This page contains general information 
or links to detailed information on the following subjects :

There are other pages that deal with specific Library Information such as the
Library Board, Library CardsLoan Periods, Holds and Fines or Fees

For links to the other pages in our website please go to the Site Index page.

About the Alvarado Public Library

   The Alvarado Public Library and Senior Citizens Center opened April of 1989 in a shared facility. the Library/Senior Center served the public for over 13 years until the building was condemned on March 19th, 2002. 

   After the building was condemned, the library made several moves into temporary locations and then spent three years operating out of 462 sq. feet inside the Alvarado Senior Citizens and Community Center. 

   On April 11, 2005 the Alvarado Public Library opened to the public.
Please click here for a more detailed history of the Library.

   During the last fiscal year, October 2010-September 2011, the Library circulated over 45,671 items.

   Local organizations regularly use the Librarys 1000 sq ft. Community Meeting Room. The Community Meeting Room is also used by library staff and volunteers who offer: a weekly pre-school Story Time, video gaming, gardening lectures, after-school movies, a Book Club and the Summer Reading Program for all ages.

   The Library is also home to the Alvarado Area Chamber of Commerce. The library staff answers the Chambers telephone, directing callers to various organizations and City Departments and they answer questions about Alvarado and the surrounding area.

Circulation Desk


Please come to the circulation desk to:  

Ask for assistance

C heck out or return materials

M ake donation, purchase requests or suggestions

G et free bookmarks, brochures and program schedules

Examination Proctoring

The library staff will be happy to proctor correspondence course examinations which are open book style and are not subject to unusual or stringent proctoring guidelines. All postage for mailing of tests and answer sheets is the responsibility of the student.


The Alvarado public Library is primarily funded by the taxpayers of the City of Alvarado. The library does not receive funds from Johnson County or from the Alvarado Independent School District.  

How to Contact the Library 

 The library's mailing address is:
  Alvarado Public Library 
210 N. Baugh St.
Alvarado, TX 76009
The library's phone number is (817) 783-7323

Full-time Staff Members:
Library Director, Leanna Cowan

 Circulation Desk/Story Time, Precious Moore
Part-time Staff:
Mornings from 10-2 Circulation Desk/Story Time - Kelly Newell. (bi-lingual English/Spanish)
Afternoons from 3-7 Circulation Desk - Ashley M.


Library Statistics for 
October 2013 - September 2014

Items circulated


Items used in the library


Total circulation


Library visits


Program attendance: Kids Clubs, Lectures, Movies, Story Time,  etc. 4,116
Number of times public access computer were used 6,678
Volunteer hours worked 1,147

Long Range Plan

To meet the needs of the residents of greater Alvarado and to keep pace with technological advances, the Alvarado Public Library has developed four strategic goals:

  1. Provide General Information For All Age Groups 

  2. Offer Current Topics and Titles

  3. Teach Information Literacy 

  4. Encourage Lifelong Learning

Strategic Priorities

What follows are our strategic priorities for the years 2011 2016. In order to ensure that this plan is a living, changing document, activities and tasks are developed on an annual basis and will be changed and modified as needed. 

Strategic Priority 1 Current Topics and Titles
  • Weed our collection. 

  • Take library customer requests for new materials purchases.

  • Involve the community in planning and creating new displays and programs. 

  • Hold at least two public forums on current topics of interest every year.

  • Take library customer requests for Consortium and Interlibrary Loans.

Strategic Priority 2 - Improve Services to the Community
  • Continue to expand our programs for family literacy and provide outreach to homebound, disabled and underserved individuals in our community.

  • Continue to make our automated library catalog available on the Internet and find ways to make our catalog and web pages more accessible or user friendly to people of all ages and to individuals with disabilities.

  • Continue to provide public access to a high quality color printer.

  • Continue to provide public access to a computer & Internet compatible microfilm reader/printer document/book scanner.

  • Periodically survey our patrons to see that their needs are being met.

  • Create/update policies.

Strategic Priority 3 - Information Literacy
  • Offer computer and Internet training classes and ask younger volunteers to work individually with older patrons and share their technological knowledge. 

Strategic Priority 4 - Lifelong Learning
  • Offer programs in cooperation/collaboration with Head Start, local schools or other educational agencies in the area. 

