Barbara M's blog

Preservation Week 2011

Many of our customers are genealogy buffs and most of you have troves of family photos and treasured books you want to preserve. Here are three events of interest. The Library of Congress, the American Library Association, and the Institute for Museum and Library Services, in celebration of Preservation Week 2011, are sponsoring free public webinars and demonstrations. For two events you’ll only need to be at your computer; for the third you'll have to be in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, April 30.

The webinars ( web-based seminars)  are  “Accidents Happen” (Tuesday, April 26) and "Preserving Your Personal Digital Memories" (Thursday, April 28). 

The Washington event is called Pass it On: Personal Archiving Day at the Library of Congress. It is a free public event on Saturday, April 30, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will provide information about preserving personal and family photographs in both digital and non-digital form.

Read on for details and registration.

Expose yourself to Art!

Restful Shadows by Rosemary MasseyBe sure to drop by the library during April so you’ll be able to see twelve of the winning paintings from the Spring Exhibition and Show of the Tomball Art League.  During the month of April we'll circulate the artwork around our Meeting Room, Customer Service, and Reference areas so wherever you are on the first floor you’ll get a chance to see some of them.

Marilyn Henagin, Sherry Hogan, Rosemary Massey, Ann Springer, Cile Stephens, Marshall Stephens, Bob Trivers, and Elsie Vera have contributed their winning work. The works are in oil, acrylic, watercolor, mixed media, and even wood, and include still life, landscape, abstract, and experimental pieces.

Our featured image is Rosemary Massey's Restful Shadows, winner of Best In Show.  It is painted in acrylic on masonite.

Our congratulations to all the winners and thanks to those who are exhibiting with us this month.

German Fest is this weekend!

Here's a shout out to all the committed, busy people getting ready for another great German Festival this weekend

Look for us at the LSC-Tomball Community Library table in the Community Center. We'll be there all weekend. Come on by and visit with us.

NEW Discussion Group for English as a Second Language students

One of the challenges for new English speakers is finding friendly places to practice English conversation. The library has these, two mornings a week--and now, three!

Join us on Fridays for the new English Discussion group. It will be meeting in the Conference Room, Room L-212, at 10:00 a.m.  No registration is required; just come when you can.

This discussion group is an addition to the groups that meet earlier in the week. On Monday and Wednesday mornings the ESL groups begin with an hour of Listening to English at 9:00. Then at 10:00 the groups split into a Beginner Discussion group and an Advanced Discussion group for an hour of topical chat.

Marshall Stephens (and other) Talented Artists' Exhibitions

Be sure to catch the Marshall Stephens exhibition held over for a second month in our big meeting room, L129. Marshall’s work has been delighting staff and customers alike.

And please take in the Tomball Art League’s Spring Art Show and Exhibition this Saturday, March 12th, at the Tomball Community Center on Market Street.

The library has been liaising with the Tomball Art League for awhile now. If you are artistically inclined, you might enjoy my blog artposttomball.blogspot.com, featuring “random but stable bits of information” about art on the ‘net.

Important Change for Digital Media Catalog Users

A change for our Montgomery County digital customers will go into effect Monday, March 7th. Because of budgetary and eBook licensing issues, HCPL has had to limit access to its Digital Media Catalog to HCPL cardholders. It leaves MCML customers with two options:

You can come into one of our HCPL locations and register for a Harris County Public Library card.

You can access the Houston Area digital media catalog used by Montgomery County Memorial Public Library.

The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease

We’ve been told many times that the public library is one of those institutions that people love, don’t think much about, and expect will always be there. Well folks, we’re in trouble. We’re staring into the face of county, state, and federal funding cuts, as soon as a month or so from now.

On the county level, where our staffing and operating budgets originate, we’re looking at a possible 10% budget cut or more. At the state level, where most of our databases, our telecommunications discounts, and a lot of our programs are funded, we’ve been told to expect a 70% reduction. If we lose our state funding, all the matching federal grants will also go away. The federal government sponsors the big IMLF granting program from which we derive money for programs like our Summer Reading Programs.  

Let me put that in dollars. The proposed cuts for 2012-2013 are $28 million plus $5 million for the K-12 programs plus $8 million in federal funding, for a total of $41 million. Given who, across the state, uses library computer services, databases, programs, and other services that this money funds, these cuts will affect every community, school, and institution of higher learning in Texas.

If you’re inclined to help, it looks like sending your comments to your State representative about what the library means to you will make a big difference. Our management went to Austin last week and delivered the comment cards you have written to date. The legislators who saw them were impressed. On behalf of all our customers, we’d appreciate you being the squeaky wheel.

Here’s a link to help you find your state legislator. On the right sidebar, scroll down to "Who represents me?" and put in your address.    

Thanks a million, or forty-one. Barbara Mitchell, Librarian

Yes, We are Open Thursday

Yes, the library is open Thursday, February 17. The college's classes are cancelled today because they are celebrating their Conference Day 2011,  but the library is open for business as usual.

Image from Flickr: cc: Open, by matthileo

Tax Forms Update

The 1040 instruction sheets have arrived. We have the instruction sheets that go with Form 1040, Form 1040 EZ, and Form 1040 A.

In case you haven't heard, the government has extended the tax fililng deadline this year to Monday, April 18th.

If you need schedules that we don't stock, you can go to the Internal Revenue Service website, find them in "Forms and Publications", and download and print them off. Or, we can do that for you. We're here to serve.

Library: Home of the Brave

This week we salute the droves of mature adults who enter this library every month, put on the armor of courage, troop into our computer lab, and dare to begin the amazing, confusing, frustrating, and illuminating adventure that leads to computer literacy. 

This link is for you. A group of young children are given ‘old technology’ (think of ‘old’ as belonging to 1990 and before) and are asked to figure out what it’s about. You will see that they are as lost with old technology as you are with today’s. And then they figure it out. Just like you do.

We’re all in this together. We applaud you, the brave and the tenacious!

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