Tuesday, November 29, 2016

"South Branch Library After 1 Week" | Abilene Reporter-News

Article by Brian Bethel, Abilene Reporter-News, November 28, 2016
Since opening Nov. 19, the new Abilene Public Library location in the Mall of Abilene has been "extremely popular," said Tremain Jackson, manager of the South Branch.

"From then until today Nov. 27, we've had 10,689 visits," he said.  "That statistic is comparable to our monthly stats at our Danville location during the Summer Reading Club time for one month."

The South Branch recently moved from its original location at 1401 South Danville, a 5,600 square foot facility, to a 22,000 square foot renovated space in the Mall of Abilene.

The new digs have brought in some challenges, he said, mostly staff learning changes in procedres better suited to the facility, Jackson said.

"It's fine-tuning a lot of our duties and whatnot, and getting used to our new clientele," he said, with customer service still the primary goal.

The growth in foot traffic is a genuine phenomenon, Jackson said.

"Not only are we pulling in our clientele from the Danville location, we're bringing in new people that may not have realized that there was a South Branch library on the south side of Abilene," he said.  "We were behind a gas station - and kind of hard to find."

Now, as people walk by and do their shopping, new faces appear all the time, Jackson said.

On the facility's opening day, 3,876 people visited on opening day, larger than the grand opening of the library system's Mockingbird Branch in 2009.

The first day of the holiday shopping season was a busy one for the South Branch, he said, with 989 people visiting the branch that day - something Jackson said was "amazing."

"There was tons of foot traffic, people taking a break from their shopping to check out the library, men coming in to read the paper and magazines while their wives were shopping in JCPenney, and things of that nature," he said.

The new interest has resulted in a literal stack of new registrations.

DVDs remain popular items, but the family-oriented nature of the previous South Branch remains in the popularity of children's materials, he said.

"But we're starting to see people start to check out things from our old collection, plus the Dyess materials," he said, referring to a collection of items integrated from Dyess Air Force Base's now closed library.

Patrons compliment the new location in several ways, from the interior to colors to additional rooms available for reading and projects, including a popular room for teens.

"Sometimes you show the adults that room and you just can't get them out," he said.  "You have to remind them that this is just a tour - it's the teen room."

The facility's meeting room has been "hugely popular," he said.

"Bookings for that room had already gone out before we even opened," Jackson said.

Jackson said that it's likely traffic will level some in January or February, after the holidays.

But he hopes that the facility remains vital far into the future, something likely driven by programs both old and new.

All programs from the previous location will be available at the new branch, with additions such as a Lego Club and teen Lego Club, a Minecraft Club, a "morning mingle" club for adults on the first and second Wednesday morning of each month.

An already in-demand photo workshop will join anticipated extra programs for adults and teens, including book clubs, he said.

"In our old location we did about 15 programs a month," he said.  "At the Mall location, we're doing 50.  And that's going to be about 50 programs a month (from then on)."

R.J. Barnett was enjoying the new facility with his children Monday.  The father of four sons, Barnett said that his kids make use of the library's main branch, but that they already enjoy going to an indoor play area in the Mall just outside the library's Mall Entrance.

"So (now) we can make it a two-for-one type thing," he said, noting that his three oldest sons will "definitely make use of the library."

Today's Top Book & DVD Releases

Everyone loves staying on top of the latest in books & DVDs and we receive them on a regular basis at your library.  Join us as we hit the highlights of some of the more popular titles being releases today.

The BFG
Starring: Ruby Barnhill
Summary: Steven Spielberg directed this adaptation of Roald Dahl's beloved novel, which centers on the unlikely friendship between a lonely orphan named Sophie and the titular "big friendly giant."  Together, the pair explore Giant Country and collect dreams; later, they try to warn the Queen of England about the threat posed by the other giants, who, unlike the vegetarian BFG, eat children for sustenance.

The Wild Life
Starring: Ben Stassen
Summary: Daniel Defoe's classic tale of survival gets a twist in this family-friendly animated adventure.  Restless parrot Mak and his animal pals are shocked when a ragged human known as Robinson Crusoe washes ashore on their tropical island.  Although they are initially apprehensive of this strange new arrival, they decide to team up with Crusoe to save their home from a pair of conniving cats.

Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis (Vampire Chronicles #12)
Author: Anne Rice
Summary: At the novel's center: the vampire Lestat de Lioncourt, hero, leader, inspirer, irresistible force, irrepressible spirit, battling a strange otherworldly form that has somehow taken possession of Lestat's undead body and soul.  This ancient and mysterious power and unearthly spirit of vampire lore has all the force, history, and insidious reach of the unknowable Universe.  It is through this spirit, previously considered benign for thousands of vampire years and throughout the Vampire Chronicles, that we come to be told the hypnotic tale of a great sea power of ancient times: a mysterious heaven on earth situated on a boundless continent - and how and why, and in what manner and with what far-reaching purpose, this force came to build and rule the great legendary empire of centuries ago that thrived in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Whole Town's Talking
Author: Fannie Flagg
Summary: Elmwood Springs, Missouri, is a small town like any other, but something strange is happening out at the cemetery.  "Still Meadows," as it's called, is anything but still.  Funny and profound, this novel in the tradition of Flagg's Can't Wait to Heaven and Thornton Wilder's Our Town deals with universal themes of heaven and earth and everything in between, as Flagg tells a surprising story of life, afterlife, and the mysterious goings-on of ordinary people.

When All the Girls Have Gone
Author: Jayne Ann Krentz
Summary: When Charlotte Sawyer is unable to contact her step-sister, Jocelyn, to tell her that one of her closest friends was found dead, she discovers that Jocelyn has vanished. She's gone off the grid before, but never like this.  In a desperate effort to find her, Charlotte joins forces with Max Cutler, a struggling PI who recently moved to Seattle after his previous career as a criminal profiler went down in flames - literally.  Burned out, divorced and almost broke, Max needs the job.  After surviving a near-fatal attack, Charlotte and Max turn to Jocelyn's closest friends, women in a Seattle-based online investment club, for answers.  But what they find is chilling.  When her uneasy alliance with Max turns into a full-blown affair, Charlotte has no choice but to trust him with her life.  For the shadows of Jocelyn's past are threatening to consume her - and anyone else who gets in their way...

The Battle of Hackham Heath
Author: John A. Flanagan
Summary: When the former Baron Morgarath escaped to avoid punishment for treason, an uneasy peace fell on Araluen.  But Morgarath, now in hiding, is already planning the next move, recruiting an army of savage, overpowering beasts known as Wargals.  Newly crowned King Duncan knows he must assemble his troops for battle.  To find out the full extent of his plan of attack, Halt prepares for a seemingly impossible task - climbing the deadly cliffs of the Mountains of Rain and Night and venturing deep into enemy territory to spy.  After all, the winner of this war could be determined by one wrong move.  At the Battle of Hackham Heath, the fate of a Kingdom will be decided.  This origin story of how Halt came to be Araluen's most famous ranger - and how war will decide the future of the next generation - will thrill Ranger's Apprentice fans and new readers alike.

Talking as Fast as I Can
Author: Lauren Graham
Summary: In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood - along with behind-the-scenes dispatches from the set of the new Gilmore Girls, where she plays the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore once again.  In this book, Graham hits pause for a moment and look back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, "Did you, um, make it?"  She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood, the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and more.

Look for these 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.


Monday, November 28, 2016

"Food for Fines Back at the Library" | @ the Library Article

The holidays are a wonderful, but busy time of year!  So many activities abound that any way to save some time and money is truly appreciated.  Your Abilene Public Library is once again giving you a "two-fer" so you can clear your library late fees and make sure someone in need eats this holiday season.  Abilene Public Library's annual Food for Fines campaign celebrates our 18th year of providing food for bodies and minds.

Beginning December 1 and continuing throughout the entire month, Abilene libraries will forgive $1.00 in late fees for each nonperishable food item donated, except for canned goods.  You'll need two of those to count for $1.00 forgiveness.  Food collected by each Abilene Public Library location will be given to the Food Bank of West Central Texas.

Thanks to you, Food for Fines has been extraordinarily successful over the years.  Since 1999 Abilene library patrons have donated many thousands of pounds of canned and boxed food to people in need...more than three thousand pounds last year alone.

The Food Bank of West Central Texas distributed 4.7 million pounds of grocery products in 2014.  That food, in turn, was made into meals for people who live in poverty in our area and too often miss meals or experience hunger.  The food bank serves 175 non-profit agencies in Abilene and the surrounding 13 counties.

How can you participate?  Bring two cans, or one box or bag of (and this is VERY important) comparably priced, nonperishable food to the circulation desk at any Abilene Library.  Each comparably priced food item, or two cans, equals $1.00 in late fees.  Rice, beans, tuna, jars of peanut butter, boxes of macaroni and cheese; as long as its food or nonperishable, it works to pay late fees.  High protein items are always in need, as are healthy snacks for kids like crackers, juice boxes and pudding cups.  It's a win-win situation.  You benefit by having your late fees waived, while assisting local people in the fight against hunger.

