Friday, February 27, 2009

Will Serials Disappear??

As the Denver Rocky Mountain News closes its doors after 100+ years, it makes one wonder about all newspapers and magazines in print. Should libraries continue to carry newspapers and magazines in print - they take space, money and time to locate missing issues. I must admit however, I like reading the weekend paper and my all important People magazine.

It is a tough time for everyone and when we see institutions close after such long histories, it makes me sad. Being part of that mid-generation, too young to really be a boomer and too old to be considered a digtial native, I often find myself caught between embracing technology and wishing technology would go away. I want to be sitting on a beach curled up with a book, listening to a live band in the background, no phone, no email.......just restful time. But as my stomach growls I want to order a pizza on my ipod touch, IM my friends, call my husband on my cell, update the blog, wiki and my facebook account, and be energized by the frenzy! Oy!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Congressional Compromise on Stimulus Plan Includes Money for Arts, Social Services, and Volunteerism

Excerpts from an article in the 2-16-09 issue of the TANOgram (Texas Assn. of Non-Profit Organization):

13-Feb-09 2:00 PM CST

By Suzanne Perry

The compromise economic-stimulus package passed today by the House of Representatives would provide $50-million for a new program to strengthen nonprofit groups so they can help people suffering from the economic downturn.

It would also provide $50-million for the National Endowment for the Arts and $200-million for AmeriCorps.

The new bill, which proposes about $787-billion in spending and tax cuts designed to create jobs and lift the country out of recession, restores some cuts to social spending the Senate made in its version of the bill.

The money for the National Endowment for the Arts would go to grants for “arts projects and activities which preserve jobs in the nonprofit arts sector threatened by declines in philanthropic and other support during the current economic downturn.” Forty percent would be distributed to state arts agencies and regional arts organizations and 60 percent to arts projects selected by competition.

The full text of the bill, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, is available on the House Rules Committee Web site.

To read the full text of this article, visit

Friday, February 13, 2009

Information - Can there be too much??

I haven't checked all the facts in this video - but it still is amazing the level of information overload we are all facing. This video is great in demonstrating how we as librarians must be "guides" and "experts" in deciphering what is helpful and what is not. The video is around 6 - 7 minutes - but is worth the time........

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Library Tech Network Website is LIVE!

It's AVAILABLE NOW! Another website specifically designed for communication among library staff and supporters who share a common interest.

The Library Tech Network is one of four Special Interest Groups (SIGs) created by Texas Library Association (TLA) District 7 in partnership with North Texas Library Partners (NTLP), home of the North Texas Regional Library System (NTRLS). The other three SIGs are the Library Presentations Network, the Library Supporters Network and the Library Youth Services Network.

The Library Tech Network exists to facilitate networking among library staff and supporters involved in using technology - at any level of expertise - as a part of their responsibilities.

In addition to having its own website and an annual conference, each SIG will hold periodic meetings for networking and discussion of business. Some meetings will take place online via chat. Meetings will be called and conducted by District 7 officers.

Each SIG website will serve as a gateway to information about the annual conference, additional SIG-specific resources and an email discussion list where members can network. Archives of the discussion list will be available online. Other features will be added in the future to support the online environment for peer networking.

Future plans for the SIG websites include extended features for online peer networking, such as online chats, blogs, wikis, and other Web 2.0 innovations. As each SIG website is enhanced and the other SIGs come online, members also will be able to maintain online profiles and contact lists.

To join the email discussion list for this SIG, visit the Library Tech Network, click on "discussion" and follow the directions. Please be sure to read everything on that page before participating in online discussions in order to keep from unintentionally sending out unwanted messages to your peers.

Impacting Your Community - Houston Area Workshop

Need more resources for your library? Want to impact your community more and be a building block to address local needs? Tell your library's story to those who don't visit?

If you answered yes to any of these - this hands-on workshop is for you! Work with and plan to grow together with other groups in your community: home schoolers, local art guild, community chorus, Parks Dept. of your city/county, local retirement center, center for abused women, community theater, etc.

