|The Houston Public Library (HPL) is celebrating the grand reopening of the Flores Neighborhood Library after it closed four years ago following heavy flooding and damages caused by Hurricane Harvey. Mayor Sylvester Turner joined other dignitaries and community leaders at a virtual ribbon-cutting earlier today to mark the library’s highly anticipated return. For the foreseeable future, the Flores Neighborhood Library at 110 North Milby will offer limited public services in keeping with health and safety protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to Mayor Turner, special guests participating in the ceremony included HPL Library Director, Rhea Brown Lawson, United Arab Emirates (UAE) Representative and Consul General H.E Saeed Almheiri, Houston Public Library Foundation Chair Licia Green Ellis, Council Member Karla Cisneros, and Super Neighborhood Second Ward #63, President Roy Lira.
“The reopening of the Flores Neighborhood Library is a testament to what is possible when members of the community come together in support of a shared goal – in this instance restoration and revitalization of a community institution – the public library. I am grateful for UAE and many others for demonstrating the true spirit of Houston,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner.
UAE’s generous $800,000 donation was part of their citywide Harvey reconstruction campaign and allowed the Flores Neighborhood Library to undergo a substantial transformation. The remodeled library features a new and expanded children’s area with a technology lab and access to a children’s patio learning space; a new and expanded teen area with upgraded technology; an adult area with new computers, new seating, and access to the patio; a new computer lab; and an updated meeting room.
“The Flores Neighborhood Library served as a critical resource for learning and access to technology that the community relied upon before it was closed,” stated Dr. Lawson, HPL Director, “We are beyond thrilled that Flores will reopen with curbside services initially, and, thanks to the generous support provided by UAE, when fully reopened, Flores will offer more robust and advanced technology and programs, especially for children.”
“The UAE has long-standing ties to Houston, and we are proud to help this great city. We are delighted to be a part of the revitalization of the Flores Neighborhood Library,” said Consul General Al Mehairi. “This library can begin serving this community once again with important literary programming and technology resources. We look forward to continuing to work with Mayor Turner and the City of Houston to support their recovery.”
In addition to the UAE’s support for the new Flores Library, the broader recovery program will support the creation of a short-term housing facility for the Homeless Navigation Center, the new community center run by local nonprofit Avenue CDC, and the expansion of the Houston Health Department services, including new mobile health clinics. The Greater Houston Community Foundation oversees and manages the grant funds for the specific projects. The organization administered the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund, founded by Mayor Turner and then-County Judge Ed Emmett.
HPL invites the community to view the newly renovated library through a virtual tour at: https://apps.houstonlibrary.org/virtualtours/Flores/index.htm.
About the Patricio Flores Neighborhood Library
The Most Reverend Patricio F. Flores, Archbishop of San Antonio, served as a priest in the Houston-Galveston Diocese during the 1950s and 1960s and was active in programs for Houston’s Hispanic community. He became the first Mexican-American elevated to the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in the United States.
About the Houston Public Library
The Houston Public Library (HPL) operates 37 neighborhood libraries, three HPL Express Libraries, a Central Library, the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, The African American Library at the Gregory School, and the Parent Resource Library located in the Children’s Museum of Houston. With more than eight million visits per year in person and online, HPL is committed to excellent customer service and equitable access to information and programs by providing library customers with free use of a diverse collection of printed materials and electronic resources, Internet, laptop and computer use, and a variety of database and reference resources with live assistance online 24/7.
For further information, visit the Houston Public Library at www.houstonlibrary.org, on Twitter @houstonlibrary, on Facebook – Houston library or call 832-393-1313.