Jim Johnson's blog

Check Out a Kindle eReader!

Kindle eReaders are now available for check out!  These ereaders will circulate for two-weeks, just like our other materials.  Is one unavailable at your branch?  You can put a hold on it just like a book and have one sent from another branch.  With it, you can download free ebooks from Amazon. "Cheat sheets" explaining how to use the device and service are included with each Kindle.  Take advantage of this great new service today!

Digital Media Lab Orientation Open for Registration

Orientation sessions for the Jocelyn H. Lee Digital Media Lab are now open for registration! Once completed, this one-time session will allow patrons to make a 2-hour reservation of the Lab with a library card. Dates and times currently scheduled are:

  • Monday, October 24th, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 2nd, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
  • Friday, November 11th, 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 19th, 2:30 - 4:00 p.m.
  • Monday, November 21st, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, November 29th, 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Please call the library at 281-488-1906 or visit to register. Reservation of the Lab will soon be available via a form online on the "Make @ HCPL" page: http://www.hcpl.net/content/make-hcpl. Instructions on reserving the Lab will be provided in the orientation session.

Desktop CNC Orientation in November

Thanks to the generosity of the Friends of Freeman, the Innovation Lab was able to purchase a Nomad 883 desktop CNC from Carbide 3D this summer.  This desktop CNC is a 3D 'carving' tool (essentially a small end-mill) that patrons will be able to use to create objects from wood, plastics and some metals.  Orientation sessions on the use of this tool will be scheduled in the month of November.  After orientation, patrons will be able to make a reservation on the machine in much the same way as the 3D printers or laser cutter/engraver.  Stay tuned for a listing of select dates for these orientation sessions, which will soon be posted on our Events Calendar.  Thanks again to the Friends of Freeman for their support of the Jocelyn H. Lee Innovation Lab!

New Incentives for Supporting the Friends of Freeman!

From summer reading program performers, to items on the shelves, to the activities and equipment available in the Innovation Lab, the Friends of Freeman Library support it all! If you want to know how you can support your favorite library -- Freeman, of course -- then look no further! There are even now incentives for each level of monetary donations. Want to become a member? They're always looking for generous new faces to join their ranks. Click on the image of the form below and print (or grab one at the library), fill it out and return it with your donation, and feel great about helping your library remain the outstanding resource that it is!

Innovation Lab Maker Challenge

The patrons who use the Innovation Lab come up with some incredibly creative designs and projects, and they'll be showing them off this Saturday, October 1st, at 11 a.m. during the JHLIL Maker Challenge Contest. If you've made something in the Lab during the past three months, there's still time to enter -- but not much!  Follow this link to find the rules and requirements, and register by Wednesday, September 28th. 

- Patrick Ferrell, Innovation Lab Trainer

3D Printer Users Group

Join us in the 3D Printer Users Group meeting in the Jocelyn H. Lee Innovation Lab to share your ideas or other experiences of 3D printing.  No registration required.  All are welcome!

 

9/15/16: Power Up at Your Library Day

Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared Thursday, September 15th as Power Up at Your Library Day to encourage libraries to promote technology, innovation, and creativity.  We are quite happy to participate and have planned a couple of events around this day.  First is "Chain Reactions," which is a drop-in program from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Innovation Lab.  Participants will be able to help construct a Rube-Goldberg machine and enjoy the fun and interesting results.  Second is the Jocelyn H. Lee Digital Media Lab Open House from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.  The public will be able to take a close look at this new service and space, which will offer opportunities to create, edit, and convert digital video, images, and audio/music.  An official open date for the Lab is planned for October at a date yet to be determined.  We hope you will join us for both of these "Powered Up" events!

Jocelyn H. Lee Digital Media Lab

Thanks to the generosity of late Freeman Library patron Jocelyn H. Lee, we will soon have another brand-new service available for you.  The Jocelyn H. Lee Digital Media Lab will be a place for you to create, edit, and convert music, video, and images with state-of-the-art hardware and software.  This new makerspace will be located upstairs in the former Copy Space between the Conference Room and the Quiet Room.  Technology Trainer Raymond Harbert is currently working hard to train staff and prepare this space to open tentatively in October.  An Open House is planned for September 15th from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.  To see more about the DML, take a look at the Flickr album.  We hope you are as excited as we are about this fun, new space available at your library!

Libraries + Technology = The Biggest Smile You'll See Today

Katelyn is a 5 year-old girl from Victoria, Texas who was born without a fully-formed left hand. Her family contacted Harris County Public Library to ask about 3D-printing a prosthetic, then visited the Innovation Lab here at the Clear Lake City-County Freeman Branch Library to meet with staff and volunteers and to discuss options. We decided to try making Katelyn an "Unlimbited Arm" from Team UnLimbited, part of the E-Nable Community.

Thanks to a lot of dedicated work from Innovation Lab volunteers (particularly Michael Craig and Robert E Bannon), the device was recently completed and delivered to Katelyn. In true maker fashion, Katelyn's dad has already made some modifications and improvements to make the arm more robust. Katelyn is looking forward to using her new hand during the coming school year.

With the continued support of the Friends of Freeman Library, and thanks to the dedication of volunteers around the world and right here in our local library, Katelyn is able to increase the function of her left hand because a public library has a makerspace - imagine that! We are so glad to have been part of this project.

Time Capsule Opened

The Clear Lake Theatre time capsule was opened on April 20, 2016, at 16602 El Camino Real, most recently the location of the Shanghai Tokyo restaurant.  Two layers of concrete had to be cut away before the metal lid of the capsule was found.  The entire process took approximately two hours, and the items were unfortunately found to be submerged in water, likely for the duration of the entire 50 years.  In spite of the fact that the items were water damaged, Harris County archivist Sarah Canby-Jackson was on hand to take charge and offer advice on what to do.  UHCL archivist Lauren Meyers carefully worked with the items in the library meeting room for the next two days and was able to save approximately half of the items, including an American flag carried by astronaut Pete Conrad into space on his Gemini V mission.

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