April 11, 2018

Achieving Excellence at Your Bellaire City Library

As we join with cities across America in observing National Library Week, April 8-14, we have yet another reason to celebrate.  Our very own Bellaire City Library has been recognized with the 2017 Achievement of Excellence in Libraries Award by the Texas Municipal Library Directors Association.  Ours is one of only 52 out of 548 public library systems in Texas to receive this prestigious award.

Selection criteria for the award included cultural, topical and educational programming for adults and families; service to underserved populations through outreach and special programs; literacy support for all ages; summer reading programs; workforce development and community partnerships; digital and online services; and professional training for library staff.

Among the Library’s numerous accomplishments over the past year were significant enhancements to young adult programming, which focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) activities to encourage the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills.  Expansion of our juvenile book collection helped students meet new reading requirements at local middle schools, reflected by a marked increase in circulation.  Family story times continued to be one of the more popular program offerings, providing literacy support and opportunities for socialization.  The theme of last year’s summer reading program, Build a Better World, highlighted STEM learning for readers of all ages, including participants in a Girls Science Initiative Camp hosted by our Library to foster early interest in these important fields for the next generation of women scientists and engineers.

Following Hurricane Harvey, our Library staff were among the Bellaire Brave who stepped up to serve the community even when half of them were themselves displaced.  They were quickly trained and equipped with information on disaster recovery resources, and assisted affected residents with their applications for Federal Emergency Management Agency benefits and Small Business Administration loans.  Of course, they also welcomed people who just needed a place to go, including some from nearby communities whose local branch libraries were damaged and out of commission after the storm.

If you’ve not visited your Bellaire City Library in a while, this is a great time to stop by and—check out—the latest offerings.  For opportunities to contribute to its continued success, get in touch with the Friends of the Bellaire Library.  We’re proud of our Library and the dedicated professionals who have earned its distinction as a Library of Excellence, and this week we congratulate and thank them for their substantial contributions to our community and quality of life.