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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Today's Top Book & DVD Releases

Everyone loves staying on top of the latest in books & DVDs and we receive them on a regular basis at your library.  Join us as we hit the highlights of some of the popular titles being released today.

Shazam!
Starring: Zachary Levi
Summary: In Philadelphia, Billy is an abandoned child who is proving a nuisance to Child Services and the authorities with his stubborn search for his lost mother.  However, in his latest foster home, Billy makes a new friend, Freddy, and finds himself selected by the Wizard Shazam to be his new champion.  Now endowed with the ability to instantly become an adult superhero by speaking the wizard's name, Billy gleefully explores his new powers with Freddy.  However, Billy soon learns that he has a deadly enemy, Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, who was previously rejected by the wizard and has accepted the power of the of the Seven Deadly Sins instead.  Now pursued by this mad scientist for his own power as well, Billy must face up to the responsibilities of his calling while learning the power of a special magic with his true family that Sivana can never understand.

The Nickel Boys
Author: Colson Whitehead
Summary: As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to heart: He is "as good as anyone." Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South in the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called The Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides "physical, intellectual and moral training" so the delinquent boys in their charge can become "honorable and honest men."In reality, The Nickel Academy is a grotesque chamber of horrors, where the sadistic staff beats and sexually abuses the students, corrupt officials and locals steal food and supplies, and any boy who resists is likely to disappear "out back." Stunned to find himself in such a vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold on to Dr. King's ringing assertion "Throw us in jail and we will still love you." His friend Turner thinks Elwood is worse than naive, that the world is crooked and the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. The tension between Elwood's ideals and Turner's skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades. Formed in the crucible of the evils Jim Crow wrought, the boys' fates will be determined by what they endured at The Nickel Academy.Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers.

The New Girl (Gabriel Allon #19)
Author: Daniel Silva
Summary: At an exclusive private school in Switzerland, mystery surrounds the identity of the beautiful girl who arrives each morning and leaves each afternoon in a heavily protected motorcade fit for a head of state. She is said to be the daughter of a wealthy international businessman. She is not. And when she is brutally kidnapped across the border in the Haute-Savoie region of France, Gabriel Allon, the legendary chief of Israeli intelligence, is thrust into a deadly secret war with an old enemy that will determine the future of the Middle East—and perhaps the world...

Sophia, Princess Among Beasts
Author: James Patterson
Summary: Sophia is smart, beautiful, and accomplished, a beloved princess devoted to the people and to reading books. The kingdom is hers, until she is plunged into a nightmarish realm populated by the awful beasts she read about as a child.  The beasts are real. And so is the great army marching on her castle. The people look to Sophia for protection. They will all perish unless she can unlock an ancient secret as profound as life and death itself.

Red Metal
Author: Mark Greaney
Summary: The Russian bear has awakened. Their tanks race across Poland crushing all opposition on a headlong dash for the heart of Germany. Satellite killing missiles blind American forces while Spetznatz teams destroy Allied communications relays. It's all part of a master plan to confuse and defeat America and her allies. Ranged against the Russian attack are a Marine lieutenant colonel pulled out of a cushy job at the Pentagon and thrown into the fray, a French Special Forces captain and his intelligence operative father, a young Polish female partisan fighter, an A-10 Warthog pilot, and the captain of an American tank platoon who, along with a German sergeant, struggle to keep a small group of American and German tanks in the fight. Operation Red Metal is a nightmare scenario made real but could it just be the first move on the Russian chessboard?

Look for these titles at your Abilene Public Library and get yourselves on the reserve lists so you're certain to keep up with some of the popular releases of the day.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

"Catch Up With the King of Horror" | @ the Library Article

Stephen Edwin King is aptly named as, for many, he is indeed the "king" of horror.  Hiss books have influenced the horror landscape since the late 1960's.  Fans obsessively read all of his titles and, some, even collect various special editions.  King's works can also be enjoyed as audiobooks and graphic novels.  Hollywood has dipped into the King horror pool time and again resulting in over 40 film adaptations.  This number does not include the many made-for-tv films, miniseries, and TV series such as "Castle Rock" which explores the familiar world found in so many King novels with new characters and stories.  So, with so much to choose from, where does a King newbie start?  Fortunately, your Abilene Public Library has a wide variety of materials guaranteed to give you a proper, and scary, introduction to the Stephen King canon.

