Find out what the City is doing to respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and what you can do.

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Adult Toolkit for Sheltering In Place

As many people are currently sheltering in place, here are a few things we hope will be helpful, entertaining, or educational during this time.

This list is by no means comprehensive and will continue to be updated over the next several weeks. If there is any thing you would like to see on this page, please contact us and let us know!

Smile Resources

@cuteemergency offers adorable photos and videos of critters for when you need to smile. Watch animals in real time at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, San Diego Zoo, or Houston Zoo. Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens are doing Facebook Live Feeds of animals at 3pm, including the famous Fiona the Hippo.

Take a virtual tour of Machu Picchu, museums throughout the world, explore the history of Harry Potter and magic, and more with Google Arts and Culture.

Explore NASA Space Center Houston 

Watch a performance from the Kennedy Center Digital Stage– everyone from John Legend, to Sting, to the National Symphony Orchestra have performances available.

Fred Rogers reminds us to “always look for the helpers” or explore more interviews from your favorite television stars on the Television Academy Foundation website.

This year, the National Recording Registry at Library of Congress inducted  songs from Tina Turner, Dr. Dre, Selena, Fiddler on the Roof, and many more. Explore what is being preserved for future generations.

Making Sense of Things

The world has changed a lot in the last few weeks. Here are a few resources that may help make sense of feelings that may arise during this time.

Harvard Business Review talks with David Kessler about grief and offers insight on how that relates to COVID-19. Kessler is also offering a free, pop-up Facebook group during the pandemic.

The article “We’re Just Not Built for This (and It’s Fine to Admit That)” by Damon Young examines how everything about what is happening is new right now.

Psychology Today explores how “it is ok to feel overwhelmed and be unproductive” during this time.

The Third Annual UnLonely Film Festival presents over 35 short films “that will inspire, enlighten, elevate, and inform you.” The goal of the festival is to provided a sense of  “connectedness.”

The NAMI COVID-19 Resource and Information Guide  answers frequently asked questions regarding the intersection between Coronavirus, or COVID-19, and people affected by mental illness, their caregivers and loved ones. The guide features FAQs on a variety of topics from managing anxiety and social isolation to accessing health care and medications.

Visual of things within and without of an individuals control

Mental Health Resources

If you need mental health assistance during this time, please contact a local provider. Many of the remote options do require internet access, although some are available by phone. Please consult with the provider to determine potential costs for services.

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission have launched a hotline for Texans experiencing anxiety, stress or emotional challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Statewide COVID-19 Mental Health Support Line is available 24/7, free at 833-986-1919.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available via chat or  1-800-273-8255. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

The NAMI COVID-19 Resource and Information Guide answers frequently asked questions regarding the intersection between Coronavirus, or COVID-19, and people affected by mental illness, their caregivers and loved ones. The guide features FAQs on a variety of topics from managing anxiety and social isolation to accessing health care and medications.

Bluebonnet Trails Community Services is our local mental health authority and offers a wide variety of mental health resources for adolescents and adults.

Lonestar Circle of Care employs a wide range of mental health professionals, they are working on expanding their tele-health services.

Samaritan Center offers a variety of services, including tele-mental health services.

The Christi Center offers grief counseling, and hopes to begin offering online support groups sometime at the beginning of April 2020.

Unemployment & Financial Resources

If your employment has been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19), apply for benefits either online at any time using Unemployment Benefits Services or by calling Texas Workforce Commission’s Tele-Center at 800-939-6631 from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Central Time Monday through Friday.  According to their website, the tele-center is experiencing a high volume of calls, so they are encouraging people to file online.

Lost Employer Provided Healthcare? Check on,click “See if I Can Enroll” and it will prompt you with questions to determine different eligibility.

Goodwill of Central Texas announced that career advancement and support services will continue to be provided by telephone. If you would like to begin career and support services, please call their Intake Team at 512-637-7580 or email The Goodwill Excel Center is continuing to provide instruction and support to all high school students, and is still enrolling new students, please call 512-637-7194 or visit for more information.

On Thursday, March 19, 2020, the Texas Supreme Court  issued a moratorium on most evictions for the next month.

2-1-1 is continuing to operate via phone (2-1-1 or 877-541-7905) and online if you need to search for assistance for a variety of financial and other resources.

Relaxation Ideas

Take a coloring break!

Harvard offers six techniques for relaxation and how to get started.

The United Kingdom’s National Health Service tests different apps for their effectiveness. One app called Cove, allows you to create music based on your mood and keep them as part of a journal.

Glo, normally a subscription based yoga program, is offering several classes for free (scroll to the bottom of the page).

