Friday, January 25, 2008

2008 TLA Conference Stipend Available

Biblionix is offering a $500 travel stipend for attendance at the 2008 conference of The Texas Library Association (TLA) in Dallas April 15-18, 2008. A committee designated by the TLA Small Community Library Round Table (SCLRT) will choose the recipient.

Eligibility requirements:
* Library director or staff at a public library
* Member of TLA and SCLRT

The funds may be used to cover the following conference expenses:
* Conference registration
* Pre-conference workshop
* Travel costs
* Meal functions at the conference
* Expenses (meals, cabs, etc.)
* Cost of replacement staff if needed

* Volunteer for a minimum of 4 hours at the conference, at least 2 of which must be at the SCLRT booth
* Attend pre-conferences, workshops and/or sessions such that you attain a minimum of 8 CE credits
* Attend the SCLRT business meeting
* Attend the SCLRT dessert social
* Complete a one-page summary of your experience, discussing highlights of what you did, what was most rewarding, and how this grant process could be improved. Send to the same address as the grant submittal by May 15, 2008.
* Serve on the Biblionix TLA/SCRLT Stipend selection committee in 2009.

* Coverage (including recipient’s name, position, and library) on SCLRT, TLA, Texas Library Systems, and Biblionix communications.

* 02/29/08, 5 p.m. - The application must be received no later than this date/time.
* 03/07/08 - Notification/Announcement of recipient
* 04/01/08 - Stipend check mailed to recipient

The stipend application does not register you for the conference or make any other travel reservations. Attendees should register directly with the TLA, airline, hotel, etc.

For application information, visit .

Public Libraries Using Spanish

Great website!

Public Libraries Using Spanish (PLUS) seeks to lend a hand by gathering useful resources that can help you make your library a more welcoming place for Spanish speakers. Card applications, brochures, programming suggestions, signage, press releases and news articles―many in Spanish with a side-by-side English translation―are collected here and are yours to use as you wish.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

NASA and Gaming

Nasa investigates virtual space

The game could inspire the next generation of Nasa employees
The US space agency is exploring the possibility of developing a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game.

The virtual world would be aimed at students and would "simulate real Nasa engineering and science missions".

The agency has published a "request for information" (RFI) from organisations interested in developing the platform.

Nasa believe the game would help find the next generation of scientists and engineers needed to fulfil its "vision for space exploration".

Monday, January 21, 2008

Any excuse for a Program!!!

If you're looking for a light-hearted reason to celebrate with a program at your library, consider Bonza Bottler Days - dates when the number of the day is the same as the number of the month.

2/2/08 is the next one we'll see; then 3/3/08 and 4/4/08 and so on.

According to their website, "When Australians like something, they might exclaim, 'Bonza!' which means 'super,' "great,' or 'fantastic.' 'Bottler' is slang for 'something excellent.' Thus, the celebration each month is now known as Bonza Bottler Day.'"

For information, contact
Gail M. Berger
Bonza Bottler Day
14 Fernwood Dr.
Taylors, SC 29687

Awards for Library Instruction / Library Instructor

Do you know an outstanding instruction librarian who deserves to be recognized? The Library Instruction Round Table is accepting nominations for the Outstanding Service in Library Instruction Award. This award recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions related to the advancement of library instruction in Texas. This award, which may not be made every year, is made based on factors such as: the impact of the nominated person on multiple libraries and educational initiatives; the extent of the individual's contributions in the area of library instruction; and the innovation of ideas or projects developed by the nominated person.

LIRT is also soliciting nominations for the Library Instruction Project of the Year Award. This award recognizes an innovative or creative library instruction project or initiative in Texas. The project may relate to new models, methods, and techniques in areas such as:

* New services and resources developed for library instruction
* Assessment of a library instruction class or program
* Marketing of a library instruction program or service
* Collaboration between library staff and other members of an institution or related organizations
* Cooperative ventures between different institutions

Self nominations are encouraged for both awards and will receive equal consideration. Please visit for additional information including eligibility requirements, submissions, and selection criteria.

