Friday, May 29, 2015

Weekly Events @ Your Library (June 1-6)

Keep up with the great programs and event 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 out program calendar, and remember, all programming is offered FREE of charge.

June 1 - July 25
All Locations
325-677-2474 for Info.
Be a part of our Summer Reading Club program as we have one for kids, teens, and adults.  Youth and teens will receive a weekly prize/incentive for coming out to the library and teens and adults will have the chance to win one of six Kindle we'll have the Reading Champions signs available for kids. 

June 1 @ 6:00PM
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
325-698-7565 for Info.
Teen readers are invited to come out for some book club fun as we'll be discussing "Long Lankin" by Lindsey Barraclough.  We'll also have snacks available and time to hangout and talk about what we love...books! 

June 1 @ 6:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6067 for Info.
We're kicking off the superhero fun this summer with a crafting workshop where youth, ages 8-15, will design their own Superhero Bottlecap Magnets!  Express your love for superheroes through these fun craft projects. 

June 2 @ 3:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6067 for Info.
Joy Harsh (aka the Zoo Lady) will make her first trip to the library for the summer.  She'll bring along some of her great animal friends from the zoo and lead a program that's both fun and educational for youth.  Plus, you'll get the chance to touch some of them at the end of the program.  Be sure to come check it out. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Tremain's Book Corner: "Pandemic" by Scott Sigler

Click to Place Hold
Author: Scott Sigler
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager
Rating: 4 Stars

Book Summary: The alien intelligence that unleashed two horrific assaults on humanity has been destroyed.  But before it was brought down in flames, it launched one last payload, tiny soda can sized canisters filled with germs engineered to wreak new forms of havoc on the human race.  That harmless looking canister has languished under thousands of feet of water for years, undisturbed and impotent...until now.

Days after the new disease is unleashed, a quarter of the human race is infected.  Entire countries have fallen.  And our planet's fate now rests on a small group of unlikely heroes, racing to find a cure before the enemies surrounding them can close in.

Book Summary: I enjoyed the first two novels, and hoped that the final installment wouldn't let me down.  It certainly did not.  What a ride Sigler took me on as a reader in this thrilling series.  The first two books, just in case you haven't read them, are titled "Infected" and "Contagious," as you'll certainly need to read them in order if you want to understand everything going on.

This novel, or series for that matter, falls into the categories of being a thriller and a horror novel, and although these are the only works I've read by this author, he does a great job at crafting a story, developing strong characters, and taking a concept that is both exciting and believable, and relaying that to the readers.  The terrifying part of this book is just the thought of something like this actually happening.  And in this book, there are no magical solutions for saving humanity, as the author is using hard science and facts to scare you.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Today's Top Book & DVD Releases @ 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!

The Boy Next Door
Starring: Jennifer Lopez
Summary: Claire is a high school teacher struggling to get back in the dating game after separating from her cheating husband.  When handsome and charismatic 19-year-old Noah moves in next door, Claire has a moment of weakness that leads to an extremely intense and intimate night together.  Noah's attraction quickly turns into a dangerous, violent obsessions, forcing Claire to her limits as she protects her world from being torn apart. 

Among Heroes: A U.S. Navy SEAL's True Story of Friendship, Heroism, and the Ultimate Sacrifice
Author: Brandon Webb
Summary: As a Navy SEAL, Brandon Webb rose to the top of the world's most elite sniper corps, experiencing years of punishing training and combat missions from the Persian Gulf to Afghanistan.  Among the best of the best, he led the SEAL's clandestine sniper training program as course manager, instructing a new generation of the world's top snipers.  Along the way, Webb served beside, trained, and supported men he came to know not just as his fellow warriors, but as friends and, eventually, as heroes.  This book gives his personal account of these eight extraordinary SEALs, who gave all for their comrades - and their country.  Webb offers eight intensely personal profiles of uncommon courage - who these men were, what they stood for, and how they came to make that ultimate sacrifice. 