Originally published pared down, The Stand was eventually released as written, all 1,100 pages of it.  This post-apocalyptic roller coaster ride hinges on the Captain Trips virus which wipes out all but a few immune humans who either join Mother Abigail or follow the sinister Randall Flagg.  It is an epic telling of the traditional good versus evil tale.

No piece on King could be complete without mentioning It.  Also a massive tome, this depiction of a small town American hiding a terrifying secret is a theme found in many King books.  This time, a group of small town America hiding a terrifying secret is a theme found in many King books.  This time, a group of children face an evil that takes the form of Pennywise the Clown.  It also spawned a miniseries starring Tim Curry as well as the blockbuster 2017 film.

The Shining also became both a miniseries and a film starring Jack Nicholson which King though was cold and did not do justice to the novel's themes and characters.  Those who have only seen the film might be surprised at this complex story of a family isolated in a historic hotel.  An imaginary playmate, unearthly topiaries, and terrifying visions plague the family and send them spiraling towards an explosive ending.  King further explores the character of Danny Torrance in the sequel to this popular novel Doctor Sleep.

There seems to be no end in sight as King continues to release novels to this day.  Two of his latest titles are The Institute which has a Firestarter vibe and the suspenseful The Outsider which will soon be an HBO series.

Of course, King is not just a gifted novelist.  He is also a masterful short story writer.  Night Shift and Skeleton Crew exhibit some of King's best writing as he translate everyday situations into compact nightmares that still manage to terrify.

Whether you'd like to relive the terror, or experience it for the first time, your Abilene Public Library has a variety of fiction titles that showcase Stephen King's skill as a writer.  Start small with a collection of short stories or dive-in the deep end with The Stand.  Just check in with our helpful staff and they will help you locate a great read.

Article Contributed by Deborah Tarsiewicz, Information Services Librarian

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Weekly Library Events (July 14-20)

Keep up with the great programs and events your Abilene Public Library has to offer by catching this weekly blog each Thursday.  Fro a complete listing, visit our main website to take a look at our program calendar.

Pokemon Meetup
Sun, July 14 @ 1:30PM
South Branch
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565 for Info.
Join us for an afternoon of gaming fun!  Designed for both new and experienced players, all are welcome to be a part of this monthly meet up where we gather to play the Pokemon Card Game at your South Branch Library.  Gameplay will be for youth from 1:30PM to 2:30PM, then teens and adults will play from 2:30PM to 5:00PM. Pokemon has something for everyone, so come out, bring your cards, and be ready to battle it out at your library.  Instruction will also be available for those interested in learning how to play, and once you do, you’ll be challenging everyone else in no time.

Robotics
Sun, July 14 @ 2:00PM
South Branch
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565 for Info.
Ever wanted to play with a robot? Finch Robots are a fun summer addition to the library. Using Scratch, a drag and drop programming language, we’ll program the Finches to avoid craters on Mars and rescue the Curiosity Rover. You’ll decide which planets to visit and in what order. No coding experience is necessary. We’ll show you step by step how to program. Laptops will be provided for all those who participate, made possible thanks to a grant received by the Texas State Library & Archives Commission and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

TECH Time
Mon, July 15 @ 10:00AM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323 for Info.
As more people acquire smartphones, tablets, and laptops, you may find yourself needing a little help.  If that’s you, join us for TECH (Technology Enrichment & Collaborative Help) Time at your library. Sessions will be hosted twice a week on Mondays at the Mockingbird Branch Library from 10AM to noon and the South Branch Library from 2PM to 4PM, plus your Main Library will host this program on Tuesday nights from 6PM to 8PM.  Sessions will be provided by the library’s tech gurus as we help you to navigate your way through learning to use your devices and answering your tech-related questions. We may not have all the answers, but we’ll certainly be on hand to help. Guests will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis and limited to 30-minutes if others are waiting.

