Wednesday, September 03, 2008


All the news that's fit to print

This month, this narrative is easy – I have so many wonderful things to share. First off, a card from one of our home school parents, who attended one of our home school orientations: “I had no idea we had so many sources we could use. I really appreciate you offering us the library for projects and meetings.”

An email from someone in San Antonio: “I read where the Chambers County Teen Blog won an award so I visited it, and it’s awesome! Congratulations on a great site and for obviously having an involved group of teens in your community.” The award was from YALSA, the Young Adult Services Association of the American Library Association.

Then our Book Discussion Group entered and won a “Participation Prize” from, which houses our book club info. They will receive books from an author and the opportunity to do a call-in “podcast” during their meeting.

And our local patrons never really get thanked, but they must like us, because just this past month, we have received flowers at the West Chambers Branch, homemade bread at the Juanita Hargraves Memorial Branch, and cookies at the Chambers County Library. Nothing like unexpected rewards for services rendered!

Then, Library Technician Lesa Boutin was accepted into the “Authors in the Schools” program. Lesa is working on her second book, and will be taking vacation time on Fridays for the school year to visit classrooms and work with students on creative writing. Her outreach to the community is another great example of our staff commitment to the public they serve within our library walls.

Staff members Jackie Brookshire, Melba Gmelch, Mary Abshire and I took a staff training day to the Clayton Genealogical Library in Houston, recognized as one of the top 10 genealogy libraries in the country. We attended a short program presented by the library and got an orientation tour. We hope to arrange additional excursions to Tyrrell Library in Beaumont, the Sam Houston Regional State Library in Liberty, and to run up the road to Wallisville Heritage Park. All of this is fodder for staff members to assist our walk-in patrons with their family history searches, and it is of additional use, since these staff members will be working on our Genealogy section of our new revised webpage.

Speaking of which, Branch Librarian Kathy Fielding has been arm-twisting our consultant to get his finishing touches done so we can upload the new look. We have been on our new software for one year on September 10, and we’re ready to make a splash with our splash page! From what I’ve seen, it will be a wonderful change, fully bringing our look into the 21st century, along with the 21st century services we are providing.

Assistant County Librarian Valerie Jensen and I were the subjects of an article on mentoring young librarians this month. It was published in the UNT School of Library and Information Science newsletter.

The Library Advisory Board met on the 12th, and along with promoting new member Sam Little to the position of Chair, they revised policies on Patron Codes of Conduct, the level at which patrons are blocked from library usage (down from $7.00 of fines to $5.00), and created a new policy on Volunteer Assistance.

The Young Adults had two field trips this month, with a midnight excursion to Beaumont for the bookstore opening of “Breaking Dawn” and then to Baytown for a trip to the new skateboard facility.

The new County E-newsletter, created and edited by Valerie Jensen, was released to the County employees on August 30, and departments are responding with requests for information to be included in the next edition.

Houston Area Library System Lay Representative Theresa C. Miller and Alternate Lise Olesen were re-appointed to serve terms by Commissioners’ Court on the 26th, and Ms. Olesen, Branch Librarian Rhonda LeBlanc and I attended the Lay Rep Orientation workshop in Groves on the 19th.

I also attended a meeting of the Lee College Board of Regents on the 21st as a representative of Chambers County, which, with Lee College, partnered on the last round of Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund grants to implement the wireless network now used by both the County and by various other groups, and private citizens in the area. The College won a national award for their work on this “CCCNet” grant project, and were recognized by the president of the award organization, who flew in from San Diego.

Other than that, things have been quiet around here – NOT!

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