Ector County Public Library
321 West 5th Street
It is the mission of the Ector County Library to enable every person in Ector County to achieve their full potential by empowering them with information and knowledge. The library strives to select, organize, preserve, and make available materials in a variety of formats to meet the recreational, educational, cultural and informational needs in an efficient and effective manner to our diverse community.
In 1938 several women's clubs persuaded the county to refurbish the old courthouse-square jail as Odessa's first public library. From 1938 to 1942 Lila White served as organizing librarian. Started with 800 donated books, the collection tripled within one year and a children's section was added. In 1942 a new library was constructed at 622 N. Lee. From 1943 to 1963 under librarian Velma Barrett, circulation swelled and the building expanded in 1957. It functioned 39 years until a burgeoning 300,000 item inventory required a larger space at 321 West 5th in 1981. Unique library resources include southwestern history and genealogy collections. Book circulation and library patronage per capita are among Texas' highest.