Monday, September 30, 2013

Spotlight on New E-Resources: Job & Career Accelerator

Your Abilene Public Library subscribes to a number of respected online databases available to all library cardholders, and we've added some amazing new sites for your to peruse and take advantage of.  In this entry, we'll introduce you to Job & Career Accelerator, providing resources to help job seekers get hired every step of the way.

To access the majority of our online databases, you will need to visit the Abilene Public Library's website and click on the E-Resources link.  You will then be directed to our complete listing of databases, and if required, you will need your 13-digit library card number.

The Job & Career Accelerator is powered by the Learning Express Library, and provides users with access to a complete career selection and job search tool to assist those looking for employment, to hit the fast track in getting hired.  Being a fully integrated online job search system, this database will put you in the driver's seat when it comes to finding a job you wish to pursue, while also providing you with the tools needed to land that job.  From career selection to job searching to building a resume and even slam dunking the interview, you'll gain the skills you need in no time.  Best yet, you have access to this database 24/7, and from any computer (or mobile device) with access to the Internet.  All you need is a valid library card.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of Sept. 30)

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 title, or to get yourselves 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: The Longest Ride
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F SPARKS
Summary: The lives of two couples converge unexpectedly.

#2: The Quest
Author: Nelson Demille
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F DEMILLE
Summary: Two journalists join an elderly priest who has recently escaped from an Ethiopian jail in a search for a holy relic.

#3: Thankless in Death
Author: J.D. Robb
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: M ROBB
Summary: Lt. Eve Dallas searches for a young man who murdered his parents; by Nora Roberts, writing pseudonymously.

#4: W is for Wasted
Author: Sue Grafton
Position Last Week: 1
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: M GRAFTON
Summary: A homeless man inexplicably leaves $600,000 to Kinsey Millhone.

#5: Never Go Back
Author: Lee Child
Position Last Week: 2
Weeks On List: 3
Call Number: M CHILD
Summary: Jack Reacher is thrown into jail on trumped-up charges.




Hardcover Non-Fiction Top 5

#1: Si-Cology 1
Author: Si Robertson
Position Last Week: 1
Weeks On List: 3
Call Number: 92 ROBERTSON
Summary: Tales from Phil's youngest brother, retired from the Army, works in the Duck Commander workshop.

#2: Still Foolin' 'Em
Author: Billy Crystal
Position Last Week: 2
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: 92 CRYSTAL
Summary: The 65-year-old comedian's reminiscences and his complaints about aging.

#3: Lean In
Author: Sheryl Sandberg
Position Last Week: 6
Weeks On List: 28
Call Number: 658.4 SAN
Summary: The chief operating officer of Facebook urges women to pursue their careers without ambivalence.

#4: Zealot
Author:Reza Aslan
Position Last Week: 5
Weeks On List: 10
Call Number: 232.9 ASL
Summary: A biography of Jesus of Nazareth presents him in the context of his times as the leader of a revolutionary movement.

#5: Happy, Happy, Happy
Author: Phil Robertson
Position Last Week: 7
Weeks On List: 20
Call Number: 92 ROBERTSON
Summary: The Duck Commander pays tribute to "faith, family and ducks."

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 in on the reserve lists and secure your spot in line.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Book-to-Film Adaptations: October 2013

Literature inspires film adaptations and each month we like to highlight those hitting theaters soon.  Check out this blog to see what they are, and be on the lookout for seeing them in theaters, as well as checking out the books they're based on (if available) at your Abilene Public Library.

Captain Phillips (View Trailer)
Starring: Tom Hanks
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: Oct. 11
Author: Richard Phillips
Summary: Based on a true story, this film tells the story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama, the first American cargo ship to be hijacked in two hundred years.  Headed by the amazing Tom Hanks, this should be a story many of us will want to go out and see for ourselves.

Romeo & Juliet (View Trailer)
Starring: Hailee Steinfeld
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: Oct. 11
Based On: "Romeo & Juliet"
Author: William Shakespeare
Summary: Based on the classic play, which has been adapted numerous times, this romantic tragedy adaptation will re-tell the play we all know.  While the film does use the traditional setting of Renaissance Verona, it has received some adaptation in that the traditional dialogue is gone, which didn't make too many critics out there happy about it; however, try it out for yourself and see if this is as an adaptation that suits you.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Weekly Events @ Your Library (Sept. 29 - Oct. 5)

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 take a look at our interactive calendar, and remember, all programming is offered free of charge.

