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Bellaire City Library: Serving Texas Residents Since 1951

Updated on April 11, 2020
Peggy W profile image

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 | Source

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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The exterior of Bellaire City Library at 5111 Jessamine Street, Bellaire, Texas 77401Exterior of Bellaire City Library Exterior of Bellaire City Library
The exterior of Bellaire City Library at 5111 Jessamine Street, Bellaire, Texas 77401
The exterior of Bellaire City Library at 5111 Jessamine Street, Bellaire, Texas 77401 | Source
Exterior of Bellaire City Library
Exterior of Bellaire City Library | Source
Exterior of Bellaire City Library
Exterior of Bellaire City Library | Source

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 | Source

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 | Source

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.

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Children’s Area inside Bellaire City LibraryYouth reading area in Bellaire City LibraryAquarium inside the Bellaire City Library
Children’s Area inside Bellaire City Library
Children’s Area inside Bellaire City Library | Source
Youth reading area in Bellaire City Library
Youth reading area in Bellaire City Library | Source
Aquarium inside the Bellaire City Library
Aquarium inside the Bellaire City Library | Source

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 | Source

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

Do you enjoy going to libraries?

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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

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    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      10 months ago from Houston, Texas

      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.

    • GetitScene profile image

      Dale Anderson 

      10 months ago from The High Seas

      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 W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      15 months ago from Houston, Texas

      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 profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      15 months ago from USA

      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 W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      15 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi MG Singh,

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

    • emge profile image

      MG Singh emge 

      15 months ago from Singapore

      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 W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      15 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Bill,

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

    • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      15 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Liz,

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

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      15 months ago from Olympia, WA

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

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      15 months ago from UK

      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 W profile imageAUTHOR

      Peggy Woods 

      15 months ago from Houston, Texas

      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.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      15 months ago from Sunny Florida

      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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