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Monday, December 10, 2018

"Christmas is Coming to Your Library" | @ the Library Article

The Christmas season always brings forth a wealth of new books for young readers and their parents.  Some titles feature traditional stories, some feature familiar characters, and some buck tradition and throw readers a curve ball.  The Abilene Public Library offers many choices to satisfy tastes.

Clement Moore's A Visit from Saint Nicholas (better known to most as The Night Before Christmas) has been popular since it first appeared in 1823.  Illustrator Amanda Beck has brought the classic poem into the modern age with a new edition featuring LEGO bricks.  Richard Watson provides a 50's retro version with an aviator Santa delivering gifts with the help of his multicultural elves.  For a more traditional rendition of the poem, try the Charles Santore edition.  The gentle illustrations in this version have a soft glow to them and make a perfect choice for pre-bedtime reading sessions.

Publishers and authors are always trying to keep up with the interests of kids by featuring popular characters or topics.  It is not unusual to see Christmas stories featuring aliens, dinosaurs, superheroes and more.  In Dinosaur vs. Santa by Bob Shea, a lively young dino is trying very hard to get ready for Christmas.  He was written to Santa, made presents, and tried very hard to be extra good.  Will he end up on the naughty list?  She's red dino has been featured in several previous volumes battling bedtime, the potty, and the library.  His Christmas battle is just as energetic!

Ninjas are also surging in popularity.  In Samurai Santa by Rubin Pingk, Yukio wants nothing more than to have an epic snowball fight.  Unfortunately, all the other ninja's want to avoid ending up on Santa's naughty list so they do their best to avoid the battle.  Yukio decides to sabotage Santa.  Things turn out for the best as we discover that the snowball fight was Santa's gift to Yukio.

Kids sometimes have a difficult time waiting for Christmas to arrive.  This is the problem Little Pip has in Mark Sperring's How Many Sleeps 'til Christmas?  Daddy Grizzle helps him get through the last four sleeps with some shopping, card writing, and snowman building.  The illustrations by Sebastien Braun are warm and welcoming and the story has a satisfying ending.

For a heartwarming tale for Christmas, try The Last Christmas Tree by Stephen Krensky.  If ever a scraggly little evergreen needed Charlie Brown to come to the rescue, it is this little one.  Despite being overlooked by every shopper who passes, this scrawny sapling is filled with hope.  Christmas miracles do happen, though.  A certain red-clad fellow swoops down in his sleigh on Christmas Eve to find that special tree needed at the North Pole.

The Christmas list goes on and on.  You can also find Christmas titles in digital format.  Check out OverDrive for titles such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Merry Christmas, Caillou, Mickey's Christmas Carol, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, and more.  There are also many Christmas books and movies for kids available through our Hoopla service.  Check with library staff about accessing these features.

Article Contributed by Marie Noe, Customer Services Manager

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Weekly Library Events (Dec. 9-15)

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

24 Days of Holiday STEAM
December 9-15; All Day
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565 for Info.
Kids of all ages are encouraged to join your South Branch Library for a special holiday season filled with STEAM fun.  Join us for 24 Days of STEAM at your library where each day will feature a different STEAM activity from open to close.  Remember, we’re open 7-days a week and every day will feature something new. Come explore this time of year using science, technology, engineering, art, and math in what will certainly be fun and educational.  For more information, contact staff at 325-698-7565.
  • Sunday Project: Design a Present Catapult
  • Monday Project: Create a Jingle Bell Maze
  • Tuesday Project: Quiet a Jingle Bell
  • Wednesday Project: Make Tinsel Jump
  • Thursday Project: Build the Tallest Gumdrop Tree
  • Friday Project: Help Santa Get to Each House by Zipline
  • Saturday Project: Design and Build a Gingerbread House
TECH Time
December 10 at 10:00AM
Mockingbird Branch Library
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.

TECH Time
December 10 at 2:00PM
South Branch Library
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.

