Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Today's Top Releases in Books & DVDs @ Your Library

Everyone loves staying on top of the latest releases in books & DVDs, and we receive them on a regular basis at your Abilene Public Library.  Tuesdays are the biggest days of the week in the world of libraries, as these are the days the bulk of all new materials are released for the week.  Join us as we hit the highlights of some of the more popular titles coming to your library, and be sure to get yourselves on the reserve lists!

Interstellar
Starring: Matthew McConaughey
Summary: With our time on Earth coming to an end, a team of explorers undertakes the most important mission in human history; traveling beyond this galaxy to discover whether mankind has a future among the stars.  With a great ensemble cast including Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, Topher Grace, Matt Damon, Michael Caine, and Wes Bentley, this is certainly a film you'll want to see...if you haven't already. 

Wild
Starring: Reese Witherspoon
Summary: Based on the bestselling memoir, with the dissolution of her marriage and the death of her mother, Cheryl Strayed has lost all hope.  After years of reckless, destructive behavior, she makes a rash decision.  With absolutely no experience, driven only by sheer determination, Cheryl hikes more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, alone. 

The Imitation Game
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch
Summary: During the winter of 1952, British authorities entered the home of mathematician, cryptanalyst, and war hero Alan Turing to investigate a reported burglary.  They instead ended up arresting Turing himself on charged of 'gross indecency,' an accusation that would lead to his devastating conviction for the criminal offense of homosexuality.  Little did officials know, they were actually incriminating the pioneer of modern-day computing. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Get Your Cosplay On @ Lib-Con 2015!

Amanda as Poison Ivy
One of the biggest events at Lib-Con @ Your Abilene Public Library is the Cosplay Contest.  This event offers people in the community with the chance to show off your costuming and prop skills to an audience as part of our week of events for those who have a passion for comics, manga, anime, superheroes, movies, and more.  We're calling on you to get your costumes ready and participate in the 2nd Lib-Con Cosplay Contest for your chance to win great prizes! 



We'll have three (3) divisions for contestants to compete in based on age.  There will be a Child Division for ages 5-12, the Teen Division for ages 13-17, and an Adult Division for ages 18 and older.  This year's Cosplay Contest will be hosted on the final day of Lib-Con on Saturday, May 2 @ 3:00PM.

2014 Teen Cosplay Winners
This year's judges will rate contestants on a 5-point numerical score (5 being the highest) based on accuracy and craftsmanship when it comes to your costume.  The highest scores will determine the first, second, and third place standings in each division, whom will earn a bag of great swag.

If you're interested in participating, be sure to visit our Cosplay Contest Page for information on costume and prop guidelines, registration information, what you'll be expected to do on stage, see photos of last year's winners, and more.  Even if you don't wish to participate, we invite you to be a part of the audience and support this year's contestants!  Plus, you'll enjoy an intermission courtesy of the library's Collecting Commas Writing Club where youth will perform original skits for the audience before the winners are announced.

Official Lib-Con Mascot!
Join us for the final event of Lib-Con, as well as all of our great events and programs organized by this year's planning committee.  We're anticipating another exciting year of Lib-Con Fun @ Your Library.

For more information about the Cosplay Contest, feel free to Contact Me, and I'll get you the answers you need. 

2015 Lib-Con Planning Committee Members
  • Main Library: Ann Mount (Coordinator), Kelsie Nygren, Amanda Sasser
  • South Branch: Tremain Jackson, Alyssa Crow, Marianne Vadney 

2015 Cosplay Judges
  • Amanda Sasser: Lib-Con Committee Member, Guest Panel Speaker on the Cosplay Construction Q&A program, Award-Winning Cosplayer, Library Employee
  • Dan Joplin: Member of the USS Diamondback NCC-74224 (Abilene Chapter of the Starfleet International), Makeup/Prop Expert, Guest Panel Speaker on the Cosplay Construction Q&A program
  • Debbie Crawford: Director of Abilene Broadway Series and Special Projects with the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council, Toothiana for the 2014 Children's Art & Literacy Festival, Local Princess with Queen B Royal Events

Free Word Classes @ Your Mockingbird Branch

Computer classes can be costly, but on April 13 & April 16, your Mockingbird Branch will offer basic instruction on Microsoft Word, absolutely free!

