Category Archives: resources

New Texas Handgun Legislation and Libraries

Thea Blair, Manager of Continuing Education & Consulting Services at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, has posted a web page <https://www.tsl.texas.gov/ld/pubs/opencarry.html> and a blog entry <https://www.tsl.texas.gov/ld/librarydevelopments/?p=18734> about the new handgun laws in Texas. This is not legal counsel but is a great starting point for any conversation on the issue. Topics covered include non-profit libraries and school events at libraries. Thank you to Thea, Mark Smith, and TSLAC for stepping forward on this.

Library Advocacy Videos

Now that the Texas Legislature is in session, it is time for librarians, Friends, board members, and citizens who love libraries to talk to their legislators about the importance of libraries. Severe budget cuts in the last session affected all Texas public libraries greatly.

The staff at North Texas Library Partners have put together some advocacy videos that you can use. Click on the link below. Thanks to Carolyn Davidson Brewer for sending these to us.

Our advocacy videos can be shown by your libraries, advocates, anyone wanting to use them especially during times like these when the legislature is reconvening and discussing library funding.  http://www.youtube.com/nottypicalntlp

Is your Friends group holding a raffle?

James in Waco pointed us to some useful resources provided by the Texas Attorney General’s Office to be sure your Friends Group, your non-profit library, or a support group of your library runs a raffle correctly. “There are specific laws and rules in Texas regarding charitable raffles – such as: entities that may conduct raffles, types and values of prizes allowed, how and where it can be advertised, the selling of tickets and specific wording that must be on each raffle ticket.”

Getting your catalog where your patrons will see it

Nancy from West asked her local school district if they could put a link to the West Public Library’s catalog on the school’s website. Students looking for materials for school projects can see quickly if their local public library has what they need. Great idea, Nancy! Chris from Round Rock also shared a way to reach patrons – a LibX browser toolbar add-on for Firefox and Internet Explorer will allow patrons to search your library catalog from their browser. “The best thing about the toolbar is that, since it is in the browser, you don’t need to go to the library’s homepage or a link to access the catalog. Just go to the toolbar, enter your search terms, choose your search type, and click the button to get to the results in your catalog”, says Chris. There’s more info on LibX  and check out the Round Rock catalog example.

A Dozen Ways to TexShare Program

This is a reminder to register for TSLAC’s Dozen Ways to TexShare tutorial program to be entered into their weekly book drawing.  Every Friday until February 25 they will be holding a drawing to win a free book! Last Friday, January 28, the winner was Mary Montgomery from Bridge City, Texas.  Mary won a copy of Freedom by Jonathan Franzen; this week their drawing will be for A Tale of Two Cities, and Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Congratulations, Mary!

What is Dozen Ways to TexShare?

Dozen Ways to TexShare is a self-paced database tutorial program focusing on twelve databases (or database features) offered through TexShare.  This free online, self-paced course is worth 6 CE credits.  To register and participate in the course, go HERE.  Participants will view video tutorials and complete discovery exercises in order to improve their knowledge of TexShare databases and database features.

How do I sign up for Dozen Ways to TexShare?

1) Go to the following URL: https://onlinetraining.tsl.state.tx.us/course/view.php?id=57

2) If you do not already have an account in the Texas State Library Online Training site, click on ‘create a new account.’ If you do have an account in the Texas State Library Online Training site, log on with your log-on credentials. You can also preview the course by logging on as a guest!

Have fun learning how to TexShare!

Free and Low-cost e-Books

A lot of you have been asking about e-books, so I am re-posting this article from the August 2010 Newsletter:

So your patrons bought the Kindles and the Nooks and the iPhones and the iPod Touches, and now they want to know where they can get e-books that don’t cost $10 a pop. It’s a complicated landscape out there in terms of libraries providing popular e-books – a lot of infrastructure costs with OverDrive, copyright issues over multiple downloads for Amazon Kindle and the like, and oldish materials on our TexShare NetLibrary accounts that you can’t download anyway (I am only referring to the ebook subscription here, not the e-Audiobook subscription). How to guide your patrons to hours of free and compelling reading? Here are some suggestions:

• www.feedbooks.com, there are thousands of public domain books and original books from new authors that you can read on any mobile device.
• www.gutenberg.org – 33,000 public domain books that can be downloaded in multiple formats.
• www.tryharlequin.com/ – 16 try-for-free romance titles.
• suvudu.com/category/library – a small collection of sci-fi and fantasy titles from Random House.
• www.munseys.com/ – free pulp, classics, and more.
• www.panmacmillan.com/extracts/displayPage.asp?PageTitle=Extracts%20Home 414 extracts – tastes of books to let you know if you want to keep reading.
• ebookstore.sony.com – Sony and Google have paired up to provide this site that has a mix of free and purchaseable titles. I search for bargain-priced, then related subject, then by ranking in the left-hand area, then I sorted by price, and free comes up first.

A note on formats: eReaders support many formats. All support txt and pdf documents files as well as basic image files like gifs and jpgs. Other than these basic formats, compatibility varies. For Kindle, you can download free books in mobi format. For Nook, download books in epub format. With my iPhone (and iPod Touch and iPad), I can use the free app, Stanza that has access to all these sites listed above when you click on “get books”.

Looking for a breakdown of different e-readers? Check out http://ereaderguide.info/.
Happy e-reading!