Monday, March 31, 2014

Lib-Con 2014 Exciting Program Lineup @ APL!!!

Lib-Con Program Guides
Lib-Con 2014 is only a month away, and this is an exciting new program at your Abilene Public Library designed for all who love comics, superheros, anime, manga, and more.  Staff has been working tirelessly to put this event together and offer a week chocked full of FREE programs and activities running from April 28 through May 3.

By the time you read this, all library locations will have program guides available for you to receive a full lineup of all the activities planned.  Additionally, for those who love to cosplay (performance art where participants create costumes of characters from movies, books, or video games), a rules and registration form will be provided as well.

From craft sessions to martial arts instruction, from gaming days to guest lectures, there is something for everyone so be sure to head out to your nearest Abilene Public Library branch and pick up your Lib-Con 2014 Program Guide.  Here's a brief rundown of all the activities planned, and more detailed information can be found in the guide.
  • Build a Button Workshop (South Branch), Apr. 28 @ 6:30 p.m.
  • Cosplay Construction Q&A (Main Library), Apr. 29 @ 6:30 p.m.
  • Tabletop Gaming (Main Library), Apr. 30 @ 4:00 p.m.
  • Mastering the Martial Arts (Mockingbird Branch), May 1 @ 3:30 p.m.
  • The Colorful Comics of Chris Summers (Main Library), May 1 @ 6:30 p.m.
  • Nerdtastic Trivia (Main Library), May 2 @ 4:00 p.m.
  • Free Comic Book Day @ All Locations, May 3
  • Make & Take Crafts: Superhero Masks (Main Library), May 3 @ 10:00 a.m.
  • Pop-Culture Pictionary (Main Library), May 3 @ 11:30 a.m.
  • Be a Hero in Your Community: Donate Blood (Mockingbird Branch), May 3 @ Noon
  • Cosplay Runway Contest (Main Library), May 3 @ 3:00 p.m.
As you can see, there will be a TON of activities hosted at your Abilene Public Library during our first annual Lib-Con event.  Remember, all activities are free and if you want a detailed lineup of all activities planned, stop by your nearest library branch and pick up our Lib-Con 2014 Program Guide.  Don't let these activities pass you by!

For more information, feel free to Contact Me (Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager) and I'll be more than happy to assist you. 

@ the Library Article: "Recorder of Texas' Natural Beauty in Author Series"

Local photographers and lovers of Texas' diversity will want to attend the latest Texas Author Series program at noon Monday at the downtown Abilene Public Library, 202 Cedar St.

Noted photographer and author Laurence Parent, of Wimberley, will discuss his newest book of photographs, Texas: Portrait of a State.

The publisher's blurb about the book says, "From the plains and mountains, beaches and deserts, forests and rugged canyons, Laurence Parent captures the beauty of the Texas landscapes, places, and people that are as diverse as its many-faceted culture."

Friday, March 28, 2014

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

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

Hardcover Fiction Top 5

#1: Missing You
Author: Harlan Coben
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: M COBEN
Summary: Kat Donovan, an NYPD detective, searches for the ex-fiance who left her years before; her father's murderer; and the reason the users of an online dating site are disappearing. Available in Regular Print & Audiobook on CD

#2: Raising Steam
Author: Terry Pratchett
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: SF PRATCHETT
Summary: In this Discworld fantasy set in Ankh-Morpork, Moist van Lipwig is put in charge of a powerful new machine. Available in Regular Print, Audiobook on CD & Digital Audiobook on OverDrive

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Weekly Event @ Your Library (Mar. 31 - Apr. 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.

Apr. 2 @ 4:00 p.m.
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
325-437-7323 for Info.
Gear up for another fun crafting workshop as we're ready to celebrate Spring with showing kids how to make their own colorful rainbows.  Perfect for decorating rooms with, we'll supply all the materials and all you have to do is come out ready for some crafting fun! 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Librarians Take it All @ Fundspell 2014

The 21st Annual Fundspell was hosted at your Main Library (202 Cedar St.) last night and, representing the Abilene Teachers Federal Credit Union, your local librarians took it all and won the competition.  Consisting of Janet Bailey (Technical Services Manager), Tony Redman, and Marie Skufca (both Information Services Librarians), the trio outlast all teams in a 24-round battle that lasted nearly two hours.