Fitness, Exercise & Physical Health

As with all exercise, please consult your doctor before beginning.

The National Institute of Health offers guidance, videos, and workouts specifically designed for senior adults to stay fit.

The American Council on Exercise, who offers accredited personal training and fitness certifications has a free and searchable library of exercises.

YMCA 360 offers a variety of free fitness videos based on their normally in person class offerings.

Yoga with Adriene is a popular, Austin based YouTube channel that has been recognized by The Wall Street Journal and Google.

Taking a walk or going on a nature scavenger hunt (while maintaining proper social distancing) are always free and fun options.

Meal Planning and Prep

Go to cooking school with Kitchn or Instructables.

USDA offers several videos and tutorials for cooking basics, including a microwave cooking series.

USDA also offers links to a variety of recipes, including cooking for kids, heart healthy, diabetes, slow cooker, healthy food on a budget, and more.

Learn a New Skill

Fender is offering three months free guitar, ukulele, or bass lessons to the first 500,000 who sign up.

The Professional Photographers Association is offering free courses for a limited time.

Mo Willems is offering lunchtime doodle instructions– for the young and young at heart.

Coursera partners with top universities and professors to offer courses online, many of which are free.

Khan Academy  offers free educational content for subjects such as K-12 but also courses like personal finance, computer animation, and coding.

Games and Brain Activities

Start playing Dungeons & Dragons! Many D&D manuals are available online, and the only equipment needed is dice (or your phone- check the website to see how to get your virtual assistant to roll dice).

Use your non dominant hand for writing and other activities to challenge your brain throughout the day.

Visit Braingle for tons of free online brain puzzles and games.

Have a pack of cards laying around? Bicycle offers game suggestions based on number of players and age, then provides an outline of the rules.

For information related to COVID-19, please consult the City of Georgetown and Williamson County and Cities Health District for local information, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission for state information, and the Center for Disease Control and World Health Foundation for national and global information.

Our E-Library is Always Open!

Use your Georgetown Public Library card to enjoy materials from our extensive e-library on your own device.

Read or listen to e-books, e-magazines and e-audiobooks through Overdrive/Libby and SimplyE.

Or visit our many databases to find homework help, articles, how-to information, and more. The LearningExpress database offers test prep for all ages including elementary, college readiness, specialized certificates, and a career center.

To log in, all you will need is the barcode number from the back of your GPL library card, and your 10-digit phone number.

New titles recently added to our e-book offerings include:

  • GISD San Gabriel River Readers and Red Poppy books
  • Teen titles
  • New York Times Best Sellers in e-book and e-audiobook formats
  • Genre fiction (cozy mysteries, fantasy, historical fiction, and more)
  • Nonfiction titles including self-help, history, biography and autobiography, and more

Those new titles and thousands of others are now available through Overdrive/Libby, where library cardholders can access them.

We are grateful to the Friends of the Georgetown Public Library and other donors for their unwavering support. In this time of crisis, our Friends group very quickly made funds available so that staff could purchase hundreds of new e-book titles to serve our community who are staying home to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Thank you to our Friends!

Library Closed | Biblioteca Cerrada

The Library will be closed to the public starting tomorrow, 3/17/2020. Social distancing and avoiding large gathering spaces are methods recommended by the Centers for Disease Control to prevent the spread of COVID-19/Coronavirus.

The Library will be open until 6 p.m. for you to check out any items today. Your health and safety matter to us, so please keep any items you already have out. The Library does not charge overdue fines.

All WOW!mobile stops and outreach events are canceled through April 3, and Sun City stops are canceled through April 19.

We will continue to update both the website and social media when our status changes.

Visit this website for more information:

La Biblioteca estará cerrada al público a partir de mañana, 03/17/2020. El distanciamiento social y evitar grandes espacios de reunión son métodos recomendados por los Centros para el Control de Enfermedades (Centers for Disease Control) para prevenir la propagación de COVID-19 / Coronavirus.

La biblioteca estará abierta hasta las 6 pm para que pueda revisar cualquier artículo hoy. Su salud y seguridad nos importa, así que por favor guarde cualquier artículo que ya tenga. La Biblioteca no cobrará multas vencidas.

Todas las paradas de WOW!Mobile Y los eventos de divulgación se cancelan hasta el 3 de abril, y las paradas a Sun City se cancelan hasta el 19 de abril.

Continuaremos actualizando tanto el sitio web como las redes sociales cuando cambie nuestro estado.

Visite este sitio de web para obtener más información:


City Staff Art Show 2020

The Georgetown Public Library invites all City employees to show your creative side! Be a part of the second City Staff Art Show May 13-June 14, 2020.

