Thursday, January 31, 2013

Weekly Events @ Your Library (Feb. 4-9)

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 of events, visit our main website to view our interactive calendar, and remember, all programming is offered FREE of charge.

Ages 8-15
Feb. 4 @ 6:30 p.m.
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6067 for Info.
Valentine's Day is coming and we invite you to stop by your library where staff will show you how to make a great pop-up cards to give to that special someone.  We'll supply the materials, you simply supply yourself...and a little creativity of course. 

Registration Required (Class Now Full)
Feb. 6 @ 11:00 a.m. 
Mockingbird Branch
1214 N. Mockingbird Ln.
325-437-7323 for Info
Trainers with the Technology Expertise, Access Learning for All Texans program will be on hand to teach registered participants the ins and outs of using Microsoft Word in a 2-hour workshop.  Call the Mockingbird Branch to see if there are any spots left in this great program.

Registration Required (Class Now Full)
Feb. 6 @ 2:00 p.m.
Mockingbird Branch
1214 N. Mockingbird Ln.
325-437-7323 for Info
Trainers with the Technology Expertise, Access Learning for All Texans program will be on hand to teach registered participants the ins and outs of using Microsoft Excel in a 2-hour workshop.  Call the Mockingbird Branch to see if there are any spots left in this great program.

Feb. 6-7; 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6025 for Info
Come out and e-File your taxes at the library with IRS-trained volunteers with the AARP.  Everyone is helped on a first-come, first-served basis and you'll want to make sure to bring all of your tax materials, Photo ID, Social Security card, etc.  Sessions will be hosted each week until the end of tax season to offer you even more chances to participate.

Kids of All Ages
Feb. 6 @ 4:00 p.m.
Mockingbird Branch
1214 N. Mockingbird Ln.
325-437-7323 for Info
Kids are invited to come out and make a fun craft inspired by a great children's books where we'll show you how to make some lions out of hearts.  We'll supply the materials, you supply yourself and a little creativity in this quick crafting event.

Registration Required (Class Now Full)
Feb. 7 @ 10:00 a.m.
Mockingbird Branch
1214 N. Mockingbird Ln.
325-437-7323 for Info
Trainers with the Technology Expertise, Access Learning for All Texans program will be on hand to teach registered participants the ins and outs of creating a resume in a 2-hour workshop.  Call the Mockingbird Branch to see if there are any spots left in this great program.

Registration Required (Class Now Full)
Feb. 7 @ 1:00 p.m.
Mockingbird Branch
1214 N. Mockingbird Ln.
325-437-7323 for Info
Trainers with the Technology Expertise, Access Learning for All Texans program will be hand to teach registered participants the ins and outs of performing job searches online in a 2-hour workshop.  Call the Mockingbird Branch to see if there are any spots left in this program.

Feb. 8-9; 10:00 to 3:00
Mockingbird Branch
1214 N. Mockingbird Branch
325-437-7323 for Info
Come out and e-File your taxes at the library with IRS-trained volunteers with the AARP.  Everyone is helped on a first-come, first-served basis and you'll want to make sure to bring your W-2's, tax materials, Photo ID, Social Security card, and any additional materials you might need to file.  Sessions will be hosted each week until the end of tax season to offer you even more chances to participate.

Kids of All Ages
Feb. 7 @ 6:30 p.m.
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
325-698-7565 for Info
This enhanced storytime event will focus on CROCODILES!!!  But we promise it won't be scary at all.  Delight in stories, songs, crafts, and more in a great evening program for the family to participate in.

Kids of All Ages
Feb. 9 @ 2:00 p.m.
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6067 for Info
Kids love DINOSAURS and they're the theme of this month's Family Fun event at your Main Library.  Designed as an enhanced afternoon activity for the entire family to join in on, come and hear some great stories, play some games, sing some songs, and do some crafts in what's sure to be a great time at your library.