  • Expand and improve our Summer Reading Program Presentations.

  • Create at least three separate Book Discussion Groups/Clubs for Adults, Teens and Children.

Strategic Priority 5 - Market the Library
  • Update and distribute our library brochure.

  • Create a brand for the library.

  • Write a regular column for the newspaper.

  • Have local children decorate the library with their artwork.

  • Update and improve our librarys website.

Strategic Priority 6 Enhance the Librarys Appearance

  • Clean or re-paint the Librarys walls as evaluation prescribes and budget will allow.

  • Replace, clean or add to existing furniture as evaluation prescribes and budget will allow.

  • Replace or clean flooring as evaluation prescribes and budget will allow.

  • Replace, clean or add to existing shelving as evaluation prescribes and budget will allow.

Strategic Priority 7 Update the Librarys Equipment, Computers, Server and Software

  • Replace outdated public access computers, or upgrade their upper memory capacity, as evaluation prescribes and budget will allow.
  • Replace outdated staff computers & server as evaluation prescribes and budget will allow.
  • Replace outdated application software as evaluation prescribes and budget will allow.


Mission Statement

The Alvarado Public Library's mission is to provide the highest quality of user-oriented public library services for all citizens of Alvarado, to encourage life-long learning, to expand the intellectual life of the community and to support inquiry through access to information.

Our challenge is to meet the informational and educational needs of library users involved in both formal and informal learning activities through the use of a broad range of contemporary and historical print and non-print media, as well as technology, in a non-judgmental environment.

We subscribe to the "Code of Professional Ethics" and the "Library Bill of Rights" of the American Library Association. 


(Policies are taken from the Alvarado Public Library's Bylaws)

401 - Access

              401.1 - Resident

              The Alvarado Public Library will serve without charge all persons who reside in the City of

              401.2 - Non-resident

              The following annual fees shall apply for non-residents residing in or out of Johnson
              County and those residing in the Alvarado Independent School District: Library cards will
              cost $10 per year for individuals and $15 per year for families [a family is defined as a
              parent or legal guardian and their children who are under the age of (18) eighteen];
              Computer and In-house Use cards will cost $1.50 per year. Library cards will not be issued
              to those residing outside the state of Texas, however, fee-based out-of-state computer
              use cards and free one-time-use computer access may be issued at the discretion of the
               Library Staff.

              401.3 Student Use Library Card

Students residing in the Alvarado Independent School District may obtain a free student use Library card. The free student use Library card is only to be used to borrow books and audio books that are age appropriate for school reading and research purposes.

The free student use Library card may not be used to check out movies or music and may not be used to check out materials for other family members. The free student use Library card is not available to anyone who already has had a Library card which has been voided or whose family has voided cards or owes fines . Other forms of proof-of-residency may be asked for by the Library Board.

401.4 TexShare Library Card

Patrons with *active Library memberships, **in good standing for at least three (3) consecutive months, may apply for a TexShare Library Card, which they may use at participating TexShare member libraries. Patrons are responsible for any damages or loss of materials, fines, or other fees imposed by the TexShare member libraries. Patrons must continue maintain an active membership with the Alvarado Public Library and remain in good standing or their TexShare cards will not be renewed each year and will be subject to cancellation.

*Active - the patron borrows materials from the Alvarado Public Library at least once per month.
** In good standing - items are returned in the same condition as when they were borrowed, there are no outstanding fees or fines, or overdue materials and there have been no violations of any of the library's rules regarding the computers, other library materials or patron behavior.

     401.5 - Hours

The hours of service will be determined by the Alvarado Public Library Advisory Board. Posted hours will be maintained. A staff member will be present at all times the Library is open.

     401.6 - Limitations

The use of the Alvarado Public Library may be denied for due cause. Objectionable conduct, creating a disturbance, destruction of property, failure to abide by the rules of operation, loitering or interference with service to others may be considered sufficient grounds to effect temporary curtailment of services at the discretion of the Library Director.

402 - Gifts and donations

                   402.1 - The Alvarado Public Library Advisory Board reserves
                 the right to accept or reject any gift. A gift policy form must
                 be completed and signed by the donor.

  402.2 - The Board accepts gifts of books and other  materials with the understanding that the Board has the authority to make whatever disposition is deemed advisable. The Board reserves the right to dispose of unusable materials. The Board will not place a monetary value on any gift (For tax purposes, the Board can prepare an acknowledgement for the donor.)

