CTLS Newsletter September 2015

CTLSLogo2012Connecting Texas
Libraries Statewide

No. 150

Bringing You the Latest in Texas Libraries

September 2015

In This Issue:

From the Executive Director

by Laurie Mahaffey

CTLS Fall Membership Meeting

Every year, in the first month of the new State Fiscal Year, CTLS holds a Fall Membership Meeting to elect board members, to help member librarians get to know one another, and to disseminate important information.  The afternoon features a continuing education event so that librarians can make a day of it.

This year, the Fall Membership Meeting will be at the Temple Public Library, 100 W. Adams Avenue, in downtown Temple. Registration will start at 9:15 and the meeting will begin at 10 a.m., ending around 11:30. State Librarian Mark Smith has promised to be there, and representatives from the Tocker Foundation will be, too. Lunch is on your own. The workshop will start at 1 p.m. and ends at 3 p.m. The updated CTLS Technology Petting Zoo will be available for you to see and handle. If you have wanted to buy some new electronic devices for your staff to practice on, come to the afternoon workshop and see how these perform. Helpful CTLS staff members will be there to assist you. We have had these types of devices in our Loanables collection, part of the CTLS Professional Collection, and now we’ve updated.

Annual Giving Campaign Wildly Successful!

We are pleased, thankful, and humbled to report that the CTLS Annual Giving Campaign has topped the $12,000 mark for the first time ever! Many donors contributed large and small amounts to reach this total. We are grateful for every contribution.  The Annual Giving Campaign will start up again in November, just in time for the end-of-year giving season.

Because CTLS covers such a vast territory, activities like gala fundraisers are not feasible. The Annual Giving Campaign is our fundraiser in addition to memberships and grants to keep the non-profit going. We do not receive state library support in the form of system grants like in the days prior to 2012. We value your support!

Upcoming CTLS Board Election Information

CTLS is governed by a 9 member board from communities of varying sizes and some at-large board members. Because the terms are overlapping, every year the terms of 3 members expire. An election is held at the Fall Membership meeting for board members whose term starts the following January. Currently, the 3 board members whose terms end December 31, 2015 are running for re-election: Larry Ringer (College Station); Larry Koeninger (Bryan+College Station Library), and Jean Phipps (East Travis Gateway Library District, Elroy and Garfield).

Candidates are sought for these 3 positions. Jean Phipps represents Position 2, populations from 10,000 to 24,999. Larry Koeninger (Position 3) represents populations from 25,000 on up. Larry Ringer holds an at-large position (Position 5), serving all sizes of communities. Larry Ringer is currently the board chair.

Nominations may be sent to any member of the nominating committee by September 9:
Laura Garcia, Corpus Christi Public Library, lauraga@cctexas.com;
Dian Ray, Llano County Library, dianray101@yahoo.com
Nancy Hykel, West Public Library, nancyhykel@aol.com

Looking At Today from 100 Years Ago

by Paul Waak

100 Years Ago

Every once and a while, it is helpful to look back and remember why we do what we do. This helps us keep our focus and assess whether we are actually living up to our mission. Historically, libraries have provided three main services for society. Libraries were originally archives of knowledge and heritage promoting social stability. Later, as the business and working classes gained access to literacy, libraries took on two additional functions. As resource sharing systems, libraries lowered the personal cost of expensive information and made business more efficient. As educational systems, libraries promoted self-directed learning and skill development, easing transitions as families lost their jobs to technology and needed new knowledge to gain access to the new jobs.

From roughly 1876 to 1920, American public libraries had a lively internal debate about the purpose of public libraries and developed a notion of the “modern library.” This was the time of Andrew Carnegie and the transition from closed, subscription-based institutions to open, public institutions. The list of what makes a modern library grew very long, but expressed a single theme: public libraries needed to transition from passive reactive institutions into engaged proactive institutions.

This was also a time when the Luddite Rebellion was being re-examined. The sentiment of the rebellion began in the 1760’s, culminated in the 1810’s, and largely ended by 1830. They were described as being anti-technology but only broke outdated machinery that was overdue to be replaced. The Luddites and their employers agreed that machines should replace labor. The disagreement was about whether power looms should replace skilled labor, especially when the result was a lower quality fabric. The protesters wanted to at least receive training on the operation and maintenance of the new equipment. The legislators at the time focused instead on protecting the machinery and ridiculed the protesters as opponents of progress.