What was the world that gave them the win?  It was quidnunc.  Most of us wouldn't even know how to pronounce it let alone spell it.  Apparently, somewhere in Tony's experiences, he came across the word and remembered it enough to spell it correctly.  As defined by Merriam Webster Online, it means a person who seeks to know all the latest news or gossip (a busybody).  That certainly sounds like it could be said of many of us.

Representatives from the library have competed in the Fundspell event for years, and each time the win was just beyond our grasp, but such is not the case any longer.  The librarians have won and we'll have some bragging rights until next year's event.

Fundspell is an annual fundraiser for the Taylor County Adult Literacy Council with proceeds of the event going to support adult students in GED and ESL classes in the community.

Dive Into the Stacks: Pump Up That New You

Your Abilene Public Library houses a great collection of resources across a myriad of topics so dive into the stacks to discover some great areas you're more than welcome to make use of.

If you've wanted to sculpt your body into a leaner or more muscular form, but don't know the first thing about weight training, you might be wondering where you could go to get some basic help.  You could join a gym, hire a trainer, buy a ton of equipment to use at home, and all sorts of things; however, if you don't want to break the budget, before you figure out what you want to do, your Abilene Public Library has some great guides to help get you started.

The Men's Health Gym Bible
Author: Michael Mejia
Summary: Mejia works with everyone from elite athletes to corporate CEOs, and while also being a contributing editor and exercise advisor to Men's Health, he's helped to author some great guides.  Coming from the leading men's lifestyle magazine, this is touted as being "the ultimate resource for guys looking for a total gym experience."  Inside you'll get insider tips on how to select the right trainer, whether or not joining group fitness classes are for you, how to create your own gym program, and how to do some of the best exercises.  Packed with hundreds of photographs along the way, this is the definitive guide to learn everything about a gym so you can make the most out of a workout before you signup. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Dive Into the Stacks: Interesting New Non-Fiction Titles

Your Abilene Public Library houses a great collection of resources on a myriad of topics.  We also receive a ton of new materials on a regular basis, some of which you're already on the lookout for, and others you may not have come across.  We invite you to Dive Into the Stacks to discover some great areas you're more than welcome to make use of at your library.

There have been some interesting new non-fiction titles that have come in, and I wanted to shed some light on what they are as they may be relevant to topics you're interested in.  If so, feel more than free to reserve a copy for pickup at your nearest library location.

Life After the Military: A Handbook for Transitioning Veterans
Author: Janelle Hill
Call Number: 650.108 HIL
Summary: With Dyess AFB being such a close neighbor, Abilenians are used to crossing paths with the men and women serving in the military.  Hundreds and thousands of military members, at one point or another, have to make the transition to civilian life, and doing so may not be as simple as 1-2-3.  Having resources in hand for knowing what to expect is vital during this time, and this handbook is here to help.  Topics discussed includes finding employment, managing finances, finding a home, going back to school, finding VA facilities, increasing marital/domestic health and happiness, and more.  Feel free to checkout this title from your library and get yourself up to date on life after the military.

Monday, March 24, 2014

April'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 The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan and we invite you to look out for a copy at your library and then attend the book club discussion group on Thursday, April 17 @ 7:00 p.m.  For more information, be sure to contact Ann Mount, 325-676-6025.

The Girls of Atomic City
Author: Denise Kiernan
Call Number: 976.8 KIE
Summary:  The Tennessee town of Oak Ridge was created in 1942.  One of the Manhattan Project's secret cities, it didn't appear on any maps until 1949, yet at the height of World War II it was using more electricity than New York City and was home to more than 75,000 people, many of them young women recruited from small towns across the South.  Their jobs were shrouded in mystery.  They knew something big was happening at Oak Ridge, but few could piece together the true nature of their work until the bomb "Little Boy" was dropped over Hiroshima.  The shocking revelation: the residents of Oak Ridge were enriching uranium for the atomic bomb.

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, April 17 @ 7:00 p.m. to discuss this title, so be sure to get in on the reading fun.

Voting Has Begun for "Dr. Seuss & You" Facebook Photo Contest!!!

1 of Our Great Entries
We've opened up the voting period for our first ever Facebook Photo Contest.  The theme was Dr. Seuss & You in which families were welcome to submit photos of their kids doing something Dr. Seuss related whether in the library or around town.  From dressing up as a Dr. Seuss character to reading their favorite book, we had some cute entries and you have the chance to vote through the end of the week.