We are looking for staff who carve wood, refinish furniture, take photographs, paint, draw, knit, craft, quilt, sculpt, and more. Everyone is welcome, from beginners to experienced artists.

Participants will receive wellness points for this activity. You can enter multiple pieces into the show, and even offer your work for sale if you’d like to, as well.

Participating is easy: just submit your information via the entry form linked below, and then bring your work to the library the morning of Tuesday, May 12 (or arrange for an alternate drop off time).

Exhibit Dates: May 13-June 14, 2020
Location: Georgetown Public Library 2nd Floor Bridge and West Hallway Galleries
Installation: Tues, May 12 (Drop off art 9-noon)
Reception: Fri, May 15, 4-6 pm
Art Pickup: Mon, June 15 at 9 am

To join the exhibit, click here to submit your information before May 1: City Staff Art Show Entry Form

The 2018 exhibit was a lot of fun for staff and library visitors alike, as we all got to see the creative work of staff in Utilities, Parks & Rec, Public Works, Planning, Municipal Court, Inspection Services, Information Technology, Communications, Police, and the Library. Pictured are some of the artists at the 2018 reception.

This year we have more exhibit space available, with space for up to 60 items, so we hope for everyone who participated in 2018 to come back again this year, and bring your coworkers so that this year we will have even broader participation.

We will all celebrate with coworkers, family, and friends at the exhibit reception the afternoon of Friday, May 15.

If you have questions, please contact Dana Hendrix, Fine Arts Librarian, at 512-930-3624 or

“Let Me Be Myself” The Life Story of Anne Frank coming to Georgetown Public Library Spring 2020

Georgetown Public Library is proud to partner with Congregation Havurah Shalom to bring the exhibit “Let Me Be Myself:” The Life Story of Anne Frank in spring 2020.

This new exhibit from the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, USA, brings the lessons of the Holocaust to the present.  It teaches the effects of intolerance, discrimination, and racism through 30 large picture panels that will be displayed at the Library, plus a 30-minute DVD that will be screened throughout exhibit’s duration at the Library.

Further information about the exhibit, as well as links to register for free group and school tours, can be found here. 

Library Receives Family Place Libraries Designation

The Georgetown Public Library was designated a member of the Family Place Libraries national network in August.

The designation is given to libraries providing a welcoming community environment with resources to help families nurture their children’s development and early learning during the first years of life.

The library’s new Family Place offers residents a specially designed space in the children’s area for young children to play, share books, and meet other families. The Family Place hosts a collection of books, toys, music, and multimedia materials for babies, toddlers, preschoolers, parents, and caregivers, as well as librarians specially trained in child development and family support.

The Family Place also offers the Play, Learn, Grow playshop series for toddlers and their parents and caregivers. The series includes toys, books, and art activities that allow families to spend time together, make friends, and talk with specialists on various aspects of child development and early literacy.

The Family Place Libraries model is in more than 400 libraries in 30 states serving thousands of young children and their parents/caregivers. Georgetown Public Library is proud to be among them. The Georgetown Public Library Family Place Program is made possible in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, and in part by a State-funded grant from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Meeting Rooms

The City of Georgetown is in daily communication with public health, city, and county officials across the region about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Please visit this page for more information and resources regarding the virus.

Georgetown Public Library is closed until May 11. We are not reviewing new meeting room requests at this time. All meeting rooms reservations through May 11 are cancelled.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding as we work to protect the well-being of our patrons. Please re-visit this page for updates regarding meeting room reservations, as things change quickly during this time.

The Georgetown Public Library meeting rooms are available every day from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. and require a rental fee. View the Meeting Room Fees & Policies.

Click the button below and create an account to submit a meeting room request online.  Requests are only taken for the next six months on a rolling basis. Any requests submitted outside this period will be denied.

***Online requests may take up to 3 business days to process. If you need a room sooner than that, please call us at 512.930.3551.***

Online Meeting Room Requests


The library has three rental rooms:

Hewlett Room 222
Seats 136
Set up auditorium style
Hewlett Room Layout

Friends Room 218
Seats 78
Set up banquet style
Friends Room Layout

*The Friends and Hewlett rooms may also be rented as one large room*

Classroom 211
Seats 27
Set up with tables in rows
Classroom Layout

ALL FOOD AND BEVERAGES served in the meeting rooms must be purchased from the Red Poppy Coffee Co. located in the library. For menu and rates please call (512) 931-7703.



Study Rooms

Georgetown Public Library | Study Room Policies

The City of Georgetown is in daily communication with public health, city, and county officials across the region about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Please visit this page for more information and resources regarding the virus.

Georgetown Public Library is closed until May 11. We are not reviewing room requests at this time. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your understanding as we work to protect the well-being of our patrons and staff. We look forward to re-opening and serving you again!

