Monday, March 31, 2008

Great Potential - But Libraries Need Some of This $$

Indianapolis - Hoosiers are making good use of registering their vehicles online.

So far this year 500,000 Hoosiers have completed BMV registrations online, saving $2.5 million. The BMV offered a $5 discount to encourage on line registration and it appears to be working.

Commissioner Ron Stiver announced the next step Monday.

"Surveying our customers we found 17 percent of Hoosiers don't have access to a personal computer," Stiver said, announcing "a partnership with 3,500 computers at 462 libraries across the state which will now offer materials and guides creating greater awareness around the $5 discount for public library customers."

Historically online registration at the BMV hovered around six percent. It skyrocketed this year to 25 percent.

Friday, March 28, 2008

GoodSearch-ing for Friends of the Library Kennedale (FOLK)

The Friends of the Library Kennedale (FOLK) has signed up for GoodSearch. This means that, every time anyone uses the search number designated for FOLK, GoodSearch will put a donation into a "kitty" for that Friends group. At the end of the year, FOLK will receive a check from GoodSearch for an amount based on the total number of searches

Kennedale Public Library Director Gwen Bevill suggests, "Each of us could make the GoodSearch website our homepage on the public computers and ask people to try it first before going to Google and other search engines."

Supporters can raise money for a non-profit's cause by using to search the internet and/or to make online purchases - provided that the non-profit has registered with GoodSearch.

Yahoo-powered is the search engine with a unique social mission. GoodSearch donates 50% of advertising revenue to the nonprofits and schools selected by their users. is the new online marketplace that donates a percentage of your online purchase to the charity or school of your choice. GoodSearch and GoodShop have been promoted in the magazine Oprah, on the ABC News and in The New York Times.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Library Lines: Eateries embrace reading event

This was brought to our attention by Bedford Public Library Supporter Karen Kersey:

Lexington - Food lovers and book lovers: keep your library cards handy during National Library Week in April. Local food establishments have partnered with “Lexington Reads … and Eats!” to offer a literary look into the savory (and sweet) side of town.

During the week of April 13-20, residents who bring their Minuteman Library Network cards with them to Wagon Wheel Nursery or to Bollywood Café will receive discounts. In the mood for a hot drink to sip or a tasty treat while reading? Go to Peet’s Coffee and Tea or to the Royal Bakery or Wilson Farms for a free small coffee or a literature-inspired treat. Find how the Mango Curry at Lemongrass compares with your vision of the food inspired by Madhur Jaffrey’s “Climbing the Mango Tree.” Details of local business participation will be available at Cary Library.

Special cards and flyers on the April events will be available at participating businesses and at the library. Events include naturalist John Root, authors Frances Moore Lappe and Katherine Hall Page, food-related movies, and book discussions with coffee provided by the Bedford Street Starbucks. A complete menu of events is always available at

Apply now for Picturing America!

Public, private, parochial, and charter schools and home school consortia (K-12), as well as public library systems and school districts, are invited to apply for Picturing America by April 15, 2008. Successful applicants will receive a set of 40 high-quality reproductions of American masterpieces, a teachers resource book and additional educational resources. To access guidelines and the online application, visit

Applications take less than one hour to complete and may be submitted on behalf of a single school or public library, or on behalf of multiple locations within a system or district. If you have already submitted your application, no further action is necessary.

If you have any questions, please contact the ALA Public Programs Office at or 1-800-545-2433, extension 5045.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Ten Tips for the Awkward Age of Computing

A humorous and helpful site: Tools to help use computers as you age.
If you rack up enough birthdays, sooner or later you're going to experience some loss of vision, hearing, or physical dexterity. It's as inevitable as puberty. Fortunately, accessibility settings and programs in Windows Vista and Windows XP make it easy to resolve most age-related computing problems without additional software or devices. And, if you need more help, Windows is compatible with a wide array of assistive technology products you can add on for high-powered assistance.

Either way, getting older doesn't have to interfere with your ability to use a computer and remain a top performer at work. If PCs can be easily customized to meet the needs of people with severe disabilities such as blindness, deafness, and quadriplegia, they can certainly handle diminished vision, muffled hearing, and stiff fingers. Accessibility features also make it easier to cope with temporary injuries, such as a broken arm, or to manage routine inconveniences such as blurred vision following an eye exam.

Here are ten tips on how you can use Windows XP to counter the effects of the awkward age. We encourage you to copy, print, or post these cartoons, reproduce them in company publications, or forward them to friends and colleagues.

TLA Annual Conference for library friends, trustees, and advocates

A message from Beth Crabb, TLA/LIFTA Chair:

As this year's chair of the TLA Library Friends, Trustees, and Advocates Round Table, I'm writing to solicit your help to encourage lay people in your area to attend this year's annual conference in Dallas.

