New Waverly Public Library

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History of the Library

The idea of a library for New Waverly was born of the dream of Marie Underwood, long time English teacher and high school principal of New Waverly.  Always the lover of learning and books, Mrs. Underwood gathered some like minded individuals and with the support and blessings of the New Waverly City Council move into two small rooms in City Hall.  Besides free rent, the city Fathers provided free utilities.  From the library’s incorporation on December 18, 1987, the community immediately came to its support.   At once donated books began to fill the shelves and volunteers stepped in serve the patrons. Our school district provided financial assistance of $2500 and the Houston Area Library System provided some equipment.  All other costs were met through fundraising.                                                                         

  Books

It was not long before the library was outgrowing its home and Justice of the Peace John Pasket stepped up to lead the library to a new and bigger dream, its own building.  Supported by community leaders, library patrons, and Mrs. Underwood, plans began to formulate as to what could be done.  Ron Kolb stepped forward to be the architect of the dream.  With Mr. Kolb as Project Coordinator, the building began to take shape.  Hundreds of hours of volunteer labor and materials were donated by citizens throughout Walker County and beyond.  Judge Pasket led the fund raising efforts and a Friends of the Library group was organized to carry through on fund raising projects.

In June, 2000, a groundbreaking ceremony took place at the new site on south 75.  Plans would include a Community Room which could be rented for events. It has quickly become a hub of activity including showers, meetings, parties and even church services.  It is rented for $25 per hour and a refundable key deposit.

March 10, 2008, the doors to the ‘new’ New Waverly Public Library opened for business with a ribbon cutting ceremony where Mrs. Esther Underwood (sister-in-law) to Mrs. Marie Underwood (now deceased) cut the ribbon. Those who were present looked with pride on the beauty and welcoming atmosphere of the 10,000 square foot building.

In August, 2008 Mrs. Betty Smith, our librarian, for 20 years, asked to step down.  Mrs. Becky Powell, an active library volunteer, became the new librarian and held this position for over 7 years before stepping down. As of 2016, our new librarian is Mrs. Kameron Sutton, who has been an active library volunteer since 2010. 

The library is 90% staffed by 15 volunteers who keep the library open 35 hours a week. Currently the library receives some financial assistance from the New Waverly ISD (who let us build on school land) and City of New Waverly.  Forty to fifty percent of the budget is raised by volunteers. 

With its conception in 1987 to the ribbon cutting at its new facility in 2008, one may follow the realization of a dream.  A beautiful building, fully equipped with library materials and computers and full of books and totally debt free.  Please excuse our pride but we know this dream belongs to all who put their toil, time, treasure and love into it.  Come see us and you will understand.

Hours of Operation are:  Monday - Friday 11am - 6pm