Linda Stevens's blog

Friends of the Library-Kingwood Gives $25,000 for Digital Collections

emedia checkFriends of the Library-Kingwood (FOLK) has generously granted $25,000 to add new material to Harris County Public Library's Digital Media Collection. The bulk of these funds will go to Overdrive eBooks and eAudios for both adults and children. Some of these funds may be used for newer digital collections, including Hoopla's app-based streaming media, OneClickdigital's audiobooks, Flipster's digital magazines, or the HCPL eSelect collection of independent authors – all available through your library card.

Girl Scouts Create Garden for Northwest Branch Library


Many thanks go out to Cadette Girl Scout Troop #14318, of the Wildflowers Community, Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council for their support of the Northwest Branch Library!  Last Saturday, despite stormy weather and power outages at the library, they held a Storybook Run to raise money for a library garden and then stayed to plant the garden.

Harris County Public Library Seeks Citizenship Tutors

Would you consider helping someone become a U.S. Citizen?  A little of your time can make a huge difference.

Harris County Public Library will begin offering free citizenship classes this month.  We are in need of volunteers to help teach the classes in this program, to be held in various library locations.  Volunteers are required to attend a 3-hour HCPL Citizenship Tutor Training.  Training topics will include eligibility requirements, the citizenship process, the Naturalization test and Civics.

The initial training opportunity will be held on Thursday, January 22, 2015 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM at the Parker Williams Branch Library, located at 10851 Scarsdale Boulevard, Suite 510, Houston, TX 77089.  For more information, or to register, call Alisha Hall at 713-749-9000 or email


Meet Edward Melton, HCPL's New Library Director

Please join us in welcoming our new Library Director to HCPL!  

Edward Melton brings strategic focus, vision, and innovative leadership during a successful career of guiding and implementing library services. He is keen on leveraging partnerships and collaboration to build sustainable library service models. Even though he strongly supports innovation and technology, he is very practical and traditional in his value of public libraries. He understands the traditional role of libraries and works to create a balance between innovation and tradition.

We're 20,000 Readers Strong!

read to me babyThat's right!  Today we reached 20,000 readers signed up for summer reading fun.  If you're not one of them, there's still time to register and achieve your reading goal.  Fun and educational programs, reading activities, and prizes run through August 10, 2014.

Psst...Have You Heard? We're Having Summer Reading Fun!

girls at programSince we're being scientific this summer, Fun is defined by Merriam-Webster as "what provides amusement or enjoyment; specifically :  playful often boisterous action or speech."  I think these pictures from some of the library activities across the county give you a much better idea.  It's not too late for you to sign up and join in - the fun runs through August 9th!


Keeping Up with the Reading Stack

Amazon just released a list of the best romance books published so far this year, according to their editors.  I am kind of appalled at myself that I've only read one of them -- Laura Kaye's Hard as You Can, the second book in a great new romantic suspense series.  I have a couple of the others in my pile of books to read and I am fan of many authors on the list, but I don't guess that counts in my favor.

What about you?  Have you read any on this list?  Do you think they're the best romance books so far this year?

Barbara Bush Library Friends Honor Librarian Nancy Agafitei

Barbara Bush Branch Librarian Nancy Agafitei will be retiring at the end of June, after working 25 years for Harris County Public Library.  Her coworkers, community colleagues and the Barbara Bush Library Friends hosted a reception today to celebrate her career and accomplishments.

Here Barbara Bush Library Friends President Penny Boozman presents HCPL Interim Director Ron Lucik with a check for five thousand dollars in honor of Nancy Agafitei.  Happy retirement, Nancy!

Guess the Birdies & Support the Friends of the Library

hcfolThe 2014 Shell Houston Open will be held on March 31- April 6, 2014 and the Harris County Friends of the Library will be raising funds through Birdies for Charity .  How is the money used?  The Friends help pay for the summer reading activities,  educational and cultural programs at library branches, and eBooks for the collection.  

How can you participate?  It's easy.  You make a minimum pledge of a penny for every birdie made Wednesday through Sunday by the pros at the Shell Houston Open or make a donation of $20 or more.  For every penny per birdie pledged, you get a guess as to how many birdies will be made this year.  For every $20 pledged, you get a guess. If you guess correctly, you have a chance to win the Grand Prize!  Total birdies for the past five years have been:   1,722  1,528  1,786  1,750  1,615.  Deadline for pledges is Monday, March 31, 2014.

If you would like to participate or would like more information, please contact Peggy Kruckemeyer at  

Try Out the New Library Catalog

Don't panic!  We've got the new library catalog ready for you to test, but the same familiar search is still the one you'll be using from the library website.  We think you're going to like the new features that make it easier than ever to access all of the resources in our collection, no matter the format.  Look for:

  • Smarter search technology that makes it easier to find exactly what you're looking for
  • Featured NYT Bestseller Lists and New Items Lists
  • New texting and social media features
  • Spell Check
  • Individual "My List" creation
  • Ability to place multiple holds at once

Take a test run of our new catalog:  We want to hear what you think, so please share your discoveries in the comments.

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