Earlier this year, the staff did some brainstorming to come up with a motto.
I guess we haven't had one up to now.
We had a dozen or so that we all kind of liked, and the one that came out on top was this: "Read. Connect. Discover."
That seems to be what our library is centered on here in 2014. We will never stop encouraging people to read. Reading is fundamental to learning and fundamental to democracy. In today's world, connecting is also fundamental as we as individuals expand our definitions of community and neighborhood, thanks to digital technologies. And through reading and establishing connections, we discover new things more now than ever.
It's sad but true: For works by certain authors, we can have a waiting list to check out as long as 20 and more patrons.
If each patron keeps that popular book for the maximum allowed checkout time of three weeks, you can see that those who are late to the list could wait more than a year to get the item to read.
Of course, we try to buy several copies of the most popular authors' works, but that can help only so much.
So, beginning pretty soon we will go to two-week, rather than three-week, checkout for our most popular writers.
That would be people like Baldacci, Burke, Clark, Coben, Cussler, Evanovich, Grisham, Patterson, Sandford, etc.
As new works are published by these writers, the checkout time will be shortened.
In reality, though, we have a lot of very considerate patrons who hustle through wildly popular works because they know a long line of people are waiting, too.
We now have a couple of Nook e-readers and a couple of Kindle Fire e-readers that we are loaning out to patrons in good standing.
We have downloaded some good works of fiction on each of these, but, of course, they have functions beyond just reading, if you have internet access.
The e-readers are available for you to take home for two weeks.
In addition, we have some new laptops that patrons can check out for use in the library only.
Come in and check these out.
Early in the fall we'll be announcing the library's first-ever Wimberley indie film festival.
Our hope is to entice Wimberley area film-makers and would-be producers/cirectors/actors to put together their own movies and then submit them for judging some time a little after Christmas.
Details are still to be worked out, but start thinking about ideas. (We're talking about movies with a maximum length of 7 minutes, including credits.)
We're borrowing the festival idea from the good folks in Pearland, Texas, who have for several years had a festival for locally produced movies, celebrating a different kind of creative outlet.
My first editor, Wes Izzard of the Amarillo Daily News, absolutely refused to allow us to publish photos of rattlesnakes or any kind of snake at all.
This became an issue because our sports editor was from Sweetwater, home of a long-running rattlesnake hunt in West Texas, and he would always go to participate and come back with photos (and one time, several actual, live snakes).
Izzard's concern was that the photo of a snake in your morning paper would frighten you for no good reason. His general mantra was that he wanted nothing published in the morning paper that would upset a pregnant woman.
I always thought that was a good rule, although over the years I did allow a lot of snake pictures to be published in the morning papers I edited.
I think Izzard's rule would have extended to big spiders, although we never had that discussion.
I put spiders and rattlesnakes in the same general category of icky things I want to avoid, even on the pages of a newspaper.
So, I find it particularly off-putting to have a TV commercial pop up during the evening news featuring an obviously nutty guy with a huge tarantula on his forehead, reaching down to touch his eyelid.
It makes me cringe every time. And my wife and I both vow we will never, ever use this character's services, whatever they may be.
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