As you know, this year's conference includes a great number of programs that will be of particular interest to library friends, trustees, and advocates. I have attached a brief list of some of them to this email. Each of the programs on the list is described in detail in the conference brouchure, which is available online at the TLA website.

In particular, I want to extend an invitation to the LiFTA luncheon at noon on Wednesday, April 16. I'm really excited about the program this year, which features authors Jenna Bush, Rosemary Wells, and Elizabeth Noble. Individuals attending the luncheon do not need to be TLA or LiFTA members or even registered for the conference. However, they must purchase tickets by next Tueday, March 25. Tickets are $31.00 and may be purchased online at the TLA website or by mail, postmarked not later than Tuesday the 25th. If help or further ordering information is needed, contact Nan Ellis at TLA, 512/328-1518.

Tables at the luncheon will seat 10, and if a group of 10 purchases tickets, we will reserve a table for them. You, or someone from the group, will just need to let me know that the tickets have been purchased and identify the group so we can make a sign..

I appreciate your help in disseminating this information and your support for the friends and trustees.

Beth Crabb
Chair, TLA Library Friends, Trustees, and Advocates Round Table

Friday, March 07, 2008

Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) Needs Our Help!

Most NTRLS-area libraries have been recipients of books distributed by First Book, a nonprofit organization with a single mission: to give children from low-income families the opportunity to read and own their first new books.

Now the president of that organization has sent this message, asking for our help.

"Reading is Fundamental (RIF), a national nonprofit literacy organization and a good friend of First Book, needs your help. The President's proposed fiscal year 2009 budget eliminates the RIF Book Distribution Program. Unless Congress reinstates funding for this program, RIF will be unable to distribute 16 million books annually to the nation's youngest and most at-risk children.

"While RIF is hard at work demonstrating to Congress the importance of reinstating their program's funding, they need the help of all of us who believe in the power of books in the lives of children. We urge all of the First Book community to reach out to their members of Congress to request the reinstatement of RIF funding. Your voice, as a constituent, is the most important resource we have to make sure that Congress protects this critical program.

"Please act now and help RIF build support for reinstating the funding by sending an e-mail to your members of Congress. Ask them to support the reinstatement of RIF's funding in the coming budget process.

"We hope you will share this message with family, friends and colleagues who could also contact members of Congress. Thank you for your support as First Book and RIF work to bring new books and resources to the kids
who need them most!"

Kyle Zimmer
First Book

Note: Visit for names and contact information of your own representatives.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

VoTexas logos available

From: Enea Abbud []
Sent: Thursday, March 06, 2008 11:41 AM
Subject: VoTexas!


I would like to thank you for getting the word out to all of your libraries about the VoTexas campaign.

I am attaching campaign logos that can be used on library websites as a link to the website.

Several libraries throughout Texas have already done this, and it is yet another great way for Texans to get all of the voting information they need.

I ask that participating libraries inform us about their participation because we will be reporting to the Secretary's office.

Simply email, and we will be sure to acknowledge your participation.

Thanks for helping Texans get all the voting information they need!

Enea Bañales
3601 South Congress Avenue
Building B, Suite 300
Austin, Texas 78704
512.444.7900; 512.444.7950 (f)

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Texas Library Systems Coordinator February Meeting


I attended the Texas Library Systems coordinator meeting last week and we received some news that impacts the future of NTRLS. First, we were presented with four memos released by the Institute of Museum and Library Services(IMLS). These memos further clarify IMLS guidelines on allowable costs and activities for grantees and subgrantees. As a reminder, IMLS is the federal agency that gives funds to the Texas State Library. Systems are technically subgrantees of the IMLS funds. Here is what these memos outlined.

Seeking Grants – NTRLS can no longer write grant proposals on System Grant time. This means that NTRLS staff will not be allowed to write grants of any sort during its normal business hours. It cannot utilize any grant resources including equipment, staff or office space for this purpose. TSLAC is attempting to get further clarification on this guidance so hopefully it will not be a strict as the memo seems to indicate.

Construction – NTRLS can no longer do anything connected to library construction including consulting and continuing education.

Continuing Education and Consulting – NTRLS is restricted to only activities that directly support the IMLS goals for its State program, which is called LSTA. NTRLS will be required to clear all CE workshops with TSLAC to ensure that they follow LSTA guidelines. If you are familiar with the LSTA priorities, you know that they are broad so we are not too concerned about this restricting what we can offer in CE and consulting.

Staff documentation – I am now required to sign a document certifying that System Staff worked on the projects outlined on our timesheets.

TSLAC also informed System Coordinators that our FY 2009 System Grants will be much smaller than anticipated. NTRLS is looking at $489,000 in FY2009 instead of the anticipated
$536,000. We will have to make some difficult decisions to help compensate for this sudden loss of nearly $50,000.

If you would like to make your voice heard about any of this, please contact either Gloria Meraz of TLA or Peggy Rudd,, at the Texas State Library.

If you would like to see copies of the memos, please go to our Communications Center on