Yarborough Public Library Branch
Although the Yarborough Branch located in the former Americana Theater building officially opened in January of 1999, it has a history in North Austin that spans over four decades and includes a rather lengthy series of incarnations. The Branch originally began in 1956 with the opening of the Northwest Branch at 5923 Burnet Road. It was then moved in 1964 to the Allandale Shopping Center and renamed the Allandale Branch. In 1981, having outgrown this space, it was relocated to property within the North Loop Center and was renamed the North Loop Branch. Finally in 1988, after a brief stint on North Loop West, the Branch was moved to a rental space at 2210 Hancock Drive where it remained until the Yarborough Branch opening in 1999. By request of one of the local neighborhood associations, the Branch was named in honor of the late U.S. Senator from Texas, Ralph W. Yarborough. Throughout its history, this Branch has always made a special effort to serve its large senior citizen population. In 1989, as the North Loop Branch, it received a grant to create the Walking Books program to deliver large print books to homebound customers. Two years later in 1991, the Branch received the G.K. Hall Large Print Community Service Award for its efforts. Although Walking Books is no longer a funded program, the Yarborough Branch continues to house the largest collection of large type books in the Austin Public Library system while also offering reading machines, both aural and magnifying, to its sight-impaired customers. The Yarborough Branch is well known for its collection of adult fiction books—particularly mysteries and short stories—as well as its history books, cookbooks, and its growing collection of books in Chinese for adults and children.