Computers 101: A Hands-On Class
December 10 at 2:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025 for Info.
In society today, it’s hard to get by without having some basic computer skills.  You need them for applying to most jobs, keeping in touch with family and friends, getting online, and so much more.  If you need to build some computer skills, you’ll certainly want to sign up and take part of our Computer 101 series, which is a 4-part class covering the different parts of the computer, mouse and keyboard skills, and learning word processing programs and Internet usage.  This class is designed for those with very little to no computer skills and will be limited to 10 people. Register for this program by calling staff at 325-676-6025 or emailing Amy.Watterman@abilenetx.gov or Heather.Carter@abilenetx.gov.  Registration for this session will cover all four classes, with additional classes being offered on December 17, January 7, and 14th.  Attendance on December 10 will be required. This class will feature our new Mobile Lab that has been provided by a grant from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the Institute of Museum and Library Service.

Art Make & Take: Northern Lights
December 10 at 4:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067 for Info.
Youth are invited to be a part of the next Art Make & Take session at your Main Library where we’ll be drawing inspiration from the Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, which are beautiful colors of lights that dance in the night sky.  We’ll be using it as the source of this program by creating pictures using them, while also learning about the science behind this amazing wonder. We’ll supply all the materials you’ll need, you just come ready to create some art and learn a little about science.

Creation Station Orientation Class
December 10 at 4:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025 for Info.
Take advantage of learning to use the Creation Station makerspace at your Main Library by attending the next Orientation Class.  Those who come out will learn about the equipment we house including the 3D PolyPrinter, Cricut, Sizzix, and more, as well as the hours of availability, usage policies, safety guidelines, fees, a tour of the facility, and more.  We encourage everyone to take advantage of this service at your Main Library, as well as all of our training courses and Maker Meetup session.


Mockingbird Movies: "Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children"
December 10 at 6:30PM
Mockingbird Branch Library
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323 for Info.
If you’re looking to catch a great movie at your library, especially if you’ve been a fan of the popular Final Fantasy franchise of video games, you’ll certainly want to attend the next Mockingbird Movies night.  At this session, we’ll be showing 2005’s “Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children,” with the voices of Steve Burton, Rachael Leigh Cook, George Newbern, and others. In this film, a disease is spreading through the planet.  Ex-soldier Cloud Strive has decided to live a secluded, solitary life away from his friends while maintaining “Strife’s Delivery Service,” whose headquarters is located in Tifa Lockheart’s bar, the Seventh Heaven. Tifa’s bar serves as an orphanage for children’s stricken with the disease.  When three mysterious men kidnap and brainwash the city’s children afflicted with the disease, Cloud Strife is forced out of isolation to determine what’s going on. This film is rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action violence, and has a run time of 1 hour and 41 minutes.

Afternoon Arcade
December 11 at 4:00PM
Mockingbird Branch Library
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323 for Info.
If you’re a tween or teen who loves to game, you won’t want to miss the net Afternoon Arcade session at your Mockingbird Branch Library. Each time we meet up for some gaming fun with your friends, while also enjoying pizza on the library. Don’t pass up on our next session, and for additional information, contact staff at 325-437-7323.

Make & Take: Santa Binoculars
December 11 at 4:30PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565 for Info.
Looking for some holiday craft ideas for kids?  Come out to your South Branch Library for our afternoon Make & Take session where we’ll certainly be getting you into the holiday spirit by making some Santa Binoculars.  It’s the perfect way to be on the lookout for the gift-giving man, while turning yourself into a cool holiday spy. We’ll supply all the materials you’ll need for making this craft, and for additional information, feel free to contact staff at 325-698-7565.

TECH Time
December 11 at 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.

Better Living for Texans: A Hands-On Nutritional Class
December 12 at 10:00AM
Mockingbird Branch Library
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323 for Info.
The community is invited to be a part of this popular series, returning for a second time at your Mockingbird Branch Library, focusing on the importance of preparing healthy snacks and meals.  Join us as we host Better Living for Texans, a statewide nutrition education program that will be led by LaRonna Jones. The goal of the program is to help participants learn how important nutrition is for the health of their family and provide them with information to make the best decisions about what goes on their dinner table.  This includes learning about healthy foods that won’t break the bank, stretching a dollar, making meals with less fat, sugar, and salt, how to satisfy the pickiest of eaters, and more. There will even be food samples too.

