Norma Meldrum Room (10)

Named for the young Norma Meldrum, this room is now a venue for meetings, programs, and receptions. Although this room is closed to the public, you can take a peek through the leather covered doors. 

The Norma Meldrum Children’s Room was established with a donation by Mr. Norman S. Meldrum, a trustee of the Houston Public Library when it opened. Mr. Meldrum donated $5,000 to invest for future income and $1,000 for children’s books and equipment. The room is named after his daughter, Norma, who died of scarlet fever in 1899 at the age of 9 years old.  Between 1900-1936, Mr. Meldrum donated $40,000 for the Norma Meldrum Children’s Room.

The furniture and artwork in the current room is as close as possible to the way the room was set up in 1926. Today 95% of the furniture is original and if you look closely at the backs of the chairs, you will spot Mother Goose characters carved into them, including the cow jumping over the moon, the crooked man walking a crooked mile, and Puss 'n Boots.

The room also hosts Normal Meldrum memorials. The bronze plaque and bas relief were moved from the original Carnegie Library. The bronze plaque commemorating Norma Meldrum and the Meldrum’s gift was cast by Tiffany’s and donated by the Meldrum family. The bas relief is of Norma Meldrum at the age of 4 and was sculpted by Thomas Hudson Jones, also known for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Arlington Cemetery.

The Norma Meldrum Juvenile Collection, containing over 3,000 children’s and juvenile books, is housed mostly in this room and is still in use today for research. The room itself is closed to the public; the collection is accessible through the Texas Room.