Georgetown Public Library wins National Medal

Georgetown Public Library Wins National MedalThe Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced the Georgetown Public Library as one of 10 recipients of the 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries that make significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. The award will be presented at an event at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C., in May.

Georgetown Mayor Dale Ross shared the National Medal award announcement at a public reception at the Georgetown Public Library on May 1. The reception was held in the lobby of the Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St.

At the Georgetown Public Library, patrons encounter three words as they enter the building: Engage, Enlighten, Empower. This is the mission statement that drives the library to serve as a catalyst for community wellbeing and enrichment. Library staff reimagine and reinvent the library through patron-centric library services, innovative partnerships with organizations and agencies, and creative, engaging programming.

“Winning the 2018 IMLS National Medal is truly an honor for our library and community,” Georgetown Public Library Director Eric Lashley said. “It is rewarding for our staff, volunteers, and community partners to be recognized at the national level for our efforts to engage, enlighten, and empower our community.”

Georgetown Public Library Wins National MedalSelected from 29 national finalists, the 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Service winners represent institutions that provide dynamic programming and services that exceed expected levels of service. Through their community outreach, these institutions bring about change that touches the lives of individuals and helps communities thrive. The San Antonio Public Library is the only other public library in Texas to have won the IMLS National Medal in the past.

“It is a pleasure to recognize the 10 distinctive recipients of the National Medal of Museum and Library Service,” IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew said. “Through their programs, services, and partnerships, these institutions exemplify the many ways that libraries and museums are positively transforming communities across the nation.”

As part of the ceremony and celebration, Georgetown community member Rosie Rocke will travel to Washington, D.C., with Lashley to accept the National Medal on behalf of Georgetown Public Library and provide a personal account of the power the library has had in the community. After Rocke’s husband died in 2013, the library became her safe haven. The super-volunteer notes that “the library was my grief counselor. It made my transition to a widow easier.”

Following the ceremony, StoryCorps—a national nonprofit dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans—will visit the Georgetown Public Library and provide an opportunity for Georgetown community members to share stories of how the library has affected their lives. These stories are preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

To see the list of 2018 National Medal recipients and learn more about the National Medal, visit www.imls.gov.

Earth Day programs focus on Monarch butterflies

The Georgetown Public Library along with the Southwestern University Environmental Studies Program and Smith Library Center are co-sponsoring a group of Earth Day events at the Georgetown library, 402 W. Eighth St.

The library will also host two stand-alone discussions on Barbara Kingsolver’s novel “Flight Behavior.” Southwestern University Economics Professor Emily Northrop and Georgetown Assistant Library Director Sally Miculek will lead a book discussion Tuesday, April 17. The second book discussion Monday, April 23, at 7 p.m. will be led by Smith Library Center Director Carol Fonken and Georgetown Fine Arts Librarian Dana Hendrix.

On Monday, April 30, at 7 p.m. David Wolfe, director of conservation strategies at the Environmental Defense Fund, will present “Monarch Butterflies: Threats and What You Can Do to Help.” Northrop will also present a talk on Tuesday, May 8, at 7 p.m. titled “Reducing CO2 Pollution for Monarchs and Humans.”

For more information, visit library.georgetown.org/flight-behavior.

 

Georgetown Public Library named as finalist for National Medal for Museum and Library Service

The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced the Georgetown Public Library has been named a finalist for the 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The library is one of 29 finalists named.

The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to their communities. For 24 years, the award has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service and are making a difference for individuals, families, and communities.

“Being named a finalist for the IMLS National Medal is truly an honor and community achievement,” Library Director Eric Lashley said. “It is exciting for our staff, volunteers, and community partners to be recognized at the national level for our efforts to engage, enlighten, and empower members of our community.”

The San Antonio Public Library is the only public library in Texas to have won the IMLS National Medal.

“The 29 National Medal finalists showcase the tremendous ability of libraries and museums to serve as vital community resources,” IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew said. “The Institute of Museum and Library Services is honored to recognize these leading institutions. We congratulate them on the work they are doing across the United States.”

Finalists are chosen because of their significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. Georgetown Public Library programs including the WOW!Mobile, the community resources coordinator, arts and culture coordination for the City, art and music programming in the library, children’s and teen programing, and the strong Friends of the Georgetown Public Library organization all helped to make the library stand out from other applications.

IMLS is encouraging community members who have visited the library to share their story on social media. To #ShareYourStory, please visit www.facebook.com/USIMLS or www.twitter.com/us_imls and use #IMLSmedals.

