Tuesday, February 16, 2016


January @ the Library!

Chambers County Library System – January, 2016

January seemed to pass us by without warning!  Usually, this time of year we’ve had time to visit with all our vendors, get the 2016 files in order, and focus on activities for the new year.  But we’ve been spending time on the administrative side playing catch up from the work that comes with day to day operations, new library construction, and remodeling.  It’s been busy and hectic, but overall we could not be happier with the results we’ll be getting in the months to come.  In Mont Belvieu, the Sam and Carmena Goss Memorial Branch construction continues on schedule.  Within the next few weeks we will have carpet and furniture, then shelving along with the move to follow.  A grand opening date will soon be announced!  The gang at Anahuac has been experiencing some construction of their own.  Walls are being demoed, and soon there will be some noticeable, and much needed changes.  We do want to thank the public for their patience with the noise and mess – it’s definitely your tax dollars at work!

We did manage to squeeze in a vendor or two to order new books.  Our new budget year allows us to purchase the latest titles, fill in holes where we have missing books, and build the collection so that we’re meeting the standards required by the state. 

February 6-8 we closed the Winnie branch to continue inventory and RFID tagging.  The tagging is required as part of the new self-checkout system and added security that will be implemented at Mont Belvieu, and later at Anahuac and Winnie.  With the amount of reserve items that we tote back and forth throughout the county, it’s important that all items be tagged and ready for checkout. 

On the 23rd, the Friends of the Chambers County Library System held their annual meeting at Anahuac.  The Friends spent their time updating those in attendance on activities held throughout the year, discussion of the library’s “wish list” of items not funded in the county budget, and selection of the library system’s employee of the year.  The 2015 Employee of the Year was selected with the honor going to Lori Knapp in Mont Belvieu.  Lori has been with the library since 2008 as a Library Technician.  Before starting at the library, Lori was an active library user and Library Advisory Board member.  She is responsible for adult programming, cataloging, and front desk assistance.  The Friends also gave an update on the fundraising campaign for the new Sam and Carmena Goss Memorial Branch Library.  County Librarian, Valerie Jensen gave a ‘State of the Library System’ speech, giving those in attendance a snapshot of the year, as well as new things to come.    The Friends were approached recently with a donation in memory of long time library user, Fran Mamich.  Fran was a Barbers Hill ISD teacher, library user, and those who knew her, knew her love for children and reading.  Fran’s husband and friends toured the new library site to determine the best way to memorialize Fran, and decided on funding the furnishings for the children’s activity room.

GED and ESL classes continue at Anahuac, and on January 12 the Juanita Hargraves Memorial Branch in Winnie started offering weekly GED classes.  So far the response has been great.  Classes for GED run similar to a college semester, and the next registration period will be advertised at the library and the local newspapers.  GED is funded by the adult education program through College of the Mainland.  ESL is funded by the Anahuac Municipal Development District.  Classes are held at Anahuac every Tuesday 6-9 for beginners, and Thursday 6-9 for advanced.  Call the library to find out more information on any of these classes. 

Programs continued at Anahuac and Winnie while Mont Belvieu remains on pause with theirs as they prepare for the upcoming move.  The Mont Belvieu gang is chomping at the bit to start back up with storytime and other exciting programs they have in the works.  At Anahuac, as part of a New Year, New You series, they held a basic makeup tips and tricks program.  On February 18th at 5:30pm, the next program in the series is a free cardio class presented by Janice Jircik with the Wellness Center at Bayside.  Spanish storytime was held on the 12th, and craft club on the 13th.

At Winnie, an “Intro to Guitar” for the tween and teen audiences, adult coloring program, and their ongoing Genealogy Interest Group were just a few programs held in addition to the regular storytime and movie nights. 

And finally, Assistant County Librarian Annie Vass and I just finished submitting the annual report to the Texas State Library.  Our increases for 2015 included database usage, program attendance, and wireless usage.  Our circulation is a healthy 214,521 for 2015!  These figures translate to even more residents utilizing what the county provides.  It’s a great use of tax dollars for many citizens.   

Until next month!  Valerie Jensen, County Librarian

Employee of the year Lori Knapp with Friends president Jean Forrest

ESL students at the Anahuac branch

Friends of Fran Mamich touring the new library site

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