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Dignitaries and family members gathered Wednesday, August 13 to celebrate a half-century of service for the Elizabeth L. Ring Neighborhood Library at 8835 Long Point Road.

Ring, for whom the library is named, started the Ladies’ Reading Club in Houston in 1887 and was an early advocate for establishing free public libraries in the city. She was appointed to the first Houston Public Library (HPL) board of directors in 1900 and served continuously for 41 years.

The Ring Neighborhood Library opened on July 31, 1964 in the Spring Branch community. It was the 12th Houston Public Library location and at the time, was the largest of all HPL branches. The Texas Gulf Coast Chapter of the National Society of Interior Design recognized the architectural firm of Hamilton Brown and Associates for its outstanding library-in-the round design, a unique plan and one considered most appropriate for a library named Ring.

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The facility underwent a major renovation in 2009 that included the addition of a meeting room in keeping with the original round architecture design. The Ring Neighborhood Library currently offers various free electronic resources and educational programs for children, teens and adults.

Special guest speakers at the 50th anniversary event included Brenda Stardig, City of Houston Council Member, District A;  Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson, HPL Director ; Kathy Carmichael of the Ring Neighborhood Library; and Nancy Vreugde, granddaughter of Elizabeth Ring.

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 HPL now operates 35 neighborhood libraries, four  Express Libraries, a Central Library, the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, the African American Library at the Gregory School, and the Parent Resource Library located in the Children’s Museum of Houston. These facilities serve an estimated seven million customers per year in person and online.