George Memorial re-opened Sept. 30

George Memorial Library (GML) in Richmond has re-opened resuming normal library hours. Materials and services enjoyed by the public in the past will be available once again at this location, although renovation construction will continue into next year in areas not immediately affecting patron use.
Library administration does not anticipate a need to close the library for renovations again, and looks forward to planning a Grand Re-Opening next year, when all of the renovations are completed.

The first thing that patrons returning to the library will notice is the new entry. Steps leading to the entrance have been added, along with an ADA-compliant handicap ramp. Once inside, patrons will immediately see numerous changes. The checkout desk has been removed and will be replaced with a new desk under construction for the center of the lobby. The information desk has also been removed and relocated to the second-floor landing. Shelves for items on hold for patrons, as well as shelves of new books, will be set up on the south side of the lobby, where the checkout desk was previously located.

New ceiling tiles and lights have been installed in most public areas of the building, and the remaining tiles and lights will be replaced in other areas, as construction continues. Some of the walls have been removed, and spaces have been reconfigured to accommodate collections that have been relocated.

The biography collection is now on the first floor in the Adult Services area. The Young Adult (teen) collection has been moved from the Youth Services department on the first floor and will be relocated to the second floor where the Genealogy department was, when renovation of that area is complete.

The Genealogy and Local History department has been moved across the second-floor landing to its new location, where the audiovisual (AV) materials were located. The AV materials are available for checkout once again, and they can now be found by the Computer Lab on the second floor, where Biographies were. The Computer Lab is still in the same location, and it will re-open to the public again on September 30. The library’s introductory computer classes will resume in October.

The library’s weekly youth programs – Toddler Time and Story Time – will also resume in October, along with the monthly After-School Break for children in grades K through 3. In addition, a weekly Family Story Time on Saturdays at 10:00 am will be added to the schedule of regular youth programming. A new program for youth in grades 4 and 5 – Tween Time – will take place on the first Thursday of every month, beginning at 4:00 pm. The first meeting of Tween Time will be on October 3, when kids will enjoy a “Chocolate Fest.”

Six study rooms in the north quadrant of the second floor will be available for use immediately, but the meeting rooms are not yet ready for use. Anyone needing meeting space is encouraged to reserve a room at one of FBCL’s other libraries in the area. Additional study rooms will be added in a later phase of construction.

A new administration building for the library system is being built behind George Memorial Library. When the administration building is completed next spring, administration will move from its current location on the second floor of George Memorial Library into the new building. The area vacated by administration will house the additional study rooms and an Internet Café.

The renovations at George Memorial Library are the final phase of a $130-million bond referendum approved by voters in May 2006, which included $24.5 million for three county library projects: the construction of the University Branch Library in Sugar Land and the Sienna Branch Library in Missouri City, and renovations at George Memorial Library in Richmond.

George Memorial Library opened in 1986, when the main library moved from its original location by Polly Ryon Hospital in Richmond. Original construction of the 77,000-square-foot building was funded by The George Foundation. The last renovation and expansions of the structure were completed in 2002.

For more information, call the library’s Public Information Office at 281-341-2677.

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