Best Library You've Never Heard Of (2003)
University Park Public Library
Until 2001, University Park had the peculiar distinction of being the nation's largest city without its own public library. Until then, residents had been able to use the Highland Park Library without charge. When that changed, an energetic group of volunteers called Friends of the University Park Public Library held book sales and other fund-raisers, allowing the new library to open in a bank building. Last year, librarian Lee Schuey, a veteran of 30 years with the Dallas Public Library, was hired. Now, according to Friends President Carol Ann Luby, the library boasts more than 50,000 books, videos, CDs and audio books. "We offer evening lecture programs in the fall and spring and have just completed a kids summer reading program," Luby says. "And our catalog is going online at www.uplibrary.org." Best of all, there is no University Park residency requirement, so all are welcome. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.