The Dripping Springs Community Library (DSCL) stands as a cherished community hub where individuals gather to connect, collaborate and share knowledge. This thriving institution has evolved from its modest beginnings in 1985, when it operated out of a single classroom at Dripping Springs High School. It has since become an indispensable resource for more than 52,000 local residents today. Over the past year alone, DSCL recorded nearly 80,000 visits and holds a vast collection of more than 72,000 resources, spanning both print and digital mediums. DSCL goes beyond book lending, offering an array of programs and services designed to foster lifelong learning, including book clubs, educational workshops and literacy programs. Moreover, it provides access to vital technology resources, such as free computer and Wi-Fi access, essential for learning and skill development. However, the library is currently facing space constraints, making it unable to accommodate the needs of this rapidly growing community.
“To address these challenges, the library has initiated a fundraising campaign to build a new facility that will serve as a gathering space for our community,” says DSCL Board President Missy Atwood. This future library promises to be a dynamic space, featuring a dedicated children’s floor, community study and meeting rooms, expansive outdoor event areas, and a dedicated children’s outdoor play space. It will be situated adjacent to the current property at the end of Benney Lane by the high school. At 37,000 square feet, it will be four times the size of the current facility and will expand the library’s overall footprint to 5.5 acres.
The “Beyond Books, Building Community” campaign aims to raise $5 million by the end of 2024—an amount crucial to securing a library capable of meeting the diverse and growing needs of the community. DSCL operates as one of only 15 independent library districts in Texas, distinguishing it from typical library systems funded through property taxes or municipal budgets. Instead, residents of Dripping Springs voted to fund the library’s operational expenses with 0.25% of the sales tax revenue generated within the borders of the library district. The library is governed by a board of five elected officials, ensuring its autonomy from the city.
In a community characterized by rapid expansion, the need for connection and engagement is paramount. “This building cannot happen without community support,” says Capital Campaign Manager Sarah Rose. Projections show that sales tax revenue in the district is expected to double by 2033. By that year, this revenue is anticipated to fully cover the library’s operating expenses, along with an annual building loan payment. When raised, the $5 million dollars will bridge the gap in sales tax revenue and set the library up for success.
“This is our opportunity to provide a strong foundation of education and innovation for Dripping Springs,” says Sarah. “You can support our community by empowering the library to do what it does best: be a hub for ideation, connection and innovation.”
Susan Richardson, a longtime resident of Dripping Springs and library donor, emphasizes the library’s contributions to our community. “To me, a library is a major foundation of a community. Our library plays a vital role in supporting education, literacy, community building, local businesses and cultural preservation. It is an essential institution that serves as an invaluable resource for our entire community.”
Visit the library’s website to explore ways to donate or get involved in the campaign. Together, the community can help DSCL continue to thrive and evolve as a beacon of knowledge and connection in Dripping Springs.
DSCL.org/Future | @dscommunitylibrary