Mineola Memorial Library

Who We Are

Early History

After more than a half century, the Mineola Memorial Library collection has expanded from 600 books to more than 46,000 books and other materials. Its annual operating budget has grown from  $1,200 to about 200,000. This growth didn't happen in a vacuum. It took the hard work and sacrifice of many publicly minded citizens.

Throughout the first half of the 20th Century, civic groups and community leaders led by Ms. Vivian Lott, strove to plant the seeds for a Mineola library.  It wasn't until 1950, that their hard work bore fruit. In that year, the Mineola Public Library association opened a one-room facility at the junior high school with 600 donated books.  The library was open for three hours a day on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Less than $1,200 was budgeted for that the first year, and the librarian was paid 75 cents an hour. Association members were ecstatic.

 

In 1955 the library moved its collection, then numbering 2,400 volumes, to a storefront in downtown Mineola. The move was supported by volunteers aid from patrons and the civic groups.

Funding and Support

Although the library has received some occasional taxpayer assistance during the last 57 years, it has remained largely privately owned.

The library moved to its current location in 1960 onto land provided by the J.C. Judge family and into a building provided by another benefactor, banker and Oilman Harry W. Meredith. A foundation initially created by Mr. Meredith as a vehicle to build the library. The foundation continues to provide about half of the operating expenses of the library and many of its capital needs. An investment fund established for the library by Mineola area benefactors provides income that covers much of the rest of the operating funds, and library supporters have found ways to raise other needed monies. The library could not survive without those contributions from individuals and civic and philanthropic organizations.

The political independence has meant that the library has been able to operate and grow without the vagaries of local politics. This is not to imply any enmity between the library and the local governments. For example, the city has helped with matters such as alley improvements when needed.

Our Mission

The Mineola Memorial Library's mission is to inform, empower, and enrich the lives of its patrons by providing a facility with a variety of up-to-date materials and programs.

Mineola Memorial Library Vision Statement

The Mineola memorial library envisions the advancement of culture on the area by creating a facility that will accommodate future technology and area growth while retaining the friendly, hometown atmosphere of the past.

The specific mission includes the following aspirations to retain and develop:

•   A safe and positive place for young people

•   A comfortable and inviting place for adults

•   A place for recreational readers as well as researchers

•   A place where help is professional, personal, and friendly