Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Complete Library Impact Survey on Technology, June 1-24

To keep up with how the library's technology is being used by the Abilene community, we're inviting everyone to complete an Impact Survey online, which will be available on our website from June 1-24.  Your assistance in sharing your thoughts will help to provide library staff with a better understanding of how you use the library's resources/services, and how we can continue to improve upon our current offerings.

Technology is swiftly becoming a part of everyone's lives.  At your Abilene Public Library, we offer a myriad of services to take advantage of.  With a popular lineup including access to PC's, the Internet, Wi-Fi, downloadable digital services, databases, and more, all of them are offered to you for FREE (most services do require a valid library card).  For more information on what's available at your library, feel free to print/download our Technology Guide.

Developed by research staff at the University of Washington Information School, the Impact Survey contains detailed questions about the benefits and outcomes of using technology services.  It takes less than 15-minutes to complete, and the information you provide will be another great opportunity to "give back" to the library.

Again, the Impact Survey on technology at your library will be available by Clicking Here, or visiting the Library's Website so you may share your thoughts on your use of technology at your library.

Local Teen Author to Present Book at Storytime, June 14

Hannah Tollison, Teen Author
Your Abilene Public Library is pleased to announce a special storytime event at the South Branch location (4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.) on Wednesday, June 14 at 10:45AM.  Designed for kids of all ages, this session will feature a guest author who will share her delightful children's book titled "Sally the Sloth Sleeps in School."  Written and illustrated by Hannah Tollison, a recent Cooper High School graduate, it's a story designed to teach kids that sleeping in school isn't a good way to accomplish tasks or be involved.  The key to success is getting a good night's rest so you can be your best.

We met with Tollison, and after chatting with her, we jumped at the chance to have her share her book with kids in the community.  To our delight, she accepted the offer and now we want everyone to come out and support the writing talent of this local teen.  As an added bonus, Tollison is a sign language interpreter and will be signing her book while she reads.

Tollison wrote the story for a children's book competition for the Texas Association of Future Educators.  Her submission went on to win at regionals, then placed in the top 5 out of 50 entries at the state competition.  At the end of June, she'll head off to nationals, in Phoenix, AZ, where she'll be competing against the top Children's Literature K-3 competitors in the U.S.

Tollison will go on to attend Stephen F. Austin University in the fall and majoring in Deaf Education.

We hope you'll join us at the South Branch Library on Wednesday, June 14 at 10:45AM and support this local teen writer as she shares her children's book with kids and parents.  For more information, contact Alyssa Crow at 325-698-7565.

Youth Encouraged to Participate in STEM Challenges, Career Sessions & More

Fridays are heating up at your Abilene Public Library for this year's Summer Reading Clubs, and children's staff at your South Branch & Main Library will host a special series of activities tying right in with the 2017 theme of "Build a Better World."  With some activities designed for kids of all ages and others extending up to age 18, all are designed as fun and educational activities to lessen the summer slide while on a summer break from school.  Let's take a look at the different series being offered.

Summer STEM Challenges | Ages 8-18
The South Branch Library will host a series of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities designed to challenge youth and teens towards developing stronger critical thinking skills.  Rising in popularity in school systems, the library will be jumping on board by hosting a number of activities that will not only be fun, but certainly educational.  Such activities include:
  • Friday, June 9 at 4:00PM: Egg Drop to construct a contraption to protect an egg from a fall.
  • Friday, June 23 at 4:00PM: Paper Airplanes to create a design that will surpass all others.
  • Friday, June 30 at 4:00PM: Balloon Towers to see whose tower of balloons will stand the tallest.
  • Friday, July 14 at 4:00PM: Marble Mazes to design your own moving puzzles.
  • Friday, July 28 at 4:00PM: Recycled Paper to learn to create paper from recycled materials.
Who I Could Be...Career Series | Kids of All Ages
Youth of all ages are introduced to a variety of adults working in a number of different professions and careers, but may not know exactly what they do.  As impressionable as children may be, your South Branch Library will offer four (4) career sessions titled "Who I Could Be" to introduce them to various career fields.  One of them may just be a field your child is interested in.  Each session will feature interactive talks with guest speakers and maybe some fun show & tell activities as well.  Summer sessions will include:
  • Friday, June 2 at 4:00PM: Meet a Firefighter featuring Abilene Firefighters from Station 8.
  • Friday, June 16 at 4:00PM: Meet a Police Officer featuring Abilene Police Officers.
  • Friday, July 7 at 4:00PM: Meet a Meteorologist featuring Randy Turner from KRBC.
  • Friday, July 21 at 4:00PM: Meet a Pastry Chef featuring Tasha Teel, Owner of The Cakery in Lubbock, TX.
Build a Better World Series | Kids of All Ages
Kids will have the opportunity to "Build a Better World" by attending a special series hosted at the Main Library on select Fridays throughout the summer.  Incorporating a number of different activities in each session, youth will learn about a different subject at each session, as well as engage in additional activities including stories, crafts, and other stimuli.  Designed for all ages, you won't want to miss your chance to participate in all four including:
  • Friday, June 16 at 3:00PM: Kid(gineering) where you'll learn how things are built.
  • Friday, June 30 at 3:00PM: Green Fingers to learn about how things grow.
  • Friday, July 14 at 3:00PM: Trash to Treasure to learn about the importance of recycling.
  • Friday, July 28 at 3:00PM: An Apple a Day to learn the importance of developing healthy habits.
It's all at your library this summer so be sure to bring your kids out to these special activities and be a part of building that better community.

