Monday, January 14, 2013


Chambers County Library System – December, 2012
For the past couple of years we’ve watched trends in library needs change.  The printed book is still highest in demand, but our numbers for downloadable media have exploded in the last year.  We thank those of you who take advantage of our free downloadable music, videos, books, etc. on your Nooks, Kindles, iPads, and other devices.  Increasing this collection is definitely an area we’re going to focus on more heavily in 2013.  

The end of the year reports are always the most interesting to look at because we’ve always had the good fortune of seeing increases across the board in all areas of service we provide.  One that sticks out for 2012 is programming.  We had an 18% increase in the number of programs offered and 7% increase in the number of people attending those programs.  The quality of programming offered by the Chambers County Library System is definitely something everyone should experience!  From babies still in the womb, to teens and adults; we’ve got something for everyone.
Total circulation:  233,812
Total database logons:  11,013
Program attendance:  13,952
Public computer logons:  28,828
Wireless logons:  2,858
Walk-in traffic:  147,578
Remote logons (databases, website and online services):  58,461

A few highlights of 2012 include:
·         Chambers County Library System was nominated for Public Library of the Year
·         Plans are in the works for a new West Chambers Branch Library
·         28,870 books were read during our 2 month Summer Reading Program
·         All staff attended the Texas Library Association annual conference in Houston, Texas
·         The Friends of CCLS held several successful book sales
·         The library implemented wireless printing for the public

The Friends of Chambers County Library System held another double header book sale at Anahuac and Mont Belvieu.  Over $1,000 was raised, and that money will go towards library services and programs in the upcoming months.  All items sell for less than $1, not a bad profit for a few days work!

The Anahuac branch held “Twas the Night at the Library” program with over 60 kids and their parents in attendance.  Activities included stories, crafts, games, snacks and a special appearance from Mrs. Claus.  All the libraries held programs for kids and teens for the holidays with Santa managing to squeeze in a visit during his busy schedule. 

Book clubs are in full swing at all 3 libraries.  This is the first time in CCLS history that book clubs have been offered at all 3 branches.  The meetings range from formal to informal discussions about what everyone likes (or dislikes) about the books.  Often times members bring snacks, and what goes better than a good book, good discussion, and food!   The Chambers County Library in Anahuac will be starting up their 6th year, which goes to show we’re doing something right!

Branch Librarian Aquilia De la Cruz presented a Salsa Making program on December 6th.  This program isn’t something you would traditionally associate with libraries, but it’s a great example of the wide variety of programs offered at the libraries. 

Branch Librarian Aquilia De la Cruz, and Library Technicians Toya Peters and Angie Broussard attended FAFSA training at Lee College.  FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.  Staff from each branch brought back great information to share with the staff to better assist students who might need help as they begin the tedious process of filing for financial aid.  To round out the month, the usual movie programs, writers’ groups, teen game days, computer classes, and craft clubs were offered. 

In personnel news, County Librarian Valerie Jensen and Technical Librarian Kathy Fielding have been conducting interviews in search of a new Assistant County Librarian.  Applicants are coming from all across the United States, but we haven’t found that right person yet.  Phase one consists of an online interview and depending on that, we’ll offer an on-site interview to better acquaint applicants with our Library System.  The upcoming week brings us daily interviews so we’re anticipating good things from our next round of applicants. 

Until next month!

Dakota enjoying storytime!

Mrs. Claus visiting the Anahuac branch!

Staff member Kim Hart demonstrating a science experiment at the latest Homeschool program


CCLS is recognized!

Chambers County Library System – November, 2012

What a busy month!  November kicked off with a big announcement for the library.  Chambers County Library System was one of 20 libraries in the state to be nominated for Public Library of the Year.  Although we didn’t walk away with the big award, we are extremely thrilled just to be in the spotlight for the hard work the staff does.  There are over 500 libraries in the state, and to be ranked with the best of them is quite an accomplishment in our book. 

County Librarian, Valerie Jensen attended a webinar entitled, Tech at Warp Speed, which focuses on the future of technology in libraries.  The library prides itself on staying on trend with the latest technology.  By doing that, as we move forward with technology changes, it makes it much more acceptable by the public and staff.   

Speaking of technology, the library is currently searching for a new Assistant County Librarian and we are using the latest video/chat tool, Google Hangout for our interviews since many of our candidates are from out of state.  The search is going well and we hope to have the position filled by the end of the year. 
Staff members Cindy Alegria and Missy Parham completed a Small Library Management course in Collection Development.  This training takes about 2 years to complete and participants receive intense training in the areas of administration, management, policy development, collection development, reference services, youth services and technology training. 

