High Meadows Branch Library
In 1979, Harris County residents passed a Library Bond Referendum, which included funds to build a new library in the Aldine area. The site for the new library, between MacArthur High School and Hambrick Junior High, was purchased from Aldine Independent School District. The new High Meadows branch began construction in 1982.
Before the branch was open, the community was served by a bookmobile stop at the Northwood Plaza shopping mall, less than a mile away.
The branch opened on June 5, 1983. County Commissioner E. A. "Squatty" Lyons introduced the new staff. HCPL Director Cathy Park speaks to the audience in this photograph from the grand opening ceremony.
View the program for the grand opening.
In August 1984, staff found graffiti on the back wall of the building. The graffiti referenced the album "The Wall" by Pink Floyd and "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway" by Genesis (which prominently features a character named Rael).
The Friends of the Aldine and High Meadows branch libraries shared fundraising efforts, holding book sales, such as this one held in February 1986.
In the spring of 1986, a profile on new Children's Librarian Dwan Garrison ran in a local paper. Garrison introduced a special puppet named Furry to her storytimes at the branch.
In 1989, HCPL began its Staff Awards program, a yearly recognition of the work done by library staff across the system. The High Meadows branch served as the site for the first awards ceremony, presided over by Director Cathy Park.
Since the 1979 bond resolution, HCPL had added nine new branches throughout the county, including High Meadows. By 1995, construction was underway on the Atascocita Library, the last planned branch after almost two decades of expansion. In the summer of 1995, the Library held a meeting with community leaders at the High Meadows branch to discuss the system goals for the next 10 years.
As technology rapidly changed in the 1990s, providing access to computers became an important part of the library's services. Staff offered classes for adults and children on how to use the new computers. In addition, after the building was wired for Internet access, the staff offered training on Internet safety. High Meadows staff can be seen in this photograph helping children use the computers.
By the early 2000s, the branch needed renovating. The Plexiglas front windows had become hazy, the carpets were worn out, and the branch needed a dedicated room for the computer lab. As a result, the branch closed to the public in early 2005, and construction work began.
As part of the renovation work, the floor plan was heavily revised (the original floor plan can be seen here). The shelving arrangement of the building was entirely flipped around, with the children's area moving from the front to the back of the building. An adult reading area was installed just inside the front doors. An official area for teens was also added.
The branch reopened on November 29, 2005. County Commissioner El Franco Lee was a notable guest at the grand reopening ceremony. Staff members from across the system gathered to celebrate the bright, new space.
From an article about the renovation: "The branch received all new furniture covered in fabrics with hip, trendy patterns like something from Target. The burnt orange and soft green colors bring energy and excitement into the room."
Commissioner Lee posed for a Library READ poster at the High Meadow Branch Library in 2006.
The branch celebrated its 25th anniversary with a Birthday Party on June 23, 2008. Children enjoyed a performance by a clown, followed by cake.
At a party celebrating the end of the summer in 2010, High Meadows rented a bouncy house and a water slide for families to enjoy.
Puppet show during the Summer Reading Program in June 2011.
During the 2012 Summer Reading Program, Domino's Pizza sponsored a hands-on program about how to make pizzas.
High Meadows staff dressed up for the Monster Mash Halloween party thrown at the branch in October 2013.
National Read Across America Day in March 2014.
The branch holds regular U.S. Citizenship preparation classes to help people study for the U.S. Naturalization exam. Program participants pose together at the end of a session in 2017.
In the fall of 2017, staff at the Kingwood Branch Library were displaced after flooding from Hurricane Harvey damaged the building. Two members of the Kingwood team joined the High Meadows staff for the next seven months as the Kingwood branch was cleaned and rebuilt.
In March 2018, as the Kingwood branch prepared to reopen, High Meadows said goodbye to their "flood buddies" with a little popcorn gift.
Storytime with Santa Claus at a holiday party at High Meadows in December 2018. The party was hosted in partnership with the East Aldine Management District.
Outreach in the community is very important to the High Meadows staff. They held regular outreach events at the Pilgrim Place apartments, St. Leo Catholic Church, and Hambrick Middle School, as well as being present at local community events and festivals.
In early 2020, a George and Barbara Bush Family Place center opened in the branch, featuring toys, books, and resources for children and their caregivers.
In 2021, Winter Storm Uri blew across Texas, knocking out the power grid and leaving many without water for a week when a boil water notice was imposed in Houston. The High Meadows branch was used as a warming station for those without access to power or heat.