The third annual  plant and book sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in Walgreen’s parking lot in Bridge City will help the local library grow.

Many of the plants include bedding plants, house plants and a large amount of Sego palms and day lilies.  There will be more than 2,000 books at the sale. The book selections include hardbacks by popular authors, cookbooks, self-help, science fiction, biographies and children’s books plus videos, DVD’s and music CD’s.  They will also have book marks, stained glass and novelty crosses.

If someone does not see a plant they are looking for, the library offers a Flower Power catalog which carries a wide variety of popular flowers which do well in Southeast Texas. They can be ordered and delivered in within a short time. Among the selections of the catalog are many varieties of lilies, gladiolus, dahlias and summer flowering bulbs.

All donations of plants need to arrive by 8:30 a.m. Saturday at the Walgreens parking lot. All donations of books are accepted all year long, but for the sale they need to be at the library by noon Friday.

Proceeds from the sale will add to the fund for the current library expansion project. The Friends of the Bridge City Public Library overall plans are to add 3,250 sq. ft. to the existing 2,500 sq. ft. building housing the Bridge City Public Library and renovate some areas of the current building. This will add 65 feet to the length of the building and 50 feet to the width. The plan adds a much needed children’s room, a young adult section, a meeting room and an office for the staff.

Mary Montgomery, director of the library and who has worked there since it opened, said she can’t wait to see the renovations completed.

The structure is up, but inside the walls have not been completed as they wait for electrical phase to be completed.

“It’s a process, ” Montgomery said. “We are taking one step at a time.”

Don and Rhonda Vircher, of Friends, hope to see Montgomery’s dreams come true before she retires.

The city is currently bidding out the electrical and plumbing work. The Friends are now seeking funds to do the HVAC section and to add a ceiling.

At the book and plant sale tickets can be purchased for the First Annual Literary Feast, with an author’s forum. The  local authors are Frances Collins and Chester Moore, Jr.  The ticket price includes spaghetti dinner and a silent auction.

In addition, applications for membership in the Friends of the Bridge City Public Library are available.

The Friends of the Bridge City Public Library began as a support committee in March 1988 when twenty concerned citizens addressed the needs of the community to establish the city’s first public library. The response from the public was tremendous. By August 1988 a non-binding referendum passed showing support for a new public library and the city appointed an advisory board for the library.

The Friends worked for two years prior to the completion of the 2,500 square foot structure in 1991 by receiving donations of thousands of books which they sorted and processed in preparation to putting them on the library shelves. The Friends supervised volunteers as they set up a make-shift library in a former dance studio to get ready to open. The city funded the building of the slab and shell exterior of the metal building.

The Friends then assisted with many man hours of labor to build the interior of the new metal structure and to raise funds to purchase shelving, equipment, new books and fixtures. After more than 1,000 volunteer hours to physically build the library and using many donations of materials and supplies, the new library was completed and the doors opened to the public on March 18, 1991.

The Friends have continued to support the library since its opening. Ongoing projects have included organizing and maintaining the summer reading club for area children and providing guest speakers for the summer reading programs. In addition, they have assisted in the Lapsit Children’s preschool program throughout the year and worked on providing an ongoing book sale in the library’s lobby. To help keep the library going they encourage memorial and honor donations while they continue to seek funding for the library.

The library currently serves 3,344 registered patrons. It is an accredited member of the Texas State Library, and participates in the state’s Texshare program which allows patrons to borrow from other Texas libraries, In addition, the library is an active member of the Southeast Texas Libraries Discussion Group.

For more information, the Bridge City Public Library’s phone number is 409-735-4242. The library is located at 101 Parkway.

Mary Montgomery, director of the library and who has worked there since it opened in 1991, stands in what will someday be a room for children’s programs at the Bridge City Library. RECORD PHOTO: Debby Schamber.