The Seguin Public Library provides books and materials based on local demand, general reference information and assistance, opportunities for lifelong learning, and access to local history, cultural and genealogy resources to all citizens of Seguin and Guadalupe County.
The library has always been of great importance in Seguin.
The first Seguin Library was located at the Municipal Building on North Camp. In 1930, during the depression, Mayor Max Starcke gave permission to place a bookcase "in a city office for a lending library." The bookcase was second-hand china cabinet with glass doors. The bookcase contained books from the Texas State Library for a "traveling library" that supplemented the gift of books that had been collected from townspeople.
The traveling library was loaned for a period of 2 or 3 weeks and consisted of approximately 25 books. At the end of the loan period, the books were boxed and shipped back to Austin, and another shipment of 25 books were sent to Seguin. After a few months the china closet was disposed of and shelves were built to house the many books that were contributed.
Mayor Max Starcke suggested that the City's "office force act as librarians."
Later on, when the new Municipal Building was being built a request was made that a room be set aside for the library. The facilities for the community's first library were as humble as the founding of Seguin. "The room was a 14 1/2 by 21 foot room in the Municipal building."
Through funds available by the W.P.A., Mrs. Agnes Koch was employed as Librarian. Mrs. Koch was employed as a part-time employee who kept the library open from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday, and 9:00 am to 12:00 noon on Saturdays.
In 1954 the collection consisted of 3,079 volumes. At least 98% of the collection had been donated by individuals and women's study clubs.
On the evening of March 1, 1957, a Friends of the Library was organized. The organization would function as a catalyst to promote the interest and welfare of the library.
In 1964 a contract was awarded to construct the Seguin-Guadalupe County Library on the donated Bauer land.
In January, 1965, there were approximately 3,500 volumes on the shelves, none of which had been cataloged.
Within 20 years the library needed to be expanded. Construction and renovation began in the fall of 1985 and was completed in July 1986. The size of the library was increased to 15,000 square feet.
On November 5, 2013 Seguin voter's approved Proposition #1 of the City of Seguin Bond Elections. The proposition called for $14.8 million in bonds to cover estimated costs for property, construction, collection materials, furniture and signage, technology and computers for a new library.
The groundbreaking ceremony was on April 23, 2015.
The new library opened on September 8, 2016.
Source: "The Friends of the Seguin-Guadalupe County Public Library: History and Analysis, 1954-66 by Iris P. Jeffress.
The Seguin Public Library is a 43,000 square feet, two story state-of-the-art facility, housed on West Nolte Street along Walnut Creek and the city’s hike & bike trail. The library was voter approved for a $14.8 million bond by election in 2013. 720 Design and PGAL, created the floorplan with Byrne Construction Services leading the project.
The Library was awarded a LEED for New Construction GOLD CERTIFICATION by achieving sustainable initiatives worth 60 points. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system is developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The Seguin Public Library was awarded Gold Certification by achieving the following sustainable initiatives: site development native plant restoration, reduction of water use, cost savings in energy, use of materials manufactured from recycled materials, daylighting and views to the outside in regularly occupied spaces.
The building was situated at an angle in order to preserve as many trees as possible. Xeriscaping was also used to conserve water. Porous materials are used to absorb as much rainfall as possible, while redirecting filtered runoff water into Walnut Creek. Flower beds are full of native plants and can be seen in relaxed meandering shapes. Enjoy coffee, a good book, or meeting friends on the two spacious outdoor decks.
Advanced technology is everywhere, with self-check out stations, automated book returns, wireless printing, PC reservation station, and Club talks. Library announcements are displayed on wall mounted screens.
The Pecan trees that were originally on the property were carefully harvested and removed, and wood from those trees has been reused throughout the library building. Reclaimed wood can be found along all the service desks, and is featured on the landing of the monumental staircase. The wood was also reused to create large benches, conference room tables, coffee tables, and stump seats for the children’s room. The striking wood features along the elevator and service desks were assembled piece by piece by Mesquite Furniture of Texas.