Creation Station Presents: Chalk Couture Christmas Ornaments
December 12 at 10:00AM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025 for Info.
We want adults out there to get their crafting hands ready, because we have another special workshop coming up at the next Creation Station Presents program.  Regina Clark will return to lead another fun Chalk Couture class, and this time around, you’ll learn how to create your own Chalkboard Christmas Ornaments featuring “Mini Holiday Icons.”  No matter what your crafting ability may be, you’ll be able to beautify your homes, and spice up your life, by learning these fun chalking skills. If you’ve never done Chalk Couture before, be sure to come check out the amazing things you can create using it. All materials will be supplied for this session.

Job Time: Application Assistance
December 12 at 4:00PM
Mockingbird Branch Library
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 computer available for use so don’t miss your chance to participate in this program.  For additional information, contact staff at 325-437-7323.

Tabletop Teens
December 12 at 4:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067 for Info.
If you’re a teen that’s into some traditional board gaming fun, you won’t want to pass up on our weekly after school Tabletop Teens gaming session at your Main Library.  Come on out and test your hands at a great lineup of games that are a bit off the beaten path like Exploding Kittens and Settlers of Catan. They’re certainly not the games your parents grew up playing.  Each session will feature more games to introduce you to, challenge your mind, build teamwork, and allow you to have some fun with your friends, while making new ones. 

LEGO My Library
December 13 at 4:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067 for Info.
If you’re into LEGO building, and fun, don’t miss out on the next LEGO My Library session at your Main Library.  This is the time where we layout a sea of LEGO and platform and then see what youth are inspired to create within an hour.  Work on a project solo, or partner up with others for a joint projects, there’s no wrong way to have fun. Just come out ready to express yourself through some friendly building in this weekly program, and for additional information, contact staff at 325-676-6067.

Preschool Plus: We're Going On an Elf Hunt
December 13 at 4:00PM
Mockingbird Branch Library
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323 for Info.
Help! Help! Booker and Paige, the Mockingbird Branch Library’s resident Elves on the Shelf, are missing! We think they’re somewhere in the library, and we need your help finding them. The search will begin at this Preschool Plus event and when everyone arrives, “We Going on an Elf Hunt.”  It’ll be some great and interactive fun for all who join us and once we find the mischievous elves, we’ll share some great Christmas stories and songs, and we’ll even make a wonderful Christmas mug to enjoy some hot cocoa and cookies at the program. Certainly an incredible way to spend an afternoon at your library, so don’t miss out.

ArtWalk Crafts: Reindeer Lollipops
December 13 at 5:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067 for Info.
While you’re out and about enjoying the festivities of ArtWalk Night in Downtown Abilene, be sure to stop by the Main Library and join us for a quick come & go craft.  We’ll supply the materials needed to have you make your own holiday reindeer lollipops to take out and enjoy. They’re super simple and super cute too so stop by and make yours throughout ArtWalk.

Natural Winter Air Freshener
December 13 at 6:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025 for Info.

This program was so popular we decided to offer it again, but with a twist.  Adults are invited out for an evening craft workshop where, this time around, we’ll have fun using a different freshener base and crafting essential oil blends that will have us all celebrating the winter season.  It’ll be a great way to get you enjoying the season and we’ll supply all the crafts you’ll need to participate in this workshop. Come learn some new skills in this hands-on class.

Christmas Ghost Stories & Folk Tales
December 13 at 7:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025 for Info.
Did you know that ghost stories were a part of Christmas traditions long ago?  Sounds a bit strange doesn’t during one of the most wonderful times of the year, but it’s true.  If you want to learn about some of these stories and tales, we invite you to come out to your Main Library this evening, enjoy some hot cider and cookies, and settle in for an evening of storytelling.  Local storyteller Brian Bethel will be our featured guest, and he’ll be on hand to share a variety of Christmas ghost stories and folk tales designed for all ages. It’ll certainly be a Christmas program of a different color for the more adventurous to enjoy.