Don't miss out on these fun activities, and don't forget to take advantage of our weekly storytime programs and Book-A-Librarian sessions.  Contact Me for information about any of these programs and be sure to come out and attend the ones of interest to you. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Night Out with QuickBooks @ Your Library

Amazing Community Turnout!
If you weren't one of the 45+ adults at the Abilene Public Library's packed workshop on QuickBooks, you missed out on a great presentation led by Gayla Fullerton.  Fullerton comes with much experience as a CPA (Certified Personal Accountant), CGMA (Charter Global Management Accountant), and a Senior Business Consultant with the Texas Tech University Small Business Development Center (TTU SBDC) in Abilene (500 Chestnut St., Suite 601).

Fullerton was on hand to share her expertise using QuickBooks, which is one of the leading business accounting software tools on the market.  Regardless of your experience, Fullerton was on hand to shed light on the basics for what QuickBooks is used for and provide answers to all questions posed from the audience.

Touted as being very user-friendly, everyone who came out received a packet of information addressing all topics discussed, a brochure about the TTU SBDC, contact information, and more to follow-up in the future for assistance.

Sharing Great Knowledge
As stated by Fullerton, "you don't need to know a lot about accounting in order to use this software, but you do need to know a little bit" if you intend on making the most out of what it offers.

While not going into depth on using all of the features, Fullerton did provide a general overview of various functions including...
  • Managing Expenses
  • Reports and Graphs
  • Inventory
  • Time and Billing
  • Payroll Setup
  • Company File Setup and Maintenance, and more
Through the use of QuickBooks' many features, all are designed to make running your business smoother and with less mistakes as a result of human error.  Having undergone several updates since first being introduced, QuickBooks is now in version 2013.  Fullerton shared some advice for those considering making the upgrade by stating although there are differences in the appearance, the primary functions are similar to earlier versions.  So there's no need to rush out and purchase the latest version right away if you're satisfied with what you're using now.

As this workshop only provided an overview, Fullerton informed everyone of how the TTU SBDC will host in-depth training classes for interested members of the community to sign up for.  For a fee, students will receive hands-on training through each of the areas Fullerton highlighted.

Selecting Door Prize Winner!!!
Classes begin on February 21st and consists of eight (8) two-hour classes on Thursdays from 6-8 p.m.  Students will receive a book, trial version of software, and participants will also need to come with their laptops to work along with the instructor.  Limited laptops will be available for early registrants if needed.  A second session will also be offered on April 2nd and 3rd for registered participants to complete the entire course in 2-days.  Contact the TTU SBDC (325-670-0300) if interested in getting more information, or registering for this course.

Plus, one lucky member of the audience was the winner of a door prize and received free tuition to attend the formal training courses courtesy of the TTU SBDC.  This just goes to show that you never know what you may get by attending one of the great workshops we offer on a regular basis at your Abilene Public Library.

If you would like to learn more about QuickBooks on your own, know that your library can help.  We offer a number of resource guides on using this software, across various versions, including...

QuickBooks 2011 All-In-One for Dummies
Author: Stephen L. Nelson
Copies Owned: 1 regular print
Call Number: 657.904 QUI
Summary: Explains the ins and outs of QuickBooks using a language we can all understand.  Written by a veteran CPA, readers will dive not only into the basics, but beyond with extensive coverage on accounting chores, financial management, business planning, and more. 

QuickBooks 2011 for Dummies
Author: Stephen L. Nelson
Copies Owned: 1 regular print
Call Number: 657.904 QUI
Summary: Although not as extensive as the previous resource, this guide will help you to handle your financial management tasks more effectively by addressing the basics on what you will use QuickBooks for.  Such includes addressing building the perfect budget, processing payroll, simplifying tax return prep, creating invoices, and all the staple information to get started. 

QuickBooks 2011: The Missing Manual
Author: Bonnie Biafore
Copies Owned: 1 regular print
Call Number: 657.904 QUI
Summary: Make your bookkeeping work smoother and faster with this guide that will put you in control.  Learn about the basics on using the software as well as specific features to provide you with the practical advice to train yourself in no time.

