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Barbara Bush Library in Spring, Texas: In Honor of Robin and Literacy

I live in Houston, and I have worked as a nurse. My interests include art, traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, and our wonderful pets.

Children's section of the Barbara Bush Library

Children's section of the Barbara Bush Library

Stellar Library!

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.

Barbara Bush Library location: 6817 Cypresswood Dr., Spring, Texas 77379

Barbara Bush Library location: 6817 Cypresswood Dr., Spring, Texas 77379

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.

Sculpture in Memory of Robin Bush

Sculpture in Memory of Robin Bush

Barbara Bush

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!

Barbara Bush Library Plaque

Barbara Bush Library Plaque

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.

Child-Friendly Programs

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.

Barbara Bush Library Upstairs

Barbara Bush Library Upstairs

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!

One of the greatest gifts adults can give—to their offspring and to their society—is to read to children.

— Carl Sagan

Sources

https://www.barbarabush.org/

https://www.hcpl.net/branch/barbara-bush-branch-library

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauline_Robinson_Bush

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

Comments

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on September 10, 2020:

Hi Devika,

Libraries these days offer so much more than just books as it was when I was growing up. This one named after our First Lady is a beauty.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 10, 2020:

Peggy this is so interesting. I have not read books by Barbara Bush. However, I would like to read her books and enjoy walking into libraries. One of my favorite places to visit.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 05, 2020:

Hi Genna,

Yes, that is a legacy that she leaves behind, and it is a worthy one.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on April 05, 2020:

One of the characteristics I always liked and deeply respected about Barbara Bush was her passion for literacy and reading. Thank you, Peggy, for this tour of her library, and the snapshot of the moving sculpture in memory of little Robin. This made my day.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 05, 2020:

Hi C E Clark,

The Barbara Bush Library is named in honor of her. It is not like the Presidential Libraries that contain all types of memorabilia related to their presidencies. Barbara Bush was a big promoter of literacy during her lifetime and deserved this honor because of it.

C E Clark from North Texas on March 04, 2020:

Barbara Bush did promote literacy and this library seems a wonderful tribute to her. Until reading this article I didn't know Barbara Bush had a library. I knew her husband and son each have libraries, but I had no idea any first lady had one. Good to know.

I liked Mrs. Bush. She seemed to me a no nonsense sort of person who said just what she thought when she said anything. A great article. I hope people in Houston and anyone visiting or passing through will take the time to check it out.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 04, 2020:

Hi FlourishAnyway,

Many people honored Barbara Bush for the exact qualities you mentioned in your comment. The sculpture of their daughter, Robin, is lovely.

FlourishAnyway from USA on March 04, 2020:

I always liked Barbara Bush for her no nonsense, down to earth humility and wry humor. I don’t think a parent who loses a child like they did Robin ever really gets over it. It’s lovely that they honored her in this way and improved the lives of others. What a nice facility and statue in particular.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on March 02, 2020:

Hi Linda,

The children's section of this library is particularly colorful and inviting, and the sculpture of Robin Bush is lovely. Thanks for your comment.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on March 01, 2020:

This looks like a lovely library. The mural and the decorations in the children's section are delightful. I have never heard of Robin Bush before, but I love the sculpture of her and the birds.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 29, 2020:

Hi Ruby,

Barbara was an easy-going and down-to-earth woman who was very gracious when meeting her in person. I loved reading "Millie's Book." The book you read sounds interesting. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 29, 2020:

Hi Donna,

I was happy to be able to show you this gorgeous library. Like you, I have always enjoyed reading books.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on February 29, 2020:

I do not have any of Barbara's books, but I do have the book, My Father My President by their daughter Doro Bush Koch. What a shame they lost their child, Robin. I always thought Barbara was sweet and easy to know. I enjoyed reading about her library. Thank you again for sharing.

Donna Rayne from Greenwood, In on February 29, 2020:

I don't care for the Bush's family but I do care about their child's early death and it makes me sad inside to have your child die, I love libraries and I love to read and also write.

This was an excellent article thank you for sharing it!

Blessings,

Donna Rayne

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 29, 2020:

Hi Bill,

Many people in Houston lauded the Bushes for all of their charitable activities, politics aside. Former President's Bush and Clinton went around the world trying to help many causes. Another President to admire after leaving office is Jimmy Carter, who advances the cause of Habitat for Humanity. Those are all admirable traits.

As to this library, it is a beauty!

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 29, 2020:

Hi Pamela,

Yes, losing their young child Robin must have been very painful for George and Barbara Bush. Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed learning about this library.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on February 29, 2020:

I'm not a big fan of the Bush's, but I'm a huge fan of libraries, and that is a beautiful one. I would go there just to walk around such lovely place filled with books.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on February 29, 2020:

I always admired Barbara Bush and I didn't know about the library or the loss of their daughter. How awful that must have been!

The library is beautiful and offers so much to the residents. Thank you for posting this article, Peggy. I like the pictures and enjoyed the information.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 29, 2020:

Hi Lorna,

Barbara Bush did so much during her life to further the cause of literacy. It is now a wonderful legacy she has earned. So happy to hear that you enjoyed this article.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on February 29, 2020:

Hi Manatita,

Most libraries have sections for children, but this one at the Barbara Bush Library is exceptional. It is so important to teach children the skill of reading.

Lorna Lamon on February 29, 2020:

This is such an interesting article Peggy and the story of Robin is so touching. The Library building looks so inviting and I know I would spend hours in it. Barbara Bush has certainly been a great advocate for teaching children to read and her tireless work has now become her wonderful legacy. Thank you for sharing such an enjoyable article.

manatita44 from london on February 29, 2020:

Interesting and certainly colourful and prestigious. I respect anything or institution that will help children. I admire the girl sculpture. Lovely read.