MCEC's Literacy Storytime
December 14 at 10:45AM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565 for Info.
Kids and parents are invited to join us for a great morning storytime event led by the Military Child Education Coalition.  Join your South Branch Library on the fourth Friday mornings of each month for a great activity designed for kids and parents to enjoy. Enjoy great stories, songs, and even craft projects to go along with the theme of the program for the morning.

South Branch Study Hall
December 14 at 2:30PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565 for Info.
Do you need time and space to do class projects, work on computers, complete your homework, fill out forms, etc.?  If so, the South Branch Library is a great place to be on Fridays as we host a weekly Study Hall session that is just for local students.  Each study hall session will feature our brand new Mobile Lab that will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. This lab consists of 20 laptop computers, which were purchased with a grant from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission through the Institute of Museum and Library Services. We hope you’ll come out and make use of the mobile lab, as well as this dedicated time in the the South Branch Library’s meeting room, to complete your homework away from home.

Family Flix: "Disney's A Christmas Carol"
December 15 at 3:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067 for Info. 
Families are invited to come on down to your Main Library and join us for a great afternoon holiday flick as we’ll be showing Disney’s “A Christmas Carol” with the voices of Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, and Colin Firth.  In this 2009 film, Ebenezer Scrooge is awakened on Christmas Eve by spirits who reveal to him his own miserable existence, what opportunities he wasted in his youth, his current cruelties, and the dire fate that awaits him if he does not change his ways.  Scrooge is faced with his own story of growing bitterness of meanness, and must decide what his own future will hold: death or redemption. This film is rated PG for scary sequences and images and has a run time of 1 hour and 36 minutes. Light snacks will be served. 

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

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Coding Club Adds Ozobots as New Learning Tool

Your Main Library serves as the host of a monthly Coding Club aimed at tweens and teens with an interest in learning how to code.  Led by children's librarian Ellene Cudd, this group meets at 4:30PM on the third Monday afternoons of each month in the 1st floor storyroom.  Each session features new activities to get participants active in learning about coding both using technology and in the real world.

In December, the Coding Club will be utilizing a new tool we recently acquired...Ozobots!!!  These tiny devices are programmable bots that use color (black, red, green, and blue) to move at different speeds and in different directions.  Users are able to program these features for the bots to follow, thus learning skills such as deductive reasoning to complete such tasks.  We'll be using them at our next Coding Club session on Monday, December 17 at 4:30PM..

Ozobots are a form of STEAM activities that grants coders with two different methods for supplying code to their bots.  There's computer-based coding, and marker-based coding, both of which accomplish the same goals.  At this session, we'll be using the "art" form of coding by using markers to create codes and paths for your Ozobots to follow.  You won't need any experience or art skills to pull it off.  Once you get started, you'll see how anyone can use markers to code an Ozobot.

By adding colors to blank code areas, users will watch as their Ozobots roll over the path, deciphers the colors, and corresponds accordingly to the commands you laid down.  Using different combinations of colors may yield different results on your Ozobot such as slowing it down or speeding it up, giving it directional commands, making it do cool moves like tornadoes and zigzags, and so much more.  It's a great way to watch your coding come to life.

As stated by Ozobots' CEO Nader Hamda, "Ozobots' two ways to code make our robots the perfect companions for future artists, engineers, and entrepreneurs.  Our Color Codes are patented and offer the only way to start coding screen-free..."

So we invite young techies, with an interest in coding, to attend the next Coding Club session at your Main Library on Monday, December 17 at 4:30PM and dive into Ozobots at your library.  Although we won't be using them at every Coding Club session in the future, but they are but one of the many methods we'll use to learn about coding in the real world.  Regardless of your skill level, it'll be a great program to try out.  No registration is needed, simply come out with a willingness to learn, as well as have a little fun too.

