City of McAllen News

McAllen Public Library director receives worldwide recognition

by Office of Communications | Jan 11, 2017

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McAllen, TX-
 McAllen Public Library (MPL) director Kate P. Horan is in the spotlight on a global scale. She is one of only 28 librarians that will soon be featured in a prominent international publication.
“Kate is enthusiastic, innovative and devoted to her job. She is passionate about providing library services to children and youth and she is an asset to our community,” McAllen Mayor Jim Darling said. “It is a well-deserved recognition.”
“I'm blessed to be able to do what I love every day. I'm honored and proud to have McAllen Public Library in such prestigious company as the Vatican Library and the Library of Congress,” Horan said.
Horan, who has been at the helm of the MPL for four years now, will be highlighted in chapter 21 of the book entitled: World´s Leading National, Public, Monastery and Royal Library Directors written by Dr. Patrick Lo, Allan Cho and Dr. Dickson Chiu and published by De Gruyter in Germany.
“I was surprised -- no, stunned is more like it -- when I received the invitation to interview for Dr. Lo's book. At first, I thought it might be a hoax, but after some quick research, I discovered the project and publisher were in earnest,”Horan continued.
Horan will join prominent librarians in the book such as David Mao, Deputy Librarian of the Library of Congress and Austrian National Library Director Dr. Johanna Rachinger to name a few.
Jorge Gonzalez, systems supervisor at MPL, said the organization was thrilled to learn of Horan’s selection for the book, and that the library is fortunate to have her.
“We are excited to hear that our director, Ms. Horan was chosen for this honor. In the years that I have worked at MPL, I have witnessed her unique vision of library services in action. Her leadership has changed how libraries interact with their patrons, not only here in McAllen, but also across South Texas. I believe that through this book, she will inspire many to transform their libraries,” Gonzalez said. 
Part of the reason Horan says she was hand-picked for the publication is because of the publicity received by the McAllen library for its beautiful architecture and inviting design of user space.
“In a way, it's not so surprising to be a part of this book. MPL has been in national and international news since we opened in 2011 and is famous for having been transformed from a big box store into a beautiful, modern world-class library,” she said.
Once a deserted Wal-Mart, the warehouse structure was repurposed into the country’s largest single-story public library. Since becoming director, the library has blossomed under Horan. In 2013, the library had 63,894 borrowers, and that number has now risen to more than 97,000 and about 2,100 visitors frequent the library daily. MPL has a collection that features 323,822 physical items; more than 10,000 e-books, and now, with Freegal, access to millions of downloadable songs. Horan says she hopes more people take advantage of the dynamic civic resource in their community.
“As McAllen Public Library Director, I am always proposing ways to ensure that our programs and services are as modern as the building and relevant to all of our citizens,” Horan said. “People often tell me, ‘Wow, I never realized everything the library has to offer me and my family!’ I get phone calls from patrons just to say thank you for the wonderful service they receive.”
The World´s Leading National, Public, Monastery and Royal Library Directors book is expected be out in the market in June/July 2017.
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