The study rooms and conference room are available from library opening until 15 minutes before closing. These free rooms include three study rooms that each accommodate 4 people, and a conference room that accommodates up to 10 people. No commercial use of these rooms is allowed. Commercial use includes but is not limited to the following: political, legal, sales, business training, seminars, etc.

Click the button below to create an account and submit a study room request online. Requests are only taken for the next two months on a rolling basis. Any requests submitted outside this period will be denied.

***Online requests may take up to 3 business days to process. If you need a room sooner than that, please call us at 512.930.3551.***

Online Study Room Requests

  1. To ensure equitable use of library facilities, the library reserves the right to limit usage, cancel or re-schedule any reservation for any reason.
  2. Reservations will be held for 15 minutes past the reservation before the room is released to another user. GPL is not responsible for notifying reservation holder of this cancellation.
  3. Rooms can be reserved for up to 2 hours, four times per month. If no one else is waiting, you may stay in the room until library staff notify you the room is needed by another person. Reservations can be made up to 2 months in advance online, in person, or by calling the library.
  4. Please note that this limit may not be circumvented by different individuals using their names to register the same group, or by a group using different names. Use by two or more people constitutes a use that day for each person present.
  5. Any room left unattended for more than 15 minutes will be considered available. At that time, library staff will consider items left unattended to be lost and will place them in the library’s lost and found by closing of that evening.
  6. When you arrive for your reservation, check-in at the Reference Desk. Please close the door when you exit and check-out at the Reference Desk.
  7. GPL rooms are not soundproof. Patrons should keep noise levels low to be courteous to all users.
  8. Study rooms are not compatible with use of A/V equipment, such as TVs or projectors. Lights do not dim or turn off.
  9. GPL is not responsible for lost or stolen items left in the study and conference rooms.
  10. Per City of Georgetown fire safety, patrons may not exceed the occupancy limits listed above in each room.



Kenny Williams joins the Art Carvajal Trio to perform a mixture of jazz, pop and light R&B in the library’s Live Music at the Library series on July 15 at 2 p.m.

Fifteen years of living and performing in New York City included Kenny’s Broadway debut in Disney’s hit musical The Lion King as well as a role in the world premiere production of The Color Purple: the Musical, which was produced by Oprah Winfrey. In addition, Kenny starred in the national tours of the musicals Grease! and Smokey Joe’s Café. Kenny has since returned to Austin where he was raised. Growing up in Austin, Kenny studied voice at the University of Texas, and then cut his teeth as a stage performer at Austin’s Zach Theatre. Most recently, he has appeared in several Zach Theatre productions including critically acclaimed Sophisticated Ladies, where he starred as the “Raconteur” opposite Tony award winner Jennifer Holiday, and played “the Friend” in the revival of Gospel at Colonus. Lastly, Mr. Williams sparkled and delighted as the lovable and effervescent “Ghost of Christmas Past” in Zach’s A Christmas Carol.

Art Carvajal performs on nylon and electric guitars in solo guitar performances, with the Art Carvajal Trio, with Candy Declue as Art and Candy, and many other configurations. Jazz is his first love, followed by Brazilian music and then everything else.

The Live Music at the Library series is free and open to the public, a gift of the Friends of the Georgetown Public Library.

You'll Soon Be Able to Listen to the Oral History Interviews Online

Individual interviews of persons who volunteered to share their memories of Georgetown’s decision to desegregate its schools and about their experiences in Marshall and Carver Schools are nearly complete. The collection of fourteen interviews soon will be available as MP3 files on the library’s website. Contributors include Harvey Miller, Birdie Shanklin, Nora Rose, Paulette Taylor, Lee L. City, Douglas and Nell Benold, Norman and Betty Spellmann, Milton Jordan, J.D. Thomas, Carl Doering, and Laurie Locke. These people represent the points of view of school board members, activists who favored desegregation, parents of students, GISD students, Southwestern faculty and students. If you believe you have information or memories that would be appropriate to add to this collection, please contact Judy Fabry at 930-3552.

Georgetown's Historic Buildings Files

If you are interested in knowing something about a building in Old Town that is more than fifty years old, the library may have information about it. In 1984 the Georgetown Heritage Society and a private contractor completed a survey of buildings in Old Town Georgetown that were at least fifty years old. As a result of the survey, several neighborhoods were added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 2008 the survey was updated and properties were added that had attained the 50-year status since 1984.

