Article originally printed in:
March 10, 2006
By: Kassia Micek, Courier Staff
MONTGOMERY - Residents aren't shy about using their new library branch in Montgomery and are very pleased with everything the new facility offers.
With a larger building that features a meeting room for up to 50 people, a puppet theater area, 28 public access computers and a computer technician, the Charles B. Stewart-West Branch Library was dedicated Thursday morning in front of nearly 300 people.
"This is a great day, I think, for the city of Montgomery, Precinct 1 and Montgomery County," Precinct 1 County Commissioner Mike Meador said.
The branch is located at 202 Bessie Price Owen Drive in Montgomery, directly behind Montgomery Elementary School. The school's choir performed after the dedication.
"This will be a center for our youth, and it is a marvelous place," Montgomery Mayor Edith Moore said. "You cannot describe how great a library is to the community."
Montgomery resident Mary Holobowicz, a nanny, brought 4-year-old twins Emma and Garrett Jones to the opening ceremony Thursday and said she takes the children to the library every week for story time. The children kept busy after the ceremony playing on the computers in the children's area. "It's just a dream," Holobowicz said about the new facility. "It's gotten more and more crowded at the old facility."
Montgomery resident Irene Keer browsed through the new books section at the library and said the facility is just what the community needed. "It's wonderful and I'm delighted," Keer said. "It looks like a real library. I'm glad it's here."
The old facility consisted of several small rooms and was very crowded, she said. "We have room for expansion here on our shelves," branch manager Beverly Christopher said. "At the rate the community is growing, we want to be able to meet the library needs of the community."
The branch was named after Charles B. Stewart, who designed the Lone Star flag. Stewart is a big part of Texas history; he drew the Texas flag with the star, was part of the first drafted state constitution and served on the Legislature, said Peggy Bramblett, Friends of the Library member. Stewart moved to Montgomery in the late 1830s and opened a drug store, Bramblett said. After his death in 1885, he was buried in Montgomery.
The old library property will be used for a county annex, Meador said. The annex will feature a tax assessor office, a court and offices for the constable and sheriff. "We're going to have some services there for this population of the county," Meador said.