History of The Library

In 1980, the need for a public library was brought to the attention of Mayor Dennis Dreyer and the Port Aransas City Council by a group of concerned citizens. The City of Port Aransas hired Sue Vosseller to be the library director. Sue is one of the true pioneers of the soon to be established Port Aransas Public Library. The library started out in the City Hall complex (currently the City Council chambers). Sue started out with an empty room, a desk, and a telephone. She recruited volunteers and initiated book drives and helped to organize the Friends of the Library. As the books came in the volunteers helped with the processing and soon the shelves began to fill up. The Friends of the Library, headed by President Jo Leta Gavit, organized community fund-raisers to help pay for new furnishings.

On April 21, 1981, the new library was opened to the public and in September 1981, became a member of the South Texas Library System. By 1995, the Library had outgrown its space in the City Hall complex. Land adjacent to City Hall was donated for a new library building by Maude Ellis. Ground was broken on May 26, 1995. Once again, community volunteers helped the new director, Sue James, with preparations for the move. The name was changed to the William R. "Bill" Ellis Memorial Library, in honor of the former mayor and civic leader. The doors opened in January of 1996.

Library Director, Geanette Dailey discovered through a needs assessment the current library showed a deficit of almost 4,000 square feet. She reached out to the Friends of Ellis Memorial Library and the Library Advisory Board; together they had the vision to expand the library to offer a dedicated children's area, teen area, study rooms and create a special collections room to house local history along with special Texana materials. On May 31st of 2017, the expansion of Ellis Memorial Library began with a groundbreaking ceremony; unfortunately, on August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey devastated the town of Port Aransas. Ellis Memorial Library lost its entire collection to the storm. After two long years of recovery efforts and reconstruction, the Ellis Memorial Library opened its door in January of 2020.

Presently the library collection contains fiction books, non-fiction books, large print books, audiobooks, movies in both DVD and Blu-ray format, magazine and newspaper subscriptions. With the expansion of the library; Ellis Memorial Library now offers a young adult collection, children's collection, and a special collections room with Texas and local history.

Original Library Advisory Board (1981)
Bruce Furlow, Chairman
Georgia Neblett
Joe Bicknell
Jo Leta Gavit
Betty Ann Gibbs

Current Library Advisory Board


Rick Kalke, Chairman
Carolee Crider, Co-Chairman
Ellen Gray, Secretary
Ann Francks, Member
Suzanna Reeder, Member
Barbara Scott, Alternate

Library Directors

Stefanie Bara: 2019 - Present
Geanette Dailey: 2016-2018
Marina Narvaez: 2015-2016
Kathy Caldwell: 2006-2015
Lisa Kinsner: 2005
Kim Grotewold: 2004-2005
Sue James: 1994-2003
Sue Vosseller: 1980-1994