Several years ago the Georgetown Heritage Society gave the files from these surveys to the library on permanent loan. We are pleased to have this resource available and want the public to know that the files may be used, in the library, by anyone. They are kept in file cabinets in the Texas History Room. The files are arranged in street number order and the streets are in the same order as they are in the neighborhoods, e.g., east from downtown — Main, Church, Myrtle, Elm, Ash, College, Walnut, Pine. If you know the address of the property in which you are interested, a quick check of the files should show whether information is available.

You are welcome to photocopy the materials in the files and, if you’ve done additional research, you may request that your findings be added to the file. Library staff at the reference desk can assist you with these files.

Thank You, Georgetown! Book Sale Was a Great Success

After a thirteen-hour sale last Friday and Saturday, the Friends of the Library added $10,100 to their bank account. Thanks to everyone who shopped, and especially to those of you who waited in line so patiently on Friday evening. We’d expected a crowd but nothing like the number of people who showed up to snag some bargains.

Thanks also to the many, many volunteers who helped with the sale. In spite of heavy lifting and chaotic conditions, the volunteers kept tables stocked and checked people out as quickly as possible. They made 925 sales in 13 hours!

This sale cleared the library of thousands of books, videos, and books on cassette that had been culled from its collections. Now there is much more room on the shelves for new materials. Proceeds from the sale will be used to fund equipment and projects that are not covered by the library’s regular City budget.

You Asked for It!

In response to user requests, we are changing our Sunday hours. Beginning February 1, we will open at 12:00 noon and close at 5:00 p.m. on Sundays. We hope everyone finds these hours to be more convenient.

The Library Will Be Closed Monday, Jan. 19

The library will be closed Monday, January 19, in observance of the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. The bookdrop will be open if you wish to return materials and you may renew items you have checked out by logging on to your account in the library catalog.

What Can I Do When the Library Doesn't Have the Book I Want to Read?

Your friend has recommended a book and you’ve checked the catalog and found that the library doesn’t own it. Since you really don’t want to purchase it yourself, what can you do to get it through the library? The process is easy and, if you wish, one that you can do from home on your computer.

On the library’s home page, open the catalog. Then, click on the box in the upper right corner and log into your account. You’ll need the numbers under your barcode and your telephone number (dashes and area code not necessary) to do this. If you have trouble logging in, call the library (930-3551) to find out what phone number we have on your record.

The page that opens when you log in-your account-contains lots of information. You’ll see the basic information we have about you, which you may edit, what materials you have checked out, books that may be waiting for you to pick up, and the way you prefer to be contacted about overdue items and holds, which also may be edited. Scroll down a bit further and you’ll see a line that says “Is the library missing something?” Click on “request” on that line and then fill out the box that appears. Give us as much information about the book as you have. Author and title are very important, but other helpful information includes the ISBN number, publication date, or location of a review of the book.

The staff is notified automatically when anyone makes a request. Our librarians will look at your request and decide whether the book should be added to our collection. That decision is based on the age of the book (it might not even be in print, or only available used), the appropriateness or the material for our library (something academic might not be checked out often enough to make it worth purchasing), and whether the book may be one that we’ll receive with our standing orders (in which case you’ll just have to be patient- soon it will be on the shelf). Incidentally, to see which authors’ books we will automatically receive, while you’re in your account, scroll down to “Have some favorite authors?” and click on “receive new books.” A list pops up of all the authors whose new books we automatically receive. Select as many authors as you like and you’ll automatically be placed on the wait lists for their new books.

If the librarian decides to order the book, you will be notified when it is available. If the librarian chooses not to purchase the book, you’ll be given the option of ordering it through interlibrary loan (ILL). This is a service whereby we borrow books from other libraries all over the country. You will have to pay the postage one way, and it may take two to three weeks for the book to arrive, but it’s still cheaper than buying a copy yourself. The normal lending period for ILLs is three to four weeks, although there will always be exceptions.

Let us know what you’re looking for. We’ll try to help!

Alex Poole Wins Library Card Design Contest

Earlier this fall we invited children from kindergarten through fifth grade to submit drawings that they thought would be appropriate for the front of a library card. The winning design came from Alex Poole, a fifth grader at Mitchell Elementary. In his drawing, an imaginary animal leaps from the pages of an open book, which is surrounded by text that says, “Read at the Public Library/Where Books Come to Life.” You may see his design in the slideshow that plays in the upper right corner of the front page of the library’s website.

Alex’s design was among several hundred that were on display at the library during the past month. Criteria that the judges considered included the design’s originality, its connection to the library and reading, the appeal of the design to other children, and whether the lines and colors were bright and clear enough to undergo the major reduction in size required to print it on a library card. Alex’s design met all of the criteria and he will receive a $100 gift card for his artwork. The new library cards with Alex’s design should be available early this spring. Congratulations, Alex!

