TLACast • Volume 34, No. 3 • August 2015

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If I Ruled TLA Nation, I Would….

Here is your chance to share what you like about the Texas Library Association and what you would change, add, or stop to create an awesome environment for Texas libraries and those who make them work!  TLA is now in the process of updating its Strategic Plan for 2016 – 2019, and we want your input.

As a strategic and dynamic organization, TLA works through its members to achieve a vibrant and productive future for the Association, its members, and the stakeholders they serve. The Strategic Planning Task Force (SPTF), which is charged with gathering input and developing a draft of the Plan, began its work prior to Annual Assembly 2015 by conducting a survey of members. The SPTF also conducted several focus group meetings in July.

We invite you to add your thoughts and insights to this process by participating in a quick survey. Questions include: Why does TLA exist and what difference does it make in the world?  What do you believe is impossible to do in TLA...but if it could be done would change everything? Go to TLA into the Future to answer these questions

TLA Road Trips: Part I – The Rio Grande Valley

What do UFOs, book battles, and technology in the classroom have in common? Rio Grande Valley librarians that’s what! TLA staff is taking to the highways, byways, and airways to take in the richness of the Texas library community. We want to visit all types of libraries, hear from librarians and library staff members, and learn about the challenges, success, and opportunities in the library community.

Earlier this month, TLA Director of Communications Gloria Meraz visited the Rio Grande Valley, including Harlingen, McAllen, Edinburg, and Brownsville.  She heard from librarians across the region about collaboration, the importance of TLA in bringing together librarians, the challenges of recruiting for open positions, the collective need for more local CE opportunities, and much more.

Librarians shared the many diverse programs and services they are providing the public.  From Edinburg’s exciting (and extremely popular UFO conference) and Brownsville PL’s dynamic library remodel to Battle of Book for students and Harlingen ISD’s dynamic training for school librarians, Rio Grande libraries offer an oasis of learning, opportunity, literacy, and FUN!

TLA thanks the following: Mabel Hockaday (Harlingen Public Library), Mireya Galvan (Harlingen CISD), Rhonda Amstutz (LaFeria ISD), Linda Villarreal (San Benito ISD), ESC 1’s  Laura Sheneman and Fabi Fuentes, Juan Guerra (Brownsville Pubic Library), Jose Tamez (Edinburg Pubic Library), Nora Galvan (Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD), Nicole Cruz (Sharyland ISD), Cody Gregg (South Texas College), Norma Fultz (Rio Grande City Public Library), and Arnoldo Becho (Weslaco Public Library).

Check out the Road Trip photo album on Facebook. Stay tuned for our next adventure. We may be coming to your library!

Upcoming Events: 

Snapshot Day: A Day in the Life of Your Library 

How many people do you help in a day? What is the impact of your library on the lives of students, faculty, your community, and the people who rely on your library, its resources, and its serves?

Texas Library Snapshot Day is a great opportunity to showcase what happens in your library in a single day. The annual Texas Library Snapshot Day is officially scheduled for October 31, but libraries can select any day in October as their Snapshot Day. This event offers libraries a framework for promoting services, inviting the public and media to the library, and capturing important information that can be used in advocacy and promotional materials.

This year, TLA wants to focus the Snapshot Day survey on programs and services. How did people use the library? What needs were met? How did you help people work towards their goals? We want you to capture information that will help you tell your library’s story and create a picture of what you do. In addition to submitting responses to the TLA Snapshot Day Survey, be sure to upload photos to our Flickr page.

TLA’s official Snapshot Day website has resources (e.g., a sample press release, customer/student input forms, instructions for submitting final data and uploading photographs, video/photo permissions form, tips for using the information, and much more!).

Don’t forget TLA’s Facebook page for posting your activities and for contacting your social media groups to help support libraries. 

District Meetings 

District meetings provide regional settings for presenting continuing education, carrying on legislative activities, and recruiting members. The annual fall meetings also present a wonderful opportunity for local librarians, para-professionals, and trustees from all types of libraries to meet, network, and set a foundation for collaborative efforts.

Meeting Schedule for 2015
Details on district meetings are added as they are received; check individual TLA district webpages for additional meeting information.

