Monday, December 04, 2006


Databases, Story Hours, and Budding Authors

The Texas State Library provides to Chambers County a large group of electronic databases for use by the public. The cost for the databases, (for which we pay $494.00 per year), would cost $117,122.00 if we were to purchase them individually. The combined bargaining power that the State Library uses to negotiate this service for the public libraries of Texas is of great value to us; in the State’s fiscal year, which ended on August 31, the databases were accessed by Chambers County residents a total of 1,999 times. Instructions on how to use these databases are available at the libraries; the databases can be used at home or in places of business with the proper login and password, which are given to any library cardholder in good standing.

Library children’s programming continues to showcase the wide range of instruction and entertainment available for preschool children. Our weekly events at each site include crafts, music, stories, and the talents of our three “story time ladies”. A spur of the moment Children’s Book Week Poster Contest at Anahuac resulted in nearly 50 entries from children who created art about their favorite books. Music and rhythm bands are a major feature for the tiny toddlers at Winnie, and their coordination and ear training are improving as a result. The Mont Belvieu weekly programs continue to provide adults with proof that, given the proper instruction, even small children can create wonderful crafts. The library system’s Story Time Collection of puppets, finger plays, and other realia are getting heavy use these days, and the “story hour corners” at each library provide changing decorations and themes to entice youngsters of all ages to visit.

Library computer instruction for the public continues to expand. This month, Valerie Jensen took her 4-night Microsoft Office class series to the West Chambers Branch to give west side folks a chance to improve their computer skills. The class has been held every other month at Anahuac for some time now.

The Writers’ Interest Group continues, with aspiring authors in the area learning of the semi-monthly meetings as word about the support group gets around. The new magazine, “Hometown Journey,” which is published in Mont Belvieu, has been highlighting the group and other library activities in its pages.

The “geeks” at Anahuac wanted to spend their Thanksgiving holiday at the library, so several of them gathered for an all-day “Star Wars” marathon. With six films to view, it took a long day and night to get them all in, and there were some bleary eyes (including the valiant staff person!) when the projector was off and the library doors closed. But what better place for teens to be than their local library on their days away from school?

New Commish Gary Nelson, after just a few days in office, has already noted the busy library atmosphere in the West Chambers Branch. We’re very pleased to have him aboard, and look forward to his support of the library system and its mission to serve the residents of our wonderful county.

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