June 28, 2011

Bigger And Better Than Ever: Evelyn Meador Library Is Open For Business In Seabrook

I've mentioned it more than once in posts on this blog -- the one thing I have most missed since we've returned home after Hurricane Ike ripped through our community in 2008 has been our library. As a reader, our town's library was the source of so much joy to me. As the election judge for my precinct, I ran elections in the meeting room there for seven years before the storm. And as a general member of the community, I recognized that the Evelyn Meador Library was really the heart of Seabrook. And for nearly three years, that heart has been missing.

Until today.

Today our community got its heart back as the brand new Evelyn Meador Branch Library opened for business just a few yards from where the old building stood -- roughly triple the size of the old library, and filled with new technology and books.


I wandered through the library, absolutely stunned by our town's new crown jewel.

One of the many features is the self-service check out options -- which I found myself using very quickly once the library opened.


And, of course, the library has a lot of computers for public use -- in the main body of the library, in the computer lab, and in the teen room -- making this branch the most technologically up-to-date library in Harris County.


And, of course, there are the books.

We've got new books -- I think I may grab that new biography of Cleopatra soon.


There are young adult books -- I'll confess to enjoying Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan when one of my students suggested it.


There's lots of good adult fiction as well -- I turned around and found Naomi Novik's Temeraire books right in front of me (I just love them -- can't wait for the next one in about a year) right above Flannery O'Connor


And it didn't take me long to find the science fiction books that I love so well -- favorite authors like John Scalzi, S.M. Stirling, and Charles Stross were all in place, along with books I've come to love since the storm came, like Michael Stackpole's At the Queen's Command (I've already suggested that they buy the sequel when it comes out this fall).


And I certainly wasn't alone in finding books to bring home with me -- my Darling Democrat found herself quite a few as well, as did so many other library patrons.


Sadly, most of our library staff will be new -- and not just because of the increase in personnel for our significantly larger library. Several of the staff members before the storm have taken permanent spots at other branches -- but we still have our Head Librarian, Greg Burns, and Shelly Lynn Pearson continues our Children's Librarian. They have done a fantastic job of getting the new library together.


By the way -- they will be with this library FOREVER, since they both appear in the mural back in the children's area of the library, a whimsical work that looks at our town's past, present and future!


And speaking of murals, there is also a mural of Seabrook history near the front door.


And one part of our town's history that is gone but not forgotten is located to the extreme right.


Yes, the old building, home to the library for two decades until population growth and a giant hurricane put an end to it, is fittingly remembered.

Oh, and by the way, the grand opening was properly launched with speeches by Pct. Commissioner Jack Morman, Seabrook Mayor Glenn Royal, Friends of the Evelyn Meador Library President Marianne Kolar and Harris County Public Library director Rhoda Goldberg.


Thank you to all of them for their great work in getting the new library built and opened for our community -- and to the many former public officials (former Pct.2 Commissioner Sylvia Garcia, former Seabrook mayors Riley and Renola, and many former members of our city council) who were also instrumental in seeing this project through to fruition.

So yes, Seabrook, Evelyn Meador Library is back -- and it is a day for celebration.

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NAME: Greg
AGE: 50-ish
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OCCUPATION: Social Studies Teacher
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