Donated food items will only pay for late fees.  Charges for lost of damaged books have to be paid for in cold hard cash (checks & credit cards are also accepted)

While library staff appreciates all food donations, they can only accept commercially packaged items that are undamaged and that have not exceeded their expiration date.  No dented, dinged, or previously opened food items, no government commodity items, and sorry, no home-canned items.  All other nonperishable food items are welcome.

Now's the time to clean out the closet, reach under the sofa and behind the seat of the car for those long forgotten library books, audio books and DVDs.  Bring them, along with your donations, to any of our library locations.  You'll be making happier holidays for yourself and for someone who might otherwise go hungry.

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

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Pay Your Fees with Debit/Credit Cards

It's 2016 and I don't know about you, but I don't usually carry much cash on me at any given time.  With the convenience of debit and credit cards, it's easier to swipe than to fumble through your wallet or purse looking for the right bills or change to pay a vendor.  It's been a long time coming, but your Abilene Public Library now accepts payments using your debit and credit cards.

Visit any branch library and use your debit/credit cards to pay your late fees, print charges, and more with ease.  Your charges will need to be more than $1.00 to use this feature, but it offers yet another means to pay other than with cash or check.  Please note, staff is unable to provide you with a written receipt for these transactions, but we will verify your payment has been accepted before you leave.

Additionally, you still have the option to pay your library fees online through the same means.  By going to our online catalog and logging into your account, you can see your late fees and pay your charges online.  To use this feature, your charges must be at least $3.00 and all transactions will come with a small convenience fee of $0.75.  This feature is great for using to rid your account of late fees when the library is not open or you happen to be out of town.

Remember, if you have late fees, in excess of $3.00, you will not be able to checkout library materials (either digital or in our physical collection) until your charges are paid in full, or under the $3.00 threshold.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask library staff.

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of Nov. 27)

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 at all locations.  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: Turbo Twenty-Three
Author: Janet Evanovich
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: M EVANOVICH
Summary: In the heart of Trenton, N.J., a killer is out to make sure someone gets his just desserts. Larry Virgil skipped out on his latest court date after he was arrested for hijacking an eighteen-wheeler full of premium bourbon. Fortunately for bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, Larry is just stupid enough to attempt almost the exact same crime again.

#2: No Man's Land
Author: David Baldacci
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F BALDACCI
Summary: John Puller, a special agent with the Army, searches for the truth about his mother, who disappeared 30 years ago.

#3: The Whistler
Author: John Grisham
Weeks On List: 4
Call Number: F GRISHAM
Summary: Lacy Stoltz, an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct, takes on a case involving a corrupt judge, a Native American casino, and the mafia when a previously disbarred lawyer approaches her on behalf of a client who claims to know the truth.

#4: Night School
Author: Lee Child
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: M CHILD
Summary: "Discover the thriller series that The New York Times calls "utterly addictive." After eleven straight global #1 bestsellers, Lee Child sends readers back to school with the most explosive Jack Reacher novel yet.  It's 1996, and Reacher is still in the army.

#5: Odessa Sea
Author: Clive Cussler
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F CUSSLER
Summary: A desperate attempt in 1917 to preserve the wealth and power of the Romanov Empire. A Cold War bomber lost with a deadly cargo. Mysterious deaths on the Black Sea linked to modern day smugglers of nuclear materials.




Hardcover Nonfiction Top 5

#1: Settle for More
Author: Megyn Kelly
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: 92 Kelly
Summary: A top-rated cable news anchor presents a revelatory memoir that also imparts the values and lessons that have shaped her career, describing her tough-love family, her father's early death, the news events that led to her anchor position, and her ongoing feud with Donald Trump.

#2: Killing the Rising Sun
Author: Bill O'Reilly
Weeks On List: 10
Call Number: 940.542 ORE
Summary: Portrays the events of World War II in 1944, when escalating Pacific battles between the forces of General MacArthur and the Japanese army lead to the development of humanity's deadliest weapon and President Truman's impossible choice.

#3: Our Revolution
Author: Bernie Sanders
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: 92 SANDERS
Summary: "When Bernie Sanders began his race for the presidency, it was considered by the political establishment and the media to be a "fringe" campaign, something not to be taken seriously. After all, he was just an independent senator from a small state with little name recognition. His campaign had no money, no political organization, and it was taking on the entire Democratic Party establishment.

#4: Hillbilly Elegy
Author: J.D. Vance
Weeks On List: 17
Call Number: 92 VANCE
Summary: Vance, a former marine and Yale Law School graduate, provides an account of growing up in a poor Rust Belt town that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America's white working class.

