Bertram's first Library began in the early 1930's and was housed upstairs over the Sullivan's Store and later upstairs over McFarland's Drugstore (now the Lewis Building). Later moved into an old store building on North Gabriel (now the Library Thrift Store) was donated rent free to the library by Mr. and Mrs. R.E. (Bob) Brewer since the late 1940's. The library was founded by a group of ladies from the Literary Club, who pooled together their own private home libraries to form a lending library. They were Mrs. A.B. McGill, Mrs. N. Oliver Cox, Mrs Edward White, Mrs. Sam Taylor, Nancy Lee Ellis, Mrs. John B Chamberlain, Mrs. Reed Davidson, Mrs. John Russell, Mrs. E.A. Gay, Mrs A.J. Newton, Mrs. R.W. McFarlin, Mrs. T.J. Taylor, and another lady whose name was unreadable form the document.
The Library became a branch of the Burnet County Library System in 1948, and the first paid Librarian was Mrs. Lila Wilson, followed by Thelma Warden, Joann Taylor Mayerson, Mrs. Doss Smith, Mrs. Betty Box, Mrs. Qwinnetta Ater, Mrs. Sue Caraway and currently Ann Brizendine Brock.
The Friends of the Bertram Free Library were organized on May 6, 1978, and the first Friends' President, was Virginia Oertti, followed by Grace Taylor, and many more: The Friends' Thrift Shop was organized in 1981, proceeds from the shop fund new library books and materials, Summer Reading and many other necessities.
Expansion of this building came about in 1991 with the passing of a dear community member and avid library supporter, Ada Reed Brewer. There were overwhelming amounts of memorial donations, and the library (about 30' X 30') couldn't contain the new gifts. Expansion began with help of many volunteers, and the library became the main focus of the community, with everyone following the daily progress, which doubled the size of the library. The expansion was dedicated to the memory of Ada Reed (McGill) Brewer
and her mother Clara Moses McGill. The storefront building with over 2000 hours of volunteer labor, the library was doubled in size and completely remodeled.
In November 2000 the Friends of the Bertram Free Library, Inc. purchased this building from Mr. Brewer. In December 2003 the Friends purchased land on the corner of Hwy 29 and North Gabriel Street for the location for a new library.
In October 2008, the Library increased its hours. Additional funding from Burnet County made it possible to move a current part-time employee to full time giving the library two full time employees and adding another part-time employee. The Library is now open Monday - Friday from 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
The Friend of the Bertram Free Library received a 2 million dollar grant for a state of the art library from
Roy F and Joann Cole Mitte Foundation. The name of the new library will be the Joann Cole Mitte Memorial Library in honor of the Bertram's home town girl who was born and raised in Bertram. In early January of 2010 construction of the new building was started. Completion was November 2010. We moved in the month of December and opened for business on January 8, 2011.
Bertram is proud of its library which has extensive and current collections. The library receives phenomenal support from the Friends, City of Bertram, Burnet County, and from it's citizens. Librarian, Ann Brock, and the Children's Librarian Bridget Hartje and Linda House, work hard to keep the library current and provide needed programs and updated materials. The computers are in constant use, and precentage-wise, our children's programs are generally the most attended in the county library system.