Friday, June 19, 2020

Returning Checkouts

Bob & Howard (ducks) on big fan
 "Hey Bob," waved Howard.

"Howdy Howard," Bob returned.

"Whatcha thinking about?" Howard asked.

"I've decided I'm a BIG FAN of people who return their items in a timely fashion," Bob smiled.

"I kinda get that," Howard agreed, looking at the fan.  "But why seem so concerned?"

"I feel for the people...I don't want them to rack up fines and have troubles," pouted Bob.

"Why would they do that?" Howard seemed mystified.

"Well, there were about a thousand things out in March, but there was no way to return stuff then, so all the due dates were just extended.  Now the return box has been open for 2 weeks and normal actions like fines will restart on July 1.  Only about a tenth of the checkouts have come back," worried Bob.

"Can't they just renew things?" wondered Howard.

"Nope, they can't renew any more for what was already out.  And because of the one week quarantine, there's hardly any more time to return stuff without starting to get fines!" Bob squawked.

"How's that?" Howard was curious.

"Today, for example, is the 19th, so if you turned in your book or movie today by 5PM, say, add 7 days before it is handled again to be checked in," posited Bob.

Howard looked into the air.  "Uh...19 plus 7, carry the one, er, 26!"

"Yup," Bob acknowledged, "your items would be checked in on the 26th.  You'd be ok."

"But if I brought them back on the 25th?" Howard continued.  

"That would be 25 plus 7 so then they'd be checked in on the 2nd of July and you'd have an overdue fine." Bob stared down dejectedly.

"I thought there was a grace period?" added Howard.

"That is the quarantine period," Bob declared.

"Oh boy, I'd better see if I have anything to turn in, then!" flustered Howard fluttered off.

Bob and Howard (ducks) on bookdrop

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Understanding Curbside

"Why so glum, Howard?"
 Howard facing Bob (rubber ducks)
"I want to read an actual book, Bob!"
                  "So read a book, Howard."

Bob facing Howard (rubber ducks)

"The library's closed so I can't check one out, Bob!"

"No, remember, I told you the library is open for curbside service," Bob stated patiently.    

"I forgot," blinked Howard. 
"Uh, what does that mean?" Howard looked at Bob a little sheepishly.

Bob & Howard

"It means you can check out books and stuff, but you have to do it
a different way than by just going into the library," Bob announced.

"How do you mean, Bob?" Howard inquired. 

Bob & Howard by phone

"You can call the library at 210-684-0720 and talk to the staff--
just ask for the item you want!  

Or you can go online to the Leon Valley Public Library's catalog at and reserve something--it's called 'putting on hold,'" Bob informed Howard.

"How do I know they have what I want, or even how I know what I want?" puzzled Howard.

"Just browse through the catalog, or talk to a staff member," Bob answered.

Bob looking left

"Oh, ok.  So how do I order a book or movie from the catalog?" Howard wanted to know.

"Simply go to the catalog page and log in to your account.  There's a box in the upper right corner that says Log in to your account.  You type your card number in the top line--you don't need the zeroes in front of the number--and your phone number--you don't need the area code if it is 210--or password--if you made your own--in the lower box line." Bob said matter-of-factly.

Log in catalog

"What if I have trouble?" worried Howard. "Like if I can't remember my card number, or I changed my phone number recently or something?"

"Call the library and talk to a live person, or send an email to ask what to do through the Contact Us link at the lower left corner of the catalog.  A box also drops down from the log in boxes if you don't fill 'em in, asking if you need help," assured Bob.

Howard looking right

"That's handy!  Alrighty.  So if I log in without problems, then what do I do?" Howard continued.


"You find what you want in the catalog...when you click on the item you are interested in, there is a Reserve this item button to select what you want.  Click on that and you'll put that book or movie or audiobook on hold," Bob replied.

Reserve in catalog

Howard considered that a moment.  "Ah.  Then what?"

Bob took a breath.  "Then you wait to be contacted by library staff--they have to see if the item you asked for is available, after all--and you schedule an appointment to pick up your request."

"I need to make an appointment?  Just for me?" Howard seemed surprised.

Howard in the crepe myrtle

"Yup.  The staff will leave your request out on a porch table for you to drop by and pick up at your scheduled time, so there is a minimum of contact to keep the bad virus at bay," Bob nodded wisely.

"Oh, I see.  I guess I can do that," Howard agreed thoughtfully.

"Go get a book!" Bob encouraged.

