FRIENDS OF THE MAUD MARKS LIBRARY

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HISTORY OF MAUD MARKS FRIENDS


The Maud Marks Branch Library opened on July 27, 1993. The library's namesake, Maud Smith Marks (1887-1970), was co-owner of the _H7 (LH7) Ranch in Addicks, Texas. As the bride of Emil Marks, Mrs. Marks first came to the area in 1907 at the age of 20. By the 1930s the Marks' 63-acre ranch had grown to 30,000 acres, incorporating land in Barker, Texas.

Concerned that her four children would be learning about and from books, Mrs. Marks contracted with Harris County to have library books delivered to Barker, Texas in the 1920s. From the Barker church (and later its store) she operated the first small County Library in the Barker area, issuing library cards and seeing that children in the area had plenty of reading materials. Mrs. Marks is recognized as a woman who worked hard to provide culture and education.

The Friends of Maud Marks Library first met in 1984, nine years before the library opened in 1993. First known as the Friends of Mason Creek Library, they worked long and energetically to get a county library for the rapidly growing west Harris County area. The Friends were able to gather support and funds and found a local real estate developer (Vincent Kickerillo), who donated the land for the proposed library. They also sought out large corporate sponsorships ($50,000 from Amoco) and raised funds from the community as well.

It was the Friends who researched the area and discovered the cultural contribution made by Maud Smith Marks and proposed that the new library be named in her honor. Once the library had a name so did the Friends, who therefore became the "Friends of Maud Marks Library" in 1988.

The Friends continue to provide the library with funds for services, books, and programs. They generously fund children's programs and have provided computers for public use as well. Most of their fundraising comes through their monthly book sale for which they always need new volunteers and book donations.