This year saw the rebirth of one library, a new partnership in a new location, and the expansion and renovation of a third.
In June 2011, the Evelyn Meador Branch Library in Seabrook reopened in a stunning new building across the parking lot from its old location that had been rendered unusable by Hurricane Ike and was subsequently demolished. The new building is a bright, airy space whose interior design has a distinct nautical theme reflecting Seabrook’s location along the shore of Galveston Bay. The beauty of the design conceals its eco-friendly, LEED Gold-certified construction. The new library also has nearly triple the square footage of the original and all the extra space has been put to good use. The new facilities feature a drive-thru window, a new computer classroom, a permanent Friends of the Library bookstore, a large, public meeting room with kitchen facilities, a conference room, and dedicated areas for children’s and teen programming.
In February 2012, HCPL began a partnership with the Texas Medical Center Library that now lets people working or seeking treatment in the TMC pick up their HCPL requests at the library, as well as browse a small collection of children’s, young adult and adult items for checkout with a regular HCPL library card.
In March, our Jacinto City branch reopened after extensive, grant-funded renovations and the addition of a much needed, multi-use meeting room. The remodeling included new paint, carpeting, furnishings and improvements to the building's infrastructure including the addition of fiber optics, allowing broadband access that greatly increased the processing speed of public computers. Similar improvements are now underway to the Galena Park and South Houston branches.
HCPL has always understood that libraries are about much more than checking out books and doing research; they are centers of community activity. 2011 saw significant and exciting improvements in our ability to provide safe, friendly spaces where neighbors can come together.