Kilgore Public Library celebrates 80 years as ‘cornerstone’ of city

Updated: Oct. 22, 2019 at 2:39 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The Kilgore Public Library is 80 years old this month. The celebration also falls during Friends of the Library Week, which runs through Saturday, Oct. 26.

The library received a historical marker from the Texas Historical Commission in 1990.

“It explains how the public library was first open in 1933 by two local women’s clubs," said Kilgore Public Library Director Stacey Cole. “They begin by gathering books, and they had the library actually in a room of the old hospital at first. Then they started raising funds to build this building and it was constructed in 1939."

The library cost $45,000 to build and formally opened on Friday, Oct. 19, 1939. Everything from the circulation desk forward is part of that original building.

“Many elderly people that love coming in here and they always say ‘I remember when I was a little girl, and I was in the children’s room, I would listen to story time,’” Cole said.

This week, the library is focusing on highlighting the Friends of the Library organization and how they are essential to the operation of the library.

New members signing up for the Friends of the Library organization group this week will be eligible for special incentives and prizes as part of a membership drive for the organization.

Light refreshments and fun door prizes will be available, and attendees are invited to share their favorite library memories.

“The library is definitely the cornerstone for the city. It’s definitely one of the most recognizable landmarks and the most beautiful building in our city in my opinion," Cole said.

Schedule of events:

  • Happy Birthday Story Time: Wednesday, Oct. 23 and Thursday, Oct. 24 at 10 a.m.
  • Anniversary reception: Thursday, Oct. 24, from 4:15 p.m. until 5:45 p.m.
  • Free Screening of Toy Story 4: Saturday, Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m., presented by Friends of the Library.

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