                    402.3 - Gifts of money, real property, and/or stock will be
                 accepted if conditions attached thereto are acceptable to the

           402.4 - The Board will not accept materials, which are not outright gifts.

402.5 - No materials of any kind will be placed in the facility without permission.

403 - Loans or displays.

The facility will accept requested materials approved by the Board for display. The Board will not assume liability for displayed materials.

404 - Equipment lending policies.

404.1 - Facility owned audio-visual equipment may be loaned on a short-term (one or two day) basis to any civic, cultural, or educational group. The equipment may not be loaned for private or commercial use of any kind.

                 404.2 - A knowledgeable operator must be available to run the equipment, and the group
                 using the equipment is responsible for any and all damages.

                 404.3 - Although it is not necessary, since replacement bulbs are costly, small donations by
                 groups using the library';s audio-visual equipment will be appreciated, .

                 404.4 - An agreement form must be signed by the person responsible for the equipment at
                 the time it is loaned out.

405 - Complaints and/or grievances

Complaints and/or grievances will be registered with the Library Director. The Library Director will review all complaints and reply in writing. If the complaint is not resolved to the patron's satisfaction, the complaint may be refereed, again in writing, to the Library Board for arbitration, and if not resolved, to the City Council. (Complaints about library materials are addressed in the Reevaluation Policy below.)

406 - Miscellaneous

406.1 - Patrons will be required to behave in a courteous manner so as not to infringe on other user's rights. Those who cannot comply will be asked to leave.

406.2 Smoking or the consumption of alcoholic beverages will not be permitted in the Library; smoking or the consumption of alcoholic beverages will not be permitted in the conference room, restrooms or any room inside the Library building, or near the library's entryways. The consumption of alcoholic beverages will not be permitted on the Library parking lot or the adjacent property, which belongs to the City of Alvarado.

406.3 - The telephone is for facility business; patrons may use it only in case of emergency; they will need permission from a staff person.

406.4 - Photocopying - because of the copyright law, the patron must assume all responsibility for photocopied material. No more than fifty (50) pages from any book or periodical may be photocopied.

SERIES 500 -

501 - Inter-Library loan.

All eligible patrons of the Alvarado Public Library will also have access to all services of the Texas Network when the Alvarado Public qualifies. Photocopy charges and postage, if any, must be paid by the patron for any materials requested.

502 - Selections of print and non-print materials for the Library

The Alvarado Public Library Advisory Board believes that books and other materials must be selected not only to serve the expressed needs of the total community but also to expand and develop those needs, creatively and imaginatively. It believes that the selection of materials requires the highest professional and critical talents available and that the Library must be a source of information, education, enlightenment, inspiration, and recreation for all the people in the community, and must provide materials presenting all points of view on significant problems and interests of the time.

The purpose of the collection is to provide, within the budget limitations, the best possible materials that will satisfy the educational, informational, cultural, and recreational needs of its users and potential users, including all ages, degrees of reading ability, educational levels, and individual and group interest. Within the limits of the budget, all areas and points of view will be represented in the collection. Flexibility and constant awareness and anticipation of the changing needs of many different kinds of people that the Library serves are essential in book selection. A sufficient collection of reference books to supply information most frequently needed will be maintained.

                502.1 - The Alvarado Public Library will observe the policies of
                the American Library Association as set forth in the " Bill of
                Rights" and the "Freedom to Read".

502.2 - To enable citizens to form their own opinions, this will attempt to provide materials that present all points of view.

               502.3 - Book selection.

Book selection, audiovisual materials and equipment will be made by the Library Director with the approval of the Alvarado Public Library Advisory Board, using basic tools and patron requests.

                     502.31 - Subject matter

502.311 - Controversial issues.

As far as possible, all sides of controversial issues about which there is general concern will be provided. Materials should give evidence of a sincere desire to uncover the facts and should be written in a reasonable fashion as a result of careful study. Sensationalism and undocumented statements and accusations will usually be avoided. Occasionally, materials of doubtful value - either fiction or non-fiction - may be included for their timeliness and are discarded when they are no longer of interest.