FYI - Pasadena Public Library's workshop in 2008 discovered 4 common concerns of all participants: 1) How to market programs and services; 2) Recruit/Increase community involvement; 3) Diversify funding sources; and 4) Expand services to special communities.

Sound Familiar? Remember - this is a hands-on opportunity to learn more about your community and create new partnerships. Please bring at least 3 current / potential partners with you on February 17 or 18 or March 17 or 18; see below for details.

Note: 50% librarian and 50% non-librarian attendees will lead to a greater benefit for all participants. Cynthia reported: Bringing diverse perspectives together can lead to more creative solutions and identify resources/assets available from each participant agency.

Feel free to share the information with colleagues, volunteers, supporters, and local service agencies and encourage them to attend. Note: HALS is now certified by the Texas Education Authority as CPE Provider #510545 for teachers and educators.

Please register online at
We look forward to seeing you and working with colleagues from your community!

Leadership Plenty: Build Strategic Partnerships in Your Community

Presenter: Mary Beth Harrington, Director of Membership & Resource Development,
Texas Association of Nonprofit Organizations (TANO)

Workshop Objectives:

* Distinguish between asset- and deficit-based approaches to community development
* Learn non-traditional ways to recognize and work with local leadership assets

* Identify different types of effective community partners
* Understand how to organize effective community partnerships to maximize rewards

February 17, 2009
Kurth Memorial Library
706 S. Raquet St.
Lufkin, TX 75904-3922
Ph: 936.630.0561

February 18, 2009
Sour Lake Community Center
250 S. Ann St.
Sour Lake, TX 78934
Ph: 409.287.3592

March 17, 2009
Angleton Library
401 E. Cedar St.
Angleton, TX 77515-4652
Ph: 979.864.1519

March 18, 2009
George Memorial Library
1001 Golfview Drive
Richmond, TX 77469-5199
Ph: 281.342.4455

Bring people from your community with whom you'd like to partner!

CPE # 510545 Credit hours: 6.5 hours C.E.U.

Workshop hours: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
time: 8:30 a.m.

** Register online at
Click on Register in the upper right hand corner **

For directions from your specific location, try logging on to

Please contact Wendy Willeford at 832.393.1397 / 1.800.852.0395 or, with any questions or special needs

*** Registration deadline: February 13, for Lufkin & Sour Lake locations
March 13, for Angleton & Richmond locations ***

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

LJ's article about Dallas Public's charges for bestsellers

$5 for Some Bestsellers and Movies? Dallas Public Library Says Yes
Norman Oder -- Library Journal, 2/5/2009

New books, DVDs help beat waiting list $5 fee is self-sustaining
Program aimed at clientele that would buy books

While some libraries offer high-demand bestsellers for a $1 fee, and a few have nudged fees up to $2 and even
$3 (for DVDs), the Dallas Public Library (DPL), with its new StreetSmart Express program, has vaulted libraries into real rental territory, charging customers $5 for access to select books, DVDs, and audiobooks.

Corinne Hill, DPL’s assistant director of resource management, tells LJ that the new program, known for hot pink book trucks (below) that sit by the circulation desks at DPL branches, was inspired by two factors. One was the ever-more-common occurrence of holds increasing for popular materials. The other was the recognition that some library users tend to borrow backlist materials but will go to the bookstore for new titles—and often donate the once-read titles to the library. “We have this segment that’s going to pay, if they don’t wait,” she said.Program highlightsThe $5 fee was set to keep the pricing as simple as possible, she said; while people may be able to rent videos outside libraries for $5, they don't get to keep in-person rentals for a week. As of now, there are 40 books and 28 DVDs in the program, as well as occasional audiobooks. Late fees are consistent with the regular collection, as are borrowing periods. No renewals or holds are permitted. (Here’s a fact sheet.)

Copies float throughout the system, though Hill said DPL’s acquisitions team is keeping watch to see if certain titles move better in specific branches.

