Saturday, June 30, 2012

New Videos From Your Library

Your Abilene Public Library has added some new videos to our online account for you to watch to always offer you something fresh.  Take a look below what those new episodes are, and all at once.

Crafty Creations #42: Fun with Patriotic Crafts, Part 3
 
Librarians Tremain Jackson & Alyssa Crow provide you with a new episode of this long-running monthly show tying popular children's literature with great craft projects for kids.  Plus, we're joined by your Information Services Manager Janis Test to provide you some quick information about what your library has to offer you.  We're making Patriotic Crafts with showing you how to make some Q-Tip Fireworks and CD Spinners.  Plus, you can catch this show on TV Channel 7 through the Abilene Television Network on Sundays at 5:30 p.m., Mondays at 1:00 p.m., and Thursdays at 8:00 a.m.

Project Teen #17: Making Candy Sushi
Jessica Reyes returns to give you another episode of the popular show that's attracting a ton of views since it debuted.  For this month, she'll show you how to make some Candy Sushi, which once you've made it, you'll want to make it all the time.  This was a popular program at the library for teens held in June, so we're showing you how to make it online.

Summer Fun @ Your Library 2012
As a special video, we attended a ton of programs held during the first month of the Summer Reading Club and we wanted to show you all the great programming your library has to offer.  Check it out and then look for attending some of the many programs we've got planned for July.

July's Event Highlights @ Your Library
Many of you follow our upcoming events in a number of ways, including the newspaper, our website, flyers, and television; join Tremain Jackson and Alyssa Crow as we highlight some of the events going on across all Abilene Public Library locations in July.

Zoo Education @ Your Library
Joy Harsh, Education Curator at the Abilene Zoo, is making her visits to the library for the summer and we took some footage of her first visit, to the Main Library, where she brought some bird friends with her to teach kids about them.  She'll be making stops to each location, featuring new animals for kids to see (and touch too), in this popular summer series of programming at your library.

Be sure to check with us at the start of each month to get a glimpse at the latest videos we've added to our online sites.

Post Contributed by Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager

Book-to-Film Adaptations: July 2012

Books continue to inspire some great films and there are couple coming out in July that we're going to let you in on.  Plus, if the books they're based on are at your Abilene Public Library, we'll be sure to let you know so you can check them out before you see them in the theaters.  For this month, it appears that some of the most well-known comic books are returning to the big screen in what's sure to draw in an amazing number of moviegoers.

Release Date: July 3
Starring: Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone
Film Rating: PG-13 (for sequences of action and violence)
Based On: Marvel Comics Series (1963)
Author: Stan Lee
Summary: Serving as a reboot to the blockbusting series of the 2000's, in this version, Peter Parker is still the social outcast at his high school, with a secret crush on Gwen Stacy.  After discovering a mysterious briefcase that once belonged to his father, he begins a quest to understand what happened this his parents, leading him to the infamous Oscorp and the lab of Dr. Curt Connors, his father's former partner.  On a collision course with Connors' alter-ego, The Lizard, Peter will make like-altering choices to use his powers and shape his destiny to become a hero.  Although the original trilogy, starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, did extremely well in the box office, rather than make a fourth film in the original series, a reboot was chosen.  With all the buzz surrounding this film, we'll have to see how well it does in theaters.  Plus, keep up with all of Spider-Man's adventures by looking out for all the great graphic novels we house in our collection at your Abilene Public Library.

Release Date: July 20
Starring: Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy & Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Film Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of violence and action, some sensuality and language)
Based On: DC Comics Series (1940)
Author: Bill Finger
Summary: Everyone will be rushing to the theaters to see the final installment in the most successful Batman franchise ever.  We've seen him take on many familiar archenemies, and now he has some new foes to handle.  After the events of the second film (The Dark Knight), Batman now has to deal with transitioning from being a hero and protector of Gotham City, to a wanted vigilante.  While doing so, he must also battle two new enemies including Bane and Catwoman.  Filmed on a massive budget of $250 million, this film definitely expects to make a ton in theaters, despite the fact that it will have a run time of 2 hours and 35 minutes.  With a superhero as highly decorated as Superman, but without the superhuman abilities, Batman has been a popular staple in comics and you can look out for many of the graphic novels we own at your Abilene Public Library.