Free Summer Meals @ Your Library
Mon, July 15 @ 11:30AM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 328-437-7323 for Info.
Your Mockingbird Branch Library is partnering with AISD's Summer Feeding Program to continue to offer children nutritious meals to help them learn, grow, and thrive when school is out.  This program is setup to run June 3 through July 26 where youth and teens ages 18 and younger are encouraged to visit the library and enjoy a healthy meal, at no cost.  Your Mockingbird Branch is just one of 17 meal sites for the summer and we will offer this service Mondays through Fridays.  For Saturday and Sunday times, you will need to visit this page online.  Plus, some sites do offer breakfast too.  There will be no meal service offered on July 4th or 5th in observance of Independence Day.  For more information about the Summer Feeding Program, feel free to contact the Abilene ISD Student Nutrition Department at 325-677-1444 ext. 7542 or you may contact staff at the library at 325-437-7323.

TECH Time
Mon, July 15 @ 2:00PM
South Branch
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565 for Info.
As more people acquire smartphones, tablets, and laptops, you may find yourself needing a little help.  If that’s you, join us for TECH (Technology Enrichment & Collaborative Help) Time at your library. Sessions will be hosted twice a week on Mondays at the Mockingbird Branch Library from 10AM to noon and the South Branch Library from 2PM to 4PM, plus your Main Library will host this program on Tuesday nights from 6PM to 8PM.  Sessions will be provided by the library’s tech gurus as we help you to navigate your way through learning to use your devices and answering your tech-related questions. We may not have all the answers, but we’ll certainly be on hand to help. Guests will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis and limited to 30-minutes if others are waiting.

Look, Listen, Learn: Space Walk
Mon, July 15 @ 4:00PM
South Branch
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565 for Info.
Youth are invited out for an interactive learning session that will have them get hands-on with learning about space, and in a fun way.  Join your South Branch Library as we learn about the space walks. Sounds a lot easier than it is, but come learn at your library in this fun summer reading club themed activity.

Engineering Camp
Mon, July 15 @ 4:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067 for Info.
Join us for this new summer series at your Main Library!  Challenge your creative and building skills by coming out to learn and explore with different tools to build whatever you can imagine.  Designed for ages 8-18, we’ve got the classic, and everyone’s favorite, LEGO. Plus we’ll have additional items including the K’NEX for construction building (like mini Roller Coasters), Makedo’s that allow you to build with cardboard so you can build a rocket ship or animals big or small.  If computers are more your style, you’re going to love Snap Circuits, which allows you to build electronic based projects. Come see what your imagination can create and build.

Stories in the Mall
Tues, July 16 @ 10:30AM
Dippin' Dots in the Mall
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565 for Info.
Be a part of the South Branch Library’s storytime experience as we take them out of the library and into the Mall of Abilene in this popular monthly series.  Come find us at the Dippin’ Dots station, near the Chick-fil-A, and then settle in for great stories, songs, and a fun craft activity too...with all materials supplied.  It’s a great way for families to start the day, and all youth who attend this program will receive a free 3.5 oz cup of Dippin’ Dots to enjoy. Stories and ice cream? Sounds like a winning combination.

Free Summer Meals @ Your Library
Tues, July 16 @ 11:30AM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323 for Info.
Your Mockingbird Branch Library is partnering with AISD's Summer Feeding Program to continue to offer children nutritious meals to help them learn, grow, and thrive when school is out.  This program is setup to run June 3 through July 26 where youth and teens ages 18 and younger are encouraged to visit the library and enjoy a healthy meal, at no cost.  Your Mockingbird Branch is just one of 17 meal sites for the summer and we will offer this service Mondays through Fridays.  For Saturday and Sunday times, you will need to visit this page online.  Plus, some sites do offer breakfast too.  There will be no meal service offered on July 4th or 5th in observance of Independence Day.  For more information about the Summer Feeding Program, feel free to contact the Abilene ISD Student Nutrition Department at 325-677-1444 ext. 7542 or you may contact staff at the library at 325-437-7323.