#5: Scrappy Little Nobody
Author: Anna Kendrick
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: 92 KENDRICK
Summary: "A collection of whimsical autobiographical essays by the Academy Award-nominated actress and star of Up in the Air recounts memorable milestones from her New England upbringing to the blockbuster films that have made her one of Hollywood's most popular actresses."

Look for these titles at your Abilene Public Library and discover why they've become such hits in mainstream literature.  If they're not available, get yourselves on the reserve lists and secure your spot in line.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Weekly Library Events (Nov. 28 - Dec. 3)

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, visit our main website to take a look at our program calendar.

Twisted Tales Book Club
Nov. 28 at 4:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
Welcome to the next meeting of Twisted Tales book club for teens!!!  The concept is simple: we love redone tales here at the library.  Reimagined fairy tales, classics, myths…you name it, we love it.  Twisted Tales will be focusing on books that contain an age old tale… that has a twist.  This month’s selection for the book club is Splintered by A.G. Howard, which takes a new twist on Alice in Wonderland.  This club is intended for youth ages 13-19.  Don't miss out on participating in this fun discussion with other teen readers, and for additional information, contact Kelsie Wade at 325-676-6067.

Make & Take: Christmas Trees
Dec. 1 at 4:00PM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
Gear up for the holiday season at your library by coming out to a number of great events we'll host throughout the month across all locations.  Get started with this great afternoon crafting session where library staff will supply all the materials needed to show youth how to make their own Christmas Trees at the library.  Everyone could use a little holiday cheer in their homes, and you'll be able to create yours at your library.  For additional information, feel free to contact us at 325-437-7323.

Collecting Commas Writing Club
Dec. 1 at 4:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
If you have a child between the ages of 10-17, and they love to express themselves through writing, don't miss out on the chance to be a part of the weekly Collecting Commas Writing Club at your Main Library.  Meeting every Thursday afternoon at 4:00PM, this group meets to hone their creative writing skills in all form of writing including novels, short stories, poetry, and more.  Plus, we make writing fun by engaging in a host of fun activities to help inspire ideas and participation among participants.  There's no need to register to be a part of this club, simply come check out a meeting and see if it's meant for you.  For more information about this weekly program, contact Kelsie Wade at 325-676-6067.

Family Fun: Ezra Jack Keats w/the NCCIL
Dec. 1 at 5:00PM
South Branch
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
This month, the South Branch Library is partnering with the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature to celebrate the 100th birthday of this month’s Favorite Author – Ezra Jack Keats! Join us for great stories like The Snowy Day, Whistle for Willie, and Jenny’s Hat. We’ll also learn about the excellent artwork in the stories by doing a fun art project with the NCCIL. You won’t want to miss this exciting free program that’s perfect for the whole family.  For additional information, contact Alyssa Crow at 325-698-7565.

Super Storytime: Let's Rocket
Dec. 2 at 10:45AM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
3,2,1...Blast Off!  Kids and parents are invited to come out and join us for a great Super Storytime event at your library where the theme will be all about ROCKETS!  We're blasting off into a new works and we're asking everyone to come out and join us too.  We'll be sharing and reading books about space, stars, and maybe even a few aliens.  And as always, we'll even have a fun craft for kids to make too.  All materials needed will be supplied so don't miss the fun.  For additional information about this event, contact Insperation Sanchez at 325-676-6067.

Teen Scene After Hours: Nightmare Before Christmas
Dec. 2 at 5:45PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
The teen after hours programming at your library has been a huge hit, so keep the fun going as we celebrate a cult classic - "Nightmare Before Christmas!"  We will have several things for teens to do at this event.  The main event is a Nightmare Before Christmas themed scavenger hunt through the library, where participants must finish a puzzle by gathering the answers to clues.  We will also have available to play, the Nightmare Before Christmas world of Kingdom Hearts on the PS3.  Finally, there will be Jack Skellington cookie decorating too...yum!  We'll supply all materials for the event, and we certainly expect to have a great time so you won't want to miss out on the fun.  This event will last until 7:30PM, where the doors will open again for parents and rides to pickup their teens.  All teens must be picked up no later than 7:45PM.  For additional information, contact Kelsie Wade at 325-676-6067.

Don't miss out on these great activities being hosted at your library and get in on what we have to offer.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Today's Top Book & DVD Releases

Everyone loves staying on top of the latest in books & DVDs and we receive them on a regular basis at your library.  Join us as we hit the highlights of some of the popular titles being released today.