Be sure to look out for these titles at your Abilene Public Library, and then look for seeing the ones that interest you to see how much they measure up to the books/series they're based on.
Post Contributed by Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5

Keep up with what's popular in mainstream literature by checking out what books cracked the Top 5 on this week's New York Times Bestsellers list in Hardcover Fiction & Non-Fiction titles.  If they sound of interest to you, look for them at your Abilene Public Library.

For a list of the Top 15, try listening to our Podcast on Mondays, or stop by any of our branch library locations to view our printed lists for your convenience.

Hardcover Fiction Top 5

Author: Janet Evanovich 
Publisher: Bantam
Weeks on List: 1
Position Last Week: n/a
Copies Owned:  6 regular prints; 2 large-types; 3 audiobooks
Summary: The Salem, Mass., pastry chef Lizzy Tucker and her partner, Diesel, take up a murdered Harvard professor's quest for a powerful ancient relic.  

Author: Gillian Flynn
Publisher: Crown
Weeks on List: 3
Position Last Week: 3
Copies Owned: 3 regular prints
Summary: A woman disappears on the day of her fifth anniversary; is her husband a killer? 

Author: John Grisham
Publisher: Doubleday
Weeks on List: 11
Position Last Week: 1
Copies Owned: 6 regular prints; 3 audiobooks; digital audiobook
Summary: A pitcher beans a promising rookie, ending both their careers; years later, the pitchers son bring them together. 

Author: Alan Furst
Publisher: Random House
Weeks on List: 2
Position Last Week: 2
Copies Owned: 3 regular prints
Summary: In Paris in 1938, an actor stumbles into the clutches of Nazi conspirators who want to exploit his celebrity. 

#5: Canada
Author: Richard Ford
Publisher: Ecco/HarperCollins Publishers
Weeks on List: 5
Position Last Week: 6
Copies Owned: 3 regular prints
Summary: A boy takes refuge in Saskatchewan after his parents commit a robbery.

Hardcover Non-Fiction Top 5

#1: The Amateur
Author: Edward Klein
Publisher: Regnery
Weeks on List: 6
Position Last Week: 1
Copies Owned: 3 regular prints; 2 more copies on order
Summary: A journalist argues that President Obama is callow and unable to lead.

#2: Cowards
Authors: Glenn Beck and Kevin Balfe
Publisher: Threshold Editions/Mercury Radio Arts
Weeks on List: 2
Position Last Week: 2
Copies Owned: 2 regular prints
Summary: The radio host and founder of GBTV discusses 13 lies that politicians, academics and the media perpetuate.

#3: Wild
Publisher: Knopf
Weeks on List: 10
Position Last Week: 6
Copies Owned: 3 regular prints
Summary: A woman's account of a life-changing 1,100 mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail.

Publisher: Random House
Weeks on List: 84
Position Last Week: 4
Copies Owned: 3 regular prints; 2 large-types; 2 audiobooks; digital audiobook; digital e-Book
Summary: An Olympic runner's story of survival as a prisoner of the Japanese in World War II.

Authors: Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard
Publisher: Holt
Weeks on List: 39
Position Last Week: 3
Copies Owned: 5 regular prints; 3 large-types; 1 audiobook; digital audiobook
Summary: The host of "The O'Reilly Factor" recounts the events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Look for these titles at your Abilene Public Library, along with even more great reads, to see about checking them out for yourselves...or getting on the reserve lists for them.  With three (3) convenient locations to serve you, stop by when we're open and allow our wonderful staff to assist you.

Post Contributed by Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Read-Alike Authors with David Sedaris

David Sedaris is an amazing writer who uses his unique perspective on the world to provide his own brand of personal and self-deprecating humor that has made his books instant bestsellers.  Using his own life, family, and personal stories, many have found his titles to be quite addictive and fast reads.

Allow your Abilene Public Library to introduce you to this author, and all of his many popular works, so that we may then highlight additional authors who write in similar styles.  We do this in hopes that we can show you even more great reads to look out for at your library.

Sedaris is an NPR commentator, essayist, memoirist, and playwright, who was responsible for creating his own niche in the writing world with his satiric comedies.  His strength comes from taking our most ordinary and mundane of experiences and then unearths their humorous aspects where we might not have realized there was humor.

Never apologetic for the topics he addresses, sometimes his works tend to be viewed as provocative and controversial by some readers; however, the majority flock towards his willingness to be open about even life's most embarrassing moments.  Doing so with ease, in which no topic is off limits, readers find that not only will they receive a humorous collection of stories, but also works that reflect on a wide range of social and cultural themes.