Word is perhaps one of the most popular programs out on the market today.  Opening a document, formatting font size and margins as well as saving a file can be easy to learn.  According to Susannah Barrington, a PC tutor at the Mockingbird Branch, mastering the basics of Word can often be easier than you think.  "For most folks, knowing where things are on the toolbar is really the biggest challenge.  Once you get familiar with it, there are a lot of options that open up for you."

People use Microsoft Word for a variety of reasons including creating business and personal letters; advertising garage sales or other local events in a flyer-format or developing easy to read household lists.  PC tutor Debra Higgins encourages everyone to give it a try.  "You're never too old to learn new things!"

"Pro Wrestling @ Your Library" ~ @ the Library Article

It is probably one of the oldest sports in existence in its original form.  George Washington did it.  So did Abraham Lincoln.  It has since transformed into a mixture of athletic competition, soap opera, adventure, and comedy.  And, despite its enormous popularity, it gets very little respect from much of the general public.  It is professional wrestling, and the Abilene Public Library has a number of books on he subject.

The Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Professional Wrestling by David Shoemaker provides a colorful history of the sport (and of the sports/entertainment hybrid it has become), profiling a number of influential personalities going all the way back to George Hackenschmidt, Gorgeous George, and Andre the Giant.  Shoemaker also writes about how these people influenced fans like him.  The book highlights not only the legends that became the mythology of a century, but also the impact they (and the sport) had on the world around them.

No professional wrestler has written more about his life in the business as much as Mick Foley, and the library has three of his memoirs: Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks, The Hardcore Diaries, and Countdown to Lockdown.  They're all great, but the best of these is his first, Have a Nice Day, which the library carries as an audiobook.  This is an extra special treat, because not only are you hearing about Foley's early successes and failures in the WWE, you're hearing it told by the man himself.  Foley is a wonderful storyteller, and his humor and enthusiasm are infectious.

Another popular wrestler is San Antonio native Shawn Michaels.  In his first book Heartbreak & Triumph: The Shawn Michaels Story (written with Aaron Feigenbaum), he tells of how a young Michael Shawn Hickenbottom found a way to overcome his shyness to eventually win multiple WWE championships, and the pitfalls he encountered along the way.  He credits his wife, his children, and his faith for turning his life around and heralding his return to wrestling.  His second book, Wrestling for My Life (written with David Thomas), focuses on how Michaels was able to reconcile hi Christian faith with the world of professional wrestling.  The book also includes inspirational life lessons, invaluable to anybody struggling in their daily walk with the Lord.

While the library has a number of book written by wrestlers chronicling their lives, Tributes by Dave Meltzer commemorates the lives of some that are no longer with us.  You can read about wrestling greats like Fritz Von Erich, Andre the Giant, Junkyard Dog, Owen Hart and others.  The second volume, Tributes II, tells the stories of legendary performers Classie Freddie Blassie, Davey Boy Smith, Miss Elizabeth, and more.  Meltzer not only relates the careers of these popular men and women, but he also provides cautionary tales of those who died way too soon.

Younger readers can also find a number of wrestler biographies written for their own age level on such wrestling superstars as Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, John Cena, and The Undertaker.  So for some great books on this largely misunderstood sport, pick up these books at the Abilene Public Library and let's get ready to read.

Article Contributed by Tony Redman, Information Services Librarian at the Main Branch of the Abilene Public Library

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Library's Anime Club Returns in May!!!

With Lib-Con 2015 on the horizon, we're getting the buzz going when it comes to celebrating comics, manga, movies, video games and more.  One other area not to be excluded is ANIME!!!

Club Leader Amanda!
Your Abilene Public Library certainly has quite a few employees with a passion for anime too.  Years ago, in the mid-2000's, we even had a monthly anime club started by Jessica Reyes.  It was popular throughout its run, and now we're bringing it back in May, with our first club meeting set for Tuesday, May 5 @ 6:30PM at the Main Library!

Under the leadership of Amanda Sasser (an avid anime enthusiast and award-winning cosplayer) this club will be aimed at teens and young adults ages 14-25.  At our meetings, we'll celebrate our love of all things anime-related through discussions, activities, crafts, and more.  Plus, we even have a license to show anime series and films too!  Each club will last an hour and a half and we hope everyone will join us for some anime fun @ your library!

