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.
Read more about it in the San Angelo Standard-Times http://www.gosanangelo.com/story/news/local/2017/03/23/grand-opening-makerspace-gets-enthusiastic-response/99558094/
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 short version is that Texas communities gain an average of $4.64 in benefits for every $1.00 invested in their public library. The full text of the press release is at https://www.tsl.texas.gov/news/2017/roi2017. A video announcement may be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/tslac/videos/1301309966558685.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, we will meet in the American Legion Hall in Floresville instead of the new library. Our hostess, Nicki Stohr, says things are not quite ready.
American Legion Hall: 1412 4th St, Floresville, TX 78114. There is a small parking lot connected to the American Legion Hall and more parking across 4th Street near the courthouse.
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.
Library Director Paula Waak and her staff made an eye-catching display illustrating Banned Books Week.
This certainly gets the message across! Good work, Paula!
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.