For more information about the Coding Club, feel free to email Ellene Cudd and she'll be happy to answer any questions you may have.  We hope to see you at the next session.

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.

Mission Impossible: Fallout
Starring: Tom Cruise
Summary: Two years after Ethan Hunt had successfully captured Solomon Lane, the remnants of the Syndicate have reformed into another organization called the Apostles.  Under the leadership of a mysterious fundamentalist known only as John Lark, the organization is planning on acquiring three plutonium cores.  Ethan and his team are sent to Berlin to intercept them, but the mission fails when Ethan saves Luther and the Apostles escape with the plutonium.  With CIA agent August Walker joining the team, Ethan and his allies must now find the plutonium cores before it's too late.

The Nun
Starring: Taissa Farmiga
Summary: When a young nun at a cloistered abbey in Romania takes her own life, a priest with a haunted past and a novitiate on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate.  Together they uncover the order's unholy secret.  Risking not only their lives but their faith and their very souls, they confront a malevolent force in the form of the same demonic nun that first terrorized audiences in "The Conjuring 2," as the abbey becomes a horrific battleground between the living and the damned.

The Happytime Murders
Starring: Melissa McCarthy
Summary: A murder mystery set in a world where humans and puppets co-exist, but puppets are viewed as second-class citizens.  When the puppet cast of a 90's children's TV show begins to get murdered one by one, a former cop, who has since become a private eye, takes on the case.

The Sun Dog
Author: Stephen King
Summary: In The Sun Dog, the concluding novella in Stephen King's best-selling Four Past Midnight, the source of terror is a simple Polaroid camera owned by a 15-year-old boy in the small town of Castle Rock, Maine. No matter where Kevin Delevan aims the camera, it produces a photograph of an enormous, ugly, vicious looking dog. In each successive picture, the menacing creature draws nearer to the flat surface of the Polaroid film as if it intends to break through.

Of Blood and Bone
Author: Nora Roberts
Summary: They look like an everyday family living an ordinary life. But beyond the edges of this peaceful farm, unimaginable forces of light and dark have been unleashed. Fallon Swift, approaching her thirteenth birthday, barely knows the world that existed before -- the city where her parents lived, now in ruins and reclaimed by nature since the Doom sickened and killed billions. Traveling anywhere is a danger, as vicious gangs of Raiders and fanatics called Purity Warriors search for their next victim. Those like Fallon, in possession of gifts, are hunted -- and the time is coming when her true nature, her identity as The One, can no longer be hidden. In a mysterious shelter in the forest, her training is about to begin under the guidance of Mallick, whose skills have been honed over centuries. She will learn the old ways of healing; study and spar; encounter faeries and elves and shifters; and find powers within herself she never imagined. And when the time is right, she will take up the sword, and fight. For until she grows into the woman she was born to be, the world outside will never be whole again.

Queen of Air and Darkness
Author: Cassandra Clare
Summary: While the Clave teeters on the brink of civil war, Julian and Emma take desperate measures to put their forbidden love aside and focus on saving the world of Shadowhunters before the parabatai curse destroys everyone.

Once Upon a River
Author: Diane Setterfield
Summary: On a dark midwinter's night in an ancient inn on the river Thames, an extraordinary event takes place. The regulars are telling stories to while away the dark hours, when the door bursts open on a grievously wounded stranger. In his arms is the lifeless body of a small child. Hours later, the girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Is it magic? Or can science provide an explanation? These questions have many answers, some of them quite dark indeed.  Those who dwell on the river bank apply all their ingenuity to solving the puzzle of the girl who died and lived again, yet as the days pass the mystery only deepens. The child herself is mute and unable to answer the essential questions: Who is she? Where did she come from? And to whom does she belong? But answers proliferate nonetheless.  Three families are keen to claim her. A wealthy young mother knows the girl is her kidnapped daughter, missing for two years. A farming family reeling from the discovery of their son's secret liaison, stand ready to welcome their granddaughter. The parson's housekeeper, humble and isolated, sees in the child the image of her younger sister. But the return of a lost child is not without complications and no matter how heartbreaking the past losses, no matter how precious the child herself, this girl cannot be everyone's. Each family has mysteries of its own, and many secrets must be revealed before the girl's identity can be known.