Nominations for both awards must be postmarked, emailed, or faxed by February 29, 2008. Nominations must be sent to the Awards Committee Chair:

Danielle Cunniff Plumer
Library Resource Sharing Division / THDI
Texas State Library and Archives Commission
PO Box 12927
Austin, TX 78711-2927
512.463.5852 (phone) / 512.936.2306 (fax)

A selection committee will review all nominations and notify awardees at least four weeks prior to the TLA Annual Conference.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Dallas Officials Will Try To Restrict Porn At Library

DALLAS -- Top city officials said they will review ways to restrict pornographic Web sites on public library computers in response to a newspaper study that found the viewing of explicit material to be commonplace.

A Dallas Morning News examination of Internet use at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library during a 45-minute period on Dec. 19 found that about 7.5 percent of Web pages viewed by library patrons contained pornography.

The log of Web pages, which the newspaper obtained using the Texas Public Information Act, showed that about 5,200 of the more than 69,300 Web pages viewed during the time period contained material such as full nudity, sexual intercourse or sex acts.

For complete article:

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Digital-to-Analog Converter Box Coupon Program

NOTE: This article, with active links and additional information, is available at

Starting January 1, 2008, all U.S. households will be eligible to request up to two coupons, worth $40 each, to be used toward the purchase of up to two, digital-to-analog converter boxes. For more details on the federal regulations, including the budget information, please see the DTV Converter Box Coupon Program Rules.

For a quick overview, see the Associated Press (AP) video about the digital TV converter boxes with Technical Writer Peter Svensson at AP Online Video Network

See also an interview with John Kneuer, Assistant Commerce Secretary for Communications & Information, on the C-SPAN television program "The Communicators" on February 3, 2007. Mr. Kneuer discussed the conclusion of the transition to digital TV by February of 2009.

For a brochure explaining the basics of the Coupon Program, click here. (PDF 245 Kb) [Folleto en espaƱol (PDF 245 Kb)]

Coupon Program Fact Sheet (Printable version Acrobat PDF 138 PDF)


The Libri Foundation is currently accepting applications for its 2008 BOOKS FOR CHILDREN grants. The next deadline is Jan. 25.

The Libri Foundation is a nationwide non-profit organization which donates new, quality, hardcover children's books to small, rural public libraries throughout the U.S. Since October 1990, the Foundation has donated over $3,500,000 worth of new children's books to more than 2,300 libraries in 48 states, including Alaska and Hawaii.

In order to encourage and reward local support of libraries, The Libri Foundation will match any amount of money raised by your local sponsors from $50 to $350 on a 2-to-1 ratio. Thus, a library can receive up to $1,050 worth of new children's books. After a library receives a grant, local sponsors (such as formal or informal Friends groups, civic or social organizations, local businesses, etc.) have four months, or longer if necessary, to raise their matching funds.

The librarian of each participating library selects the books her library will receive from a booklist provided by the Foundation. The 700-plus fiction and nonfiction titles on the booklist reflect the very best of children's literature published primarily in the last three years. These titles, which are for children ages 12 and under, are award-winners or have received starred reviews in library, literary, or education journals. The booklist also includes a selection of classic children's titles.

Libraries are qualified on an individual basis. In general, county libraries should serve a population under 16,000 and town libraries should serve a population under 10,000 (usually under 5,000). Libraries should be in a rural area, have a limited operating budget, and an active children's department.

Please note: Rural is usually considered to be at least 30 miles from a city with a population over 40,000. Town libraries with total operating budgets over $150,000 and county libraries with total operating budgets over $350,000 are rarely given grants.

Applications are accepted from independent libraries as well as libraries which are part of a county, regional, or cooperative library system.

A school library may apply only if it also serves as the public library (i.e. it is open to the everyone in the community, has some summer hours, and there is no public library in town).

