Thursday, December 1, 2011

Mark Twain comes to Galveston

at the Rosenberg Library

Thursday, Dec 1, 7:00 pm

Wortham Auditorium, First Floor

Rosenberg Library~2310 Sealy Street~Galveston, Texas~77550

Mark Twain 100 years later, performed by Dave Ehlert, a Branson, MO favorite for years. The Rosenberg Library invites you to spend an evening with one of America's greatest humorists, Mark Twain, in a live performance by professional entertainer Dave Ehlert.

A Branson, Missouri favorite for years, Ehlert's portrayal of Mark Twain centers on his many musings and famous quotations, such as, "The only sure things are death and taxes ... but at least death doesn't get worse every year!" Twain's life story wound around these quips, and he always placed a strong emphasis on literacy: "One who can read, but won't, has no advantage over one who can't."

Mr. Ehlert's goal is to perform his version of Mark Twain for libraries across the country and to date he has performed as America's Favorite Storyteller in fifteen states, charming diverse audiences with Twain's humor and wisdom.

Light refreshments will be served. This event is free and open to the public.

Video clips of Dave Ehlert as "Mark Twain"

Friday, August 5, 2011

Library Paves the Way

With an innovative sidewalk repair solution, the Rosenberg Library is helping to pave the way to a greener Galveston.

In order to ensure a safe, level sidewalk and preserve vital tree roots while avoiding costly future repairs, a rubber sidewalk system, Terrewalks(TM), was installed in a section of sidewalk bordering Sealy Street.

Made of 100% recycled tires by California based and woman owned Rubbersidewalks Inc. Terrewalks(TM) interlocking modular tiles with a concrete look -courtesy of organic colorants- blend seamlessly with the library's traditional concrete sidewalk sections. ADA compliant and exceeding both ADA and OSHA wet and dry non-skid ratings, Galveston's first Terrewalks(TM) was installed by Alex Gonzalez of Creative Combinations, Inc. Working with an arborist, Gonzalez's crew brought roots and rubber together in an optimal balance.

Featured in an August 2006 story on NPR, Rubbersidewalks, Inc. was initially tested in 60 cities nationwide. Since that time, municipalities, engineers, architects, and a myriad of organizations report exceeded expectations and Terrewalks(TM) has received acclaim in publications ranging from professional and governmental journals to The USA Today and BusinessWeek.

The Galveston Daily News ran an article on the rubber sidewalk project and featured a picture of the actual installation process. The Library is the first entity in Galveston to utilize rubber sidewalks as a way to enhance safety, preserve precious trees and ensure a long-term economically viable solution to the issue of buckling sidewalks.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Handrails, Sidewalk Update, New Bike Racks on the Way

Concrete repairs in front of the library's east (23rd Street) entrance are complete. The handrail on the new stairs has been installed. Both lower and upper stair handrails are colored a high gloss black.

The sidewalk along 23rd Street has reopened. Sidewalk repair and construction continues along Sealy Avenue. The above photo shows concrete being poured to replace a portion of the sidewalk near the 23rd and Sealy crosswalk.

Good news for our patrons opting for two-wheeled self-propelled transport as replacement bike racks will soon be installed. Bike racks are located between the Sealy parking lot and Pavilion as well as on the alley / Ball Street side of the building.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Happy Birthday, Henry Rosenberg!

Rosenberg Library will celebrate the birth of Henry Rosenberg (6/22/1824), the library's namesake and benefactor. This year the library has adorned the bronze statue, located near the 23rd street east entrance, with a lei and party hat, provided by the Friends of the Rosenberg Library.

From the annals of Henry Rosenberg's red book, also known as: Henry Rosenberg, 1824-1893: to commemorate the gifts of Henry Rosenberg to Galveston. This book was published to commemorate the history of Henry's life and accomplishments and can be found at the Rosenberg Library.