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, December 2, 2018

"Help the Library to Provide Food for Families This Holiday Season" | @ the Library Article

The holidays are a wonderful and busy time of year, with many traditions so near and dear to hearts!  Your Abilene Public Library has such a tradition...having a food drive for the Food Bank of West Central Texas to help families have a hunger free holiday season.  This will be our 20th year of providing food for bodies and minds, but we need your help, and, some of the familiar routines have changed.

Beginning December 1, and continuing throughout the entire month, Abilene libraries will be collecting food for the Food Bank.  In the past, we call our project Food for Fines, because we could forgive $1.00 in fines for each food item brought in and donated.  However this year, for the first time, while we will be taking your donations, there are no fines to forgive!  So we are hoping you will want to help the less fortunate in honor of the holiday season and the spirit of giving.

Thanks to you, Food for Fines has been extraordinarily successful over the years.  Since 1999, Abilene library patrons have donated many thousands of pounds of canned and boxed food to people in need...more than two thousand pounds last year alone.

In the 13 county service area of the Food Bank of West Central Texas, approximately 50,000 people live in poverty and too often miss meals or experience hunger.  The Food Bank's clients include working-poor families with needy children, seniors subsisting on fixed incomes, and possibly even you or your neighbors in times of disaster.

How can you help?  Bring nonperishable food to the circulation desk at any Abilene Public Library location.  Rice, beans, tuna, jars of peanut butter, boxes of macaroni and cheese; as long as its food and nonperishable, it works to fee our neighbors.  High protein items are always in need, as are healthy snacks for kids like crackers, juice boxes, and pudding cups.

While library staff appreciates all food donations, they only accept commercially packages items that are undamaged and that have not exceeded their expiration date.  No dented, dinged, or previously opened food items, no government commodity items, and sorry, no home-canned items.  All other nonperishable food items are welcome.

Please consider bringing your food donations to the library this December.  You'll be making happier holidays for yourself through the pleasure of giving,a nd for someone who might otherwise go hungry.

Article Contributed by Janis C. Test, Information Services Manager

Saturday, December 1, 2018

December's Book-to-Film Adaptations

Literature often inspires film adaptations and each month I like to highlight those hitting theaters soon.  Check out this blog entry to see what they are and be on the lookout for seeing them in theaters, as well as checking out their source materials at your library.

Mary Queen of Scots
Starring: Saoirse Ronan
Release Date: Dec. 7
Based On: "My Heart is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots" by John Guy
Summary: Mary Stuart's attempt to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I, Queen of England, finds her condemned to years of imprisonment before facing execution.

Mortal Engines
Starring: Hugo Weaving
Release Date: Dec. 14
Based On: "Mortal Engines" by Philip Reeve
Summary: A mysterious young woman named Hester Shaw joins forces with Anna Fang, a dangerous outlaw with a bounty on her head, and Tom Natsworthy, an outcast from London, to lead a rebellion against a giant predator on wheels.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Starring: Hailee Steinfeld
Release Date: Dec. 14
Based On: "Miles Morales" by Brian Michael Bendis & Sara Pichelli
Summary: Spider-Man crosses parallel dimensions and teams up with the Spider-Men of those dimensions to stop a threat to all reality.

Mary Poppins Returns
Starring: Emily Blunt
Release Date: Dec. 19
Based On: Mary Poppins Series by P.L. Travers
Summary: Decades after her original visit, the magical nanny returns to help the Banks siblings and Michael's children through a difficult time in their lives.

