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Librarian Blog

A sad stat

A patron brought me a clipping from a recent edition of Oprah's magazine.

The item included a not-so-surprising statistic: 23 percent of American adults did not read a single book last year.

Why am I not surprised?

Because life today is just chockfull of distractions, not even counting television. I suspect, from what I see driving around Wimberley, San Marcos and Austin that at least 23 percent of American adults spend 90 percent of their waking hours on their smartphones. My gosh -- they can't tear themselves away long enough to take a trip to the grocery store. I've been in restaurants where I've seen couples spend their entire meal-time, each on a smartphone.

Maybe I'm more surprised that 77 percent of adults actually did read a book last year.

Printing in 3D

I did it.

A three-hour session at the recent Texas libraries conference in Austin gave us a pretty good introduction to 3D printers and a very simple program that lets you build 3D stuff.

The software is called Tinkercad. It's very easy to use, and I was able to build a nametag and then print it out. 

I'm pretty sold on the idea that the library should get a 3D printer, and talked to some guys who are making them in the Dallas metroplex using U.S.-sourced parts. I was impressed with their printer, called the PolyPrinter.

We seem to be headed in the direction of buying something like that, depending on whether we can get grant funds.

If so, Wimberley patrons will have an opportunity to try out somethng that is truly cutting edge right here at the library.

Another sale

When a book by a very popular author comes out, we buy more than one copy. Sometimes we buy as many as five copies (anad we will still have a waiting list).

After a few months the rush to read dies down, and we end up with several books of the same title on our shelves. Since we don't have an unlimited amount of space we remove all but one and put the others on the Friends of the Library book shelves so you can buy them or put them in the annual Friends book sale in October.

This year we're trying something new: We're having a minisale. And it's coming up on Thursday, the 16th, starting at 1 p.m.

This sale will feature those newer books that we have "weeded" recently.

So, come on by, and pick up some bargains.

Fresh ideas

Several of us spent most of last week at the Texas Library Association convention in Austin, along with 8,000 other librarians from throughout the state.

I attended sessions on 3D printing, which was hands-on, and very informative; how to update what's on our website; how to maake things out of old books; how to make musical instruments out of everyday objects; tech tools; and many more.

I know we have some great ideas we'll be talking about to make improvements to our library and its offerings.

So, watch this space for regular updates.

Online reviews

Until just recently, we had a bulletin board full of short hand-written book reviews produced by patrons and staff members.

But we needed that space for another purpose, and needed a new home for these reviews.

Now we have it.

On our home page we've added a book review section under the "About Us" tab.

I'll be updating these posts as patrons give me reviews, and I have forms just for this purpose at the front desk.

Drop by, fill out a review and get your voice heard!

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