Mayor's Office

Press Release

Mayor Parker Announces Plan to Restore Library Hours



February 6, 2013 -- Mayor Annise Parker today announced the extension of service hours at Houston Public Library (HPL) locations throughout the city. The extended hours restores Saturday service to 14 neighborhood libraries, bringing the total number of libraries open on Saturdays to 41. In addition, hours are being restored to the Central Library, returning it to a seven day a week schedule.


“As Houston struggled with the deep, nationwide recession, many necessary but painful cuts were made to city programs and personnel,” said Mayor Parker. “Dr. Lawson and her team have done a great job of balancing the reductions we were forced to make with the needs of our customers. We have emerged from those tough times and are now able to celebrate another major milestone in our recovery. Not only are we restoring public services, we are adding staff, which means jobs for our community.”


“The most frequent request we receive from Houston Public Library customers is to restore library hours on the weekends so more families can access their neighborhood library,” said HPL Director Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson. “The very best way we can serve the citizens of Houston is to provide access to services when they most need us. We are very excited about the restoration of hours at 14 neighborhood libraries, offering Saturday service at those locations for the first time in three years and Sunday hours at the Central Library. We are working to finalize the new schedules and will announce them soon.”


The restored service hours are made possible by $3.1 million added to the HPL budget. A portion of the additional funding is expected in the current budget year from a General Appropriation request in April 2013, and full funding will be included in the HPL FY14 budget. These funds will be allocated to the hiring of new staff members at HPL, making the restored service hours possible. The restoration of service hours will take place in phases, as new staff is hired, beginning April 1, 2013.


About the Houston Public Library
The Houston Public Library (HPL) operates 35 neighborhood libraries, four HPL Express Libraries and one HPL Mobile Express, a Central Library, the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, The African American Library at the Gregory School, and the Parent Resource Library located in the Children’s Museum of Houston. Serving more than 7 million customers per year in person and online, HPL is committed to excellent customer service and equitable access to information and programs by providing library customers with free use of a diverse collection of printed materials and electronic resources, Internet, laptop and computer use, and a variety of database and reference resources with live assistance online 24/7.


For further information, visit the Houston Public Library at or call 832.393.1313.