Later, in 1911, Ananda Coomaraswamy wrote about the cultural impact of technology. He focused on the importance of technology that replaces repetitive, unskilled tasks and frees people to engage in meaningful work. He also worried about technology that replaces skilled labor, specifically power looms, and the resulting loss of opportunity for people to be creative and feel pride in their work. His overall observation was that communities are stronger when people have personally meaningful work and feel valued. In contrast, he pointed out examples of how communities quickly fall apart when people are forced into passive roles and denied the opportunity to be valued contributors.

Skipping Into the Present

Public libraries in the 20th Century simultaneously struggled with these two concerns: proactively providing access to culture, expensive information, and education while introducing new technology in ways that helps rather than hurts people. Telephones were the first struggle and public libraries developed protocols for providing the new form of access without sacrificing the service being offered. Telephones also reinforced their understanding that they were about more than just having information. Public libraries were about access to information. This focus on access paved the way for later information technologies like copy machines, fax machines, and computers. Public libraries rarely understood in advance how these technologies would change their communities, but did know they affected the flow of information and were committed to making sure they came into the community in ways that would benefit the public.

Libraries and Technology Today

Public libraries today are swamped with technology. Maker spaces, virtual reality, social media, and more — will it be important? Is it even relevant? They all cost something and no library can do it all, at least not well. How does anyone know which services to provide? History is always relevant to the present, and public libraries are fortunately the institution of both. We can begin with our historical questions. Does it preserve our culture? Does it give access to better information? Does it help people transition through life? If the answer is “yes” to any of these questions, then it is relevant. [Bonus hint: virtual reality has yet to do any of this.] How important is it really? The Luddites help us understand this. Does the access help people make their own lives more meaningful? Social media can be like a rumor mill, but that makes it just like every other news channel out there. Excluding it cannot really be justified without excluding newspapers and magazines as well. It is also a direct communication channel and, like a telephone, should be used in a way that upholds the library’s standard of service. The equipment common to maker spaces is very similar to many traditional library services: typewriters, copy machines, and printers, but also circulating realia such as film projectors, sound recorders, cameras, and calculators. Some, though not all, maker spaces are also associated with classrooms and workshops which are also common library services. Maker spaces are certainly relevant, but more so when focused on education. They help people transition through life and increasingly help preserve our culture. Their importance as a service depends on the community and changes over time. A maker space is like distance education and the non-fiction collection.

When the economy struggles, it becomes both more important and harder to acquire.

Robots Are Taking Over Texas!

by Katelyn Patterson

We are so pleased to announce that we have been approved for funding for a second year of our ‘Bots & Books grant! This first year has been a huge success. I would like to thank all of our participating libraries for learning and growing with me over the last year as we entered into the field of robotics together! I have really enjoyed working with all of you and look forward to watching your programs continue and evolve in the future.

I cannot wait to start purchasing equipment and scheduling trainings with our next group of libraries. This fiscal year we will be working with

  • FM Richards Memorial Library in Brady
  • the Tom Green County Library System
  • Sterling County Public Library
  • Elgin Public Library
  • Georgetown Public Library
  • Round Rock Public Library
  • Liberty Hill Public Library
  • Schulenburg Public Library
  • Pasadena Public Library
  • Mae S Bruce Library in Santa Fe.

I will be contacting everyone soon to schedule trainings so we can get busy building robots!


Shopper’s Corner

by Sammie Simpson, Vendor Program Manager

Our vendor spotlight this month is from Morgan Hamel, Global Sales Manager, re:3D:

“re:3D is a hardware manufacturer. We make and sell Gigabot, a large-format 3D printer at an affordable price point. Our Gigabot has a build volume of 8 cubic feet, is completely open and hackable, and employs fused filament fabrication technology. Launched from an overfunded Kickstarter campaign in 2012, re:3D is community driven. We are staffed by about 20 individuals all over the United States, and we currently have about 300 machines in around 22 countries.

Gigabots are found in Libraries and makerspaces across the country. We find that our printer compliments a desktop printer very well, because it can handle the larger prints that would be challenging to complete on a smaller printer. Also, educators can take advantage of the large bed size by arranging many small prints in a grid, something that helps expedite the printing process. Instead of starting many small prints over and over, you can start one big batch, let them print overnight, and they’ll be waiting for you in the morning. All-in-all, Gigabot allows you to offer the full spectrum of 3D printing to your patrons.

We are a Texas company with two locations– one in Austin and one in Houston. We do all of our shipping and manufacturing out of our Houston office, which is located just outside the Johnson Space Center in Clear Lake. Our business development team is located in Austin in the historic Rainy Street district. We also have a few employees working remotely California. In addition to paid training sessions, we provide free customer support to anyone with a Gigabot for the lifetime of the machine. Our customer support team is fast to respond to email inquiries, and is happy to hop on a Skype call if need be. In July of 2015, we started training our first service tech in L.A., and we hope to hire a service tech in Texas in the coming months.

