Ella Mae Shamblee Library

exterior image of the ella mae-shamblee library

1062 Evans Ave. | Fort Worth, TX 76104

817-392-5580  |  Print at this location

Hours

Sunday | Closed

Monday | Noon - 8 pm

Tuesday | 10 am - 8 pm

Wednesday | 10 am - 8 pm

Thursday | 10 am - 8 pm

Friday | 10 am - 6 pm

Saturday | 10 am - 6 pm

Our events

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Features

This community library located in a historic* building has a variety of unique features to serve residents and guests:

  • Mobile printing pickup
  • Curbside service (for items placed on hold)
  • Gallery space
  • Children's area
  • Teen room
  • Lounge seating
  • 3D printing
  • Meeting and event space

Please see the Room Rentals tab for information on reserving meeting spaces.


Public Art Installation

Shamblee public art “35 City Blocks” by Letitia Huckaby

2008 | Digitally printed laminated glass (window) Stone and tile mosaic (patio/floor)

Letitia Huckaby's installation reflects the heritage of the Evans & Rosedale neighborhood and the Fort Worth-based artist's exploration of genealogy, history, and themes of family and community. The window design, inspired by traditional African-American patchwork quilts, combines Huckaby's contemporary portraits, historic photographs and blocks of colored glass, visually linking past and present. A mosaic "river" of tile and stone winds through the library from the entrance patio to the literary garden becoming a metaphor for the journey of life and continuity of traditions.

 


*National Historic Places Registry

The former Our Lady of Mercy/Our Mother of Mercy School building, located at 801 Verbena in the Near Southeast neighborhood of Fort Worth, Texas, was built in 1931. It was constructed by members of the nearby Catholic Church under the direction of the parish priest. The church and the school served the city's African American community. 

When the school first opened, it was known as Our Lady of Mercy School. Around 1950, the name changed to Our Mother of Mercy. The school moved to another location in 1953 and then returned to this location prior to the construction of the present school building which was completed in 1958. Although the name "Our Mother of Mercy" was associated with this site for a relatively short period, it is this name, plus the name of the nursery school that operated here from c. 1960 through the mid 1970s— Tommy Tucker—that are commonly used to refer to the building.  

 

Our Namesake

portrait of Ella Mae Shamblee Ella Mae Gratts Shamblee (1903-1981) 

Mrs. Shamblee was working as a custodian at the downtown library when she asked if she could take discarded books to share with her neighbors. She would take boxes of those books on her ride home on buses and in streetcars. Then, she would find places to house mini-libraries in her community in South Fort Worth, including in the Stevens Grocery Store, the Federated Women’s Club, a nursery school and a neighborhood home. Eventually, she convinced her husband to fix up an old bus for her to use as a bookmobile before there were branch libraries in Fort Worth. Mrs. Shamblee eventually drove an official Fort Worth Public Library bookmobile to spread literacy across Fort Worth.