Saturday, September 26
Abilene, TX
Saturday, November 7
El Paso, TX
Tuesday, September 22
Amarillo, TX 
Friday, September 25
Dallas/Fort Worth Area
Friday, October 9
Austin, TX 
Saturday, September 26

Houston, TX
Friday, November 12 - Saturday, November 13
Corpus Christi, TX
Saturday, September 19

Lubbock, TX
Saturday, November 7
To Be Determined
Saturday, October 10

San Antonio, TX 

Open Libraries - Open Opportunities | Conference 2016

Open and thriving libraries are essential in creating avenues for people of all ages to learn new skills, overcome obstacles, and accomplish their goals. When libraries are open,  opportunities are endless and limited only by imagination. The 2016 TLA Annual Conference will be held in Houston, April 19–22, 2016.

The programming goals for conference include sessions, events, and learning experiences that focus on the following: 

  • Strengthen Our Numbers: Reach out to unique populations in innovative ways in order to strengthen  TLA membership which in turn strengthens our libraries financially, physically, and virtually.
  • Network: Create formal and informal opportunities for networking, mentoring, and fellowship among librarians during and after conference in order to foster lasting professional relationships.
  • Open Minds: Open our minds to changing society, changing needs of patrons, and new ideas in order to empower our profession and our customers.
  • Immediate Impact: Provide tools and inspiration that encourage program attendees to easily apply learned skills in order to measure impact and advocate through “telling our story” and sharing our passion for libraries with our stakeholders (i.e., library staff, community leaders, legislators, etc.).


The TLA 2016 exhibitors are now live on the TLA website. Shop the mobile friendly Buyers Guide to TLA 2016 exhibitors.

Do you know a great company who should promote its services to TLA members by advertising in the Texas Library Journal or participating in the TLA Exhibit Hall? Send your lead to Kasey Hyde, TLA Advertising Manager.  

TLA Announcements

Annual Assembly

Approximately 400 TLA members gathered at the Hyatt Regency in Austin, July 7-10, for the association’s annual assembly. The meeting provided officers and committee members an opportunity to plan for the upcoming year. Major assembly events this year included the annual luncheon, where San Antonio's Representative Ina Minjarez spoke about the importance of libraries and expressed that librarians must not be “silent heroes” but “loud and proud” advocates.

At the luncheon, on behalf of TLA and its members, TLA President Susan Mann shared a memorial resolution in honor the late Dr. Robert L. Tocker of the Tocker Foundation. Robert Tocker was a valued friend and extraordinary champion for Texas libraries, and under his leadership, the Tocker Foundation has supported Texas' rural public libraries, programs, content, furnishings, and technology.

The TLA strategic planning process sparked excitement at special events like the “Strategic Directions: Provocative Conversations – Hot Topics,” during which Strategic Planning Task Force co-chairs, Sherilyn Bird and Eddy Smith, led a cohort of approximately 50 people through three questions.

  1. Which of the five strategic initiatives is the most important for TLA to focus on, and why?
  2. What excites you about the future of libraries?
  3. What can TLA do to facilitate that future?

The group discussions sparked important conversations about future changes and trends that may affect the association. Participants discussed strategies for ensuring that TLA continue to contribute positively to the lives of librarians and the libraries they serve. Read a recap of strategic planning activities by Eddy Smith in the fall issue of the Texas Library Journal.

Attendees benefited from access to many free CE sessions and a variety of evening outing options. Aspiration boards were located by the registration area offering an opportunity for all members to share their thoughts regarding TLA’s future strategic initiatives.  

TLA Supports Flood Relief

The Texas Library Association is responding to severe storm and rain damage in the Central Texas area by donating $2,000 in disaster relief funds to Wimberley Village Library in Wimberley, TX.

There was extensive flooding in the City of Wimberley and along the banks of the Blanco River including parts of San Marcos. Along with heartbreaking loss of life and property, thousands of family photographs and documents were dispersed throughout the area. Immediately after the flood waters receded, the library became the donation center for recovered photographs and documents. 

A Facebook page was created to provide a communication channel to reunite these items with their rightful owners. While some progress has been made, there are still thousands of photographs in need of cleaning. To accomplish the preservation task, the library requested support to help provide supplies, expertise, and space.

People can help by donating to the Texas Library Disaster Relief Fund by visiting or calling 512-328-1518. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to, and help libraries recover from disasters big and small. This includes the recent severe weather and any other disasters in the state.


The 2015-2016 Nominating Committee has announced the names of the Executive Board candidates for the spring 2016 election. Members can vote for candidates for the TLA Executive Board and candidates in any units with contested slates that are participating in the TLA online voting process.