From the preface to this book:

The people of Galveston honor the memory of Mr. Rosenberg; they are proud of him as a good citizen, and are grateful of heart for his fits and bequests. This has been shown by public honors and tributes in the days following his decease, by the annual celebration of Rosenberg Day for many years, by the fine heroic bronze statue acquired by popular subscription and placed in front of the Rosenberg Library in 1906, and by the care our people take to impress "their children and their children's children" with respect and gratitude to "Our Benefactor." The Rosenberg Library Board of Directors now deems it fitting to commemorate the public gifts and bequests of Henry Rosenberg by means of this volume. ~Rosenberg Memorial Book Committee (May,1918)

Poom Sunhachawi-Taylor
Rosenberg Library
Adult and Technical Services Manager

As published in the Wednesday, June 22, 2011 edition of Galveston County - The Daily News, p. B7

Stepping Safely into Summer Sidewalk Repair

Step right up! We are pleased to report that the stairs leading to the 23rd Street (East side) entrance have been repaired and leveled.

The cement stair project, beginning the 11th of June, took less than one week to complete. Alternate entrance was offered via the first floor during the construction process. The new concrete stairway will provide access to the Library for years to come.

Safety handrails are being fabricated and will be installed very soon.

Current construction at the Rosenberg Library is focused on ensuring our patrons can safely navigate the perimeter of the building and entrance. With the stairs completed, the sidewalk repair project is now in full swing. The unlevel grade and tilted pavement is being removed and replaced.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rosenberg Restored--Phase IV

Community members are invited to the Rosenberg Library to admire the recent interior renovations which returned many of the architectural and design elements of the historic Rosenberg Wing to their original luster. The Rosenberg Restored--Phase IV celebration will take place Saturday, April 30th at the library from 6:00-8:30PM to coincide with ArtWalk. Exciting new museum displays will be unveiled, including interactive exhibits for children. Musical entertainment will be provided in the Grand Hallway and refreshments will be served.

Visitors arriving through the 23rd Street entrance are afforded a broad view of some of the sweeping changes. The space has been brightened up with fresh paint similar to the original color scheme of the interior and plaster repairs to the walls and ceiling. Refurbished marble staircases leading to the third floor museum area and meeting rooms flank the Grand Hallway. Dramatic improvements have also been made to the McCullough Room; the original ceiling, windows and wood floor were restored. Historically appropriate lighting fixtures have been added throughout the second and third floors. New carpeting, lights and Golden Oak furniture warm the atmosphere in the Gibson Room where visitors can read or hop onto the library’s Wi-Fi. The Friends of the Library have expanded shelving for stocking gently used books at discount prices in the old cage area. The museum is proud to showcase the bell from Mission Concepci√≥n in San Antonio, now housed in the Grand Hallway.

Improvements continue on the third floor of the Rosenberg Wing with new carpeting, paint, lighting, and refinished wood throughout. Perhaps most noticeable of the third floor building enhancements will be the reopening of the Fox Room. Natural light accentuates the freshly installed quarter-saw longleaf pine flooring, professionally refurbished paneling, Hunter-Douglas window blinds, and new meeting room furniture. The Fox Room will also feature a historically appropriate lighting system including newly created mahogany torchiere floor lamps. Community members will be able to reserve this room for meetings.

While construction has been ongoing, the museum staff has been busy revamping the Galveston: Treasure Isle of the Gulf exhibit in the Lykes Gallery and preparing to reopen the Pottery of the Americas exhibit in the Hutchings Gallery. Two new displays will accompany the refashioned museum space. The third floor hallway gallery will feature an exhibit on legendary glass-maker Ren√© Lalique. Several Lalique pieces from the Rosenberg Library’s famed museum collection will be on display, including the exquisite Vase Bacchantes. The Harris Gallery will showcase a solo exhibit of artist Clyde Harold Wortham. His talents as an oil painter are exemplified by numerous vibrant still life paintings.

Visitors will be able to feel some of the improvements that have been made to the HVAC system. The 1960s and 1970s era air handlers and chillers have been upgraded to provide enhanced climate control throughout the building and to protect the library’s incomparable archive and museum collections from island humidity. A state-of-the-art storage space was also built for the museum’s paintings which will help preserve them for future generations to enjoy.

The Rosenberg Library was established by a generous bequest from Henry Rosenberg upon his death in 1893. Eames & Young of St. Louis was chosen as the architectural design firm by the library’s Board of Directors in 1901 and construction began in October of 1902. The building was dedicated on June 22, 1904, Henry Rosenberg’s birthday, and is constructed of brick, stone and terra cotta in the style of the Italian Renaissance. The library has undergone many renovations over the years, including the addition of the Moody Wing in the early 1970s.