Mockingbird Chess Club
Tues, July 16 @ 2:00PM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323 for Info.
The Mockingbird Chess Club focuses on providing tweens and teens (ages 8-18) an opportunity to learn and play chess in a supportive environment. The club meetings will include a short lesson and/or demonstration of a chess topic, chess puzzles, and traditional chess games. A limited number of chess sets are provided; players are welcome to bring their own sets if desired. Chess lessons may be presented by library staff, guest speakers, and/or free videos selected from the internet.

Zoo Lady Visit
Tues, July 16 @ 3:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067 for Info.
If you have a child that is crazy about animals, don’t miss the next Zoo Lady Visit at your Main Library for the summer.  We’ll be welcoming in Joy Harsh, education curator at the Abilene Zoo, along with her animal ambassadors from the zoo, who will be on hand to teach you about them, as well as let you touch some of them at the end of the program.  It’s always a highly attended program and highlight of the summer reading club series at your library each year so don’t miss your opportunity to come out and see what animal guests will be featured at this session.

Dungeons & Dragons Gaming
Tues, July 16 @ 5:30PM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323 for Info.
Need a place to host or play D&D during the summer?  You’re in luck. Teens are invited out for some gameplay as we’ll be hosting three hour sessions every Tuesday evening starting at 5:30PM in our study room at the Mockingbird Branch Library.  We’ll provide three main manuals, dice, and character sheets, so if you’re a Dungeon Master, or seeking to go on an adventure, we encourage you to join us.

TECH Time
Tues, July 16 @ 6:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025 for Info.
As more people acquire smartphones, tablets, and laptops, you may find yourself needing a little help.  If that’s you, join us for TECH (Technology Enrichment & Collaborative Help) Time at your library. Sessions will be hosted twice a week on Mondays at the Mockingbird Branch Library from 10AM to noon and the South Branch Library from 2PM to 4PM, plus your Main Library will host this program on Tuesday nights from 6PM to 8PM.  Sessions will be provided by the library’s tech gurus as we help you to navigate your way through learning to use your devices and answering your tech-related questions. We may not have all the answers, but we’ll certainly be on hand to help. Guests will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis and limited to 30-minutes if others are waiting.

Study Hall Series
Wed, July 17 @ 9:30AM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323 for Info.
Adults are invited to be a part of Study Hall, a self-paced learning experience, where participants can utilize one of the library’s laptops to study for the GED test, take a local college course or another online learning experience using Learning Express Library 3.0, build some computer skills, and more.  Everyone who attends will receive a laptop to work on, made possible thanks to a grant received by the Texas State Library & Archives Commission and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Come see what the library has to offer, to continue your learning in whatever it is you’re pursuing.

Family Coloring Club
Wed, July 17 @ 10:00AM
South Branch
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565 for Info.
Families are invited to join us for a great Coloring Club session at your South Branch Library and designed for all ages.  Parents are invited to come out with your kids and engage in some fun coloring activities with pages and supplies available for all coloring tastes and levels. You may also feel free to bring your own coloring pages and books if you’d like as well. Coloring is great for giving you the time to take a break from your hectic lives, relieve some stress, and have a little fun without any rules to follow. Come meet new families, make new friends, and enjoy yourself at this great event. Don’t miss out on this stress-free program at your library.


Free Summer Meals @ Your Library
Wed, July 17 @ 11:30AM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323 for Info.
Your Mockingbird Branch Library is partnering with AISD's Summer Feeding Program to continue to offer children nutritious meals to help them learn, grow, and thrive when school is out.  This program is setup to run June 3 through July 26 where youth and teens ages 18 and younger are encouraged to visit the library and enjoy a healthy meal, at no cost.  Your Mockingbird Branch is just one of 17 meal sites for the summer and we will offer this service Mondays through Fridays.  For Saturday and Sunday times, you will need to visit this page online.  Plus, some sites do offer breakfast too.  There will be no meal service offered on July 4th or 5th in observance of Independence Day.  For more information about the Summer Feeding Program, feel free to contact the Abilene ISD Student Nutrition Department at 325-677-1444 ext. 7542 or you may contact staff at the library at 325-437-7323.


