Austin Public Library
Message from the Director
The mission of the Austin Public Library (APL) is to provide easy access to books and information in a safe and friendly environment, for all ages, through responsive professionals, engaging programs, and state of the art technology. Our system consists of 20 branch libraries, the John Henry Faulk Central Library, the Austin History Center, and the Library’s used bookstore, Recycled Reads. The Library’s primary service areas include circulation, reference and information services, youth services, and the Austin History Center, which houses more than 1 million items documenting Austin’s history from 1839 to the present.
FY 2014-15 was a successful year as demonstrated by the following snapshot of our activities:
- Over 1.7 million items were available to customers in a variety of formats including books, DVDs, music CDs, audiobooks on CD and in MP3 format, and E-books.
- More than 3.1 million customers visited our locations, and more than 5.5 million items were circulated.
- Austin Public Library’s interactive full service web pages received more than 23 million hits.
- The Annual Youth Summer Reading Program reached an all-time high, with participation increasing 38% over last year.
- Attendance at library programs continued to climb with attendance exceeding 178,000.
Construction of the New Central Library on Cesar Chavez Street continues to progress rapidly. By the end of the fiscal year (September 2015), construction of all floors was complete and the exterior stonework had begun. The project is on pace with permanent power for the building on the horizon. The next phase of the project consists of interior design and procurement of furniture for the new Library. The New Central Library will be the first “library for the future” in the United States and only the second in the world! The Library will incorporate flexible and blended spaces and will focus on the electronic delivery of information. People from all walks of life – working professionals, retirees, students, artists, teens, families with children and more – will find a niche at the New Central Library which is scheduled to open in late 2016.
The Austin Public Library’s mission of providing engaging programs was well received this year.
- The Summer Craft Crawl drew hundreds of participants for free crafting adventures to coincide with the Adult Summer Reading Program.
- The Library’s puppetry and storytelling troupe continued to enchant families offering over 100 performances throughout the year to high acclaim.
- The Faulk Central Library expanded its offering of computer classes with the Basics of Coding appealing to all ages.
APL is committed to offering services that meet the community’s needs.
- The Milwood branch library community received a “Pocket Library” where they were able to continue to receive library services while the building is being renovated. Over 18,000 customers visited the library over a 7 month period.
- Our Teen Centers located in 10 branches served approximately 2,400 teens who participated in activities to foster individual empowerment and leadership, collaboration and teamwork, and other valuable life lessons.
- We continue to help bridge the digital divide by providing 600 computer/internet stations to citizens who otherwise may not have access to technology.