An Oak Cliff branch opened in 1914 to serve the citizens of the area, annexed into Dallas in 1903. Four more branches opened in the 1930s including the Paul Lawrence Dunbar Library, which was the first to serve the African American population of Dallas. This began under the director of Cleora Clanton.[8]

In World War II, the library was fully established as a War Information Center. By 1950, the library resources and facilities were stretched to the limit, so supporters formed an auxiliary organization called the Friends of the Dallas Public Library to lobby for better library services.

By the 1950s, the Carnegie Library was badly deteriorating and overcrowded, and a new modern library was built on the same site. During construction, the Library was housed temporarily on the mezzanine of Union Station. The new building, now known as Old Dallas Central Library, had room for over 400,000 volumes and opened in 1954.

Growth: 1960 to 2000

During the 1960s and 1970s, the Dallas Public Library added 17 branches to the system. In 1962, Lillian M. Bradshaw was named Library Director, the first woman to head a department in the City of Dallas, marking a milestone in the civil rights and women's liberation movements of that era.[9] Days after she was put into office, she faced a censorship push from a Dallas council-member, but the community and media rallied to her defense. The City Council, in response, overwhelmingly approved her appointment and passed a resolution not to censor books purchased by the library.[10] By the 1970s, the Central Library had again become overloaded and was unequipped to handle emerging technology. (This was partly a result of the federal Library Services and Construction Act, which had enabled the addition of an unexpected number of volumes to the collection in a relatively short period of time.) In 1972, the City selected a 114,000 square feet (10,600 m2) site at Young and Ervay across from the Dallas City Hall for a new central library facility. In 1982, the technologically sophisticated structure opened its doors. It was one of the first libraries in the nation to include an Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC) and state-of-the-art audiovisual capabilities. It was renamed the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in 1986 in honor of the former mayor who played a large role in the library system's development.[] B

By the 2000s, the system had 27 branch locations with over 2.5 million volumes, including books, magazines, videos, and cassettes. The system currently attracts 2.8 million visitors per year and has 540,000 cardholders who check out more than 3.8 million books and other materials per year. The Library also operates a "Library on Wheels" Mobile Learning Center to service Dallas communities.[11]

Historic documents

The Dallas Public Library is home to a copy of Shakespeare's First Folio, the only copy in a US public library outside of New England. It was purchased by the Dallas Shakespeare Club in 1984 at a cost of $275,000 and was gifted to the Library in 1986.[12] It is displayed on the 7th floor.[13]

A Dunlap Broadside copy of the Declaration of Independence is also housed on the 7th floor. Printed by John Dunlap of Philadelphia, it is only one of twenty-five known to survive. This is the only copy west of the Mississippi, and one of only 3 displayed by a public library. It was purchased by a number of individuals for $500,000 and given to the city.[14][15]


Forest Green Branch Library
Skillman Southwestern Branch Library

The library operates 27 branch locations throughout the city,[16] and an 8-story main branch, the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, in the Government District of downtown. It also operates the Bookmarks Children's Library located in NorthPark Center.

  • Arcadia Park Branch Library in West Dallas[17]
  • Audelia Road Branch Library in Lake Highlands[18]
  • Bachman Lake Branch Library[19]
  • Dallas West Branch Library in West Dallas[20]
  • Forest Green Branch Library in Lake Highlands[21]
  • Fretz Park Branch Library in North Dallas[22]
  • Grauwyler Park Branch Library in Dallas[23]
  • Hampton-Illinois Branch Library in Oak Cliff[24]
  • Highland Hills Branch Library in the Highland Hills neighborhood of South Dallas[25]
  • Kleberg-Rylie Branch Library in Kleberg in far Southeast Dallas[26]
  • Lochwood (formerly Casa View)
  • Lakewood Branch Library in Junius Heights,[26][27] near Lakewood
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Library and Learning Center near Fair Park[28]
  • Mountain Creek Branch Library in Mountain Creek, Dallas, Texas[29]
  • North Oak Cliff Branch Library in Oak Cliff[30]
  • Oak Lawn Branch Library in Oak Lawn[31]
  • Park Forest Branch Library in North Dallas[32]
  • Paul Laurence Dunbar Lancaster-Kiest Branch Library in South Dallas[33]
  • Pleasant Grove Branch Library in Pleasant Grove[34]
  • Polk-Wisdom Branch Library in Southwest Dallas[35]
  • Prairie Creek Branch Library[36]
  • Preston Royal Branch Library in North Dallas[37]
    • Preston Royal first opened in 1964. Its roof has arches above, and according to Andrew Scoggin of The Dallas Morning News this makes the library appear distinct compared to others in the library system. As of 2013 there is no funding for a new library building intended to replace the current library.[38]
  • Renner Frankford Branch Library in Renner in Far North Dallas[39]
  • Skillman Southwestern Branch Library in East Dallas[40]
    • This branch, at 5707 Skillman Street at Southwestern Boulevard, is south of and serves Vickery Midtown. The library opened in July 1996 and received dedication on August 18, 1996.[41][42][43] A 1978 bond authorized by Dallas voters lead to the construction of the Skillman Southwestern library. Ramiro Salazar, then the director of the Dallas library system said in 1996 that the opening of Skillman Southwestern satisfied "the needs of a community that didn't have an accessible library for a long time."[43]
  • Skyline Branch Library in East Dallas[44]
  • Timberglen Branch Library in Far North Dallas[45]
  • White Rock Hills Branch Library in Far East Dallas[46]

