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Get the candles and fire extinguisher ready: Bay City Public Library is 100!

July 4, 2012 at 2:04 a.m.
Updated July 5, 2012 at 2:05 a.m.

Visitors, staff and volunteers ready the Bay City Public Library in anticipation of its 100th Birthday. A week-long celebration of activities is planned for the week of July 23.

Happy 100th Birthday to the Bay City Public Library! Birthday celebrations and activities are scheduled for the week of July 23, 2012.

Kicking off birthday week is a luncheon at Town Square Restaurant on July 23. Featured guest is the award-winning author Donna Ingham, master Texas storyteller and sought-after performer and speaker. Donna moves people to laughter, tears, or simply leaves you in a state of quiet reflection. Winner of the coveted John Henry Faulk storytelling award in 2007, she has also had the dubious honor of having been named the Biggest Liar in Austin seven times, Houston twice, and San Antonio once, and she won the Biggest Liar in Texas competition in 2005 and in 2011. Tickets for what is sure to be an entertaining luncheon are $9 and may be purchased at the Bay City Public Library.

Head over to the library on July 25 for some birthday cake from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

On Thursday, July 26, teens should plan on attending the free 2:00 p.m. teen program featuring Joy Preble, author of the DREAMING ANASTASIA series (Sourcebooks), which blends paranormal romance with historical fiction.

A free children's program, "Crocodile Encounters," is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. July 27. Crocodile Encounters is a fully licensed and insured USDA zoological facility whose primary focus is science and wildlife education. Their traveling shows allow folks to experience wildlife in a safe, exciting, and educational fashion. In addition to crocodiles, the professional educators bring numerous species of snakes, lizards and turtles.

All week long, folks of all ages should be sure to drop by and register to win one of two Kindle Fires to be given away at the library. Drawing will be held July 27 after lunch, and the winners need not be present to win. The 100th year celebrations have been made possible through the generous donations by Sons of the Republic of Texas Chapter 35, OXEA, and South Texas Project Nuclear Operating Company.

The Bay City Public Library was founded in 1912 by a group of ladies who met weekly to play bridge. The library was begun by lending "a few books twice weekly from a cubbyhole niche located in the J.P. Keller Insurance Company, at a site at the corner of Sixth Street and Avenue F. Mrs. J.P. Keller reminisced the books were kept on a shelf in the building." (Steighorst, Juann J., Bay City and Matagorda County: A History)

The current Bay City Public Library location was formally dedicated in 1993. During 2011, the library circulated 65,234 items, registered 9,477 computer users, fielded 5,798 reference questions, and logged 676 volunteer hours. Over 96,000 visits were made to the library during this same period.

Learn more about the library and its birthday celebration at www.baycitytxlib.org or call 979-245-6931. They're also on Facebook at "BC PL" and "BCPL Teens."

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