Bellaire City Library – Serving Residents Since 1951
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Artist Paige Piland painted the pretty book return outside of the Bellaire City Library. The Friends of the Bellaire Library helped fund that artful book drop appearance.
The history of this only library in Bellaire is fascinating.
Bellaire, Texas is a small mostly residential community surrounded by the cities of Southside Place, West University Place, and Houston in southwest Harris County.
They incorporated back in 1918. Bellaire has its own locally run government including its fire and police departments.
What used to be a wide open area of small farms has been transformed over the years to increasingly high priced homes. According to Wikipedia the average home residence in Bellaire as of 2006 was worth $500,000. Today lots if still available can cost that much! The population size as of 2016 was 18,593.
Coming from the ranks of the Bellaire Women’s Civic Club the Friends of the Bellaire Library was born. It was set up as a non-profit organization and opened the first library doors to the public in May of 1951. According to their site, that very first library room was only 18 X 20 feet in size and located in a community building.
The current library building is much larger. It is still a small library with an intimate feel to it. The day my husband and I walked along the beautiful Paseo Park in Bellaire, we decided to check out a couple of other places nearby. This library was on my list of places to explore.
The financing of many items including equipment and furniture for the library as well as the different programs offered throughout the year would never have been possible without the support of the Friends of the Bellaire Library. They do a fantastic job!
Twice a year an outside book sale is held to help raise funding. For people like my husband and I who visited the library for the first time, we were delighted to know that a significant number of books are on sale inside the library every day. Average prices are $1 to $2. I did my part in supporting the Bellaire library by carrying out an armload of hardback books for my reading enjoyment. Around $2,500 is raised annually just from book sales.
The children’s area and youth reading books are on the right side of the library when one enters the building.
Both are colorful and inviting spaces. We did not climb the steps to see the meeting rooms upstairs. On the left side is the adult reading space.
People are invited to bring their laptops and connect to the free WiFi inside the library. Several people were doing just that!
Those black storage receptacles in the photo above held some of the used books that were for sale. There were more containers as well as some shelving along the back wall near the restrooms containing the books that are available for purchase.
While this Bellaire community-minded library may not be as sizable and modern as the Barbara Bush Library in Spring or as architecturally impressive as the Houston Heights Neighborhood Library, it is charming in its unique way.
Programs range from those geared towards children of all ages to adults wishing to learn more about genealogy as an example. The monthly calendar provides information as to the many offerings including such things as movies and crafts.
It is fun getting to visit the libraries in different parts of the Houston metropolitan area. They all provide comfortable meeting spaces for various activities as well as encouraging literacy. They are special places indeed!