Thursday, April 14, 2016

Benbrook Library


When was the last time you have visited the library?  If it has been a while, you should rediscover this diamond in our midst.

The Benbrook Public Library is located at 1065 Mercedes, directly across the street from the Benbrook Police Station.  From its humble beginnings as a donated collection in a donated building staffed exclusively by volunteers, the current library was voted into existence in 1999 following a campaign by the Friends of the Library.  It now sits in its current location (a former senior’s center) and is funded by a .5% share of 1% of the sales tax collected within the Benbrook city limits.  The library is staffed by a mix of professional staff members and volunteers under the direction of Library Director, Steve Clegg.  A board of directors leads the library in its governance and vision.

The Benbrook Public Library maintains approximately 35,000 owned resources.  It partners with local area libraries, like Fort Worth, which gives its users over 1 million resources.  (In other words, you can use your Benbrook library card to check items out and return items at Fort Worth Public Library branches).  Additionally, the Benbrook Public Library subscribes to interlibrary loan, which makes access to resources for its patrons almost limitless.  And the best part is, all of these are at no cost to you. 

The resources available at the Benbrook Public Library are not simply limited to books.  The library maintains collections of popular DVDs and Blue-Ray disks (including series, like Game of Thrones or Boardwalk Empire), audio books, Playaway audio books (for children), and pre-loaded Nooks (e-readers with over 100 books on them).  The library also has 33 public computer workstations, and an additional 10 laptops, and maintains Wi-Fi access both in and around the building.  There is a “Maker Space,” which includes a 3D printer and a laser engraver (so no need to go to the pet store to make those dog tags).  The library’s website ( also contains on-line resources, including downloadable books and magazines, as well as subscription databases covering a wide range of interests.

The library has a large meeting room, complete with kitchen and bathrooms, which may be reserved simply by a returnable deposit of $25.00.  This room may be used independent of library hours, as it independently closes off from the remainder of the building.  (In fact, this will be the location of our annual HOA meeting on Tuesday, September 20, 2016).  The library also has two smaller conference rooms, which may be reserved for a two hour session on a first-come first serve-basis, or by reserving them one day in advance.

The library has a dedicated teen room.  It also has a children’s room which, in addition to children’s books, contains 6 computers and 3 iPads pre-loaded with educational software.  There will soon be early literacy kits for toddlers.  Lego sets can also be checked out for on premises use as well as board games and other activity kits.  Want to learn foreign languages?  They have Pronunciator, which is an online language learning suite featuring over 8o languages.  Need help with homework?  The library offers a live-chat style interface with vetted tutors.

For adults, the Benbrook Public Library offers classes, including computer classes and GED classes provided by Fort Worth ISD Adult Learning.  For kids (and mom needing to get away from home), the library has story times every weekday morning at 10:30.  On Mondays and Wednesdays, the program features “Book Babies,” for children aged 2 and under.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays the program focuses on preschoolers.  On Fridays, children of all ages are invited to participate in a themed craft or activity.   Check out their website for a list of upcoming events.
The library is open Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.  It is open on Fridays and Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  It is closed on Sundays.  Its telephone number is 817-249-6632.  Again, its website is

To get a library card, all it takes is bringing a photo ID and a document showing your permanent address (i.e., car insurance card from your glove box, water bill, etc.).  Again, as a Benbrook resident, there is no cost for these services.  Children can also obtain their own library card (however, an adult will have to sign for it) and begin exercising their own initiative while developing responsibility.

The Benbrook Public Library is not your grandparent’s library.  Prepare to be impressed.  It is very worth the trip!  And if you have any questions, their friendly staff is waiting to assist you.  


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