The Library: Then and Now

The library began as a project of the Rowlett Home Demonstration Club with a small collection of donated books housed in one corner of a classroom in the Rowlett Public School, currently City Hall.

The date this project began is uncertain, however on March 13, 1950, the library became a Dallas County Library Branch. This predates the incorporation of the city which occurred on March 29, 1952 when 84 citizens voted to incorporate. At the time the library became a county branch, the County Commissioner appointed Miss Willie Richards as librarian. She served in this capacity from March 1950 to December 1967. It was a bustling and busy library with, as of August 31, 1952, 968 books and 224 patrons. It served a population of 500.

Eventually the collection grew large enough to require a room of its own and the library was moved into a portable building on school grounds. When the school’s enrollment increased and space was needed for classrooms, the library moved into the old firehouse. In December 1967, Miss Willie retired and Vivian Crouch was hired and served as librarian from 1968 to 1992.

In 1970, when the population of Rowlett was 2,243, the library moved into a room in City Hall. In April 1983, yet another move occurred into a remodeled old school cafeteria at 4006 Main Street. Finally in 1985, the library ceased to be a branch of the Dallas County Library System and the City of Rowlett, population 12,590, became fully responsible for the funding and management of the library. Vivian Crouch retired in September 1992 and Barbara Blake was hired. The collection housed 30,288 items and served a population of 25,373.

On October 1, 1996, the library opened its doors to a new 15,600 square foot facility at 3900 Main Street. The collection had grown to over 38,000 items and served a population of 31,141.

On May 1, 2015 the library moved to 5702 Rowlett Road. After a three-year stay in the temporary location on Rowlett Road the Library returned to new quarters at 3900 Main Street. This current location is a temporary space while the city builds up downtown as a part of the Village of Rowlett development project. The new Main Street location offers a multi-purpose activity room, a quiet study room, a Teen area, and a cafe'. With many changes both past and upcoming, the Library will continue to be a place where citizens of Rowlett can work, play, and develop a love of learning.