Visit our Facebook page (and "Like" our page if you haven't already) then open up our photo albums.  You'll find an album labeled "Dr. Seuss & You" Facebook Photo Contest.  Inside you'll find all of our submissions and all you have to do next is "Like" your favorite photo in the bunch...more than one if you'd like.

At the end of the week, the photo with the most "likes" will win the contest and receive a bag of Dr. Seuss prizes including classic Dr. Seuss stories, an Oobleck kit, stuffed toy, and more.  

Check out our contest album and be sure to vote for your favorites...you'll be impressed at the great entries we've received.  Get to voting!!!

@ the Library Article: "Speaker to Discuss Coffee-Table Book on Historic Texas Forts Trail"

The Friends of the Abilene Public Library continues its Texas Author Series programs Monday with a free presentation from Margaret Hoogstra, executive director of the Texas Forts Trail.

Hoogstra will be talking about Texas Forts Trail, a new coffee-table book with text by Kristine Davis and photographs by Derrick Birdsall.

The book features eight frontier forts and a Spanish presidio in West Texas, and celebrates the Texas Forts Trail, one of 10 driving trail regions created in 1968 by the Texas Highway Department.

These historic locations represent some of the best preserved frontier military posts in the West, reflecting a wide range of displays, terrains and management organizations.  Four of them are right here in the Big Country, with the others very close by.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Dive Into the Stacks: DASH Diet @ 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.

Here's an interesting fact, 1 in 3 Americans, or nearly 31%, have, or will be diagnosed with, high blood pressure this year.  While hypertension is a medical condition to consult your physician about, taking steps at home to change eating habits can often help as well.  In fact, according to WebMD and most physicians, the DASH Diet (or Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) can be one of many effective tools to help control high blood pressure.  Here at your Abilene Public Library we have a wide selection of consumer health materials available for checkout as well as several books specifically focusing on the DASH diet.

The DASH Diet for Hypertention
Author: Thomas Moore, M.D.
Call Number: 616.132 DAS
Summary: Released in 2001 and developed in partnership with many notable research institutions such as Duke University, Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Medical Schools, these books seek to enlighten readers not only to the negative effects of hypertension, but equip them with three easy steps to make DASH a part of their daily routine.  The basic elements of DASH include a strong focus on fruits, vegetables, & whole grains with a specific focus on lowering sodium, or salt, in the daily diet.  With handy food charts, suggested meal plans and lots of low-sodium recipes, this classic book is a great place to get started!

Friday, March 21, 2014

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

Many patrons browse the new materials section of the library to discover the latest 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 entry to discover the latest to lead the pack on the Hardcover Fiction & Non-Fiction lists for the upcoming week.

Hardcover Fiction Top 5

#1: Power Play
Author: Danielle Steel
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F STEEL
Summary: Two C.E.O.s - a man and a woman - face very different challenges. Available in Regular Print, Large-Type, Audiobook on CD

#2: Night Broken
Author: Patricia Briggs
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: SF BRIGGS
Summary: The ex-wife of Adam, mate of the shape shifter Mercy Thompson, wants him back. Available in Regular Print & Audiobook on CD

Trending Alert: Dystopian Lit Adaptations

Dystopian fiction is on the rise, and although many titles are written for teens and young adults, they're experiencing massive crossover appeal to adults.  This form of literature delves into social and political structures that are vastly different from a paradise-like utopia.  In dystopias, one of the main drives is setting the stage for a post-apocalyptic look at a society far from idyllic.  Often oppressed and suffering, such works explore what happens when political factions become totalitarian in nature, often suppressing justice, freedom, and happiness.

This form of literature came into the forefront, in a major way, after the success of Suzanne Collins "The Hunger Games" trilogy.  Becoming must reads for teens and adults, this type of novel continues to flourish while giving rise to hugely successful film adaptations with more in the works.

If you haven't dipped your toes into the world of dystopian lit, let's take a look at a few heavy-hitters.

