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We're growing

The library signed up almost 1,000 new patrons during 2013.

We now have more than 9,700 folks who have library cards.

It's likely that we have had patrons who moved away and didn't tell us, so they are still listed as active. That total, then, is probably not entirely accurate.

Still, that's a lot of patrons for a town that's only 2,400 people.

Hidden cost of newsiness

On NPR this morning, a Purdue University professor was interviewed about Syria, and then the interviewer asked him about the reaction to the shooting of a student there yesterday.

He responded that the campus was shut down.

And he added that just as soon as students and faculty heard about the event, they just quit doing what they were doing for the entire remainder of the day so they could focus on what was in the news and on Twitter.

So news of the shooting consumed an entire university for at least a day and a half. Nothing else occurred except watching for the latest developments.

Wow.

Imagine how much got done in this country back when the news arrived just once a week -- on Thursday mornings.

Engaging boys

When my son was in junior high school, he was falling behind mainly because he was not a reader.

He didn't exactly struggle with the act of reading. He just couldn't get interested in what he was given to read.

So, we bought him comic books and graphic works. At least we figured he could conjure out some basic things, like what constituted a plot and what carried the action in a story and what went into making a character sound real.

He did make it through high school and got a college degree, but he still never reads much. He's a great story-teller, though.

David Cutler in a blog at Eductopia suggests that getting kids like my son to read is still a challenge, and he suggests teachers of English and history turn to comic books that are available to help their students learn to like story-telling and the narrative aspects of history.

Specifically, he recommends "Kingdom Come" by Mark Waid and Alex Ross for English teachers and "Uncanny X-Men" and "Tales of Suspece #39) for history teachers.

My take on this is: Well, it sure can't hurt to try.

H-E-B decision should help us

Prior to the City Council decision Thursday night on H-E-B's plan to open a store here, the library district took no official position on the matter.

Now that it is a done deal, it is safe to say that the district, which depends for income on sales tax revenue, will certainly benefit from the opening of a store right next door.

It's predictable that H-E-B will generate more revenue than our existing grocery store because so many people go to Dripping Springs or San Marcos to shop at the H-E-Bs there. It is also likely that when people go into DS and SM right now to shop H-E-B they also go other places. If they don't go to DS or SM, they might do more local shopping. That would also generate more sales tax revenue.

I understand that H-E-B will let some of our overflow park in their lot next to a brick fence they plan to erect between us and them. They plan a walk-through connecting us with them.

It's my opinion, and I don't speak for anyone else here at the library, that this is a good thing for Wimberley and our surrounding area.

Early reports from CES ...

A blogger from American Libraries is sending updates almost minute-by-minute from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

So far, from reading his blogs and tweets, I am picking up on the following:

+ Wearable electronic devices are good for fitness tracking but little else;

+ 4k video may go straight to streaming via Netflix and other services and bypass everything else, which would over time eliminate our DVD collection;

+ Makerbot is stealing the show with its new 3D printing devices that cover a spectrum of needs.

Wish we could get us a Makerbot here at the library. It's on my wish list for this year. We'll see.