History Continued: Moving to Blanco Street
The Flourishing Library
Into the 1960s, the Boerne Public Library (BPL) flourished. Between 1963 and 1965, the Grange reported that 14 members of the Grange and 14 non-members dedicated 2,310 hours to running the library.
By 1965, the library, now open 11 hours a week, had more than 8,000 items (104 of which had been bought for $277.52; the rest were donated) and 750 cardholders. A summer reading program was in full swing.
"However, during the past two or three years the last available inch of space in the once bare room was used for shelving and still there was insufficient room. -- A problem, recognized since back in 1957 when 7000 volumes was reached, had to be dealt with - and soon! . . . A modern library in Boerne, that nearly everybody helped build, will benefit [sic] everyone, both materially and physiologically" ("Current Operation of and New Home for the Library," October 1, 1963 - September 1, 1965).
In 1964, the Boerne Grange won the United States Community Progress Contest sponsored by the National Grange and the Sears Roebuck Foundation. True to form, the Boerne Grange took its $5,000 in winnings from the contest and put it into community service by starting a building fund for the library. With additional contributions from the Grange and matching grants from the state and federal governments, the Boerne Public Library Advisory Board, led by Miss Kemper Moore, raised $38,000 to build a new library. Construction began on July 8, 1966, with Mrs. Theis turning over the first spadeful of ground. The new library at 402 East Blanco was dedicated on April 16, 1967.
In April of 1977, the City of Boerne assumed operation of the rapidly growing library, and in 1979 hired a full-time librarian, Nancy Koett. Subsequent directors of the library at its Blanco location included Ruth Libby and Mary Brady (hired in December 1981).
"At the present time in 1983, the Boerne Library has 3215 patrons and 20,115 volumes. More space is needed, and we are again having a dream for the future," Mary Brady wrote in Rivers, Ranches, Railroads and Recreation: A History of Kendall County, Texas. The library's annual report for 1986 indicated that the library owned 20,371 books and had answered 4,100 reference questions.
Purchase of the Dienger Building
By 1988, the library had grown to 30,000 items of all types. The library was open 43.5 hours a week, including three hours on Saturdays. Wednesday morning story time also began. The library was so crowded during story times that the building was closed to other patrons; there just wasn't room for everyone at once ("Boerne Bond Proposition 4: Incentive Funding for Library," Hill Country Recorder, April 1, 1987). The demands that a growing town placed on its 2,000 square-foot library led to a request from the Board of Trustees for a bigger location. The city purchased the Dienger Building in 1989.