Piranha (Oregon Files Series #10)
Author: Clive Cussler
Summary: In 1902, the volcano Mt. Pelee erupts on the island of Martinique, wiping out an entire city of thirty thousand - and sinking a ship carrying a German scientist on the verge of an astonishing breakthrough.  More than a decade later, Juan Cabrillo will have to deal with that scientist's legacy.  During a covert operation, Cabrillo and his crew meticulously fake the sinking of the Oregon - but when an unknown adversary tracks them down, despite their planning and attempts to assassinate them, Cabrillo  and his team struggle to fight back against an enemy who seems to be able to anticipate their every move. 

Make Something Up: Stories You Can't Unread
Author: Chuck Palahniuk
Summary: Representing work that spans several, this book is a compilation of 21 stories and one novella that will disturb and delight.  The absurdity of both life and death are on full display; in "Zombies," the best and brightest of a high school prep school become tragically addicted to the latest drug craze: electric shocks from cardiac defibrillators.  In "Knock, Knock," a son hopes to tell one last off-color joke to a father in his final moments, while in "Tunnel of Love," a massage therapist runs the curious practice of providing 'relief' to dying clients.  And in "Expedition," fans will be thrilled to finally see a side of Tyler Durden never seen before in a precursor story to "Fight Club."

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.

@ the Library Article: "Abilene Public Library Savvy in Many Aspects of Social Media"

Social media has become a staple part of our lives by allowing us to stay "connected" with others - locally or across the globe.  Your Abilene Public Library has been thriving on social media since 2007, including on Facebook, Blogger, Twitter, YouTube, and other sites.

Many might consider social media to be for the "younger crowd," but you may be surprised at what the statistics reveal.  72% of Internet users are active on social media, and of those, 89% are between the ages of 18-29.  What you may not know, however, is that plenty of older adults are becoming active on social media as well. 

Among Internet users, 72% of those between the ages of 30-39 are active on social media; 60% of Internet users ages 50-60 use social media; and 43% of people 65 and older use social media.  With those kinds of numbers, it's safe to say social media is for everyone.

Your Abilene Public Library has made the most of social media by maintaining active accounts over the years.  Our efforts have received recognition.  We've presented on the use of social media in public libraries at the Texas Library Association's annual conference; our accounts have been studied by graduate students in library science at Texas Woman's University, and other library systems have contacted us to help them establish their systems on various sites.

If you haven't found us on social media, allow me to briefly tell you what we're on, how to find us, and why you should follow us.

First, there's Facebook, the current leading social media platform with over a billion users.  We started on the site in 2009 and have amassed more than 1,800 followers, who are able to keep up with our upcoming events, see photos of our programs, watch library-related videos, ask questions, and more. "Like" our page and you can remain updated as well.

We've been posting videos on YouTube since 2007.  Try not to judge us too much on the earlier videos as there certainly was a learning curve.  Since then, we have filmed and shared more than 250 videos that have been viewed more than 700,000 times, making our page one of the most viewed public library accounts in Texas!  Check us out and you'll be able to view episodes in our long-running craft shows for kids and teens, watch puppet shows, and more.

Twitter and Blogger have been great sites for disseminating information. Twitter, which has the fastest growing demographic of users between the ages of 55-64, is great for getting short microblasts of information from your library.  On the flip side, Blogger lets us expand with news, reviews, events coverage, and more about what's happening at your Abilene Public Library.

Pinterest is another popular site, with more than 70 million users, and is the most popular with the female demographic.  We share our "pins" of interesting content from popular reading materials, craft ideas, new releases and more.  Everyone's addicted to "pinning" these days.

Then there's Instagram, a popular photo-sharing application launched in 2010.  We joined the bandwagon in 2013 and we were even named one of four public libraries to follow on Instagram by TechSoup for Libraries in August, and one of 17 public library accounts in the world to follow by Polka Cafe.

Finally, you can find us on PodOmatic, which houses our free audio broadcasts.  Since 2008 we have created more than 800 shows. Currently, a new show is added every Friday in a new format called Librarian Chat.

We invite you to connect with us online to let us show you what your Abilene Public Library is all about.  For more information on any of our social media endeavors, feel free to contact me at 325-698-7565 or Email Me.