Job Time: Application Assistance
Wed, July 17 @ 2:00PM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323 for Info.
If you’re looking for a job and need some help, you’re invited to stop by the Mockingbird Branch Library for our weekly Job Time: Application Assistance program where staff will get you started on the road to employment success.  We will cover how to search for jobs, how to create a resume, share advice on how to dress for and succeed in an interview, and much more. We’ll have a set number of computers available for use so don’t miss your chance to participate in this program.


Finch Robots
Wed, July 17 @ 2:00PM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323 for Info.
Have you ever wanted to learn how to program a robot?  Feel free to attend this great workshop that will feature a new summer addition to your library, the Finch Robots!  With Finches, you can program the robots to move and light up using Scratch, a drag and drop block based programming language. Scratch is a kid friendly programming language that is a great introduction to those who are interested in coding. No programming experience is necessary.


Teen Gaming Club
Wed, July 17 @ 3:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067 for Info.
If you’re a teen who’s into gaming, we want you to be a part of our gaming club at your Main Library this summer.  Don’t pass up on attending this weekly event where you’ll get the chance to come together for an afternoon of gaming on board games or video games in the Teen Zone.  We’ll supply the games, or feel free to bring your own too.


Free Summer Meals @ Your Library
Thurs, July 18 @ 11:30AM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323 for Info.
Your Mockingbird Branch Library is partnering with AISD's Summer Feeding Program to continue to offer children nutritious meals to help them learn, grow, and thrive when school is out.  This program is setup to run June 3 through July 26 where youth and teens ages 18 and younger are encouraged to visit the library and enjoy a healthy meal, at no cost.  Your Mockingbird Branch is just one of 17 meal sites for the summer and we will offer this service Mondays through Fridays.  For Saturday and Sunday times, you will need to visit this page online.  Plus, some sites do offer breakfast too.  There will be no meal service offered on July 4th or 5th in observance of Independence Day.  For more information about the Summer Feeding Program, feel free to contact the Abilene ISD Student Nutrition Department at 325-677-1444 ext. 7542 or you may contact staff at the library at 325-437-7323.


Preschool Plus Stories: Alien Invasion
Thurs, July 18 @ 2:00PM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323 for Info.
Help! Aliens at the library! Mockingbird Branch has been invaded by little green aliens from outer space! Help us gather them up and send them packing at our next Preschool Plus Stories session designed for kids of all ages to enjoy.  At this program, staff will share some great books with youth, and everyone will get the chance to design their own space alien mask; materials supplied.


Star Trek Movie Series: "Star Trek: Into Darkness"
Thurs, July 18 @ 2:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025 for Info.
Join us for the next session of the summer Star Trek Movie series where we’ll be meeting up to watch all of the new installments in the Star Trek film franchise.  Last month we watched the 2009 flick and at this session we’ll be showing Star Trek: Into Darkness at your Main Library. In this sequel, after the crew of the Enterprise find an unstoppable force of terror from within their own organization, Captain Kirk leads a manhunt to a war-zone world to capture a one-man weapon of mass destruction.  This film is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence and has a run time of 2 hours and 12 minutes. Light snacks will be served, or feel free to bring your own outside food.


Fandom Club
Thurs, July 18 @ 3:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067 for Info.
Calling all teens.  If you have a fandom you love, and we know you know, then you’re invited to be a part of the Fandom Club at your Main Library.  At these sessions, you’re invited to meetup at the Teen Zone to meet other fans, discuss your fandoms, create fandom based art, play fandom games, and so much more.  Come for a while, or stick around for the whole time, you’re certain to have fun at this club at your library.


Cover-to-Cover Book Club: "Sisters First"
Thurs, July 18 @ 7:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025 for Info.
If you’re an avid reader who’s looking for a book club to join, look no further than the Main Library’s Cover-to-Cover Book Club.  We meet on the third Thursday evenings of each month and discuss great stories covering all genres. At this month’s session, we’ll be reading the joint book by the Bush twins titled “Sisters First.”  Check out a copy from your library, borrow one from a friend, and then come ready to discuss this book with other readers at your library.