Kubo and the Two Strings
Starring: Travis Knight
Summary: After accidentally summoning an ancient spirit, a young Japanese boy named Kubo is separated from his mother and embarks on a journey to discover the truth about his missing father.  Along the way, he befriends the kindhearted Monkey and the clumsy Beetle as he fends off the vengeful Moon King and two evil twin sisters with his shamisen, a magical stringed instrument.

Cross the Line (Alex Cross #24)
Author: James Patterson
Summary: Shots ring out in the early morning hours in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.  When the smoke clears, a prominent police official lies dead, leaving the city's police force scrambling for answers.  Under pressure from the mayor, Alex Cross steps into the leadership vacuum to crack the case.  But before Cross can make any headway, a brutal crime wave sweeps across the region.  The deadly scenes share only one common thread - the victims are all criminals.  And the only thing more dangerous than a murderer without a conscience, is a killer who thinks he has justice on his side.  As Cross pursues an adversary who has appointed himself judge, jury, and executioner, he must take the law back into his own hands before the city he's sworn to protect descends into utter chaos.

The Operator (Peri Reed Chronicles)
Author: Kim Harrison
Summary: Peri Reed's job eats away at her personal life, but for a special task agent in hiding, forgetting the past can be a blessing.  Betrayed by the man she thought she loved and the agency that turned her into the very thing she fought, Peri abandoned the wealth and privilege of Opti for an anonymous life riddled with memory gaps and self-doubt.  But when a highly, addictive drug promises to end her dependency on those who'd use her as a tool for their own success, she must choose to either remain broken and vulnerable or return to the above-the-law power and prestige she once left: strong but without will - for whoever holds her next fix, will hold her loyalty.

Moonglow
Author: Michael Chabon
Summary: In 1989, fresh from the publication of his first novel, Michael Chabon traveled to his mother's home in Oakland, CA to visit his terminally ill grandfather.  Tongue loosened by powerful painkillers, memory stirred by the innocence of death, Chabon's grandfather shared recollections and told stories the younger man had never heard before, uncovering bits and pieces of a history long buried and forgotten.  That dreamlike week of revelations forms the basis for this novel, the latest feat from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

The Princess Diarist
Author: Carrie Fisher
Summary: When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved - plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naivete, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized.  Today, her fame as an author, actress, and pop culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a regular teenager.  With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, this book is Fisher's intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time - and what developed behind the scenes.

Look for these 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.

Monday, November 21, 2016

"What Do They Do at the Abilene Public Library?" | @ the Library Article

Regardless of which Abilene Public Library branch you enjoy visiting, or whether you like to spend 20 minutes or the whole day with us, you may have noticed a wide variety of staff performing an intriguing array of tasks.  You may well be wondering just what it is that we do here in the library.  Is all of the staff the same?  Does each person have specific tasks?  A few of you might even be interested enough to want to pursue a career in libraries.

The staff of the Abilene Public Library includes our City Librarian (Director), Branch Managers, Librarians, Library Assistants and Pages.  Our City Librarian oversees all branch locations.  Part of being a director is assessing how we do things and making them even better for our patrons, such as the changes to the Main Branch second floor or making it possible to pay library charges with credit cards.  Our Branch Managers make sure that sure that the South and Mockingbird Branches run smoothly.

Librarians do many different tasks, such as help patrons with research by using catalogs and databases to find materials or information for anyone who asks and on just about any topic.  They might also have special projects like organizing our yearly Summer Reading Clubs or Lib-Con.  Technical Services Librarians make sure new materials keep flowing into the library and that they are cataloged correctly so they can be found.

Library Assistants also work directly with the public.  They might help you locate materials such as DVDs, check materials out to you, or pretty much deal with anything involving patron accounts.  Our Pages make sure materials get back to the shelves promptly and accurately.  They also check the shelves on a regular basis to make sure no materials have been misplaced.  You can visit our webpage to find more information about many of our friendly and helpful staff.

To learn more about working in a library, you are more than welcome to ask our staff any questions that you might have about their duties and training.  The library also has many books on hand that you might enjoy looking through that go into more detail about how to pursue a careers in libraries and what to expect once you find your dream job.

A great place to start is The Whole Library Handbook 5: Current Data, Professional Advice, and Curiosa About Libraries and Library Services edited by George M. Eberhart.  Robert Dawson's The Public Library offers a wonderful variety of photographs of libraries interwoven with letters, essays and poems by writers such as Isaac Asimov and Amy Tan, all in celebration of libraries.

Making the Most of Your Library Career, by Lois Stickell, offers insight from career professionals about what it is really like in the library trenches.  In the same vein is What They Don't Teach You in Library School by Elisabeth Doucett, which, as the title hints, covers relevant topics library workers are sure to face in their day-to-day jobs.