A branch library may apply if the community it is in meets the definition of rural. If the branch library receives its funding from its parent institution, then the parent institution's total operating budget, not just the branch library¹s total operating budget, must meet the budget guidelines.

Previous BOOKS FOR CHILDREN grant recipients are eligible to apply for another grant three years after the receipt of their last grant.

Libraries that do not fulfill all grant requirements, including the final report, may not apply for another grant.

Application deadlines for 2008 are: (postmarked by) January 25th (NOTE:
THIS IS AN EXTENSION), April 15th, and August 15th. Grants are awarded January 31st, April 30th, and August 31st.

Application guidelines and forms may be downloaded from the Foundation's website at:

For more information about The Libri Foundation or its Books for Children program, please contact Ms. Barbara J. McKillip, President, The Libri Foundation, PO Box 10246, Eugene, OR 97440. 541-747-9655 (phone); 541-747-4348 (fax); (email). Normal office hours are: Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Pacific Time.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Why Disaster Planning is so important!

Sprinklers Rupture Damaging Medina's $20 Million New Library

MEDINA, Ohio -- The Medina County Library is set to open its new $20 -million main library on Friday, despite a freak accident that soaked a section of the building.

Two fire prevention sprinklers burst Saturday evening at the new library in Medina, sending water gushing over the adult fiction section.

The Medina Fire Department responded and library maintenance crews were able to shut the water off after about 10 minutes. But by then, Library Director Carole Kowell says 3,000 books were damaged, some beyond saving.

"They're actually on a truck being freeze dried and that's a process that takes moisture out of books and hopefully we can salvage probably, hopefully half of those books," explains Kowell.

Kowell says staff is still compiling a damage estimate.

High powered fans have been drying out the 3,000 square foot room that sustained the damage.

Kowell says investigators still have not determined what caused the sprinklers to rupture.

Side note: NTRLS will host a Disaster Planning Workshop in March 2008. Be watching the webpage for the flyer!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Explore UT March 1: The Biggest Open House in Texas

Explore UT communications consultant Barbara Langham has asked us to share the following information with our member libraries.

Explore UT, a yearly event that some have called an “academic Disneyland,” is open to all the people of Texas. It makes a great Saturday outing for families and offers a special opportunity for homeschools. We encourage libraries to post a link to Explore UT on their Web sites and include the information in newsletters or other announcements.

For more information, contact Barbara at 512-346-2261.

Explore UT Offers Education Adventure for Families

What: "Explore UT: The Biggest Open House in Texas!"

When: Saturday, March 1, 2008, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Where: The University of Texas at Austin

Who's invited: Students K-12, teachers and families - Everyone is welcome!

Cost: Free, no sign-up for activities

Web site:

Choose from more than 400 educational activities on campus. Watch water flow uphill in a hydraulics lab, learn the Russian alphabet, see world-famous paintings at the new Blanton Art Museum, march with the Longhorn Band, and more. It’s a great educational outing for the whole family.

Plan a Field Trip.
Many schools in Texas are planning a field trip to Explore UT. Check with your school about riding the bus, or organize your own field trip with other families or a community organization. If you plan to come in a bus or van, register it online at the University’s Explore UT Web site: This helps the University plan parking and welcoming activities. (No registration for private automobiles.)

By return e-mail, you will receive instructions for where to enter campus and information about arranging lunch at Jester Center for $5. Of course, you may bring sack lunches and picnic on the lawn.

Check out Explore UT Activities for 2008.
The Explore UT Web site reflects 2008 activities. You can begin planning which of the 400 or more activities you wish to do. Many favorite activities from previous years will be repeated, and you’ll find new activities as well – such as building a rocket propelled by alternate energy sources, learning about Celtic life in the Iron Age, and dancing a chorus line routine from a popular Broadway show.

About mid-February, the Explore UT Web site will offer a PDF file that you can download and print. It will be the same as the printed program you get when you arrive on campus, complete with map and photos.

Questions? Check the Explore UT Web site above, contact Barbara Langham (512-346-2261,, or call the University at 512-471-7753.