Super Storytime: Rockets
Fri, July 19 @ 10:45AM
South Branch
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565 for Info.
Get ready to blast off into space at the next Super Storytime event at your South Branch Library.  We’ll have a host of great stories to share that will have you experiencing what it might be like to go to space yourself, but through your imagination.  We’ll also have additional activities for kids of all ages to get involved in, including a fun space-themed craft, so feel free to come on out and join us for the fun.


Free Summer Meals @ Your Library
Fri, July 19 @ 11:30AM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323 for Info.
Your Mockingbird Branch Library is partnering with AISD's Summer Feeding Program to continue to offer children nutritious meals to help them learn, grow, and thrive when school is out.  This program is setup to run June 3 through July 26 where youth and teens ages 18 and younger are encouraged to visit the library and enjoy a healthy meal, at no cost.  Your Mockingbird Branch is just one of 17 meal sites for the summer and we will offer this service Mondays through Fridays.  For Saturday and Sunday times, you will need to visit this page online.  Plus, some sites do offer breakfast too.  There will be no meal service offered on July 4th or 5th in observance of Independence Day.  For more information about the Summer Feeding Program, feel free to contact the Abilene ISD Student Nutrition Department at 325-677-1444 ext. 7542 or you may contact staff at the library at 325-437-7323.


Animation Lab
Fri, July 19 @ 4:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067 for Info.
Ever wanted to make your own cartoon or stop motion animation? Animation Lab is a new summer series where we explore different animation techniques. You can record a stop motion video. We’ll look at using Scratch (a coding program) to create animations. No experience is necessary. We’ll show you how to start and you can explore these amazing tools to create a unique project.  Designed for tweens and teens, everyone who participates will receive a laptop to work on, made possible thanks to a grant received from the Texas State Library & Archives Commission and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.


Storytime from Space
Fri, July 19 @ 4:30PM
South Branch
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565 for Info.
Join your South Branch Library for a special summer series for local youth to witness astronauts reading great children’s books at Storytime from Space on the International Space Station.  And this is all being done while the earth rotates below them. Each Friday afternoon during the summer reading club, youth will learn about what it takes to live and work in space, while enjoying great stories, in this project of the Global Space Education Foundation.


Genealogy Lock-In
Fri, July 19 @ 6:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025 for Info.
If you’re into researching your family history, you’re invited to be a part of the next Genealogy Lock-In session at your Main Library.  Hosted on the odd months at 6:00PM, adults meetup to get full reign of the genealogy resources at your library when its closed to the general public.  Arrive before the doors lock and then you can receive help and tips on performing better searches while you work to unlock the mysteries of your family tree.  Staff will be on hand to assist you, as well as members from the West Texas Genealogical Society.


Finch Robots
Sat, July 20 @ 10:30AM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067 for Info.
Have you ever wanted to learn how to program a robot?  Feel free to attend this great workshop that will feature a new summer addition to your library, the Finch Robots!  With Finches, you can program the robots to move and light up using Scratch, a drag and drop block based programming language. Scratch is a kid friendly programming language that is a great introduction to those who are interested in coding. No programming experience is necessary.


South STEAM: Making a Sundial
Sat, July 20 @ 11:00AM
South Branch
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565 for Info.
Be a part of the STEAM fun at your South Branch Library by coming out to attend another great hands-on workshop for youth ages 5 and older.  At this session, we’ll supply all the materials you’ll need to show you how you can use the sun to tell time by fashioning our own sundials.


Space Art: Robert McCall, NASA Artist
Sat, July 20 @ 2:00PM
South Branch
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565 for Info.
Come join the fun at the South Branch Library as we explore space from the ideas of several artists. Up next is Robert McCall, an artist at NASA, as we’ll be drawing upon his works as inspiration for this session.  From “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” to the Apollo space missions, McCall was a conceptual artist particularly known for his works of space art. Learn about the painting and technique as we celebrate both art and space!  Kids can leave their art created for display in the library.