Whether you dream of the day when you will work in a library, or if what goes on in your library fascinates you, your Abilene Public Library has resources that will provide an answer to nearly any library related question.  So stop in today and let our staff share with you their library knowledge, skill and experiences.

Article Contributed by Deborah Tarsiewicz, Information Services at the Main Branch of the Abilene Public Library

Sunday, November 20, 2016

"South Branch Library Opens New Digs with WOWs" | Abilene Reporter-News

Article by Timothy Chipp, Abilene Reporter-News, Nov. 19, 2016

Abilene Mayor Norm Archibald had several opportunities to catch a glimpse inside the south branch of the Abilene Public Library inside the Mall of Abilene.  But the mayor said he'd rather have himself a "Wow Moment" walking through the doors with the general public when the branch officially opened its doors to patrons Saturday morning.

He said he got it shortly after making his way inside.

"I am wowed," Archibald said shortly before being drowned out by music played by the Hardin-Simmons University Cowboy Marching Band.  "I am wowed by the layout, I'm wowed by all the conference rooms."

Rebecka Davis, who was visiting the library with her daughter, Karma, and other family members, said she was blown away by what she saw from the new branch's design, including the color scheme and, like the mayor, all of the rooms the new facility has at its disposal.

She said she's been taking her children to the downtown branch on North Second and Cedar streets since the old south branch closed earlier this year.  Having a library closer to home is important to her, she said.

Karma said she was just excited she got to meet real life versions of her favorite fairy tale characters, the Three Little Pigs.  Characters from the Children's Art and Literacy Festival meandered throughout the library taking pictures with children - and some adults- throughout the morning.

Before the doors opened, several library and city dignitaries spoke about the upgrade from the old facility on South 14th Street.

Matt Preston, outgoing president of the Friends of the Abilene Public Library, said his group was responsible for raising the funds to build the $1.5 million facility in about six months time.  They put down $500,000 of the Friends' own cash, sought $500,000 from area foundations and received the remaining $500,000 from the community as a whole.

There was no taxpayer contribution, he said.

"I cannot be happier," he said about the new facility.  "I want it to get used a lot.  I hope it gets worn out, in a good way."

Bob and Danelle Brand popped in Saturday morning to see the space and also were blown away by what they saw.  Danelle said she was particularly impressed with the new "Teen Room" set off from the main library with age-appropriate materials and books.

Even though they're both long removed from the days of being a teenager, with grown children of their own, the couple said that spaced looked particularly fancy.

"It's really a multipurpose room," she said.

The south branch inside the mall will offer expanded youth, adolescent and adult learning opportunities as it transitions from opening to business-as-usual.  For a complete listing of library events, classes and other schedules, visit the library's website.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

"Celebrate the Opening of a Library at Our Mall" | Abilene Reporter News

Article by Jane Varner Beard, Grants Administrator/Attorney at the Dian Graves Owen Foundation and longtime Friend of the Library, Abilene Reporter News, Nov. 17, 2016

My father was born in a tent in Ranger on a cold day in December 1919.  His parents, who had only third-grade educations, had traveled on flatbed rail cars from their native Oklahoma with their team of mules hoping to find work delivering drilling equipment from the railhead to oil well sites throughout Eastland County.

My father and his family eventually returned to Oklahoma, where he was raised in a series of oilfiled camps.  Moving often, his education was fragmented and limited by the financial stress of the Great Depression.  The only reading material in his home was the King James version of the Bible.

Many of my father's classmates and acquaintances from those years fell into the trap of alcohol, indolence and crime.  I once asked him how he had escaped the fate of so many of his contemporaries.  He credited his wonderful parents and the window to the world provided by reading.

"A neigbor who lived a couple of miles down the road from us subscribed to the National Geographic magazine," he told me.  "She would let me walk over and sit on her floor and read the magazines.  National Geographic showed me there was a much bigger world out there.  I survived because I realized there could be a bigger future for me than the one I could see in front of me at that moment."

The generous neighbor's collection of National Geographic magazines was my father's public library in the 1930s.  It opened his eyes, brain and heart to a world of possibilities that he otherwise wouldn't have known existed.

My childhood public library included books, periodicals and newspapers, all of which could be found through the technological wonder known as the card catalog.  I spent hours at the branch library in Wichita, Kansas and joined the summer reading club every year.  It was there, sitting on the green linoleum floor, that I fell in love with American history and was inspired by heroines such as Amelia Earhart, Clara Barton and Elizabeth Blackwell to pursue college and a law degree.  Without the library, my life would have been quite different.