If any title is worth addressing, which provides a look at Sedaris at his best, Me Talk Pretty One Day is definitely the read to look for.  Released in 2000, this title is a collection of essays that are sure to keep you laughing at Sedaris' attempts to learn the French language while living there.  If you're interested in more works, by essayists and authors who will make you laugh, try these author suggestions below.

Read-Alike Author #1: Augusten Burroughs
Burroughs is by far the top choice when looking for a similar author, as he too uses his unique background and personal stories to share them in a humorous light for others to enjoy.  Whereas Sedaris works will be more light-hearted, Burroughs' works are a bit darker as they focus on him growing up gay in a dysfunctional family, which was documented in 2002's release of Running with Scissors, which was also adapted into a pretty great film in 2006.  What fans of Sedaris' works will find familiar is the clever scenarios and self-deprecating humor used throughout, and he has several titles that have been released to keep you coming back for more. 

Read-Alike Author #2: Sarah Vowell
Vowell is an NPR commentator and essayist who is best known as a "social observer."  Rather than focusing too much on current and contemporary issues in her book releases, Vowell looks across American history and provides a distinctive voice and comic delivery of what she reads and sees.  In her book titled Assassination Vacation, released in 2005, she explores the lives of presidential assassins, visits the locations most associated with them and the presidents, and uses them as a catalyst for providing her own perceptions on these pieces of American history.  Fans of Sedaris will appreciate her unique, dry, and to-the-point delivery.

Read-Alike Author #3: Chelsea Handler
Handler is a comedian, producer, and actress best known for hosting her own late night talk show titled Chelsea LatelyNever to shy away from any topic of discussion, Handler is known for a brand of comedy that uses her life experiences, her observations on current events and hot topics, and more.  It's this direct and blunt perspective that have made all of her books, and collections of essays, bestselling works.  Start with 2008's release of Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea, and work your way through her remaining three (3) titles. 

Read-Alike Author #4: Chuck Klosterman
Klosterman is a journalist offering an ironic view on popular culture that might be of interest to fans of Sedaris.  Providing more of a sharp, harder-edged, opinionated, and hip view on contemporary culture, readers will appreciate the same absurdity and appreciation for the unique essays he provides, especially in Chuck Klosterman IV which provides essays that reflect his personal enthusiasms for heavy metal music, low culture, and the effects of growing up in rural North Dakota.

And those are just a sampling of authors for you to look out for who write similar to the works of humorist David Sedaris.  Be sure to check one of these out for yourself to see what you think of them and if you need any additional information, please feel free to Contact Us and staff will be more than happy to assist you.

Post Contributed by Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Events @ Your Library (July 2-7)

Your Abilene Public Library has some great events planned for the upcoming week.  Each Thursday, you can check our blog for a look at these events, or visit our Website for complete listing.  Remember, all events are free and if you need any additional information, click on the title of the program to be redirected to the event post on our online calendar.

Summer Reading Club @ Your Library
June 4 - July 28
All Library Locations
All Ages
325-677-2474 for Details
Your library has three (3) summer reading clubs covering all ages.  Stop by and pick up your reading club packet including a Summer Reading Club for youth up to Grade 5, a Teen Reading Club for youth in grades 6-12, and an Adult Reading Club for ages 18 and over.  Read books throughout the summer to earn some great prizes you won't want to miss out on.

"Sock Puppet Fun"
Ages 12-19
Jul. 2 @ 6:30 p.m.
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
325-698-7565 for Details
Teens are invited to come out for a fun crafting workshop where we'll show you how to make some creative sock puppets using some simple materials.  We'll supply all you need, but you should bring a little of your own creativity.

"Making Pinwheels"
Ages 8-15
Jul. 2 @ 6:30 p.m.
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6067 for Details
Tweens won't want to miss this crafting workshop where we'll show you how easy it is to make your own pinwheels at this monthly activity night.  We'll supply all the materials you'll need, and all you have to do is come ready to have a little fun at your library.

Jul. 3 @ 3:00 p.m.
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6067 for Details
Kids won't want to miss another program at your library as the Abilene Community Theater will be on hand to treat an audience to a wonderful performance.  Come out and see some local talent at its best at this great afternoon event for the summer.

