Barbara M's blog

NEW Discussion Group for English as a Second Language students

One of the challenges for new English speakers is finding friendly places to practice English conversation. The library has these, two mornings a week--and now, three!

Join us on Fridays for the new English Discussion group. It will be meeting in the Conference Room, Room L-212, at 10:00 a.m.  No registration is required; just come when you can.

This discussion group is an addition to the groups that meet earlier in the week. On Monday and Wednesday mornings the ESL groups begin with an hour of Listening to English at 9:00. Then at 10:00 the groups split into a Beginner Discussion group and an Advanced Discussion group for an hour of topical chat.

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Marshall Stephens (and other) Talented Artists' Exhibitions

Be sure to catch the Marshall Stephens exhibition held over for a second month in our big meeting room, L129. Marshall’s work has been delighting staff and customers alike.

And please take in the Tomball Art League’s Spring Art Show and Exhibition this Saturday, March 12th, at the Tomball Community Center on Market Street.

The library has been liaising with the Tomball Art League for awhile now. If you are artistically inclined, you might enjoy my blog artposttomball.blogspot.com, featuring “random but stable bits of information” about art on the ‘net.

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Important Change for Digital Media Catalog Users

A change for our Montgomery County digital customers will go into effect Monday, March 7th. Because of budgetary and eBook licensing issues, HCPL has had to limit access to its Digital Media Catalog to HCPL cardholders. It leaves MCML customers with two options:

You can come into one of our HCPL locations and register for a Harris County Public Library card.

You can access the Houston Area digital media catalog used by Montgomery County Memorial Public Library.

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The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease

We’ve been told many times that the public library is one of those institutions that people love, don’t think much about, and expect will always be there. Well folks, we’re in trouble. We’re staring into the face of county, state, and federal funding cuts, as soon as a month or so from now.

On the county level, where our staffing and operating budgets originate, we’re looking at a possible 10% budget cut or more. At the state level, where most of our databases, our telecommunications discounts, and a lot of our programs are funded, we’ve been told to expect a 70% reduction. If we lose our state funding, all the matching federal grants will also go away. The federal government sponsors the big IMLF granting program from which we derive money f...

Yes, We are Open Thursday

Yes, the library is open Thursday, February 17. The college's classes are cancelled today because they are celebrating their Conference Day 2011,  but the library is open for business as usual.

Image from Flickr: cc: Open, by matthileo

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Tax Forms Update

The 1040 instruction sheets have arrived. We have the instruction sheets that go with Form 1040, Form 1040 EZ, and Form 1040 A.

In case you haven't heard, the government has extended the tax fililng deadline this year to Monday, April 18th.

If you need schedules that we don't stock, you can go to the Internal Revenue Service website, find them in "Forms and Publications", and download and print them off. Or, we can do that for you. We're here to serve.

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Library: Home of the Brave

This week we salute the droves of mature adults who enter this library every month, put on the armor of courage, troop into our computer lab, and dare to begin the amazing, confusing, frustrating, and illuminating adventure that leads to computer literacy. 

This link is for you. A group of young children are given ‘old technology’ (think of ‘old’ as belonging to 1990 and before) and are asked to figure out what it’s about. You will see that they are as lost with old technology as you are with today’s. And then they figure it out. Just like you do.

We’re all in this together. We applaud you, the brave and the tenacious!

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AARP Tax Aide

AARP Tax Aide begins this Wednesday--February 2nd. Trained volunteers from the American Association of Retired Persons help individuals file simple tax returns. The service, in Room L129, extends Mondays from noon - 4 p.m., Wednesdays from 10 a.m - 4 p.m., and Saturdays, from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. from now until April 18th.

Because of IRS systems delays, neither the AARP nor anyone else will be able to file income tax claims that contain the following until February 14th:

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This Just In: Instructions for 1040 A

A quick update. The 1040 A Instruction sheets have arrived! As of 2:30 this afternoon. The other piece of news you may want on this last day of January is that we are out of 1099 Miscellaneous forms. Malcolm Purvis Library, at 510 Melton Street in Magnolia, has a good supply. They will be open until 8:00 this evening. Their phone number (metro number) is 936-442-7704. More tax information later...

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eReaders

Electronic reading devices--eReaders--were a popular gift item this holiday season. People have been coming in asking for tips on how to download electronic library books to their new eReaders, and circulation has skyrocketed. Fantastic!

Others have expressed dismay that their brand of eReader won't accept library books. Yes, only the Barnes and Noble Nooks, the Sony Readers, the Kobo eReader, Literati Reader, Pandigital Novel, and Pocketbook Pro accept our OverDrive ebooks.

By the way, the Digital Media catalog also stocks electronic formats for reading on various computers and listening to on a number of audio devices.

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