Anime Club @ Your Library!
As a popular form of Japanese animation, known for a style characterized by colorful graphics, vibrant characters, and fantastic themes, anime has been around since the early 1900s.  Gaining in popularity over time, in the present day, there are over 430 production studios specializing in this animation form.

Having a strong influence on world culture, the momentum has even picked up steam in the United States, thriving since the 1990s.  As fans began to celebrate this style of art, they began to socialize with each other, which gave rise to the formation of anime clubs, which then led to larger conventions.

If you reside in Abilene, you're between the ages of 14-25, you have a passion for anime (or you're simply interested), you won't want to miss out on being a part of the Anime Club @ Your Library!

Friday, March 27, 2015

New York Times Bestsellers Top 6 (Week of Mar. 29)

Many patrons browse the new materials section of the library to discover the latest reads.  Part of finding them is browsing the New York Times Bestsellers lists we make available to locate that popular read, 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 & Nonfiction lists for the upcoming week.

Hardcover Fiction Top 6

#1: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Position Last Week: 1
Weeks On List: 10
Call Number: F HAWKINS
Summary: A psychological thriller set in London.

#2: All the Light We Cannot See
Author: Anthony Doerr
Position Last Week: 2
Weeks On List: 46
Call Number: F DOERR
Summary: The lives of a blind French girl and a gadget-obsessed German boy before and during World War II.

#3: NYPD RED 3
Author: James Patterson
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: M PATTERSON
Summary: Investigating the disappearance of a billionaire's son, Detective Zach Jordan and his partner (and ex-girlfriend) find themselves in the midst of a conspiracy.

Tune Into 'Librarian Chat' Every Friday

Your Abilene Public Library is no stranger when it comes to having a presence on social media, and we're kicking it up a level with a new podcast show airing each Friday.

Join librarians Tremain Jackson & Alyssa Crow as we bring you Librarian Chat, which aims to defy the common stereotypes held for librarians in the world.  We'll be chatting about everything library-related, and some things that aren't, to provide you with our unique perspectives on books, films, technology, programming, and so much more.

The first episode was published Friday, March 13, and we'll continue to add additional episodes each Friday.  Not only will be be dishing on library topics, we'll also be featuring special guests too.  For today's episode, we spoke with our new city librarian Lori Grumet, who was gracious enough to sit down and talk with us.  What turned out to be a 15-20 minute segment ended up lasting 50-minutes.  If you want to get to know your city librarian, this episode is a great place to start.  Plus, we'll be featuring even more guests in the future and more fun conversations with your local librarians.

Having been podcasting for the library since 2008, we're always looking to change things up, and this new show will provide listeners with a different look at what libraries, library staff, and librarians are all about.

We hope you join us on our adventure, and if you have any questions, feel free to Contact Me!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Weekly Events @ Your Library (Mar. 30 - Apr. 4)

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. 31 @ 4:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6067 for Info.
Teens readers are invited to the next book club session where the featured book will be "Buzz Kill" by Beth Fantaskey.  Be a part of this monthly club that will have an emphasis on reading popular teen literature selected as part of the Lone Star Reading List of suggested reading materials for Texas students. 

Apr. 1-2; 10AM to 3PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6025 for Info.
Need help with your taxes?  e-File them at the library for free with IRS-trained volunteers with the AARP.  Everyone is helped on a first-come first-served basis and you'll need to remember to bring all your 2014 tax materials, Photo ID, Social Security cards on your return, and a blank check for direct deposit if receiving a refund.  Sessions will be hosted every Wednesday & Thursday through Apr. 11. 

Apr. 1 @ 4:00PM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
325-437-7323 for Info.
Kids are invited to join us after school for a come-and-go crafting session where we'll be supplying the materials and instructions needed to show you how to make some fun chicken crafts for the Spring. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Tremain's Book Corner: "Defending Jacob" by William Landay

Defending Jacob
Click to Place Hold
Author: William Landay
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager
Personal Rating: 4.5 Stars

Book 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 has rallies to protect his boy.  Jacob insists that he is innocent, and Andy believes him.  Andy must.  He's his father.  But as damning facts and shocking revelations surface, as a marriage threatens to crumble 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 future he cannot conceive.

