The Yoakum Library was organized in 1933 by the Philomathic Club with the help of Works Project Administration (The WPA commonly refers to the many agencies
established by the Federal Government in the 1930s during Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration funds). J. W. Cook offered space in back of his office to house the
newly organized library. In 1955 the library was moved to the old Beck building on Nelson Street where it remained until 1968 when it was relocated into the old City
Hall building on West Hugo Street.
City financial support began in 1942; however, the library was officially accepted as part of the City's organization in 1971. Librarian Virginia Ferrell was hired in 1975
and served for over 29 years, her leadership was essential in the development of the Library as it is today. The library became a member of the South Texas Library
System in 1976. The Library Board was created in December, 1970 - under the direction of this board, the Friends of The Library Organization was formed in 1978.
City officials offered the old Municipal Power Plant Building to the Friends of the Library after the building had been deemed to be of historic significance and worthy of
adaptive reuse. The plant had been used as the City's mechanic garage for twenty years. Renovation began in 1988 backed by financial donations from the citizens of
Yoakum, the primary donor being Carl and Mary Welhausen for which the library was named. Other funds for the project included a $100,000 matching federal grant for
and $50,000 from the Meadows Foundation. The facility was completed in 1991 and the opening dedication was held on Sunday, April 21, 1991.
The Carl and Mary Welhausen Library is proud to be a Texas historic site with 50-foot-tall ceilings, a mezzanine and skylights. The old overhead crane remains in the
building as a reminder of days gone by. The structure is located near the historic tomato sheds and railroad depot of Yoakum. In 1991, the library received a most
prestigious award for the 'Best Adaptive Reuse of an Existing Building' by the Texas Downtown Association. It also earned recognition as a historical building by the
Texas Historic Commission and thus designated in 1993 as a 'Recorded Texas Historic Landmark'. Once again the Texas Historical Commission nominated the library for
inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places and was formally recognized as such by the U.S. Department of Interior in 1996.
The new historic site allowed the library to double in capacity. Receiving grants for technological advancement from the Gates Foundation and the State
Telecommunication Infrastructure Fund, the Library now has eleven public access computers with Internet capabilities, genealogy research, educational materials and
children's games accessible to everyone in our community as well as wireless internet capability. In addition, the children's section, designed in 2007 was made possible
by the generous donation of Mr. and Mrs. Otto "Jimmy" Borchers, and is available for young children.
Refurnishing of the library began in 2011 to replace the shelving and furniture throughout the entire facility. Funds were utilized from the Tocker Foundation, the
Augusta Jannett Estate, and the Nannie Rae Baker Estate. The project is now finished (as of April, 2012) and is ideal in meeting the needs or our growing community.
Proudly portraying the history of Yoakum through this remarkable renovation, the Carl and Mary Welhausen Library is a wonderful place to visit and enjoy the best of
the old and the new.
|With eleven (11) internet-ready computers
for public use, there is virtually nowhere in
the world that you cannot visit from the
comfortable seat at our library. Finding
books and videos within the library is made
simple with these computers; just click on
the cataloging icon and search by author,
title or subject.
|CAN’T FIND A BOOK THAT YOU ARE
LOOKING FOR? Take advantage of our
interlibrary loans. The program is designed
to provide materials to our library patrons
that are not found in our collection. To
request an interlibrary loan, the patron must
complete a request form, which may be
obtained through our library.
|WE ALSO HAVE
|Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday
9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
|Carl & Mary Welhausen
|Access your library
account and view
our card catalog
|In order to access your
account online, you must
contact our Library to
have an account set up