Director: Susan Allison
Doris Benner, Chairperson
The Library Board meets on the second Wednesday of every other month at 6:30 p.m. in the 2nd Floor Conference Room. Meeting dates, member information, and the current agenda are all available on the City of Richardson Public Notices page.
Philosophy of Service
Richardson Public Library serves the cultural, educational, informational, and recreational needs of patrons. Patrons of every age, circumstance, color, creed, economic status, and race are served with courtesy, dignity, and respect.
The mission of the library is to make freely and readily available to the citizens of the community materials which will aid them in the pursuit of education, information, and recreation. The library seeks to promote activities and ideas which will stimulate, enrich and expand interests of both children and adults and to cooperate with other educational, cultural, social and civic groups in the community in areas of mutual interest.
The Richardson Public Library began in 1947 as a branch of the Dallas County Library. It occupied a few crowded shelves in the back room of Cash Dry Goods store at 108 East Main. Miss Jessie Durham, the proprietor of the store, served as librarian. The population of Richardson was then 1,200 and the library collection numbered four hundred volumes.
Eleven years later, a city ordinance authorized the library as an official city department. A $100,000 bond issue was approved to cover the costs of construction of a new building. On November 22, 1959, citizens literally carried the books from Cash Dry Goods store to the new location at 310 East Tyler. This 5,800 square foot, red-brick building sat behind the police station and consisted of two rooms separated by the circulation desk. The population of Richardson was then about 12,000.
By 1965, the library had again outgrown its space. In July, the citizens approved bonds to finance a new location. The current library building opened its doors December 1, 1970, at an estimated cost of $2 million. The city population was then nudging 50,000. The 81,650 square foot, four-story building opened with the use of two floors and a small portion of a third. By 1980, the basement reference department had been added. In 1993, a bond election was approved to finish the third floor, install a second public elevator, and totally renovate the remaining space. In February, 1995, the work was completed and the building opened to the public.