No matter where you live in the Austin area, there are many amazing libraries to explore. Not only will you find countless books, media, music and resources but also a variety of in-person and online events to engage the entire family. Some general highlights found at most Austin Public Libraries (APL) include reading programs, book clubs, dual language story times and more. Plus, with each library card, APL allows you to check out up to 50 items!
Libraries To Check Out
Each of these libraries offers something unique and
710 W. César Chávez St.
You and the family can start your library adventures at Austin’s downtown Central Library. Admire the world-class architecture and spectacular views of Lady Bird Lake. This six-story location covers over 200,000 square feet that include floors of books as well as an art gallery, a rooftop butterfly garden, reading porches plus a gift shop and café. A space exclusively for teens contains YA books, computers, comfy furniture and board games. The children’s section has a giant chess board outside the entrance with an air hockey table and rows of kid-level bookshelves inside.
1600 Grove Blvd.
This branch is the largest APL location outside of the Austin Central Library. Local artwork can be found throughout the building, and the selection of bilingual children’s books is expansive. The Ruiz library partners with the non-profit organization Latinitas to empower girls through the use of media and technology skills and with Austin ISD to offer their Victory tutoring program.
1161 Angelina St.
The Carver branch was built after the local Black community advocated for it. In 1933, it became Austin’s first branch library. It is known for the stunning outdoor mural “Voyage to Soulville” created by local artist John Fisher. African-American artwork fills the interior walls as well. This branch contains close to 60,000 books and media for all ages. Students can use computers, get tutoring help on homework and participate in social events in the “Wired for Kids” section of the library.
Windsor Park Library
5833 Westminster Dr.
Visitors will be drawn to this library to visit the impressive Leroy the Lion statue at the front entrance. An event you can’t miss is story time with Van, the APL puppet. You will find yourself learning and laughing! When checking out, ask for a packet of seeds to plant when you get home where the growing can continue.
402 W. Eighth St., Georgetown
Polish off your journey north of Austin at the charming Georgetown Library. As you select your books, admire the array of sculptures and stained glass throughout the space. On the second floor, there is an area with “books for sale,” priced by donation. This library offers children and teen activities, plus art and music programs, as well as a book mobile that circulates to destinations around Georgetown.
An Austin resident since 1991, Karen Arneson is mom to two boys. She enjoys coloring outside the lines, hiking and writing poetry.