Bob in the crepe myrtle

"Definitely!" Howard quacked excitedly.

"Just one thing, Bob," Howard paused.

"What?" Bob chirped.

Bob & Howard on the curb

"Why is it called 'curb' service?  You didn't mention a curb at all," Howard pondered.


"It means you drive up to the curb to get your books rather than come into the library," Bob extolled.  "And it curbs your hunger for books, quackquack!"

"Ha ha!" giggled Howard.  "I see."  And he waddled off to find the library catalog.   

Howard with books


Friday, June 12, 2020

Howard Learns to Zoom

Bob the duck
"Hi Howard, how're things?"

 Howard the duck"Oh wow, the Library is going to have a virtual program!  But they say it
will be 'by Zoom,' what does that mean, Bob?"

"Well, that's easy," said Bob.  "
Zoom is a program platform that lets you see other people wherever they are using Zoom and you can even talk to them, like a video-phone!  And they can see you, too, if you have a web-camera.  All you have to do is click on the link they give you or cut-and-paste the link into a browser, and you can join in!"

"Great!" wiggled Howard.  "Uh, what does that mean?"

"A little before the program is to start, the Library host will post a link, an address that looks like and a bunch of numbers or such.  Should be able to mouse-click on that and it will take you to another page in the browser," Bob informed.

Zoom invitation
A Zoom invitation

"Browser?" Howard was unsure.

"The window on the computer where you see other websites and places, like the Facebook LVPL Summer Reading group page you started from," Bob stated patiently.

"Ok," Howard nodded.

"If that doesn't work for some reason, you can highlight the address--click the mouse at the beginning of the address and drag it across the address line to the end--it turns another color like using a highlighter pen. 


Let go without clicking anywhere, then click the right mouse button on that color line to see a drop-down menu.  


Choose Copy and click on that, then click on a new browser tab 

Opening a new tab
Opening a new tab

and right-click into the search bar at the top, choosing and clicking on Paste this time,"  Bob breathed in deeply.


"Wow," said Howard.  "I dunno if I can do all that."

"You can also press down on the Control button and letter C key at the same time on your keyboard in order to copy, and Control plus the letter V key to paste.  It's actually a snap," insisted Bob.


 "Sure," muttered Howard.  "Anyway, then what?"

"Your browser will go to the Zoom site and a little pop-up box will inform you that you need to install a little Zoom program for the meeting.  You just click on that and it will do that for you.  Then just follow the instructions.  Sometimes you'll need the Meeting ID code--the other line given to you with the meeting address with a bunch of numbers--in order to get into the right meeting, so you'll need to cut-and-paste that into a join-meeting box, if it asks for that, and a password."

"Mm hmm," Harold agreed rather skeptically.

"Click on this link, it shows a short video of a lady named Marcia explaining how to do all this, probably a lot better than I am,"  Bob happily provided the link below to Howard.
Joining a Zoom Call for the First Time; 

Fun and Easy Online Connection
--Marcia Chadly from the Creative Life Center

"There are a lot of other videos to help you with this, too, but I happened to like this one," Bob added.

After Howard watched the video, he was relieved.
"I guess that isn't quite so hard to do," Howard admitted.

Bob approved, "When you've done it a time or two, you'll be a master at it!"

"Howard the Zoom-Master!" Howard chuckled.

Howard the Zoom-Master

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Return of the Construction Duckies

A few of you may remember the Construction Duckies, Bob and Howard, who narrated the construction of the LVPL Children's Wing and helped explain things during difficult moments and our last little closing.  Occasionally they pop up to tell silly jokes or make little points.  Just happened to overhear them recently:

2 duckies in crepe myrtle

"Hey Howard!" yelled Bob.
"Hi Bob!" responded Howard.
"Long time no see!" Bob chortled.
"Yeah.  Don't want to get that bird flu," Howard confessed.
"Uh, I think it's COVID-19," Bob corrected.
"Whatever vid-e-o, don't like being sick," asserted Howard.
"Well no.  Hey, have you heard about all the stuff going on at the library?" questioned Bob.

2 duckies on LVPL sign
"This library?" Howard looked around.
"Of course this library!"  Bob uttered in disbelief.
"I thought it was closed.  Enlighten me then!" replied Howard.

2 duckies on NEW sign letters in library

"It's gonna be open, but in a different way for a while," informed Bob patiently.
"Open but not open.  I'm confused," Howard frowned.
"I know.  Everything's new,"  Bob stated.
"I kinda sensed that," Howard agreed.