Make & Take: Moon Landing Anniversary
Sat, July 20 @ 3:00PM
South Branch
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565 for Info.
Youth are invited to stick around the South Branch Library after our Space Art program on Saturday, July 20, and join us for a special Make & Take by creating a Moon craft in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing.  We'll be crafting in the Woman's Dillard's Courtyard in the Mall of Abilene.  Then, visit the library to view photographs taken from original negatives from the Apollo 11 mission.

Family Flix: "Muppets in Space"
Sat, July 20 @ 3:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH 325-676-6067 for Info.
Families won’t want to miss a chance to go back to the 90s to catch a great live-action feature film starring all of our favorite Muppets including Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie Bear, and the rest of the gang.  Come out to your Mockingbird Branch to catch a free showing of 1999’s “Muppets from Space.” In this film, Gonzo is contacted by his alien family through his breakfast cereal. But when the men in black kidnap him, it’s up to Kermit and the gang to rescue Gonzo and help him reunite with his long-lost family.  This film is rated G for all audiences and has a run time of 1 hour and 27 minutes. Light snacks will be provided, or feel free to bring your own outside food if you’d like. 

Don't miss out on these great activities being hosted at your library and get in on what we have to offer.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Behold the Google Translate App | TECH Time Help

This is Tremain Jackson, your library's Technology/Multimedia Librarian and I'm back with another fun TECH Time Help entry, covering topics of interest that come up during our regular help sessions with patrons.  This time around, I wanted to point you towards a great translation app, with a feature I've been long waiting to use...Google Translate!

Now, there's a ton of free apps on the markets for your smartphones and tablets to assist you in navigating your way through a foreign language.  Some may call it lazy for a person not taking the time to learn a second language; however, I call it an effective use of technology.

Translation apps allow you to simply translate content from one language to another, or the user's choice.  I've used many over the years, but my eyes were drawn to a feature through Google Translate I had not heard of.  The ability to use the camera to look at text in a foreign language and translate it to your own immediately,  What?!?  You read that right.

While you can still do the standard actions with this app including translating handwriting, text, voice, and conversations, I love the ability to be able to use the camera to look at text in a foreign language and then have Google translate it before my very eyes.  Amazing.

1: Camera Photo of Google Info Page in Spanish
2: Highlight Section You Wish to Be Translated

3: App Provides Clean Original Text View

4: App Provides Clean Translation Text View


By far, it's not a 100% perfect translation tool for all languages, but for the major ones I was interested in, it worked well enough.  Try it out for yourself and see what you think of it.  If you're planning a trip abroad or just know of someone where you want to try to lessen the language barrier, this might be a great tool to utilize.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Today's Top Book & DVD Releases

Everyone loves staying on top of the latest in books & DVDs and we receive them on a regular basis at your library.  Join us a we hit the highlights of some of the popular titles being released today.

Pet Sematary
Starring: John Lithgow
Summary: Louis Creed, his wife Rachel, and their two children, Gage and Ellie, move to a rural home where they are welcomed and enlightened about the eerie 'Pet Sematary' located nearby.  After the tragedy of their cat being killed by a truck, Louis resorts to burying it in the mysterious pet cemetery, which is definitely not as it seems, as it proves to the Creeds that sometimes, dead is better.

Under Currents
Author: Nora Roberts
Summary: Within the walls of a tasteful, perfectly kept house in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, young Zane Bigelow feels like a prisoner of war. Strangers--and even Zane's own aunt across the lake--see his parents as a successful surgeon and his stylish wife, making appearances at their children's ballet recitals and baseball games. Zane and his sister know the truth: There is something terribly wrong. As his father's violent, controlling rages--and his mother's complicity--become more and more oppressive, Zane counts the years, months, days until he can escape. He looks out for little Britt, warning her: Be smart; Be careful. In fear for his very life,he plays along with the insidious lie that everything is fine, while scribbling his real thoughts in a secret journal he must carefully hide away. When one brutal, shattering night finally reveals cracks in the fa├žade, Zane begins to understand that some people are willing to face the truth, even when it hurts. As he grows into manhood and builds a new kind of family, he will find that while the darkness of his past may always shadow him, it will also show him what is necessary for good to triumph--and give him strength to draw on when he once again must stand up and defend himself and the ones he loves...

