Hundreds come to see Santa at GS Library

Despite the cold weather and date change we had a great turnout for Santa this year.  We had a little over 300people come out last Tuesday to see Santa and have their pictures taken.  The Friends of the Library served cookies, which were generously donated by members of our community, and melted snowman punch.  After taking pictures at the library, Santa rode the firetruck in Grand Saline’s Lighted Christmas Parade. 

The library will have regular hours through the holidays this year as both Christmas and New Year’s falls on the weekend.  Now that the weather is starting to feel more like it should this time of year you will want to stock up on books, movies, and puzzles from the library to keep busy while you are spending time out of the cold.  School children will also start their winter break soon and you will definitely need to check-out items to keep them occupied for the next couple of weeks. 


Van enters into animal control agreement

The Canton Animal Shelter is the only animal shelter in the county and it is overwhelmed with animals, particularly dogs!   All other municipal shelters and short-term holding facilities in the county have closed due to the cost of state mandated regulations and liability.  Our shelter costs for next year are approaching $210,000.  This amount comes to about $50 for every man, woman and child living in the City of Canton.   The sad thing for our citizens who pay for running the shelter through their taxes is that about 80% of these animals come from outside our city limits. 


Fifty years and hopefully 50 more

As the library approaches its 50th  anniversary celebration I can’t help but reflect on the overwhelming support the library has received from the community throughout its history.  One woman’s mission to provide books for her children and the rest of the people in the community without having to drive to Tyler lit a fire within the community that is still burning bright 50 years later.  People who don’t regularly use the library are often surprised when they come in and discover what all the library has to offer.  We have at least one person a week who comes in to the library who has not been here since they were a child and they are always amazed at the changes they find. 


The perks of growing older

Who says getting older doesn’t have its privileges? Regardless of where you live, seniors qualify for a wide range of discounts and related benefits.

These perks are offered by retailers, restaurants, transportation providers and senior organizations. They range from free coffee to discounts of all kinds. Some discounts are well-known. Others may be available, but are only extended upon request. Regardless, all have the potential to help make your Golden Years a bit more affordable!

There are a number of dedicated websites (;,;) that track businesses offering senior discounts. All feature information on age requirements and other limitations that might apply.


Holiday events planned at VZC Library

Baby Jesus in the manger, Santa in his sleigh, trees, lights and decorations – all bring to mind Christmas. This week during Storytime, Miss Rhonda will be reading stories about Christmas, with a fun craft project afterward. If you want to see your preschooler's eyes light up. Also, as a reminder, Dog Days at the Library will be 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14. Your child will read to a great, non-judgmental friend.

Friends of the Library are still taking donations for the Christmas Bow Project, an annual fundraiser to maintain and improve the children's section. At 10 a.m. Dec. 12 the FOL will host a brunch in the Buchanan Room of the library honoring the volunteers who help make the library an organized and pleasant place to work and relax.

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Put these in your stockings

10 emergency preparedness gifts

Thanksgiving Day is over, and across Van Zandt County, people are preparing for Christmas. While Santa Claus brings toys and candy, I’d like to suggest some durable gifts for emergency preparedness.

One of my buddies suggested an M-35 Army surplus 2-1/2 ton truck for $7,500 from Liberty Hill, Texas. But it’s too big even for a spandex Christmas stocking, and it’s too expensive. Emergency preparedness gifts need to be inexpensive and small enough to fit into your Christmas stocking. Here are my top 10 for 2016:

-BIC butane lighters with transparent sides. You can see how much butane is in them, they light every time, and if they leak butane, it evaporates. I carry matches and flint and steel, but I start my fires with a BIC butane lighter because it is easier and more reliable. For durability, get the BIC brand instead of cheap copies.


Dates, times change for library during holiday season

Now that Thanksgiving has been celebrated, leftovers dispatched and lots of shopping has been accomplished, we are now on the express train leading to Christmas holidays.

Storytime resumes at 10 a.m., Dec. 2, where children will be reading about the North Pole; and we all know who lives there!

Miss Rhonda has some good books picked out and fun craft projects prepared. Also, coming up on Wednesday, Dec. 14 is Dog Days at the Library. Come at 4 p.m. and read to a sweet, patient audience.

The Friends of the Library continue to accept donations for the Christmas Bow Project. These donations buy new books for the Children's Section of the library.

At 10 a.m., Dec. 12, the FOL will have the annual Volunteer Brunch in the Buchanan Room of the library. This is a time to show appreciation for those who help in all ways to keep the library a pleasant and rewarding place to visit.


Santa Claus is coming to GS Library

Santa Claus is coming to town! Santa Claus will be at Grand Saline Public Library from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016.

Bring your own camera/phone and take pictures with Santa for free.  There will be a couple of other photo opportunities for all ages while you are at the library.  We will be serving cookies and melted snowman punch and doing a drawing for a Depot Civic Center rental.  

At the time of this event there will be other events occurring throughout Grand Saline. This year the Grand Saline Public Library is featured on the mugs for the Cocoa and Carols so make sure you purchase one of these commemorative mugs so you can sample all the wonderful cocoas while wandering around town. 

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Reflect on your blessings

Thanksgiving began as a time set aside to reflect on the blessings that we have received.

Thanksgiving has been celebrated as a federal holiday every year since 1863, when during the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens,” to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November. Hopefully, we will continue to observe Thanksgiving in this way and not as just a precursor to Christmas commercialism and Black Friday.

The Van Zandt County Library will observe Thanksgiving by closing on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Nov. 23 – 25.

The Van Zandt County Genealogical Society will presentend “Show & Tell” in the Buchanan Room of the library. Saturday, Nov. 26. Old family treasures were shared.

The Friends of the Library held the drawings for two AZPEN Tablets  Nov. 15. The two lucky winners were Kathy Burleson and Joelle Sanders.


Reflect, be thankful this month

November is a time for thankfulness and reflection on the on the past.  There are so many things we are grateful for at the library this year.  We started out 2016 getting a grant that allowed us to a new library automation system for the library. This is the program that holds our digital library catalog and does everything from checking items in and out and maintaining our records, to creating the reports we need to help us provide the best materials for the library. We had an outstanding summer reading program this year and we are always enthused by the people who use this library and attend our summer events and programs.  We are thankful for the grant we received that is allowing us to checkout hotspots to our library patrons.  Most importantly, we are very grateful for the support we receive from our county commissioner. 


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