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

Georgetown Public Library

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Library Operations & COVID Related FAQS

Library Hours:

Monday-Friday | 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturday | 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunday | Closed

This page will be periodically updated with information regarding how the Library’s operations have changed due to COVID-19. Hours, donations, quarantine, and more are covered in the questions below.

Do I have to wear a mask when I enter the building?

Q: Do I have to wear a mask when I enter the building?

A:Masks are required starting July 3, according to an order from the Mayor. The Governor issued an order starting July 2 as well.

Entering and exiting the Library will now be available only through the 9th street side.

Mask wearing is recommended by the CDCreduces economic impact expended upon fighting viruses like COVID-19, and reduces exposure to viral load, giving our community time to recover and develop immunity.

Can I donate items like books, puzzles, or magazines to the Library?

Q: Can I donate items like books, puzzles, or magazines to the Library? 

A: Due to the rise in cases, the Library is NOT accepting donations of any kind right now.

Can I use a computer?

Q: Can I stop by to use a computer?

A: At this time, public computers are NOT available. Wifi is working and can be accessed using personal devices. It is not recommended to stay in the building longer than a half hour. Seating is extremely limited.

Can I print a document?

Q: Can I print a document?

A: Printing is available wirelessly from your device. Smartphones can print on our wifi. Here are instructions for Android and iOS devices. Assistance is limited due to social distancing, so staff will not be able to troubleshoot your device.

I returned items, but they still show as checked out?

Q: I returned my items, but my account still shows they are checked out?

A: Items are quarantined for 24 hours before they are checked in. Items returned on weekends see a longer quarantine period due to our closed hours on Sunday. Contact us if items stay on your account for longer than a week past your return date. We do not charge fines for overdue items.

Do you have yellow bags for recycling plastic available?

Q: Do you have yellow bags for recycling plastic available?

A: Yellow bags for recycling plastic is available upon request at the circulation desk.

Contact Us:

Phone: (512) 930-3551
Text: (512) 686-7247

Adult Summer Reading 2020

Adult Summer Reading: Imagine Your Story!

This summer, adults have been challenged to imagine their story.

July 15: Zine Making Tutorial

Follow along with our online tutorial on how to make your own zine! Pick up materials and inspiration at the circulation desk.

August 19: Who Tells Your Story? Community Art Project

Tell us a story-but make it art! We will be building a community art installation with the stories of locals. Print or pickup a feather template from the main circulation desk that you can decorate however you would like-with words, photos, doodles, color, whatever! What is your story? Tell us!

We have zine making kits and an online tutorial to follow, as well as a community art project. Kits will be available for pickup at the main circulation desk starting July 2. A downloadable version of the feather template is here for digital submissions. Digital submissions can be emailed to

Adults have the chance to win three prize packs for participating in summer reading. Fill out our online challenge card here, where you can work towards getting a chance to win a prize pack. They consist of:

  • Kindle Fire 8” tablet (good for reading borrowed e-books from the library, of course!)
  • Imagine Your Story travel mug
  • Imagine Your Story water bottle
  • Summer reading reusable tote
  • Imagine Your Story t-shirt

Physical copies of the challenge card are available at the circulation desk, where you can also turn your challenge card in once you complete it. One entry per adult, please. This program is free and open to the public, ages 18+.

Confronting Racism: A Community Conversation

Join a community-wide read and virtual panel discussion focused on deepening our understanding of racism and the ways it impacts individuals and society.

Submit your email address below to receive more information about the virtual panel discussion and the Confronting Racism project. 

Select from a slate of three best-selling books: How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi (for adults), The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (for teens), and New Kid by Jerry Kraft (for children grades 5-8). All three books are available in print, audiobook, e-book, and e-audio from the Georgetown Public Library and from Lark & Owl Booksellers, the co-organizers of the program. Several Georgetown residents have made donations to allow the library to purchase additional copies of these books.

Participants will be able to sign up to participate in a virtual panel discussion about the three books and antiracism in general, and to ask questions or share comments.