Oct. 1 @ 6:30 p.m.
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6025 for Info.
It’s time to learn how to best care for your trees in this informative workshop at your library.  We're inviting in tree expert Bruce Kreitler as he provides his expert advice that won't cost you a penny to receive.  Don't miss out.

Oct. 2 @ 4:00 p.m.
Mockingbird Branch
1214 N. Mockingbird Ln.
325-437-7323 for Info.
For the first crafting session for kids, we’re celebrating Fall by showing you how to make some cute wreaths to decorate your rooms and homes with.  We’ll supply all the materials you’ll need, you just come ready to have a little crafting fun at your library.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

West Texas Book Festival Continues with Strong Turnout for Dean Smith!!!

Great Crowd for Dean Smith!
It’s the second day of the West Texas Book Festival and we had another GREAT Luncheon Author Talk this afternoon featuring author Dean Smith.  Over 100 people came out to this free event where we got the chance to take a walk in the cowboy boots of a man not ashamed to say he’s proud to be from West Texas.

On hand to discuss his book, Cowboy Stuntman: From Olympic Gold to the Silver Screen, Smith shared much about his life and achievements including winning the Olympic Gold in the 1952 Olympics; becoming a sought after stuntman in great Western movies and TV shows; having been signed to two NFL teams; letting us in on how actor James Garner helped him get his start on film and TV; and so much more.  Smith has led a full life indeed…with still much more left to live.

Staff Book Review: "The Color of Law" by Mark Gimenez


The Color of Law
Author: Mark Gimenez
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager

Book Summary: Clark McCall, ne’er-do-well son of Texas millionaire senator and presidential hopeful Mack McCall, puts a major crimp in his father’s election plans when he winds up murdered – apparently by Shawanda Jones, a heroin-addicted hooker – after a tawdry night of booze, drugs, and rough sex. 

Scott Fenney, a partner at an elite Dallas law firm, is assigned to provide Shawanda’s pro bono defense.  Scott plans to farm the case out to an old law school buddy, do-good attorney Bobby Herrin.  But his plans go awry when Shawanda puts her foot down in court and refuses to be passed off.

As the case unfolds, pressure is exerted on Scott to deter him from being too aggressive in his defense of Shawada, and Scott is slowly stripped of the things he’s come to care for most.  Will he do the right thing – at a terrible cost – or the easy thing and keep his hard-earned fabulous life.

Personal Review: Although author Mark Gimenez may not have many novels under his belt, he’s a Texas author, and a lawyer, with the ability to craft some novels of interest.  First off, this was the first novel I’ve read by this author, and what I enjoyed was the overall storyline, that it was set in Dallas, TX, the narration was strong, and the pacing was equally strong to allow the story to flow along swimmingly.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

West Texas Book Festival Starts Strong with Julie Kibler!

The West Texas Book Festival is in full swing as activities kicked off at Noon with the first of three (3) Luncheon Author Talks featuring Texas writers.  Today’s guest was Julie Kibler, former Hardin-Simmons University graduate, who provided a great presentation on her debut novel titled Calling Me Home (to which Warner Bros. acquired the rights…so it could be a film in the future).

But I digress.  As the doors opened to this afternoon’s luncheon, crowds of enthusiastic readers entered the auditorium at the Main Library (202 Cedar St.) to be sure and get a spot, while also enjoying a wonderful lunch from the Friends of the Abilene Public Library.  What better way could there be to spend a lunch hour than coming out to a free literary activity at your library?

Glenn Dromgoole & the Audience
After a brief introduction by Glenn Dromgoole (co-chairman of the festival), Kibler took to the podium to discuss a novel many of our patrons liken to a cross between Kathryn Stockett’s international bestseller The Help and the award-winning film Driving Miss Daisy.

