Above, San Marcos Public Library Director Diane Insley cuts the ceremonial ribbon during Friday's dedication ceremony. Daily Record photo by Lance Winter
Public library dedication in the books
A large gathering of residents and dignitaries met inside the San Marcos Public Library on Friday to celebrate the library’s completed renovation and expansion project.
A welcomed occasion after a “horrible” year in 2020, said U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett.
“What better place than gathering here this morning to bring our community together after a horrible year,” Doggett said. “And, as we reflect on that year, indeed, it’s important to reflect on how this library continued to participate in the community … This renovated library, of course, as we can see: bigger and better than ever. A testament to what can happen when people are dedicated to the wonder and the power of books and come together with patience to endure what was years of budgeting and planning, to persevere with the building through the pandemic.”
Doggett was joined by Mayor Jane Hughson, Texas State Library and Archives Commission Director Mark Smith and poet and library staff member E.D. Watson as a speaker during Friday’s event. Library Director Diane Insley served as the master of ceremonies and Wayne Thompson delivered the invocation.
Above, San Marcos Public Library Director Diane Insley speaks to a crowd at the library dedication ceremony celebrating the completion of the expansion and remodel project. Behind her, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett overlooks the crowd. Daily Record photo by Lance Winter
“I’m so proud of the City of San Marcos with the expansion and remodel and the reimaging of the public library,” Hughson said. “This facility is innovative and progressive in it’s design and purpose and will serve the San Marcos community for many years to come. The library has had several growth spurts, starts and new changes — none as significant as this. But many of us remember the previous library caddy corner from the little H-E-B. It was a great day when we moved into this facility and it’s a better day today.”
The first library in San Marcos opened in 1918 at 310 W. Hutchison St. The current library at 625 E. Hopkins St. opened in 1994.
The library’s expansion adds an additional 28,000 square feet to the building. The project was voted on in May 2017 with 76.8% of San Marcans voting yes to Proposition 2.
“I really do applaud the people of San Marcos, mayor and council for your vision in making sure that this library could happen and become a reality,” Smith said. “I understand from (Insley) that that bond measure in 2017 passed with 77% of the voters. I would just urge everyone to just pause briefly and consider the significance of that. In this day and age when we have so many divisions in our society that we can’t even sometimes agree on the problems that we have so that we can solve them, more than three quarters of the voters approved the vision of this library. So, I don’t know about you but I find that extremely encouraging.”
The expanded library includes a new makerspace, technology hub, enclosed children’s area and teen room. The remodel also features additional study rooms, conference rooms and a 240-person meeting space.
“You’ll be highly impressed with the architectural design, the breadth of collections, innovative use of spacing function and such a contemporary environment,” Hughson said. “What a sight to behold.”
Friday’s event ended with a poem — “I Dream a World after Langston Hughes” — read by Watson, ceremonial ribbon cuttings and tours of the library.
“I urge you to come and let this amazing staff serve you in this beautiful library,” Smith said. “I hope you’ll come often. I hope you’ll bring your families, your children, yourselves and find all the ways in which libraries will help to enrich your life and the life of the community.”