Thursday, September 14, 2006


August at the Library System

Library staff didn’t have too much of a break after Summer Reading this year. Even without our usual story hours and computer classes, we managed to work in a good bit of activity, and with the schools beginning their year earlier, our changeover from summer visitors to students was almost unnoticed. Add to that a couple of medical issues for families of staff members, a retirement, and interviewing for new staff, and you have a busy month.

Kathy Fielding attended a Houston Area Library System workshop on “Creating Library Spaces for the 21st Century” on the 4th. That tied in nicely with her transition into the Branch Librarian position. She has been developing the new Young Adult corner at Mont Belvieu to rave reviews. Her efforts were added admirably by a Gently Used Book Sale held at Mont Belvieu on the 11th by the Friends of CCLS; funds raised helped to purchase furnishings for the YA area.

The Library Advisory Board met on the 8th for their quarterly meeting, and approved a new Interlibrary Loan Policy. The Policy was mandated for our continued participation to borrow items from other libraries. We have had 758 interlibrary loan transactions so far this year alone, so our use of the service is extensive. We added “e-books” to our database recently, and several patrons have decided, after seeing the e-book citation in the catalog, that they want a hard copy, so our interlibrary loans increased as a result of that new innovation. The students are also learning about e-books, particularly the Cliff notes study guides…

A budget hearing for the library system was held on the 10th, and thanks to intensive effort by the Auditor’s Office staff and the County Judge, we have already learned of the final decisions on our departmental budget for 2007. This is a first, and it will help immensely in our planning for the next year, with both our county spending and our grant applications. Thanks to the Commission and all involved with the process!

The library system participated with a booth at the Winnie-Stowell Chamber of Commerce “Best of the Area” event on the 15th. It was a first for us, and a good way to feature the library system to area residents who may not have thought of us as a service they can utilize.

Rhonda LeBlanc, Alice Breaux, and Kathy Fielding attended a workshop on the 23rd dealing with services geared to the growing population of those over 50. They made sure that I was privy to all the “special needs” I might be experiencing!

On August 30, the West Chambers Branch greeted well over 100 visitors who graced the library to bid Branch Librarian Susie Davis a fond farewell. Susie has retired from active duty with the County, but the many patrons, fellow staff members, and relatives who attended provided her with a host of good memories to take with her. As many of the patrons stated over and over, “Susie will be missed.”

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