801 East 12th Street
History of the Library
In the Beginning...
Speer Memorial Library The Mission Public Library is one of the oldest libraries in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. It was organized by a group of educated, ambitious women who had come as settlers to this new country with their families.
In March 1914, interested persons met and formed the Civic League of Mission in order to care for the park and to form a library. The first library board was composed of the officers of the League.
There were two card clubs in Mission at this time and one played for books which were donated to the library. Two local women also donated 75 books to the library.
The library was located wherever there was a room available free of charge. Many empty stores were used.
At first the library charged for services! $0.05 per hour for "story-telling" on Saturday mornings ...$0.05/week to borrow a book...and overdues ran $0.03/day. The money went to run the library.
In 1929 Mission passed a city ordinance making the library a city department, with appropriations of $0.03/$100 valuation of taxable property. The sum reaching the library that year was about $50.00!
In 1930 the library was in a room over the First National Bank...later it moved to City Hall.
From the early 30's until 1947 the Public Library shared facilities with the School Library... when the books were divided.
By 1960 the library had 11,741 books and had outgrown its building.