Houston Public Library is the public library system serving Houston, Texas, United States. The library system has its headquarters in the Marston Building in Neartown Houston. It can trace its founding to the Houston Lyceum in 1854. After a large contribution from Andrew Carnegie it was chartered as the Houston Lyceum and Carnegie Library. Houston's first public library facility opened on March 2, 1904. Julia Ideson was named its first librarian. The building constructed as Houston's Central Library in 1926 was later named in her honor.
The name was changed to Houston Public Library in 1921. The library system now consists of 35 neighborhood libraries, including four regional libraries; the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, located in the Museum District; and the Central Library, located Downtown. Central Library, often incorrectly called the "Downtown Library", consists of the Julia Ideson Building and the Jesse H. Jones Building (1976).
The Jones Building was designed by Seth Irvin Morris. The Jones Building closed for renovations on Monday April 3, 2006. It reopened May 31, 2008. The HPL administrative offices were moved out of the Jones building, freeing 12,600 square feet (1,170 m2) of space. Lisa Gray said that the renovation made the Jones Building "less of a public space devoted to reading, and more of a public space, period." The administrative offices moved to the Marston Building.