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Nacogdoches Public Library

Mar 09

Library of Things

Posted on March 9, 2019 at 11:28 AM by Crystal Hicks

Twenty-first century libraries look different from the hushed and dusty stacks many of us remember from our childhoods. Luckily, librarians have turned out to be rather resilient and, indeed, forward thinking. (Okay, we still have some dust, but we’re working on it.) You see, books are most certainly the stock-in-trade of librarians. (One local friend calls us bookslingers, and we love it.) However, our fundamental purpose is to seek out the information, education, and entertainment needs of the community and provide for them however we can. In recent decades, those needs have changed alongside the technological changes that have altered the course of our lives. And library patrons need more than books. They’d like audiobooks, movies, computers, and wi-fi, if you please, along with free classes to make sense of it all. So, libraries offer all of those, as well as many other programs, venturing outside the walls of the building to better engage our citizenry.

In the last year at NPL, we have had a lot of fun developing a Library of Things. We started with a Seed Library and then added tabletop games and telescopes that could circulate, along with STEM Kits for teachers and families. And we’re adding more “things” all the time. You can now check out a cake pan, a food dehydrator, a bike repair kit, a breadmaker, a drill, a sewing machine, gardening tools, and more. Have you ever wanted to learn how to solder? To make fresh pasta? To sew? You can check tools out to practice those skills. Plus, you can Book-a-Librarian to teach you how to use them or give you some beginners’ tips. Drop in and take a look at what we have to offer and let us know what else you’d like to see in your Library of Things. Bike Repair KitEbelskivver PanJigsawFood Dehydrator

Jan 28

Literary Ball - 2/23/19

Posted on January 28, 2019 at 8:37 PM by Crystal Hicks

Nacogdoches Public Library is lucky beyond measure to have a lovely and committed Friends of the Library group. They are responsible for the daily book sale that’s a great source of unique bibliographic finds, and they provide input on the library’s function and activity. The Friends have also developed and nurtured a Bookmobile that travels to assisted living facilities to provide much appreciated library services to those who are unable to make it to our location. The Friends get to know these often isolated patrons, take requests, and track down specially selected items for everyone. Such work takes dedication, kindness, and creative thought in equal measure. They take their work very seriously, and they make a discernible difference in these patrons’ lives.

And there are even more opportunities for the Friends to support the library and our community. Last year, they presented Libraries Rock!, a benefit concert and auction. We had a blast at this first of its kind event and were joined by so many community members who donated their art, music, time, and talent. It was a great night, and the funds generated helped support our Summer Reading Program, the Big Read, and Dia de los Muertos.

Not to be outdone, the Friends and library staff are planning another unique event, the Literary Ball. Guests are invited to dress as their favorite characters or authors, and anything goes! Of course, while we want to have fun dressing up, costumes are NOT required to attend, just strongly encouraged. The evening will feature heavy hors d’oeuvres and adult beverages with recipes drawn straight from the pages of some of our best-loved books. In addition to a costume contest and a raffle for cool prizes, we’re plotting and scheming to design puzzles and challenges hidden around the building and nestled in displays expressly created for the event. And while this event isn’t for kids, it will benefit the thousands of children who are reached by library services through daily visits, special events, and outreach to local schools and organizations. If you haven’t visited the library in a while, this is an excellent opportunity to check out the upgrades we’ve been working on. We’ll also have future projects on display to highlight just exactly how your contributions will be put to use, and we welcome your feedback and input. After all, this is your public library. Friends and staff are merely the stewards of this community center. You are our community, and we look forward to partying with you!

The Inaugural Literary Ball will be held on Saturday, February 23rd at 5:30pm. Tickets may be purchased on at or through Facebook.
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Tag(s): library, fundraiser

Jan 08

STEAM vs. Makerspace: What's the Difference?

Posted on January 8, 2019 at 4:42 PM by Crystal Hicks

Welcome to our blog! We'll be sharing behind the scenes insights and information about all that we do at the Nac Public Library. First, we tackle the burning questions...What is STEAM and what is a Makerspace? Our public library is dedicated to sparking learning in all members of the community, from the very youngest to the most accomplished adults. We believe in lifelong learning, and we also know that we can come together as a community to share our knowledge and skills with one another. In that spirit, we offer classes, workshops, skill sharing, discussion groups, and all sorts of programs for all ages.

In an effort to offer science and technology skills to our patrons, we have developed two programs that have taken various forms as we’ve incorporated feedback and tweaked our methods. Both are geared toward a wide age range and are focused more on current skill/interest level and manual dexterity, rather than strict age limits.

STEAM for Kids provides an environment where children can become engaged in fun, hands-on learning activities in an informal setting. It is for all ages, but most attendees are between 6-10 years old. (Kids under 8 are accompanied by a guardian.) Research has shown that the majority of learning in the STEAM disciplines occurs outside of school, and that children learn better when they are in control of what they learn. STEAM for Kids offers lots of room for experimentation, and the activities are simple but introduce key concepts in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math.

Makerspace aims to interest an older group (starting at age 10) that has mastered some of the basic activity skills, and it also has no upper age limit. We aim to encourage and enable people to try new things, learn by doing and build the confidence that comes from guided problem solving. New skills and concepts will be introduced, and then participants will be encouraged to stretch that knowledge to address problems and projects that are of special interest to each of them. The facilitator provides access to tools and skills, along with the encouragement to think creatively and strategically to apply their newfound knowledge.

We encourage any and everyone to attend one of our workshops. We strive to create a collaborative community of all ages who share a passion for making things and who are engaged in experimentation, innovation and creativity. Those who already possess the knowledge and skills we’re exploring may find themselves surprised and challenged by how others arrive at their own understanding and how old ideas may be applied to new efforts. Plus, we have a ton of fun and laugh a lot. We can't wait for you to join us!