The Hunger Games Trilogy
  1. The Hunger Games (2008)
  2. Catching Fire (2009)
  3. Mockingjay (2010)
Series Summary: Set in an unspecified future, the novels take place in the nation of Panem, a totalitarian society consisting of the wealthy Capitol and 13 poorer districts, one of which was destroyed.  In their land, as punishment for a past rebellion against the Capitol, an annual Hunger Games is hosted.  In these games, one boy and girl are selected from each district to battle to the death in a televised event.  The last person standing would then be rewarded with food, supplies, and riches for their district...but everything changes when Katniss Everdeen volunteers to enter the games.  Being simply who she is, she unknowingly becomes a symbol of hope for those who seek change, and serves as the catalyst to a future rebellion that places everyone she cares about in danger.  The first two books have been adapted to film and have raked in over $1.5 billion in the box office so if you're looking to cut your teen in dystopian lit, this series is a great place to start.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

It's Time for the Business Expo 2014!

It's that time of year again!  The time where businesses from around the community display their services and wares at the annual Business Expo hosted at the Abilene Civic Center.  The date has been set for Wednesday, March 26 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and everyone is welcome to come down and check it out.  This event is free to attend if you have a ticket, and $5 at the door.

With thousands attending each and every year, your Abilene Public Library will once again be present to promote our own services.  Like always, you'll certainly want to stop  by our booth and learn about the vast number of services we have to offer to Taylor County residents...and the majority of them are FREE!  Can you really beat a price like that?

There's a number of great resources we offer whether you're inside the library or on-the-go.  With the rise in technology, everyone loves eBooks, digital audiobooks, and streaming movies, and your library offers all of these to your for FREE with a valid library card.  That's right.  Technology is certainly your friend at the Abilene Public Library; however, we still have all of your traditional services including programming, an amazing selection of materials to checkout, access to computers and the Internet, and so much more.

If you happen to be attending this year, don't pass up on stopping by our booth.  Library staff will be available to answer any of your questions, as well as provide you with information to take with you.  We may even have some giveaways. 

Remember, it's the 2014 Business Expo at the Abilene Civic Center on March 26 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Hope to see you there!

Weekly Events @ Your Library (Mar. 24-29)

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.

Mar. 24 @ Noon
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6067 for Info.
Don't pass up on the last Texas Author Series event of the month where the featured author will be Margaret Hoogstra, the executive director of the Texas Forts Trail headquartered in Abilene.  She'll be on hand to speak about the new Texas Forts Trail coffee-table book, which will be available for purchase at the end of the program.  Feel free to bring in your lunch, or purchase one from the Friends of the Library for $5, and be a part of this great series at your library.  

Mar. 25 @ 6:30 p.m.
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6067 for Info.
Teens are invited out for a fun crafting workshop where we're showing you how to create some fun masks.  We'll provide all the materials including masks, feathers, sequins, stick-ons, and more so you can create a mask that truly shows off your personality. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dive Into the Stacks: What's New in Non-Fiction?

Your Abilene Public Library houses a great collection of resources on a myriad of topics.  We also receive a ton of new materials on a regular basis, some of which you're already on the lookout for, and others you may not have come across.  We invite you to Dive Into the Stacks to discover some great areas you're more than welcome to make use of at your library.

Everyone is always more informed about the latest bestselling releases by mainstream authors.  We read their books when they're first released and then force ourselves to wait (sometimes a year) for their next title to be published.  This isn't the case with most non-fiction titles, but we receive tons of interesting new materials each month.  Allow me to highlight a few that might be of interest on three different topics.

Superheroes!: Capes, Cowls, and the Creation of Comic Book Culture
Author: Laurence Maslon
Call Number: 741.509 MAS
Summary: This oversized book is a must true fans of comic books and superheroes.  Containing over 304 pages with full-color photos and illustrations, this book is based on the three-part PBS documentary series Superheroes: A Never-Ending Battle.  Inside it chronicles the epic history of the comic book industry, its greatest creators, and its greatest creations.  Drawing from more than 50 new interviews conducted expressly for this book, you'll hear from creators, commentators, actors, and filmmakers, so don't miss out on the history of the superhero from the comic strips of the Great Depression to the CGI films of the 21st century.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Looking Ahead to Lib-Con in April!!!

Great Activities Apr. 28 - May 3
The Abilene Public Library is holding its first ever mini comic convention this April called Lib-Con!  We will have TONS of free programming suitable for all ages, all week, from April 28 through May 3.  Also, May 3 will be Free Comic Book Day and we will be celebrating by giving away free comics all day long at all library locations, while supplies last!

