Martindale’s Deviney receives Texas Library Assn. honor


From staff reports

As a first grader learning to read in San Antonio, Carol Deviney learned the word “read.” She took a red crayon and wrote it on the side of her mother’s dresser. Her daughter has inherited the dresser and the red crayon marks are still visible.

Deviney said it was perhaps a forewarning of things to come for her. Last month, she was named Texas’ Librarian of the Year for communities with a population of less than 12,000 for her work with the Martindale Community Library.

Deviney’s award was accepted by Martindale Community Library Director Ashley Guerrero at the Texas Library Association’s annual convention in Austin in April.

The award focused on what the nominees did for their community and the betterment of humankind, as well how they do so well with what limited resourced are available. Factored in the decision were available programming, grants, support of the community, and innovative marketing.

Deviney said she loves being a librarian and considers her work a “labor of love” for her community.  

Deviney began the Martindale Community Library as a public library from its beginnings at the Martindale First Methodist Church in 2015. In 2016, the City of Martindale decided the library would no longer be a city department after one year, so Deviney created an independent nonprofit library so it could remain open to the public.

“We currently have a contract with the city for accreditation purposes with the state. During Covid, I switched to Grants Administrator so the library could apply for additional funding for books and programming because during Covid there were no fundraisers for the library.”

Deviney joined TLA in 1976 as a librarian, which is when she graduated from college as an undergraduate. She returned to school to get a Master’s Degree in Library Science.

She worked with Plano ISD for 28 years and at Hays ISD for two more years before retiring as a school librarian.

Carol and her husband, Rob Deviney, moved to Martindale in 2014. Rob became Mayor of Martindale.

“As we were looking at the property to build our home, our future neighbor came to talk,” Carol Deviney said. “She said, ‘I heard you were a librarian. We want to open a public library in Martindale.’ I told her Martindale really couldn’t afford me. And she laughed, telling me they weren’t going to pay me. And she was right. I worked for $1 a year until we hired a new library director.

“I was fortunate to be able to move over as Grant Administrator because we really needed to find additional funding to add programs and books to the library. So far, my percentage of obtaining grant funding is almost 90 percent for our little library. It’s been fun for the most part opening a new library and watching it grow.”


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