Article Contributed by Tremain Jackson, Branch Manager of the South Branch of the Abilene Public Library

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Weekly Events @ Your Library (May 25-30)

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 program calendar, and remember, all programming is offered FREE of charge.

May 25; All Day
All Locations
325-677-2474 for Info.
All locations of the library will be closed in observance of Memorial Day.  Outside materials returns will be available at all locations and we'll resume our normal hours of operation on Tuesday at 9:00AM. 

May 26 @ 4:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6067 for Info.
Teens are invited to come out and be a part of our book club discussion group that reads books that made the Lone Star Reading List of recommended reads for Texas students.  For this month we'll be discussing Brandon Sanderson's "Steelheart" and also choosing the books we'll read in the months to come. 

South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
325-698-7565 for Info.
Don't miss the final crafting session at your library that will feature an assortment of fun crafts for kids of all ages to make.  Come out and choose the ones you'll want to make and take home with you in this fun program.  We'll supply all the materials needed. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Today's Top Book & DVD Releases @ 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!

American Sniper
Starring: Bradley Cooper
Summary: U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle is sent to Iraq with only one mission: to protect his brothers-in-arms.  His pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield.  However, his reputation is also growing behind enemy lines, putting a price on his head and making him a prime target of insurgents.  He is also facing a different kind of battle on the home front: striving to be a good husband and father from halfway around the world. 

Hot Tub Time Machine 2
Starring: Craig Robinson
Summary: Set ten years in the future, Lou, who has become the 'father of the Internet,' is shot by an unknown assailant, Jacob and Nick fire up the time machine to save their friend. 

The Murderer's Daughter
Author: Jonathan Kellerman
Summary: Brilliant psychologist Grace Blades has a gift for treating troubled souls and tormented psyches - perhaps because she bears her own invisible scars: only 5-years-old when she witnessed her parents' death in a bloody murder-suicide, Grace took refuge in the loving couple who adopted her.  As an adult, she still has a dark, secret side.  When her two worlds shockingly converge, Grace's harrowing past returns with a vengeance.

Monday, May 18, 2015

"How Do You Feel" ~ @ the Library Article

Reading to your children for fun and to help their literacy skills is a great way to benefit them, but reading can also be a great method for improving your children's relationships with others.  One of the most important responsibilities that parents have is to teach their children how to identify and deal with their emotions. How do you teach your children about common emotions of being angry, sad, jealous, fearful, happy, etc. in an effective way?  Books are a great vehicle with which to introduce conversations about feelings.

Children's picture books are particularly effective in this, as a quick way to introduce a problem, demonstrate the emotions associated with the problem, and to present possible solutions.  In many of the stories, the character is NOT a good example.  This gives the parents the opportunity to say with the children, "NO! That's not how we act!"  Books can also teach children how to understand how others are feeling.  As they see a character who is sad, jealous, or angry, they also see what actions produced these negative emotions.  Children's books contain a wealth of great illustrations and stories for teaching your children all about emotions and how to live with them.

In dealing with emotions, children must learn how to identify their feelings as well as how to express them.  Dr. Seuss's classic, My Many Colored Days addresses a wide range of feelings by comparing various emotions to colors and animals such as "Green and quiet fish.  That's me."  In Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods That Make My Day Jamie Lee Curtis uses bright illustrations and silly verses to describe different moods.  How Are You Peeling? Foods with Moods by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers has amazing illustrations of foods who are "peeling" different emotions.  Walter Was Worried by Laura Seeger is a clever book in which the letters that spell out the feelings also form the facial characteristics in the character's expressions.  As a storm approaches, the characters illustrate shock, puzzlement, delight, hope, and more.  All of these books are great for discussing a variety of feelings.

Eric Carle has several classic books that deal with feelings; in The Grouchy Ladybug, the Grouchy Ladybug spurns every offer of friendship and tries to fight with everyone she meets.  When she returns to the other ladybug later that day, tired and discouraged, she learns that it is nice to have friends.  In one of our new books, Julie Gassman tells the story of a young boy who learns about the rule, You Get What You Get.  It's a great story to reinforce the excellent adage: "you get what you get and you don't throw a fit!"