Holiday Hours You'll Want to Remember

December 22, 23, 29, 30, 31 – the library will close at 6:00 p.m. instead of 8:00 p.m.

December 24 & 25 – the library will be closed. No materials will be due on these days but the drive-up bookdrop will be open.

January 1 – the library will be closed. No materials will be due this day but the drive-up bookdrop will be open.

Self-Checkout Success

We know how frustrating it is to wait in line at the main circulation desk to check out one or two items when the person ahead of you needs to transact Major Library Business. That’s why we set up so many new self-checkout stations when we initiated the Apollo automation system and we hope you’ve tried using them.

Here are just two tips that might help assure self-check success:

(1) DON’T PICK UP THE SCANNER. Lay your book flat on the table, with the barcode under the scanner in the area where the colored light pattern appears.

(2) Make sure you have the GEORGETOWN PUBLIC LIBRARY BARCODE. It’s in the UPPER RIGHT corner of the back cover.

January 23 and 24 — BIG Book and Media Sale at the Library

To make room for more DVDs and books on CD, the Georgetown Public Library began in November to remove from circulation all of its VHS videos and books on cassette. Although some people still were checking out these formats, public preference by far is for the disk formats of video and audio and these are the formats the library has been purchasing for the past year. Also, heavy weeding of the book collections has taken place to make room for new materials.

The Friends of the Georgetown Library will hold a giant 13-hour clearance sale of these items, as well as some of the donated items that they have received, in the Community Rooms on the second floor of the library, from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, January 23 and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, January 24.

The Friends of the Georgetown Public Library is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the public use and community support of the library. Proceeds of the event will be used to fund unbudgeted projects at the library. They invite you to support the library and take advantage of a great opportunity to stock up on books, video tapes, and books on tape.






Vote for Your Favorite Gingerbread Creation

Twenty-five sweetly fragrant, amazingly creative, and bound to make you smile entries came in this year! Each one is a work of art and are the most innovative we’ve ever received. Don’t miss seeing–and smelling–this display. Voting for the entries began on Tuesday, December 9, and continues through Monday, December 15. You will be able to vote for your favorite in each category and the winners will be announced Wednesday, December 17. A $25 gift card will be awarded in each category. The creations will remain on display until December 20.

Library Closed for Thanksgiving Holiday

Thanksgiving is the library staff’s best holiday! You may think it’s excessive, but the library will be closed Thursday through Sunday, November 27-30. This is the only time during the year, every year, that the entire staff gets to have a weekend off and we anticipate it with great relish (cranberries, anyone?). We’ll leave the bookdrop open during these four days, even though no materials will come due during this time. And the website will be up and available so that you can access your account and the catalog. We’ll close early (6:00 p.m.) on Wednesday, November 26 and will remain closed until 9:00 a.m. on December 1.

Have You Found Apollo's Reserve Express List?

Have you taken time to scroll all the way to the bottom of the page that has your account information on it? Or have you clicked on those tabs at the top of your account info page? Under “Reserves” you’ll find a feature that you might find useful: “Have Some Favorite Authors?” With this feature you may browse the “Reserve Express” list of authors’ names, select one by clicking on it, and from that day on, unless you change your mind, you will automatically be placed on hold for any new books by that author that the library purchases. You may choose as many favorite authors as you like.

The authors on this list are those for which we have standing orders-we always get their new books, so you don’t need to do a special request to assure that they’ll be here.

With this feature you’ll never again have to ask the helpful person at the circulation desk whether we have Danielle Steel’s new book yet and then ask to be placed on hold for it. Also, choosing your favorites from this list will help us determine how many copies of books by certain authors we need to purchase. In the past we’ve waited for the reserve queue to build up to a certain point, then we order additional copies. We hope this system will reduce your wait times by a few weeks.

Ms. Rosa's Cake Pan and Cookie Cutter Lending Library

As we enter the baking season, you need to know that Ms. Rosa has a small supply of fancy-shaped cake pans-the kind like you use to bake kids’ birthday cakes-that you may borrow. She also has cookie cutters appropriate for the fall and winter holidays that she would like to lend. This collection is an outgrowth of the tool library idea, which has been greeted with much enthusiasm, but needs more infrastructure and help to make it a reality.

The cake pans are hanging in the children’s room, on the rack with the audio kits (on the west wall, near the children’s magazines). The cookie cutters haven’t found a permanent home/shelf. Ask for them at the children’s circulation desk. They come in packages of three. The cake pans and cookie cutters check out for three weeks. All of this is a work in progress, so if you have suggestions, please tell Ms. Rosa.

