Monday, November 06, 2006


October at the Library

The seasonal round of holidays has begun in earnest for CCLS. Halloween appeared in various forms with programs for the smallest children in costumes, and haunted libraries for the older crowd. West Chambers Branch, Mont Belvieu, resurrected their version of the haunted library, and had a spirited time, with weather appropriate to the event, including lightning, tornado warnings, wind, and rain. The lighter crowd gave the west side gang an opportunity to see what kind of an effort it takes to put on a program of this sort, and the Anahuac event on the 30th provided them with an example of how successful an event it can be, for a huge crowd attended. Nearly all the decorating and all of the whooping and screaming was handled by junior and senior high school students, who were exceedingly enthusiastic about participating. The pre-school programs had attendance that exceeded expectations, and staff members were sent scrambling to the cabinets and down the street for extra last-minute supplies. We can’t wait for Christmas!

We had an interesting statistical event in our branch circulation totals this month, and I’ve not been able to remember it ever occurring in my 11 years here. The percentage of circulation for all three branches was 33%; we had to go past the decimal point to find any differences. We’ve had two branches in dead heats before, but never have all three been so even in the area of checked out materials. We also have, at the end of October, exceeded our circulation total of the entire 2005 year. Congratulations, staff: keep those running shoes laced and take your vitamins – your adoring public depends on you.

Anahuac’s Teen Advisory Board kicked off this month, and in true teen spirit, they already have a blog with their photos on it! They were instrumental in the activities at Anahuac involving Teen Read Week, when a Dance Dance Revolution contest was held. A new “Writers’ Interest Group” has formed thanks to staff member Lesa Boutin at West Chambers; I never knew there were so many aspiring local authors. Our new children’s librarians at Mont Belvieu and Anahuac have set up regular visits to the local large day care sites, along with their in-house programming, and Cheryl Attaway on the east side has great plans for the new rhythm band sets that the story hour crews will be sharing. The Friends of CCLS also purchased each children’s program site a new flannel board to replace our cardboard and felt contraption of many years’ duration.

Bayside Hospital’s annual health fair provided us with another outreach opportunity this month, and a bit of research was provided to assist Our Lady of Light Catholic Church in Anahuac to assemble a display for the 250th anniversary of the Mission that was established on the Trinity River. (It was the first Catholic presence in the Beaumont Diocese). Rhonda LeBlanc and I attended the Southeast Region Small Libraries meeting, where we got heavily involved in events surrounding the State Library’s Sunset Review and proposed budget for the coming legislative session. The Texas Library Association District 8 annual meeting was attended by Valerie Jensen and Lesa Boutin; Valerie helped to present one of the programs. Staff training included an online legal resources class in Richmond, attended by Ms. Boutin; and several staff members have completed online training this month from both the Mindleaders website (funded by the County) and two different courses on the Houston Area Library System website.

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