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Testimonies

Cintributed by Renee Mick, Library Director - Marfa Public Library

Hello Barbara,

I would like to give you an update on the Book and a Movie program created during our PEARL outreach project here in Marfa. As you know the program was written for a one-time event for children, with two summer programs for adults.

 However, a local non-profit, Ballroom Marfa, desired to partner with us for the adult program and it has morphed into a seasonal program with the Fall program coming up in just a couple of weeks, on November 27th. 

Ballroom is providing publicity for the event, which is a large part of program planning, so we're very pleased to have them involved with Book and a Movie!

 Thanks so much for your assistance with this excellent program. It proved to be perfect for Marfa, a film-loving community!

 

"To Our Mentors and Associates of the PEARL Project and UNT,

Before the PEARL Project, I was comfortable sitting in my office, in my comfort zone, and running the library.  I had worked with Frances Recio, from the Muleshoe ISD Migrant Program.  That was the extent of this library’s outreach to the community.  One partnership.

Since the PEARL Project started, I am working with WorkForce Solutions, Bailey County Extension Office, and Bailey County Aging Services.  We have made partnerships that I feel have enhanced our programs for our community.

I so enjoyed TLA this year.  Getting to talk with other librarians and share things we do in common and learning things we should try in our libraries is a HUGE asset.  The sessions motivate us and get us fired up about our library and our community.

My first day back from the conference, I had a surprise visit.  The Youth Services Coordinator from Communities in Schools had heard I was great at working with people in our community to enhance programs for all ages.  She had received a grant that would enable her to work this summer on literacy.  She wanted to help with our Summer Reading Program!!!! This would have NEVER happened before PEARL.

I feel Muleshoe Area Public Library is a success story for the PEARL Project and I am so honored Muleshoe Area Public Library was chosen to be a part of this group.  Thank you so much for this opportunity.  You have made my job so much more enjoyable and helped the library make partnerships with other community organizations to serve the population of our community."  Dyan Dunagan from Muleshoe Area Library

Andrews County Public Library

How the PEARL Project helped me and can help you!

Liz Stottlemyre


While I am still in the process of activating my community outreach program, I have seen the benefits PEARL has to offer—and learned some things as well.

I think having a website that will enable other libraries to become indispensible elements within their communities is beyond priceless—especially when many of the plans presented can be accomplished with minimal expense (key in the current economic environment). It is also great to have access to so many fresh, new ideas that I would never have thought of but, now, realize “Wow, that would work in my community!”

Most important—especially now that Texas Library Systems are on their way out—PEARL has created, through its training sessions and attendance to TLA—bonds between librarians that will be vital in the coming days.  These bonds will open the channels of communication between libraries that will enable them to maintain an active presence in their communities—by sharing knowledge, failures and by providing some of the support that the systems once did.  That’s part of the joy, and responsibility, of being a librarian—not only serving the public but being there for each other.

I have learned that when you decide to implement one of these community outreach plans, schedule it around the summer!  If you are like me and my library, summer is the busiest time of the year for you and many of the individuals you need within the community are out of pocket. We may think we are Superman but, in reality, it just isn’t possible to juggle it all.

When you have the time, go through these wonderful plans and look at how they might be of benefit to you and your citizens.  Don’t be afraid to fail—that is how we learn. And remember, everyone involved in this project is there to help in any way we can. Use these valuable resources.

Liz Stottlemyre
Director
Andrews County Library

Testimonies

The PEARL project taught our staff how to focus more on our objectives. Our staff has always helped the people that come in with goals they wanted to accomplish. Our objectives were disorganized. Barbara asked questions to make me think why I did things this way or that way, and could we think of a better was to help accomplished our patron’s goals.

  • Help people over 50 write resume to try to get jobs
  • Teach them to apply for jobs online
  • Walk them through the e-mail process
  • Apply for student loans and register for school

The project on the whole gave our patrons the knowledge, the skills, and hope that they could join the workforce.

Working with Barbara Blake and Jacqulyn Horton was a pleasure. All the people we’ve worked have been professional, helpful, and knowledgeable.

Barbara taught me how to refocus my limited time and resources to be more effective. At times it was a painful process because I had a set way I wanted to do things and I am very stubborn. Barbara was very patient in asking me to exam my methods and improve on them.

Karen Varner-Lamb County Library

 

Cross Plains

Our small library has been very active in providing a variety of programs for our community. Being a part of the PEARL Project and completing the survey that was required brought about a program we would not have thought of, nor would have done on our own. When we introduced our new program I did not know it would be received with such enthusiasm from everyone who participated. The Book to Movie Events provided a fellowship among our loyal patrons combining their common interest, a love for literature, and a passion for the arts. In all instances the participants eagerly expressed their viewpoints and enjoyed the opinions of others. Everyone expressed an overwhelming desire to continue with the events and wanted to know what and when our next adventure would be!

 

I have scheduled another Book to Movie event for January. The adults and teens will be reading the same book this time. We have chosen the book Rocket Boys, and the movie October Sky. We have a gentleman in Cross Plains who is a Board Member of Tripoli Rocketry Association and there is a great interest for rocket design, building, and launching in our community. I’m sure this event will also be very successful.

 

Also, I wanted to mention the surveys were helpful in showing us that our library hours were not convenient for many in our community. We have changed our hours to provide morning and evening access and the results have been very positive.

Linda Burns, Director

Cross Plains Library