Learn the Basics of What Your Library Offers
The Administration Department is the head of the Abilene Public Library system, headed by the Director of Library Services. Housed at the Main Library, this department oversees the overall functions of the library system to ensure the library is offering the best in services to the community, and maintaining a high level of standard. This is accomplished through working with the Library Advisory Board, the management team for the library system, the Friends of the Library Board, City Administration, and the City Council.
Youth Services Department
The Youth Services Department is available at all branch locations and provides materials and programming for youth and families. Our youth services staff is trained in working with youth and overseen by a youth services librarian, with an assistant present at the Main Library and South Branch locations. Staff is available to offer a wealth of knowledge about children's literature and literacy. Along with containing reading materials for newborns through age 12, this department also offers access to AWE Early Literacy stations, Wonderbooks, STEAM Kits, Phonics Kits, Launchpads, puzzles, and more. We also offer a number of programs and events free of charge, as well as weekly storytimes, and you can learn more by visiting our Kids' Page.
Circulation Services Department
The Circulation Department is the primary service point where staff is on hand to:
- Answer your questions
- Checkout materials
- Direct you where you need to go
- Maintain the stacks
- Register library cards
- Resolve issues
Circulating hundreds of thousands of library materials each year, staff handle the bulk of library materials through transactions with patrons. As avid readers, staff is available for reader's advisory help for suggesting reading material. Although typically not staffed by librarians, these knowledgeable employees are on hand to guide you to information about all aspects of library service, as well as being the first staff faces guests see when entering the library.
Genealogy Services Department
If you're looking for your family's past, the Genealogy Department is the place to go. Located at the Main Library, this department is housed on two separate floors. The second floor offers access to an extensive collection of print genealogical resources, as well as a Texas History collection for local history enthusiasts. The basement houses microfilm readers and resources for access and printing, as well as computers to access genealogical databases including Ancestry Plus and Heritage Quest (which are available to be accessed at all branch locations). This department offers access to a number of tools including census indexes, bibliographies, special collections, and more. How-to manuals are also available to assist beginners in getting started in the genealogy process. Library staff in the Information Services Department are available to assist you as needed. Additional resources include:
- The Abilene Reporter-News (1888 to present day)
- The Big Country Obituary Index
- The Texas Birth Index
- The Texas Death Index
Information Services Department
The Information Services Department is staffed by professional librarians who provide information on a variety of topics as requested by patrons and guests. Staff in this department also develop programming and services aimed at the general adult audience, in a variety of areas, including business, lawns & gardens, author presentations, craft sessions, workshops, and more. These events are offered to the public at no charge.
Located in the basement of the Main Library, this department houses the tailored reference collection of items that do not circulate, all non-fiction materials, special collections (i.e. puzzles, book club in a box sets, graphic novels, maker kits, etc.), a makerspace for community access, printing and photocopying services, a study room, microfilm readers, public seating, and staff work spaces. If you have a question regarding adult services or reference help, this is the department to seek out.
The Multimedia & Technology Department is housed at the Main Library and is a small department of library staff overseeing the library's presence online. Staff in this department are responsible for running the library's social media accounts, the library's website, events calendars, newsletters, graphic design, videography & photography, and marketing through print resources. It is this department's responsibility to help show the public what the Abilene Public Library is doing and what services we have to offer to market them to those discovering and/or following the online.
We house a vibrant Spanish collection of adult fiction and nonfiction books, audiobooks, DVDs, picture books, and resources to learn English. Although all locations provide resources on learning to speak foreign languages and materials for those learning English as a second language, the Mockingbird Branch Library houses Spanish-language resources for the Spanish speakers to checkout.
Technical Services Department
Working behind-the-scenes, this department is located at the Main Library and serves as a vital part of the library system as its responsible for all materials housed in the library's collection. Library staff have the responsibility for the acquisition of purchased library materials, cataloging them, and preparing them for public use so they may be checked out in adherence to the library's collection development policy. We receive regular shipments of new materials on a daily basis, and each item passes through the hands of staff in this department before they reach the public floor so they may be evaluated and properly marked for public access.
Your ability to locate items within our collection, either in-house or digitally, is due to this department, which also manages materials accessible through Libby and Hoopla Digital for public access. Staff in this area also stay on the forefront of library materials to introduce new materials to the collection such as the Wonderbooks, Launchpads, Phonics Kits, STEAM Kits, and more.
Need help learning to use a PC, create a resume, navigate the Internet, setup an email, etc? Sign-up for 1-on-1 assistance with library staff. Contact your preferred location to schedule a time. Register Online.
