Officials with the Dripping Springs Community Library are asking residents to help raise a goal of $5 million by the end of this year to construct a new facility about four times the size of the current library.

The setup

The local library serves residents in Dripping Springs and anyone in Hays County can get a library card for free.

In just five years, between 2017-2022, the city’s population nearly doubled while Hays County saw similar growth between the years 2010-2020, as previously reported by Community Impact.

DSCL first opened in Dripping Springs High School in 1985, then later moved to its current facility in 1998, serving about 12,000 residents.

Today, the library is serving over 52,000 residents, according to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. This growth makes the current space too small for most events and unable to shelve any new items without removing another first.

A new facility would be 37,000 square feet, located adjacent to the existing property at the end of Benney Lane, a cul-de-sac off Mighty Tiger Trail. Some of the new amenities residents could use include:
  • Study rooms
  • Multi-purpose room
  • Conference rooms
  • Outdoor amphitheater for events
  • Playground
  • More parking
  • Drive-thru book pick-up and return
Funding the project

Last year, 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. This will provide the library with a low-interest loan, if approved.

In addition to applying for this loan, a fundraising campaign—Beyond Books—was launched in 2024. The campaign asks community members to donate money toward the facility and has a goal of $5 million by the end of the year in order to begin construction in 2025, DSCL Communications Manager Christina Thompson said.

Officials are asking for community donations because the library is not funded by property taxes. As one of 15 library districts in Texas, the DSCL receives 0.25% of sales tax revenue generated within its district’s borders, which are similar to Dripping Springs ISD's boundaries. This only pays for operating expenses of the library.

By 2033, DSCL officials are predicting that the sales tax revenue generated within the district will double, becoming enough to cover operating expenses and the annual loan payment, Thompson said.

To support the Beyond Books campaign, events such as Pouring Over Books and Library Giving Day have encouraged donations.

Library Giving Day, a daylong fundraising event, raised $338,896 in donations April 3.

This amount is from 423 donors but does not include gifts from businesses that are donating a portion of their proceeds April 3. Additionally, HEB matched donations up to $50,000 on Library Giving Day, Thompson said.

As of April, the total raised so far toward the new facility is at about $1 million, Thompson said.

What’s next

Interested residents can donate online or by mail to the Beyond Books campaign. Additionally, a community member could sponsor a butterfly.

Texas artist Carlyn Ray will create a display of glass-blown butterflies to hang above the new facility’s staircase. By sponsoring a butterfly, residents can contribute to the new facility’s construction cost and customize a butterfly with Ray for the permanent display.

As for the current facility, library officials don't know yet of its fate and it is not a historical building.