Personal Review: It's not often I read a legal drama that hasn't been written by heavy-hitter authors already in mainstream literature.  At the suggestion of a patron, who knew I liked John Grisham, this book was recommended to me.  At over 400 pages, I normally don't read books this long, but I decided I'd go ahead and try anyway.

I'm glad I did...this book was fantastic!  Although at the center of the novel it is a murder/courtroom/legal thriller, it's also much more with offering readers with drama, romance, and social issues too.  Talk about getting more than you asked for.  Jacob, for whom the title of the book is named for, is the teenage son of First District Attorney Andy Barber, accused of murdering his classmate.  In Massachusetts, teens charged with first-degree murder are tried as adults.

Jacob's father serves as the narrator, exposing family secrets along the way, all of which could impact the case itself.  Desperately trying to defend his son, the strain the trial is having on the family is enough to drive them to their breaking points as their entire family is trust into the media and placed under the public microscope.  This was certainly not something to be expected in the upscale town they lived in.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Today's Top Releases in Books & DVDs @ Your Library

Everyone loves staying on top of the latest releases in books & DVDs, and we receive them on a regular basis at your Abilene Public Library.  Tuesdays are the biggest days of the week in the world of libraries, as these are the days that the bulk of all new materials are released for the week.  Join us as we hit the highlights of some of the more popular titles coming to your library, and be sure to get yourselves on the reserve lists!

Into the Woods
Starring: Meryl Streep
Summary: A modern twist on several of the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters' wishes and quests.  The humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel, all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them. 

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Starring: Ian McKellen
Summary: The epic conclusion to the adventures of Bilbo Baggins.  The dragon Smaug rains his fiery wrath down upon the defenseless men, women, and children of Lake-town.  Obsessed above all else with his reclaimed treasure, Thorin sacrifices friendship and honor to hoard it as Bilbo attempts to make him see reason. 

The Stranger
Author: Harlan Coben
Summary: The Stranger appears out of nowhere.  His identity is unknown.  His motives are unclear.  His information is undeniable.  Then he whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you pickup up the pieces of your shattered world.  Adam Price has a lot to lose: a comfortable marriage to a beautiful woman, two wonderful sons, and all the trappings of the American Dream: a big house, a good job, a seemingly perfect life.  Then he runs into the Stranger.  When he learns a devastating secret about his wife, he confronts her, and the mirage of perfection disappears as if it never existed at all.  Soon Adam finds himself tangled in something far darker than his wife's deception and realizes that if he doesn't make exactly the right moves, the conspiracy he's stumbled into will not only ruin lives - it will end them. 

Cuba Straits (Doc Ford Series #22)
Author: Randy Wayne White
Summary: Doc Ford's old friend, General Juan Garcia, has gone into the lucrative business of smuggling Cuban baseball players into the U.S.  He is also feasting on profits made by buying historical treasures for pennies on the dollar.  He prefers what dealers call HPC items - high-profile collectibles - but when he manages to obtain a collection of letters written by Fidel Castro between 1960-62 to a secret girlfriend, it's not a matter of money anymore.  Garcia has stumbled way out of his depth.  First Garcia disappears, and then the man to whom he sold the letters.  When Doc Ford begins to investigate, he soon becomes convinced that those letters contain a secret that someone, or some powerful agency cannot allow to be made public.  A lot happened between Cuba and the U.S. from that time.  Many men died.  A few more will hardly be noticed.

Look out for these great titles at your Abilene Public Library, and get yourselves on the reserve lists so you're certain to keep up with some of the popular releases of the week.  Plus, stop by every Tuesday to get a look at even more popular releases, or try listening to our Podcast.

Monday, March 23, 2015

"Plan Your Wedding @ Your Library" ~ @ the Library Article

I may not be married, but I've helped plan many weddings, and while there are tons of reality TV shows out there all about the wedding process, I do know that everyone needs help getting a wedding together.  Whether you've been through the process or not, your library can offer some help.  Now, we can't help you pick a date, select invitations, plan a seating chart, choose a dress, or help you with potential in-law clashes; but your Abilene Public Library can help in a number of other ways.