At the Abilene Public Library, we are happy to assist you in finding the books you need to best suit you and your children's needs.  Better yet, check out one of our storytimes to discover outstanding children's literature, songs, and interactions with other parents and children.  Our storytimes re more than just reading books; they are places where children learn social skills as well as a love for reading.  Each locations has several storytimes available as well as a great staff who will always welcome your questions and try to help you find the books that you and your children will enjoy!

Article Contributed by Janet West, Children's Library Assistant at the South Branch of the Abilene Public Library

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Weekly Events @ Your Library (May 18-23)

Keep up with the great programs and events at 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 program calendar, and remember, all programming is offered FREE of charge.

May 18 @ 4:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6067 for Info.
Kids are invited to come out and explore the ocean with us through a wonderful array of stories, games, and even some awesome crafts where we'll show you how to make a jellyfish that doesn't sting.  Don't miss out on this interactive storytime event after school and designed for the entire family to enjoy. 

May 18 @ 6:30PM
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
325-698-7565 for Info.
Youth, ages 8-15, are invited to come out for a fun painting party at the library, where we'll show you how to make many different types of paints for use in creating different styles.  The possibilities are endless, but they're all fun!  We'll supply all the materials you'll need. 

May 19 @ 10:45AM
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
325-698-7565 for Info.
Don't miss the next morning storytime event where the monkeys in the library may not be up to any good at all.  Join us for great stories, songs, crafts, and more fun in this highly attended monthly event at your library, which is perfect for youth who aren't in school. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Hoopla Expands Collection, Now Offering eBooks & Comics!

As if the Hoopla Digital streaming service couldn't get better, with offering access to audiobooks, movies, TV series, and music albums that are always available, they've outdone themselves again.  Hoopla now offers access to a great selection of eBooks and comics for you to checkout!

This new enhancement just rolled out today, and you'll be able to discover thousands of new titles, across a number of genres, offering access to children's books, comics, biographies, self-help books, general fiction for adults, and more.

The new selection of materials is ready for you to use now, and you may need to update your Hoopla app to see the new collection, or you'll automatically see them if using this service on your PC.

If you haven't checked out the Hoopla service yet, now is as good of a time as ever.  All you need is a valid Abilene Public Library card and the service is FREE to use.  Get started with streaming your way through the Hoopla collection, and if you have any questions, feel free to Contact Me!

Mark Your Calendars for Annual Book Sale!

The Friends of the Abilene Public Library are gearing up to host one of their most well-attended events of the year...the Annual Book Sale!!!  Hosted each June, this is the time when the Civic Center will be transformed into a book-lover's paradise as you'll find the best prices on a wide selection of books, movies, music, and more.

2015 Hours of Operation
  • Thurs., June 18 from 5:00PM - 8:00PM (Preview Sale): Open to current members of the Friends of the Library where you'll get the first crack at the items on sale before the event is open to the general public.  Memberships start as low as $15 and you may purchase one the night of the Preview Sale.  View Membership Levels online.
  • Fri., June 19 from 10:00AM - 8:00PM: Open to the public at no charge.
  • Sat., June 20 from 10:00AM - 6:00PM: Open to the public at no charge.
  • Sun., June 21 from 1:00PM - 4:00PM: Open to the public, the final day is the Bag-O-Books Sale where $6.00 will get you a bag and you can take with you whatever you can fill into it.
It's really the easiest way to build up your personal library at prices you can't pass up on.  On average, most hardback and trade paperback books sell for $1.75 each, mass-market paperbacks for $0.75 each, and children's books are sold by the inch.  You'll also have access to the Corner Store (featuring new books at a fraction of the cost) and the Antiques and Uniques area (with rare, hard-to-find titles and collectibles).

Just as in years past, credit cards and debit cards will be accepted at the sale, and of course you're able to pay with cold hard cash and checks too.  This sale only comes around once a year, and each time it gets even bigger, generating great funds that go back to the Friends of the Library to support your library system.