Cosplay is a performance art where participates create costumes of characters from movies, books, or video games and then portray those characters, usually at conventions or other events.  If you have an interest in cosplay, and want to learn about how to make props to complete your outfits, then check out our Cosplay Construction Q&A in April.  We'll also be hosting a Cosplay Runway show a week later where you can then show-off your completed costume creations to fans, other cosplayers, and people from the community.  For costume prop rules, see the Lib-Con 2014 Program Guide (coming soon) or call us at 325-676-6025.

Free Comics on May 3
Kids wanting to protect their secret identity will be interested in our Make & Take craft session to create their own superhero (or villain) masks.  They can also learn some superhero moves with a demonstration from Kuk Sool Won Abilene Martial Arts Center.  Plus, teens can ever go to our crafty Teen Time: Build a Button Workshop where they'll ave the chance to make their own wearable button to show off their favorite actor, superhero, or fandom.  Since the program will run at the beginning of the week, they can even wear their buttons all week long to show off their "geek" pride.

The whole family can participate in the Tabletop Gaming program featuring the fun folks from the gaming shop, The Gathering Place, or test your knowledge against others in a battle of Nerdtastic Trivia.  The Meek Blood Center will also be on hand for adults who wish to be a local community hero and donate blood at the Mockingbird Branch.

Activities @ All Library Locations
This is only a small look at all the Lib-Con fun and events coming up at the end of April, and you're invited to stop by soon and pick up your official Lib-Con 2014 Program Guide.  This guide will be your official agenda of all the great events being hosted, along with telling you when they are, where they are, who they're for and more...plus, it will have registration forms and rules for all those interested in signing up for the Cosplay Runway.

Don't miss your opportunity to join us for this special series of events at your Abilene Public Library, and join us for Lib-Con 2014.  For more information, feel free to contact us at 328-676-6025, or look for our updated programming soon on our calendar of events or on Facebook.  You won't want to miss out!!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

@ the Library Article: "Look Back at Fort Worth Baseball and Border Radio"

March, as you probably know, is Texas History Month, and also the month in which Abilene was founded back in 1881.  In celebration of these facts, your Abilene Public Library has put together a wonderful melange of books on all subject areas by Texans, about Texans and for Texans.

This display, located in the basement, has some interesting titles of which you might not be aware.  Let me hit some of the highlights for you.

Baseball season is almost here, and while we wait, how about reading the history of one of the most storied of Texas professional baseball teams?  No, not the Texas Rangers or the Houston Astros, but the Fort Worth Panthers, aka the Cats.

When Panthers Roared: the Fort Worth Cats and Minor League Baseball by Jeff Guinn and Bobby Bragan, tells the story of the Texas League team that played at old LaGrave field from 1889 to 1964.

Although there are new incarnations of the team and the field, it's hard to best the team that greats like Rogers Hornsby, "Sparky" Anderson, Maury Willis and "Duke" Snider passed through, either on the way up or on the way down.  The book is worth it for the comments of longtime Cats' manager Bragan alone.

Friday, March 14, 2014

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of Mar. 16)

Many patrons browse the new materials section of the library to discover the latest 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 entry to discover the latest to lead the pack on the Hardcover Fiction & Non-Fiction lists for the upcoming week.

Hardcover Fiction Top 5

#1: Words of Radiance
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: SF SANDERSON
Summary: The second book of the Stormlight Archive fantasy epic, set in the world of Roshar. Available in Regular Print & Audiobook on CD

#2: The Bootlegger
Author: Clive Cussler
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F CUSSLER
Summary: The early 20th century detective Isaac Bell tracks a wide-ranging international criminal enterprise. Available in Regular Print, Large-Type & Audiobook on CD

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Weekly Events @ Your Library (Mar. 17-22)

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.

Mar. 17 @ 4:00 p.m.
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6067 for Info.
It's the time for wearing green!  Kids of all ages are invited out to this afternoon of fun as we celebrate St. Patrick's Day with stories, crafts, games and more that will certainly provide you with much entertainment for the entire family.  Don't miss out on this enhanced storytime event at your library! 

Mar. 18 @ 10:45 a.m.
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
325-698-7565 for Info.
Kids are invited out to this morning enhanced storytime event where we're keeping the Spring fun alive with stories, songs, crafts, and more.  We're ready to wake up the spring at the library, and if you want to join us, feel free to come on out and be a part of it all.  You'll be glad you did. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Dive Into the Stacks: Consumer Reports @ 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.