And this is only a selection of the titles offered.  Don't hesitate to look out for some of these great materials at your library.  And never forget to come out to some of the great workshops, hosted on a regular basis, for everyone in the community to take advantage of.  Offered FREE of charge, who wouldn't want the chance to get the tips and advice they need from experts and professionals in our community?

Staff Book Review: "The Twelve" by Justin Cronin

The Twelve
Author: Justin Cronin
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager

Book Summary: In the present day, as the man-made apocalypse unfolds, three strangers navigate the chaos.  Lila, a doctor and an expectant mother, is so shattered by the spread of violence and infection that she continues to plan for her child's arrival even as society dissolves around her.  Kittridge, known to the world as "Last Stand in Denvier," has been forced to flee his stronghold and is now on the road, dodging the infected, armed but alone and well aware that a tank of gas will get him only so far.  April is a teenager fighting to guide her little brother safely through a landscape of death and ruin.  These three will learn that they have not been fully abandoned - and that in connection lies hope, even on the darkest of nights.

One hundred years in the future, Amy and the others fight for humankind's salvation...unaware that the rules have changed.  The enemy has evolved, and a dark new order has arisen with a vision of the future infinitely more horrifying than man's extinction.  If the Twelve are to fall, one of those united to vanquish them will have to pay the ultimate price.

Personal Review: The Twelve is the second entry in the Passage Trilogy, by the Texas author that offered up a uniquely different vampire series that wasn't cutesy like The Twilight Saga or The Vampire Diaries.  Plus, I was very happy that in the prologue of this novel, Cronin pretty much provided an adequate coverage of what happened in the first book.  For those of us who can't remember every book they've read, it was nice having a little refresher before getting started.

That being said, I enjoyed this book.  Although I don't feel it had me as engaged as the first novel, it provided enough to make me want to read the third and final installment...whenever it will be released that is.  Whereas the first book left you with somewhat of a cliffhanger, in that it just appeared to end all of a sudden, this entry could be read as a standalone in that it's complete in and of itself.

Not to give away the basic plot, but it's important to mention that this is somewhat of a vampire series in that death row inmates were used as test subjects in an experiment to save the world, and something always goes wrong in a hush-hush government experiment, and true to form, an infection is let loose that ravages the world and turns infected people into vampire-like beings.

Providing readers with an apocalyptic novel in the first entry, the second takes you more into the post-apocalyptic world as the survivors struggle to stay alive and reverse the infection.  What may seem difficult for some to follow is how the novel will jump back to different times, and sometimes abruptly, from the present day to the start of the plague and back again.  Also added to the mix are the number of plot lines you must follow as well.  Although not difficult to keep track of, you always find yourself becoming attached to one or two characters and want to follow their story, but then everything is fragmented when you have to be whisked away to another group.  Although it all comes together throughout the course of the book, you'll want to make sure that you don't become lost along the way.

This book did move along faster than the first book, as you're completely invested in the lives of the survivors as they hunt The Twelve.  As dangerous as a mission that is, it becomes a wonder how a group of ordinary people will be able to triumph, but when your world has been overrun by vampire-like beings, you'll find that you're stronger than you ever could have imagined.

With strong writing, complex characters, terse plot points, a well-developed storyline, an albeit better ending than the first book, and more, I would have to highly recommend this book, as well as this trilogy to everyone.  And for those of us who can't wait until the third book, just know that it's called The City of Mirrors and it's not set to be released until 2014...oh the agony, and there better be another prologue.

So look out for a copy of The Twelve, the second book in the Passage Trilogy by bestselling author Justin Cronin at your Abilene Public Library and read it for yourself.  With copies owned in regular print, large-type, and audiobook on CD, regardless of what your reading preference is, we've got you covered.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What's New in Books & DVDs @ Your Library?

Tuesdays are the big release days in books and DVDs for those bestselling authors you want to read, and those great movies you've been waiting to see.  Your Abilene Public Library carries all the latest for library cardholders to take advantage of, at no charge, and we're highlighting the popular titles hitting the shelves.