Where do all the books in the sale come from?
Really glad you asked.  The majority of all materials in the sale come from people in the community who donate their books to the library especially for the sale.  Only a small fraction of the collection comes from materials removed from the library's collection.  Plus, each year the Friends start off with a fresh new selection of materials to choose from.  All items remaining at the end of each sale are donated to local nonprofits and organizations.

For more information about the Friends of the Abilene Public Library Book Sale, feel free to Contact Me and I'll be happy to get the answers you need.

GI Bill: Get the Facts @ Your Mockingbird Branch!

Have you ever wondered just what the GI Bill covers and who qualifies?

Join us Thursday, May 28, 6:30PM at the Mockingbird Branch Library for a free public program and more information on this great federal benefit.  Our host for the evening will be Stanley Garland, formerly of Dyess Air Force Base and the new Veterans Recruiter at Texas State Technical College - West Texas.

Mr. Garland is an eight-year Air Force veteran from Summerville, South Carolina.  Growing up Stanley had all of the potential in the world, but by his own admission, never truly recognized it.  In late 2005 life came to a crossroads, when he failed community college English>  Coming from a home that valued education, this was a demoralizing moment in his life.  Stanley knew that he had to make a positive change, so in 2006 he went into the Air Force.  Little did he know that choice would change his life forever!  The Air Force was not only the chance to serve his country, but the catalyst that unlocked his true educational potential.

According to Mr. Garland, one of the main reasons he joined the armed services was the education benefit known as the Post 9/11 GI-Bill.  Education was Stanley's main priority throughout his eight years in the Air Force.  Starting out with no credits he was able to earn seven degrees and certificates using both tuition assistance and the Post 9/11 GI Bill throughout his enlistment.  He is in the process of earning his second master's degree using the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefit and is passionate about helping others maximize their educational benefits.

During this open forum and discussion session at the Mockingbird Branch Library, Mr. Garland will outline the basics of who qualifies, how you apply, as well as many more questions.  All veterans and family members are welcome to attend this free event.  After all, it's never too late to head back to school and embrace a new path!

Post Contributed by Anne Ellis, Branch Manager of the Mockingbird Branch of the Abilene Public Library

Tremain's Book Corner: "Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk" by David Sedaris

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary
Click to Place Hold
Author: David Sedaris
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager
Personal Rating: 3.5 Stars

Book Summary: Featuring David Sedaris's unique blend of hilarity and heart, this new collection of keen-eyed animal-themed tales is an utter delight.  Though the characters may not be human, the situations in these stories bear an uncanny resemblance to the insanity of everyday life.

In "The Toad, the Turtle, and the Duck," three strangers commiserate about animal bureaucracy while waiting in a complaint line.  In "Hello Kitty," a cynical feline struggles to sit through his prison-mandated AA meetings.  In "The Squirrel and the Chipmunk," a pair of star-crossed lovers is separated by prejudiced family members.

With original illustrations by Ian Falconer, author of the bestselling Olivia series of children's books, these stories are David Sedaris at his most observant, poignant, and surprising.

Personal Review: I've been a fan of David Sedaris since I read his bestseller "Me Talk Pretty One Day."  When I came across this book, I didn't know what to expect from the cover and the title, but based on the author, I had to go ahead and give it a shot, without having read the synopsis.

True to form, Sedaris was ale to deliver a story, covering human experiences, but placing them on different animals to illuminate his thoughts.  In each of the stories, these animals are having human conversations wit a bit of dark humor added to many of the stories.  So they might be fictional stories, but they certainly have the Sedaris mark on them.

The animals in the stories aren't the cutesy animals they appear to be.  Instead, they're petty, vain, arrogant, and other qualities humans display.  Talk about personification.  What I wasn't prepared for when reading this book, was they would be a collection of short fictional stories.  Sedaris is known for authoring nonfiction works.  This was a bit of a departure that alarmed me at first, but he's a great essayist who I felt was branching out just a bit with this book.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Main Library Now Offering Beverages to Public

2nd Floor Community Space
Changes are steadily happening at the Main Branch of the Abilene Public Library, with new areas and services accessible to the public.  The second floor has been open for some time now, and offers plenty of comfortable seating for the public to enjoy, and library materials to peruse.