Dragonfly
Author: Leila Meacham
Summary: At the height of World War II, a handful of idealistic young Americans receive a mysterious letter from the government, asking them if they are willing to fight for their country. The men and women from very different backgrounds-a Texan athlete with German roots, an upper-crust son of a French mother and a wealthy businessman, a dirt-poor Midwestern fly fisherman, an orphaned fashion designer, and a ravishingly beautiful female fencer-all answer the call of duty, but each for a secret reason of her or his own. They bond immediately, in a group code-named Dragonfly. roup seeks to stay under the radar until a fatal misstep leads to the capture and the firing-squad execution of one of their team. But...is everything as it seems, or is this one more elaborate act of spycraft?

Knife (Harry Hole #12)
Author: Jo Nesbo
Summary: Harry Hole is not in a good place. Rakel—the only woman he's ever loved—has ended it with him, permanently. He's been given a chance for a new start with the Oslo Police but it's in the cold case office, when what he really wants is to be investigating cases he suspects have ties to Svein Finne, the serial rapist and murderer who Harry helped put behind bars. And now, Finne is free after a decade-plus in prison—free, and Harry is certain, unreformed and ready to take up where he left off. But things will get worse. When Harry wakes up the morning after a blackout, drunken night with blood that's clearly not his own on his hands, it's only the very beginning of what will be a waking nightmare the likes of which even he could never have imagined.

Look for these titles at your Abilene Public Library and get yourselves on the reserve lists so you're certain to keep up with some of the popular releases of the day.

Monday, July 8, 2019

"Shoot for the Stars with Nebula Award Winning Books" | @ the Library Article

Science fiction and fantasy novels sometimes get pushed aside as "not serious" literature, but they can tackle some pretty deep issues as well as provide an entertaining escape from reality.  Your Abilene Public Library's summer reading club theme this year is "A Universe of Stories," so science-fiction fits right in!  Try something new and pick up one of the novels nominated for the Best Novel Nebula Award.

The Nebula Awards are voted on by members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, and cover a variety of categories like novels, short stories, screenplays, and more.  The top nominees in each category are listed on the Nebula Awards website, along with the winners.  The 2018 awards were just announced in May, and the winner of the Best Novel award for 2018 is The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal.

"The Calculating Stars" is an exciting exploration of alternate history - what could have happened if an asteroid strike destroyed the east coast in the 1950s?  The space program is accelerated in the hopes of colonizing Mars before the Earth is completely uninhabitable.  The heroine is Elma York, a mathematician who also served as a pilot in the WASPs during WWII.  She is determined to become the first female astronaut, and fights for equal right for women and minorities as she joins the space program.

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang is a historical fantasy novel which follows the rise of a war orphan to be become a military commander and the only hope for her nation's survival.  Magic, shamans, and goddesses all pepper this tale with intrigue.

According to the description of the Nebular Awards website, Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller is a "remarkably urgent - and ultimately very hopeful - novel about political corruption, organized crime, technology run amok, the consequences of climate change, gender identity, and the unifying power of human connection."

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik is a gritty retelling of the classic Rumplestiltskin fairy tale.  Miryem's father, moneylender, has allowed his family to reach the edge of poverty due to his inability to require repayment.  Miryem takes over the business, building a reputation for turning silver into gold.  The reputation draws the attention of the feared fae - and leads Miryem into the challenge of a lifetime.

Witchmark by C.L. Polk is set in a pseudo-Edwardian England era with magic, classism, and mysterious otherworldly beings.  Miles ran away from his elite family to join the army and become a doctor so he could use his healing magic without being enslaved.  After the war, Miles seeks to help veterans heal from their mental and emotional wounds.  A murder brings him back into the world he escaped, horrifying truths are revealed, and an unlikely romance sparks between Miles and a mysterious stranger.

These books and more are available to borrow at your Abilene Public Library.  Check us out online or give us a call at the Main Library 325-677-2474, Mockingbird Branch Library 325-437-7323, or South Branch Library 325-698-7565.  We look forward to talking with you!

Article Contributed by Susannah Barrington, Information Services Librarian