                        502.312 - Obscenities

                        Materials, which are obscene with deliberate intent,
                        shall not be admitted to the Library. However, no
                        material shall be condemned on the basis of single
                       passages taken out of context. Serious works, which
                       present an honest picture of some problems or aspect of
                       life, shall not be excluded because of language,
                       description, or subject matter.

                       502.313 - Religion

                       In the field of religion the Library will maintain an
                       impartial recognition of conflicting points of view and will
                       need to identify and evaluate propaganda material which
                       may foster hatred or intolerant attitudes toward certain

                       502.32 - Textbooks

No attempt is made to supply textbooks used in schools and colleges in this area; however, a book is not to be excluded simply because it is a textbook.

                        502.33 - Staff selection

The staff may share in the process of selection of material for developing the collection to meet professional standards and needs of the users. However, the Library Director will hold final decision and responsibility.

                        502.34 - Suggestions or requests

Suggestions or requests from Library patrons are welcome and will be given serious consideration, but each request will be judged on its own merit. Selections will be made on the basis of reviews, published selected lists, and staff examination when possible. Most materials selected should have at least one favorable review, and controversial titles may require two or more. If requested material is not purchased, every effort will be made to secure the material through inter-library loan.

                      502.4 - Criteria for selection.

                                   502.41 - Need in relation to the rest of the

                                   502.42 - Need in relation to the interest of the
                                   community (users).

                                   502.43 - Current or permanent value.

                                   502.44 - Literary merit.

                                   502.45 - Social significance.

                                   502.46 - Sincerity.

                                   502.47 - Responsibility of opinion.

                                   502.48 - Attractiveness, durability, and technical
                                   excellence of format.

                                   502.49 - Available space and funds.

                       502.5 - Audio-visual instructional materials will be
                       included in the Library collection.

503 - Maintenance and use of materials

503.1 - The latest editions of the "Dewey Decimal Classification" and "Sears List of Subject Headings" or Cataloging Data from The Library of Congress will be used in classifying and assigning subject headings in the Librarys MARC records.

                503.2 - The purchase and withdrawal of
                books and materials will be a continuous

               503.3 - Weeding.

Systematic removal of materials from the collection is essential to maintaining the purpose and quality of resources.

                                503.4 - Only registered borrowers may check out
                                books, but anyone may come in and use the Library.

                                503.5 - The loan period for most materials will be
                                for two weeks.

                                503.6 - All rules for fines will be set by the
                                Alvarado Public Library Advisory Board.

                503.7 - Library materials lost or ruined by a
                patron shall be replaced at current Library 
                costs, including processing fees     
                all costs and fees to replace said materials
                are to be paid by the Library patron.
                Library privileges will be revoked until       
                such payment is made.

504 - Periodicals and serials

                                      504.1 - Purchase and acceptance.

Periodicals are purchased or accepted as gifts to keep the Library 's collection up-to-date with current thinking in various fields, to supplement the book collection, to supply recreational reading, and to serve the staff as book selection aids and paraprofessional reading. The indexing of a magazine in a major periodical index is considered before purchase.

                                     504.2 - Periodicals will be discarded at the
                                discretion of the Library  Director according to use
                                by the patrons.

                   504.3 - Those patrons desiring periodical
                material for research may request inter-
                library loan service if the Library 's
                collection cannot meet the user's need.
                The patron will be responsible for
                payment of any photocopy charges or

505 - Circulation

                                    505.1 - Registering as a patron

The first time all patrons borrow material, they will be required to complete a registration form that states they assume responsibility for all materials they use. Children under 18 years of age must have a guardian/parent signature. Also, patrons must show a valid driver's license with correct address. Their registration forms will be kept for Library records.

                 505.2 - Check out policies.

      505.21 - Most materials will be checked  out for a period of two weeks, (14 days) and may be renewed once for an additional two-week period, excluding      reference materials and current (the present month or week) periodicals.  Materials may be limited to a one week loan period when deemed necessary by the library staff. Materials must be returned to the     collection for two weeks before   renewing a second time by the same patron.

       505.22 Patrons with overdue materials or outstanding fines or fees will not be allowed to borrow materials   or have the use of the Librarys public access computers or other equipment.

      505.23 -
Patrons may not check out more than four items by the same author, from the same series or on the same subject at a time. When school children are using books for special reports books may be       restricted to two per subject with one week loan periods. 

