Alma M. Carpenter Public Library
300 South Ann Street
Sour Lake, Texas 77659


The first documented library in Sour Lake was organized by the Woman’s Club as a County Library in 1937.  It was housed in a tiny building on Merchant Street, and was funded by W.P.A. and donations.  During WWII, the library was disbanded, and the books were stored.

The Library began operation again on April 17, 1952 in a small area of the Sour Lake American Legion Hall, which was later renamed Alma M. Carpenter Community Center, and is referred to as Sour Lake Community Center.  As such, the library took the name of Alma M. Carpenter Public Library.  For the next sixteen years it was supported and operated by members of the Woman’s Club and by occasional volunteers.

In June of 1986 the Library was presented to the City of Sour Lake, and became part of the Area Library System of Texas.  It operated with county funds, city funds and by donations.  By 1980, the space had doubled and it became inadequate for the needs of the community.

The new library was built on the historic site of a city park during the 1020’s and into the mid-thirties.  The site had a bandstand, was landscaped with roses, and was the scene of many concerts and activities.

Finally, the completion of the Alma Carpenter Public Library was achieved, and was the result of outstanding cooperative community effort.  It was dedicated on Sunday, May 23, 1982.

The Library has continued to grow, now housing approximately 17,000 material volumes, and reaching approximately 4000 patrons.  It was funded by State of Texas Lone Star Grants, Houston Area Library System Grants, county, city, Friends of the Library and donations, which assisted in providing new computers, wireless connections, books and other materials, as well as other machinery and appliances.

With the loss of State funding to all Texas Libraries, and the dissolution the Library Systems, the library now depends on county, city, Friends of the Library, donations, and other grant opportunities that may arise.

As the library continues to grow with increasing patronage, more computers, e-books, and community involvement, the future growth will be the result of many hours of planning and hard work, limited only by our imagination.



Sherry Williams – Director

Leah Gilfillian – Librarian



Monday – Friday

8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.



The library observes the same Holidays and other closures as the City of Sour Lake.


Contact Us:

Mailing Address:

300 South Ann Street

Sour Lake, Texas 77659

(409) 287-3592
(409) 287-4777



Summer Reading Club

  • Assists the continued literacy of our children during the summer months of June and July.
  • Various Programs available.
  • Call the library in May for dates and times of programs and ages.
  • Volunteers welcomed and needed to provide a successful program for all ages.


G.E.D. Classes

  • Monday’s and Thursday’s from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 – 8:30 p.m.
  • Classes are free
  • Donations and fundraisers assist in defraying the cost of testing.
  • Call Library for details.


Research and Genealogy

  • With the digitization of the Oil City Visitor newspapers, we are now able to assist in looking up historical and personal information for the years the newspaper was in existence. 


Other programs:

  • Are always open for new suggestions and new programs, if you would like to assist in creating one.