326 S Main St..
Ph: (903) 785-8532
Fax: (903) 784-6325
Welcome to the Paris Public Library's Website. Here you will find information about our history, services, collection, special events, and children's programs. You'll meet the people who provide our marvelous services; and you'll also meet Billy, our popular book robot.
John J. Culbertson, Paris philanthropist, donated the library building and grounds to the Citizens of Paris in honor of his wife Emily. It was Mr. Culbertson’s wish that all the citizens of Paris have access to culture. So, in addition to rooms for books, newspapers, and magazines, an art gallery was included. It is one of the many gifts that Mr. Culbertson made to the City of Paris.
The building was designed by architect J. L. Wees, known for several structures in Paris including the Scott home (now Starrett Funeral Home), the fountain on the Plaza, and World War I Memorial. Ground was broken in June, 1931, and the library opened in 1932. The original building was renovated and expanded in 1987.
In that accordance with Culbertson’s desire to make the arts available to everyone the library has a collection of art. We are the permanent home to works of art with local significance by three nationally recognized artists. Two of the four Jerry Bywaters panels depict Paris after the Great Fire of 1916, while the other two are of John Chisum and Davy Crockett. Mr. Bywaters was a Lamar County native, and the works were given to the library through the Public Works of Art Project during the 1930s. “East Texas Patchwork” by John Biggers was commissioned for the Paris Public Library in 1987, a joint project of the Chamber of Commerce and the Art Development Council. Mr. Cisneros’ 28 illustrations for A. W. Neville’s 1948 book The Red River Valley, Then and Now are also part of the Library’s collection.