Thursday, February 26, 2009
Cool New Services for Our Patrons!
The Library System’s new online service, Ancestry, is a wonderful resource for researchers of all stripes! With census, birth, marriage, death, military, and social security records, narrowing in on family members and retrieving print copies for your files, has never been easier. Ancestry also has specialized collections, like slave narratives and records from the Freedman’s Bureau for Afro-American searching. Our service is the “international edition,” so you can even search records overseas.
The Ancestry subscription is restricted to in-library use only; we hope you will find many chances to visit us to use it. And if you have been working on family history, but have not used a computer to do so, our staff members will be more than happy to work with you to get you started.
Our second new online service is for all our area residents who listen to books in their cars or on their personal players, and who might be interested in watching movies on their computers. OverDrive.com is a very popular site in the library world, and patrons can download audiobooks to their computers, or download e-books and videos to watch on their computers. Many of the audiobooks can then be downloaded to personal listening devices or burned to cds. Information is available on our website, but only cardholders of the Chambers County Library System are eligible to use the service. It requires a library card number and a password. The library staff can assist you if you are in the library to get started, but the actual downloading is done on your home pc.
Chambers County is changing over to new phone systems, and currently the Courthouse offices in Anahuac and the library in Anahuac have been completed. The library system office number is now 409-267-2550, and the library circulation desk is 409-267-2554. Call us anytime, and check out the best little library system in Texas today – visit your local library in Anahuac, Winnie, or Mont Belvieu!
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Business as Usual - We're Busy!
The new year brought the library system staff back to our regular schedules, and the pre-school children’s Story Time programs, our adult Computer Classes, the Home School program, the Book Discussion Group, and the Writers’ Interest Group events all cranked back up at their usual times. We even had time for some additional special occasions.
On the 7th, Anahuac held an Open Game Day for the teens, and the participants were able to play the Wii and Nintendo software in a large group environment. The Anime Club met twice this month, and the S.T.A.B. (Student Teen Advisory Board) met on the 21st.
The 8th and 9th brought the final book sale of our last-minute rush to Winnie; we have already begun to receive donated materials for the spring book sales. Our GED Prep Class teacher sent another student to take her test and to get her diploma/certificate. We continue to strive for new students in this free class, but retention of the people who need that paper is a real struggle.
Several of the staff members had an online web training session with Overdrive, our new downloadable audiobook, ebook, and video service. Some staff members have been using it with library cards at other libraries, but those new to the service were impressed! We will be unveiling the service as soon as all the technical details are completed.
Lee College’s Financial Aid Department offered free training on FAFSA, the government-sponsored funding package for college students. This was held on the 28th, and Kim Hart was able to attend. Many of our staff members have attended in previous years, and this training really helps when the students start coming in to do their applications online.
Our biggest event this month also took place on the 28th. Thanks to a grant from the Houston Area Library System, author Bill Hill visited CCLS for programs at Anahuac and Mont Belvieu. Primarily a teen author, Mr. Hill treated those attending to a running lesson in how to get ideas, using words creatively, and developing story lines. In between, he threw in magic tricks to illustrate his points, creating a lot of ongoing interest among his teen and adult audience members alike! In a recent development, the Texas Education Association has allowed continuing education units for HALS programs, and several local teachers were able to attend the program for credit, a real added benefit. We were very glad we were able to help coordinate Mr. Hill’s appearances.