As the Dripping Springs Community Library runs out of space at its 9,000-square-foot facility, the library and its board are looking to expand into a new larger facility.

Community growth

When the DSCL first opened in its location in 1998, the library served about 12,000 residents. Today, the library serves over 52,000 residents, according to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Anyone who lives or works in Hays County can get a library card at the DSCL for free, and Hays County is growing at a rapid rate. The county saw a population growth of 53% from 2010-20, as previously reported by Community Impact.

The library’s facility does not have the space to grow its programs and materials for the community. To add new materials to the shelf, the library must remove other titles, DSCL Director Marcia Atilano said.

In 2022, the DSCL offered over 750 programs with an attendance of over 12,000 people. A total of 80,000 visits occurred last year, and the total number of the library’s resources, both print and digital, is over 72,000, Atilano said.

“Summer is the busiest time of our year; it’s the busiest time for any public library,” Atilano said. “We will get up to 100 or over people in our big programming. We’re constantly having to reorganize space to accommodate.”

Mother Goose on the Loose, an early literacy program featuring interactive storytelling, is just one example of a program the library has had to adjust to accommodate for interest. Initially, the program was only on every Tuesday, but it had to expand to both Tuesdays and Wednesdays to accommodate attendance of up to 60, DSCL Campaign Manager Sarah Rose said.

A new facility

On March 7, the library posted a message from DSCL board President Missy Atwood on its website, notifying the community that a new location had been found for a potential new facility.

“This larger facility will provide more opportunities for great learning experiences for families and their kids,” Atwood said in a news release. “It will provide anyone starting a business with critical resources and free high-speed Wi-Fi. It will offer critically needed meeting space for community groups and more room for collections.”

The new facility will be located adjacent to the existing property at the end of Benney Lane, a cul-de-sac off Mighty Tiger Trail. At 37,000 square feet, the new facility will be four times the size as the current facility, according to the DSCL website.


On May 2, Dripping Springs City Council approved a certification of support for the DSCL in requesting financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development to build the facility on the property. If approved, USDA Rural Development can provide the library with a low-interest loan, Rose said.

The DSCL is one of 15 library districts in Texas. This means the library is not funded by property taxes through the city or county. Instead, the DSCL receives 0.25% of sales tax revenue generated within its district’s borders. This pays for the operating expenses of the library but cannot cover capital improvements, Rose said.

In addition to the funds provided by USDA Rural Development, the DSCL plans to launch a potential fundraising campaign in 2024 in which the community can donate to realizing the new facility, Rose said.

“The library is lifelong learning,” Atilano said. “We need to be as wonderful as the school district, not just in our services, but in our ability to serve.”

To learn more about the DSCL and the services provided, visit