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Librarian Blog

Un-wacky numbers

The library kicked off the summer youth programs with a Wacky Wednesday for the record books last week.
By the time the dust settled, which took all morning, we had counted about 350 men, women and, mainly, children right here in the main room to watch Kazoo, the whateverheis, perform and then to eat cookies, have faces painted and ride horses.
That's a record number of kickoff participants -- by far.
So, our first reaction was, Wow!
Our second reaction was, How did that happen?
Actually, we don't seem to know.
For the most part, we publicized the kickoff event just as we have in years past.
Whatever: Something clicked. Something worked. And we're just happy as clams about it.
So, come join us every Wednesday during the summer. You sure won't be alone.

We had a hit

Well, our youth librarians certainly did something right in the promotion of our Wacky Wednesday kickoff event this week.
We had 350 people in the library for the morning program ... and that was with kind-of-threatening skies.
That's a good 100 more than we had last year for the same kind of program.
I don't know what was done differently this year, but we're talking about figuring it out.
Meanwhile, though, every Wednesday morning features something new and exciting at the library.
And ... we have other programs for a little bit older folks on Saturdays. Come by and check out what we're planning -- 3D printing, Lego adventures and more!
 

Beware the polls

Once again over the weekend we were treated to a "scientific" poll on the horse race between Clinton and Trump.
This NBC poll purported to show that the candidates were neck-and-neck.
Truly, the results showed them very close together.
But what the reporter didn't say was who exactly participated in the poll. Probable voters? All potential adult voters? People who have voted before? People who voted in primaries?
And she did not tell us what the tiny print at the top of her screen said, that the poll was considered accurate plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Given that accuracy rate, the poll results were not accurate at all. They were so approximate that not an informed better in Vegas would bet on the results.
Polling is out of hand in this presidential race. The results are all over the place. They are not to be trusted.
Don't take my word for it. Check it out with such experts as Norman J. Ornstein and Alan I. Abramowitz, who together wrote a column on poll wackiness over the weekend in The New York Times.
News folks love horse race polling. So we will not see a rational end until the only poll that matters is taken: that's the November election.

Color me baffled

We're still hoping to publish an adult coloring book featuring the works of Wimberley artists this summer.
The deadline for artwork submissions is June 1. And so far we've not had a lot of entries or interest.
I'm kind of bewildered by this.
The library offered to pay for the initial press run of the coloring book. The idea was that we would recoup our  money and then the profits for all sales after that would go to the Wimberley Art League.
The leadership of the art league has been enthusiastic about the project.
But Wimberley artists: Not so much so far.
Still, we have some time remaining before the deadline. I'm still hopeful.
Incidentally, the New York Times had a piece in today's paper about the burgeoning popularity of adult coloring books. About 12 million were sold last year, up from 1 million in 2014. Wow.

The vanishing Statesman

When the Austin American-Statesman announced a couple of years ago that it would no longer cover Friday or Saturday night sports live, so that readers could see game stories and scores in Saturday and Sunday papers, I gritted my teeth but carried on with a seven-day subscription.
Here's why: I was a newspaper guy for 45 years, meaning I worked for news media -- mainly newspapers -- for 45 years. More than that, I was a true-born newspaper reader. When I was growing up, we had two newspapers in the house every day but Saturday and Sunday. I've never not subscribed to a newspaper.
But the Statesman seems intent on changing all of that. Yesterday, the editors announced they will no longer publish a daily editorial page. It appears that the only two national columnists they will carry will be Leon Pitts and George Will. Already, they have cut back on news coverage to such an extent that the nightly local TV news seems to have beaten them to every local story.
I like editorial pages and editorials. I don't like Pitts or Will. I like Krugman and others.
So, for the first time in my life, I am weighing the idea of stopping my subscription altogether. Is the new Statesman worth the money?
I'm having serious doubts.
My wife says the only reason she wants to keep the paper is for the daily comic strips and the crossword puzzle.
Seems to me like a lot of money for not much in return.
More on this later.
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