Look for them at your Abilene Public Library, and if you can't find them, see about getting yourselves on the reserve lists to secure your spot in line!!!

Hotel Transylvania
Starring: Adam Sandler
Rated: PG
Genre: Animated Comedy
Run Time: 1 hr. 31 min.
Summary: The Hotel Transylvania, run by Dracula, is a unique, high-end resort catering to the finest monsters and their families.  Dracula is preparing for an extra special weekend - his daughter's 118th birthday - when trouble arises: a human has stumbled upon the resort for the first time ever!  Even worse: the human has taken a liking to Mavis! 

Seven Psychopaths
Starring: Colin Farrell
Rated: R
Genre: Crime/Comedy
Run Time: 1 hr. 50 min.
Summary: Marty is a struggling screenwriter who wants nothing more than to finish his script.  Instead, he becomes entangled with the Los Angeles gangster underworld when his odd, but well-meaning friends kidnap volatile gangster's shih tzu.  The ordeal gives Marty all the inspiration he needs; now, he must live long enough to finish his story. 

Paranormal Activity 4
Starring: Katie Featherston
Rated: Unrated
Genre: Horror/Thriller
Run Time: 1 hr. 36 min.
Summary: When Katie disappeared with her new nephew Hunter, there were no survivors.  Five years later she's returned with a mysterious boy, ready to target new victims with her demonic rage.  Now, a family's young daughter will capture every one of the terrifying occurrences, beginning with her new neighbors' arrival. 

Cold Light of Day
Starring: Henry Cavill
Rated: PG-13
Genre: Action/Suspense
Run Time: 1 hr. 33 min.
Summary: Will Shaw arrives in Spain for a weeklong sailing vacation with his family.  The situation takes an unexpected turn when his family is kidnapped and Will gets tangled in an intergovernmental web of lies and secrets, with a briefcase in the center of the mystery.  Will finds himself on the run and realizes that he must recover the briefcase and take down secret agents in order to get his family back alive. 

Author: Diane Kelly
Series: Tara Holloway
Summary: It's beginning to heat up for Tara and her partner Eddie.  When it comes to tax fraud, they can take down the best criminals around, but when her co-workers begin to sign up for online dating, as well as her long-time crush, Tara may just be a little distracted to handle her next case.  Now she has to keep her cool while tracking down cash-funneling to terrorists, which will certainly shake up her life. 

Summary: Two couples, four decades apart.  One believes that if lovers die, they find each other again in another life.  Or perhaps they wind up as stars side by side in the sky, together forever.  No one really knows how it ends, but when a book publisher in Manhattan meets a young Amish woman who loves to write, they discover they may have a connection neither of them can deny.

Look out for these great new titles at your Abilene Public Library.  All are free for you to checkout and all you need is a valid library card.  If you live in Taylor County, acquire one for free and start using it today to take home some great entertainment materials from any of our three (3) branch locations.

Monday, January 28, 2013

@ the Library Article: "Library Offers Assistance with Taxes This Season"

This is a "taxing" season we either look forward to or dread (depending on whether we're receiving a refund or having to pay).  Regardless, your Abilene Public Library can help make things easier with free tax forms, materials to answer questions and even free tax return preparation services.

Beginning Wednesday, the local American Association of Retired Persons will provide tax return preparation in the Main Library auditorium each Wednesday and Thursday from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.  These highly trained volunteers will be at the Mockingbird Branch on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  This services lasts through April 13.  The free service is primarily targeted to elderly and low-income taxpayers but open to anyone.  People will be referred to a professional tax service if they require more than simple assistance.

Participants must bring a copy of their 2012 tax return, Social Security cards for everyone listed on the form and all documents related to income and/or expenses such as W-2 forms, etc.  Tax help is given on a first come, first served basis.  There are no appointments.  For more information, contact librarian Marie Skufca at 676-6025.

