Category Archives: faq

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.

FAQ: Cleaning DVDs

A flurry of responses on the discussion list prompts me to add this post. Thanks for your answers!

Q:

What do you use to clean your DVD collection?

A:

  • We hand clean every disc as it comes back in with the disc cleaner and disc restorer solutions from Demco.  If the discs are too marred to play we use a Disc-Go-Pod to resurface them.  It’s effective and and inexpensive machine.  The downside is that the machine must be emptied and cleaned after every use.  So we polish once a month and let the damaged discs stack up.
  • We use a really cool disc repair machine for our CDs and DVDs. It has been worth every penny. The company we bought our machine from was RTI (website = rtico.com). We purchased the Disc Repair System. They usually run a special on these machines at the TLA Conference. They allow you to get the machine in April/May and not have to pay until Ocober if you don’t have funds in your current fiscal year.
  • For routine cleaning we used a soft cloth & alcohol; for PbJ and other sticky stuff, wipe with a mild solution of water and dishwashing liquid. The cleaning machines are great, but expensive.
  • We use RTI’s Eco Senior.  It is expensive but worth every cent if you have a large collection.  It saves discs that would otherwise have to be thrown away.  I knew a video store owner who had one and charged people $3 a disc to run their personal CD’s and DVD’s through.  It helped pay for it, and I suspect a library could put such a charge into place if they had it on their fee schedule or else had the Friends group do it.
  • Check with your local Video Stone. They were upgrading to BlueRay and we brought their DVD cleaning machine $100. and if came with supplies for over 2 years. I have a volunteer that he does all the cleaning, it works great.
  • We use Memorex OptiFix Pro. It works ok in cleaning but not for repairing.
  • We use a simple Memorex OptiFix pro machine. It’s not great but it does help some.

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.

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.

Q:

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?

A:

  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

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.

Q:

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

A:

  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