Before the 1990s, the Atascocita community was served by the Octavia Fields branch library in Humble. As the Atascocita population grew in the 1980s, residents wanted a library in their community. Atascocita citizens, led by retired school teacher Odell Dreyer, began meeting with County officials to campaign for a new branch library.
After a couple of false starts, the County selected a site for the new branch in 1993, and the community celebrated the groundbreaking in October 1994. The branch opened its doors officially on May 5, 1996. Shortly after opening, a tile wall designed by Jo Webb was installed on the outside of the building by the front entrance. The mural features an outline of the shape of Texas in bluebonnets alongside other local flowers.
In 2005, the branch opened an exhibit on Elizabeth I, collaborating with local businesses, volunteer organizations, school district, and community college. The event drew more than 10,000 visitors in six weeks. In September 2008, when Hurricane Ike hit the Houston area, Atascocita branch staff continued to hold storytime to help maintain a sense of normalcy for their community, even while the branch was without lights or air-conditioning. Thankfully, the building was not damaged, and normal service resumed within a few weeks.
In October of 2017, Hurricane Harvey hit the greater Houston area. The Atascocita branch was thankfully not damaged. However, the nearby Kingwood branch experienced significant flood damage. The Atascocita branch hosted Kingwood staff and helped serve the Kingwood community over the next several months until the Kingwood branch reopened again in 2018.
The Atascocita community received some good news in late 2020 when Harris County Commissioners Court approved a million-dollar expansion of the branch. The work will begin shortly after the branch celebrates its 25th anniversary in May 2021.
Read a history of the campaign for the Atascocita branch written in 1994, shortly after the groundbreaking.
Read a document on the Atascocita Library as it was on the day it opened on May 5, 1996.
Friends of the Atascocita Library
The Friends of the Atascocita Library (FOAL) are active fundraisers and supporters of the branch. The Harris County Commissioner's Court recognized the group's achievements and declared November 1, 1994, to be Friends of the Atascocita Library Day.
At the opening of the Atascocita Library, Commissioner Eversole presented the branch with a framed plaque commemorating the achievements of the Friends of the Atascocita Library. Becky Berry, then-President of FOAL, accepted the plaque with Odell Dreyer and Margaret Curry at her side.