About Us

The Round Top Family Library opened its doors in 2000 and comprises of 3 buildings situated on a site of approximately 4 acres. Round Top Library Association LLC owns the land and all buildings on it, debt free. If you want to learn more about the amazing people that made the dream of the library come to fruition, click the button below.

Our Mission

The Round Top Family Library’s Mission is to provide free and unrestricted access to traditional library services, innovative educational programs and a welcoming community center for people of all ages.

Library Services

Lending Services

Popular reading material

Best sellers

Periodicals

Classic and contemporary literature

Audio Books

Movies on DVD

E-Books (View more below)

Services for Children

Junior Master Gardeners (JMG)

ARTS/RTFL Art After School Program

Children’s Summer Programs

Storytime for Preschoolers

Imagination Library

Other programs as announced

Community Services

Free Community WiFi

Collaboration with local schools and arts organizations

Community use of historic Rummel Haus with full kitchen for special and private events 

Grace Community Garden

Children’s playground with shade cover

Adults & Seniors

Yoga Classes

Computer Instruction for Seniors

Senior Social Events

Mentoring and Volunteer Opportunities

Special Events

Other programs as announced

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Leadership

Since its founding, the Round Top Family Library has been blessed by exceptional leadership, both from its Director and Staff, its Board of Directors, Advisory Board and Volunteers. The institution has grown from an underfunded tiny children’s library in the historic Rummel Haus that existed only because it was given a 30 year lease for $1.00 per year, to a certified public library and community center whose grounds and elegantly restored historic buildings are debt free. Our programs have expanded and diversified far beyond our early dreams. That was only possible with the hard work and wise leadership of many people.

Joe Gunter

Executive Director

I have been a professional librarian for over thirty years in four states (Texas, Tennessee, Arizona and Colorado).  My experience includes positions as a Local History/Genealogy librarian, County/Library District Director, university librarian, private school head librarian, young adult librarian, City Librarian, Library Manager, Library Branch Manager and now Executive Director.  During my career I interviewed Tom Landry, formed a library district in 6 months that quadrupled the library budget, worked at two San Antonio private schools, walked to a board meeting in Colorado at minus 14 degrees, was involved in several library building projects, designed a bookmobile (twice), and other adventures that has led me to this unique opportunity!

Mary Leitko

Children's Program Manager

Mary Leitko has held the post of Children’s Program Manager at the library since 2013. She has attended schools in California, Nebraska, Florida and Texas but feels her real education comes from being a student of life. Mary is responsible for creating and implementing children’s after-school programs during the school year and for the busy eight-week summer program schedule.

Pat Cox

Bookkeeper

Pat Cox has worked at the library since 2010. In addition to bookkeeping and front desk duties, Pat leads one of the library book club and is library liaison for the FYI program series.

Keelia Ritch

Library Manager

Keelia Ritch has been a staff member since 2014 and is a daily presence at the front desk. She handles publicity and advertising for library programs and special events. Keelia manages much of the updating of the new Round Top Family Library website

Board of Directors

Ed Ellis

President

Cyndi Broussard

Director

Emily Siemsglusz

Director

Vice President

Suzanne Ellis

Director

Lundy Wantland

Director

Sterling McCall

Director Emeritus

Deborah Kainer

Treasurer

Joanie Havlick

Director

Julie Wantland

Director

Pam Langford

Director

Sheila Bain

Secretary

Kathy Young

Director

Joe Gunter

Director/Librarian

Steve Ditsler

Bybee Foundation

Vicki LaRue

Past President

Ashley Nelius

Director

Chris & Cheryl Travis

Director Emeritus

Current Advisory Board

Ed & Dana Carey

Kathy Johnston

John & Peggy Field

Barry Moore

Betsy Harwood

Lucinda Owen

Frank & Jean Raymond

Judge Joe & Brenda Weber

Ronny Sacks

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the legal name and status of the Round Top Family Library?

The 501 (c)3 non-profit organization that runs the Library is called the Round Top Library Association. You can make out checks to either name and they will still be tax deductible donations. RTLA is a private non-profit, not a public entity. However, because the Town of Round Top makes the minimum contribution to our institution that qualifies us as a civic library, we are also a public library certified by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

How can I be sure the money I contribute goes where I want it to go?

First, make sure you are clear about what you want. Some funds go to operations, like engraved pavers and cash donations. Some are dedicated, like the Facilities Fund and Land Rush. You can also dedicate contributions directly to fund a specific program or any other beneficial contribution. However, such contributions must go through the Board of Directors to assure they are compatible with our mission.

Our books are also transparent to our patrons. If you require additional financial information, please contact our treasurer, Ed Ellis. Please be patient. All officers and Board members are volunteers.

If I have an idea and I am willing to fund it, would it be considered?

Yes, especially if you are also available to lead or assist with the project you fund. Many of the current programs, events and improvements at the Library began as an idea of a volunteer or donor, then became part of our regular services.

Do enough people really come to the Library and use its programs to justify all the money put into its facilities?

Yes! The Town of Round Top may only have 90 citizens, but just the lending library part of our operations serves patrons in the thousands. We also have a long-standing relationship with the Round Top Carmine schools. The arts and music programs that now exist in the schools were originally started by the Library, Children are bused regularly to Library programs from the schools. We also have regional partners from other communities who collaborate with us on events, performances and programs. We aren’t just a small town library anymore. We are a regional community center.

What are the limitations that face the Library?

It’s pretty straight forward. We are a very conservative organization financially with a limited donor base and almost no public financial support. If not for our many volunteers and a devoted staff that works below their market value, we could not provide the many services we offer. That is why we have worked since our founding to become debt free, which we finally accomplished in 2015. We have a small endowment but it is not large enough to sustain our long term goals.

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