2200 Hancock Dr. (map)
Although the Yarborough Branch (located in the former Americana Theater building) officially opened in January of 1999, the branch itself has a history in North Austin that spans over four decades and includes a rather lengthy series of incarnations.
The branch actually began in 1956 with the opening of the Northwest Branch at 5923 Burnet Road. The branch was then moved in 1964 to the Allandale Shopping Center and was renamed the Allandale Branch. Then in 1981, having outgrown this space, the branch 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 rental space at 2210 Hancock Drive, and there it remained until the Yarborough opening in 1999.
By request of one of the local neighborhood associations, the new branch facility was named “Yarborough” in honor of the late U.S. Senator from Texas, Ralph W. Yarborough. Throughout its history, this active branch has always made a special effort to serve its large senior citizen population. For instance 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. In addition, Yarborough 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.
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