Highland Branch Library

460 South Highland
Memphis, TN 38111



The Highland Branch Library was built in 1950 and opened in 1951 under the supervision of Elizabeth Robertson. Since 1950, the Highland Branch Library of the Memphis and Public Library Information Center has served the residents of the following communities: University Planning District, Orange Mound, Buntyn and Normal Station. These four communities compose the library's service area.

A $112,000 addition was added to the Branch in 1959. By 1961, Highland was known as the "biggest business of any branch library this side of New York."

In December of 1975, a giant mural, measuring 8 feet by 18 feet and done in 12 panels, was a gift donation to the branch. The mural was painted by James Watkins (an art instructor at Memphis State), along with four of his students. Watkins said that the modernistic design depicts man's search for knowledge and understanding in the universe.

During Highland's latest renovation beginning in 1999, things were changed to make the inside of the library look better and function in a more user-friendly manner. The mezzanine is now an area for customers to read and relax, and popular materials are located near the circulation desk, among other changes.

In 2003, a community grant enabled the addition of professional landscaping and other outside improvements to the building and grounds.

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