With tax season in full swing, many of us are starting to see refund checks arrive in the mail.  With it comes a natural inclination to purchase that large-ticket item you've been secretly wanting for a while.  But with so many brands on the market, and a wide array of prices, how do you know which brand is the right one for you?  Try Consumer Reports, available at your library.

Consumer Reports Magazine has been an industry leader for many years, testing and rating all kinds of products from dishwashers, to automobiles, to hairdryers.  Their goal is to rate consumer products on a clear and equitable scale so that you the consumer know what you're getting when purchasing a particular product.  While individual subscriptions can be costly, the library subscribes to an online version of the magazine, which is easily accessible for all.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Filling Out the FAFSA @ Your Library, March 18

Mark your calendars fellow Abilenians, as we have a unique workshop to offer at your Mockingbird Branch Library (1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.) teaching you how to fill out the FAFSA on Tuesday, March 18 @ 6:30 p.m.

Whether you're a high school senior or an adult returning to college, finding the right resources to pay for your education can be a challenge.  For many, Federal Student Aid is often part of the solution.  Signed into law in 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, what we know as Federal Student Aid has changed over the years, growing and expanding into a wide array of financial opportunities.  The key to understanding what you may qualify for starts with filling out the FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Workshop @ Mockingbird Branch
On Tuesday, March 18, Brooke Miller from P 16 Abilene, a non-profit committed to helping individuals seek higher education, will host a free program on how to navigate the FAFSA website.  She'll answer common questions such as...
  • What types of aid are available?
  • What will I need to fill out the FAFSA?
  • Will I need my parent's information?
By answering these questions, and more, Miller will hopefully ensure that anyone interested in applying for federal aid, gets started on the right foot.

For more information, please call the Mockingbird Branch Library at 325-437-7323!

"Novelist Clicks with Wylie Coach: Bestselling Author Greets Former Student"

As printed as a special to the Abilene Reporter-News by Loretta Fulton

Meacham @ Texas Author Series
Even a bestselling storyteller like Leila Meacham couldn't have written a better surprise ending than the one that awaited her Monday at the conclusion of a presentation at the Abilene Public Library.
Meacham, author of an epic Texas tale, Roses, was guest speaker for the Texas Author Series.  She is on a book tour promoting Somerset, a prequel to Roses.

Before turning to writing full-time at age 65, Meacham was an English teacher at Samuel L. Clemens High School in Schertz, near San Antonio.

Amazing Turnout from Community
In her talk Monday, she mentioned that one of her greatest rewards is reuniting with former students who have followed her literary success.

Shortly after making that comment, Meacham was signing copies of her books when up stepped Wylie football coach Hugh Sandifer, a former student.  Sandifer jobbed Meacham's memory by mentioning that he and Robert Reid, who went on to play basketball for Houston Rockets, were best friends and in Meacham's class together.

Monday, March 10, 2014

@ Your Library Article: "Texas Author Series Continues"

Leila Meacham, Mar. 10 @ Noon
An Abilene favorite author will be our speaker today during the second Texas Author Series program at the Abilene Public Library downtown - and the feeling is mutual!  At noon today, Leila Meacham of San Antonio will be speaking about her newest book, Somerset, which is a prequel to the family saga Roses.  Meacham, who was a featured author during the 2012 West Texas Author Series, specifically asked her publisher if Abilene could be included in her book tour this spring - not something many many New York Times best-selling authors do.

2010's "Roses"
Roses follows the three founding families of a fictional Texas town over the course of nearly a century of secret-keeping.  Set against the backdrop of the powerful timber and cotton industries, cotton tycoon Mary Toliver and timber magnate Percy Warwick should have married but unwisely did not.  Now, they must deal with the deceit, secrets, and tragedies of their choice and the loss of what might have been - not just for themselves but for their children, and children's children.

Friday, March 7, 2014

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of Mar. 9)

Many patrons browse the new materials section 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 entry 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 Undead Pool
Author: Kim Harrison
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F HARRISON
Summary: The witch Rachel Morgan must prevent all-out supernatural war; the 12th book in the Hollows series. Available in Regular Print & Audiobook on CD is On Order

#2: The Goldfinch
Author: Donna Tartt
Position Last Week: 3
Weeks On List: 19
Call Number: F TARTT
Summary: A painting smuggled out of the Metropolitan Museum of Art after a bombing becomes a boy's prize, guilt and burden. Available in Regular Print, Large-Type, Audiobook on CD, Digital eBook & Digital Audiobook

Get Ready for FundSpell 2014 @ Your Library

The Taylor County Adult Literacy Council is sponsoring this annual event where teams of three (3) challenge each other to see which team is the best speller of them all.  If you're interested in joining in on the fun as a participant, or simply being an audience member to root on the competitors, the event is set to run on March 25 @ 6:00 p.m. (Main Library, 202 Cedar St.).