Executive Director John Augelli has overseen a number of important construction projects during his tenure at the Rosenberg Library as well as multiple large and small-scale building improvement projects at other libraries over the course of his career. Prior to Hurricane Ike in 2008, extensive repairs and enhancements had just been completed on the exterior of the building. The library’s Board of Directors was honored by the Galveston Historical Foundation with the Sally B. Wallace Award in 2009 for its exceptional dedication to historical preservation on the exterior improvement project. Following the hurricane, efforts were made to replace and relocate all of the critical building systems that could be moved to the upper floors of the building and upgrade large portions of the ceiling and lighting systems in the Moody Wing. This recent round of renovations to the Rosenberg Wing interior is the most significant the building has undergone in the library’s history. These upgrades have been made possible by the Houston Endowment, the Bush-Clinton Coastal Recovery Fund, the Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund, a bequest from Hugh and Evalyn Gibson, as well as many donations from other foundations and patrons.

The project architects for the Phase IV renovations are from the firm of Ford, Powell & Carson (FPC), which has been involved in numerous historical renovations on Galveston Island and elsewhere in Texas, including the Alamo and the Texas State Capitol building. The general contractor on the Phase IV renovation work is the Galveston-based company Building Solutions. Looking forward, the Board of Directors and staff, along with FPC, are currently finalizing plans to rebuild the first floor of the building, which will include flood control measures to provide protection from future damage.

The library would like to celebrate the hard work that has gone into revitalizing this valuable community asset and thank its library patrons for their patience during the construction process with the Rosenberg Restored--Phase IV event. Please contact library Administration at 409-763-8854 x121 with questions or visit the library’s website:

By:  Maurine Nichols
Rosenberg Library
409.763.8854 x118

Rosenberg Library to Open on Mondays

Beginning Monday, April 4th, the Rosenberg Library will be open six days a week, Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. In preparation for its expanded hours, the library has added several new staff members in recent months. The Rosenberg Library is currently open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Since Hurricane Ike, the library’s Board of Directors and staff have worked hard to reestablish and, in some areas, even exceed the level of service provided pre-Ike despite a smaller operating budget, fewer staff members, and the total devastation of the first floor of the building. Adding a full day to its hours of operation marks another important milestone in the library’s efforts to improve service to Galveston Island residents.

Visitors to the library are encouraged to take advantage of the facility’s many resources including the latest print and electronic books, magazines, DVDs, and CDs, free wireless internet access, a computer lab, reading areas, and exceptional museum and archive collections. The library also regularly offers youth programs and computer skills classes. Please visit the Rosenberg Library website for more information about its collections, services and upcoming events:

Maurine Sweeney
Special Projects Librarian
Rosenberg Library

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Gibson Reading Room Renovation

Photo by John Augelli

Green lamps with outlets, in the newly renovated Gibson Reading Room

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Down Came the Walls

One word has been whispered, spoken, and even exclaimed more than any other at the Rosenberg Library this week: “Wow!”

On Tuesday, February 15, 2011, all entering the library were greeted by a renovated and open space void of the particle board, plastic tarp, and steel frame construction barrier walls.

Over Valentine’s Day weekend, the temporary walls standing guard between the Gibson Reading Room and the old cage area during renovations came down. The response of staff and patrons has been unanimous…we love it!

This phase of renovations has opened up the grand hallway between the north and south staircases. The regal marble flooring continues from entryway to just before the Gibson Rooms at which point a semi-rotunda of marble meets new sage vintage vine patterned carpeting.

With the walls of renovation removed, the Gibson Reading Room and old cage area (Gibson North) mirror each other, reflecting classic warmth and one-of-a-kind wood column partitions that were constructed from the original paneling of, and based upon the design of, the 3rd floor Fox Room’s original children’s department. The magazines and periodicals will move back from the old cage room into the Gibson Reading Room. The Friends of the Library book sale items will soon find a home in Gibson North (old cage).

Cherry Oak blinds now grace the windows of our 2nd floor children’s and circulation departments as well as the Gibson rooms. The floor in the reference section now sports crisp, slate colored carpeting. Renovations continue on the 3rd floor, though the Morgan Room, ideal for small group meetings, is once again open, and reservations for using the Morgan Room can be made online.

To complete flooring renovations on the 2nd level, the marble tiles will be polished and finished on Saturday, February 19th. The Rosenberg Library will be closing at 5:30pm to complete the marble floor preservation process.