Written by Phil Cerroni
Irving Public Library visitors will soon have a new comfortable and inviting reading space at the East Branch Library. The Mickey Watson Quiet Room, donated through the generosity of the Friends of the Irving Public Library to honor long-time Friends member and devoted supporter of the Irving community, is nearing completion and is scheduled to open Jan. 28 at 5 p.m. with a ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration. Mr. Watson served the Irving community for 64 years and is survived by his wife, Martha Watson, vice-president of the Library Board, and three children.
“Mickey would have loved knowing this was done in his honor,” said Ms. Watson. “He was a quiet man.”
The Friends received more than $5,000 in memorial donations that are being used to transform the former computer lab, once a bank vault, into a quiet retreat for reading and study. The inclusion of a quiet room at East Branch is a welcome and much needed amenity for this location of only 5,700 square-feet, which serves families, many with young children and teens.
“The sound of families enjoying their neighborhood library together can at times conflict with the quiet sanctuary many expect in a library,” said Rose Mary Cortez, library branch manager. “The Mickey Watson Quiet Room is a timely solution that will help the entire community to take pleasure in its home library all the more.”
The transformation is expected to be one of the most dramatic changes since East Branch opened 16 years ago. Ten public computers currently in the room will be relocated to the side of the library building farthest away from the quiet room. Additionally, moving the public computers to an area closer to the public service desk provides more convenient assistance to customers and staff.
Meanwhile, the quiet room will feature appealing design elements with comfortable seating and display shelving for magazines and newspapers. The conversion will include the removal of the old vault door and new carpeting.
Source: City of Irving