As an added bonus, you are now able to quench your thirst by making use of a vending machine in the foyer of the second floor.  You'll find a selection of sodas, water, iced tea, etc. for you to purchase that are suitable for all tastes so you don't have to leave the library when feeling a little parched.

Vending Unit Available
We may know what you're thinking.  Drinks aren't allowed in the library, right?  They certainly are as long as they have lids or caps to help prevent spilling accidents; however, we will ask that you still be careful with any beverages you have.

Although vending machines are not offered at the South and Mockingbird Branch locations, drinks are allowed inside these facilities as well.  They are also located near businesses where you're welcome to purchase a drink and bring it inside

We invite you to come see the changes at the Main Library, especially on the second floor, as we offer the community more places to gather, relax, and enjoy.  Your Abilene Public Library is here to serve the community, so we invite you to drop by for a visit and see all the wonderful services we have to offer.

Today's Top Book & DVD Releases @ 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!

Still Alice
Starring: Julianne Moore
Summary: Alice Howland, happily married with three grown children, is a renowned linguistics professor who starts to forget words.  When she received a diagnoses of Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease, Alice and her family find their bonds thoroughly tested.  Her struggle to stay connected to who she once was is frightening, heartbreaking, and inspiring. 

Starring: Michael Ironside
Summary: Still reeling from her parent's divorce, April is dragged back to the vacation cabin she spent fond summers at as a child accompanied by a group of friends.  Her trip down memory lane takes a dramatic and terrifying turn when a fireball descends from the sky and explodes in the nearby woods.  The college friends soon find themselves caught in the middle of something bigger and more terrifying than anything they could ever imagine. 

Starring: Johnny Depp
Summary: Charlie Mortdecai races to recover a stolen painting rumored to contain a code that leads to lost Nazi gold.  Meanwhile he is being chased by several angry groups of people. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

"Won't You Be Our Neighbor" Final Texas Author Series Event ~ @ the Library Article

The Friends of the Abilene Public Library hope to bring some inspiration to us during their final Texas Author Series program today at noon at the Abilene Public Library downtown.  While the focus will be on author Tim Madigan of Arlington, it will equally fall on his very famous friend, Fred Rogers (TV's Mister Rogers).

Madigan is the author of I'm Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers and he'll be sharing stories about their special relationship over the years.  People of all ages remember Mr. Rogers, whether you grew up watching him in his neighborhood, or watched your children or grandchildren learn his particular brand of love and wisdom.  It turns out that, unlike many we welcome into our home via TV on a regular basis, Fred Rogers was exactly like his on-air persona, and even more.

I'm Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers is a sweet story of male mentoring, friendship, and bonding, in much the same vein as Mitch Albom's Tuesdays with Morrie.  What began as a simple newspaper interview assignment for Madigan turned into so much more.

As one review put it, "From their first meeting in 1995, at Rogers' invitation, the two became unlikely friends, a deep and abiding relationship that lasted until Rogers' deat in 2003.  In that time, Madigan found Rogers to be much more than the calm and compassionate personality of television.  He was a person of unique human greatness who embodied love, compassion, and wisdom his every waking moment.  He was the transcendent being who guided Madigan through periods of life-threatening depression and the tragic death of a sibling and helped him heal his difficult relationship with his father.  This book reveals Fred Rogers as a person who deserves a place among history's greatest people.  It chronicles male friendship at its finest and most powerful.  And it is a book that has already brought hope and inspiration to many thousands of its readers."

Madigan has also written his debut novel, Every Common Sight, which came out in December.  "Every Common Sight" is about a WWII veteran who returns home with a 'terrible' secret that he can't bring himself to reveal to the love of his life.  What Wendell Smith doesn't know is that she has a secret herself.  Will the secrets overwhelm them, or ultimately heal them?

Madigan and Fred Rogers together are sure to make for an interesting program, and we hope to see you there.  The program is free.  A light lunch is available at 11:45AM for $5 or you may bring your own.  Books will be available for purchase and signing.

The Author series is presented by the Friends of the Abilene Public Library and the West Texas Book Festival.

