Longview Public Library unveils Liftoff 2020 balloon sculpture

Longview Public Library joined the Liftoff 2020 club Tuesday when Library Director Jennifer Eldridge led the unveiling of its metal balloon sculpture that will help mark it as part of the city’s sesquicentennial celebration next year.

The library was actually the first customer to buy one of the sculptures sold earlier this year by the Gregg County Historical Museum as a fundraiser called Liftoff 2020. The balloons are designed to help mark Longview 150, the city’s six-month celebration in 2020.

The sculptures came in a white base coat and could be customized to fit a buyer’s preference.

The library had its sculpture decorated in three panels, Eldridge said.

One features the late Peggy Coghlan, a longtime library benefactor who died in August 2018 and who spearheaded fundraising for the then-new library, which opened in 1987.

Another panel features a multinational, multigenerational family sitting together reading books and tablets, Eldridge said.

The last image is of a tree coming out of a book. The book contains an Albert Einstein quote that reads, “The only thing you absolutely must know is the location of the library.”

Eldridge said the quotation sums up the building full of books and information.

“That is really the essence of libraries, because we have every material that you could possibly want or see or discover, and all you have to do is come here,” she said.