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When the library opened in 1976, Aldine was a small, semi-rural community. It has seen considerable growth since then and the Aldine Branch Library has grown right along with it to serve the area's diverse and ever-changing population.
The Atascocita library's beginnings can be traced to 1986, when the Atascocita Hi Neighbor group, led by Odell Dreyer, initiated a decade-long project to have a library built in the developing Atascocita subdivision. The branch celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2021.
The Baldwin Boettcher Branch Library was opened in 1986. The branch was named for Baldwin Boettcher, whose family donated the land upon which the branch stands. The building was flooded by Hurricane Harvey in August 2017. Since 2018, the branch has operated out of The Little Blue Library in the vibrant surroundings of neighboring Mercer Botanic Gardens.
The original Cypress Creek Library was built in 1976. After 30 years, the community had outgrown the building. Work began on a new building named in honor of former First Lady Barbara Bush, a lifelong advocate for reading and literacy. Barbara Bush Branch Library opened to the public on December 18, 2002. Mrs. Bush visited the library several times to read stories to the children.
From book cars and wagons to fully air-conditioned vehicles with Internet access, trace the bookmobile program from the 1920s to the modern-day.
A small sample of books that Harris County residents checked out from HCPL during the system's first 20 years.
The Freeman Memorial Library first opened in 1964 and was named in honor of Captain Theodore C. Freeman, the first astronaut to lose his life in the U. S. space program. The library moved to the Harris County Multipurpose Annex in 1976. The current joint-use facility of Harris County and the City of Houston opened in 2004 and was renamed the Clear Lake City-County Freeman Branch Library.
Established in 1922, the library grew throughout the years with the help of the community and the Crosby Friends of the Library. The library building as we know it today was dedicated on October 8, 1987. The branch was renamed Crosby Edith Fae Cook Cole Branch Library to honor the local historian in 2017.
In 1985, the City of Seabrook donated to Harris County five acres of land originally given to the City by Rex and Evelyn Meador. The Evelyn Meador Branch Library opened on June 26, 1988. Unfortunately, the original library building was heavily damaged by Hurricane Ike in 2008. With funding assistance from the City of Seabrook, a new state-of-the-art, environmentally green facility was opened in 2011.
The Fairbanks Library was founded in 1922 as part of the local post office. After the post office caught fire in 1925, the community raised $146 for materials and built a 224-square-foot building. That building continued to serve as the Fairbanks community library until the current building opened in 1971. At 5,000 square feet, it was more than twenty times the size of the original and was further expanded in 1991.
The Galena Park community received books from HCPL starting in 1922, with a dedicated branch opening in 1948. The current building opened in December 1996, thanks to a partnership between Harris County and the City of Galena Park. The branch was remodeled in 2012 and 2018. After sustaining damage during Winter Storm Uri, the building will fully reopen in 2022.
HCPL had 10 different leaders over its first 100 years. The title has changed from County Librarian to Library Director, but the mission has always stayed the same: providing free access to books to all Harris County residents.
The High Meadows Branch Library opened in 1983 on land deed to the Harris County Library System by the Aldine Independent School District. The branch was updated and renovated in 2005.
Highlands Stratford Branch Library has long been a resource for the Highlands community. The first public library in the area opened in 1927 and was located in a storefront. The first freestanding Highlands Library opened in 1937 with 375 square feet. In 1966 a new building opened, thanks to a donation from Highlands resident Anna Stratford.
Jacinto City Branch is a cooperative effort between the City of Jacinto City and Harris County since 1957, when a resident, Mrs. Dorothy Bowyer, spearheaded the effort to obtain a library for Jacinto City. The current building, the A.J. "Bert" Holder Library, is a replacement for the original branch, which still stands on Mercury Drive.
Originally named the Bear Creek Library, the branch was renamed in 1999 for former Harris County Clerk Katherine Tyra. The branch survived a tornado in 1992, and Hurricane Harvey in 2017, thanks in no small part to the tight-knit and supportive Bear Creek community.
