Round Rock, Pflugerville, Hutto public libraries expand collections through Texas Book Festival grants

Round Rock Public Library purchased additional Spanish nonfiction books with a grant provided by the Texas Book Festival. (Courtesy Michelle Cervantes, library director for Round Rock Public Library)
Round Rock Public Library purchased additional Spanish nonfiction books with a grant provided by the Texas Book Festival. (Courtesy Michelle Cervantes, library director for Round Rock Public Library)

Round Rock Public Library purchased additional Spanish nonfiction books with a grant provided by the Texas Book Festival. (Courtesy Michelle Cervantes, library director for Round Rock Public Library)

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The magic of the holiday season came early this year for the public libraries of Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto, as each were recognized in April as recipients of 2019 Texas Book Festival grants.

The Texas Book Festival announced April 17 that 41 public libraries across the state would receive a combined total of $100,500 in grant funds, which “enables libraries to share the diversity and breadth of literature with their entire communities,” per the Texas Book Festival.

Friends of the Round Rock Public Library, a nonprofit volunteer organization that supports the Round Rock Public Library, was awarded a $2,500 grant, with Round Rock Public Library as its beneficiary. The grant funds have been applied to the purchase of 110 Spanish nonfiction books, Library Director Michelle Cervantes said. Cervantes added the average copyright date for books in its current collection is 2006.

“These titles will refresh, expand, and enhance the Spanish Easy and Junior Non-Fiction collections,” Cervantes said in an email to Community Impact Newspaper. “Adding updated nonfiction titles will make the Spanish collections more attractive. It will also provide up-to-date resources for school reports and general education.”

Hutto Public Library received $2,500 in grant funding from the TBF, which will be used to expand its junior nonfiction collection, specifically targeting grades K-7. Books will be added on topics ranging from science, technology and engineering to social, biographical, cultural and educational subjects, Hutto Public Library confirmed in an April 18 news release.


“We’re really excited to add these items to the nonfiction collection that will allow our students to pursue factual, real-life and background knowledge for researching for science projects, homework or just for recreational reading,” Library Manager Lisa Riggs said to Community Impact Newspaper on Nov. 4. “And the books are going to allow them to investigate subjects appealing to them and, who knows, potentially leading them to future careers.”

Pflugerville Public Library’s $2,500 grant was used to expand the library’s songbook collection, Adult Services Librarian Bette McDowell said. McDowell said the library had seen an uptick in the number of requests for songbooks but did not have a portion of the library’s budget for expanding its collection.

McDowell said that prior to applying for the Texas Book Festival grant, Pflugerville Public Library had purchased 50 songbooks and saw them increase in popularity, with titles ranging from guitar, bass, piano, violin and drums songbooks, along with choral selections. After receiving the grant, the Pflugerville Public Library purchased an additional 200 songbooks to add to its collection, McDowell said.

“To supplement the collection, the library used its budget to purchase several new instruments for checkout, including a keyboard, a guitar, and a mandolin,” McDowell said in an email to Community Impact Newspaper. “We are always excited to add a new collection to the library, and we are proud to have been recognized by the Texas Book Festival again this year.”
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By Kelsey Thompson

Kelsey Thompson is the reporter for Round Rock, Pflugerville and Hutto, where her work focuses on education, city government and community development. Originally from upstate New York, Kelsey relocated to Austin after graduating from Syracuse University in May 2019.


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