Barbara Bush Library in Spring, Texas: In Honor of Robin and Literacy
The Barbara Bush Library Branch at Cypress Creek is a part of the Harris County Public Library system. My husband and I recently discovered it and were very impressed with the library as a whole. It is a modern two-story building with 30,000 square feet separated into various areas. Texas limestone coats the exterior of the building, and the green metal roof blends seamlessly with the verdant landscaping.
A portion of this particular library was fashioned to attract the youngest of children and get them excited about reading at the earliest of ages.
In Memory of Robin Bush
Upon entering the building to the right, there is a delightful bronze sculpture of a small pretty girl attired in a sleeveless dress. Her happy face is upturned with her eyes gazing at her raised left arm where a bird in flight appears to have just alighted upon her hand. The girl’s right hand supports a shallow dish resting against her waist where two seated birds sit on the rim.
On the base supporting the sweet image of Robin is the following lettering:
Sculpture in Memory of Robin Bush
Beloved Daughter of George and Barbara Bush
Robin Bush was the second child of George H.W. Bush and Barbara. She sadly died just before turning four years of age. Childhood leukemia caused her death. If Pauline Robinson Bush (nicknamed Robin) were born today, her chances of surviving childhood leukemia would be almost 90%, but back in 1953, that was not the case.
George and Barbara selflessly donated her little body to science. Heartfelt gifts like that plus funded research have helped bring about the cures of today. They thought of Robin as their little angel and looked forward to seeing her once again in the next life.
Behind that winsome sculpture is the Friends Book Store, where used books, DVDs, and CDs are available for sale.
Most people know that Barbara Bush was the First Lady of the Land when her husband George Herbert Walker Bush was the 41st U.S. President from 1989 to 1993. He was also the Vice President preceding those years of his presidency from 1981 to 1989.
She is well known for wearing those signature pearls around her neck.
One of Barbara Bush’s enduring passions was that of promoting literacy. Following is a quote from her as the First Lady. “If you help a person to read, then their opportunities in life will be endless.” The earlier they start, the better!
Children’s Area of the Library
In the Barbara Bush Library, the children’s area is on the first floor. The décor is colorful, bright, and engaging. Several walls sport colorful murals, and chairs and tables are pint-sized. Giant stuffed animals sit atop bookshelves.
There are computers as well as books aplenty to engage the youngsters on their way to becoming literate members of society. So many programs at this library are for children of all ages.
Lapsit is for parents whose infants are up to 15 months of age. Rhyming, songs, and movement make this a fun time activity for those involved. Baby Gymboree, Toddler Time, Preschool Storytime, School Age Storytime, Lego We Do Robotics are some of the other child-friendly programs. There is even one geared for teens called the Teen Anime Club!
Of course, this library also serves adults.
Adult Section of the Barbara Bush Library
The second floor is also bright and cheerful. There are many nooks with comfortable lounge chairs and different seating areas for quiet reading. Many computers are available, and many of them were in use on the day of our visit.
Meeting rooms are available. One of them accommodates up to 100 people, and there are some small reading/study rooms which hold just two or up to four people.
Adult programs and classes run the gamut from yoga, book club meetings, computer classes, author visits, films, and more. There are even bus trips for seniors!
Focus on Literacy
The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy began in 1989. Millions of dollars have been contributed to libraries since its founding. At age 91, Barbara was still encouraging people to read and learn. In the year of 2016, she lead a reading event teleconferenced from the George Bush Presidential Library.
As most people know, Barbara and her beloved George now reside in their graves at the George Bush Presidential Library, along with their dear daughter Robin.
Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.— Emilie Buchwald
Books Written by Barbara Bush
She has authored three books. Perhaps you have read all or some of them?
The following two (C. Fred’s Story and Millie’s Book) were while First Lady Barbara Bush was in the White House. Proceeds from those book sales benefited literacy. I found Millie’s Book (on the bestseller list) to be charming and delightful. A dog park in Houston has the name Millie Bush Bark Park.
After leaving the White House, this book (Barbara Bush: A Memoir and Reflections: Life After the White House) was written and was also a best seller.
The naming of this branch library in Barbara Bush’s honor seems fitting and beautiful, given her ardent and long-lived promotion of literacy. May it continue to inspire people as well as serve them long into the future!
Have you read any of the books authored by Barbara Bush?
One of the greatest gifts adults can give—to their offspring and to their society—is to read to children.— Carl Sagan
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.
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© 2020 Peggy Woods