In 1996 a group of interested individuals in Waskom, Texas, saw a need for a city library in the community. The group followed many leads in search of an appropriate building. Marjorie Hall and the Neal Hall family donated a building to the city for such a purpose. The building also includes two commercial rooms on the side that house businesses. Rent from these rooms is income for operation of the library.
The Waskom Lions Club donated funds for carpeting the library, Chamber of Commerce gave funds for some shelving, and Sheriffs department brought thirteen prisoners who painted. One community service probationer also did some work. Davis Air Conditioning donated some air conditioning repair. This with many hours of clerical work by volunteers, to process some 6,000 donated books, reflects the community involvement.
The Waskom Public Library was officially opened in the fall of 1998. Until October, 2002, all work was done by volunteers. At that time a part time librarian was hired to open 20 hours per week. A STEP (Senior Texans Employment Program) also worked from February 2003 until July 2004. Funding has been received from the City of Waskom, Harrison County, and Harrison County United Way funds the librarian’s salary.
In April 2001 the library received Non-profit status, and became a member of the Northeast Texas Library System in September 2003. With memorials, donations, and generous grants the library has been able to purchase new books and equipment, and become automated. Automation was completed in early 2004. It is a part of the Interlibrary Loan System with loan policy listed on Tex Share Website
The Summer Reading Program is held each summer in July. Story and Craft Times are held throughout the year. Reading With Rudolph, sponsored by Friends of the Library, is held each December.
Friends of the Library was organized in 2003 and received nonprofit status in 2004.
The library continues to grow in its service and mission to the community.