For those doing their own returns and needing information beyond what is provided in the IRS forms and booklets, J.K. Lasser's Your Income Tax 2013 is an easy to use, comprehensive source and can be checked out at the Main Library.  There is also a reference copy at the Main Library available to consult at all times.

Most standard federal income tax forms are available free at the Main Library and the South Branch.  The Mockingbird Branch carries only the basic 1040 forms and instructions.  However, any forms not readily available can be printed out for 15 cents per page and a librarian can assist in printing.

Your library has business and personal tax resources that can help you this year, or help you get a jump on next year's taxes.  Home Business Tax Deductions: Keep What You Earn by Stephen Fishman will help you write off such entrepreneurial expenses as your home office startup, operating expenses, vehicles, travel, entertainment, meals, health insurance, medical bills, inventory equipment and much more.

Stand Up to the IRS by Frederick W. Daily (an attorney in tax law) can help you in dealing with the government.  Daily explains procedures for filing a late tax return, working out a long-term tax payment plan, getting a Taxpayer Assistance Order, protecting assets, and avoiding property seizures, among other things.

S. Kay Bell offers The Truth About Paying Fewer Taxes about features of U.S. tax law that many taxpayers could use to reduce their taxes but do not know about.  He explores such topics as earned versus unearned income, innocent and injured spouse issues, writing off job-hunting costs, increasing the homes tax basis, accounting for the kiddie tax, required minimum retirement distributions, the trouble with tax protests, and minimizing audit risks.

If you dread tax season, your Abilene Public Library can take some of that stress away.  Drop by and let us help make the "taxing season" less taxing on you.

Post contributed by Dennis Miller, Business Librarian at the Main Branch of the Abilene Public Library.

Dive Into the Stacks: Become a Loser @ Your Library

Your Abilene Public Library houses a great collection of resources across a myriad of topics.  We invite you to Dive Into the Stacks to discover some great areas you're more than welcome to make use of.

The Biggest Loser has been a popular reality program on NBC helping people to lose weight through healthier eating habits and exercising regularly.  Having taken America by storm, the concepts behind the show have been adapted to other countries as a means of getting more of us into shape and better versions of ourselves.

If you're looking to get a little healthier in this new year, your Abilene Public Library has many resources that have been published by experts with The Biggest Loser to help you accomplish your goals using the tired and true techniques through their show.  Allow us to introduce you to some of the titles we currently carry at your library that might be of interest to you...

Author: Cheryl Forberg, RD
Copies Owned: 3 regular print
Call Number: 613.25 FOR
Summary: The program is all about transformation, both physically and emotionally, and this title will bring you the advice you need including medical advice, nutritional tips, exercise instruction, and more that's received by the contestants in the show.  You'll also learn about how to boost your mood and brainpower, how to fight off illness, preventing heart disease, some simplified recipes, and more.  With a 6-week plan, this is a great way to get you started when it comes to creating a more healthier you. 

Author: Cheryl Forberg, RD
Copies Owned: 3 regular print
Call Number: 613.25 FOR
Summary: Developing a healthier way of eating is vital for any effective weight loss program, but sometimes it's difficult to give up the foods we love.  This resource will provide you with some easy swaps you can make to eat healthier substitutes to the foods you love. Such includes switching from traditional yogurt to Greek-style yogurt, eliminating sugary cereals for whole grains, and more, that will help you to save money, cut calories, and appease your appetite. 

Author: Chef Devin Alexander
Copies Owned: 3 regular print
Call Number: 641.552 ALE
Summary: Sometimes only one or a couple of members in your family are trying to lose weight and get healthier, and when that happens, others may get a little fearful of what meals will be served for everyone.  This cookbook is designed to provide you with a host of great and budget-friendly recipes that will be healthy and appealing to all members of your family regardless of whether you're dieting or not.  With such recipes as Peanut Butter Fudge Sundaes, Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir-Fry, Pineapple Teriyaki Pork Chops, Baked Ziti, and more, the 125 recipes covered in this book will definitely please everyone. 

