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Impressed ... or not

I read yesterday about a pre-teen girl who asked people to donate money to her local library instead of giving her a birthday present.

Wow, I thought, what a great kid!

But, then I read a little deeper into the story.

And it said she wanted the donations to go to the library in her name so she could get her name on a brass plaque.

Meh.

Thanks to 18+

Today was the last day for this year's 18+ young people to come to the library to help us out.

Leslie Williams is in charge of this great program, offered by the Wimberley school system.

Every Tuesday since last fall, Leslie has brought Naomi, Justin, Chance and Sage to the library to shelve books and DVDs and to help clean the place up. Everyone is always in a great mood and wonderful to be around.

Thanks, Leslie and kids!

STEM and diversity

I read more and more laments lately about how few women and people of color are going into STEM fields. So much evidence has been compiled, I believe that we have a problem.

And it's a problem that can be solved right about in the same place where the Apollo 13 problem was solved. That's right: Houston.

Yesterday I attended the ceremonies marking my daughter's graduation from the University of Houston Clear Lake, which is just around the bend from Space Center Houston.

About 280 people graduated, and I'd say about half of them were getting degrees in computer science. Another half of those were getting master's degrees in computer science.

I did not do a count, but I would say that of all those 140 or so graduates, about half were women and fully 75 percent were people of color -- Hipanics, Indians, Pakistanis, African-Americans. It was truly gratifying to see.

I'm sure the picture was not the same at the Texas A&M graduation ceremonies and probably even the University of Texas ceremonies. Both universities are way too white and male.

 

Lots of toddlers

Our Toddler Time on Monday mornings seems to be a big hit with joms and kids alike.

But, it's not growing like the similar program in the New York City public libraries.

Sage Lazzaro and Esti Jungreis write in The New York Observer that Toddler Times attracted 250,000 participants last year. In the first quarter of this year, the number has already hit 190,000!

Some parents are arriving as much as an hour early to participate.

Sounds as if the libraries need to add some other times for toddlers.

This past Monday, we had about 25 moms, dads and kiddoes. Earlier this month, we had 35.

Those are pretty healthy numbers for a library our size. Thirty-five has us bursting at the seams.

Chopper listens

Chopper, a service dog, comes by every Monday afternoon to listen to children practice their reading.

As with most such critters, he is completely non-judgmental.

And that seems to be something some kids need when they open a book.

A mom who has two sons, one of whom is starting to read, told me this past Monday that the older one refused to read to her and husband -- until he got comfortable reading to Chopper.

Now, she said, he reads to them all the time.

A real success story.