Tuesday, November 01, 2011


October @ the Library

October was another busy month for the library with over 16,000 items checked out and 300 people attending programs. The children’s librarians were in high gear with their annual after school Halloween parties. Children came in their best costumes to enjoy stories, games and of course lots of candy. The teens in Anahuac and Winnie enjoyed after-hours events with crafts, movies, board games and video games. The teens look forward to these events each year and the spots fill up quick!

Anahuac held its first “Superhero night” where kids of all ages came to make their own capes and masks. Superhero snacks were served and the latest Transformer’s movie was shown.

Anahuac and Mont Belvieu held a “Donuts and Downloads” class to teach patrons how to use their eReaders with the library’s downloadable audio book service. This has quickly become one of our most popular programs due to the rise in popularity of the Kindle, Nook and other eReader devices. The library provides free access to bestselling audio books with our Overdrive service, which of course makes our patrons happy to get the latest eBook for free. We average 160 downloads a month and we expect that number to continue to grow.

Winnie held a Basic Genealogy workshop on the 29th with special guest presenter Victoria Klehn, the director of the Marion and Ed Hughes Library in Nederland. Victoria is a certified genealogist and has been an active researcher for over 30 years. Everyone received a folder full of great resources and was eager to continue their search for long lost ancestors.

Mont Belvieu staff member Nikki Beltram taught a second round of Microsoft Excel classes to county employees. Her classes were once again full and the people who attended left feeling inspired to go practice what they learned. The library has offered several Office classes to county employees and will continue to do so as the need continues. Anahuac staff member Melba Gmelch will start her second round of Publisher classes in November. Offering classes to county employees is not only a great way to save the county money, it also allows employees to learn a new program that can be implemented into their specific job duties or simply increase their knowledge of the software they need for their everyday work.

As I’ve stated before, we’re in transition with our Interlibrary Loan service. We are almost finished with part 1, which involves uploading our records to WorldCat (a worldwide card catalog) and then reloading the records back into our system. Now we wait to start part 2, which includes more of the technical stuff so patrons can do their own ILLs from home. We’re aiming for the end of the year to be up and running smoothly.

County Librarian Valerie Jensen and previous County Librarian, A. Lynette Parsons attended the last HALS System meeting in Cleveland on the 13th. Lynette holds the position of Alternate Lay Representative for HALS for a short time before the system dissolves on December 31st. Member libraries gathered for a last time to discuss issues of concern for libraries involved in the new Interlibrary Loan program, the State library update and any news members wanted to share. Lise Olesen is the Lay Representative for HALS but was unable to attend.

And on a personnel note….we have hired 2 new Young Adult programmers who are currently working at Winnie and Mont Belvieu. Aubrey Hinojosa has joined the team at Winnie and Toya Peters at Mont Belvieu. Aubrey has been heavily involved in outreach and has a couple of programs already under her belt. Toya attended the September TAB (Teen Advisory Board) meeting at Mont Belvieu to meet the teens she will soon be working with. Both girls have great ideas and have jumped right in ready to get the teens excited about the services the library has for them.

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