Copies Owned: 2
Call Number: 613.7 BIG
Summary: Bob Harper is one of the fitness experts on the show that works with contestants to develop a fitness routine to help shed those pounds.  Although we have many exercise DVDs from this program, this is the first one to be put out to introduce you to six routines to start off with.  Make this DVD part of your 6-week plan to a new you.

These are but a few of the many books and DVDs we house across all locations of your Abilene Public Library to help you become a winning loser by practicing their methods.  They remain a popular collection with patrons and we hope you make use of them as well.  If you need any additional assistance, feel free to Contact Me and I'll be more than happy to answer any of your questions.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5

Many patrons browse the new materials sections of the library to discover the latest popular reads.  Part of finding those items is browsing the New York Times Bestsellers lists we make available to locate that popular book, or to get yourself on the reserve lists.  Check out this blog to discover the latest to lead the pack on the Hardcover Fiction & Non-Fiction lists for the upcoming week.

Hardcover Fiction Top 5

#1: A Memory of Light
Author: Robert Jordan & Brandon Sanderson
Weeks On List: 2
Position Last Week: 1
Copies Owned: 3 regular print; 1 audiobook
Call Number: SF JORDAN
Summary: The 14th and final novel in the Wheel of Time fantasy series.

#2: Gone Girl
Author: Gillian Flynn
Weeks On List: 33
Position Last Week: 2
Copies Owned: 4 regular print; 3 large-type; digital eBook
Call Number: M FLYNN
Summary: A woman disappears on her fifth anniversary; is her husband a killer?

#3: The Fifth Assassin
Author: Brad Meltzer
Weeks On List: 1
Position Last Week: n/a
Copies Owned: 3 regular print; digital audiobook
Call Number: F MELTZER
Summary: Tracking an assassin who is recreating the crimes of the four men who murdered presidents, Beecher White discovers that they all were working together.

#4: Tenth of December
Author: George Saunders
Weeks On List: 2
Position Last Week: 3
Copies Owned: Not Housed
Call Number: n/a
Summary: Stories that take on the big questions.

#5: The Third Bullet
Author: Stephen Hunter
Weeks On List: 1
Position Last Week: n/a
Copies Owned: 4 regular print
Call Number: F HUNTER
Summary: The veteran sniper Bob Lee Swagger investigates the assassination of John F. Kennedy.


Hardcover Non-Fiction Top 5

#1: My Beloved World
Author: Sonia Sotomayor
Weeks On List: 1
Position Last Week: n/a
Copies Owned: 3 regular print
Call Number: 92 SOTOMAYOR
Summary: The Supreme Court justice recalls growing up in the Bronx, attending Princeton, working for the Manhattan District Attorney's office and becoming a federal judge.

#2: Killing Kennedy
Author: Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard
Weeks On List: 16
Position Last Week: 1
Copies Owned: 5 regular print; 3 large-type; 1 audiobook; digital audiobook
Call Number: 92 KENNEDY
Summary: The host of "The O'Reilly Factor" recounts the events surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

#3: Going Clear
Author: Lawrence Wright
Weeks On List: 1
Position Last Week: n/a
Copies Owned: Not Housed
Call Number: n/a
Summary: The Pulitzer Prize-winning author examines the world of Scientology.

#4: No Easy Day
Author: Mark Owen w/Kevin Maurer
Weeks On List: 20
Position Last Week: 3
Copies Owned: 3 regular print; 2 large-type; 2 audiobook; digital audiobook
Call Number: 359.9 OWE
Summary: An account by a former member of the Navy SEALs, written pseudonymously, of the mission that killed bin Laden.

#5: Killing Lincoln
Author: Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard
Weeks On List: 69
Position Last Week: 6
Copies Owned: 5 regular print; 2 large-type; 1 audiobook; digital audiobook
Call Number: 973.7092 ORE
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 and discover for yourselves why they've become such hits in mainstream literature.  If they're not available, don't hesitate to get on the reserve lists and secure your spot in line for these popular titles.

