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.


Pressing for public’s right to know

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is one in an occasional series of opinion pieces on legislators and other Texans who are openly committed to sustaining government transparency and accountability. The articles are being prepared and distributed by the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas and the Texas Press Association.

State Rep. Travis Clardy, R-Nacogdoches, in his two terms in the Legislature has proven to be a strong proponent for transparency in government.

“We live in a free society,” he said. “The people’s trust in government and their institutions is relative to how directly they know what is going on.”


Political corruption ... and how to stop it

The 2016 primary season for determining the presidential candidates has uncovered numerous areas of political corruption. Both parties are guilty. Both parties have their elites. They wield great power.  They are entrenched in decisions that multiply their wealth. Have you ever noticed that new members of Congress enter with moderate income but leave as multi-millionaires.

The democrats have their super delegates.  Before the primary season had really started, they all pledged their votes for Clinton. Sanders had an almost insurmountable disadvantage to overcome. Clinton had numerous meetings with a few people around a table. Sanders had numerous rallies where thousands attended. He came close but did not make it successfully. He had great support from the voters and won many states where he was not expected to compete.


Find hope at GS Library

Libraries are a beacon of hope in their communities.  Over the last two years, libraries in Ferguson, Philadelphia, and Baltimore have received national attention for staying open when rioting was occurring in their cities.  These libraries are a shining example of what libraries do best.  Libraries strive every day to be a safe haven for the community.  Behind the scenes librarians are fighting every day to get the funding necessary to provide the services that those in their community need. 


It's a zoo at the VZC Library

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Put on your pith helmet (safari hat) and come to the library for Zoofari. We will disembark on our trip at 10 a.m. This is the next to last program in this year's Summer Reading Program. Lots of smiles have been spotted as kids and parents leave – especially on those who were the lucky winners of door prizes!

We next depart for outer space at Preschool Storytime. Miss Rhonda will be piloting the space shuttle when we blast off at 10 a.m. July 19. Come along as we dodge meteors and explore stars, planets and comets.


The Miserable Catch 22 of Mental Illness

Anxiety and depression can make it harder for people to reach out for the help they need.

I’m depressed.

I’ve dealt with mental health issues for decades now. Nothing fancy or interesting like multiple personalities or hallucinations. Just run-of-the-mill boring ones — good old depression and anxiety, and maybe some undiagnosed PTSD to go with it.

Mental illness has a stigma, but most sufferers are like me. Boring. Struggling. Outwardly pretty normal. Not a threat to society. Sometimes we even push our way through work, relationships, raising kids, or — in my case — graduate school.

Lately, I’ve been splitting my time between hating myself and working on my thesis.

It’s kind of odd to go back and forth between reading academic journal articles like a functional grown-up and curling up in the fetal position in bed like a child. If you saw me in public, you’d never know anything was wrong.


State Capitol Highlights

Governor reacts to downtown Dallas ambush

AUSTIN — A “Black Lives Matter” protest turned tragic when a sniper fired into a crowd estimated at 1,000 people in downtown Dallas at about 9 p.m. on July 7. 

Dozens of shots were fired, reportedly from an assault rifle, leaving five police officers dead and seven police officers and two civilians wounded. Police pursued a suspect identified as Micah Xavier Johnson, 25, a former U.S. Army reservist, and killed him in a parking garage using a robot-propelled explosive device early on July 8.


Wild things at the GS Library

Courtesy photo Salt Festival Queen Katie Davis holding Benjamin the kangaroo.

Wild Things Zoofari packed the library June 29.  Courtney Cortina-Pineda, owner of Wild Things Zoofari, entertained and educated a crowd of over 200 children and adults about five different types of wildlife.  She brought a two-month old marmoset, a kinkajou, a squirrel monkey, a chinchilla, an arctic fox, and a kangaroo to visit the library. 

She taught us all about how the animals survive in their native habitats, including what they eat and their distinctive traits.  We learned how the kinkajou can turns its back feet into hands so it can hang from trees and get to food and what a prehensile tail is.  We also learned that the arctic fox’s coat changes from summer to winter in order to serve as a camouflage.  With the help of two volunteers we learned about the defense mechanisms of the chinchilla and how far a kangaroo can jump.  Each of the children were able to pet Benjamin, the 1-year-old kangaroo, at the end of the program. 


Experience magic at VZC Library

Abracadabra! Presto! Voila! If you come Friday, July 8 to the VZC Library Summer Reading Program, Todd McKinney might utter some of these phrases as he performs feats of magic. Children ages 3 to 12, can show up by 10 a.m., get a ticket for the prize drawing, sit down in cool comfort and enjoy! There's room for parents and younger children also.

In addition, on the same day members for the Canton Lions Club will be in the library with their Spot Vision machine.

To a non-technical observer this could also be classified as magic! This machine is held like a camera as it focuses in on the eyes. After it takes the “picture” in just a few seconds a report is printed advising that the eyes are fine or the person needs to see an eye professional for further evaluation. This is especially good for younger children who can't verbalize what they are seeing or don't realize what they can't see well.


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