Fourth of July
All Library Locations
As a reminder, all locations of the Abilene Public Library will be closed on July 4 in observance of Independence Day.  For your convenience, outside materials returns are available at all three (3) branch libraries and we will resume our normal hours of operation on the following Thursday at 9 a.m.

Ages 5-12
Jul. 5 @ 3:00 p.m.
Mockingbird Branch
1214 N. Mockingbird Ln.
325-437-7323 for Details
Youth are invited to a fun afternoon of coloring activities at your library as a great event to get involved in.  Coloring is fun for everyone and we'll supply all the materials needed.

"Dr. Seuss & Oobleck"
Jul. 5 @ 6:30 p.m.
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
325-698-7565 for Details
Kids and parents are invited to come out for a fun evening of stories, games, songs, and more that all have to do with Dr. Seuss and his popular book Bartholomew and the Oobleck.  Plus, at the end of the program, you might get the chance to make some Oobleck of your very own, and trust us, this craft may be a little messy, but it's always a ton of fun so don't miss out.

Also, don't forget all locations offer weekly storytime sessions for youth of all ages and you can also sign up to get assistance from library staff on using computers and various other applications through our Book-A-Librarian program.  Contact Us for information on signing up.  

Also don't forget to catch the library's long-running Crafty Creations show for kids, as well as our Project Teen series for teens and young adults available online.  Your Abilene Public Library has much to offer you so don't hesitate to join in on the fun.

Post Contributed By Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Staff Book Review: "Supernaturally" by: Kiersten White

Reviewed By: Alyssa Crow, South Branch Children's Librarian

Book Summary: Evie finally has the normal life she's always longed for.  But she's shocked to discover that being ordinary can be...kind of boring.  Just when Evie starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she's given a chance to work for them again.  Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees.

But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice.  And when Evie's faerie ex-boyfriend Reth appears with devastating revelations about her past, she discovers that there's a battle brewing between the faerie courts that could throw the whole supernatural world in chaos.  The prize in question?  Evie herself.  So much for normal.

Personal Review: This is Book 2 in a planned trilogy revolving around Evie, a teenager with awesome skills and a spunky personality.  I really fell in love with her character in the first book, Paranormalcy (which I also reviewed) and really looked forward to her continuing story.  That said, while I like this book, I didn't like it as much as the first one.  But, that may be the "middle book" syndrome.  Some of my favorite series had a not-so-great middle book, but I was hooked enough to read the third.  That is the case with Supernaturally.

In the first book, all Evie wanted was something she couldn't have - normal, you know, high school and friends and no worries bigger than the next test.  In the second book, it's a case of being careful what you wish for.  Evie gets a normal, but, for someone used to tracking werewolves, catching vampires, and dealing with faeries, normal is...well...normal.  And that is why she's drawn back into the paranormal world.

I still love Evie's character, despite the teenagerish whining, her "everything's the end of the world" mentality, and her belief that lockers are incredibly cool.  She is still as funny and engaging as ever.  Evie learns more about herself and her past, all while getting back into the life she thought she left behind, all in her feisty own way of course.  The end, and I won't ruin it for you, is satisfying, but left me waiting impatiently for the next book, titled Endlessly which isn't out until July.  Here's hoping it's a fantastic finish for the series.

P.S. I sincerely suggest reading books in series in order; it's less confusing all around.  Plus, if you happen to discover a series late, you get the added benefit of having more of the books available at one time, so there's no waiting period between reading them.

So be sure to stop by your Abilene Public Library, as remember, we serve you from three (3) convenient locations, and see about checking out a copy of Kiersten White's SupernaturallyYour library owns three (3) copies in regular print.

@ Your Library Article: "Library's Vampire Tales Uphold Fearsome Tradition"

As printed in the Abilenian, as part of the Abilene Reporter-News, by Tremain Jackson, Manager of the South Branch of the Abilene Public Library.

Bram Stoker is known for writing the quintessential vampire novel, Dracula, in 1897, which set the basis for modern vampire fiction.  Vampires, however, became widely mainstream in the 2000s when Stephenie Meyer created the Twilight series for young adults.

When this series hit the shelves at the Abilene Public Library, the books became hugely popular, and not just with teens, but adults, too.  Readers have not seen such admiration for vampires in contemporary literature since Anne Rice gave the world the vampire Lestat in 1976.

