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The year 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of Harris County Public Library. Starting as a handful of library stations housed in post offices, schools, businesses, and private homes across the county, HCPL has grown to become an integral part of the Harris County community with innovative programming, second-to-none collections, and red carpet customer service.

Because the HCPL Centennial is as much about celebrating the communities the people of Harris County have built and continue to nurture around their libraries, we have made sure to include you, our patrons and supporters, in the festivities. There are lots of ways for you to get involved. We are proud to announce the launch of the HCPL Digital Archive, an online collection of historic photos, documents, and other materials that trace the history of Harris County Public Library and the people of Harris County. We will also be collecting your library stories with our Centennial Stories initiative, We will have special online events highlighting the decades of our shared history with lots of great music and videos written, produced, and performed by HCPL staff. Of course, we wouldn't be a library without recommending great books to read, movies to watch, and music to listen to. See below for details and join us in our yearlong celebration of 100 years of HCPL!


virtual program banner logo
Visit our Virtual Programs page for full listings of online programs celebrating HCPL's first 100 years and a lot more!


Centennial Highlights

Events & Programs

Cornetist from Boomtown Brass Band performing Jan. 20, 2021 at La Porte Community Library for Centennial Kick-Off CelebrationJoin us in the celebration!

And what is a celebration without music? Throughout the year, the library plans to host live music performances—online for now—by local and national acts including the Boomtown Brass Band, Vodi, and Allen Oldies Band.Each month, the library will release a new original video highlighting each decade of the library’s existence. 

HCPL is especially excited about our February Centennial Event. In conjunction with African American History Month, and in association with longtime community partner Apollo Chamber Players, HCPL will present live performances of two original musical compositions by composers Damien Snead and Paul Cornish in celebration of HCPL's first 100 years.

Visit our Virtual Programs page for the full schedule.


HCPL Digital Archive
HCPL Digital Archive Logo

HCPL Digital Archive is an ongoing collection of photos, articles, scrapbooks, and videos of HCPL since 1921. Each month in 2021, the Archive will present digital exhibits to tell a specific story – bookmobiles, important people at HCPL, hurricanes, and other disasters.  It will also feature each of HCPL’s 26 branches throughout 2021, with detailed timelines that trace the library’s century-long commitment to serve Harris County residents.  

Visit HCPL Digital Archive

Follow HCPL Digital Archive on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & LinkedIn

Centennial Stories
HCPL's Oral History Project

HCPL invites you to share your library stories and experiences--from a life-changing epic to small-scale appreciation for a particularly cozy reading nook and everything in between! 

For the Centennial, HCPL is embarking on a project modeled on StoryCorps which you may have heard on broadcasts of National Public Radio’s Morning Edition. Share your memories and stories about Harris County Public Library in a video or audio interview with staff.  Please contact any HCPL branch for details and to make an appointment.

Begins Feb. 1. 

Take and Make Craft Kits

Each month, we will have new Take and Make Craft Kits highlighting a decade of HCPL's first 100 years. Kits are available while supplies last at all HCPL locations. Call your local branch for pick up times!



January: 1920s

Flapper Headband Graphic - art deco


Printable instructions: Flapper Headband


1920s Airplane graphic


Printable instructions: Take Flight! - 1920s Airplane


February: 1930s

1930s valentine craft graphic


Pick up your 1930s My Funny Valentine Take and Make Craft Kit
Starting February 8!

Printable instructions: My Funny Valentine


March: 1940s
Codebreaker graphic

Pick up your 1940s Code Breakers Cipher Wheel Activity Kit
starting March 15

Printable instructions: Code Breakers Cipher Wheel Activity



Read, watch and listen through the decades!

Along with the HCPL Digital Archive, HCPL has curated collections of movies, music, and books.


Movies | Music | eBooks

The Year of the Library

On January 5, 2021, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and Commissioners Court passed a resolution recognizing 2021 as The Year of the Library in honor of Harris County Public Library's 100 years of service to the community.

Facsimile image of Harris County Commissioners Court Year of the Library Resolution


HCPL Centennial on Social Media

Centennial Blog View HCPL Blog >

The 1940s in Harris County were dominated by

It’s February and we’ve jumped to the 1930s in our celebration of