National Medal winners will be announced later this spring. Representatives from winning institutions will be honored for their extraordinary contributions at the National Medal Ceremony on May 24 in Washington, D.C.

To see the full list of finalists and learn more about the National Medal, visit www.imls.gov.

Black History Month events in February

The Georgetown Cultural Citizen Memorial Association will host several events at the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St., to help celebrate National Black History Month in February. This year’s theme is African Americans in Times of War.

Information about African Americans in the military will be on display at the library throughout the month of February.

Events will kick off with a reception Feb. 4 from 2-3 p.m. with a presentation by Allen Mack about the Buffalo Soldiers, followed by a presentation on Feb. 11 from 2-3 p.m. by retired U.S. Navy veteran Glenn Towery about Africans Americans in war. Both presentations are free and open to the public

This year’s annual Black History Month Banquet on Feb. 24 will include a special recognition of the licensed vocational nursing program at St. David’s Georgetown Hospital with the theme “The Golden Gateway to Nursing.”

The 36th annual banquet starts at 5:30 p.m. at the library. The annual Black History Month Banquet is open to the public. The suggested donation is $25 per person. The keynote speaker is Dr. Devry Anderson, who is a doctor and colonel at Fort Hood.

For more information, contact Regina Durden at rbdlivelife@gmail.com or Paulette Taylor at ptofgt@aol.com.

Library welcomes Meg Gardiner for Hill Country Author Series

The Friends of the Georgetown Public Library will host a Hill Country Author Series event Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 2 p.m., in the Community Rooms of the Georgetown Public Library, 402 W. Eighth St., featuring Austin-based author Meg Gardiner. Gardiner’s newest book “UNSUB” was published in June. Lawyer turned author, Gardiner is an Edgar Award-winning American crime writer who has written thirteen thrillers.

“UNSUB,” short for unknown subject, tells the story of a young detective determined to apprehend the serial murderer who destroyed her family and terrorized a city twenty years earlier. This psychological thriller has been bought by CBS Television Studios for adaptation into a TV series.

Tickets are $15 in advance or $18 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at the Second-Hand Prose bookstore on the second floor of the library, the WOW!mobile, online at folgeorgetown.org/event/hcas-meg-gardiner, or by contacting Marcy Lowe at (512) 868-8974. Refreshments from the Red Poppy Coffee Co. are included.

The event begins at 2 p.m., and doors open at 1:30 p.m. Proceeds are used to fund unbudgeted items and other ongoing library projects.

Library hosts Holocaust Remembrance Day event April 23

Congregation Havurah Shalom and the Georgetown Public Library will mark Holocaust Remembrance Day on Sunday, April 23, with a screening and moderated discussion of the documentary film “Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War.”

“Defying the Nazis” tells the story of Waitstill and Martha Sharp, an American minister and his wife. Over the course of two years, the Sharps made journeys to Europe where they rescued numerous refugees fleeing the Nazi occupations in Europe.

“Defying the Nazis” explores the Sharps’ work as well as the toll of their efforts on their own lives and those of their children, who were left in the care of their congregation in Massachusetts.

The event will begin at 1 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Library, Assistance League host ‘An Evening in Paris’

The Georgetown Public Library and Assistance League of Georgetown Area will host its first “An Evening in Paris” fundraiser Saturday, April 8, from 6-8 p.m. in the library.

The event will feature live music by jazz quartet Art & Candy as well as raffle items, including an oil painting and a trip for two to Colonial Williamsburg.

Heavy hor d’oeuvres will be served as well as dessert, wine and beer.

The event will raise funds for both to benefit the missions of both organizations, which includes providing assistance and literacy opportunities to children. The partnership formed after Assistance League President Joanne Harrah and Library Director Eric Lashley were named People of the Year by the Williamson County Sun.

Tickets are $50, which includes one raffle ticket, and are available for purchase at the library’s circulation desk. Additional tickets can be purchased during the event.

For more information, visit library.georgetown.org.

Thanksgiving Holiday City Facility Closings

cityhallphotoCity of Georgetown offices and facilities will be closed on Thursday, November 24 and Friday, November 25 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. There is no solid waste or recycling collection on Thanksgiving Day (details below).