Guests were treated to a look into Kibler’s past by having the author share stories she heard herself, which would go on to serve as the subject of her first published novel.  Engaged as we all were, we listened to a story of a young white lady in Kentucky in the early 1900’s who fell in love with a young black man.  As many adults know, that would have occurred during a time in our nation’s history when interracial relationships were highly discouraged, even illegal.  Kibler took us back to this time where signs had even been erected in some towns alerting the African-American population they were not allowed in the city after sundown.

What's New in Books & DVDs @ Your Library

Tuesdays are the big release days for books and DVDs for those bestselling authors you want to read, and those great movies you want 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.

Iron Man 3 (View Trailer)
Starring: Robert Downey, Jr.
Rated: PG-13
Run Time: 135 min.
Summary: When Tony Stark/Iron Man finds his entire world reduced to rubble, he must use all his ingenuity to survive, destroy his enemy, and somehow protect those he loves.  But a soul-searching question haunts him: Does the man make the suit, or does the suit make the man?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Antiques & Collectibles Appraisal Fair Returns Oct. 3

Root through your closets, poke through your attics, dive under your beds, and pull out those stashed away items you couldn't bear to part with because you could never quite figure out what they might be worth.  Once you do, be sure to bring them down to the Abilene Public Library's version of the Antiques Roadshow that will be hosted on Thursday, October 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the Main Library (202 Cedar St).

Tom Craig, Antique Station
That's right!  We're bringing back the fair where we'll invite in antique dealers from across the community to meet with the public, 1-on-1, to tell you whether or not you've got trash or treasure.  Join up with B.J. Naranjo-Smith (Antiques and Almost), Tom Craig (Antique Station), and others as they'll be using their skills to evaluate the pieces you bring in.

Wowbrary: Your Guide to What's New @ Your Library!

We're happy to announce a new service debuting this week called Wowbrary!  This amazing new tool will allow you to stay up to date on the latest materials we've added to our collections here at your Abilene Public Library.

We receive new materials on a constant basis, but sometimes it's hard to get your crack at all the new titles being added.  Wowbrary works to break down those barriers by sending you an online newsletter of the latest books, movies, audiobooks, and more we've added to our collection.  Best yet, it's free to use and delivered to your email every Wednesday starting September 25.

How Do I Sign Up for Wowbrary?
Click Here or visit our website and click on the Wowbrary logo on the right-hand side of the screen.  Enter your zip code, to locate your library, and add your email address when prompted.  Once registered, you'll be sent a confirmation email to opt in to the service and you're all set.  At this point, issues will be sent to you every Wednesday.

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of Sept. 23)

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 title, or to get yourselves 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: W is for Wasted
Author: Sue Grafton
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: M GRAFTON
Summary: A homeless man inexplicably leaves $600,000 to Kinsey Milhone. Available in Regular Print, Large-Type, Audio Book on CD, Digital Audio Book on OverDrive

#2: Never Go Back
Author: Lee Child
Position Last Week: 1
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: M CHILD
Summary: Jack Reacher is thrown into jail on trumped-up charges. Available in Regular Print, Large-Type

Freeze!!! Step Away from THAT Book!!!

A bit dramatic for a title yes, but it goes hand in hand with the week in September especially set aside to recognize books receiving some heat, placing them on the dreaded Banned Books Lists.  Whether based on language, content, subject matter, age appropriateness, etc., there’s a long list of titles reported every year nationwide.

At the heart of the Banned Books Week (Sept. 22-28) celebration is not only to highlight books drawing attention in libraries across the country, but also to emphasize the importance of everyone’s freedom to read.  Regardless of what someone else may think about a certain subject, you (as a reader) have the right to read (as well as not read) any book you choose…and that’s certainly placing the power in your hands.

First launched in 1982, Banned Books Week was created to respond to the number of challenges books were receiving in schools, libraries, and even bookstores.  Did you know more than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982?  What a staggering statistic for you there.

In 2012 alone, it was released by the American Library Association (ALA) that 464 challenges to books were reported to the Office of Intellectual Freedom.  That’s a lot of disgruntled readers there…and with all that go reported, there are still others that probably go unreported.

Banned Books Week runs September 22-28 and you, as readers, can express your freedom to read by visiting your local library and checking out whatever book strikes your fancy...no, it doesn’t have to be a banned book.