To be a speller, or if you're interested in sponsoring a team, please call 325-671-4419.  The proceeds from this annual event goes towards supporting adult students in GED and ESL classes in the Taylor County Adult Education program.

I have been to several of these events myself (even participated on a team for four years) and they're great events where not only is it fun to be a part of the team, you can have just as much fun watching the competition unfold.  Plus, you can sometimes see how you'd fare when trying to spell the words yourself.

So come out and support the Taylor County Adult Literacy Council in their annual FundSpell at your Abilene Public Library!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Book-to-Film Adaptations: March 2014

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

300: Rise of an Empire (View Trailer)
Starring: Sullivan Stapleton
Release Date: March 7
Based On: Xerxes
Author: Frank Miller
Summary: Greek general Themistokles leads the charge against invading Persian forces led by mortal-turned-god Xerxes and Artemisia, vengeful commander of the Persian navy.  This film is a followup to the 2007 film, 300, based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley.  This film is based on an unpublished work titled Xerxes, also written by Miller.

Divergent (View Trailer)
Starring: Shailene Woodley
Release Date: March 21
Based On: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Summary: In a world divided by factions based on virtues, Tris learns she's Divergent and won't fit in.  When she discovers a plot to destroy Divergents, Tris and the mysterious Four must find out what makes Divergents dangerous before it's too late.  The rights to this film were purchased even before the first book in the trilogy was released, and it's set to be a competitor to the Hunger Games franchise.  We'll see how it fares later this month, but the buzz is certainly going in the ever popular dystopian realm.

And there you have it, your look at March's Book-to-Film Adaptation to be on the lookout for at theaters.

Weekly Events @ Your Library (Mar. 10-15)

Keep up with the great programs and events your Abilene Public Library has to offer by catching this weekly blog each Thursday.  For a complete listing of events, visit our main website to take a look at our interactive calendar, and remember, all programming is offered free of charge.

Mar. 10 @ Noon
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6025 for Info.
Gear up for the second Texas Author Series event at your library where we're inviting in author Leila Meacham, a San Antonio novelist who will be on a book tour for her new novel titled Somerset, which is a prequel to her 2010 bestseller titled Roses.  We invite you to bring in your lunch, or purchase one from the Friends of the Abilene Public Library for $5, and books will be available for purchase at the conclusion of the program, with an opportunity for the author to sign copies of the books.  Don't miss out on this exciting series.

Mar. 10 @ 6:30 p.m.
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6067 for Info.
Keep the fun of Dr. Seuss going by coming out to our Make & Take event where we'll be showing you how to make your very own striped Cat in the Hat hats.  This will be a stylish accessory to go along with all of your favorite Dr. Seuss classics, and one of the main Dr. Seuss accessories that everyone recognizes.  Don't miss out on the fun.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

New Crafting Episodes for March @ Your Library

Your Abilene Public Library has been providing you with fun crafting ideas in two of our longest running shows on YouTube, and we've added two more for March.  Both designed to provide you with inexpensive projects for kids and teens, they have been inspired from programming we've provided at the library, as well as children's literature.  Crafting times at the library are big draws, and now you can take some of our own creations and bring them into your homes.

Feel free to try out our next two crafts, and visit our YouTube Page to view our archived episodes there.  We have enough crafting ideas to last you quite some time.  Get in on the crafting fun from your library.

Project Teen #32: Japanese Rock Gardens
Librarian Tremain Jackson is back bringing you a craft idea featured at a library program in January.  This Asian-infused craft idea takes a few simple materials to show you how to create your own mini-Japanese Rock Garden to promote calmness in your stressful lives.  Try it out for yourself once you see how simple it is to make one! 

Crafty Creations #60: Mo Willems' Pigeon
Children's Librarian Alyssa Crow is bringing the popular character of Pigeon to life, based on one of the popular series by author Mo Willems.  Pigeon always gets into a lot of "trouble" and mischief throughout many adventures and now you can make your very own Pigeon using tape, paper, and an unused toilet paper roll.