Friday, January 25, 2013

February'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.

For February, the featured selection is Defending Jacob by William Landay and we invite you to look out for a copy at your library and then attend the book club discussion group on Thursday, February 21 @ 7:00 p.m.  For more information, be sure to contact Ann Mount at 325-676-6025.

Copies Owned: 3 regular print; 2 large-type; digital e-Book & audiobook
Call Number: M LANDAY
Summary:  Andy Barber has been an assistant district attorney in his suburban Massachusetts county for more than 20 years.  He is respected in his community, tenacious in the courtroom, and happy at home with his wife, Laurie, and son, Jacob.  But when a shocking crime shatters their New England town, Andy is blindsided by what happens next: His 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student.  Every parental instinct Andy has rallies to protect his boy.  Jacob insists that he is innocent, and Andy believes him.  But as damning facts and shocking revelations surface and the trial intensifies, as the crisis reveals how little a father knows about his son, Andy will face a trial of his own - between loyalty and justice, between truth and allegation, between a past he's tried to bury and a future he cannot receive.

Be sure to check out this title from your Abilene Public Library, or borrow one from a friend if you'd like, and then come out ready to discuss this title with other avid readers in the community.  Again, the Cover-to-Cover Book Club will meet on Thursday, February 21 @ 7:00 p.m. to discuss this title, so be sure to get in on the reading fun.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Weekly Events & Programs (Jan. 28 - Feb. 2)

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 of events, be sure to visit our main website to view our interactive events calendar, and remember, all programming is offered FREE of charge.

Ages 8-15
Jan. 28 @ 6:30 p.m.
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
325-698-7565 for Info.
Tweens won't want to miss this session where we'll show you the fun of traditional board games and activities to take you away from the world of technology.  We have such a blast each and every time so come join us in the fun. 

Kids of All Ages
Jan. 28 @ 6:30 p.m.
Mockingbird Branch
1214 N. Mockingbird Ln.
325-437-7323 for Info.
For the final Family Fun event of the month, it's all about snow as kids and parents are invited to come out for stories, songs, crafts and more that deal with a snow theme.  We may not get much of that "stuff" in Abilene, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy it through library activities so come out and enjoy. 

Guest Speaker: Gayla Fullerton, CPA
Jan. 29 @ 6:30 p.m.
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6025 for Info.
Just in time for tax season, if you want to learn more about this accounting software, get it in this 90-minute introduction led by Gayla Fullerton, CPA and Sr. Business Consultant with the Texas Tech Small Business Development Center.  Come with your questions and be ready to get the expert help you need at this free workshop at your library. 

Jan. 30 & 31; 12:30-4:30
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6025 for Info.
Held every week until Apr. 13, come to the library to e-File your taxes with IRS trained volunteers with the AARP.  Everyone's helped on a first-come, first-served basis and be sure to bring your tax materials, Photo ID, Social Security card, etc., and receive the help you need in this popular program at your library. 

Jan. 31 @ 6:30 p.m.
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6067 for Info.
Jessica Reyes is hosting another edible workshop with showing you how to transform molding chocolate into roses...some even with a secret message inside.  Having been a hit last year, and a great video on YouTube, she's bringing it back for a second year so don't miss out on joining in on this hands-on workshop. 

Feb. 1 & 2; 10:00-3:00
Mockingbird Branch
1214 N. Mockingbird Ln.
325-437-7323 for Info.
Held every week until Apr. 13, come out to the library to eFile your taxes with IRS trained volunteers with the AARP.  Everyone's helped on a first-come, first-served basis and be sure to bring your tax materials, Photo ID, Social Security Card, etc., and receive the help you need in this popular program at your library.

