Through the vision and guidance of citizens, a dynamic and caring staff committed to excellence, thoughtfully selected resources, and an inviting facility, Sterling Municipal Library will provide for lifelong learning, open access to information, and a rich and satisfying leisure life.
The first library in the Baytown area was a branch of the Harris County Library. Ross S. Sterling, then President of Humble Oil and Refining Company, donated the land and the physical building, while Harris County funded the staff and materials for the library. This Goose Creek Library served residents until 1963. Municipally funded public library service commenced with the dedication of Sterling Municipal Library in 1963. The name honors Ross Sterling for his vision and commitment to the printed word.
Two subsequent bond programs, in 1975 and 1995, expanded the library to its current 50,500 square feet. The collection totals nearly 175,000 items. Annual circulation exceeds 700,000 items. An array of traditional and automated services are available to borrowers free of charge. There is no residency requirement for a borrower's card.
Art in the Library
Several pieces of art, both sculpture and murals, are located in and around the library.
- Front lawn - "Boundless Knowledge", a sculpture created by artist DeeDee Morrison and funded through generous donations from ExxonMobil and the Friends of Sterling Municipal Library, installed in October 2013 in honor of the library's 60th anniversary
- Texas Avenue side of building -"Solitary Journey", a mural painted by Armando Castelan in February and March, 2018, and funded by the Friends of Sterling Municipal Library.
- Flora Wilhite Meeting Room - A hand-painted mural created by Lee College students in Spring 2016, celebrating Baytown's history, adorns the back wall
- Main lobby - "Time Out", a sculpture donated by the family of Jean Rosenbaum in 1999 in honor of her 70th birthday
- Front lobby: A photographic history mural by artist Ruth Burke and daughter Lacie Saunders in the library's front lobby, sponsored by the Friends of Sterling Municipal Library
- Study Rooms and Silent Space: The images of authors on the glass walls of the study rooms and silent space are the work of artist Mark Summers, and were sponsored by the Friends of Sterling Municipal Library