Article Contributed by Janis C. Test, Information Services Manager at the Main Branch of the Abilene Public Library

Friday, May 8, 2015

System Maintenance to Occur This Weekend, Limited Remote Access

Your Abilene Public Library will be undergoing routine system maintenance on our servers over the weekend.  This process will begin on Saturday, May 9 at 7:00PM and run through mid-morning on Sunday.  At this time, patrons may experience difficulty accessing remote library services including, but not limited to, the online catalog, OverDrive, and Hoopla.

If you experience problems over the weekend, these issues should be resolved by Sunday afternoon.  If there are any new developments, we will keep you updated as we receive information.  If you have questions, feel free to Contact Me.  We apologize for the inconvenience.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Weekly Events @ Your Library (May 11-16)

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 program calendar, and remember, all programming is offered FREE of charge.

May 11 @ Noon
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6025 for Info.
Don't miss the final program of the spring as we invite in Tim Madigan (Arlington, TX), author of "I'm Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers," known on TV as Mister Rogers.  Feel free to bring your lunch, or purchase one from the Friends of the Library for $5.  Then enjoy a presentation, pick up copies his book, and participate in a book signing at a program made possible thank to the Friends of the Abilene Public Library and the West Texas Book Festival. 

May 11 @ 2:00PM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
325-437-7323 for Info.
Adults are invited out to the second crafting workshop designed just for you.  Get out of the house, connect with your neighbors, and learn a few new skills as we'll be showing you how to create a hanging garden out of aluminum cans.  Registration will be required so call 325-437-7323 to secure yourself a spot. 

May 11 @ 4:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6067 for Info.
Youth, ages 8 and older, won't want to miss the next session of Science Club at your library.  Last month we learned about gases, solids, and liquids, and this month we'll be learning about gravity and doing some fun experiments.  Don't miss out on the educational fun we have in store. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Tremain's Book Corner: "Paper Towns" by John Green

Paper Towns
Click to Place Hold
Author: John Green
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager
Personal Rating: 3 Stars

Book Summary: Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar.  So when she cracks open a window and climbs into his life - dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows.  After their all-nighter ends, and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery.  But Q soon learns there are clues - and they're for him.  Urged down a disconnected path, the closer he gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew... 

Personal Review: I'm starting to pick up the occasional YA read, and I decided to give this book a try.  From the author of "The Fault in Our Stars," also turned into a successful film adaptation last summer, I selected this book because it's the next of Green's works that will be adapted.

As a teen read, I kept an open mind, as it was starting out like your standard high school situation.  Nerdy boy likes the unattainable girl, but knows they will never be together.  We've heard that before right?  However, with the hold that current dystopian literature has on YA literature, this was a nice change of pace, showing that YA books still have more to offer.

Although I didn't feel it was written to be suspenseful, it certainly will leave you a touch apprehensive as you journey through the pages towards an uncertain ending.  The characters were well-developed and "human," rather than being caricatures of various personalities.  This gave the book an authentic feel.  Too often do you hear of the YA stories where teens speak with an overly developed vocabulary, possess amazing insight, have super fighting skills, or any other number of traits.  With Green's characters, you actually relate to them better, reminding me (as an adult) of more of what it was like to be and extent.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Abilene Public Library Receives Grant from the Texas Book Festival

The Texas Book Festival has awarded the South Branch location of the Abilene Public Library a collections enhancement grant of $2,500.00.  The grant will be used to fund a new literacy initiative for the children's department to strengthen literacy skills in youth.  With these funds, the South Branch will create interactive literacy kits equipped with books, activity pages, sound recordings, and more with the intent on helping parents to improve their child's reading skills in increasing levels.  We will seek to add these new kits to our circulating collection by the start of the next school year.

Tremain Jackson
"Libraries understand the importance of literacy in society today, as well as what strong reading skills may offer people," said Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager.  "We are honored to receive this incredible grant that will allow our library to encourage early literacy in youth and enhance their reading skills.  This will not only benefit them in school and their everyday lives, but more importantly, their future."