The President-Elect candidates, who represent the special library, exhibitor, and other communities, are the following:

TLA President-Elect
Deborah Halsted, Stat!Ref
April Kessler, Bizologie, LLC

The candidates for Representative-at-Large (school) are the following:

TLA Representative-At-Large (school)
Nora Galvan, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD
Janice Newsum, Houston ISD 

In accordance with TLA Bylaws and Standing Rules, the Nominating Committee will accept any written petition signed by twenty-five (25) members as nomination for any office.  The petition must be accompanied by written acceptance from the nominee no later than December 1, 2015.

Serving on the Nominating Committee are Chair Dede Rios and committee members Evelyn Curry, Maria Elena Ovalle, Sheila Ross Henderson, and Jerilynn Williams.

In order for members to vote in the 2016 election, they must be current 2016 members as of February 1.


TLA wants to know what’s cool (and hot!) at your library! TLA's Cool Stuff promotes your most successful services, favorite displays, and any special projects and events at your library that you want the world to see. What ideas did you take away from annual conference and have implemented in your library? What are your summer reading programs? Any end of year parties coming up? We want to know!

Check out TLA’s Cool Stuff board on Pinterest for ideas and inspiration from other great libraries. Want to see yours on the board? Send your photos or videos with a brief description to If your library has a Twitter account, include it in the email so we can give you a shout-out when we post your photos.

We know cool stuff happens in libraries every day, so this project is open year-round!

Please note that if you are submitting a photograph, you assume responsibility for having the authority to post the photo. This means that any photograph that includes children has been taken with the expressed permission of their parents and gives TLA permission to post.

L.E.A.F. Contributions for 2014-2015  

Grow the Library Endowment & Advancement Fund (LEAF), a restricted fund that provides money for special projects benefiting Texas libraries and librarians. To learn more, see contributing to TLA, where you can make an ONLINE DONATION or print a PDF to mail or fax to the TLA Office. 

CONTRIBUTIONS | July 1, 2014 through July 30, 2015

DREAM MAKER: ($10,000+)

  • Jeanette & Jim Larson: Jim and Jeanette Larson Mystery Fund
  • Tocker Foundation: Small Communities RT, Tocker Stipends, Annual Conference

CHAMPION ($2000-$1999)

  • Roberta Janeway: Scholarship & Research Fund for Janeway Grant

PILLAR ($1000-$1999)

  • Adam & Ashlynn Kogut: Area of Greatest Need
  • Exxon Mobil: Jeanette & Jim Larson Mystery Fund (Matching & Volunteer Grants on behalf of Carol Bartz)
  • Danielle Plumer: Special Libraries Division
  • Rosetta Resources: Area of Greatest Need (Matching Grant on Behalf of Adam Kogut)
  • Samuels Foundation: Vivian Greenfield Educational Award

PARTNER ($750-$999)

GUARDIAN ($500-$749)

PROMOTER ($250-$499)

  • Carol Bartz: Jeanette & Jim Larson Mystery Fund &  Pat Smith Endowment for Excellence Award
  • Stephanie McLain: Jeanette & Jim Larson Mystery Fund
  • Dale McNeill: Automation & Technology RT,  Electronic Resources & Serials Management RT, Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Transgender RT
  • Patricia Smith: Automation & Technology RT, Electronic Resources & Serials Management RT & Jeanette & Jim Larson Mystery Fund

MENTOR ($100-$249)

  • Suzanne Byron: New Members RT Endowment Fund
  • Charlotte Harrell: Public Library Division
  • Jeanette Larson: Jeanette & Jim Larson Mystery Fund
  • Greg Kaiser: Van Dusen Scholarship
  • Patricia Ogea: Electronic Resources & Serials Management RT
  • Thomas Rohrig: Government Documents RT
  • Mark Smith: Elizabeth Crabb Fund
  • William Tobin: Van Dusen Scholarship
  • Milton Van Dusen: Van Dusen Scholarship
  • Demetria Williams: Black Caucus RT
  • ZAX Restaurant & Bar: Reference RT

PATRON ($50-$99)

  • Stephanie Barko: Jeanette & Jim Larson Mystery Fund
  • Mary Jo Humphreys: Texas Bluebonnet Award
  • Students at Live Oak Elementary: (In honor of teacher’s mom, Doreen McMinn)

