All posts by Paul Waak

Teen Lead Story Times

Beginning in 2009 with a Texas Reads Grant, West teens plan, prepare, and present story time for local children at West Public Library each summer. Two dogs from Angel Paws in Waco visited the June 12th event. Over seventy teens have volunteered in the library’s Tale Tellers program since its 2009 debut.

A Great Pyrenees enjoys attention from small children and their parents
A Great Pyrenees from Angel Paws enjoys attention from small children and their parents.
A dog handler shows a youth how to interact with a dog
A dog handler from Angel Paws shows a youth how to interact with a dog.
Teen volunteers teach children how to limbo
Teen volunteers teach children how to limbo.

Elaine Allums Recognition Reception

The Friends of the Kountze Public Library hosted a Recognition Reception in honor of Elaine Allums at the library on February 25, 2019. Allums served as Building Committee Chairperson in 1999 and spearheaded plans for the construction of a new library. The facility was completed in 2002. Allums has performed as a loyal president of the Friends since that time. Today the library serves 7,143 registered borrowers and has 21,350 materials in the library for checkout with an additional 14,483 electronic materials available online. As a retired teacher and dedicated community servant, Elaine Allums is an exceptional role model and her contributions to the City of Kountze and the library are sincerely appreciated.

Elaine Allums reading to children

Dobie on Dobie at El Progreso

More than “just” a library, El Progreso Memorial Library is a civic and cultural center serving Uvalde and the surrounding area.  It was formed in 1903 by a visionary group of women for self improvement, civic improvement and the establishment of a public library.  This club meets monthly and continues – after 115 years – as a vital support of the library which has expanded to include an eleven county archives, museum with meeting and study rooms of various sizes for all sorts of individual and group activities and use.  They were integral to raising the $5.7 million needed for construction of the current building in 2003 and contribute about one third of the annual budget each year. The Club theme for this year is Literature and Art of the Southwest.  Monthly library displays are keyed to this theme as well.  We remain grateful to El Progreso Club members for their vision and steadfast support.

From Mendell Morgan, Director at El Progresso Memorial Library in Uvalde.
Dick Dobie in a conversation with some attendees.

An Informal Reunion

Former and current CTLS staff members gathered at a retirement party at the Austin Public Library’s Carver Branch recently. From left to right are Katelyn, Jennifer, Laurie Mahaffey, and Pat. This foursome represents many decades of service to public libraries.

International Polar Bear Day In Lampasas

From Shanda Subia, Lampasas Public Library.

Our program was on Monday, February 25 [for International Polar Bear Day]. We could see the polar bear, Cranberry (she was born around Thanksgiving), in the background, and then Shannon talked about what characteristics polar bears have that allow them to live in the Arctic climate, and she would ask questions along the way. Then, at the end, she allowed time for questions; we had several for her. Afterwards, a dad asked how we found out about this and mentioned maybe doing that with some other zoos/animals. I told him I had just received an email about this, and I didn’t know if other zoos did things like this or not, but I told him I’d look into it. It was very well-received; I think the adults enjoyed it as much as the kids. Technology is awesome – how else could central Texans see polar bears at the Alaska Zoo?!

Visit https://www.alaskazoo.org/ to learn more.  They have a polar bear webcam and an email list for future announcements.

Most Loved Award – Leon Valley

News from Sandy Underwood, Library Director of Leon Valley Public Library.

I have to take a moment to brag on the library and staff……

On February 14, we were awarded the “Most Loved Library” award by HulaFrog San Antonio NorthWest.  HulaFrog is a well known parents website that features activities for children in the area.  The parents voted for their “Most Loved” businesses in a number of categories.  For libraries, our competition included about eight San Antonio Branches…..and we came out on top!

Here is the web notice of the winners: https://hulafrog.com/san-antonio-northwest-tx/most-loved-awards/

Also check out the response on their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Leon-Valley-Public-Library/

2 More Summer Reading Workshops

Kim’s workshops have been a great success. With 4 workshops she has prepared 109 people for this year’s space themed Summer Reading program. She has 2 more workshops planned, both in west Texas. Try not to miss these fantastic opportunities.

Kim Lehman is a well-known educator best known for her dynamic, idea packed workshops. She has presented over 140 workshops across Texas, Kansas, and Arizona.

These workshops are sponsored in part by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts @TXCommArts.

5 hours CE credit

Kim Lehman demonstrating planet themed crafts

Lampasas Book Festival

Lampasas Public Library hosted a Book Festival on Saturday, January 26, featuring national bestselling author Jodi Thomas. She and other local talent were on hand from 10am-1pm, selling and signing their books. Jodi Thomas spoke at 11am about her journey as a writer and why she decided to leave teaching to become a national bestselling author.

Jodi Thomas signing books

Authors at book signing tables