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120 Years Anniversary

Houston Public Library 120th Anniversary

HPL Leaders from 1903 to present
Historic Highlights
Founded at the turn of the 20th century on March 2, 1904, the Houston Lyceum and Carnegie Library was located at the corner of Travis Street and McKinney Avenue. By 1907, over ten thousand Houstonians had library cards. Within the span of nine years, the number of library workers more than tripled, totaling seven in 1913.

Houston Public Library was named in 1921, and five years later, there stood a new Central Library with a Spanish Renaissance architectural style and an entrance facing what would become Hermann Memorial Square.

Expansion from a single library to a system with numerous locations and spaces is reflected by core values throughout the years: between 1927-1974, improved services for accessibility and community engagement; 1975-1999, transition to a digital age for educational enrichment; and from 2000-present, to emphasize innovation and inclusivity for all.

Get your limited-edition MYLink card at any HPL location!
New MYLink Library Cards


Join us in celebrating the Houston Public Library's 120th anniversary with a special limited-edition MYLink card, offered in two unique designs. This card is more than just a keepsake; it symbolizes your support for our library's mission to provide free access to a world of knowledge and culture.


By getting this commemorative card, you're not just owning a piece of our history. You're also showing your commitment to helping the library continue to serve as a vibrant community hub, enriching lives now and for future generations. Be part of this special moment with us and help carry the library's legacy forward.
HPL 120 Years Anniversary Logo
Story of the 120 logo
The milestone year of 120 celebrates a century and decades of Houston Public Library fostering knowledge and ingenuity. As such, the HPL 120 logo is meant to convey growth and creativity on the horizon.

The Houston Public Library's 120 graphic design incorporates a familiar motif within the number itself. A stylized cityscape and silhouette of a heart symbolize the library's deep connection to the city it serves, recognizing love from and for the community. The importance of place is represented by the positioning of the typeface, with Houston Public Library upholding what the City of Houston stands for—enhancement of life—while uplifting its own mission to link people to the world.
Lady holding a card saying !Have a Super 120!
Wish Us a Happy Birthday

Share a short video message expressing birthday wishes, memories, or what the library means to you. Tag #HPL120. Your video may be featured on our social media pages!


Happy man with a Instagram background holding a card saying !Happy Birthday HPL!
Journey Through Our History

Notable Time Periods

Houston Lyceum and Carnegie Library
1904 - 1926
Originating from the Houston Lyceum and Carnegie Library, the Library's early years are marked by the establishment of the Julia Ideson Building, symbolizing its foundational growth and commitment to serving the public.

Traveling branches with customers
1927 - 1974
The library significantly expands, adding branches and services. Pioneering Traveling Branches from 1938 until 1985, it aids underserved areas, showcasing dedication to accessibility and community engagement.

Central library location plaza
1975 - 1999
Transitioning into the digital age, the library integrates computerized systems and online resources, fostering greater community involvement through educational and cultural programs with the completion of the new central library in 1976.

Alief location
2000 - Present
In the 21st century, the library emphasizes digital inclusivity, access to technology, and continuous innovation, positioning itself as a vital community hub for learning, culture, and digital engagement.

Library Cards Past to Present

Houston Public Library Card 1968

Houston Public Libraries Card

Houston Public Library Power Card

Houston Public Library MYLink Card

Houston Public Library 120 Celebration Cards



Let's Celebrate, Connect & Create

Oak Fosrest Library Building
Take a visual tour through the Houston Public Library's history, from our cherished historic buildings to modern facilities, and peek into future designs with our captivating flipbook.

A camera points at and records a man's video.
With a limited-edition, commemorative library card you can record your oral history on Houston’s past at TECHLink! Receive a digital copy of the video recording as a personal keepsake.

Colorful, decorative cover of a coloring pages book
Enjoy coloring across all library activities with our 120 coloring book, perfect for kids, teens, and adults, featuring storytime, STEM, gardening themes, and more.

Thank you to our official sponsor.