Wednesday, September 01, 2010


Gifts from Lots of Sources

Summer at CCLS has passed us by now, as we turn our sights on the fall and our traditional programming. We have to acknowledge our wonderful summer helper staff though; this year, the students that graced each library were of exceptionally good quality, and provided us with 2,363 hours of help when we needed it most. The “summer helper” program is sponsored over and above the library system budget; it is an extra gift from Commissioners’ Court and Judge Sylvia. The salaries provided to these young people help them greatly in our area, where jobs are scarce, and it is a bonus of $17,131.75 to the library system.

We were lucky to provide 2 extra programs this month which weren’t part of our planned activities. At the West Chambers Branch, those great people at ExxonMobil visited once again with an afternoon of excitement and experiments. At the Chambers County Library in Anahuac, a local teacher held a Spanish-language story hour on the 10th. These events were all volunteer-inspired, and we’re thrilled that these people wanted to work with the library system to enrich the lives of our area children.

The Loan Star Libraries program of direct aid to Texas public libraries concluded its fiscal year on the 31st. Chambers County received just over $10,000 in this program this year, which is funded through the Texas State Legislature. It enabled us to provide additional programming for the summer, to purchase a “poster” printer and supplies, to buy additional microfilm copies of the local newspapers for our archives, and perhaps our best purchase, to buy licenses and install our library authentication software. We’ve already received word that next year’s allotment will be reduced due to action by the Lege, but every additional dime we can get outside of the County budget is always needed, well used, and a benefit to our customers.

A special request by the library system was presented to Commissioners’ Court this month. Due to changes in County procedures, the process for mail was altered, resulting in a need for the library to have a leased postage meter. This will be a great saving of personnel time for the library system, which handles 150 packages and many, many individual envelopes each month. (Those overdue notices can pile up!)

In addition to the meter, the Court also agreed with the IT Department and the library system staff that it was undoubtedly beneficial to lease 16 more computers, replacing equipment that was originally purchased through grants and other funds. Those computers are now over 5 years old, and represent the remaining machines that were in place before the County changed its policies on standardization of equipment. The new leased pcs will provide better opportunities to make all of our library machines on the public side easy to maintain, and less likely to break down.

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