On May 7, the Barbara Bush Library Friends—a nonprofit—kicked off a campaign to raise $65,000 for upgrades to the local branch of the Harris County Public Library.

Current situation

The Barbara Bush Library Friends’ board of directors voted on May 7 to contribute $20,000 to the renovations. The group—led by President Sally Jabaley—hopes to collect the remaining funds from local companies and individuals, said Chad Greer, former president and current member.

The fundraising campaign will target improvements around the library, that were brainstormed in tandem with library leaders, including:
  • A new “tweens area” for children ages 9-12 to hang out and enjoy hands-on learning
  • New lobby seating and an area educating patrons about the history of the Library and the Friends organization
  • Improvements to the upstairs adult library area, staff area, the Earl Elliott meeting room and the Al and Polly's in-library used bookstore
  • The addition of an all-weather bulletin board outside for community use
The Barbara Bush Branch Library is a “hub of the community,” said Susan Greer, who's also a Barbara Bush Library Friends past president and current member. The library is important because it provides many free resources for guests of all ages such as Wi-Fi, computer labs, 3-D printers, sewing machines, passport services as well as activities and classes, she said.

“Libraries nowadays, which some people don't realize, [are] more than books and magazines,” Chad Greer said.

Marking a milestone

With about 150 members, the Barbara Bush Library Friends—formerly The Cypress Creek Friends of the Library—has supported the local library through volunteering and fundraising initiatives for about 50 years. The area’s first community library opened in 1976 in what is now the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts before moving to its current location in 2002.

Get involved

A lot of community members don’t realize how much the Barbara Bush Library Friends contribute to programs at the library through vital fundraising and volunteering, Branch Librarian Shane Harris said. In 2023 alone, the organization raised $30,000 for the library’s bookstore, according to a May 7 meeting bulletin.

“This [campaign] is kind of just another step in that direction to really improve the facility and create some new spaces,” Harris said.

For more information on the Barbara Bush Library Friends or to make a donation toward the campaign, visit www.bblf.org. To join the Harris County Public Library volunteer program, visit www.hcpl.net/get-involved.