Try out these fun crafting ideas for yourself, and then lookout for more projects in the future as we add new episodes each month from your Abilene Public Library.

Monday, March 3, 2014

@ the Library Article: "After Speech, You'll Never See historical Markers in Same Way"

The 2014 Texas Author Series gets underway at noon Monday with the first of six authors speaking at the downtown Abilene Public Library, 202 Cedar St.

As we begin the series, now in its 10th year, I'll be bringing you a more in-depth look at the authors and their books before each program.  All of the authors' books are available at your Abilene Public Library.

Dan Utley, Author
This year's series kicks off with historian Dan Utley, co-author of History Along the Way and History Ahead, two books filled with stories behind some of the state's historical markers.

I have looked at both of these titles and find them wonderful for reading either in long stretches or in short bursts, as time allows.  Utley and his co-author, Cynthia Beeman, have an anecdotal style as they write about the more than 15,000 historical (or as my dad taught us to say on vacations "hysterical") markers.  And, there are many unique photographs that even the casual history buff will enjoy.

2014's Texas Authors Series @ Your Library

We're pleased to announce the Texas Authors Series is here at your Abilene Public Library.  This series brings in great authors from the state of Texas to provide a talk over the noon hour to highlight their latest books.  Best yet, all of these author talks are open to the community to attend FREE of charge!

Several programs have been lined up in March and April, and we'll give you a quick look at what's scheduled for March.  The Texas Authors Series is made possible thanks to the wonderful Friends of the Abilene Public Library and the West Texas Book Festival. 

Feel free to attend as many as you'd like, and you're also welcome to bring in your own lunch, or purchase one from the Friends for $5.  Plus, if you wish to acquire a copy of the featured book from the program, copies will be available for sale courtesy of Texas Star Trading Co. in Downtown Abilene, and you may join the author at the end of the program for a book signing!

Here's a lineup of the authors scheduled for March...

Dan Utley
Author Dan Utley
Mar. 3 @ Noon
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
Utley is an adjunct professor at Texas State University and the chief historian for the Center for Texas Public History.  Holding a BA in history from the University of Texas and an MA in history from Sam Houston State University, he'll be our first featured author to discuss two works he's co-authored celebrating Texas history.  Great for any who have a passion for learning about the great state of Texas, you won't want to miss out on his presentation as a great way to kickoff the Texas Authors Series.

Leila Meacham
Author Leila Meacham
Book: Somerset
Mar. 10 @ Noon
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
Meacham hails from San Antonio, and as well as being a best-selling author, she was also a former teacher.  Having entered the writing world with her debut novel Roses (2010), she followed that up with a second novel titled Tumbleweeds (2012), and now a third entry titled Somerset released in February.  While on her book tour to promote her latest work, she'll be making a stop in Abilene to speak with guests about her latest novel, serving as a prequel to Roses.  Described as an historical saga, Meacham writes of East Texas with authority.  Don't miss this highly exciting event at your library!

Author Margaret Hoogstra
Mar. 24 @ Noon
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
Hoogstra is the Executive Director of the Texas Forts Trail headquartered in Abilene, and she will be on hand to discuss the new coffee-table book featuring eight frontier forts and a Spanish presidio in West Texas.  Having served as the director of Texas Forts Trail for over 9 years, Hoogstra is responsible for all facets of the organization including operations, program development, strategic planning, overseeing the heritage tourism program throughout a 29-county region, and more.  With a passion for the history of our area, you won't want to miss her share some of that history with you.

Laurence Parent
Author Laurence Parent
Book: Texas: Portrait of a State
Mar. 31 @ Noon
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
Parent is a noted photographer from Wimberley who has traveled all over the United States, as well as other countries, in pursuit of exceptional images.  Having been he son of a National Park Service ranger, it's noted he grew up in some of America's most beautiful places.  Having published more than 39 books in the course of his career, Parent will be on hand to speak on his latest book focusing on the beauty of the Lone Star State from the plains and mountains, to the beaches and deserts.  Don't miss the chance to hear of his experiences and set your eyes on the amazing images of Texas he's captured!

Such an amazing lineup of authors for March, and remember, all are FREE for you to attend.  Don't miss out on your opportunity to be a part of this amazing series at your Abilene Public Library.