But in case you’d like to take a walk on the wild side, take a look at the titles that cracked the Top 10 for Banned Books.  Please note, I’m not advising you read these titles, or promoting them to you as being titles you should read, I’m just letting you in on what they are so you can choose to check one out if you’d like.  The power is in your hands…and your library card too!!!

Captain Underpants (Series)
Author: Dav Pilkey
Call #: J PILKEY
Age Range: 7-10
Reasons for Making the List: Offensive language, unsuited for age group.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Author: Sherman Alexie
Call #: YA F ALEXIE
Age Range: 12-17
Reasons for Making the List: Offensive Language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group.

Thirteen Reasons Why
Author: Jay Asher
Call #: F ASHER
Age Range: 12-17
Reasons for Making the List: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group.

Fifty Shades of Grey
Author: E.L. James
Call #: F JAMES
Age Range: 18+
Reasons for Making the List: Offensive language, sexually explicit.

And Tango Makes Three
Author: Peter Parnell
Call #: J 598.47 RIC
Age Range: 4-8
Reasons for Making the List: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group.

Click to Place Hold
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Call #: F HOSSEINI
Age Range: 18+
Reasons for Making the List: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit.

Looking for Alaska
Author: John Green
Call #: YA F GREEN
Age Range: 14-17
Reasons for Making the List: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group.

Scary Stories (Series)
Author: Alvin Schwartz
Call #: J 398.25 SCH
Age Range: 7-10
Reasons for Making the List: Unsuited for age group, violence.

The Glass Castle
Author: Jeanette Walls
Call #: 92 WALLS
Age Range: 18+
Reasons for Making the List: Offensive language, sexually explicit.

Beloved
Author: Toni Morrison
Call #: F MORRISON
Age Range: 18+
Reasons for Making the List: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence.

Spotlight on New E-Resources: Small Engine Reference Center

Your Abilene Public Library subscribes to a number of respected online databases available to all library cardholders, and we've added some amazingly new sites for you to peruse and take advantage of.  In this entry, we'll introduce you to the Small Engine Repair Reference Center, providing access to a wealth of information to help you when it comes to understanding the inner workings of engines in various machinery.

To access the majority of our online databases, you will need to visit the Abilene Public Library's website and click on the E-Resources link.  You will then be directed to our complete listing of databases, and if required, you will then need your 13-digit library card number.

Friday, September 20, 2013

TumbleBooks Are Here!!!

You heard right, thanks to a wonderful grant from the Target Corporation everyone now has access to the wonderful collection of TumbleBooks through your Abilene Public Library.  
 

What are TumbleBooks?
This service offers a wide selection of online books for youth to enjoy as a means of reinforcing the joy of reading in a format kids love.  Providing you materials from the leading children's publishers around, you'll find a wealth of literature incorporating sounds, animation, special features, companion materials, and more.  By adding these elements, you child is sure to build even stronger reading skills in no time, while having fun in the process.
 
How Do I Access TumbleBooks at the Library?
Accessing the collection is easy.  Visit our website and look for the TumbleBooks logo on the right-hand side of the screen.  Click the link and you will be taken to a page that offers you two TumbleBooks choices including TumbleBooks and TumbleBookCloud Junior.  By selecting the TumbleBooks list, you'll find children's books roughly for grades K-3, while TumbleBookCloud Junior provides access to materials for grades 4-5 featuring chapter books.

October'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 October, the featured selection is Killing Lincoln by Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard and we invite you to look out for a copy at your library and then attend the book club discussion group on Thursday, October 17 @ 7:00 p.m.  For more information, be sure to contact Ann Mount at 325-676-6025.

Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever
Author: Bill O'Reilly
Call Number: 92 LINCOLN
Summary: A bestselling nonfiction account of the days leading up to the assassination of President Lincoln.  Told in a narrative format, the authors use details about the actions of Lincoln and Booth to weave the story together.  A captivating and engaging story.

Be sure to check out this title from your Abilene Public Library, or borrow one from a friend, and come out ready to discuss this title with other avid readers in the community.  Again, the Cover-to-Cover Book Club will meet Thursday, October 17 @ 7:00 p.m. to discuss this title, so be sure to get in on the reading fun.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Weekly Events @ Your Library (Sept. 23-28)

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 take a look at our interactive calendar, and remember, all programming is offered free of charge.