We hope that we can see a democratization of 3D printing technology when 3D printing becomes part of the standard offering of a library. Eventually, patrons could come to their local library not only to find information or use a computer, but also to get a part printed. A 3D printer can become a personal factory for library patrons. Offering a 3D printing service can also bring in new members and make your facilities seem more “up-to-date.” Makerspaces are becoming increasingly common sights in libraries across the nation, and we hope they will be commonplace in the libraries of the future.”

Thanks to Morgan for telling us more about re:3D and the Gigabot! For more information, visit www.ctls.net/discounts. If there’s a vendor you’d like to recommend for the CTLS Commercial Partnership Program, email ssimpson@ctls.net.

Libraries Transform Campaign from ALAala-transform

by Katelyn Patterson

The American Library Association has rolled out a campaign called Libraries Transform to be a unified message across the profession to raise awareness of the value, impact, and services provided by libraries. They provide a free toolkit including web banner images, printable posters, postcards, and social media ready images that could be utilized in your planned community outreach or social media campaigns.

I really love the bright, vibrant images in the toolkit. The “because” statements could be a jumping point for coming up with your own ideas about why libraries should be valued. Better yet, ask your community to share their own “because” statements! Visit http://www.librariestransform.org for more information about the campaign and to access the free toolkit.

What’s Happening Around the State

Welcome to These New Library Directors

Robin Flory, the new director at the Val Verde County Library in Del Rio
Dorothy Steelman, the new director at the Pleasanton Public Library

Job Postings

Library Technology Consultant at the Texas State Library & Archives Commission
Electronic Records Specialist at the Texas State Library & Archives Commission
Director of Library Services at The City of Lewisville Public Library System
Library Systems Coordinator at the McKinney Public Library System
Archivist I or II at the Austin Public Library
Librarian II – Youth Services at the First Colony Branch of the Fort Bend County Libraries in Sugar Land, TX
Adult & Acquisitions Services Manager at the Rosenberg Library in Galveston
Library Director, Alexander Memorial Library in Cotulla, TX

News from CTLS Member Libraries

Corpus Christi Public Library Wraps Up Participating in CTLS Bots & Books Grant
Clifton is Breaking Previous Summer Reading Records
Valley Native and Author Xavier Garza Brings In Big Numbers in Edinburg
Schulenburg Public Library Wraps Up a Successful Summer Reading Program
Fairfield Public Library Honors Board Members for Their Service
Cameron Public Library Brings in Record Summer Reading Numbers!
Houston Puppetry Festival in September
Royalty visits the Harker Heights Public Library

Thinking about setting up a makerspace?

Here is a 4-week online workshop that is very reasonably priced… only $59! The course will look at current makerspaces in libraries, discuss the tools and supplies necessary to start your own, safety issues, designing your space, what programming has worked well in libraries, how to organize programming, and how to create a makerspace program proposal.

I haven’t attended this course myself, but it sounded like a wonderful overview at such a great price that I wanted to pass it along. If anyone participates, please let me know what you think of the course!

Event though this webinar is from out of state, we checked with TSLAC and they will accept CE hours for it! Visit their website for more information: http://www.artmuseums.com/makerspace.htm

[fvplayer src=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkKjzqBPnHk” autoplay=”false”]


CTLS Calendar

September 11

Giddings Word Wrangler Festival

3D Printer Training in Alpine, Texas

September 25

Fall Membership Meeting, Technology Petting Zoo Afternoon Workshop, CTLS Board Meeting

October 1-3

Association for Rural & Small Libraries Conference – Little Rock, Arkansas

October 9

TLA District 3 meeting – Art Institute of Austin

November 6

CTLS Performers’ Showcase – Georgetown Public Library

CTLS Board of Directors

Larry Ringer

Gretchen Pruett
Vice Chair

Alice Nixon

Nicki Stohr

Eileen Altmiller
Karen Ellis
Larry Koeninger
Jean Phipps
Kelly Skovbjerg

Laurie Mahaffey
Executive Director

CTLS Staff Directory

Laurie Mahaffey
Executive Director

Paul Waak
Assistant Executive Director

Katelyn Patterson
Youth Services, Website, Social Media, Newsletter

Samantha Simpson
Vendor Program Manager

Central Texas Library System, Inc.