We offer a nice selection of wedding guides available for all areas of this special event.  From planning to bridal showers to writing vows and more, there's something for everyone and I'll introduce you to a few of them.

If you want to be stylish, without breaking the bank, get your hands on Stylish Weddings for Less: How to Plan Your Dream Wedding on a Budget by Catherine Sabino.  With the average costs of wedding ranging in the mid-$20,000's, saving what you can is something no one in their right mind would pass up.  This guide offers tips on getting your gowns at discount prices, saving on invitation costs, planning a menu and reception at an affordable price, and so much more to help you out.  If you need some suggestions for cost-saving measure to take, crack open this book.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

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, nonfiction, classics, and more.

For April, the featured selection is Stella Bain by Anita Shreve and we invite you to look out for a copy at your library and then attend the book club on Thursday, Apr. 16 @ 7:00PM.  For more information, be sure to contact Ann Mount at 325-676-6025.

Stella Bain
Author: Anita Shreve
Call Number: F SHREVE
Summary: Stella Bain has no memory of her past when she wakes up in a hospital bed in Marne, France.  It is 1916, and she wears the uniform of a British war nurse but speaks with an American accent.  As soon as she is able, Stella sets out for London, where she hopes to find answers.  What she discovers, with the help of Dr. August Bridge, who takes an interest in her case, both shocks and startles.  As Stella's memories come racing back, she must undertake a journey across the ocean to confront the haunted past of the woman she used to be.

Be sure to checkout 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 on Thursday, Apr. 16 @ 7:00PM to discuss this book, so be sure to get in on the reading fun!

Movie Showings on the Horizon @ Your Library

Your Abilene Public Library is thrilled to let you in on another new service debuting in April!!!  We'll soon be hosting regular movie showings of great films across all library locations, thanks to a new venture with Movie Licensing USA.

Why haven't we just been showing movies before that?

I'm so glad you were thinking that.  In case you might not have known, showing films in public venues violates copyright laws.  The movies you get from your library, or a store, are intended for home use only.  To show them publicly, you need to have a public performance license authorizing you to do so.

Your library has now acquired such a license, and we'll start showing movies in April.  Staff has been working on on developing programs as the Main Library will host several movie showings during Lib-Con 2015, the South Branch has set up monthly Teen Flix & Family Flix series, and the Mockingbird Branch has titles lined up as well.

Attending these programs are 100% free, but please note, due to limited space at some locations you may be required to register to attend certain programs.  To know for sure, information will be provided when we advertise each event.  This way, you'll know for sure.

We're excited to offer this new program and we hope you'll take advantage of all of our great movies in the future.  For programs geared towards youth, we will ask that parents decide whether or not a film is suitable for your child to attend.  We will provide you with the rating and information about the movie, but feel free to find out more information online.  We will refrain from showing films that will have excessive language, nudity, violence, and gore...especially when it comes to youth.

Visit Us Online to see our program schedule and be on the lookout for the movies we have lined up next month.  You'll find the dates, times,  movies being shown, and information on if you need to register.

Don't pass up on your chance to enjoy some great flicks at your local library, and for more information, feel free to Contact Me and I'll be happy to answer your questions!

Friday, March 20, 2015

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of Mar. 22)

Many patrons browse the new materials section of the library to discover the latest reads.  Part of finding them is browsing the New York Times Bestsellers lists we make available to locate that popular read, 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 & Nonfiction lists for the upcoming week!

Hardcover Fiction Top 5

#1: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Position Last Week: 1
Weeks On List: 9
Call Number: F HAWKINS
Summary: A psychological thriller set in London.

#2: All the Light We Cannot See
Author: Anthony Doerr
Position Last Week: 2
Weeks On List: 45
Call Number: F DOERR
Summary: The lives of a blind French girl and a gadget-obsessed German boy before and during World War II.

#3: Endangered
Click to Place Hold
Author: C.J. Box
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: M BOX
Summary: When his 18-year-old ward is found beaten in a ditch, the Montana game warden Joe Pickett suspects her boyfriend, a rodeo star.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

"Storytime Takes Day Trip to Redbud Park" ~ Dan Carpenter, Special to the Reporter-News

In case you missed it in the paper, check out this great article in the Abilene Reporter-News, thanks to Dan Carpenter, who covered the South Branch Library's first Stories in the Park event!

