The new library was a big hit in the community. More than 100 people attended the grand opening on the afternoon of January 20, 1952. Many of the library's books were donated by local citizens.
The San Antonio Express reported that within the first month, the collection had grown to 1,189 items, and 98 books had already been checked out ("Boerne Opens New Public Library," February 27, 1952). In fact, by March of that year, The Boerne Star was reporting that the library was "running over with books" ("Boerne Grange Report," March 27, 1952).
By 1957, the library's collection had jumped to 7,000 (Garland A. Perry, Historic Images of Boerne, Texas, Perry Publications, Boerne, 1998, p. 97).
Reference Holdings and Children's Collection
The Comfort News complimented the new library's reference holdings, including the Encyclopedia Britannica, Book of Knowledge, and Compton's Reference Encyclopedia, as well as the children's collection. The library also had "a remarkably good collection of new fiction and non-fiction for adults," the News commented ("Library News," February 7, 1952). Books could be borrowed for one week; overdue books were charged two cents per day ("Boerne Public Library Opened on January 20," Comfort News, January 31, 1952).
Services and Staff
From its first home at 1 Main Plaza, the Boerne Public Library (BPL) provided service on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays from 3-5 p.m., with an all-volunteer staff that included:
Harry and Mary Jane Grosser
Henry and Irene Moss
Our First Librarians
Left: BPL's first librarian, also a volunteer, Dora Wollschlaeger. She served for 27 years (Rivers, Ranches, Railroads, p. 23).