Aquaman
Starring: Jason Momoa
Release Date: Dec. 21
Based On: "Aquaman" by Mort Weisinger & Paul Norris
Summary: Arthur Curry learns that he is the heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, and must step forward to lead his people and be a hero to the world.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Registration Open for 4-Part Computer Instruction Series

Are you lacking basic computer skills?  Do you feel like you'll never be able to learn how to use a computer?  Could you benefit from learning to use technology so you can enter the workforce?  If so, your Main Library (202 Cedar St.) will be hosting a four-part Computer 101 series for adults in December.  Registration is open and space will be limited to 10 participants in this first round.  To register, email Amy Watterman or call the Information Services Desk at 325-676-6025.

Watterman will be the host of this series which seeks to explain the parts of a computer, how to use a mouse, keyboarding skills, the basics on using word processing programs, and how to maneuver your way through the Internet.  This class will be aimed at those who have little to no computer skills, so even if the word "computer" intimidates you, we hope to ease your fears by the end of this series.

The first class will be hosted on Monday, December 10 at 2:30PM at your Main Library's conference room, located on the 2nd floor next to the administration office.  Each class will run approximately 1-hour and will include both presentation and hands-on instruction.  Additional classes associated with this series would then be hosted on December 17, January 7, and January 14 at the same time.  If signing up for the first session on December 10, you will also be signing up for the remaining three (3) classes to gain the most from this learning series.

Throughout each class, librarian Amy Watterman will go through each topic while the class follows along through each step.  We suggest you come with something to take notes on, for your own use, and perhaps a flash drive for use with future classes and saving your work.  The library will supply participants with a laptop to use during each class.  Our laptops are part of a new mobile lab housed at each library branch that was provided by a grant from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.  This grant afforded each branch library with a mobile lab of 20 laptops to increase programming and instruction in technology and computers for the community.

We hope that you'll take advantage of this first Computer 101 series being offered at your Main Library.  Remember, the first class will be hosted on Monday, December 10 at 2:30PM and you must register to attend.  Do so by calling the Information Services Desk at 325-676-6025 or emailing Amy Watterman.  We hope you'll register to attend and, based on how well-received this series is, we will look at offering more in the future.

Discover the Ghostly Side of Christmas in Storytelling Event

When one thinks of Christmas, you mind is usually filled with popular holiday songs, preparations to make for spending time with family, gifts you're excited to give and receive from those close to you, and more.  For me, I always hear the voice of former pop singer Andy Williams belting out his family hit "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year."

On the evening of Thursday, December 13 at 7:00PM, you're invited to join your Main Library for special Christmas event that you may scratch your head about at first.  We'll be hosting a free program title "Christmas Ghost Stories & Folk Tales," led by Brian Bethel, a senior staff writer at the Abilene Reporter-News who happens to also be a great storyteller.  If someone were to ask you to list things you think about when you hear the word Christmas, I can almost bet that ghost stories wouldn't event come close to cracking the top 10 items on your list.

One of the most beloved Christmas stories that has been cherished in both print and stage/TV/film adaptations, Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" would have to be one of the most famous ghost stories set on Christmas.  Published in the mid-19th century, don't forget that at the center of the story of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge was the fact he was visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, as a way to place a mirror on how he's lived his life and the direction it will go if he doesn't change his ways.

However, did you know that the tradition of sharing ghost stories can even be traced back hundreds of years before that?  It's been suggested that in early times during the winter season, as the cold weather settled in and night came about sooner, keeping warm by the fireplace and sharing ghost stories became popular.  Coupled with the fact that winter also brought around memories of death, as well as those whom have passed on, then the sharing of such stories begins to make sense.

At the library's Christmas Ghost Stories & Folk Tales event, Bethel will be on hand to share a variety of stories that will be designed for all ages to enjoy.  As a way to experience the existence of stories from the past, you may do so from the comfort and safety of our library, while enjoying some hot cider and cookies.  This will certainly be a Christmas program of firsts at your library, and one aimed at the adventurous side in us.

So mark your calendars for Thursday, December 13 at 7:00PM and come out to join your Main Library for one great evening of traditional storytelling with tales that may even put a chill in your bones.