Stories in the Park Audience
Clear skies and plentiful sunshine provided the backdrop Thursday for the first Abilene Public Library Stories in the Park, as more than 100 parents and children enjoyed hearing a story, singing and playing games in Redbud Park.

The program - the brainchild of South Branch Manager Tremain Jackson, children's librarian Alyssa Crow, and children's assistant Janet West - was deemed a huge success.

"I could not be more pleased with the great turnout," said Jackson, who was also thankful for the cooperative weather.  "We are excited for the next one, and we're already looking at a way next year where we could have one of these every day of spring break."

West said, "Our storytimes are geared to promote books and a love of reading.  With lots of movement and activities, the interactive programs feature funny stories and memorable characters.  We're teaching the children literacy, math concepts and more while experiencing sunshine and the park."

Great Stories to Share Outdoors
Thursday's program included a reading of The Wide-Mouthed Frog, a froggy puppet singalong and an interactive game that had the children hopping around.  In addition, each child received a small goody bag that included a frog toy.

"We thought the program was great," said Joshua Ellis, who along with his wife, Cheryne, brought their 3-year-old daughter, Chloe, and 16-month-old twin sons, Noah and Joshua, to the event.  "Our daughter goes to storytime at the South Branch Library, so when we heard about this, we wanted to come be a part.  The kids all loved the frog theme today."

Cheryne Ellis said the program also provided an opportunity for a play date for Moms of Multiples, a group of Abilene mothers with twins, triplets, and more.

Join Us for Fun @ Your Park!
"We know the kids love to come out and be engaged with these fun stories," West said, "but we also know that reading increases literacy.  Books are fun, and we want these kids and their parents to see that; and hopefully, want to read more.  We also hope these types of events encourage parents to bring their kids to the library."

The next edition of Stories in the Park is 10:45AM March 26 at Redbud Park.  The theme will be "Have a Ball at the Park" and will feature stories about balls.

"We encourage everyone to bring their own ball," Crow said, adding that after the program children can play in the park.

For more information about Stories in the Park, call 325-698-7565, or visit APL's Facebook Page.

Article Written by Dan Carpenter as a Special to the Abilene Reporter-News

Weekly Events @ Your Library (Mar. 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.

Mar. 23 @ Noon
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6025 for Info.
Don't miss the next author series program made possible thanks to the Friends of the Abilene Public Library and the West Texas Book Festival.  The featured title will be "Play Hard, Stay Purple and Other Life Lessons from Hardin-Simmons Football," which is a collection of stories written by HSU players and coaches on what they learned about life while playing football for former head coach Jimmie Keeling.  Several writers will share their experiences and the event will be emceed by sports announcer Al Pickett.  Fell free to come attend this event, pick up copies of the book, bring your lunch, or purchase one from the Friends for $5. 

Mar. 24 @ 4:00PM
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
325-698-7565 for Info.
Don't miss the final crafting session of the month for kids where we'll supply a ton of different crafts for kids to come in and make after school.  Once you're done, head to the shelves and find some great books to checkout from the library.

Mar. 24 @ 6:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6025 for Info.
We're inviting in landscape professional Mary Perkins to lead a great presentation on how to create well-designed landscaping to complement your homes, and add a little curb appeal too!  Pick up some great ideas at this free workshop, and come with your questions too!

Mar. 24 @ 6:30PM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
325-437-7323 for Info.
Don't miss the final Family Fun event of the month, with one final program featuring stories, songs, crafts, and more that celebrate Dr. Seuss during his month.  Don't miss out on this evening storytime event designed for kids of all ages, and the entire family. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Lib-Con Invades Your Library April 27!

Official Logo
The Abilene Public Library is pleased to present the 2nd Annual Lib-Con, running April 27 through May 2, celebrating comics, manga, anime, movies, video games, and much more.  A committee of library staff has worked hard to bring you another week of great activities for all ages including a Cosplay Contest, gaming sessions, movie showings, martial arts instruction, great vendors, and more!

As a bonus, we've also created a Website dedicated to telling you all about what's planned this year.


Doctor Who Fans
When you log on, you'll find everything you need to know about this program, as it's even bigger this year with the wealth of activities being offered.  With Lib-Con growing each year, we're excited about having a spot online where you can keep up with everything we've got in store.

