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“Better lights for Starry Nights”

Save energy and money by learning the Dark Sky Program

  Tuesday February 17th, at 6:00 pm the Hill Country Alliance (HCA) will present a program on Preserving the Night Sky at the Johnson City Library.  A dark night sky full of big bright stars is important here in the Hill Country, just like clean rivers, scenic vistas and natural landscapes. Little by little, light-by-light, the magical mystery of the Texas night sky is diminishing. But it’s not too late to reverse this trend. Directing lights downward, shielding and turning them off when not needed makes make a big difference.

 Learn how you can do your part reduce light pollution.  Matt Lara, an electrical engineer who lives in, and works in Spicewood will share his expertise about simple strategies to protect starry skies.  Matt says, “I have a serious passion for both nature/the outdoors and lighting, so discovering the Night Sky group at HCA was a bit like coming across family you’ve never met before that happen to live right down street from you!”  Matt is part of a team of HCA Night Sky advocates who travel to the Hill Country to teach and inspire our communities about this issue,” says Christy Muse of the Hill Country Alliance. “This program is one of our most widely popular educational efforts; we are discovering a growing regional consensus about the importance of protecting the Night Sky.”

 HCA has been partnering with the McDonald Observatory and local Hill Country community organization’s creating an entire menu of programs aimed at reducing light pollution.  Workshops have recently been held from Uvalde, to Junction, San Antonio to Austin and Mason to San Marcos. A “Night Sky Coop” was formed in 2011 where landowners and businesses take a voluntary pledge to end light trespass from their land.  In 2012, a new chamber of commerce recognition program was created where businesses are acknowledged for being night sky friendly. Communities are passing supportive resolutions and some are considering protective ordinances such as the award winning effort in Dripping Springs.

 More information about protecting the Night Skies of the Hill Country can be found at






at the LBJ National Historical Park in Johnson City


Registration forms on line

 call 830.868.4469

email Maggie Goodman at


 10 am- 12 noon - roundtable discussion with panel

12-1:30 – lunch and networking

1:30-3:30 – workshop with author of choice

 Directions: Coming in on Hwy 281, you turn west onto Hwy 290.  You are looking for a dirt road driveway on your left, in about a half a mile.  The exact address is 502 W. Main St (same as 290), between Ave. N and Ave. O.  We will have balloons and a gentleman directing you to the right spot.  The main thing is it is a dirt road on your left just past where the old log fence starts.


Diane Bertrand-As Writer-in-Residence at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Diane teaches creative writing and English composition.  Her collection Dawn Flower (Pecan Grove 2014) was a finalist in the poetry category of the 2014 Texas Writers League book awards and her new children's picture book, Cecilia and Miguel are Best Friends was named’s Best 20 Latino Children's Books from 2014. She also writes memoir, short essays, and is a frequent speaker at local schools and libraries where she encourages families to turn off their electronic distractions and pick up a good book instead.

 Afternoon Topic: Give Your Writing STAR Power- Writing poetry, literature for children or short memoirs challenges the writer to examine each word, line, and sentence for meaning and significance. Writing exercises will generate new ideas, develop current works-in-progress, and inspire you to take another look at rejected manuscripts.



Owen Egerton is the author of How Best to Avoid Dying, Everyone Says That at the End of the World, and The Book of Harold, the Illegitimate Son of God, which was optioned by Warner Bros. television. He’s written for Salon and The Huffington Post. He is one of the talents behind the award-winning Master Pancake Theater at the Alamo Drafthouse Theatre and the host of the reading series One Page Salon. As a screenwriter Egerton has written screenplays for Fox, Warner Brothers, and Disney studios.

 Afternoon Topic: Burning Words- How do you set your writing on fire, how do you feed the flames until the pages blister? From the blank page to the final revision, we'll discuss how to bring risk into your writing, how to find the red-hot core of your piece, and how to set your stories ablaze. Diving into techniques and inspiring examples, we’ll aim to go deeper into plot, character, and theme.

 Stephen Harrigan  is the author of nine books of fiction and non-fiction, including The Gates of the Alamo, which became a New York Times bestseller. Harrigan lives in Austin, where he is a faculty fellow at UT’s James A. Michener Center for Writers and a writer-at-large for Texas Monthly.  He is the recipient of the Texas Book Festival’s Texas Writers Award, the Lon Tinkle Award for lifetime achievement from the Texas Institute of Letters, and was recently inducted into the Texas Literary Hall of Fame.

 Afternoon Topic: Crisis Management for Writers - Tackling Stumbling Blocks (in Fiction and Nonfiction) and Identifying Creative Solutions. This promises to be  a lively and informative discussion about the pitfalls writers commonly (or not so commonly) encounter while working on a project.





 Every Wednesday, 11 AM-Everyone Welcome


Register your pre-readers for the "Read to Me" program

Family members read for 15 minutes a day to the pre-reader.  If they complete 5 days a week for a calendar month, they select a prize.





Access your account and renew books on your mobile device
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Through a grant from the Texas State Library, we now have E-Readers (Nooks and Kindle) available to check out.  Stop by any time for FREE E-reader Help. We'll show you how to use these devices or your own devices and tablets to check out e- and audio books from the Library. 


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                                   Do you have loved ones over-seas that you wish you could see and talk to?

 The library has  a computer dedicated to video chatting for this purpose. 

All you need is a library card to get started.  The computer was purchased with grant money

from the Tocker Foundation in Austin, TX.



eShelf & Research - Work and research from the office or from home, anytime:
  • TexShare Databases: books, articles, research databases, and more
  • Selected Sites: what's good on the Web
  • Community Organizations: local, nonprofit groups and services
  • Good Reads: book reviews, top sellers, author interviews, and news headlines
  • Mango Languages: Mango is an online language learning system that teaches conversation skills in ESL, Spanish, German, French, Italian and Mandarin Chinese. Log-in with from home with your Johnson City Library Card!

    TexShare Database Logo
    Try these databases filled with magazine articles, encyclopedia entries, and other materials to help you discover more on any subject, from general interest to business, hobbies, and more. Please see your librarian for a username and password.

Texas Group Catalog


 Inter-Library Loan Program

 Can't find what you want in our library's catalog? No problem! Use the searchbox below and we will try our best to order it!  We work with a network of over 1000 libraries around the country who share resources.


Limit 2 orders per person, $2.00 charge per ILL for postage, failure to pick up an item will result in a $2.50 handling charge.

Hill CountryPortal

Location & Hours

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501 Nugent Ave
Johnson City, TX 78636


M-F: 9am-7:00pm
Sat: 9am-2:00pm
Sun: Closed

« February 2015 »