CANYON LAKE, Texas — A new chapter is starting for a library in Canyon Lake.
The beloved director enjoyed her first day of retirement Thursday, after half-a-century in the book world.
Her impact will benefit the community for years to come.
“Every day I drive up that drive and I still think I've come to Shangri-La,” said Roxanna Deane, the freshly retired former director of the Tye Preston Memorial Library (TPML) in Canyon Lake.
There is a zen-like atmosphere from the butterfly garden outside to the quiet and organized shelves inside.
TPML is one of 15 library districts in Texas.
Twenty years ago, the community voted to support it with a portion of area sales tax.
“This is a library by the community, for the community,” said Deane.
She was promoted to director in 2009.
Deane was involved in every step as the 18,000 square foot building was constructed a decade ago.
“This big truck arrived with 10,000 books. We had 20 volunteers or more and they all emptied the truck and then we had a pizza party out on the deck,” said Deane. “That was one of my most favorite memories [and] an example of how the community came together and got us built.”
She spent more than 30 years as a librarian in the District of Columbia before finding her home in the Texas Hill Country.
Deane’s impact on the community will continue as she enjoys retirement.
"With her visionary style, she has promoted programing to include such diverse subjects as community civility, interpersonal negotiation skills, conservation of the natural environment, political awareness, education of world issues, family place skills and so much more," wrote Susan Bogle, the board president of TPML. "She developed a very special natural native environment on our 6 acres, brought in a small observatory to encourage astronomical events and has encouraged local artists to promote their artwork."
Many of the programs have gone virtual over the past few months. Curbside pickup, hand sanitizer stations and mask requirements inside are other indicators the library adapted to stay open as the pandemic continues.
“We've been able, because of our location and our building and the resources from the community, just offer things that no one ever imagined that we would be able to do,” said Deane.
She is looking forward to spending more time with the butterflies and will still be involved in local community efforts.
"Roxanna is seen as a lynchpin between our local non-profits, is a leader in our local chapter of the League of Women Voters and actively promotes cooperation between all the elements that run this community," wrote Bogle. "She is loved and respected for all her efforts to make Canyon Lake the best place it can be and she has had a real impact on so many."
Deane passed the torch to Rachel Keeler, who will lead the library through its next adventure.
“There could be some big changes in the next few years to meet the demands of the community,” said Deane. “Who knows where else this library will go.”