The Texas State Library provides a large group of electronic databases to Chambers County for use by the public. The cost for the databases is $669 per year and without the State Library’s help, it would cost $124,065 if we were to purchase them individually. The combined bargaining power that the State Library uses to negotiate this service for public libraries of Texas is of great value to us; in the State’s fiscal year, which ended on Aug. 31, the databases were accessed by Chambers County residents a total of 9,551 times. That’s over a 300% increase over the past 5 years which goes to show the popularity of our online collections. Instructions on how to use these databases are available at the libraries; the databases can be used at home or in places of business with the proper login and password, which are given to any library cardholder in good standing.
The Friends of the Chambers County Library System were surprised this month with a $1000 Corporate Citizen Grant Award from Entergy. This grant was applied for back in August to assist in the purchase of Early Literacy Stations for children’s computers. Of course there’s still a lot of slack to pick up to finish up the cost of close to $8000, but this definitely gets us closer.
The Anahuac and Mont Belvieu libraries ventured out with their teen groups to the highly anticipated movie release of Breaking Dawn. Anahuac braved the midnight release along with 2 valiant staff members and Mont Belvieu decided to take their group on Friday evening. Both had a great time and raved about the movie, of course.
Local author Lori Kaiser visited the Anahuac branch for Toddler Time as a special guest. She read from her latest book, Simon the Snake, a Christmas story and had the kids loving every minute. She also sold copies of all her books and autographed purchased copies. Ms. Kaiser has written 26 children’s books built around characters whose names begin with the letters of the alphabet.
Our monthly Homeschool Programs at Mont Belvieu continues 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 homeschool 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. The latest program focused on fitness and nutrition with a special guest from Eagle Pointe.
The Library Advisory Board met for their quarterly meeting in November. Members discussed updating the dress code policy for the library. Two members agreed to serve an additional term. Library Board members are nominated and approved through Commissioners’ Court, and are a part of the administrative arm of the County. They are strictly advisory, however, as their name implies; library system and County policies are carried out by the County Librarian and the staff. The Advisory Board meets 4 times a year, and is composed of 7 members residing across the county.
Our Children and Teen programmers are gearing up for December parties and programs. It’s always an exciting time of year for those age groups because they look forward to the fun activities the library has planned for the holidays and the staff has just as much fun planning the events. And of course we have fun activities for the adults – from knitting classes to book clubs, the library has something for everyone.