Like the library of my childhood and my father's National Geographic library, the modern public library continues to inspire and provide a portal to a world of possibilities for those with a desire to look and learn.  However, a modern library now also serves as the "living room of the community," bringing people together for collaboration, experience and creativity.  Our Abilene librarian, Lori Grumet, and her staff have been hard at work providing just such activities.

This past summer, in addition to engaging 4,630 children and 923 teens in a summer reading program, the Abilene Public Library was host to a variety of classes and events, including family friendly movie nights in both Spanish and English, a murder mystery party for teens, the Collecting Commas Writing Club, a monthly Science Club for kids, a children's Paleontology School, and numerous craft opportunities.  Adults could take advantage of classes as varied as Resume 101, Senior Fitness, Putting Your Business on the Map, QuickBooks, Beginning Genealogy, Beginning Facebook and How to Hold a Successful Garage or Estate Sale.

Albert Einstein once said that "The only thing you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library."  Therefore, Abilenians absolutely need to know that the south-side branch of the Abilene Public Library will reopen at 10AM Saturday at the Mall of Abilene, next door to JCPenney.

Accessible from both inside the mall and directly from the adjacent parking lot, the new library is poised to bring innovative resources and programming to adults, teens and children.  The mall branch location will include new features such as green screen video technology and the ability to record presentations for broadcast on Cable Television, Channel 2.

It also will have a teen room with dedicated computers and large screen TVs for movies, gaming, and other presentations.  Those wanting a quieter atmosphere can enjoy three quiet study rooms and a special quiet reading room.  Wireless access will be available for your electronic devices as well as 10 computers for public internet access.

Library cards are free to anyone who lives in Abilene.  If you don't already have one, the new south-side branch will have one for you.  Stop in and you'll discover, as former First Lady Laura Bush once declared, "The most valuable thing in my wallet is my library card."

Weekly Library Events (Nov. 21-26)

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, visit our main website to take a look at our program calendar.

Family Fun: Pajama Party
Nov. 21 at 4:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-6976-6067
Grab your best pair of PJ's and get ready for a Pajama Party at your library.  That's the theme of our next Family Fun event designed for kids of all ages, as well as the entire family.  Join us for this enhanced storytime event as we'll share great stories, play games, make fun crafts, and more with children's staff at your library.  It will certainly be an awesome way to spend an afternoon at your library.  For more information about this event, contact Insperation Sanchez at 325-676-6067.

Legos Galore
Nov. 21 at 6:30PM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
Youth are invited out to a second Lego Club session at your library, hosted at the Mockingbird Branch.  Tweens between the ages of 8-12 are welcome to come to the library where we'll supply them with a slew of Legos for building whatever they can imagine  Whether you wish to work on a project solo, or team up with others, there's no wrong way to have fun at this interactive event.  Don't pass up on this new monthly program at your library, and for additional information, contact us at 325-437-7323.

Preparing the Lawn & Garden for Winter
Nov. 22 at 6:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025
Adam Andrews of Willow Creek Gardens will discuss preparing flower beds, lawns and landscaping during the winter months to help insure their health and vibrancy when spring arrives.  Don't miss out on attending this workshop at your library, and get the answers to the questions you may have.  For additional information, contact us at 325-676-6025.

Holiday Closings: Thanksgiving
Nov. 24; All Day (All Locations)
Nov. 25 (Main & Mockingbird Branches)
PH: 325-677-2474
All locations of the Abilene Public Library will be closed on November 24 in observance of Thanksgiving Day.  The Main Libary and Mockingbird Branch locations will remain closed on November 25, re-opening on Saturday, November 26; the South Branch Library will be open on Friday, November 25 from 10AM to 6PM, regular hours.  Outside materials returns are available at all locations if you need to return anything.

Mockingbird Movies: The Lego Movie
Nov. 26 at 2:30PM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
Kids and parents are invited out to a free movie showing at your library where we'll be showing 2014's "The Lego Movie" with the voices of Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, and other familiar actors.  In this film, an ordinary Lego construction worker, thought to be the prophesied 'Special', is recruited to join a quest to stop an evil tyrant from gluing the Lego universe into eternal stasis. This film has a run time of 1 hour and 40 minutes and is rated PG for mild action and rude humor.  For more information about this movie event, contact us at 325-437-7323.

Don't miss out on these great activities being hosted at your library and get in on what we have to offer.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Today's Top Book & DVD Releases


Everyone loves staying on top of the latest in books & DVDs and we receive them on a regular basis at your library.  Joni us as we hit the highlights of the more popular titles being released today.