505.3 - Material unavailable in the Library collection may be requested through the Inter-Library Loan (ILL) program by Alvarado Public Library's Home Library Patrons. The patron requesting the material will be required to pay any photocopy charges or postage. Patrons using the Alvarado Public Library via a TexShare card from a different Home Library may not make ILL requests.

505.4 - The Library protects, as far as possible, the privacy of patrons and makes no inquiries into the purpose for which the information is requested. Library records pertaining to the use of materials will not be used directly or indirectly to identify, to a third party, the kinds of materials used by any patron.

506 - Publicity

Newspaper publicity, posters, public meetings, etc. should be utilized to make the community aware of the Library services and need for improvement of such services.


600 - Conference room policies.

                      600.1 - The Alvarado Public Library Conference room is
                      available for meetings and gatherings hosted by residents.

                      600.2 - Use of the conference room will be on a scheduled
                      basis. First-come, first-served scheduling must be made at
                      least a week in advance.

                      600.3 - A rental fee will be assessed for use of the room
                      according to the number of hours or days of usage. A
                      cleaning deposit will be required for the use of the room.
                      The sponsor accepts responsibility for damages to the
                      room or its contents. The rental fee and cleaning deposit
be waived for non-profit groups.

                       600.5 - The fact that a group is permitted to meet in the
                       conference room in no way constitutes an endorsement
                       of the group's policies or beliefs by the City, the Board,
                       or the staff.

                       600.6 - The sponsor is responsible for informing the staff
                       of the number of persons attending a function.
                       Attendance will not exceed the occupancy restrictions set
                       by Alvarados City Fire Codes.

                       600.7 - Children's and young people's meetings must be
                       sponsored by an adult over 21 years of age.

                       600.8 - Agreement form must be signed by the sponsor,
                       including the date of the meeting, name of the user, and
                       the number of people expected.


Reevaluation of Materials Policy

The Alvarado Public Library supports the American Library Associations Library Bill of Rights, Statement on Labeling, and Freedom to Read policies. Copies of said documents are appended to the Collection Development Policy.

However, it is necessary to establish a procedure for the re-evaluation of challenged materials in order to promote understanding and good working relations with the public. The following procedure shall be established to direct complaint response in an equal and timely manner.

  • Any person requesting reconsideration of any materials MUST COMPLETE AND SIGN a Patron Complaint/Library Materials Form.
  • The completed and signed form shall be dated and received by a library staff member/volunteer and given to the Library Director.
  • The Library Director shall request a meeting of the ad hoc Professional Reevaluation Committee. The Library Director, the Assistant Librarian and two other library professionals of her/his choice shall form the ad hoc Professional Reevaluation Committee.
  • The ad hoc Professional Reevaluation Committee members shall examine the material independently. The Library Director shall call another meeting of the ad hoc Professional Reevaluation Committee within six (6) weeks of complaint receipt, except in unusual circumstance (i.e. conjunctive or overlapping annual leave, illness of members, transition of personnel, etc.), at which the members shall discuss their individual findings, draft a recommendation concerning disposition of the challenged material, and forward it along with the original Patron Complaint/Library Materials Form to the Library Director for review.
  • The Library Director shall have the responsibility for notifying the City Manager, the Library Advisory Board, and the complainant as to the decision regarding the materials. The complainant shall be notified of the Library Directors decision within three (3) months from the date of receipt of the complaint, except in unusual circumstance (i.e. conjunctive or overlapping annual leave, illness of members, transition of personnel, etc.)
  • The Library Director shall keep the City Manager and Library Advisory Board abreast of all facets of this process from original complaint to final decision.
  • The Library Director may bring complaints regarding materials to the Library Advisory Board for consideration and official input. She/He will supply each Board Member with copies of all documentation relevant to the complaint. The Board Members, after consideration and discussion, may opt to hold an open forum to garner public input, or may elect to vote on the matter during either a regular or called Board Meeting. The recommendations of the ad hoc Professional Reevaluation Committee, the Library Advisory Board and all supporting documentation will be considered by the Library Director in making her/his final decision concerning disposition of the complaint.
  • The Library Director shall have the responsibility and liability for the final decision.
  • Once validated by the process, materials shall not be eligible for further reevaluation.

