I accidentally opened up the December 2006 file for this column and read that the structural steel was going up last year this time.

It seems I wished most of the past two years away waiting to get our branch completed and open. It's rather like being pregnant, those seven to eight months waiting for the birth of the baby drag on forever, but once it gets here, the months fly by.

Our library is running in full gear most of the time; having a lull is now the exception rather than the rule. We are averaging 350-plus users per day according to our gate count. Miss Jean's attendance for her Wednesday and Thursday 11 a.m. Storytimes has picked up considerably. A group of 30 to 40 is more the norm now.

I feel like the openness of the building makes everyone feel more comfortable, therefore they linger longer to sit down to read with their children or enjoy relaxing in our reading area before going about other things.

We will never be a completely silent library, but considering the numbers we have using the computers and lots of kiddos, the staff feels like the library is much quieter than it has ever been. Perhaps because people are spread out around the building or due to some of the acoustical carpeting on walls, sound doesn't seem to travel or amplify.

We have two new changes forthcoming. One will aid in paying of fines.

We should be able to accept credit cards for payment of fines and lost books soon. Visa, MasterCard and Discover cards will be the first to be accepted with the American Express card to be added later.

You may use either debit or credit cards. However, you will be required to present a Texas Driver's License or Texas ID to use the service.

We are fortunate to have a math teacher from Calallen High School offer to volunteer as a math tutor for students in area schools. We are looking at mid-morning on Saturdays, or early afternoon.

If any other time is needed, that will be worked out to the mutual convenience of the tutor and the student(s). There will be a sign-up sheet at the circulation desk asking for the student's name and phone number.

Don't forget we have plenty of books for holiday crafts, baking and candy making.