DONOR ($15-$49)

  • Kimberly Gay: Black Caucus RT
  • Gloria Gray: Small Community Libraries RT
  • Angelia Hall: Black Caucus RT
  • Connie Matheny: Black Caucus RT
  • Mobile Giving Foundation (On behalf of anonymous donors): Area of Greatest Need
  • Janice Newsum: Black Caucus RT
  • Nicole Robinson: Annual Conference
  • Jack Siggins & Maureen Sullivan: June Kahler Berry Fund
  • Tracy Timmons: Reference & Information Services RT

TLA Bequests and Planned Giving

We want to acknowledge the many wonderful library supporters who, through the years, have made TLA part of their lives. We have been enriched by the participation of thousands of librarians and library supporters, and the full library community has benefited from the financial contributions of many of their colleagues.

Planned giving and bequests to TLA have allowed many programs and initiatives to flourish at TLA. They offer individuals a chance to dedicate posthumously a portion of their assets to the library community or to settle on gifts to the Association over an extended period of time. These legacy donations express the generosity and deep commitment to library services of the donors. TLA and the library community stand in ongoing gratitude for this philanthropy.

Contributions may be undesignated and left to the area of greatest need or may be designated for a particular cause or interest. If you would like to learn more about planned giving, please contact Pat Smith, executive director of TLA.


During Annual Assembly, the Texas Library Association Executive Board met jointly with the Strategic Planning Task Force on July 7 and July 10. In addition to strategic planning activities, the Executive Board took the following actions:

  • Interviewed auditors to conduct the 2014-2015 audit and to prepare the 990 and 990T tax reports.
  • Approved the Children’s Round Table’s 2x2 Reading List Policies and Procedures.
  • Approved the consent agenda which included the charge for the Jeanette and Jim Larson Mystery Grant Committee; the resolution in memory of Dr. Robert Tocker; letter and press release in memory of Cynthia Hurd of Charleston, VA, the letter to the Hood County Commissioners Court related to a censorship dispute in Granbury; creation of a Non-Fiction Reading List in concept; and a motion to the Bylaws and Resolutions Committee recommending that the title of “President” be only designated for the TLA President.
  • Appointed the 2016 TALL Texans Leadership Development Institute mentors.


During Annual Assembly, the Texas Library Association Council met on July 9 and July 10. The Council took the following actions:

  • Amended TLA Bylaws XI. Section 5 to reflect the requirement that a person be appointed or elected to take minutes at official meetings of TLA units and to submit a copy of the minutes to the TLA office.
  • Amended Standing Rule 8.E. to designate the chair as responsible for ensuring that the instant minutes be submitted within two weeks after leaving Annual Assembly or Annual Conference.
  • Amended Standing Rule E.11 to eliminate an obsolete reporting requirement from the responsibilities of the Awards Committee and to renumber accordingly.
  • Amended Standing Rule E.12 to eliminate an obsolete reporting requirement from the responsibilities of the Scholarship and Research Committee and to renumber accordingly.
  • Added a new letter E under Standing Rule 8 regarding titles of presiding officers of units.
  • Transitioned the Jeanette and Jim Larson Mystery Grant Task Force to a standing committee and added the charge for the new standing committee to Standing Rule 9.
  • Renumbered Standing Rule 9 into the correct alphabetic sequence.
  • Clarified Standing Rule 10.B. that the TLA office is operated by the Executive Director with staff as budgeted.
  • Approved a resolution in honor of State Representative Sylvester Turner.
  • Approved a resolution in honor of State Representative John Otto.
  • Approved a resolution in honor of U.S. Senator John Cornyn.
  • Approved a resolution in support of the appointment of a professional librarian as the Librarian of Congress.
  • Approved a memorial resolution honoring Dr. Robert Tocker.
  • Transitioned the Texas Authors and Illustrators Interest Group to a round table.
  • Transitioned the Retired Librarians (ALIVE) Interest Group to a round table.
  • Approved a motion from the Retired Librarians (ALIVE) Interest Group that the TLA Budget Committee and Council consider adjustments to the dues allocation for this group.
  • Approved the 2015-2016 TLA budget.



Awards - Nominate A Worthy Candidate!

Chances are you have a someone in your library system or in your life that you always say deserves an award for the work that they’re doing, the projects or programs they’re leading, or the support that they’re giving in their community. Each year, TLA honors individuals, libraries, supporters, and projects with the TLA Awards.

