Houston Public Library
Houston Public Library is a multi-faceted institution that provides a wide array of services to the people of Houston. There are over thirty-three branch libraries and four Regional Libraries. It also features a number of free educational activities and recreational opportunities. Aside from providing access to information, the library is also known for its friendly staff and convenient parking. Houston Public Library
Houston's first Central Library opened in 1904 and was located in an Italian Renaissance building in downtown Houston. The name was later changed to the Houston Public Library when the board of trustees met on October 11, 1921. Since its founding, the organization has expanded to a system of forty-four public service units. Each one offers free educational activities to residents of all ages and backgrounds.
While the Houston Public Library may not be the largest, it is the largest public service organization in the state of Texas. The library is a hub of social, cultural, and intellectual activity, and has been credited with improving the lives of thousands of individuals and families. With over four million books, movies, audiovisual items, and government documents at its disposal, there is no end to the library's reach. In addition to its main facility, the Houston Public Library operates four Express Libraries and a satellite library at the Children's Museum of Houston.
Despite the fact that the library is open to all, not everyone has access to the facilities. To address this, the library is partnered with other institutions in the community to provide the best possible service to its customers. Some examples include partnerships with the Children's Museum of Houston, the Harris County Public Library, and the Clear Lake City-County Freeman Branch Library. Additionally, the Houston Public Library has a philanthropic arm called the HPLF, which provides funding for the system. Among other things, the organization oversees a $20 million endowment and a $4 million annual budget. This, along with a number of philanthropic initiatives, help ensure the longevity of the organization.
The Houston Public Library has a well-developed website, as well as a robust mobile app. Using this app, users can view a comprehensive catalog of materials, find library locations, and search for library programs. Moreover, the library also provides a large number of interactive resources to patrons, such as virtual tours of the building, online databases, and more.
Besides its innovative programs, the Houston Public Library is a philanthropic organization that relies on philanthropic support to continue its mission of transforming lives through education. Many donors have been recognized for their contributions, and the Library's Board of Directors has set a clear and specific goal for the organization. Those who are interested in making a difference should contact the Houston Public Library Foundation.
The library is also home to the NEH-funded documentary, Free for All: Inside the Public Library. This program explores the history of the institution, as well as the personality traits of its public librarians. The newest addition to the institution is a six-story gray granite building, designed by S. I. Morris Associates.