To view more photos on Fort Bend County Libraries' Facebook page, click here: http://bit.ly/MissionBendBranchOpening
Fort Bend County Libraries’ Mission Bend Branch Library celebrated its Grand Opening on Saturday, February 9, with a huge welcome from the community!
The grand opening was officiated by Fort Bend County Precinct 2 Commissioner Grady Prestage, who was joined by County Judge KP George, Precinct 2 Constable Daryl L. Smith, Sr., Library Director Clara Russell, Precinct 4 Commissioner Ken DeMerchant, and members of the Library Advisory Board.
Reverend Robert Park gave the invocation, and members of the NJROTC from Stephen F. Austin High School presented the flags for the Pledge of Allegiance. Commissioner Prestage welcomed everyone and recognized key individuals who were instrumental in making the long-awaited Mission Bend Branch Library a reality for the community.
A special feature in the lobby of the library – an Everbright interactive light wall -- was unveiled during the ceremony. This light wall consists of a huge grid of hundreds of adjustable color dials that rotate endlessly to create dynamic animations. The dials change in hue as they are twisted, offering almost unlimited color possibilities when creating designs.
Musical entertainment for the event was provided by jazz musician RodeRick Davenport and by members of the symphony orchestra at George Bush High School.
The library is equipped with the latest in computer and telecommunications technology, including WiFi, 3D printing, and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) capabilities. Demonstrations of the 3D printer took place throughout the day.
Judge George and Commissioner Prestage checked out the first books at the new branch library. A line soon formed with dozens of people eager to sign up for a library card – more than 165 people registered for a FBCL library card on opening day alone! Library patrons have the option to check out their own materials on self-check machines, while library staff are available to provide individual assistance.
Project Manager Danea Hall gave tours and answered questions about many of the amenities of the library. Community meeting rooms, study rooms, a puppet theater, charging stations, and a computer lab are available for general public use. Additional computers are available for public use outside of the computer lab.
Natural light from a series of glazed openings that frame views of the neighborhood lends a warm and inviting atmosphere to the library. The main reading area features collections for children, middle grades, young adults, and adults. Comfortable seating, computer stations, and study tables are spaced throughout the library, with some reading areas focused along the north windows to take advantage of the natural lighting.
The layout of the library was designed to be family friendly by providing individual and unique areas for preschool, elementary, and middle school-aged youth to work and congregate. The Youth Services area offers both the best of printed literature and multimedia resources, as well as computers. Educational programs on reading, math, and science intended specifically for children through fifth grade are available on some of the computers. A small early-childhood activity center offers hands-on opportunities for young children to explore and learn. The Middle Grades area is designed for students in grades six through eight, providing an assortment of materials of particular interest to the that age group. In addition to books, magazines, and multimedia materials, computers provide access to the library catalog, the Internet, and other electronic resources.
The Youth Services department has planned a variety of weekly children’s programs, including Mother Goose Time for infants, Toddler Time for babies from 12 to 36 months of age, and Story Time for 3 to 6-year-old children.
A wide variety of books for children and adults are available for recreational reading and research. Magazines, newspapers, and audiovisual materials are also on hand. The library offers ebooks, audiobooks, movies, and music that can be downloaded from home, as well as a generous assortment of databases that patrons may access in the library or from home.
A regular schedule of introductory computer classes will be available for adults. Patrons may learn computer basics such as how to use a computer, how to search the Internet, how to use Microsoft Office programs such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and how to find or create designs for the 3D printer.
“Part of our library mission is to provide an environment of lifelong learning and enrichment for the entire, diverse community, and the new Mission Bend Branch Library reinforces our commitment to providing a continuum of service for people of all ages,” says Library Director Clara Russell. “We hope the residents in the area will find the new library a pleasant and enjoyable place where they can study, improve their job skills, or just relax with a good book.”
The hours of operation for the new branch library will be as follows: Monday, 12:00 noon - 9:00 pm; Tuesday and Wednesday, 10:00 am – 9:00 pm, Thursday, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm; Friday, 12:00 noon - 5:00 pm; and Saturday, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm. The library will be closed on Sundays.
The library is located in Fort Bend County Precinct 2 on Addicks Clodine Road, near the intersection of Wildwood Lake Road in Houston. The new library, designed by AUTOARCH Architects LLC of Houston, is a one-story building of 23,779 square feet, making it the fifth largest library in the system, which now includes 11 libraries and management of the Law Library.