The recipients range from small community projects and programs led by front-line staff, to lifetime library advocates and major donors. One thing is a constant: all of these awards started first as an idea in the mind of someone like you that this project or individual deserves some recognition and support. When you take the time to put that idea to writing, you’re contributing to the further success and recognition of that person or project.

When you nominate someone, you are asked to include some information about a press release. A TLA Award is an honor, and TLA wants to help recognize this hard work with some great publicity for the winning individuals, programs, and projects. In 2011, the Bell Whittington Public Library in Portland, TX won the “Libraries Change Communities” Award for their computer class programs for seniors in their retiree-heavy community. Through off-site service, individualized assistance, and taking the class wherever it’s needed (even to the local Dairy Queens), Bell Whittington was able to make a difference in their community. Ledezma Rodriguez recalled that even though their community had always been happy with the library, winning the “Libraries Change Communities Award” gave their community a new sense of pride in their local library.

Who do you know that is setting a standard that others are following? Maybe it’s you. Do you have a career, a project, or an accomplishment you’re particularly proud of, but think perhaps no one else would think so? Nominate yourself! These awards are for real people and real projects just like yours.

Nominations are open from September 15th through January 15th. For more information on all of the awards, previous winners, and to preview the nomination forms head to Nominate someone today.

CE Logo

TLA's CE Office has coodinated  several programs on collaboration and partnerships that will be offered over the coming months. The 2015 AZ series for library support staff will conclude.  Popular events like the TALL Texans Leadership Institute and the Texas Bluebonnet Award will also be covered.

All webinars are free except for the AZ series. All TLA webinars are recorded. Continuing Education credit is available for watching the live webinar or for viewing a recording and taking a short quiz. The Texas Library Association is accredited by both the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the State Board of Educator Certification (provider #500383).

August 2015

*** Seats still available for August webinars***

August 25, 2:00pm (CST) | Building Strategic Partnerships for Your Library
 | Mary Beth Harrington, CVA

In order for libraries to remain sustainable, they need to start building partnerships with individuals and organizations in their community.  By first identifying their own self-interests and understanding  the interests of others, librarians will be better able to build and sustain strategic partnerships.  Following this webinar, participants will understand partnerships better and be able to engage in them more effectively. Participants will also learn techniques to use when forming a collaboration with another organization, how to maintain these relationships and the steps for developing an easy memo of understanding or agreement that will (hopefully) keep everyone happy.  The session explores the questions: Why form collaborations and partnerships? How can we minimize the risks that come with partnerships? How can we organize an effective partnership? Register here. 

August 26, 10:00am-11:00am (CST) | A Conversation with the Tocker Foundation | Darryl Tocker and Karin Gerstenhaber
Hear from representatives of the Tocker Foundation on the foundation’s focus on the libraries, library patrons, and grant-making decisions. The webinar is interactive, so participants can use the chat feature as the foundation is seeking feedback from grantees, past, present and future. Program will allow plenty of time for Q&A. Register here.

September 2015 

September 17, 3:30pm-4:30pm (CST) | TBA101 - how to participate in the Texas Bluebonnet Award program | Sharon Lawler and Mary Jo Humphreys
All children and youth librarians are invited to learn how to participate in the Bluebonnet program.  Whether you are a public or a school librarian, you will learn  about organizing and preparing for the vote, attracting potential audiences to participate, and voting. You will also see the vast array of resources and activities which the committee has put together to support each of the titles on the list. Register here

September 24, 11:00am-12:00pm and 2:00pm-3:00pm (CST) | Communication Skills for Library Support Staff | Dr. Julie Todaro
Whether you are "on stage" with the customers or "backstage," you need to know how to communicate! The webinar covers communication techniques, how to listen, how to manage the avalanche of messages we get every day. Communication styles will be included in this session, as well as handouts with recommendations for sample communication and free web-based communication tools. This webinar is a core program in the AZ series for support staff, one of the three core programs required for the special certificate in support staff training. AZ webinars have a registration fee. For more information, please visit Register here

September 30, 2:00pm-3:00pm (CST) | Making Tenure: A Model for Collaborative Publishing Erin Cassidy and Angela Colmenares
Discover a new publishing model that supports academic librarians in tenure-track positions. Listen as newly-tenured and new tenure-track faculty librarians demonstrate their model and provide the tools to take this model back to your own local library environment. From the research brainstorming step through journal selection and the submission process, you will learn to tackle publishing obstacles such as the Institutional Review Board application, fair work distribution, group organization, and clear communication. Register here

