Category Archives: Lifeline

FAQ – Unattended Children

Have you wondered how other libraries in central Texas do business? We’re starting a new series of posts, pulled from our ctls-l discussion list, to provide your peers’ answers to policy and program questions.


What do you do about unattended children in your library? Is it even a problem at your library? Is it something that needs to be written into the library policy? If so, is there an age cut-off?


  1. We have a written policy that children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.  While we don’t check ID at the door or anything, if a parent asks if they can leave their child or if the child is just dropped off or comes in by themselves and  is not exhibiting acceptable behavior we have something to back us up.
  2. We really didn’t want to write a policy, but had a very bad summer in 2009.  We had young kids (5 yr, 8 yr) being dropped off  at the library during the summer ALL DAY without meals or adults.  Bad, very bad.  And some parents would just send their small children off to the Children’s Area while they were glued to computer screens, ignoring their children’s bad behavior and crying.  There were a lot of complaints (one letter of complaint was published in the local newspaper) and I got quizzed by City Council.  When we wrote our Unattended Children policy, City Council approved unanimously. Continue reading FAQ – Unattended Children

New resources to prepare for hurricane season

from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

June 1 marks the beginning of Hurricane Season. Is your community prepared? The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has added new resources to its Web page, Tools and Resources to Help Communities Prepare for Hurricane Season,to help communities prepare for and respond to hurricane events and other natural disasters. Visit AHRQ for information on more public health emergency preparedness tools and resources.

FAQ – Fax Service for Patrons

Have you wondered how other libraries in central Texas do business? We’re starting a new series of posts, pulled from our ctls-l discussion list, to provide your peers’ answers to policy and program questions.


Does your library offer faxing service to patrons? How much do you charge?


  1. We charge 25 cents per page for local faxes and 50 cents per page for long distance. We do not accept faxes for the public.
  2. We offer fax service – $1 per page (sending or receiving).
  3. Our pay phone was removed, so we just decided to let people make local calls and local faxes from the same phone at the reference desk for free.
  4. We have fax service and charge 1.00 per page on outgoing and incoming. If there are 6 pages or more, starting with the 6th page we charge .50 for the rest. So if they fax 5 pgs we charge 5.00. If they fax 7 pages we charge 6.00.
  5. Over 9 years ago, we charged $1.00 to send & $.25 to receive. Ink & paper were involved in receiving. But it took staff longer to send & most of the faxes were long distance, so I justified the 1.00 toward those costs. TPLS was instrumental in getting fax machines in all the system libraries, & in the small towns the library was often the only “fax in town”. This is one of those services the library can recover costs, but not make a profit.
  6. We charge 50 cents per page regardless of local or long distance to send and receive. Very popular. We were getting so many request, we thought it would be a good service to add.
  7. We charge $2.00 per page to send a fax(we don’t charge for our cover sheet)
    and $1.00 per page to receive a fax.
  8. We charge $1 for local and $2 for long distance per page. We require a cover sheet. We do not accept faxes except by efax. We have waived the fees for hurricane victims that needed to submit paperwork. We have nearby places but not everyone likes to use them so we continue to provide this service. We have provided international long distance in the past at $5 per page as it requires more staff time and long distance fees are higher.
  9. We’ve had fax services for about 8 years now. This is a very useful service for our community, everyone loves the convenience. We are now getting our 3rd fax machine.We charge $1 per page for every page; local and long distance. We do not receive faxes for people.
  10. Yes, we do charge for faxes. The charge is $2.00 for the first page, and $1.00 thereafter.

from the ctls-l archives, circa 2008

TANG Tech Tips

Republished from the April 2010 Newsletter:

Creating a desktop shortcut to your Apollo Catalog

You can use Firefox to create a shortcut on your computer’s desktop to any page you’ve visited, including your Apollo Catalog:

  1. Resize the Firefox window so you can see both your computer’s desktop and the Firefox window on the same screen.
  2. Click on the site icon next to the Location bar, i.e. where the web address (URL) is shown.
  3. While still holding the mouse button down, move the pointer to the desktop, then release the mouse button. The shortcut will be created.

New CTLS workforce website!

Continue reading TANG Tech Tips

TANG Tech Tips – December 2009 to March 2010

Republished from our newsletter — here’s a December to March archive of Holly’s Tech Tips:

December 2009

Getting discounts for AVG Anti-Virus Software

OK, first off, if you are currently using AVG Free, you will need to upgrade your AVG to 9.0.  Here is the page for that.  It is a little hard to see where the free version is, but the download is at the bottom, on the left.  There is also a how-to here. But you really shouldn’t be using AVG Free for anti-virus control in your library — it is only for home use. AVG does give discounts for libraries, and here is the information for getting discounts.

I do not know how cheap AVG is going to be with discounts, so you will want to also look at TechSoup to see the prices for Symantec, etc.  For instance, a 10 user license for Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition 10.2 is only $50 on TechSoup.  If your library is not already set up to receive discounts on, I can help you through the registration process.

My favorite site of the month –

I’ve discovered a really fun resource for information on all things tech:

I suggest you subscribe to this site, so you can get downloads only subscribers can access, such as the Laptop Buying Guide for 2009.  With a subscription you also get regular reminders of their articles, how-to’s, reviews, etc.  They are big proponents of open source software (such as my favorite, OpenOffice) – but remember to check that these are OK for use in your library.  Some products are only for home use (such as AVG Free.)  Two goodies from MakeUseOf:

More websites for fun and learning

January 2010

I need more memory!!!

Many of you have realized that your PCs are SLOW.  There can be many reasons for this but a common problem that is pretty easy to fix is that there is not enough memory on your PC. Upgrading the memory in your computer is the fastest way to better performance in Windows.   I’d recommend at least 1GB of RAM, but don’t bother going over 3GB if you are using 32-bit XP or Vista because Windows won’t be able to use all of it.  More about 32-bit vs 64-bit in a future Tech Tip.

Continue reading TANG Tech Tips – December 2009 to March 2010

Children’s Collection Development…

The Marble Falls Public Library recently asked me to talk to them about collection development for children – especially what I learned at the April 24, 2010 state library workshop on the same topic.  To get ready, I asked our members how they managed their own children’s collection.

You guys never fail to impress me.  We got almost 50 responses, with over half coming from small libraries.  What are your colleagues’ best ideas for keeping up with what to buy for kids? The answers can be found in the CTLS Best Children’s Selection Resources 2010.