Alyssa Crow
"The South Branch has always been proud of the services we've been able to offer to youth in the community," said Alyssa Crow, South Branch Children's Librarian.  "With literacy programming including storytimes, Family Fun nights, outreach programs to schools and early childhood centers, and even our new Stories in the Park initiative, the future presence of early literacy kits will only continue to enhance our desire to build lifelong readers."

Every year public libraries across Texas apply to the Texas Book Festival to receive grant funds.  The grants are intended to update and increase book collections.  This year, the Festival is distributing grants up to $2,500 to 34 libraries and we happen to be one of the fortunate few.  Since its founding, the Festival has contributed more than $2.7 million in grants to more than 600 Texas public libraries.

"Our public libraries provide invaluable services that advance the causes of literacy, education and life-long learning.  We are committed to supporting the important work of Texas public libraries," said Lois Kim, Executive Director of the Texas Book Festival.  "We are proud that we can continue to help libraries to meet the needs of their community."

The Texas Book Festival raises money for the grants from individual, corporate, and foundation sponsorships, the annual Gala, and from book sales at the annual Festival.  The 2015 Texas Book Festival is scheduled for October 17 and 18.

About the Texas Book Festival
The Texas Book Festival celebrates authors and their contributions to the culture of literacy, ideas, and imagination.  Founded in 1995 by first lady Laura Bush, Mary Margaret Farabee, and a group of volunteers, the nonprofit Texas Book Festival promotes the joys of reading and writing through its annual Festival Weekend, the one-day Texas Teen Book Festival, the Reading Rock Stars program, grants to Texas libraries, youth fiction writing contest, and year-round literacy programming.  The Festival is held on the grounds of the Texas Capitol each fall and features more than 280 renowned authors, panels, book signings, live music, cooking demonstrations, and children's activities.  Thanks to generous donors, sponsors, and 1,000 volunteers, the Festival remains free and open to the public. 

"Special Library Event Focuses on Fun, Getting Children to Read" ~ @ the Library Article

El Dia de los Ninos/El Dia de los Libros is an annual celebration of the importance of literacy and families.

A night of free fun and festivities awaits the whole family at this year's Dia de los Ninos Celebration at 6:00PM tonight (Tuesday, May 5) at the Mockingbird Branch of the Abilene Public Library, 1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.

The ability to read is, without a doubt, a vital skill in our fast-paced society.  Studies show success in reading positively influences a child's future, including employment opportunities, earnings and so much more!

That's why the Abilene Public Library is joining with the American Library Association, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to highlight literacy in this special program.

Hosted by librarians Darla Casella and Anne Ellis, festivities will start with a quick and colorful art project for all generations.  Then we'll read several bilingual children's books (in English and Spanish) including You Be You, Se Siempre Tu by Linda Kranz; Chachalaca Chiquita by Melanie Chrismer; and Family, Familia by Diane Gonzales.

Reading and listening together is a wonderful opportunity to bond as a family, so we encourage all family members to attend.  

Kranz's book, perfect for young listeners, features vividly detailed fish in a simple English and Spanish dialogue that highlights how fish (and people) are unique in their own way.  It's sure to be a favorite with everyone.

Chachalaca Chiquita reinforces the importance of thinking on your own and being courageous.  As the book starts, Chachalaca Chiquita is convinced that the sky is falling and tells everyone she sees, causing quite a panic.  As the tale progresses, Chachalaca learns that following others can lead you into trouble, while being courageous and true to yourself is what really counts.

Our final book, Family, Familia, is for slightly older listeners.  Readers will travel with Daniel as he and his family go to a family reunion in San Antonio.  We meet all his tias (aunts) and tios (uncles), lots of his cousins and one special friend named Brian.  It's a wonderful book about the joy and importance of family in our lives.

Last but certainly not least, attendees will get a chance to create their own one-of-a-kind bookmark.  We'll use colorful images, buttons, ribbons, markers, and more to encourage reading at home.

It's a night of fun and excitement for everyone, whatever your language preference.  For more information, please call 325-437-7323.

Article Contributed by Anne Ellis, Manager of the Mockingbird Branch of the Abilene Public Library