Lago Vista Public Library

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Who We Are

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Our Staff

Jan Steele – Library Director
P. J. Ellison – Librarian
Louise Morris - Library Assistant (part-time)
Christina Frisbie - Library Assistant (part-time)

57 Trained Volunteers

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Library Advisory Board

The Library advisory board is created to accomplish the following purposes:  

  • Identify needs and to advise the city council of their short range and long range implications for the delivery of library services.
  • Recommend achievable goals as a basis for long range planning and development programs of the municipal library.
  • Recommend plans, programs, policies and priorities that will aid the library in achieving its defined goals.

Sharon Macut, Chair
Jan Steele, Library Director
Kevin Sullivan, City Council Liaison
Gerald Evans
Peggy Gibson
Dan Olson
Sheryl Speckmann
Trisha Upchurch
Mike Zaydel

The quarterly Library Advisory board (LAB)  meetings are held in the library meeting room (unless posted otherwise) and are open to the public. 
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Friends of the Library Board

Bruce Morris - President
Peggy Gibson - Secretary
Scott Cameron - Treasurer
Carole Mitchell
Sue Broker
Archie Malcom
Sheryl Speckmann
Mike Valls
Sylvia Valls
Kathy Zaleski

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Library History

Lago Vista in the late 1970s had a population in the hundreds. The reading public gathered weekly at the Skyroom Condominiums at the Dawn Dr. traffic circle, where the Bookmobile brought its next week’s reading material. It was provided through taxes collected by Travis County. After the economic downturn, the Bookmobile became a convenience of the past. 

Three choices remained for the unincorporated community – one could pay $12 to the Austin Public Library, which was over 20 miles away, buy your own books, or start a library.  In 1980, Ann Murrow invited a handful of energetic men and women to her home to talk about a “community” library.  The group agreed to establish a library in a room of the Highland Lakes Country Club using donated lumber and cinder blocks for shelves.

The Friends of the Library was organized in May 1983 and continues to help with funding the expansion of the book collection as well as supporting other services. 

After outgrowing the room, they moved to a rent-free space. After a year at this location, they then moved to the Lago Vista Bank building.  Bulging at the seams in early 1987, the library moved into the former Municipal Utility District office. A grant helped with an addition to the building in 1997. The library continued to grow and plans were made to expand again.

In October 2001, the City of Lago Vista agreed to take on support the library. The $39,000 budget provides for salaries for 2 part-time staff members, book processing, office supplies and maintenance of the building.

Thanks to grants from the Tocker Foundation, the children’s area expanded, and the library became automated. A Texas Book Festival grant helped expand the parenting collection and the audio book collection. A TIF grant helped provide computers for the public and a Lone Star Libraries grant supported the travel collection and equipment for the meeting room. The Weber Foundation and the Tocker Foundation helped with a remodeling project, which enclosed the veranda and furnished offices for the staff.   

In 2002, the library began to stay open two evenings each week; this was in addition to five afternoons during the week and four hours on Saturday.  In 2005, ten additional hours were added to the schedule. A variety of materials are available to the patrons in the Lago Vista area. 

In 2013, the library grew yet again. A spectacular renovation took place, incorporating the old fire station space in the library. Thanks to the generosity of the Friends, a $50,000 Tocker grant and the support of the City Council, the library is now a new and improved facility worthy of the 21st century. The Grand Opening & Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was held Saturday, October 12, 2013.  Jan Steele, Library Director, stated "We're so proud of the new look and additional space."

The Library Advisory Board advises the librarians on library related information and ideas. Organizations in Lago Vista area contribute regularly to the fund handled by the Friends of the Library, making the library a viable force in the community. 

The library has been blessed with many dedicated volunteers who have assisted the library for three decades. They staff the circulation desk, process books, read shelves, do inventory, teach Spanish language classes for English speakers, read to children at storytime, organize programs, and donate books and materials to the collection. It has been a community labor love to grow Lago Vista Public Library to the lovely facility it is today.