Thursday, October 12, 2006


Adopt-A-Shelf Program

Release date: October 12, 2006
Contact: A. Lynette Parsons

The Chambers County Library in Anahuac is taking a tip from the Texas Department of Transportation. We are offering residents the opportunity to “Adopt a Shelf” in a new program. Volunteers who are interested in offering their services for one hour each month are encouraged to visit the library and to take the pledge to adopt a section of the library collection to keep in good order. You won’t have to walk a mile in the hot sun to do volunteer work for us, but we can guarantee you’ll get some exercise!

Our inspiration for this program was one of our steady customers, who already feels as if a certain section of the library is “her” set of shelves. Volunteers who can “read” the shelves, to put the books in Dewey order (if they are non-fiction) or alpha order (if the books are novels) take a huge burden off the staff members, who spend a good bit of time just trying to make sure the books are where the catalog says they are. A book that is mis-shelved is as good as missing, and there are a variety of reasons why books can end up in the wrong place.

Shelf adopters will receive a short training session, and can choose a section to call their own. Then, once a month, they report for duty, read their shelves, deliver any problems to the staff, and check off their completed assignment on our chart. If it turns out that, after volunteering, your circumstances change, we will thank you for your time and hope to see you in on a customer basis, no hard feelings.

Many people find the library a wonderful place to visit, and sometimes wonder what it would be like to work here. This is a great opportunity to find out, and those service hours you contribute also provide us with a visible example of how our residents are willing to support good library service in the county. Volunteer hours are tallied each year and are included in our annual report that goes to the Texas State Library and Archives in Austin.

For more information on the Adopt-A-Shelf program, contact Assistant County Librarian Valerie Jensen at 409-267-8261, or email her at You can ask about the program on your next visit to the library, too!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


September At CCLS

Autumn did not arrive with any discernable change in the temperature, but there was a definite upswing in activity at the three Chambers County Libraries. Children’s programming has long a been a tradition in the libraries, but the recent staff changes have resulted in new people handling programs at Mont Belvieu and Anahuac, and a restructuring of the program at Winnie. These staff members met twice this month at Anahuac, to swap ideas, get some insight from the old hands, and to find out just what treasures lurk in our craft supply corner. Winnie has developed a charming story hour corner in the big meeting room. Mont Belvieu’s programming has come on like gang busters, and included visits to day cares as well as in-house programs. Anahuac’s programs begin the first week of October, and we pray for comparable success in reaching the parents of the little ones, who must bring the children to the library for any of our efforts to be successful. Great games are afoot!

Adults were treated at all three sites to a Scrapbooking Workshop this month. Local scrapbook expert Maridee Trahan of Winnie taught everyone how to develop a page using a variety of tools and accessories.

GatorFest attendees got to see the library YA gang, along with Valerie Jensen, at the booth in the Education Tent this year. It was a very well-attended event, and Valerie was pleased with the results. AISD held an open house at the high school on the 18th, and Valerie set up a “Napoleon Dynamite” display that attracted a lot of attention. The AISD Superintendent has also asked me to serve on her “Key Communicators” committee for the coming year, and that group met on the 19th.

I had an interesting experience this month: for two separate days, I assisted with the Houston Area Library System interview process for a new consultant. I was the official “member library” representative, and we interviewed people not only in person, but by video conference. The strictures placed on the City of Houston for such interviews were a challenge in themselves, but the panel doing the job were thorough, and a candidate has been selected to assist all of HALS, as well as Chambers County Library System, to improve our Texas library services

Lee College Educational Opportunity Center held an advisory board meeting on the 19th, and then director Jane Brody paid a site visit on the 26th, during Victoria Southworth’s regularly scheduled session. We are investigating hosting a GED prep class, paid for by EOC grant funds, this coming spring.

Staff members Valerie Jensen and Kathy Fielding, along with HALS Lay Representative Theresa C. Miller and Alternate Lay Rep Lise Olesen, attended the Fall System Meeting for HALS on the 13th in Bellaire. Kathy was recognized for completing the State Library sponsosred Small Library Management Training program, and Valerie was introduced for her work in beginning a Young Adult listserve for the HALS member libraries.

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