Category Archives: resources

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 <> and a blog entry <> 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.

Library Advocacy Videos

Now that the Texas Legislature is in session, it is time for librarians, Friends, board members, and citizens who love libraries to talk to their legislators about the importance of libraries. Severe budget cuts in the last session affected all Texas public libraries greatly.

The staff at North Texas Library Partners have put together some advocacy videos that you can use. Click on the link below. Thanks to Carolyn Davidson Brewer for sending these to us.

Our advocacy videos can be shown by your libraries, advocates, anyone wanting to use them especially during times like these when the legislature is reconvening and discussing library funding.

Summer Programming for Tots to Teens

February 3, 2012 Harker Heights Public Library—Harker Heights
February 9, 2012 Bastrop Public Library—Bastrop
To register Click Harker Heights or Bastrop

Get ready for a terrific Summer Reading Program! This year’s theme is Get a Clue! You’ll unlock the mystery of great programming ideas and useful tips in planning your summer programs.

In the afternoon we will be immersed in TSI: Teen Scene Investigation. Learn how to put on a Vampire Ball and a Scream In – and that’s just for starters. Contributors to the manual include our own Jeanine Madden, Rose Ramon, and Lisa Youngblood from Harker Heights and Kendra Perkins from College Station.

Both sessions will be led by Kim Lehman, past contributor of the Texas Reading Club manual and presenter of many SRC workshops across Texas. She will be joined by youth librarians throughout Central Texas.

You will have an opportunity to share your best programming ideas, tips and challenges of summer programs.

5 hours CPE credit

COST: $25/person for member libraries and volunteers
$35/person for non-member libraries

SPONSOR:Friends of Central Texas Library System, Inc.
1005 West 41st, Suite 100
Austin, Texas 78756

QUESTIONS: Kim Lehman, 512-583-0704 or

Understanding the Teen Brain Workshop

Frank Kros came to Austin last week and presented a wonderful workshop on the teen brain. Here’s a list of his recommended reading/watching if you want to delve further into this amazing, surprising topic:

And if you want to subscribe to the Upside Down Organization’s free e-newsletter, BRAINwaves, click here. Thanks so much for coming to Austin, Frank!

TexShare Database Update

From Russlene Waukechon at the Texas State Library:

Due to budget cuts in the TexShare program, Gale’s HWRC database is longer be part of the TexShare core resources. Gale continues to be a valued TexShare partner, and we will continue to provide Health Reference Center Academic, Literature Resource Center, Twayne’s Authors Series, Scribner Writers and InfoTrac Newsstand as TexShare core databases. Libraries which have not contracted a new license for HWRC through TexSelect should remove that resource from their locally-hosted database menu pages. Through the TexSelect program, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission negotiates with database vendors to offer the lowest possible database fees for electronic resources. More information about TexSelect can be found here.

2011 Library Blog Award Winners…

Salem Press’s Annual Blog Awards have been announced — library staff and library blog lovers vote, then judges within the library field make the final decision. Here’s the list and story behind the award, direct from the Salem Press:

General Library Blog Winner
Librarian in Black
She describes herself as “Amazingly informed & therefore properly opinionated.” The tag line is right. But Sarah is much more than that: she is intelligent, passionate, and enviably literate. We love the ability to chat with her through the Meebo widget and like the “share post” feature within each post. We cheer her on when she stands up against issues like DRM (Digital Rights Management) and appreciate the nice balance of too often/not often enough postings. Topics are always timely, in synch with current library news, and provocative. In short, Sarah’s blog delivers the goods and should be on everyone’s must-read list.

Public Library Blog Winner
Swiss Army Librarian
If we have a reference question, we’re asking Brian. His blog may be a collection of tech news, upcoming events, and behind the scenes information, but the standout has to be his Reference Question of the Week feature, where he shows impressive research skills and public library customer service. We love his positive attitude and that he’s not afraid to point out areas where he could have performed better. Even when off topic, Brian makes relevant and fascinating connections to technology, reference librarianship, and everything in between.

Academic Library Blog Winner
Information Tyrannosaur
We praise many things about this next-gen academic librarian but one in particular: Andy may be coming of age professionally, but he already knows to avoid the easy route to juvenile triviality. Whatever the topic-technology in the service of education, social media, information literacy, new approaches to old library problems-Andy’s posts always get to the heart of the matter. We enjoy his sincerity (“Not everything has to be scholarly.”), his insistence on the “fun” factor at the Reference Desk, and even his fascination with dinosaurs.

School Library Blog Winner
The Unquiet Librarian
Oh how we wish Buffy was our teacher-librarian in high school. As if being proactive, well-informed, and cutting-edge weren’t enough, Buffy is also enthusiastic about everything she does (within and beyond school librarianship). This enthusiasm comes alive in her blog, as do her energetic ideas and the clarity with which she presents them. This blog has it covered: perfect-length postings of practical information with just enough graphics, updated frequently and conscientiously.

Continue reading 2011 Library Blog Award Winners…

Is your Friends group holding a raffle?

James in Waco pointed us to some useful resources provided by the Texas Attorney General’s Office to be sure your Friends Group, your non-profit library, or a support group of your library runs a raffle correctly. “There are specific laws and rules in Texas regarding charitable raffles – such as: entities that may conduct raffles, types and values of prizes allowed, how and where it can be advertised, the selling of tickets and specific wording that must be on each raffle ticket.”