Book-to-Film Adaptations: June 2017

Literature often inspires film adaptations and each month I like to highlight those hitting theaters soon.  Check out this blog entry to see what they are, and be on the lookout for seeing them in theaters...as well as checking out their source materials at your library.

Wonder Woman
Starring: Gal Gadot
Release Date: June 2
Author: William Moulton Marston
Summary: Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior.  Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat.  Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers and her true destiny.

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
Starring: Jordan Peele
Release Date: June 2
Author: Dav Pilkey
Summary: Two overly imaginative pranksters named George and Harold, hypnotize their principal into thinking he's a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants.

My Cousin Rachel
Starring: Rachel Weisz
Release Date: June 9
Based On: My Cousin Rachel
Author: Daphne du Maurier
Summary: A young Englishman plots revenge against his mysterious, beautiful cousin, believing that she murdered his guardian.  But his feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of her charms.

The Beguiled
Starring: Kirsten Dunst
Release Date: June 23
Based On: A Painted Devil
Author: Thomas P. Cullinan
Summary: At a girls' school in Virginia during the Civil War, where the young women have been sheltered from the outside world, a wounded Union soldier is taken in.  Soon, the house is taken over with sexual tension, rivalries, and an unexpected turn of events.

And there you have it, your look at April's book-to-film adaptations to be on the lookout for.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

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.

The Shack
Starring: Sam Worthington
Summary: After a loving father endures a family tragedy that rocks him to his core, he receives a mysterious invitation to "The Shack," a decrepit shelter where an unimaginable horror once took place.  But, much to his surprise, his visit prompts a divine intervention from a series of strangers, and the group soon lead him on a theological inquiry in the hope of getting him unstuck from his grief by reminding him of the all-encompassing love of God.

Fist Fight
Starring: Charlie Day
Summary: On the last day before summer vacation at a rough-and-tumble high school, mild-mannered teacher Andy Campbell accidentally causes his fearsome colleague Ron Strickland to be fired.  When Strickland then challenges him to a fist fight after school, Campbell must find a way to avoid a vicious beating.

Before I Fall
Starring: Zoey Deutch
Summary: A popular, selfish high schooler keeps reliving the same day over and over again, which ends with her and her friends getting into a fatal car accident.  In time, she must learn how to prevent the accident while becoming a better, kinder person to those around her.  Based on the young adult novel of the same name by author Lauren Oliver.

Collide
Starring: Nicholas Hoult
Summary: To pay for his girlfriend's medical emergency while abroad, Casey schemes to pull a drug heist for an eccentric gangster.  After a failed attempt, he embarks across Europe on an action-packed chase in a race against time to save his girlfriend's life from being taken by an evil drug lord.

Nighthawk (NUMA Files #14)
Author: Clive Cussler
Summary: When the most advanced aircraft ever designed vanishes over the South Pacific, Kurt Austin and Joe Zavala are drawn into a deadly contest to locate the fallen machine.  Russia and China covet the radical technology, but the U.S. worries about a darker problem.  They know what others don't - that the X-37 is carrying a dangerous secret, a payload of exotic matter, extracted from the upper reaches of the atmosphere and stored at a temperature near absolute zero.  As long as it remains frozen, the cargo is inert, but if it thaws, it will unleash a catastrophe of nearly unthinkable proportions.