October 2015 

October 2, 10:00am-11:00am (CST) | How to Apply to the TALL Texans Leadership Institute Roosevelt Weeks, Walter Betts, and Ted Wanner
The TALL Texans program is one of the oldest library leadership programs in the nation. Attendees study topics from strategic planning and advocacy to coaching and conflict negotiation under instructors who also teach at Harvard, Princeton, Simmons, and ALA trainings. But the key to this transformational seminar (to be held June 12-15 at the Montserrat Retreat Center in Lake Dallas) is a successful application. Learn the critical tips for gaining admission. Register here.

October 6, 2:00pm-3:30pm (CST) | Texas Libraries Unite to Create Career Centers L.G. Swift
Texas libraries have played a major role in ensuring the success of current and future job seekers by extending job readiness resources to the community at large. Learn how libraries across the state are providing career and job readiness programs and how to create programs in large and small libraries. The program will be taught by an ALA-certified Career Development Facilitator. Register here

October 21, 11:00am-12:00pm (CST) | Children’s and Youth Services for Support Staff Dr. Julie Todaro
This webinar covers issues for serving juvenile patrons, including basic teaching techniques, coping with disruptive behavior, and legal issues of patron access and “latchkey kids”. This webinar is an elective program in the AZ series for support staff. AZ webinars have a registration fee. For more information, please visit Register here.

November 2015

November 3, 2:00pm-3:30pm (CST) | Texas Libraries Unite to Create Career Centers
L.G. Swift
This encore presentation of the October 6 webinar will cover the same material on career centers. Learn how libraries across the state are providing career and job readiness programs and how to create programs in large and small libraries. The program will be taught by an ALA-certified Career Development Facilitator. Register here.

November 10, 2:00pm-3:30pm (CST) | Free Online Legal Resources from Texas Law HelpElliot Fontenette
TexasLawHelp is a website dedicated to providing FREE and RELIABLE legal information, forms, and more to low income Texans. It is a administered by the Texas Legal Services Center with funding from the Texas Access to Justice Foundation. It relies on the contributions of legal aid throughout the state of Texas. In 2014, it had over 1.1 million unique visitors and 6.8 million page views. Register here

November 18, 11:00am-12:00pm (CST) | Working with Volunteers Dr. Julie Todaro
Many support staff work side by side with library volunteers, or may even supervise them. This program provides “best practices” for library support staff interacting with unpaid library workers and some fundamentals of volunteer supervision. This webinar is an elective program in the AZ series for support staff. AZ webinars have a registration fee. For more information, please visit Register here. 

December 2015 

December 3, 10-11 am (CST) | School Administrator Toolkit: A Guide to Hiring School Librarians Maria Elena Ovalle and Terry Roper
Learn about this resource designed to help busy school administrators as they recruit and hire school librarians.  This new web site ( contains sample interview questions, examples of evaluations, suggested places to post openings and more.  The site will also be helpful to librarians seeking positions and preparing for interviews. Register here

December 9, 11 am-12 pm (CST) | Introduction to Managing Projects | Dr. Julie Todaro
Libraries, like other nonprofits and government agencies, need to make the most of their staff. Everyone needs to juggle multiple responsibilities. Learn how to better coordinate your projects and tasks to save time and effort while increasing productivity. This webinar is an elective program in the AZ series for support staff. AZ webinars have a registration fee. For more information, please visit Register here. 


Library & Statewide News

New Library Building for Bee County

The Joe Barnhart Foundation has announced the purchase of a 3,400 square-foot, two-story building at 120 North Washington as home for a new addition to the library. The building, located down the block from the library will be named the Joe Barnhart Bee County Library Learning Center and will provide additional space for meetings, long-distance learning, video conferencing, computer classes, and children’s programming.

“We are grateful to have this support from the Joe Barnhart Foundation, to be able to expand and develop our resources along with the growing needs of the community,” stated Cynthia Morrison, Director of the Joe Barnhart Bee County Library. The renovation of the building will begin soon with a complete overhaul, including new AC/heating systems, replacement of the roof, and other updates to bring the structure to present day standards. 

In other library and literacy news... 

