Tuesday, July 07, 2015


Summer Reading is here!

Chambers County Library System – June, 2015

Summer is in full force at the Chambers County Library System!  We’ve turned the entire county into superheroes, and even a few elected officials dawned some superhero capes!  This year we decided to do things a little different with summer reading.  Instead of requiring kids to read a certain amount of books and write down titles, we handed out game boards where kids colored in stars for every 20 minutes they read each day.  This still allowed for coupons and incentives from our local businesses who support us each year, but it gave the kids a little responsibility by keeping up with their game boards during the 6 week program.  This year we shifted the focus more on our events, programs, and getting the public more involved in their library.  We’ve also been more present with social media than ever before.  With over a 24% increase in program attendance compared to last June (that’s over 1,000 in the month of June alone), and over a 47% increase in new patron card applications, I would say we definitely succeeded.  The goal for any public library is to put a library card in everyone’s hands, and create lifelong library users and we’re proud to see such great library support from the citizens of the county.
Officer Mount with his K9 "Maddie" at Mont Belvieu 

June started off with Kickoff Week at the branches.  Local heroes who visited included County Judge Jimmy Sylvia, JP 4 Blake Sylvia, County Treasurer Nikki Whittington, Texas Ranger Brandon Bess, Deputy Dan Houghton, Sheriff Brian Hawthorne, and local fire and ems workers county wide.  Several representatives from local businesses came to pass out candy, sno-cones, or even supply the snacks for program day.  Again, the support from this community is unmatched!   

County Judge Jimmy Sylvia

The week of the 16th, we welcomed a new program with the Circus Chickendog show.  Entertainer Darren Peterson held the attention of hundreds of kids while featuring six rescued circus dogs, a scarlet macaw, live accordion, juggling, unicycling, and other circus skills.  He was definitely a hit!  Our next program was with the Southwest Texas Dairy Farmers.  Volunteers brought a live cow milking demonstration to each of the libraries and educated the kids on nutrition, and dairy product information.  Kids enjoyed ice cream following the programs. 

Southwest Dairy Farmers volunteer, Larry Graham and "Pepper"

The teens have also been having a great summer.  A record breaking 50+ teens attended Winnie’s first program on the 9th to make superhero capes and masks.  Their implementation of tween programs during the year has definitely helped boost attendance for teen programs.   Other programs included make your own bow and arrow, masquerade masks, and a Masquerade party at Anahuac, while Mont Belvieu held a video game day, art contests, and a movie marathon.  The staff does such a great job of coming up with creative ideas to entice this hard to reach age group. 

This year our adults have had several programs to look forward to.  Anahuac and Mont Belvieu continued their monthly book club meetings, and also held Zumba classes for adults.  Both branches had good crowds for Zumba, which was led by volunteers from the local fitness centers.  Anahuac also held, “Who is your everyday hero” program led by staff member Jennifer Kellum.  Creative crafts and goodies were made by everyone to give to the heroes in their lives.  An ongoing program we have at all 3 branches is the Project Frontlines donation box to support a troop overseas.  So far we’ve collected over 5 big boxes to send, with another week left to collect.  Next month there are still more programs planned for adults. 

Zumba at Anahuac!

As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into planning our summer program.  We could not do it without our wonderful, much needed summer helpers.  Our hardworking kids include:  Melani Aguilar, Kathryn Sherman, Taylor Dunnigan, Sarah Davis, Sarah Hubert, Sarah Cripps, Sonia Torres, and Kristen Bertrand.  Their help is invaluable this time of year, assisting the staff at programs, Summer Reading sign-ups, keeping the books on the shelves, and much more.  We always appreciate the court’s generosity by allowing us these extra hands during our busiest time of year.  We also thank all the commissioners for allowing the libraries to use the community buildings.  When you have 100+ kids at a program, the meeting rooms just aren’t big enough.
Summer help at Winnie, Sarah 1 and Sarah 2

The library received a literacy foundation grant from Dollar General this year for $2,000.  Dollar General has funded literacy programs for over 20 years, and their focus is to help individuals advance their literacy skills, which fits nicely with our mission at the library. 

Finally, the library continues to work on the contents at the historical museum.  One of our summer helpers has been working hard scanning items to get ready for cataloging before renovations begin on the building.  Another county department will be utilizing part of the space.  The scanning and cataloging will be a long process, but worth it in the end when the public will have access to items that have been hidden away for years.  The Chambers County Historical Commission was given the honor of “Distinguished Service Award” from the Texas State Historical Commission.  They will be recognized at the next Commissioners’ Court for their hard work promoting the county’s rich history.

Until next month! 

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