Come Sundown
Author: Nora Roberts
Summary: The Bodine ranch and resort in western Montana is a family business, an idyllic spot for vacationers.  A little over thirty thousand acres and home to four generations, it's kept running by Bodine Longbow with the help of a large staff, including new hire Callen Skinner.  There was another member of the family once: Bodine's aunt, Alice, who ran off before Bodine was born.  She never returned, and the Longbows don't talk about her much.  The younger ones, who never met her, quietly presume she's dead.  But she isn't.  She is not far away, part of a new family, one she never chose - and her mind has been shattered...

Theft by Finding Diaries 1977-2002
Author: David Sedaris
Summary: For 40 years, David Sedaris has kept a diary in which he records everything that captures his attention - overheard comments, salacious gossip, soap opera plot twists, secrets confided by total strangers.  These observations are the source code for his finest work, and through them he has honed his cunning, surprising sentences.  Now, Sedaris shares his private writings with the world including stories of how a drug-abusing dropout with a weakness for IHOP and a chronic inability to hold down a real job became one of the funniest people on the planet.

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, May 29, 2017

"Touring Texas" | @ the Library Article

The Memorial Day weekend means summer vacation time is fast approaching.  Vacations can be expensive, so why not find some vacation fun closer to home?  The Big Country is full of wonderful places to explore and things to do, and your Abilene Public Library can help you find what's out there.

How about packing up a picnic lunch and driving to Fort Phantom Hill just north of Abilene?  The fort was built before the Civil War and though it wasn't used for long, there is still plenty of history to see.  The site is open daily during daylight hours and is free of charge to visitors.  Before you go you might want to visit your library and check out A History of Fort Phantom Hill: The Post on the Clear Fork of the Brazos River by Martha Doty Freeman...it's more fun to visit a place if you know a bit about it.

35 miles northeast of Abilene, the entire family can find entertainment in Albany.  Whether you enjoy history, art, shopping, or the annual event known as the "Fandangle," you will have a good time in Albany.  The Fandangle (last two weekends in June) is a western musical telling the story of the founding of Albany, Fort Griffin and the entire area.  Before you go, find out more by taking a look at For 500 Years: The Shackelford County Courthouse by Shirley Caldwell.  Not only the history of a building, this story is a lively tale featuring a memorable assortment of characters and exciting events.

Other interesting reading might include Fort Griffin on the Texas Frontier by Carl Coke Rister or Bravo of the Brazos: John Larn of Fort Griffin, Texas by Robert K. DeArment.  Both these books will tell you more about the rough and tumble frontier life our forebears experiences up on the Clear Fork of the Brazos River.

Fort Worth is another worthy destination, with delightful stops all along the way.  Your Abilene Public Library has copies of the unique Windshield History of this part of Texas, both coming and going.  Fort Worth to Abilene is a one disc audio tour of the immigrant's trail west on the U.S. Hwy 180 and TX Hwy 351 route, while Abilene to Fort Worth: Interstate 20 covers the old U.S. Hwy 80 route.  Local people voice the stories in the words of the pioneers themselves and you can almost see the the covered wagons and horses keeping pace along the roadway.

If you think the usual 'touristy' things aren't for you, take a look at Eric Peterson's Ramble Texas: A Wanderer's Guide to the Offbeat, Overlooked, and Outrageous.  With sections covering the entire state, including two on West Texas, you should find interesting things both near and far to suit your wandering foot.

Texas Road Trip: Stories from Across the Great State and a Few Personal Reflections is a compilation of author and journalist Bryan Wooley's Dallas Morning News columns from 1999 through 2003.  Texas Road Trip explores back roads, small towns and Texas originals.  A similar book is Bob Phillips' Texas Country Reporter: Stories from the Backroads, which features 50 stories about the people and places along the less traveled roads of Texas.  Anyone with a yen to go someplace different will find many options in either of these books.

Vacations don't have to be expensive to be fun!  Let your Abilene Public Library help you find the perfect way to spend your time off this summer, whether you want to travel, or stay close to home.  We can fix you up.