She said the circulation rates vary, and that when the hold list for free materials drops, titles move off StreetSmart Express and into the regular collection. In the three months since its launch in October, StreetSmart raised $10,405 from 2,081 circulations. The program is self-sustaining. And when titles are weeded later, the library's used bookstore can sell them.The top titles in DVD are The Incredible Hulk, Wall-E, and Kung-Fu Panda, while the top book titles are David Wrobelewski's The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, Candace Bushnell's One Fifth Avenue, and William P. Young's The Shack.How it worksHill acknowledged that the program has raised some eyebrows, especially when it first launched. Indeed, a Dallas Morning News article, generously headlined Dallas libraries let you pay to check out hot titles, found some library patrons who said they couldn’t afford the fee. But Hill said that most people understand the explanation that DPL is “trying to serve a section of the clientele we weren’t serving.”(LJ's Bubble Room blogger Alison Circle has a critical take.)

Hill, a 2004 LJ Mover & Shaker, said there’s been one tweak already. Given that music CDs didn’t circulate—“there’s a whole subculture that feels they shouldn’t be paying for music”—DPL pulled music, but added audiobooks.

Reader's Advisory Link

EarlyWord: the Publisher/Librarian Connection.

EarlyWord’s goal is to help Collection Development and Readers Advisory librarians stay ahead of public demand and identify hidden gems.

This is a Blog and Web site on a mission — to give libraries the earliest information possible on the books their customers will be looking for, so they can stay ahead of demand. By giving readers what they want, when they want it, we believe libraries can increase their circulation and their support.

EarlyWord began daily blogging in early January ’08. As of December, EarlyWord is receiving 13,500 visits a month.

Friday, February 06, 2009

$500 Stipend to Attend TLA Conference in Houston

Clark Charbonnet of Biblionix has generously offered to provide the Texas Library Association / Small Community Libraries Round Table (TLA/SCLRT) Stipend this year!

Information and stipend application is available at .

Questions? Want to volunteer to serve on the award committee? Call
TLA/SCLRT Chair Sue Dear at 409-384-5508.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Impact of Literacy Programs

District Dispatch has posted a new item, 'Department of Education Evaluation Highlights Success of Improving Literacy Through School Libraries Program'

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Library Association (ALA) today hails the Second Evaluation of the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries (LSL) Program released by the U.S. Department of Education earlier this month, which indicated that students attending schools participating in LSL are performing higher on state reading tests than students in schools that do not [...]

The District Dispatch states:

The Second Evaluation of the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries Program (2009) provides findings on how grant funds are targeted to schools, uses of the grant funds, staff collaboration and professional development, and the relationship between participation in the program and reading achievement scores. The report analyzes data from a survey of school libraries, district performance reports, case studies and test scores.

The study found that grantees roughly tripled their expenditures on books and subscriptions and computer hardware, while nongrantees showed little change. In the first evaluation, grantees roughly doubled their expenditures on these items. In schools that participated in LSL in 2003-04, the percentage of students who met or exceeded the proficiency requirements on state reading assessments increased by an extra 2.7 percentage points over the increase observed among nonparticipating schools during the same time period. However, some or all of the increase may be associated with other school reform efforts that also appeared in the schools. Thus, no definitive statement can be made based on these data on whether LSL participation was associated with improved test scores that was separate from these other programs.

Monday, February 02, 2009

North Texas Library Partners Announces Launch of Libraries for Literacy Website

I am proud to announce the official launch of the Libraries for Literacy website. You can find it at:

On this website, you will find:

• News and announcements about the Libraries for Literacy project.
• A directory of Literacy providers. At present, this directory is a work in progress. We have several programs in the North Texas area already in the database, but we are looking for more. If you know of a program, please take a few moments to submit it. We will make sure it gets placed on the website. We hope this directory can be used by librarians who are asked, “Where can I learn to read?”
• A toolkit on how to start an adult literacy program found on the Resources page of the website.

We have plans to include even more in the future so please check back often.

If you have any questions, please contact Elizabeth Stewart at or call 817-377-4440.