The library staff will be happy to search the library catalog or the Internet for our patrons. However, due to our limited staff we will be unable to do extensive genealogy or historical research.
We will gladly direct you in your search and offer suggestions. The staff will make every effort to assist you in your search for materials and information. 

Rules and Regulations

These rules are enforced to prevent disruption to our library patrons and to maintain security and a welcoming atmosphere. Violation of any of these rules may result in expulsion, or being banned from the Library for a period of two or more weeks at the discretion of the Library Staff, cost recovery charges, and/or prosecution.

  1. We want our patrons to feel free to talk and enjoy themselves in the Library but we expect you to behave and not use overly loud voices or obscene language.

  2. Anyone stealing or vandalizing Library property may be subject to prosecution.

  3. Any person, who physically assaults, harasses, or uses insulting, obscene or threatening language toward another person will be removed from the library and charges may be laid.

  4. Disruptive behavior is prohibited. Family disputes and arguments will not be allowed to take place inside the Library.

  5. The Library may be used only for intended purposes. Staff areas, including the circulation desk and equipment in the workroom, are restricted to use by Library Staff.

  6. Any person who is drunk, under the influence of drugs or who is considered to be a threat to public health and safety will not be permitted inside the Library. 

  7. All backpacks, book bags, briefcases, oversized purses, and sports equipment must be left in your car or left at the circulation desk. Otherwise your bags, etc. may be inspected when you leave the Library. Sports equipment will not be permitted beyond the circulation desk area.

  8. Smoking in any part of the Library building, on the Library's parking lot, on the Library's sidewalks or on the adjoining City Owned Property is prohibited.

  9. Consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited in the Library Building, the restrooms and the hallways. In addition alcoholic beverages will not be consumed on the Library's parking lot or the immediate City-owned property.

  10. The only animals allowed inside the Library Building are guide or hearing-ear dogs or those brought by special permission for a special Library Program.

  11. Unless they are attending a special program or group meeting, children under the age of seven (7) must be accompanied in the Library by an adult who is responsible for their safety and supervision. 

  12. Children may not be reprimanded by anyone other than their own parents and/or adult caregivers or paid library staff members. Other adults, children, teenagers, and volunteer staff will not reprimand any children not under their care.

  13. Commercial activity, including selling, soliciting, and petitioning, is prohibited.

  14. Roller blades, roller skates and skateboards are not permitted inside the Library Building or on the Library's parking lot or sidewalks or the adjoining City Owned Property. (If you travel to the library via roller blades, roller skates and skateboards you must leave them at the circulation desk until you are ready to leave.)

  15. Library materials may not be taken into a washroom.

  16. Loitering - inside or outside the Library Building, on the Library parking lot, the Library's sidewalks on anywhere on Library property or on the adjoining City Owned Property is prohibited.

  17. Each time you check out materials you must present your Library Card. (If you or your family members have overdue items or owe fines you may not borrow or use other materials including the public access computers, or other equipment.)

  18. You will be held responsible for any damages to or loss of materials used by you or your children. (This also includes any damages to items, checked out to you or your children, which are caused by pets, other animals, insects or acts of nature.)

  19. Unless they have been processed for circulation, genealogy and reference materials are to be used only in the genealogy/reference area.

  20. All photocopying will be done by library staff members. We will not photocopy materials which are copyright protected. No more than fifty (50) pages from any book may ever be copied.

  21. Please do not reshelf materials. Please bring items to be shelved to the circulation desk. These materials are counted as part of our in-house circulation statistics.

  22. Other special rules and policies apply to computer and Internet use and are available on every public access computer. (For example: no one will be allowed to view illegal or inappropriate images or websites on library computers or on personally owned computers and cell phones.)

Vision Statement

The people of Alvarado and the surrounding area will: 

  • Have the information they need to succeed at school, at work, and in their personal interests. 
  • Have reading, viewing and listening materials and programs that stimulate their thinking, enhance their knowledge of the world, and improve the quality of their lives. 
  • Have access to information in several formats about family histories and historic events from Alvarado and the surrounding area and the State of Texas. 
  • Discover the joy of reading and develop a lifelong love of learning. 
  • Enjoy a high level of access to electronic information resources and develop technological, information seeking, and information evaluation skills.



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Revised: 03 Jul 2023 18:46:53 -0400 .