Article Contributed by Janis C. Test, Information Services Manager

Friday, May 26, 2017

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of May 28)

Many 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: Into the Water
Author: Paula Hawkins
Weeks On List: 3
Call Number: F HAWKINS
Summary: A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged. Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother's sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from, a place to which she vowed she'd never return.

#2: No Middle Name
Author: Lee Child
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: M CHILD
Summary: A collection of pulse-pounding Jack Reacher stories--one never-before-seen novella, plus eleven others collected for the first time in print--each with original introductions from the twelve-time #1 New York Times bestselling author.

#3: 16th Seduction
Author: James Patterson
Weeks On List: 3
Call Number: M PATTERSON
Summary: Detective Lindsay Boxer faces a heart-stopping threat in the newest Women's Murder Club thriller. Fifteen months ago, Detective Lindsay Boxer's life was perfect--she had a beautiful child and a doting husband, Joe, who helped her catch a criminal who'd brazenly detonated a bomb in downtown San Francisco, killing twelve people. But Joe wasn't everything that Lindsay thought he was, and she's still reeling from the betrayal as a wave of mysterious, and possibly unnatural, heart attacks claim seemingly unrelated victims across San Francisco. As if that weren't enough, the bomber that she and Joe captured is about to go on trial, and his defense raises damning questions about Lindsay and Joe's investigation.

#4: Same Beach, Next Year
Author: Dorothea Benton Frank
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F FRANK
Summary: A chance meeting on the Isle of Palms, one of Charleston's most stunning barrier islands, brings former sweethearts, Adam Stanley and Eve Landers together again. Their respective spouses, Eliza and Carl, fight sparks of jealousy flaring from their imagined rekindling of old flames. As Adam and Eve get caught up on their lives, their partners strike up a deep friendship, and flirt with an unexpected attraction, of their own. Year after year, Adam, Eliza, Eve, and Carl eagerly await their reunion at Wild Dunes, a condominium complex at the island's tip end, where they grow closer with each passing day, building a friendship that will withstand financial catastrophe, family tragedy, and devastating heartbreak. The devotion and love they share will help them weather the vagaries of time and enrich their lives as circumstances change, their children grow up and leave home, and their twilight years approach.

#5: The Fix
Author: David Baldacci
Weeks On List: 5
Call Number: F BALDACCI
Summary: Amos Decker witnesses a murder just outside FBI headquarters. A man shoots a woman execution-style on a crowded sidewalk, then turns the gun on himself.  Even with Decker's extraordinary powers of observation and deduction, the killing is baffling.  Decker and his team can find absolutely no connection between the shooter--a family man with a successful consulting business--and his victim, a schoolteacher.  Nor is there a hint of any possible motive for the attack. Enter Harper Brown.  An agent of the Defense Intelligence Agency, she orders Decker to back off the case.  The murder is part of an open DIA investigation, one so classified that Decker and his team aren't cleared for it.  But they learn that the DIA believes solving the murder is now a matter of urgent national security.  Critical information may have been leaked to a hostile government--or worse, an international terrorist group--and an attack may be imminent.  Decker's never been one to follow the rules, especially with the stakes so high.  Forced into an uneasy alliance with Agent Brown, Decker remains laser focused on only one goal: solving the case before it's too late.

Hardcover Nonfiction Top 5

#1: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
Author: Neil DeGrasse Tyson
Weeks On List: 3
Call Number: 523.01 DEG
Summary: The essential universe, from our most celebrated and beloved astrophysicist. What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There's no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson.

#2: Option B
Author: Sheryl Sandberg
Weeks On List: 4
Call Number: 155.937 SAN
Summary: The author's experience with grief after the sudden death of her husband, combined with social science on resilience.

#3: The Vanishing American Adult
Author: Ben Sasse
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: 305.24 SAS
Summary: Sasse diagnoses the causes of a generation that can't grow up and offers a path for raising children to become active and engaged citizens.  He identifies core formative experiences that all young people should pursue: hard work to appreciate the benefits of labor, travel to understand deprivation and want, the power of reading, the importance of nurturing your body - and explains how parents can encourage them.  This book is a call to arms intended to ignite a much-needed debate about the link between the way we're raising our children and the future of our country.

#4: Hillbilly Elegy
Author: J.D. Vance
Weeks On List: 43
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. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck. The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.'s grandparents were "dirt poor and in love," and moved north from Kentucky's Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility.