November 13th was the quarterly Library Advisory Board meeting.  Board members met and discussed some policy changes as well as receive a report from the County Librarian regarding library news. 
A couple of grants have been written to the Texas Book Festival grant committee for items not covered in the library’s approved budget.  One particular grant we hope to receive is funding towards upgrading our current website.  Our website is crucial to our online presence and patrons who aren’t able to use the library’s resources inside the building.  We are anticipating a more user friendly and inviting website along with a new children’s page. 

The Friends of the Chambers County Library System are also pursuing grant funds and donations towards their fundraising efforts for the West Chambers Branch library building campaign.  A mail out to all Mont Belvieu patrons informing citizens of their efforts is almost completed and donations are starting to trickle in from library users who have been eager to see an expansion for some time now.   Just a reminder that all donations are tax deductible! 

And finally, in programming news, the Anahuac and Mont Belvieu branches braved the crowds by taking teens on a movie field trip to see the final movie in the Twilight saga.  All 3 branches had wonderful Toddler Time programs planned for the under 5 age crowd.  And movie nights, writers groups, book clubs, coupon classes, craft clubs, computer classes, anime clubs, Homeschool programs and much more were happening during the month of November @ your local library. 

Until next month!


October @ Your Library!

Chambers County Library System – October, 2012

We’re busting out the walls!  Over 12,000 people visited the Chambers County Library System in October.  Wireless and computer logons were 2,740 and 12,996 items were circulated.  This was our largest October circulation in over 5 years.   

The Holiday seasons have kicked in for CCLS!  Halloween appeared in various forms with programs for the little ones and lock-ins for the older crowd.  Anahuac and Mont Belvieu braved all nighters with over 20 teens at each, and all seemed to have a spirited good time.  Winnie held an after-hours program the same night as a popular school function and still had 20 teens attend.  Goes to show that the library is the place to be!  The pre-school programs had attendance that exceeded expectations with the staff having all hands on deck.  Kids enjoyed spooky stories, activities and of course Halloween candy and treats.  We can’t wait for Christmas!

Speaking of program attendance, the West Side explodes once again with their children’s program attendance with 359 kids attending 9 programs.  One of the main reasons their numbers have increased is the addition of the newly structured Homeschool Program led by staff member Kim Hart.   Kim has started 2 separate programs focusing on a Pre-K book club and a 2nd-5th grade Science Club.  Both programs are offered during the day which is peak Homeschool time.  Exxon Mobil has also come on board as a volunteer with the Science Club to lend a hand with some of the experiments.  It’s a great free service for one of the many audiences we serve.  

Another area to note an increase is our Spanish services.  Anahuac’s Branch Librarian, Aquilia De la Cruz has been offering basic and advanced computer classes in Spanish which fill beyond capacity each month.  Her classes include people with zero to intermediate computer skills and each class the students return to learn more.  Some of the advanced classes focus on the local school district’s Skyward program so parents can access their child’s progress at school. 

The library is the main access point for people with no Internet access and/or computer skills.  There are still a large percentage of people who do not know how to use a mouse, have an email address, or have Internet access.  That’s where the library steps in to offer assistance.  We provide everything from basic to advanced classes.  Check the schedule for the days and times. 

October also saw an increase in the number of Interlibrary Loan items requested throughout our Library System.  If the library doesn't have a particular title, we can borrow from outside our system.  The process is painless and fast, it usually takes a week for an item to come in and we simply give patrons a call to come pick up their book.  The only exception is we can’t order items published within the last 6 months.  In cases like that, patrons can put in a request for the item to be purchased and added to the system.  As long as funds allow and it fits into our collection development policy, we purchase within a couple of weeks.  We do keep up with bestselling authors, new DVDs, magazines, and much more!

On a personnel note, we’re now on the search for an Assistant County Librarian.  The County Librarian has her plate pretty full and we’re hoping to find just the right person to fill the spot.  Requirements for this position include 5 years public library experience and a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science.  Several applications have started to come in and the interview process is already in the works. 

Finally, the Friends of the Chambers County Library System had a presence at the Barber’s Hill Fall Fest on the 20th.  They held a Gently Used Book Sale, and also talked up the upcoming bond election in May for the new West Chambers Branch facility.  It was a busy day, many people purchased books but we still had a lot to box up.  It’s always great that the library gets exposure in any way possible, and these community functions are ideal. 

Until next month!

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