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Bellaire City Library: Serving Texas Residents Since 1951

I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).

Book Return outside the Bellaire City Library

Book Return outside the Bellaire City Library

Bellaire City Library

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.

City of Bellaire

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.

Wall Decor in Bellaire City Library

Wall Decor in Bellaire City Library

Friends of the Bellaire Library

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!

The adult section of the library

The adult section of the library

Book Sales

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. The average prices are $1 to $2.

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.

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.

Spaces in the Bellaire City Library

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 can bring their laptops and connect to the free WiFi inside the library. Several people were doing just that!

Wall decor in Bellaire City Library

Wall decor in Bellaire City Library

Community-Minded Library

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!

“A good library will never be too neat, or too dusty, because somebody will always be in it, taking books off the shelves and staying up late reading them.”

— Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

Sources:

Bellaire, Texas

Friends of the Bellaire Library

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Peggy Woods

Comments

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 15, 2020:

Hi Dale,

We find it fun to explore different libraries also. While this one is relatively small, it does have its unique touches, and I love the fact of an ongoing book sale at those inexpensive prices.

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on September 15, 2020:

Going to a library, especially one I have never been to before is exciting. I never know what I'm going to find on the next row of shelves. It might sound funny but it's actually one of the joys of travel because I get to see new libraries from all kinds of different cultures.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 12, 2020:

Hi FlourishAnyway,

I know another librarian in the metro area that is still working. When people order books ahead of time online, they can schedule a pickup date.

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 12, 2020:

I like the variety of resources and it’s nice that they have fundraisers too. They’re probably closed now with the pandemic but I hope there’s a way they can still serve the community during this time.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 12, 2020:

Hi MG Singh,

That library dating back to 1851 must be fascinating to see. Thanks for writing about it.

MG Singh emge from Singapore on April 12, 2020:

Hello Peggy, very interesting. Reminded me of a public library run in Mumbai at Dhobi Talao by a Parsi trust who opened this library in 1851. It's a place to visit.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 12, 2020:

Hi Bill,

I wish the same for you...Happy Easter! Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 12, 2020:

Hi Liz,

It reminds me of some of the libraries I used as a child also. Wishing you a Happy Easter today!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 12, 2020:

A quick visit to wish you a Happy Easter! Thank you for your friendship!

Liz Westwood from UK on April 12, 2020:

This sounds like a great community facility. It brings to mind the libraries I was brought up with and which I used when our children were young.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 11, 2020:

Hi Pamela,

In addition to the major two outdoor book sales, they have ones in the library that are for sale at any time of year. I still have some to read from our last visit there. Of course, right now, along with all the other libraries, they are closed to the public.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 11, 2020:

I like iibrarires and this one looks nice to me. One of the libraries here does a wonderful book sale each year. With the population in Houston I imagine 2 book sales each year is very successful. This is a very good article.

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