#5: Papi
Author: David Ortiz
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: 92 ORTIZ
Summary: David "Big Papi" Ortiz is a baseball icon and one of the most popular figures ever to play the game. As a key part of the Boston Red Sox for 14 years, David has helped the team win 3 World Series, bringing back a storied franchise from "never wins" to "always wins." He helped them upend the doubts, the naysayers, the nonbelievers and captured the imagination of millions of fans along the way, as he launched balls into the stands again, and again, and again. He made Boston and the Red Sox his home, his place of work, and his legacy. In Papi, his ultimate memoir, Ortiz opens up as never before about his life in baseball and about the problems he sees in Major League Baseball, about former teammates, opponents, coaches, and executives, and about the weight of expectation whenever he stepped up to the plate. The result is a revelatory, fly-on-the wall story of a career by a player with a lot to say at the end of his time in the game, a game to which he gave so much and which gave so much to him.

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, May 25, 2017

Weekly Library Events (May 28 - June 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 events calendar.

Book-to-Flix: Winter's Bone
Sunday, May 28 at 3:00PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
Don't miss the next Book-to-Flix movie showing at your South Branch Library as we're watching a film based on the 2006 novel by Daniel Woodrell.  The featured flick will be 2010's "Winter's Bone" starring Jennifer Lawrence in a role that led her to receive her first Oscar nomination for Best Actress.  In this film, an unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact.  This film is rated R for some drug material, language, and violent content and has a run time of 1 hour and 40 minutes.  Light snacks will be provided, or you may feel free to bring your own.  For additional information, contact Tremain Jackson at 325-698-7565.

Holiday Closing: Memorial Day
Monday, May 29; All Day
Main Library & Mockingbird Branch
PH: 325-677-2474
The Main Library and Mockingbird Branch Library locations will be closed on Monday, May 29 in observance of Memorial Day.  For your convenience, outside materials returns are available if you need to return anything.  Your South Branch Library, located in the Mall of Abilene, will be open regular hours from 10:00AM to 9:00PM.  Feel free to stop by this location if needing to use library services.

TECH Time
Monday, May 29 at 2:00PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565 
If you have tech-related issues, join us for TECH (Technology Enrichment & Collaborative Help) Time at your library.  Sessions will be hosted twice a week on Mondays at the South Branch Library and Thursdays at the Main Library from 2:00PM to 4:00PM.  Sessions will be provided by the library’s Technology/Social Media Manager and the Multimedia Marketing Assistant.  We may not have all the answers, but we’ll certainly be on hand to assist you and help in some way.  Guests will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis and limited to 30-minutes if others are waiting.  For more information, contact Tremain Jackson or Jessica Reyes at 325-698-7565.

Digging to the Bottom of Fake News
Tuesday, May 30 at 6:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
Doug Williamson of the Abilene Reporter-News takes a look at the history of "fake news."  You'll be surprised by how long it's been around.  Then we will have some examples and see if you can differentiate the fake news from the real news.  We'll also have a checklist to help you tell the difference.  There'll be plenty of time of questions about the news business, too.  For more information, contact us at 325-676-6025.

TECH Time
Thursday, June 1 at 2:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-698-7565 
If you have tech-related issues, join us for TECH (Technology Enrichment & Collaborative Help) Time at your library.  Sessions will be hosted twice a week on Mondays at the South Branch Library and Thursdays at the Main Library from 2:00PM to 4:00PM.  Sessions will be provided by the library’s Technology/Social Media Manager and the Multimedia Marketing Assistant.  We may not have all the answers, but we’ll certainly be on hand to assist you and help in some way.  Guests will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis and limited to 30-minutes if others are waiting.  For more information, contact Tremain Jackson or Jessica Reyes at 325-698-7565.

Make & Take; Backyard Fun & Art
Thursday, June 1 at 4:00PM
Mockingbird Branch Library
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
Kids are invited out to a fun craft workshop at your Mockingbird Branch Library.  Summer has arrived and the start of the Summer Reading Clubs are just around the corner, but we're getting the fun started now.  Join us for some backyard fun and art as we supply the materials needed to make colorful birdfeeders and shadow puppets to decorate your backyards with.  For more information, contact Darla Casella at 325-437-7323.


