About the Library

Welcome to Allen Public Library

Our Vision Statement

A welcoming place to inspire the mind.

Our Mission Statement

The Allen Public Library is dedicated to improving the quality of community life through open access to information, culture and lifelong learning.

A Short History

During its years of existence, the Allen Public Library has continued to expand in terms of space, collection size, hours of service, programs and amount of use.  The materials collection has grown in size and quality from approximately 15,000 donated items to a collection of over 150,000 carefully selected and well-maintained items including print books, audiobooks, DVDs, Blu-ray's, music CDs, and newspapers as well as subscriptions to online databases, eBooks, eAudiobooks and digital magazines.


Allen Public Library was founded in 1967 by Epsilon Signa Alpha as a service project.  Located on the second floor of the Woodmen of the World building (South of Main between Allen Dr and the railroad tracks), the Library was open 10-15 hours per week and staffed by volunteers.  Operations were dependent on donations and irregular funds from the City and County.


Former Library location now Allen Recreation Hall

By 1970, the volunteer-run library moved to the northwest corner of McDermott & Allen Drives.  The building was made possible by a donation from Eugene and Margaret McDermott and housed the fire station, City Hall and the Library.  The City of Allen assumed responsibility for the Library in 1971, making it a city department.  Paid library staff were permitted to work 25 hours per week.  The building is still owned by the City as Allen Recreation Hall.

Population of Allen in 1970:  1,940


Former library Blue House now Allen Arts Alliance

In 1974, the city purchased the "Blue House" at 102 Allen Drive. Library operating hours expanded to 40 hours per week in the late 70's.  Former Library Director Barbara Buehler was hired in 1982 as the only full-time employee.  The Friends of the Allen Public Library began at this location in 1983.  The building is currently the home of the Allen Arts Alliance.

Population of Allen in 1980: 8,314


Former library now MCPARD

This 20,000 square foot location opened its doors in July 1989.  The building was made possible with two separate bond elections,  one in 1979 to purchase the land and another in 1985 to build and furnish the Library.

Highlights at this location:

  • Sponsored Barney's first sing-along concert in 1990 as a Library fundraiser (due to ticket demand, the event was relocated from the Library to Allen High School).
  • Partnership with Plano Public Library System began in 1992 to share books and other materials with Allen residents.
  • The Arts Alliance "Sunday Sounds" series became the Library's "Bach to Books" series in 2002.

Due to limited parking at this location and the inability to add a second floor, a bond election was held in 2000 for a new Library building.  This is the current location of the Municipal Court.

Population of Allen in 1990: 18,309     In 2000: 43,554


Allen Public Library's west entrance.

The Library moved to its fifth (and current) location, a 54,000 square foot building, in February 2005.


  • The One City, One Book program, ALLen Reads, began in 2007.  The first selection was "Marley and Me" by John Grogan.
  • Library operating hours expanded from 40 hours per week to 64 hours per week in 2007.
  • The Library celebrated its 40th anniversary in October 2007.
  • Barbara Buehler retired in January 2008 after 25 years of service to Allen.




  • The Friends of the Allen Public Library celebrated their 25th anniversary in 2008.
  • Library co-founder Ruth Pringle is recognized as a Lifetime Friend in May 2009.
  • Allen's first public art project, Oceano, was unveiled in November 2009.

Population of Allen in 2010: 84,246


Second floor shelving being reconfigured after 2013 carpet replacement.


  • The partnership with Plano Public Library system ended and APL migrated to a separate catalog system in January 2011.
  • Library added eBooks to its collection in November 2011.
  • Reached new highs for circulation, visitors, and program attendance in 2012.
  • RFID system for collection tracking upgraded in 2013.
  • Carpet replaced and second-floor shelving reconfigured in May 2013.


Arial view of Library parking lot expansion.


  • Bond election held in 2016 for 16 million to expand the Library.
  • Parking lot expanded in November 2017 as phase one of the library expansion.
  • ALLen Reads celebrated 10 years in 2017.
  • The Library celebrated its 50th anniversary in October 2017.
  • Reached new highs for circulation and visitors in 2019.

Population of Allen in 2020:  108,706