Here are the 6 candidates for the 2018 Board of Directors. The board recently voted to increase the number of members from 9 to 11. 3 board members are up for reelection. Adding 2 more members, this means the 5 candidates receiving the most votes will serve on the board.
The ballots will be sent out by email in the first week of October and will be due 14 calendar days later. Each library may submit one ballot voting for up to 5 of the 6 candidates.
Tom Green County Library System had a very successful grand opening for their new STEAM Central makerspace. Around 250 people of all ages attended and everyone responded enthusiastically. The photos really say it all.
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission produced a study of the economic impact of public libraries in Texas using data from the 2015 fiscal year. This study was lead by Dr. James Jarrett, Senior Research Scientist of the Bureau of Business Research, IC² Institute, The University of Texas at Austin. The economic modeling was performed by Brian Lewandowski, Associate Director of the Business Research Division, Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado Boulder.
The CTLS office will be closed on Thursday, November 24 and Friday, November 25 for the Thanksgiving holiday.
We will re-open on Monday, November 28.
This is a good year to remember that Thanksgiving in the form we celebrate today was established in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln as a time to appreciate what we have as a nation, think of our lost family members, and pray to be a unified nation at peace with itself.
[A side note for the detailed, Congress formalized the date of Thanksgiving in 1941 as the 4th Thursday instead of the last Thursday. The change was serious business at the time, but today it would have been pointless.]
The official word is that the TLA Conference is continuing as scheduled and to please check the TLA Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/TexasLibraryAssociation/), HoustonEmergency.org, and www.houstontranstar.org for updates. I would also like to remind everyone that Houston drains almost as quickly as it fills so lingering floods are pretty uncommon. Watch the reports and it is OK to arrive on a later day if the weather requires it. Call your hotel if you change your schedule.
MakerEd is a non-profit organization that supports educators and communities to be able to provide making environments and experiences for youth. Libraries can apply to their grant program called MakerCorps that provides support and training to begin and develop maker programming.
The grant is focused on summer programming for youth. A second goal of the grant is to build organizational capacity. The application for the 2016 Maker Corps program will open on October 12, 2015 and close on Friday, January 15, 2016.
Nicki Stohr, Library Director of the Wilson County Public Library, was awarded this grant last summer. It allowed them to hire 3 part time summer people for 8 weeks and to provide a quality program that entailed crafts and technology to all ages. They plan to apply for next summer as well, although they plan to create a more traditional makerspace where participants themselves get to choose their craft or technology to explore. Wilson County highly recommend this organization to anyone thinking of creating a makerspace.
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.