Don't miss out on these fun activities, and don't forget to take advantage of our weekly storytime programs and Book-A-Librarian sessions.  Contact Me for information about any of these programs and be sure to come out and attend the ones of interest to you.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Preserving Your Family History in Style @ Your Library

Cynthia Jones, Guest Presenter
If you weren't able to make it out to the Scrapbooking Your Genealogy workshop led by Cynthia Jones, you missed out on a great evening of wonderful ideas and methods to preserve your genealogical finds.  With an engaged audience in tow, we all dove into the experience of becoming a detective as it relates to tracing your family's history.

Jones has provided workshops in the past, and she certainly comes with much experience under her belt for interested genealogists of all skill levels.  With over 20 years of work invested in her own family's genealogy, Jones has found it to be very rewarding to step back in time to learn about her family and ancestry as you never know what you might find.

As an extension of her genealogical research, Jones began to accumulate quite the collection of documents, and that's when it hit her to find a method to not only preserve them, but to share them in an interesting manner.  Scrapbooking became her method of choice and she brought along a great selection of notebooks, printed books, and more to provide the audience with ideas of what they could possibly do themselves.

Scrapbooking Example of Jones
Jones guided participants in the workshop in a number of tried and true methods she utilized to accomplish organizing her finds such as the use of color coding various members of her family for easy reference, adding pictures and photos, the use of maps and census charts for official documentation, and more.  By adding these extra touches, this would not only serve to help keep your information organized, but also to make your genealogical research appealing to others.

However, the program just wasn't about discovering unique scrapbooking methods, but also to foster a dialogue on great resources to utilize for performing your own genealogy research.  Touching upon the tried and true methods of using subscription based sites including Ancestry Plus and Heritage Quest (both available as e-Resources through the Abilene Public Library), Jones provided us with some great steps to take into consideration when performing your own research.

Such would include beginning your genealogy research with yourself and working your way backwards.  We're our own best reference to use for first hand information, so it's always the best place to start.  Next, you can move on to visiting your family members and relatives as a means of getting their stories too.  If you do so, Jones stated it's a good idea to bring something to take notes on, as well as a recording device so you don't miss any of the great information you'll receive.  These stories will also be great for including in some of your genealogical finds if and when you decide to piece it together at a later time.

Audience of Genealogy Enthusiasts
Along with suggested steps to follow, members of the audience also learned a great deal about the basics when it comes to starting to trace your family history such as keeping up with a pedigree chart to help create a family tree and timeline.  Additional tools at your disposal would be accessing census charts and Jones shared valuable knowledge to the wealth of information you can acquire from them including birthdates, names of parents, and more.  Sometimes you may even be lucky in finding what your relative's profession was and information about their children.

Although many of the resources utilized for genealogy research are subscription based (meaning you could spend a lot of money researching your ancestry), that doesn't mean you don't have access to great resources for free.  Jones stressed that using the internet is another great way to locate information about your family.  Great resources she provided to the group to try included...
All of these sites are great places to assist you in your searching endeavors, as well as participating in inquiry boards online, seeing what others in your family may have researched, using connections with your local public library to obtain information, and so much more.

Beginning your search into your family history may be a lot of work, but once you get started, Jones cautioned everyone that it can be addictive.  Closing out the workshop, she shared with us many of the printed materials she's created to highlight her own history, and provided the audience with ideas on what they could do themselves.  Passing them around, the final 20-minutes of the program became a time for people to ask questions, share their own stories, and more.

Jones Sharing Resources
If you are interested in beginning your search into your family's history, don't hesitate to come out to your Abilene Public Library and get started today.  With a valid library card, you'll have access to a wealth of information and resources.  Whereas you may access genealogical databases across all three locations, we encourage you to visit your Main Library (202 Cedar St.) to make use of the genealogy department in the basement.  Here you will find access to a ton of printed resources you'd be hard-pressed to find elsewhere as we have an amazing collection to offer.  If you need help, library staff will always be there to assist you.

Don't pass up on the chance to come out to some of the wonderful workshops and programs we have to offer on a regular basis to people of all ages.  Covering a myriad of topics, all are offered to your free of charge, and you really can't beat a price like that!!!