Footnotes from the VZC Library

Beth Muse

As a retired kindergarten teacher, I loved to gather the children around me and read to them. The interest and excitement that they displayed was such fun to see; and I admit, I felt like a kid again as I watched! If you haven't had the pleasure of being in a group of children as they listen to a story being read, put that on your bucket list.

Speaking of reading to children, at 10 a.m. this Friday, Sept. 23 during Preschool Storytime, Miss Rhonda will be reading stories about trucks and tractors. Most children love the noise and power of these vehicles; and I'm sure they will have lots of response as these books are read.

This week's volunteer profile is about Beth Muse who has volunteered for two years. The home-school mom, whose daughter Abigail is also a volunteer, began volunteering because of a love for the library and all it offers the community.


Solve a puzzle at GS Library

Do you like puzzles?  The Grand Saline Public Library is now checking out jigsaw puzzles. Puzzles can be an expensive hobby and we want to help make it more affordable for you.  You can now check out puzzles for two weeks with one renewal, if needed, at the library.  Currently, all our puzzles have between 500 and 1,500 pieces.  There are several puzzles with specially shaped pieces to make your puzzling experience more challenging. 

When the new school year starts we like to take the time to try new things at the library.  Two years ago in September we brought eBooks, downloadable audio books, and streaming video to our patrons.  We have more ideas for this year so be on the lookout for more offerings from the library. 

To read the full article, subscribe to the Van Zandt News or pick up a copy from one of our vendors. 


State Capitol Highlights

Paxton says subpoena of corporation's records violated First Amendment 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on Sept. 9 announced he had filed a friend-of-the-court brief “in defense of the First Amendment.”

The brief, he said, explains that Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Tracy Healey “exceeded her constitutional authority by attempting to shut down a viewpoint on an issue of scientific debate — climate change.”

Paxton, in the brief, states constitutional objections to the Civil Investigative Demand that Healey issued to ExxonMobil Corporation for its marketing and sale of fossil fuel-derived products and securities. She demanded more than 40 years of internal company documents. Paxton supports ExxonMobil’s effort seeking to block Healy’s demand from being enforced.


Bedtime’s an open book

Brandie Flanagan, volunteering at the Van Zandt County Library


Bedtime—As a child, bedtime is a thing to dread, even fight against. As a parent, it's something to look forward to; but it's usually elusive, since there are so many things to finish before bedtime. As an older person, it finds me, as I fall asleep in the chair trying to read.

During this week's Preschool Storytime, Miss Rhonda will tackle the subject of “Bedtime.”

While you're there, look for volunteer Brandie Flanagan. She has been volunteering for two years, as she wanted something to fill her time when her daughter started school; and her love of reading led her to the library. She hasn't always been a library volunteer or a mom. Brandie worked for 10 years as a paralegal after studying legal administration. 

To read the full article, subscribe to the Van Zandt News or pick up a copy from one of our vendors.


Library card should be school supply, too

September is National Library Card Sign-Up month and we want to remind you that with school recently starting, the most important school supply for your child is a library card. 

A library card is a tool that allows children to access a world of knowledge. 

With a library card, students have the ability to check out books, movies and audio books from the library. 

 The library card also gives students access to our eBook collection, downloadable audio books, and streaming video. 

Students also gain access to the library's many databases with their library card. 

Because we are in a rural community Internet access is not as commonplace as it is in more metropolitan areas.  The library provides free wifi to the community 24 hours a day. 

While we are open we provide computers with access to the Internet and the ability to print, fax and make copies for a nominal fee. 


State Capitol Highlights

Education chief announces fines assessed to testing service

Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath on Aug. 23 announced the Texas Education Agency will fine the company that delivers and administers STAAR® — the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness — with $5.7 million in liquidated damages.

Morath also directed the company, Austin-based Educational Testing Services, to invest $15 million for a total of $20.7 million. The $20.7 million, according to the TEA, “addresses various logistical issues encountered by students and school systems during statewide STAAR administration in the 2015-2016 school year.”

“I believe this combination of liquidated damages with an additional financial commitment from ETS reflects the correct balance of accountability for the recent past and safeguards for the future,” Morath said in an Aug. 29 news release. 


Storytime starts Friday, Friends meeting, Dog Days next week

John Motley

Labor Day has passed and activities are gearing up after the “lazy days of summer.”

The first Preschool Storytime of fall was Friday, Sept. 9.  This week Miss Rhonda will point out all the fun that takes place at the library.

Then at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, Dog Days at the Library will continue. This program is for kindergarten through fifth grade students, or is it for the dogs?

Who knows! Everyone has fun! Come read to these easy-going and lovable dogs.

Our volunteer profile this week is about a 17-year-old young man, John Motley.

This Canton High School junior said he was looking to volunteer to pass the time, but also wanted to find a way to improve our society. When he found out the Van Zandt County Library was looking for volunteers, he stepped up.

He began volunteering in August and has worked two days a week, totaling four hours a week.


State Capitol Highlights

Texan diagnosed with Zika illness after returning from trip

AUSTIN — A Texas resident who recently traveled to Miami, Florida, has tested positive for Zika virus disease, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported on Aug. 15.

The traveler, an El Paso County resident, sought testing after becoming ill. This is the first Texas case to be linked to travel within the continental United States. The case will be classified as “travel-associated” and is being investigated for more details, the DSHS said.

While this is El Paso County’s first reported case of Zika, Texas had 121 reported cases of the disease as of Aug. 19. The count includes three pregnant women, two infants infected before birth and one person who had sexual contact with a traveler.


Texas farms, ranches help send students back to school

From pencils and paper to school rooms and playgrounds, Texas agriculture is helping students head back to school.

“With the hustle and bustle of this time of year, it can be easy to forget the large role Texas farmers and ranchers play in our everyday lives,” Kevin Wilkerson, Van Zandt County Farm Bureau president, said. “For example, corn, a popular crop in Texas, is used to create a corn-based adhesive that ensures crayon wrappers stay on as long as possible.”

Timber from East Texas is used in some school room walls, in furniture and in playground equipment.

“Of course, it’s also used to create paper, which almost every child uses every day,” Wilkerson said. “This time of year is the perfect opportunity to talk to kids about what farmers and ranchers do and how it affects them.”


Connect with health at Library

Now that school has started it’s time to start new routines and the Grand Saline Public Library is partnering with the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension office of Van Zandt County to help you get A Fresh Start to a Healthier You. 

On Wednesday, Sept. 7, 21, 28, and Thursday, Sept. 29 at 10 a.m., you can come connect with friends, get confidence to cook healthy meal for your children and family, learn practical cooking and shopping tips, handy kitchen tips and tools, and recipes for success in the kitchen. 

Bring a friend or family member so you can get a fresh start for a healthier you. 

When you bring someone to learn with you then you can help hold each other accountable outside of the classes.  When the colder weather of fall starts it’s easy to turn to rich and decadent comfort food and this class will help you learn healthier alternatives. 


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