2 duckies on book dropbox"First, you can return anything you had checked out before," Bob started.
"Before what?" Howard wondered.
"Before the library closed," Bob sighed.
"I thought you said it was open?" Howard pointed out obstinately.
"It's opening in baby steps.  The dropbox is now open for returns," explained Bob.
"Dropbox is the book return, ahhh...I guess that's good.  Why can't I just wait until the building is open?" Howard asked reasonably.
"That might be some time from now, and the books and stuff need to come back NOW so they can go through a 7-day quarantine and be safe to return to the shelves so other folks can check them out.  And it's ok to put in the DVDs and things not usually recommended for the dropbox right now, since the staff will empty it often and patrons can't enter the building," Bob justified.
"Naturally.  So when are my books due?" Howard inquired.
"Everything is due around June 24, but there's about a week grace period, so call it July," Bob elucidated.
"July."  Howard tittered as Bob rolled his eyes.

2 duckies on Summer Reading poster--Imagine your story

"Second...the Summer Reading Program is kicking off on June 16!" squealed Bob.
"That's a....Tuesday, right?" pondered Howard.
"Right you are, Howard," Bob affirmed.
"So how does that work?" Howard wanted to know.
"There will be a "drive through" Summer Reading Party!  People who want to participate can drive up to the library between 10:30AM and know, on the front porch side of the library where the parking lot and car things are...and the staff will hand out reading logs and fun packets to those interested, nice and safe-like," educated Bob.
2 duckies on craft baggies

"You don't say!" Howard quacked excitedly.  "But what if I can't make it?  Or drive?" Howard looked down at his stubby wings.
"The reading logs will also be posted online, so you can still participate," Bob guaranteed.

"Is that all?" Howard pouted slightly.
"Oh no," Bob squawked.  "The fun part is the LVPL Summer Reading group on Facebook!"
"The whatsit where?" Howard expressed bewilderedly and knit his feathered brows together.
"If you go to the Leon Valley Public Library Facebook page ,
or just search for the LVPL Summer Reading group ,
you can join!" related Bob.
"And why should I do that?" puzzled Howard.
"If you are part of that group, you get to know about all kinds of virtual activities, secret passwords to programs, and, like, cool stuff!" Bob giggled and wriggled with pleasure.
"Ah, you mean it's like being in a secret club house?" Howard cheeped.

2 duckies with paper craft crown
"Exactly!  And there will be prizes for reading and other nifty things going on," Bob went on further.

"Well, we'd better join then!" Howard waddled off in glee.

2 duckies on curb in front of LVPL sign

"What else is going on at the library?" Howard called back.

"Beginning on the 23rd--also a Tuesday--the library will offer curb service," Bob declared.

"A WHAT kind of service?" 
Howard seemed a bit baffled.
another photo of 2 duckies on curb in front of LVPL sign

"CURB service.  That's when people can call or go online to the library's catalog to reserve items to check out.  When the staff finds the things they want to check out, they will arrange a pick up time with the people and then the patrons can come and safely retrieve their requested items," Bob attempted to educate the perpetually perplexed Howard.

2 duckies on a curb

"So I can check out books?" hoped Howard.

"Yes, of course!" nodded Bob.

"And movies, or other things?" Howard garnered with growing elation.

2 duckies by the phone
"Call them up at 210-684-0720 and ask,
if you have any doubts," Bob comforted.
"But what if I don't know what I want?" supposed Howard.
"That's what the catalog is for, just browse around in there...but for kids there are some new Book Bundles," Bob told Harold

2 duckies with book bundles--dinosaurs

"Book, a bunch of books?" Harold supposed.
"That's it, kits made up of three to six books arranged by topic, for a quick reading selection.  They have kid kits about Stars, Bedtime, Food, Spring, Color, Night, Having Fun, Fish, Dinosaurs, Pirates, and even a Variety Pack," Bob announced.

2 duckies by book bundles cart

"How on earth do you know all
these things, Bob?" Howard brooded.

"Oh, I pay attention...and get around," Bob teased.


2 duckies by Libraries: Where Imagination Goes Boldly Forth galaxy sign display

"Wow, you Really do get around," Howard reflected as he noted the galaxy behind him.
"All you have to do is use your imagination, Howard," Bob suggested wisely.
"Now, let's sign up for that summer reading group, quack!" Howard tottered off enthusiastically.
"You mean 'quick,' right?" Bob corrected.
"That's what I said!  Come on!" Howard shuffled off happily.