The Library’s Website

During the summer, the City’s webmaster, Erin McDonald, brought a trophy to us that she received at the annual conference of the Texas Association of Municipal Information Officers. The library’s website, for which she is primarily responsible, won first place in a competition that the Association had sponsored. We were competing against bigger city websites that have more professionals working on their websites, but the layout and content of the library’s site outshone them all.

While Ms. McDonald takes care of the infrastructure of our website, the library staff provides the content, and we’re working hard to keep it new and informative. Across the top of the front page are four clickable tabs: Local Artists, Renew A Book, Photos & Media, and Contact Us. The Local Artists page is a work in progress that we share with the Convention and Visitors Bureau. If you’re an artist, send us your information so that you may be listed. If you’re interested in seeing the work of local artists, they’re organized by media in the menu on the left.

Renew A Book takes you directly to the catalog, but you’ll need your barcode to access your account.

Photos & Media is another work in progress, to which we add photos whenever we find something we think the public might like to see. Right now we have the Georgetown Heritage Society’s historic photo collection, photos of downtown Georgetown during the early 1980s, photos from children’s events, photos from teen events, shots of the library interior, and plants in the library’s landscaping. There are also links to two videos about Georgetown’s historic architecture.

The fourth tab, Contact Us, gives you the information that should allow you to contact any library staff member. Unlike many websites we’ve visited, we don’t want this information to be buried so deeply that you give up before you find it. Our hours also are listed here as well as driving instructions for getting to the building. We welcome your visits and communications!

Moving down the front page, the three blogs to the right of the large photo are the territory of Bethni King, the young adult librarian; Rosa Garcia, our children’s services coordinator; and Richard Groves, our adult services librarian. Their articles are intended to inform, enlighten, or entertain you, or perhaps all three at once when they’re feeling particularly inspired.

A constantly changing slide show runs in the upper right corner of the front page. It’s our effort to bring to your attention events we want you to know about or services and materials that you might not find without probing deeper into our site. These slides are “clickable” and will take you to more information about each topic. Event-related slides run for short periods of time, others are there for a while.

Below the slide show is the library newsletter, called Library Happenings. The two most recent postings will show on the front page, but you may see others by clicking on Library Happenings. Most of these articles will appear in the hardcopy newsletter that we distribute in the lobby each month.

A bold grey line divides the front page into two sections. What we call “below the line” — Library News, Ask the Librarian, Contact Us, and Landscaping Around GPL – includes some sections that change less frequently. Library News contains announcements that also appear on the City webpage. Usually they’re about adult events that we think the entire community, not just library users, might enjoy. Ask the Librarian is Reference Librarian Suzette Davidson’s column that appears in the Williamson County Sun. The photo gallery, Landscaping Around GPL, identifies the plants in our landscaping and gives a little information about each one. Clicking on the photo will take you to the complete gallery.

With the advent of Apollo, our new automation system, the online library catalog may be attractive enough that you’ll bookmark it and bypass the front page of the library’s website. We hope you won’t, though. We have become increasingly dependent on our website as the best way to communicate with our users. If you want the first word about anything that’s happening at the library, our website is the place to look!

Hill Country Book Festival Debuts at Library October 11

The first Hill Country Book Festival will be held at the library on Saturday, October 11, from 9:00 – 4:00. To celebrate, Ms. Rosa has planned entertainment by the Biscuit Brothers from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m., along with snacks, crafts, and face painting all day long. Children’s authors who will be speaking and reading from their works during the day will be:

  • Ken Anderson, author of Dan Moody: Crusader for Justice, 9:00 a.m.
  • Elizabeth Scanlon, author of A Sock Is a Pocket for Your Toes, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
  • Cynthia Leitich Smith, author of Santa Knows, and Tantalize, and her illustrator husband, Greg Leitich Smith, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
  • Elizabeth Moon, author of The Speed of Dark and Victory Conditions, 10:45 a.m.
  • Don Tate, author of Black All Around, 11:30 – 12:30 p.m.
  • Diane Fanning, author of Bite the Moon: A Molly Mullet Mystery, 1:30 p.m.
  • P. J. Hoover, author of The Emerald Tablet, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
  • Deborah Frontiera, author of Eric and the Enchanted Leaf, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
  • Joseph O’Connell, 3:00 p.m

Problems With Your Online Account? Where's my Elf?

As we hope everyone knows, last week the library changed over to a new automation system. No electronic change of this size could happen without some glitches. We are experiencing a few. The new system brings with it some changes that you need to know about, too. (What? No Library Elf service?)

One problem is that family records have become “unlinked.” What is happening is that all materials your family has checked out are appearing under the default barcode for your account. That barcode is most often the one we assigned to the person who filled out the registration card.