But for many ardent fans of vampire lit, one area of Meyer's series that was difficult to swallow was the new breed of vampires.  They may have retained their physical characteristics: the same prowess, immortality and so forth.  This new breed, however, didn't burn when stepping out into the light...they sparkled.

To paraphrase a coworker, in regards to Meyer's vampires, they're supposed to be alluring, yet threatening, and it's hard to be scared of something when they're sparkling like a diamond.

Despite the mass appeal of sparkling vamps, for those who desire a different side of the myth, your Abilene Public Library has a collection of recent titles that provide a different take - one with vampires who aren't dedazzled.  

Guillermo del Toro, director, screenwriter, producer and designer, has provided his own take on vampires with The Strain Trilogy, co-written with Chuck Hogan.

Unlike Meyer's vampires, del Toro's are mutated by a disease taking over the human population.  With a retractile proboscis under their tongue to feed, the loss of their hair, talons replacing their fingernails, and more, they are the epitome of terror and the macabre.
Beginning with the release of The Strain in 2009, this trilogy was completed in October with the release of Night Eternal.  If you want to join in the battle with the band of humans seeing to reverse the effects of this rapidly spreading virus, check out this series at your library.

For those desiring a bit of history intertwined with the vampire lore, you can't go wrong with Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian.  Published in 2005, this novel became one of the fastest-selling hardback debut novels in the U.S.

Based in part on Bram Stoker's Dracula, Kostova's novel provides an eerie look into Vlad the Impaler, and his equivalent, Count Dracula.  Having been inspired by stories of Dracula as a child, the author turned those experiences into a novel.

Set in the 15th century, the book weaves three different stories together using letters and oral accounts from the perspective of the historian.  Readers will delight in the vast array of genres to be found between the pages, including adventure, mystery, thriller, gothic and more.  Don't pass up this intriguing novel.

Another recent bestselling vampire novel is Justin Cronin's The Passage, the first in a planned trilogy.  Published in 2010, the book gives a post-apocalyptic look at a world overrun by people infected with a virus that turns them into vampire-like beings.  

Having evolved from a species of bats, the virus started as a drug meant to boost one's immunity, until everything went wrong.  Now, humans must fight together to survive in a world overridden by beings with a thirst for blood.

Once again, this trilogy will take us away from the sparkle, and into a harsher "reality" of supernatural creatures.

There are even more interesting reads in vampire literature for adults that will suit all tastes.

From Seth Grahame-Smith's quirky Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter (the movie of which opened last week) to Charlaine Harris' sultry Sookie Stackhouse series (adapted to an HBO cable series titled True Blood), you won't be at a loss anytime soon.

So if cutesy and bedazzled vampires aren't your cup of tea, try out these great titles for grown-ups available at your Abilene Public Library.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

July's Cover-to-Cover Book Club Selection

If you're looking for a great book club discussion group, try our Cover-to-Cover Book Club at your Abilene Public Library.  Meeting on the third Thursdays of the month, this group reads everything including bestsellers, fiction, biographies, non-fiction, classics, and more.

July's selection is the internationally bestseller by author Markus Zusak titled The Book Thief and we invite you to look out for a copy at your Abilene Public Library and then look at attending the book club discussion group.  The club will meet to discuss this title on Thursday, July 19 @ 7:00 p.m. and for more information, contact Ann Mount at 325-676-6025.

Author: Markus Zusak
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Pages: 552
Copies Owned: 4 copies regular print; 3 copies audiobook; digital WMA audiobook; digital e-Book
Call Number: YA F ZUSAK

Book Summary:  It's just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery...

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich.  Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can't resist - books.  With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

About the Author: Zusak is an Australian author best known for the international bestsellers The Book Thief and The Messenger.  Being of Austrian and German descent, he currently resides in Sydney, Australia and entered the publishing world in 1999 with the release of his first three books including The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe and When Dogs Cry.  In 2005, The Book Thief was released and has been translated into over 30 languages, having held the number one position at Amazon.com, the New York Times Bestsellers List and more.  

Post Contributed by Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager

Summer Fun @ Your Library 2012

Your Abilene Public Library has a ton of great activities going on across all three (3) branch locations for the summer.  We know that the kids are out of school for summer vacations, and this means parents scramble to find fun and affordable activities to keep their kids occupied.

