Thursday, September 01, 2011

August @ the Library System

Scientist Keith Hall at the Cryogenics program!

In the past, August has been our “quiet” month, but not anymore! We don’t have the madness of June and July, but those doors still open, and people come to us for books, computer assistance, and information. Our circulation and walk-in counts are up from last year and the after school rush has officially begun. The staff is busy planning for Fall programming with exciting plans already in the works!

The Library Advisory Board met for the quarterly meeting and members voted on the newest policy for laptop usage in the library which starts September 1. Newest member, Chris Ramsey from Winnie was able to meet the Board and get acquainted with members from across the county.

Houston Area Library System (HALS) Lay Representative Lise Olesen along with the County Librarian and Assistant County Librarian attended the Geographic meeting in Texas City on the 25th. The Geographic meeting is where the HALS system budget and long range plans are discussed. An update of the Texas State Library was also given. This year due to the drastic budget cuts from the State, the Houston Area Library System will dissolve as of June 30, 2012. HALS has provided years of support for the smaller libraries and this loss will definitely be a hard one. As much as we pride ourselves at the library on quality library service due to the continual in-house training and continuing education opportunities, losing HALS won’t be easy for us either. It’s always been nice to know we had that support as backup if needed. But librarians are resilient and plans are already being made to build back up from this loss.

Programming is something the library has become famous for and the staff just loves to see what they can come up with next. In the month of August the staff has put on movie nights, basic pc classes, cheese making classes, Bieber fever, Spanish story times, Cryogenics programs, field trips, book clubs, and more! The patrons always grab our monthly flyers to see what exciting programs are coming up.

The Friends of the Chambers County Library System sponsored a “Private movie night” for the winners of a silent auction from the Winnie Area Chamber of Commerce back in February. The winners were Bubba and Annette Abernathy and as a treat for their grandchildren and their friends, pizza, cokes and a movie were provided on the big screen courtesy of the Friends of CCLS. The kids (and adults) loved the movie and had a great afternoon at the library.

Speaking of Friends, members Jean Abshier Forrest and Leslie Schmitt made a presentation to the Mont Belvieu City Council on August 8th pleading their case for a new building for the West Side. Council members granted the Friends five minutes and the Council was provided with a feasibility study from 2007. Our Friends are great cheerleaders for our libraries and we’re happy to have them in our corner.

And finally, we’ve been dealing with a major transition in our Interlibrary Loan service that will change drastically next month. Another product of State budget cuts, the local lending office in Houston closes at the end of November forcing libraries to jump on board this new program called Navigator by November 1st instead of the scheduled August, 2012. Our ILL service will now expand to allow patrons to request their own books from libraries all over the U.S. with the convenience of picking them up from their local branch. Once it’s all completed, we anticipate an even larger monthly ILL circulation.

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