Kurth Memorial Library
Public library services in Lufkin date back to 1924 when a group of ladies began the library with a collection of books housed in a former kindergarten classroom. The position of Librarian was filled by Mrs. J. W. Hawkins. Later the Joseph H. Kurth family donated funds to build a new library on Cotton Square which opened on January 1. 1933, with Ora McMullen as the first employed Library Director. Over the years, the building was expanded and renovated multiple times. In the late 1990s a new building was built at the current location on South Raguet Street. Ribbon cutting for this new building was on April 26. 2001.
On October 1, 2000, the library became a department of the City of Lufkin. The City is responsible for staff salaries, utilities, building and grounds maintenance, and day-to-day operational costs. The Library Board is responsible for the purchase of all materials, equipment, furnishings and programming costs.
The library's collections include juvenile. young adult and adult sections. In addition to fiction, non-fiction and biography collections; there are Spanish language. foreign language, western, large-print, CD, Playaway, DVD. kits, reference. test and magazine collections. STEAM and literacy kit collections are available for educators and home schoolers.
The library e-collections include the World Book Suite of databases. the Tex Share databases. a subscription to Ancestry.com and beginning in 2012. a growing e-book, e-audiobook and streaming video collection on Overdrive.
The library contains a special collection in the Ora McMullen Genealogy Room. It includes state and local history, as well as genealogy records for several East Texas communities. This room contains about 14.000 volumes. 2,000 reels of microfilm, 25,000 microfiche. as well as maps, pictures and vertical files.
The library has four catalog computers and twenty eight internet access computers for public use, including eight for genealogy research and six for juvenile patrons. There are three game computers in the juvenile section. as well as a learning and play center. There are four study rooms and one conference room available for community use. The Meeting Room and Depot Room are used for library programming and for large community groups.
The Friends of the Kurth Memorial Library WiFi Cafe was officially opened in May 2019, offering drinks and pastry for purchase. It also includes a selection of used books available for purchase year round.
Throughout its history, Kurth Memorial Library leadership has worked to provide the Lufkin community with excellent library services.
Those individuals include: Mrs. J. W. Hawkins, Mrs. Ora McMullen, Johnie McCall. Lillian Rutherford. Jimmie Fisher, Elizabeth Hartmen. Helen Mills, Ryan Alsworth, Joycelyn Clare. Terri Boomer. Sue Randleman and the current Director, Lorraine Simoneau. In 2010 a second professional Librarian position. Assistant Director, was added and is currently filled by Julie Massey. In addition to its leadership. the dedicated staff of Kurth Memorial Library provide friendly and helpful service to the community of Lufkin.
ORA MCMULLEN GENEALOGY
Local and State History Room
Named for Mrs. Ora McMullen, longtime Iibrarian of Kurth Memorial, this genealogical collection has grown popular with researchers hunting their East Texas roots particularly in Angelina and adjoining counties. More than 16,000 volumes and 43,000 microfilm/microfische, as well as maps, pictures, family vertical files are in the collection. Angelina County resources include census rolls 1850 -1930, marriage records, cemetery surveys, local newspapers, tax lists, funeral home records, local histories, early county commissioners' court minutes, genealogies of local families, as well as the Lufkin Daily News microfilm.
The Genealogy Room is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00pm to 5:45pm.
Vision, Mission & 5-Year Plan
VISION: An inclusive, versatile library and community center that evolves with changing technology and social trends to empower lifelong growth, learning, and education.
MISSION: The Kurth Memorial Library provides cutting-edge services and resources that meet individual and community needs and empower our citizens through information, education, engagement, and enrichment.
Kurth Memorial Library Five Year Plan 2018-2021
Kurth Memorial Library Five Year Plan
A planning process was undertaken to identify the needs of the community and the challenges facing the library.
Library staff, City Administration and Library Board members, along with Lufkin and Angelina County citizens, participated in workshops, interviews and surveys resulting in a new five year plan for 2018-2023.