Your Abilene Public Library is definitely the destination to go to as we offer a ton of great programming, especially for youth, and all are offered to you free of charge.  Rather than tell you about them, we thought it best to show you what your library has to offer.  Check out our video as we attended several of the many events held across the library for June and took some footage of them.  If you want to know what your library has to offer, just take a look...

This was only a highlight of the programming held in June at your Abilene Public Library and we have more to offer you in July.  Keep up with the great programming your library offers by checking our Programs & Events on our main website, or by looking at our events blog here posted each Thursday to give you a look at the upcoming events and programs for the next week.

Don't miss out on the great activities your library has to offer and not just in programming.  We also have an excellent selection of books, videos, magazines, storytimes, and more to keep everyone busy and active over the summer.

Post Contributed by Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager

Weekly Program Highlight: Hunger Games Trivia

Each week this summer we'll be highlighting one of the various programs and activities at the Abilene Public Library as a reminder of all the wonderful things we have to offer.  We hope this list serves not only to inform you but to inspire you to join in and participate!

Tween Time: Hunger Games Trivia

Who: Tweens ages 8-15 

What: A fun filled jeopardy styled game, based on the book Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  Each player will play twice, and based on total points earned, move to a new match-up, working their way to the top in a bracket style tournament until the final winner is crowned.

Where: Mockingbird Branch, 1214 N. Mockingbird Ln.

When: Thursday, June 28 @ 3pm

Why: If you've read the book then you're sure to have tons of fun.  If you're a true fan, this is your chance to test your book knowledge against all others and meet the challenge.  Do you have what it takes?

How: No registration required.  Parents may drop off kids for the program or join us and watch the fun ensue.

Post Contributed by Anne Ellis, Mockingbird Branch Manager

Monday, June 25, 2012

Weekly Program Highlight: Young Audiences Featuring the Key City Brass

We're back to highlight one of the various programs and activities at the Abilene Public Library as a reminder of the wonderful things we have to offer...plus, this is a program that is running tomorrow with another production for local youth to participate in.

Young Audiences Performance featuring the Key City Brass


Who: Parents and Children (School-Aged)

What: The Key City Brass is a local quintet made up of music professionals from Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene Christian University & Cooper High School.  They seek not only to entertain, but to open young minds to the wonders of music.

Where: Main Library (Auditorium), 202 Cedar St.

When: Tuesday, June 26 @ 10:45am with a repeat performance at 3pm.

Why: Remember when you heard your first trumpet or learned to tap your feet along with the beat of a tuba?  From classical music to popular children's songs music is timeless and so is its joy.  This interactive program will teach students what makes brass instruments unique and who knows, we may even play a game of "Whose Got the Melody?"

How: Registration is not required at either performance and everyone is welcome.

Post Contributed by Anne Ellis, Mockingbird Branch Manager

Spotlight on E-Resources: Interlibrary Loan

Your Abilene Public Library subscribes to a number of online databases available to all library cardholders.  In this Spotlight on E-Resources entry, we'll introduce you to the Interlibrary Loan service, which allows patrons to request titles to borrow that are not currently housed at the Abilene Public Library, and at no cost to you.

To access the Interlibrary Loan service, click on the Interlibrary Loan text link and you're all set.  Read this article to learn how to request titles of interest to you regardless if they're books, audiobooks, DVDs, and more.

Before you request a title, let's go over some of the basic guidelines of what you will be able to request, and what you will not.
  • Current Materials: if a title has been released within the current year, we may not be able to fulfill this request.  In these cases, Contact Us and we will see about acquiring the title for our collection so you may check it out.
  • Request Limits: we ask that you not request more than 20 titles at one time.  Items acquired through this service come with a preset due date established by the lending library.  Once the due date arrives, the item/s MUST be returned so we may send it back to its lending library.
  • Item Renewals: Interlibrary Loan materials may not be renewed.
  • Associated Fees: there are no fees associated for you to borrow these materials.  The only fees you may incur are if the items are returned after the due date.  Rates for late fees will match the late fees for regular Abilene Public Library items.