HCPL has been providing library service to the Katy area since 1921. The community built its first freestanding library building in 1940 after nearly two decades of the library floating between homes and private businesses. The current Katy Branch Library building opened in April 2003.
The original Kingwood Library opened in 1983. It was the result of a grassroots effort by area residents who saw the need for a library in their growing community. The current library building was funded jointly by Harris County and the City of Houston. It opened its doors on April 19, 2010. After flooding from Hurricane Harvey occurred in 2017, the building was rehabilitated and reopened on May 29, 2018.
The La Porte Branch started in 1921 with 110 books placed at La Porte High School, with a separate building debuting in 1929. A new building opened in 1967, six times the size of the original branch. The branch was renamed the Edith Wilson Memorial Library in 1982, in honor of the dedicated librarian who oversaw the branch for nearly twenty years. The current facility was dedicated in September 2001.
The Lone Star College-CyFair Library opened along with the Lone Star College-CyFair campus in August 2003. The joint library was the brainchild of college president Dr. Diana Troyer and Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack. The unique partnership between HCPL and LSC-CyFair offers the community access to learning opportunities through the college's academic resources, while the college's students, faculty, and staff can enjoy popular materials not typically found in academic libraries.
The Tomball branch started in the 1920s in a post office. The bookmobile later served the community until support grew and a branch was built in 1962. Now operating in partnership with the Lone Star College, the LSC-Tomball Community Library is one of the largest HCPL locations.
A dedicated group of Katy residents started a campaign in 1984 for a new branch to serve the increasing population in western Harris County. Nine years later, the Maud Smith Marks Library opened. The branch is named in honor of Maud Smith Marks, who ran a small HCPL station in Barker, Texas, during the 1920s and 1930s.
The North Channel Branch Library opened in May 1994, replacing the old Channelview and Woodforest Branches. The branch was funded by local businesses and residents, including local petrochemical companies and the families of those who lost their lives in Houston Ship Channel disasters during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The Northwest Branch Library was built in 1983, dedicated in May 1984, and has proudly served the Cypress area ever since. The library was renovated in 2004. Northwest Branch Library continues to grow to meet the needs and wants of the Cypress community.
HCPL has been providing service to the Humble area since 1921, first in Humble schools and then for almost 40 years at the Humble Court House. In 1969, a new building opened, and the library was renamed the Octavia Fields Memorial Library. The Fields family continues their support of the library, with many of them attending the grand opening of the current facility in 2001.
Trace the early years of the Harris County Public Library from 1920 through 1939, as the library system grew from a handful of locations in schools to having full branches and a thriving bookmobile service.
The Parker Williams Branch Library first opened its doors to the Southbelt-Ellington community in 1993. The branch is named for Dr. Parker Williams, former Director and President of the San Jacinto – South Campus.
The library initially opened in 1922 but moved locations frequently while the community grew during the 1920s and early 1930s. A new library was constructed and opened in 1935. In 1967, the library moved into a barracks building bought from Ellington Field. The current building opened in 1991 and was expanded in 2012. The branch is a cooperative effort of Harris County and the City of South Houston.
The Spring Branch Memorial Library's earliest location was an empty classroom at St. Francis Episcopal Church on Piney Point Road. In 1959, the library moved to a small cottage located behind the library's present location. The current library opened in 1975 and serves the Memorial Villages and Spring Branch area.
These videos, many of which were produced by members of the LaPorte Community Library Film COmmittee, promoted the upcoming Summer Reading Program (SRP_ at the Harris County Public library. Each year SRP has a different theme, which these videos fully embrace. Enjoy these ten light-hearted and funny videos from the years 2001 to 2013.
The West University branch originally opened in the corner of the West University Community Center in 1942. The current 6,100 square foot building opened in 1963. The library was renovated in 1984, 2006, and again in 2016. Today the library works with the City of West University to present programs in other city buildings, such as the Scout House and the Community Center.