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.
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.
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.
University of Texas professors have compiled 50 books they recommend incoming freshmen read this summer.
To encourage the new students, the UT profs will sit down with the kids at summer's end and have a book discussion.
It's a great list, and includes some heavy hitters, like Daniel Kaneman, the Nobel economist. His book may be the weightiest, in fact. And it also may be the most important in terms of BIG ideas the students should understand.
I guess you could quibble about some of the entries, but I wouldn't. I have read a lot of them, and there's not a stinker on there.
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