Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Staff Training and many "thank yous"

On Monday, November 2, something occurred at the library system that had never happened before: we closed all 3 libraries for an entire day of training for all the adult staff members. It was something that we had a real need for, given the speed with which technology impacts our customers (and the staff who must help them), and given the fact that nearly everyone on staff has been with us for less than 4 years. We worked through a huge list of equipment, computer software, various Internet issues, our library software and library policies. Our children’s specialists had a chance to meet and inventory existing craft and program supplies. Other staff members did our usual monthly “a-v swap”: each month, 1/12 of our collection of DVDs, videotapes, and talking books on cassette and CD rotates between the branches. We even managed to pose for a Christmas bookmark! In sum, it was an event that proved incredibly useful to the staff, increasing their awareness of, and expertise in, the many services we offer. We still have our “experts” on items, but everyone broadened their personal knowledge, which will be invaluable to our public, the people that matter.

The Library Advisory Board met on the 10th and approved updates to our Automated Services Policy, our Printing/Fax Policy, and a new public service to provide laminating for posters. On the 9th, our first basic computer class in Spanish was provided by staff member Aquilia De la Cruz, to a very grateful group of ladies. Many of these same women are in the English as a Second Language Class taught by Valerie Jensen, and funded with federal money from AISD. Our monthly Homeschool Programs at Mont Belvieu continue to be a great success thanks to the creative work of Kim Hart, who manages to get interesting speakers each month to supplement the curriculum of our many area home school students. The programs draw children not only from the Mont Belvieu area, but from the mid and eastern areas of the county as well as points north and west.

And I would like to close this month’s short narrative with a thank you to the various departments of the County that support our efforts at the library system. This month, for example, the Friends of the Library held yet another book sale at Mont Belvieu, and our library patrons continue to be exceptionally generous in their donations of materials for these sales. Things are gathered and sorted (and some recycled) in Tech Services from the 3 libraries, and then they are boxed and must be hauled to the sale sites. We’ve been extremely fortunate that most of the time, trustees have been available to do this for us. Our courthouse-area lawn man has been absolutely phenomenal at the Anahuac Library, finding plants to fill in our bare spots, and making our curb appeal increase the appreciation of patrons visiting the library. When we had a scary mold-looking situation this fall at Winnie, the folks in Emergency Management went to town to ensure the physical safety of the staff and patrons; we’re just glad that issue wasn’t as bad as it first looked. Many other departments support us, of course, like Purchasing, the Treasurer’s office, and Building Maintenance; and it makes our job easier serving the public. So Thanks, everyone!

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