Mahon Library

1306 9th Street
Lubbock, TX 79401


The history of the Lubbock Public Library began in early 1941 when a group of Lubbock citizens, led by Mrs. H.F. Godeke, appeared before the City and County Commissioners to request the establishment of a public library. For several reasons relating to our participation in World War II, nothing came of the effort. However, several years later, on March 21, 1946, the citizens met again and formed the Lubbock Public Library Association. With Mrs. Godeke serving as chairperson, the group again appeared before the City Commission, this time with 1,745 signatures calling for a bond election to build and equip a city-operated public library. The citizens of Lubbock approved the bonds in May 1947.

After several delays, construction of the new library began in 1953. On July 20, 1954, the Lubbock Public Library opened at 2001 19th Street. Appropriately enough, the Lubbock City Library issued the first card to Mrs. Godeke.

On March 16, 1974, the City of Lubbock dedicated the current Main Library as the George and Helen Mahon Library. The library was the first building built in the Civic Center complex. The City Council rededicated the former main library as the Godeke Branch Library.

In 1978, with the recognition of the critical need to establish a branch library in the southwest area of the city, the City of Lubbock made the decision to move the Godeke Branch Library to a brand new location at 6601 Quaker. The Lubbock City Council allocated funds for the project by and construction began in 1980. The new facility was the first step in establishing convenient neighborhood branch library service to the growing residential areas of Lubbock.

In 1986, the citizens of Lubbock rejected a bond proposal that included funding to establish a Northwest Branch Library. In 1993, Lubbock citizens passed a bond proposal covering not only the establishment of a Northwest Branch Library, but also a Northeast Branch Library.

In the spring of 1995, the construction began for the first of the two new branches, the T.J. Patterson Branch Library. Following the dedication on December 9, 1995, the Patterson Branch Library opened for use on December 11, 1995.

By spring of 1996, the construction of the Esther B. Groves Branch Library had begun. The dedication was held on November 2, 1996, and it was immediately open for use.

The journey that began in 1941 has brought us where we are today. It has not always been easy, but through time it has been successful. Let us not stop here; as Lubbock grows and enters the 21st century we must also keep growing to better serve the citizens of Lubbock.

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