Sept. 24 @ Noon
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6025 for Info.
Free West Texas Book Festival Event: Julie Kibler will discuss her debut novel, Calling Me Home, which has received great praise and to which Warner Bros. has purchased the rights to possibly turn it into a film.  Bring your lunch, or purchase one from the Friends of the Library for $5, and come out to hear a great author talk from a Hardin-Simmons University graduate.  Books available for purchase at the end of the program with the author signing copies.

Sept. 24 @ 6:00 p.m.
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6025 for Info.
Free West Texas Book Festival Event: Authors from around the community, whom have published a book in the past year, will be honored in a reception at the library.  Everyone is welcome to attend to see the writing talent our city has to offer.

Sept. 25 @ Noon
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6025 for Info.
Free West Texas Book Festival Event: Dean Smith, a noted stuntman, gold medal Olympian, former pro football player, and more will be on hand to discuss his book titled Cowboy Stuntman, which his sure to delight guests.  It’s not every day you come across a man with so much experience under his belt, including working in quite a number of TV shows and films too.  Bring your lunch, or purchase one from the Friends of the Library for $5, and come out to hear a great author talk.  Books available for purchase at the end of the program with the author signing copies.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

More Chances for 'AWE' Inspiring Experiences for Kids

Your Abilene Public Library first introduced the AWE Early Literacy Stations to our children’s areas at each branch library this past June.  After only a few months of use, these workstations have become a smash hit for children, offering over 60 educational programs available in both English and Spanish.

We’re even more pleased to announce we’ve increased the number of stations available to 7!!!  Additional stations just went out so now the public has access to three (3) stations at your Main Library, three (3) at your Mockingbird Branch, and one (1) station at your South Branch.  By increasing our numbers, we’re able to supply youth in the community with even more opportunities to make use of these all-inclusive, fun, and interactive learning stations.

Covering all subject areas from science to music, there’s much for kids to make use of.  Best yet, parents don’t have to worry about their children going online as they do not offer access to the Internet.  The only thing available is all the games (or educational programs), which is certainly enough to keep kids busy having fun, while learning at the same time.  Isn’t that a winning combination!?!

With great response from kids at the library, and great ratings from the Children’s Technology Review, each station not only utilizes a keyboard and mouse, the screen also functions as a touchscreen monitor (because what kid doesn’t like using tablet style devices).  Simply walk up to a terminal, put the headphones on, choose your program and you’re good to go.

So if you've yet to experience the AWE Early Literacy Stations at your Abilene Public Library, we certainly invite you to check it out on your next library visit.  If you need any help getting started, ask a library employee for assistance and we'll be more than happy to get you started.

Staff Book Review: "Enchanted" by: Alethea Kontis

Enchanted 
Click to Place Hold 
Author: Alethea Kontis
Reviewed By: Marianne Vadney, Library Assistant (South Branch)

Book Summary: It isn’t easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week.  Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true.

When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends.  Soon that friendship deepens into something magical.  One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back to Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland – and a man Sunday’s family despises.  The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was.  But Sunday is not so easy to woo.  How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows?  And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past – and hers?

Personal Review: Enchanted was rather enchanting.  This fun teen fantasy effortlessly blends many fairy tales we all know and love, and creates a completely different creature.  The book follows Sunday, the youngest of seven daughters all named after the days of the week.  As her sisters before her, they all follow their name day rhyme and Sunday is ‘doomed’ to be blithe, bonny, and gay.  This, to Sunday, seems to fate her to a dull life, unlike her pirate queen sister Thursday, or her lovely princess sister Monday.   The only thing in her favor is her love of writing stories, but if she’s not careful, even those will come true throwing her life in chaos, but that’s ok because she is fine writing about her families past.

Until one day she meets a magical frog, throwing her fate on a path that Sunday never could have imagined.  Very cute and fun, I loved reading about Sunday's unique family almost as much as her main story.  There were a few parts that seemed confusing, especially in regards to the experiences of the prince, but they were still manageable.  If you love fairy tale reworkings, and you're looking for something a bit different, this is definitely worth a read.