The newest Branch, the White Rock Hills Branch, opened June 16, 2012[47] and received a 2012 APA/GCPD Accessibility Award from the State of Texas.[48]

See also


  1. ^ http://www.ala.org/tools/libfactsheets/alalibraryfactsheet13
  2. ^ http://librarytechnology.org/libraries/library.pl?id=1060
  3. ^ a b http://financialtransparency.dallascityhall.com/Budget/proposed1516/proposed-fy15-16-GeneralFund.pdf
  4. ^ http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/dallas/headlines/20121219-dallas-announces-it-has-hired-a-new-library-director.ece
  5. ^ http://lj.libraryjournal.com/2013/01/people/dallas-pl-names-permanent-director/
  6. ^ http://www.librarytechnology.org/lwc-displaylibrary.pl?RC=1060
  7. ^ Elizabeth York Enstam, Women and the Creation of Urban Life: Dallas, Texas, 1843-1920 (Texas A&M University Press, 1998) p102
  8. ^ Michael V. Hazel (2001). The Dallas Public Library: Celebrating a Century of Service, 1901-2001. University of North Texas Press. pp. 67-99. ISBN 9781574411416. Retrieved 2019.
  9. ^ Simnacher, Joe (February 12, 2010). "Lillian Moore Bradshaw: Library director cleared path for women in city government". Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2016.
  10. ^ "Lillian Moore Bradshaw: Library director cleared path for women in city government". Dallas News. 2010-02-12. Retrieved .
  11. ^ DallasLibrary.org - History. Retrieved on 1 May 2006.
  12. ^ Anthony James West, "The Shakespeare First Folio: The History of the Book; Volume II: A New World Census of First Folios", Oxford University Press, 2003. ISBN 9780198187684
  13. ^ https://dallaslibrary2.org/fineBooks/shakespeare.htm
  14. ^ http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/dallas/headlines/20110702-first-edition-copy-of-the-declaration-of-independence-is-one-of-dallas-undiscovered-treasures.ece
  15. ^ https://dallaslibrary2.org/fineBooks/doi.htm
  16. ^ DallasLibrary.org. Retrieved on 13 March 2006.
  17. ^ DallasLibrary.org - Arcadia Park Branch Library. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
  18. ^ DallasLibrary.org - Audelia Road Branch Library. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
  19. ^ DallasLibrary.org - Bachman Lake Branch Library. Retrieved on 21 January 2012.
  20. ^ DallasLibrary.org - Dallas West Branch Library. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
  21. ^ DallasLibrary.org - Forest Green Branch Library. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
  22. ^ DallasLibrary.org - Fretz Park Branch Library. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
  23. ^ DallasLibrary.org - Grauwyler Park Branch Library. Retrieved on 11 April 2007.
  24. ^ DallasLibrary.org - Hampton-Illinois Branch Library. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
  25. ^ DallasLibrary.org - Highland Hills Branch Library. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
  26. ^ a b DallasLibrary.org - Kleberg-Rylie Branch Library Archived April 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
  27. ^ "Junius Heights Historic District Map". Junius Heights Historic District. Retrieved .PDF (includes map of the district, which indicates the locations of Lipscomb, the library, and Woodrow Wilson) and "Junius Heights Historic District". City of Dallas. Retrieved . (includes map of the district)
  28. ^ DallasLibrary.org - Martin Luther King Jr. Library and Learning Center. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
  29. ^ DallasLibrary.org - Mountain Creek Branch Library. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
  30. ^ DallasLibrary.org - North Oak Cliff Branch Library. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
  31. ^ DallasLibrary.org - Oak Lawn Branch Library. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
  32. ^ DallasLibrary.org - Park Forest Branch Library. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
  33. ^ DallasLibrary.org - Paul Laurence Dunbar Lancaster-Kiest Branch Library. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
  34. ^ DallasLibrary.org - Pleasant Grove Branch Library. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
  35. ^ DallasLibrary.org - Polk-Wisdom Branch Library. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
  36. ^ DallasLibrary.org - Prairie Creek Branch Library. Retrieved on 21 January 2013.
  37. ^ DallasLibrary.org - Preston Royal Branch Library. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
  38. ^ Scoggin, Andrew. "Preston Royal library branch marks 50 years with celebration." The Dallas Morning News. March 28, 2014. Retrieved on June 18, 2016.
  39. ^ DallasLibrary.org - Renner Frankford Branch Library. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
  40. ^ DallasLibrary.org - Skillman Southwestern Branch Library. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
  41. ^ "Skillman Southwestern Branch Library." Dallas Public Library. Accessed October 10, 2008.
  42. ^ "Resource Book." Vickery Meadow Improvement District. Accessed October 10, 2008.
  43. ^ a b Coleman, Rufus. "Library fills need of area, Long-awaited opening fills needs of northeast Dallas neighborhood." The Dallas Morning News. August 15, 1996. Retrieved on May 27, 2009.
  44. ^ DallasLibrary.org - Skyline Branch Library. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
  45. ^ DallasLibrary.org - Timberglen Branch Library. Retrieved on 11 April 2007.
  46. ^ DallasLibrary.org - White Rock Hills Branch Library. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  47. ^ "" Dallas Public Library. Retrieved on 21 January 2013.
  48. ^ http://governor.state.tx.us/disabilities/awards/apa_gcpd_accessibility_awards

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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