Public Library

Accomplishments for 2023

Lactation Lounge

  • Opened a private space in collaboration with the health department and WIC office for mothers to feed or express milk.
  • Timely opening coincided with the Summer Reading Club, with peak usage during that period.
  • Provides complimentary activities for youth, storage bags, diapers, sanitizer, thermometers, and more at no cost.

Seed Library

  • Introduced a new collection of seeds for public checkout and home growing during Spring 2023.
  • Remained popular, with patrons checking out up to three packets per month and sharing their progress.

NCCIL Collection

  • Partnered with the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature to offer a specialized collection of children's literature illustrated by featured artists from the past 25 years.


  • Introduced a collection of 23 educational tablets at each branch, expanding on the popular Wonderbooks collection.
  • Tablets equipped with stories, games, and educational content to enhance learning in various areas.

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

  • Partnered with the United Way of Abilene on their launch of Dolly’s Parton’s Imagination Library.
  • Registered families for the literacy program delivering quality children's books monthly to youth ages 0-5 through the mail.

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

  • Adopted a national initiative challenging families to read 1,000 books to children before age 5 or before they begin school.
  • More than 170 families registered, with the program gaining year-round momentum.
Dolly Parton Imagination Library Ribbon Cutting

Librarian of the Year

  • Amanda Sasser named Ricki Brown Librarian of the Year for 2023 by the Friends of the Abilene Public Library. Sasser serves as Youth Services Library at the Mockingbird Branch. She is recognized for revitalizing youth and family programming, increasing STEAM activities, and enhancing educational learning.

Enhanced Summer Reading Club

  • For the first time, we partnered with NCCIL and the Children's Art + Literacy Festival (CALF) to create Summer Reading Club programming based on featured CALF honoree Brian Lies. 
  • In addition to developing programming, graphics, and partnering with NCCIL and CALF agencies, the event engaged local students through building a community quilt, strengthening ties to downtown agencies, and increasing their love and appreciation for literacy and art.

STEAM & Sensory Collections:

Introduced two new collections funded by Friends of the Library: 

  • A STEAM collection for in-house educational use by staff to aid in leading events.
  • A Sensory Collection for youth with sensory perception issues.