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East Branch Library To Celebrate Opening of Mickey Watson Quiet Room

The public is invited to the Mickey Watson Quiet Room ribbon-cutting ceremony and celebration beginning at 5 p.m. Jan. 28 at the East Branch Library, 440 S. Nursery Road. The former computer lab that once served as a bank vault has been transformed into a quiet haven conducive to reading and study.

Renovations to the room were funded by the generous donations from Friends of the Irving Public Library members who raised more than $5,000 in honor of Watson, a long-time organization member and community supporter. Having served the Irving community for 64 years, Watson ― the quiet room's namesake ― served in the U.S. Navy and was a veteran of World War II. Watson also was a member of the Volunteer Airport Ambassadors, Parks Board, Irving Renewal, North Lake Core Club and Friends of the Irving Public Library.

"Mickey would have loved knowing this was done in his honor," said Library Board Vice President Martha Watson. "He was a quiet man."

According to library officials, the Mickey Watson Quiet Room is one of the most dramatic changes to happen at the 5,700 square-foot East Branch Library since its opening 16 years ago. The new quiet room will feature appealing design elements, comfortable seating and display shelving for magazines and newspapers. The conversion also will include the removal of the old vault door and the installation of new carpeting.

"The sound of families enjoying their neighborhood library together can at times conflict with the quiet sanctuary many expect in a library," said East Branch Library Manager Rose Mary Cortez. "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."

Watson is survived by his wife, Martha, and three children. The East Branch Library is open to the public from noon to 8 p.m. Monday and Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; and closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit

Posted Jan. 10

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