By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette

The City of Rice held an event from 10 a.m. to noon today at their City Hall building, offering a sneak preview of their new William Marsh Rice Public Library opening in June.

Rice volunteer librarian Amparito Ramirez was helping local children with a “salt art” project as the soft opening began, one of several planned previews for the library’s progress.

“It’s coming together,” Ramirez said of the volunteer library. “It’s doing really well.”

Amparito Ramirez is the librarian for the new William Marsh Rice Public Library. Photo by Guy Chapman.

For Ramirez, the library has always been a third home for her, opening up new worlds with each book she read. Some of her favorite books throughout her life include A Bad Case of Stripes, by David Shannon, and First Rule of Punk, by Celia Perez.

A busy wife with four children aged from seven years old to one. Ramirez currently serves as a seventh grade English teacher in Ennis.

After graduation, Ramirez threw herself into her passion and started working for the Ennis Public Library, then as a library assistant at Coleman Junior High School before expressing her interest in the William Marsh Rice Library.

“I emailed the Mayor and said ‘Hey, we need a library, and she (Mayor J. Nicole Jackson) said ‘Go for it,’ so here I am.”

Donated books have already come in from the Ennis the Arlington public libraries, and Ramirez has been working hard to make connections to secure more books for the library’s opening in June. There are currently plans to find large print novels for the community and those are hard to come by, as well as more children’s picture books and young adult novels.

“I’m excited,” Ramirez said. “We have a lot of good novels. We have a lot of good authors donated to us.”

The library, which also serves as Rice’s city council chambers and a courtroom, already had a selection of books on display.

“It’s multi-purpose, but we’re doing what we can for the community,” Ramirez said.

The library is still looking for volunteers and would love any help they can get. Those interested can volunteer by emailing Ramirez at, or by calling Rice City Hall at 903-326-7511 to speak with her.

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