In partnership with Meals-On-Wheels, participants may sign up to receive library materials delivered to your door through our Books-On-Wheels program. For information on getting started, call 325-676-6025.
Community Bulletin Board
All locations offer space to display events, resources, etc. If you wish to have something added, visit the Main Library (202 Cedar St.) and speak with staff and we can help get your materials posted at all three branches. Posted materials must adhere to our Community Board Guidelines.
Free Tax Help
In conjunction with the American Association for Retired People (AARP), we offer an annual service where trained Internal Revenue Service volunteers assist the public in e-Filing your taxes, at no charge, on a first-come, first-served basis. These services are offered February through April.
Meeting rooms are available at all locations. Rooms are free for non-profits, $10 per hour for other organizations at the Main Library and Mockingbird Branch and $50 for the first two hours at the South Branch location with an optional $25 fee for use of advanced audio/visual equipment.
For information on reserving a room, contact the Main Library at 325-676-6328, the Mockingbird Branch at 325-437-7323, or the South Branch at 325-698-7565. You may also find information on our meeting room use in our Policies Section.
Each branch library has a certified notary. It’s preferred you call ahead to ensure you can be seen; however, notary services are not available an hour before closing. For more information, or to schedule a time, contact the Main Library at 325-676-6025, the South Branch Library at 325-698-7565, or the Mockingbird Branch Library at 325-437-7323.
Periodicals (Magazines & Newspapers)
All locations offer a selection for public use. Newspapers and current issues of magazines are for in-house use only and back issues of magazines are able to be checked out.
Presentations (In-House & Community)
Library staff is equipped to go out in the community to speak to your schools, businesses, and organizations on library services. Presentations may be tailored to what your group is interested in learning about. Contact your preferred branch location and we may assist your further.
Proctoring services are offered for free at all locations. Interested parties should contact your preferred location to learn about starting the process. Once approved through your institution, we’ll work on a time for you to complete future exams.
Advanced Workstations in Education (AWE) Early Literacy Stations
The Friends of the Library funded gaming stations for youth at all locations. Each contains 60+ educational games on stations that do not allow access to the Internet. All are available on a first-come, first-served basis during our regular hours of operation.
Computers & Internet Access
Each branch offers computers for public use, on a first-come, first-served basis. Library cardholders receive (3) 1-hour sessions each day at the Main Library and South Branch locations, and (3) 45-minute sessions at the Mockingbird Branch. If all are in use, reserve one by speaking with library staff, or call ahead to reserve a computer. If visiting from out-of-town, signup as a guest.
We offer access to an extensive collection of digital databases located on our E-Resources Page. These databases offer access to informative materials to meet your informational and recreational needs. Additionally, we offer a great lineup of services for checking out digital eBooks, audiobooks, movies, and more for free. For a complete lineup of these popular services, visit our Digital Services page.
A host of technology is available for use through the Main Library's makerspace area, designed as a community workspace for various projects. Here you will have access to computers for use with a 3D printer, Cricut products, and various other technology. Library staff in the Information Services Department will be on hand to help you learn to use any of the equipment upon request.
The Main Library offers access to three (3) microfilm readers using the latest technology. Located in the basement, here you will also find the library's only collection of microfilm available for reading. Use of these readers does not require a library card, and they are not affixed with time limits for use. See library staff in the Information Services Department if requiring help getting started using these machines.
Each branch location houses a mobile lab of 20 laptops used for programming, workshops, and instructional classes. When not in use for library activities, these laptops are available to be checked out by patrons for use inside the library. Each offers access to the Internet. See staff to inquire more about using this service.
Photocopiers are available at all locations at a cost of $0.15 per copy B/W and $0.45 per copy in color; duplex copying available. Vending units will accept cash and change. Scanning is also available on these units. It requires the use of a flash/USB drive and offered free of charge.
Printing is offered at all locations at a charge of $0.15 per copy B/W and $0.45 per copy in color. Once you have submitted a print job, visit the Print Kiosk to scan your library card, select your prints, and then pay for them. Once payment is received, your print jobs will be released to the printer. If at the Mockingbird Branch, see library staff at your nearest service desk where staff will receive your payment and release your print jobs to the printer. We also offer Mobile Printing on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and personal computers.
Wi-Fi is offered for free at all branch locations during our normal hours of operation. Available speeds may vary depending on how many patrons are accessing the service at any given time. This service is both open and unsecured, not requiring a password to join.