How Do I Check Out a Title?
To checkout an item, follow these steps...
  1. Click on the Interlibrary Loan link and enter the title, subjects, or author of the materials you're looking for, then click on the Go button.
  2. Search through the results until you find the item you're looking for and click on the title of that item to view its record.  Use the tools on the left-hand side of the screen to limit your search even more by format, author, year, language, etc.
  3. View the library holdings for the title.  If you see the Abilene Public Library listed, that means we may have a copy currently in our collection.  If so, please place a hold on this item through our online catalog.
  4. If we don't own the title, click on the button labeled Request Item.
  5. Select your participating library (i.e. Abilene Public Library) and click the Continue button.
  6. Enter your 13-digit library card number and your PIN.  If you don't know your PIN, Contact Us so staff may assist you. 
  7. Finally, select a Pickup Location in the final screen, and we ask that you enter a valid Email Address so we may notify you when your hold is available.  Once satisfied, click the Continue button to confirm the request and your information will be sent to our Technical Services department for processing.
  8. Once your title arrives, you will be notified that it is available for you to checkout and you're all set.  These materials will come with a pink bookmark to designate when the item is due back, along with a purple tag affixed to the front of the item.  Make sure you DO NOT remove the purple tag as this is what we use to remove the item from your account, as well as what library we need to return the item back to.
The Interlibrary Loan service is one of the valuable tools that patrons use all the time to request items of interest we do not currently house.  Whether you request titles yourself online, or you have library staff do so for you, this popular service allows you to have greater access to the materials you want.  We invite you to make use of this service and please feel free to Contact Us if you have any questions.

This was only a brief and general overview of the Interlibrary Loan service and remember, if you ever need assistance, library staff will be more than happy to assist you with anything you need.

Post Contributed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5

Keep  up with what's popular in mainstream literature by checking out what books cracked the Top 5 on this week's New York Times Bestsellers list in Hardcover Fiction & Non-Fiction titles.  If they sound of interest to you, look for them at your Abilene Public Library.

For a list of the Top 15, try listening to our Podcast on Mondays, or stop by any of our branch library locations to view our printed lists for your convenience. 

Hardcover Fiction Top 5

Author: John Grisham
Publisher: Doubleday
Position Last Week: 3
Weeks on List: 10
Summary: A pitcher beans a promising rookie, ending both their careers; years later, the pitcher's son brings them together.

Author: Alan Furst
Publisher: Random House
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks on List: 1
Summary: In Paris in 1938, an actor stumbles into the clutches of Nazi conspirators who want to exploit his celebrity.

Author: Gillian Flynn
Publisher: Crown
Position Last Week: 2
Weeks on List: 2
Summary: A woman disappears on the day of her fifth anniversary; is her husband a killer?

Author: Lincoln Child
Publisher: Doubleday
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks on List: 1
Summary: Professor Jeremy Logan, an "enigmalogist," is called to Egypt to help make sense of peculiar happenings at a pharaoh's newly discovered tomb.

#5: Porch Lights
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks on List: 1
Summary: When the widow of a New York City firefighter returns to her Lowcountry South Carolina home, she connects with her mother and the widower next door.

Hardcover Non-Fiction Top 5

Author: Edward Klein
Publisher: Regnery
Position Last Week: 1
Weeks on List: 5
Summary: A journalist argues that President Obama is callow and unable to lead.

#2: Cowards
Author: Glenn Beck & Kevin Balfe
Publisher: Threshold Editions/Mercury Radio Arts
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks on List: 1
Summary: The radio host and founder of GBTV discusses 13 lies that politicians, academics and the media perpetuate.

Author: Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard
Publisher: Holt
Position Last Week: 6
Weeks on List: 38
Summary: The host of "The O'Reilly Factor" recounts the events surrounding the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Publisher: Random House
Position Last Week: 4
Weeks on List: 83
Summary: An Olympic runner's story of survival as a prisoner of the Japanese in World War II.

Author: Colin Powell with Tony Koltz
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins
Position Last Week: 5
Weeks on List: 4
Summary: Rules for effective leadership from the four-star general and former secretary of state.

Look for these titles at your Abilene Public Library, along with even more great reads, to see about checking them out for yourselves...or getting on the reserve lists for them.  With three (3) convenient locations to serve you, stop by and allow our great staff to assist you.

Post Contributed by Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Author Read-Alikes with W.E.B. Griffin

W.E.B. Griffin is the pen name of William Edmund Butterworth, a New York Times bestselling author most known for authoring five different series, which are all ongoing.  Focusing his efforts on writing suspense thrillers, from a police and military perspective, Griffin remains highly read across libraries everywhere.

Allow your Abilene Public Library to introduce you to this author, and all of his many popular works, so that we may then highlight additional authors who write in similar styles.  We do this in hopes that we can show you even more great reads to look out for at your library.

