Budget crisis could impact county library

By Valerie Jensen Chambers Co. Librarian
CHAMBERS COUNTY— Activity in Austin these days means that Texas libraries could possibly lose over $8 million in Federal funds, and perhaps more.
At the time of this writing, the CCLS stands to lose access to TexShare databases, a cost of $6,612/year. Loan Star Libraries, which offers direct aid to public libraries, is on the chopping block as well. The library system has received an average of $10,000 per year from Loan Star. Interlibrary Loan, one of the most popular services we offer, stands to be eliminated (we average about 150 ILL requests a month).
With support from patrons and librarians contacting their legislators, some of these services might have some hope. All these things will directly impact Chambers County Library
System patrons, but with a talented and creative staff, we will continue to provide the best possible service and collections to the citizens of Chambers County.
County Librarian Valerie Jensen and Assistant County Librarian Adrienne Cain attended the Southeast Region Small Libraries meeting at the beautiful newly renovated Groves Public Library. This group is comprised of library people in Orange, Jefferson, Hardin, Newton, Liberty, and Chambers counties.
We meet twice a year to talk about local issues and ongoing management problems. It’s also a great way to share ideas and network with other people in the library field. Chambers County is the bigger system in this group and is often looked at as an example for the smaller libraries in the area.
The Anahuac library has started holding a monthly Spanish Storytime led by Branch Librarian Aquilia De la Cruz. This program has been very well received and Aquilia has tapped into a growing need in the area. She provides stories, games songs and other activites in Spanish.
Her next program will be held April 21st. Speaking of filling a need, the Winnie branch held its first Teen Advisory Board (TAB) meeting on the 25th.
Children’s librarian Christi Silcox distributed surveys to the East Chambers Jr. High and High School to gather information from the teens and after hearing comments from the teen community she proved successful by having 18 teens show for their first TAB meeting. The group, ages 12-18 discussed future ideas and programs to be held at the Winnie Branch. We look forward to their enthusiasm and it’s a wonderful thing to see teen activity at all 3 branches.
On the anniversary of the birth of children’s author, Dr. Seuss, the National Education Association celebrates its 13th year of, “Read Across America” day. Each year on or near March 2, the birthday of Dr. Seuss is celebrated by encouraging adults and children to read together. All 3 Chambers County libraries celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday with a special visit from the Cat in the Hat and celebrated with reading some Dr. Seuss, playing games, making crafts and other fun activities.
Former County Librarian, A. Lynette Parsons presented a Public Speaking workshop aimed at librarians. The workshop was funded by a staff development grant we received back in November. Most of the Chambers County Library System staff attended the workshop and using some unique and fun techniques, Lynette made the participants feel at ease and also more confident when they go out to speak in front of groups or schools.