Lib-Con began due to the popularity of conventions, but sometimes they can be too far away or costly to attend.  As library staff enjoy a good convention too, last year we decided to create a mini-convention for our community to enjoy; connecting you with many of the features or a larger convention, but on a smaller scale.  Even better, our mini-convention is 100% FREE for you to attend.

Lib-Con Narwhal Mascot
We're also proud to have partnered with local businesses, organizations, and volunteers whom help to make Lib-Con 2015 a success including PrimeTime Family Entertainment Center, Comics & Collectibles, the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council, The Gathering Place, Rock'n Roller'z Roll'n Grill, the Kuk Sool Won Abilene Martial Art Center, Movie Licensing US, and others.

2014 Teen Cosplay Contest Winners
We invite everyone to be a part of Lib-Con 2015, and you can get a jump on it all by visiting our website to get more details.  The Lib-Con Committee plans to continue to make this mini-convention an annual event, and look forward to making this program grow into the future.

For more information about Lib-Con 2015 at your Abilene Public Library, be sure to contact coordinator/librarian Ann Mount at 325-676-6025!

Tremain's Book Corner: "Orange is the New Black" by Piper Kerman

Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison
Click to Place Hold
Author: Piper Kerman
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager
Rating: 2 Out of 5 Stars

Book Summary: With a career, a boyfriend, and a loving family, Piper Kerman barely resembles the reckless young woman who delivered a suitcase of drug money ten years before.  But that past has caught up with her.  Convicted and sentenced to fifteen months at the infamous federal correctional facility in Danbury, CT, the well-heeled Smith College alumna is now inmate #11187-424, one of the millions of people who disappear "down the rabbit hole" of the American penal system.

Kerman learns to navigate this strange world with its codes of behavior and arbitrary rules.  She meets women from all walks of life, who surprise her with small tokens of generosity, hard words of wisdom, and simple acts of acceptance.

Personal Review: I feel as if I'm one of the few readers who isn't buying into the whole "Orange is the New Black" craze.  Many of us most undoubtedly was introduced to this story due to the Netflix adaptation of her story.  I made it through the first season.  I felt I was not "seeing the full picture" so I picked up the book to read, and still, I'm left with no better impressions.

What you have is the story of a well-educated, upper class woman who gets involved with a drug-trafficking woman, and later goes to jail for her involvement in illegal activities.  After she gets out of prison, she then writes her story of her time learning to adjust to life in the penal system, which of course disrupts her life, and of the friendships and bonds she created with undereducated women of color from the wrong side of the tracks.

Okay, I get that.  Let's have a kumbaya moment why don't we?  At the end of the day, I personally felt as if her story is more self-serving and self-congratulatory than anything else.  Having read books on how to survive life in prison, should we be shocked or moved that she found a way to build relationships with people she was going to be spending time with?  Should I feel moved she learned how to keep a low profile while serving time?  No.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Today's Top Releases in Books & DVDs @ Your Library

Everyone loves staying on top of the latest releases in books & DVDs, and we receive them on a regular basis at your Abilene Public Library.  Tuesdays are the biggest days of the week in the world of libraries, as these are the days the bulk of all new materials are released for the week.  Join us as we hit the highlights of some of the more popular titles coming to your library, and be sure to get yourselves on the reserve lists!

Exodus: Gods and Kings
Starring: Christian Bale
Summary: Moses sets out to rise up against the Egyptian Pharaoh.  He frees 600,000 slaves and they all journey across Egypt fighting deadly plagues.  The epic tale of one man's daring courage to take on an empire.

Dumb and Dumber To
Starring: Jim Carrey
Summary: Lloyd and Harry go on a road trip to find a child harry never knew he had, and the responsibility neither should ever, ever be given.  Marking the return of Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels in the roles they played oh so long ago. 

The Theory of Everything
Starring: Eddie Redmayne
Summary: Renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who falls deeply in love with fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde.  Once a healthy, active young man, Hawking received an earth-shattering diagnosis at 21 years of age.  With Jane fighting tirelessly by his side, Stephen embarks on his most ambitious scientific work, studying the very thing he now has precious little of; time.  Together, they defy impossible odds, breaking new ground in medicine and science.