City facilities and offices closed November 24 – 25 include the following:

  • Animal Shelter, 110 Walden Drive
  • City Hall, 113 E. Eighth Street
  • Economic Development, 809 Martin Luther King, Jr. Street
  • Library, 402 W. Eighth Street
  • Municipal Complex, 300-1 Industrial Avenue
  • Municipal Court, 101 E. Seventh Street
  • Parks and Recreation Administration, 1101 N. College Street
  • Planning, 406 W. Eighth Street
  • Recreation Center, 1003 N. Austin Avenue
  • Tennis Center, 400 Serenada Drive

Other Facility Closures

The facilities listed below will be closed on Thursday, November 24 and open these hours on Friday, November 25:

  • Airport Terminal, 500 Terminal Drive, open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Collection Station, 250 W. L. Walden Drive, open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Visitors Center, 103 W. Seventh Street, open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Georgetown Public Library will close at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 23 and reopen for normal hours at 9 a.m. on Saturday, November 26.

Solid Waste & Recycling

There will be no trash or recycling pickup for Texas Disposal Systems customers in the City of Georgetown on Thursday, November 24. Solid waste collection for Thursday and Friday slides one day:

  • Thursday slides > to Friday
  • Friday slides > to Saturday

Solid waste and recycling carts should be placed at the curb by 7 a.m. on pickup day. For questions, call TDS at (512) 930-1715.

The Collection Station at 250 W. L. Walden Drive will be closed on Thursday, November 24 (Thanksgiving Day), but open regular hours, which are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Friday, November 25.

Note that the Williamson County Recycle Center at 495 CR 156, which accepts vouchers for household hazardous waste, is closed Sunday, November 20 through Sunday, November 27.

Author Karan Mahajan at Library Nov. 2

karan-mahajan-author-webThe Friends of the Georgetown Public Library’s Hill Country Authors Series features author Karan Mahajan on Wednesday, November 2 at 2 p.m. at the library. Doors open at 1:30 pm.

Mahajan will speak about his second novel The Association of Small Bombs, which was released in March and was recently named as one of five finalists for the National Book Award. In the novel he writes about the effects of terrorism on victims and perpetrators. The story explores the effects of one small bombing on all the people who were there, or associated with the people who were there, and how the bombing affects people for the rest of their lives.

The novel has received much critical acclaim. A reviewer in the Huffington Post says, “In a post-9/11 world, this novel should be considered a must-read.”  A reviewer in the Austin-American Statesman described the novel as, “A tour de force of psychological probing and empathy.”  And the New York Times Book Review noted that the book is “Wonderful …smart, devastating, unpredictable and enviably adept in its handling of tragedy and its fallout.”

Mahajan was born in 1984 and grew up in New Delhi, India. His first novel, Family Planning (2008), won the Joseph Henry Jackson Award and was a finalist for the International Dylan Thomas Prize. It was published in nine countries.  Mahajan has worked as an editor in San Francisco, a consultant on economic and urban planning issues for the New York City government, and a researcher in Bangalore, India.  A graduate of Stanford University and The University of Texas’ Michener Center for Writers, he currently lives in Austin, Texas, where he is at work on his third novel.

Tickets for the event are $15 in advance and $18 at the door, and may be purchased at the Second-Hand Prose bookstore on the second floor of the Public Library, at the WOW!mobile, or by contacting Marcy Lowe at (512) 868-8974. The event ticket cost includes admission and a dessert and beverage from the Red Poppy Café.  The library is located at 402 W. Eighth Street in Georgetown.

All proceeds from the event will go toward meeting unfunded projects of the Public Library.

Library Creates Community Resources Coordinator Position

Georgetown has grown rapidly in the last few years, and with that growth Georgetown Public Library employees have seen an increase in families and seniors in crisis and those who are homeless. Library staff assisting these patrons often find that services are available, but researching those services and the agencies that provide them is challenging. Needs include housing, food, clothing, rent, medical and dental care, mental health services, transportation, disability benefits, and benefits for veterans.

Seeing the need to help people find these types of services, the Library has created a new community resources coordinator position. The coordinator will be a licensed social worker who can talk with patrons who have social service needs and help them navigate available services.

The position also will work with nonprofit and governmental social service organizations in the region and will assist nonprofit organizations to use Library materials and resources. The Library will provide space for nonprofit organizations to meet with clients, conduct trainings, and provide informational fairs.

“Librarians by profession are information providers,” says Eric Lashley, director of the Georgetown Public Library. “We came to realize that providing the information many of these residents were requesting required a different set of skills and knowledge base. Therefore, we wanted to have a member of our staff with the right set of skills to help this segment of our population and we feel a person with knowledge of social work and the social services sector would be most beneficial.”

The position is funded by a three-year grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Texas State Library and Archives.  The position is currently posted and Lashley hopes to have the new coordinator in place next month.