It all started in the fall of 1894 with a reading room and a teacher with a passion for books. Mary Irene Stanton was a teacher at Central School who had a personal library of 600 volumes. She decided to make her entire library available to her students by starting a reading club in a room in the Sheldon Building (which later became the Sheldon Hotel). The library became so popular, it grew to 2,000 volumes and was moved to a larger room in 1899 in the new City Hall building.
In the next few years, Mary was able to help secure grants from Andrew Carnegie to build an independent library. In 1904, the Carnegie Library opened to the public at the 500 block of North Oregon Street. Today, the El Paso Public Library System has grown to include 12 libraries, an art library in the El Paso Museum of Art, a partnership with the Northwest EPCC campus, 2 bookmobiles, and a mobile technology center.
|Come pick up your free commemorative postcard!|
Thank you to all who came out to celebrate with us! The Dorris Van Doren Library celebrated with cake and refreshments. Lisa Martinez designed a commemorative postcard that was given out at all of the celebrations. We still have some left if you didn't get a chance to pick one up. Andrea Vick, Lluvia Parral, and Paola Aranda collected past and present photos of iconic El Paso buildings to create a commanding display. They also created banner displays of books that were popular in 1894 and books of 2014 that are popular so far. Our favorite activity of the celebration was the collection of our patrons' favorite memories of the El Paso Public Libraries. It's amazing to see how much public libraries impact our lives. Here's to many more years of serving our community!