Texas Book Festival and Teen Festival

The 2015 Texas Book Festival will be held October 17 – 18, and is free and open to the public. The event takes place in Austin at the State Capitol and surrounding grounds.

One of the largest and most prestigious literary festivals in the country, the annual Texas Book Festival features 250+ nationally and critically recognized authors, 20+ venues including the State Capitol, 80+ exhibitors, live music, local food trucks, family activities, and countless opportunities to meet authors and fellow book lovers. Authors are announced in September.

Also, the Texas Book Festival, in a close partnership with BookPeople and with generous support from Humanities Texas and venue sponsor St. Edward's University, is pleased to present the Texas Teen Book Festival on September 26.

The Texas Book Festival is a non-profit organization organized to promote literacy, celebrate literature, and support Texas public libraries. Learn more about attending the Texas Book Festival.

I Love My Librarian

As you are all aware librarians touch the lives of the people they serve every day.  This year, New York Public Library is joining Carnegie Corporation of New York, The New York Times and ALA in asking members of the public to nominate their librarian for the 2015 I Love My Librarian Award!

Ten librarians will receive a $5,000 cash award, a plaque and a travel stipend to attend the awards ceremony and reception in New York City, hosted by Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Nominations open through September 28, providing additional time for school and academic librarians whose institutions will just be getting back in session. For additional information and promotional material you can distribute locally, visit I Love Libraries website to nominate a librarian.

All Aboard for Reading on the Rails™

Reading on the Rails™ is an early childhood literacy event to educate children and their families about railroad heritage, engage participants in interactive activities, distribute children’s books to those in need in Leader ISD, and support the collective missions of Austin Steam Train Association (ASTA), the Cedar Park Public Library and LEEF.

It will be held Sunday, October 4 from 2– 6pm at the Austin Steam Train Association Railyard. This partnership of the ASTA, Cedar Park Public Library, and Leander ISD Educational Excellence Foundation (LEEF) will feature activities on the train and in the railyard designed to attract, inform, and entertain elementary-aged children and their families. Activities include:

  • Book Readings from Children Authors
  • Beth Guillot, author of Elizabeth The Dreamer
  • Susie Krolavansky, author of Twelve Cowboys Ropin  and There Was a Tall Texan That Swallowed a Flea
  • Interactive Train Bingo and coloring activities
  • LEEF Book Drive
  • Train-themed pop-up photo opportunity
  • Operation Lifesaver® Booth
  • Exclusive First-Look at ASTA’s Historic Horse Car Museum
  • Special tour of the 786 Southern Pacific Steam Engine Locomotive
  • Community Vendor Booths
  • Food and Beverage Booths

Admission to the event is made by donating new or gently used children’s books for LEEF’s reading initiative to ensure that every home in Leander ISD has a selection of age-appropriate children’s books available to the families. Proceeds support ASTA’s railroad historic preservation.

Names in the News 

  • John Anderson of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission retired after 36 years of service.
  • Ty Burns has retired after 31 years in Texas public education but will continue teaching and consulting. 
  • Claudia DeShay was awarded the DeBakey Library Services Outreach Award by the Friends of the National Library of Medicine (FNLM).
  • Dale Fleeger, retired director of Weatherford Public Library, was recently elected to the Weatherford City Council.
  • Angela Hartman, a Hutto ISD librarian, was named as the 2015 recipient of AASL's Roald Dahl Miss Honey Social Justice Award and was honored at ALA in San Francisco.
  • Kathy Hillman, UNT Alumna, elected President of Baptist General Convention of Texas.
  • Barbara Immroth of UT's iSchool will retire at the end of August.
  • Gretchen McCord, TLA Consultant and former TLA President, has joined the TexShare Board.
  • Dr. Loriene Roy (Anishinabe, White Earth Nation) has been selected to receive the American Indian Library Association Distinguished Service Award.
  • Herman Totten, founding dean of UNT's College of Information, is retiring about 38 years in the library profession.
  • Karen Vargas is now with the Outreach Evaluation Resource Center of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. 


  • Academic librarian and ESMARTs Alternate Councilor, Susan Andrews, passed away in June.
  • Former school librarian Shirley Ray Hatcher passed away in July.
  • Former school librarian Mary Frances Law passed away in May. 
  • Lifelong library supporter Robert Tocker passed away in June.
Created on Aug 17, 2015 | Last updated August 24, 2015