Finding Dory
Starring: Ellen DeGeneres
Call Number: 791.43 FIN
Summary: In this sequel to Pixar's 2003 smash hit Finding Nemo, lovable, amnesiac blue tang Dory decides to go off in search of her long-lost parents.  With the help of young clown fish Nemo and his dad Marlin, Dory heads for California and the Monterey Marine Life Institute, evading predators along the way as she hopes to find a place she can call home.

Turbo Twenty-Three (Stephanie Plum Series #23)
Author: Janet Evanovich
Call Number: M EVANOVICH
Summary: Larry Virgil skipped out on his latest court date after he was arrested for hijacking an eighteen-wheeler full of premium bourbon.  Fortunately for bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, Larry is just stupid enough to attempt almost the exact same crime again.  Only this time he flees the scene, leaving behind a freezer truck loaded up with Bogart ice cream and a dead body.  Now, Ranger needs her to go undercover at the Bogart factory to find out who's putting employees on ice and sabotaging the business.

Odessa Sea (Dirk Pitt Series)
Author: Clive Cussler
Call Number: F CUSSLER
Summary: Dirk Pitt, the director of the National Underwater and Marine Agency, is on the Black Sea, helping to locate a lost Ottoman shipwreck, when he responds to an urgent Mayday - "Under Attack!" - from a nearby freighter.  But when he and his colleague All Giordino arrive, there is nobody there.  Just dead bodies and a smell of sulfur in the air.  As Pitt and Giordino explore, a blast from the stern scuttles the ship swiftly, almost taking them with it.  The more the two of them search, the deeper they descend into an extraordinary series of discoveries...but more troubles are lurking around the corner...troubles that may lead Pitt into one of the most dangerous challenges of his career.

No Man's Land (John Puller Series #4)
Author: David Baldacci
Call Number: F BALDACCI
Summary: Two men.  Thirty years.  John Puller's mother, Jackie, vanished 30 years ago from Fort Monroe, Virginia, when Puller was just a boy.  Paul Rogers has been in prison for ten years.  But 20 years before that, he was at Fort Monroe.  One night three decades ago, Puller's and Rogers' worlds collided with devastating results, and the truth has been buried ever since.  Until now.  Military investigators, armed with a letter from a friend of Jackie's arrive in the hospital room of Puller's father - a legendary three-star now sinking into dementia - and reveal that Puller Sr. has been accused of murdering Jackie.  Aided by his brother Robert, an Air Force major, and Veronica, who works for a shadowy U.S. intelligence organization, Puller begins a journey that will take him into his own past, to find the truth about his mother.

Chaos (Kay Scarpetta Series #24)
Author: Patricia Cornwell
Call Number: M CORNWELL
Summary: In the quiet of twilight, on an early autumn day, 26-year-old Elisa Vandersteel is killed while riding her bicycle along the Charles River.  It appears she was struck by lightning - except the weather is perfectly clear with not a cloud in sight.  Dr. Kay Scarpetta decides at the scene that this is no accidental Act of God.  Her investigation becomes complicated when she begins receiving a flurry of bizarre poems from an anonymous cyberbully who calls himself Tailend Charlie.  Though subsequent lab results support Scarpetta's conclusions, the threatening messages don't stop.  When the tenth poem arrives exactly 24 hours after Elisa's death, Scarpetta begins to suspect the harasser is involved, and sounds the alarm to her investigate partner Pete Marino and her husband, FBI analyst Benton Wesley.  She enlists the help of her niece, Lucy.  But to Scarpetta's surprise, tracking the slippery Tailend Charlie is nearly impossible, even for someone as brilliant as her niece.  Also, Lucy can't explain how this anonymous nemesis could have access to private information.

The Sleeping Beauty Killer (Under Suspicion Series #3)
Author: Mary Higgins Clark
Call Number:
Summary: Casey Carter was convicted of murdering her fiancĂ© - famed philanthropist Hunter Raleigh III - fifteen years ago.  And Casey claims, has always claimed, she's innocent.  Although she was charged and served out her sentence in prison, she is still living "under suspicion."  She hears whispers at the grocery store.  She can't get a job.  Even her own mother treats her like she's guilty.  Her story attracts the attention of Laurie Moran and the Under Suspicion news team, it's Casey's last chance to finally clear her name, and Laurie pledges to exonerate her.  With Alex Buckley taking a break from the show, it introduces a new on-air host named Ryan Nichols, a young legal whiz with a Harvard Law degree, Supreme Court clerkship, experience as a federal prosecutor, and regular stints on the cable news circuit.  He's stealing the show...and he's certain Casey is guilty.  Did she do it?

Look for these 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.