We expect to have this corrected in the next few days, but until then items you have checked out may not appear under the barcode you’re using to access your account online. Likewise, the books you’ve requested (have on hold) may appear be on that other record. So, if your record doesn’t look right, ask your spouse or parent for their barcode, try entering it, and you’ll most likely find your materials. If this doesn’t work, please call us at 930-3551 and explain your situation. We’ll try to figure out what has happened.

The second major problem is with books that were on hold when we checked them in last Wednesday, October 1. The new system failed to recognize that the library did not open until October 4, and so the hold period on those books expired this morning, October 6. Unfortunately, the new system does not allow us to rearrange the wait lists, so some people will have missed their turn for a specific book. We have placed all of these persons back on the wait list, but they will be at the bottom. Fair? No it’s not, but there was no work-around for this particular issue. But aren’t you happy to know that from now on there’s no way that anyone may be manually moved ahead of you on any wait list?

You may have received an email notification that Library Elf is no longer available to you. That’s true, but our new system provides the same service without any third party intervention. As long as we have your email address on your record, you will receive an email notice three days before an item is due. If you don’t return it, you’ll receive another email notice when the item is three days overdue. At fourteen days overdue we’ll send a postcard notification about the item, and at 30 days overdue you’ll receive a letter telling you the item has been declared lost and that your are responsible for its cost.

If you wish to change the way you’re being notified about overdues or holds, you may log into your account online and make the change.

We do want to hear from you if you believe your account is not correct, so don’t hesitate to call, email, or come in to talk with us in person. Call 512-930-3551 or send email to

Apollo Is Coming! Library Closed Sep 29 – Oct 3

Beginning October 1 the library will be running on a new automation system. The automation system, called Apollo, affects every aspect of our operation, from cataloging the books to checking them out and in. It also will change the way you’re notified about books you have on hold and the way you pick them up. With the new system, you’ll pull your own books from the hold shelf and there will be many more stations where you can check out your own materials. You may see differences in the way we handle family accounts and the way in which you’re notified about overdue books.

The staff thinks the new system will be better in many ways and we hope you’ll agree. As you already may have guessed from this description, computers will be taking over some jobs that people have been doing. Your hold notification will either reach you by email or a computer-generated phone call. More (and easier to use) self-check stations should end waiting in lines to check out materials—that is, unless you prefer having a staff member do it for you. For those of you who have time, hate barcode scanners, and enjoy chatting with the staff at the circulation desk, the friendly faces will still be available. And, staff will continue to handle any transactions involving money.

To complete the migration to the new system and to train staff for the changes Apollo will bring, our annual fall closure will take place September 29 through October 3. As always when the library is closed, no library materials will be scheduled to come due, but for your convenience our book drop will be open. We won’t be answering the phones and you probably won’t be able to access your library account via the Internet. So mark your calendar now and plan to stock up on reading, listening, and viewing materials before September 29.

The Oral History Project: Georgetown's Black Schools

On Saturday, August 16, some one hundred people assembled in the Hewlett Room to hear long-time local residents Doug Benold, Harvey Miller, Birdie Shanklin, Norman Spellmann, and Paulette Taylor recall their memories of Marshall/Carver and Westside Schools and, more specifically, the period during the 1960s when desegregation was debated and decided. The audience heard testimony about difficult times and decisions, but the serious moments were leavened with humor that all could appreciate. Lucas Adams made a video recording of the event, which will be shown on Channel 10 after it is edited.

As a result of this event, eighteen people have agreed to be interviewed individually, to share their memories of the black schools and how the desegregation debate affected them personally. While we’re very pleased with this response, we are hoping that others will come forward to participate, too. We plan to finish interviewing by late December 2008 and have the collection of recordings ready to present to the community by February 2009.

A number of people also have volunteered to be interviewers for this project. Conducting an oral history interview is not an easy task. It requires doing background research into the topic being discussed, development of appropriately open-ended questions, and an understanding about how to keep the interviewee focused on the topic. Chris Dyer, director of the Williamson Museum, and who has considerable professional experience with collecting oral histories, will be training the interviewers.

The interviews will be recorded in digital format so that they may be downloaded from the library’s website and played on an MP3 player. The recordings also will be transcribed—the biggest job of all—and paper copies will be available at the library. Ultimately, we hope to publish a collection of the transcripts.

This is only the first oral history project that the library expects to undertake. It is our test case, a project with well-defined limits, which will show us the ins and outs of the process and prepare us for a well-planned and -executed second project, the topic of which is yet to be determined. If you would like to discuss this project or others that you believe are worthy of consideration, please contact Eric Lashley (512-930-2513, or Judy Fabry (512-930-3552,