How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
From National Book Award-winning author Ibram X. Kendi comes a new approach to understanding and uprooting racism and inequality in our society and in ourselves. The New York Times calls it a book that “may, in fact, be our best chance to free ourselves from our national nightmare.” Named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review, Time, NPR, and The Washington Post.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood friend Khalil. A topical, powerful YA novel by a brilliant new author. National Book Award Longlist title and winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Coretta Scott King Honor, Michael L. Printz Honor, and William C. Morris Award.

Children Grades 5-8
New Kid by Jerry Kraft
Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade. A timely, honest graphic novel about starting over at a new school where diversity is low and the struggle to fit in is real, from award-winning author-illustrator Jerry Craft. Winner of the Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Author Award, and Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature.

Georgetown Public Library
Lark & Owl Booksellers

Submit your email address here to receive more information.

WOW! Bookmobile Canceled Tuesday morning, June 23

Due to thunderstorms, the WOW!Bookmobile will not be making its stops at the Texas Drive or Cowan Creek Community Centers in Sun City this morning.  All reserved materials will be held at the Main Library at 402 West 8th Street for patrons to pick up there.  The next WOW!Bookmobile visits to Sun City will be Tuesday, July 7.

Virtual Escape Rooms

Library Reopens May 1 for Grab and Go

The Georgetown Public Library will be open limited hours for checkout of materials beginning May 1. Curbside pickup service will end on April 30 at 6 p.m. Visitors inside the building will see that many changes have been made in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 through the community. Most notably, the children’s play areas will remain closed, and no public seating will be available.

Eric Lashley, library director, said, “The library closed to the public March 16 due to COVID-19, and we are reopening very cautiously in order to keep our patrons and staff safe. We want you to come in, find your books, CDs, DVDs, and children’s items, check them out and take them back home to enjoy. That’s what we call ‘grab and go.’”

The library is encouraging visits of no more than 30 minutes, with one person per household coming in if possible. Visitors are asked to observe six-foot physical distancing from staff and one another. Library staff will all be wearing face masks to protect the community, and they encourage patrons to wear masks as well, to protect the staff and one another.

“Face masks and hand washing are the best ways to keep from catching or spreading the virus,” said Sally Miculek, assistant director. “We know our patrons love the library and the staff, so we are counting on them to help keep us safe by following recommendations to wear a mask in public and wash hands frequently and thoroughly.”

Patrons will be able to browse the adult, teen, and children’s circulating collections to make their selections. Items can be checked out by staff, who will scan items through a plexiglass guard, or by patrons using a self-check station with a touchless scanner to check out their materials. Those who would like to meet with the library’s Community Resource Coordinator may also come into the building.

No other services will be available initially, and sections of the building will remain off limits to the public. In addition to the first-floor children’s play areas (including the popular jeep), second-floor study tables, study rooms and meeting rooms will remain closed to the public. Printing, faxing and photocopying will not be available, and no donations will be accepted. Library materials should be returned to the outside drive-through book drop rather than inside the building.

The library’s hours will be Monday through Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The building will be closed on Sundays.

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.

Age of Central Texas compiled a resource list for older adults and caregivers, including a list of caregiver support.

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 began offering online groups in the beginning of April 2020

Unemployment & Financial Resources

From Texas Workforce Commission: “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 7am-7pm, seven days a week (extended hours).”  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.

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 webinars 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. Click below for more information about using e-books:

Find e-books, e-magazines and e-audiobooks

Or visit our many databases to find homework help, articles, how-to information, and more. For instance, the LearningExpress database offers test prep for all ages including elementary, college readiness, specialized certificates, and a career center. Click below for more information about using databases:

Find databases

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

(Please note that some other types of library cards, including TexShare or GISD cards, do not have access to GPL’s digital resources directly but instead should contact their public or school libraries.)

“Let Me Be Myself” The Life Story of Anne Frank rescheduled

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 October 17-November 22, 2020. (The exhibit was originally slated for 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 opens on May 1 with limited services. Meeting and study spaces remain unavailable and we are not reviewing new room requests at this time.

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 opens May 1 with limited services. Meeting and study spaces remain unavailable and we are not reviewing new 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!