Griffin has written over 100 books and he’s best known for creating works documenting the U.S. military as well as the urban police force.  Combining strong lead males and accurate details to military action and police jargon/procedures, it’s this unique ability that draws readers in.

Mind you, the author creates his series focusing on men, authoring what’s been referred to as “men’s books” for the the women are treated as minor and secondary characters…some women may be opposed to that aspect.  Be that as it may, he has garnered a large following of male readers, most of which who either serve, or have served in the military or police force, and others whom are fans of adventure thrillers.  Each of his novels are known for being heavy on the dialogue, fast-paced, and provide an accurate depiction of the historical details (if addressed in one of the series).

For those interested, there are five (5) series you can be on the lookout for by this author.  The Brotherhood of War series focuses on the U.S. Army and began with 1982’s release of The Lieutenants and may have been completed with the ninth installment in 2001 titled Special Ops.  If wanting a series about the U.S. Marine Corps, try looking reading The Corps Series beginning with Semper Fi, released in 1986 that has 10 books in that series; or the Men at War series covering the Office of Strategic Services starting with 1984’s release of The Last Heroes, with a seventh book due out August 2012 titled The Spymasters.  There’s also the Badge of Honor series covering the Philadelphia Police Department, which began with 1988’s release of Men in Blue followed by nine (9) additional sequels, the Honor Bound series consisting of seven (7) titles beginning with 1993’s Honor Bound, and finally The Presidential Agent series, which began with 2005’s release of By Order of the President and contains seven (7) novels thus far.

So if these titles sound of interest to you, ore you’re already a fan of Griffin’s works and need some additional suggestions of authors with similar writing styles, try checking out a listing of the Read-Alike Authors below.

Read-Alike Author: Herman Wouk
Wouk is the author best known for his sagas that pertain to World War II including The Winds of War and War and Remembrance.  Much like Griffin’s novels, Wouk gives special attention to the historical details included in his works to accurately depict not only the war itself, but the men who fought and died in the battles.  Published in both 1971 and 1978 respectively, the two titles he was most known for were also adapted into popular TV miniseries.  Having spent a reported 13 years writing those two novels, it was his devotion to the research behind the novels that make them a something worth checking out if you’re a fan of Griffin.

Read-Alike Author: Tom Clancy
Clancy is an obvious choice as he too is best known for authoring great thrillers that have an emphasis on military science and espionage.  Best known for his Jack Ryan series, Clancy has mastered the art of creating rich novels and series relating to the military, and all the while having come from a background of running an independent insurance agency, before then working for a group of investors.  Fans of Griffin will notice a major difference in both the length of Clancy’s works, and the attention to detail given to each novel.  This may make them a little less of a fast-paced read than Griffin’s series; however, they’re still great reads.  Start with the first novel in the Jack Ryan series with 1984’s release of The Hunt for Red October and work your way through his novels…you’ll find them to be a bit addicting.

Read-Alike Author: John Jakes
Jakes is an author who will take you back in time to the American Revolution with the Kent Family Chronicles series, as well as the North and South Trilogy addressing the Civil War.  Readers will enjoy not only the narrative quality of his historical fiction novels, but also how he uses the setting of these major wars to create authentic characters you’re left feeling truly existed.  Try out either series with The Bastard, released in 1974 as the first title in The Kent Family Chronicles, or 1982’s release of North and South, the first book in the trilogy.

Read-Alike Author: Patrick Robinson
Robinson is also another lesser known, yet still popular author, who writes techno-thrillers that focus more so on the navy.  Much like Griffin, he focuses on the lead male characters in each of his works to create that same heroic types of characters fans of Griffin’s series have grown accustomed to.  As Robinson focuses on the Navy, an area of the military not focused on by Griffin, this might just be the naval series you’re looking for.  Writing in the Admiral Arnold Morgan series, start with 1997’s release of Nimitz Class and work your way through the nine (9) additional sequels.  Plus, he also writes in a series focusing on Navy Seal Lt. Commander Mack Bedford that began in 2009 with the novel Diamondhead and has two (2) additional titles in that series.

And those are just a sampling of authors for you to look out for who write similar to the works of W.E.B. Griffin.  Be sure to check one of these out for yourself to see what you think of them and if you need any additional information, please feel free to Contact Us and staff will be more than happy to assist you.

Post Contributed by Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager