Library needs support to continue to provide support

It’s been a whirlwind of a week at the library. 

This time last week we were just finding out that we needed to go to Commissioner’s Court for our funding.  We used the last couple of days of July to think and plan before we started out August with the kind of bang that no one wants to hear. 

All this week we have been asking for your support and we have been overwhelmed.  There is not a day that goes by that we do not get at least one heartfelt thanks or someone telling how much they love and appreciate the library so we should not have been surprised at how you have come through for us.  Multiple people have copied us in on their emails and every single one of them have helped motivate us to continue this fight. 

More than one of these letters has brought us to tears.  We can only hope that the commissioners listen to what you have to say. 

This year marks the 50th year anniversary of the Grand Saline Public Library. 


Cool off with a trip to the Library

Hot! Hot! Hot! It's August in Texas. Fortunately, we have things to cool us down: swimming or playing in the sprinkler, going to a movie, shopping in a mall, or, if your pocketbook is running low, come to the library.

There are lots of things to do that cost you nothing. New books come in often, so look for your favorite authors on the New Release kiosks. Or sign up to be a volunteer. You might make a difference in someone's day or make a friend for life.

This week's volunteer profile features a young man who will be a junior at Canton High School this fall. Austin Lomas will soon turn 17, which would officially classify him as a Junior Volunteer; but there is nothing junior about him. Having worked with him this summer during Summer Reading, he is willing to do whatever is asked: taking photos, handing out door-prize tickets to children, making a list of winners for the paper and moving carts of books that have been returned.


State Capitol Highlights

State rolls out revised women’s health program

AUSTIN — A women's health program is in effect and ready to deliver more care to more women statewide who are 15 to 44 years old and whose income is up to 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines.

Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, and Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Charles Smith, in a joint announcement on July 25, said they expect the “new and improved” Healthy Texas Women program to serve some 300,000 women, while earlier programs served 270,000 women. Participation for minors will require parental consent.

Nelson, current chair of the state Senate Finance Committee and former chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, said the program combines and streamlines two of the state’s previous women’s health programs to provide a full range of women’s health services, including: 

- Pregnancy testing and counseling;

- Family planning;


The language of money: Know your financial vocabulary

While the financial world is full of acronyms and other terms that can be confusing, it’s important to be well versed. Below is a list of common financial terms that you’ve most likely heard, some more frequently than others, but may not understand their meaning.

401(k) Plan - A qualified retirement plan through an employer in which eligible employees can make salary deferral contributions on a post- or pre-tax basis.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM) - A type of mortgage with an interest rate that periodically changes. There may be an initial “teaser” rate, which will go up after a specified period. After that, the rate will adjust with an index. Usually rate and payment adjustments are made annually after the initial term.

Amortization - A schedule of paying off debt, including the principal and interest, in regular payments over a period of time.


Libraries give more than receive

Courtesy Photo Chief Collins from Grand Saline PD comes to use the library computers to send his email.

The Grand Saline Public Library is preparing to talk to the Commissioner’s Court to defend the funding that we receive each year from the county.  Over the last few years both the Van Zandt County Library and the Grand Saline Public Library have received funds from Van Zandt County. 

Last year (and the years prior) the GSPL received $10,500 while the Van Zandt County Library was budgeted $125,725 (which included $107,472 for personnel costs).  

This year the Van Community Library and the Tri-County Library in Mabank, which serve Van Zandt County patrons, are asking for funding from Van Zandt County.  We at the GSPL feel that library funding at the county level provides the libraries in our county with the means to help our citizens in ways that few realize. 

Our libraries work every day with citizens of this county and surrounding counties to help them get jobs and find the resources they need to improve their lives which in turn improve Van Zandt County.  


Name game can have winners, losers

I once worked with a woman whose first name was Dimple.  Yes, that was her given name.  I told her that I thought that was such a sweet name, and she said, "Yes, it was sweet when I was four years old."  I've also known a Lovey.  Real names, on real birth certificates.

Names are very important.  People like to be addressed by their names, not just 'hey!'  My first husband and I thought we were on the cutting edge by naming our son Joshua; it turns out there were three Joshuas in his class.


Volunteers help run the library

Courtesy photo Lacy Elliott working the circulation desk as she volunteers at the library.

We at the library want to spotlight the people who volunteer their time to help the librarians keep the library running smoothly.

This week, Lacy Elliott is featured.

Lacy has been a volunteer for nine months. After 25 years of homeschooling her children, she decided to “give back to the library after 15 years of my children terrorizing the library!”

Lacy, besides teaching, has some college experience and works in the children’s department at church. As a farm owner, she sells cattle and hay; also she trains horses and is a riding instructor.

Lacy, who describes volunteering as a blessing, works eight hours a week. Her duties include wrapping, labeling, shelving and repairing books; also, she assists patrons and issues new library cards. Her favorite part of the work is helping patrons and staff. She describes the staff as “very patient and helpful in teaching her the needed skills.”


Reading club’s over, library fun continues

Our summer reading activities have ended for the year and we are very grateful for all the wonderful people who helped make this year’s activities possible.  A special thank you goes to Morton Salt for the donation that helped pay for our performers, movies, and events this summer.  Thank you to the Athena Club for you donation which has gone towards purchasing books and material that go along with our summer theme this year. 

We would like to thank our school aged volunteers who helped with our programming this summer.  Thank you, Abigail Zarate, Drew Hathcock, Drew Weidman, Katie Davis, Luke Morrison, Shayne Carnes, and Shelbey Herring for all your help.  We also want to thank Lynn Gray and Nancy McFarlin for handling all the check-in and check-outs during programs and events and to Jan Adamson for helping during the Family Fort Night. 


Summer may be ending but things are happening at Library

Now that summer activities are coming to a conclusion, volunteering at the library might be something to think about. There is always something interesting happening.

It's a great way to serve your community and meet interesting people. Also, learning new skills and exploring new ideas is a way to exercise the brain!

Some of the requirements are to have transportation to the library, the ability to communicate clearly with others, and to be able to understand and follow requests.

To be a Junior Volunteer you must be 12 – 17 years of age. At 18 and older, you are an Adult Volunteer.

Come by the circulation desk to pick up an application and one of the librarians or a volunteer will be glad to answer your questions.


State Capitol Highlights

Texas baby is born with Zika-related microcephaly

AUSTIN — The Texas Department of State Health Services has confirmed a Zika virus infection in a baby recently born with microcephaly in Harris County.

The July 13 report is the first official confirmation of a Zika-related microcephaly case in Texas. According to the agency, the mother traveled from Latin America, where she was likely infected and the baby acquired the infection in utero.

“It’s heartbreaking,” said Texas Department of State Health Services Commissioner John Hellerstedt. “This underscores the damage Zika can have on unborn babies. Our state’s work against Zika has never been more vital.”

DSHS is coordinating with Harris County Public Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to follow the case.


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