Until next month!
Chambers County Library System –
programming is upon us, and the library staff have been busy bees planning all
sorts of fun activities. I think they’re
having withdrawals since Summer Reading!
This time of year we welcome Toddler Time back into our regular
routine. Michelle, Yolie, and Missy have
been cranking out some of the cutest crafts, games, and stories for the little
ones. These ladies do a wonderful job of
keeping the toddlers engaged and excited about books and the library. One of the Mont Belvieu regulars even has his
own fan club for Missy, complete with a t-shirt that says, “I love Mrs.
Missy”. Now that’s a fan!
also starts festival time in Chambers County.
Starting with Anahuac, Gatorfest was once again a big draw for the
county. The library always has a presence
in the educational tent promoting services and handing out flyers to let people
know we’re here. The biggest photo op
this year seemed to be the big stuffed alligator in the center of the
educational tent. When not being used at
Gatorfest, the 11 ft. alligator’s home is at the library sitting on top of our
bookshelves. He gets quite a bit of
attention from the public. Thanks goes
out to the staff members who worked the booth.
On the 5th,
Anahuac branch librarian Aquilia De la Cruz attended a Small Library Management
advanced workshop in Diboll on Building and Sustaining Partnerships. Aquilia has almost completed the 2 year
program, which provides intensive training for library staff managing smaller
community libraries. Three staff members
are currently enrolled in the program.
programming news, staff member Lesa Boutin coordinated with The Rose Mobile
Mammography to allow an alternative to the doctor’s office and hospital for the
public to get their mammograms.
Pre-registration has been a success and we anticipate this to be a
22-28 marked Banned Books Week for libraries.
Banned Books Week was celebrated, so to speak, at all three libraries,
with very interesting, and different, displays at each site. The displays
tended to generate discussion by the patrons with the staff, some of it not
quite what we might have expected! But that, of course, is part of the whole
effort behind Banned Books Week – to get people talking about censorship, the
books that have been challenged, and to get them thinking about their own
opinions of the same.
Librarian, Valerie Jensen and Assistant County Librarian, Annie Vass have been
able to spend a little time writing grants recently. Grants are usually left on the backburner
because they require quite a bit of office time to focus on the writing, and with
us out and about at the branches, we don’t get a whole lot of that. But we are proud to say we were both successful
at our attempts to get funding for a couple of items we’ve had on our “wish
lists”. Annie wrote a grant to the Ladd
& Katherine Hancher Foundation to purchase 2 Early Literacy computer
stations. These computers provide kids
with over 60 educational games on a very durable touchscreen computer. All of the libraries now have these computers
for public use, and the little ones just love them. Valerie wrote our second grant to ask for the
digitization of The Age newspapers. The
Age was the first newspaper in Chambers County and has information dating back
to the late 1800’s to present day reporting various happenings throughout the
county. The papers will be scanned and
housed at the University of North Texas’ Portal to Texas History website. One of the goals at the library is to
continue to provide access to the rich local history Chambers County has to
offer. The Age will soon be available
for public access to view, search, and print.
Adalyn Hoskins enjoying teddy bear storytime at Anahuac
Banned Books Week display at Mont Belvieu
Missy's littlest storytime fan at Mont Belvieu
Noe Mejia and his son enjoy the new kids computer at Anahuac
Chambers County Library System –
another busy month in the Library System.
With summer reading behind us, we turn our sights on fall programming,
which we anticipate you’ll be happy to see!
One thing I want to mention is the wonderful summer help staff we had
this year. The student workers were
hired at each library and all did an exceptional job during our busiest time of
year. The “summer helper” program is
sponsored by Commissioners’ Court above the Library System’s budget. The students provided immense amounts of
assistance, not only in getting ready for programs, but in performing a wide
variety of tasks that our regular staff can’t get to during the year. The salaries provided to these young people
help them greatly in our area, where jobs are scarce, and it is a bonus of
$12,245 to the library system.
us to also do some in-house staff training.
We’re very fortunate to have a talented group of staff members who enjoy
sharing their “areas of expertise” with everyone. We took advantage of their knowledge by
having several cross training workshops.
We started the month with an Intro to Genealogy taught by Winnie staff
member Mary Abshire. Mary is the
resident genealogy guru and several other staff attended to learn her tricks
and tips. The class went so well that
the West Chambers Branch will have their first Genealogy for Beginners program
in September. Next up was an
opportunity for our Children’s Programmers to meet and brainstorm. Our newest kid staffer is Yolie Belt from
Winnie and she fit right in with the gang.
The ladies enjoyed sharing ideas in their effort to provide quality kids
programs throughout the school year. And
finally, County Librarian, Valerie Jensen did a book mending class. Yes, there is such a thing as mending a book
the right way! The class allowed 8 of
the library staff to do some hands on training to fix broken spines and torn
On the 13th
the Library Advisory Board met for their quarterly meeting. The Volunteer policy and Interlibrary Loan
policy were up for discussion and approval.
The board approved all changes, which take effect immediately. Their next meeting is scheduled for
Librarian Valerie Jensen, and Assistant County Librarian Annie Vass attended a
United Way Development Committee meeting on the 14th. United Way is working on a presence in
Chambers County to address the needs of the citizens. One area that the library will potentially be
involved is by providing a Homework Help program twice weekly for students who
will be provided with transportation to and from the library. Once the details are lined out and funding is
in place, we will provide more information about the program. The library is excited about getting involved
and anticipate great results!
A couple of fun
programs that took place in August were a Back to School bash at Anahuac and
Winnie. Both libraries provided
activities for the school age crowd. A
backpack race, movie, Angry birds, snacks, and more were on hand for the
kids. All total there were over 100
people in attendance. It’s a great way
to get kids excited about school and the library, and it seems we’ve started a
yearly trend! The West Chambers Branch
held a cooking class for the little ones complete with edible crayons. The kids loved being able to eat the treats
they created! Also on the West Side, the
teens had a couple of fun activities with their inflatable Twister game, and a
field trip to see City of Bones.
Librarian Aquilia De la Cruz was asked by Anahuac Middle School to attend 6th
grade orientation to assist with online registration for Spanish speaking
parents. Aquilia has a reputation with
the Hispanic community as an excellent computer teacher providing classes that
help parents become comfortable with basic computer skills, creating email
addresses, printing documents, and accessing the Skyward program through the
school. Her classes are in high demand
and word of mouth about the classes sparked the idea from the school to involve
the library staff with assistance on orientation night.
our Assistant County Librarian completed her Master’s in Library Science (MLS)
degree in August. Annie attended her
graduation at the University of North Texas in Denton. Having another MLS on staff will be extremely
beneficial in many ways to the library!
Back to school bash at Anahuac
Kids cooking class at Mont Belvieu
The ladies of Chambers County Library System storytime