Collecting Commas Writing Club
Thursday, June 1 at 4:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
If you have a young writer between the ages of 10-17, don't miss out on the chance to be a part of the weekly Collecting Commas Writing Club at your library.  Meeting every Thursday afternoon at 4:30PM, this group works toward honing their creative writing skills in all forms of writing including novels, short stories, poetry, and more.  There's no need to register, simply come check out a meeting and see if it's meant for you.  For more information about this weekly series, contact Amanda Sasser at 325-676-6067.

Super Storytime: Plants
Friday, June 2 at 10:45AM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
The theme for the Summer Reading Club is "Build a Better World," and we'll be hosting summer programming to help tie into that theme.  Kids & parents are invited to join us for a wonderful Super Storytime event, all dealing with plants, where we'll enjoy stories, songs, crafts, and more all about the things that grow.  Don't miss out on this literary event.  For additional information, contact us at 325-676-6067.

Who I Could Be: Meet a Firefighter
Friday, June 2 at 4:00PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565
Your South Branch Library is hosting a special summer series, for kids of all ages, where we'll be inviting in local professionals to share with us what they do in their careers.  For our first session, we'll be meeting members of the Abilene Fire Department, from Station 8, where we'll learn about what firefighters do.  Don't miss out on this great event at your library, and for additional information, contact Insperation Sanchez at 325-698-7565.

Teen After Hours: Ani-Mania
Friday, June 2 at 5:45PM
Mockingbird Branch Library
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323
Your Mockingbird Branch Library is joining in on the after hours programming for teens and we'll be hosting our first activity night in June.  If you're Otaku, this is your chance to meet up with others at the library as we'll be showing anime and doing Japanese-themed crafts.  We'll supply all the materials you'll need for this event, you just be sure to come out and enjoy the fun.  For additional information, contact Marianne Vadney 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.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Library TECH Time Expands in June

Tech Monday Instruction at your South Branch Library has been a hit since it was introduced in February.  Offered every Monday for a 2-hour block, guests came in to receive help on their tech-related issues, no appointment necessary.  We're pleased to announce this series is expanding to the Main Library in June.
Tech Monday Instruction will become TECH (Technology Enrichment & Collaborative Help) Time.  Sessions will continue to be hosted at the South Branch Library on Mondays from 2:00PM to 4:00PM, but also added to Thursdays at the Main Library, same time and same tech gurus.

At each session, guests will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis, where we'll offer help in whatever tech-related issue you may be experiencing.  Although we may not have all the answers, we've yet to meet a challenge we couldn't help with.  Past assistance has included:
  • Learning to use a smartphone/tablet.
  • Speeding up the performance on your laptop.
  • Using the library's digital services (i.e. OverDrive, Hoopla, and Flipster).
  • Learning to use social media platforms.
  • Navigating the Internet.
  • General PC instruction and assistance, and more.
Like always, we never charge for the programs we offer.  If you're unable to attend a session on Monday or Thursday afternoons, you may still take advantage of our Book-A-Librarian program where you can schedule a time for 1-on-1 assistance with library staff at any location.

Don't pass up on this popular series at your library, and if you have any questions, contact Tremain Jackson.

Experience Disney Days at Your Library in Summer Series

Since the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, audiences have been captivated by the countless Disney movies still going strong more than 70 years later.  Held as its first feature-length animated film, taking three years to complete, it soon became the highest-grossing film of that time by 1939.

Your South Branch Library wants you to share the joy of Disney with your children in a special summer Disney Flix series.  This program will run every Wednesday afternoon at 2:30PM in the meeting room and each session will feature a different Disney movie (both animated and live-action) through the first half of August.  That's 10 movies over the course of two and a half months...it's going to be a Disney dream at your library.

However, movies will not be the only focus of these programs, we'll have crafts too.  For each of the featured flicks, youth will have the opportunity to make crafts inspired from the movie; all materials supplied.  It will be the perfect way to spend your Wednesday afternoons at the library as a family.  Light refreshments will also be served, or feel free to bring your own.  From a young master archer with fiery red hair to a rookie bunny cop trying to uncover a conspiracy, we'll have a host of popular flicks to share throughout the summer.

Remember, sessions will be hosted every Wednesday starting June 7 with the final session being hosted on August 16.  For more information about this summer movie series, contact Tremain Jackson at 325-698-7565.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

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.

Get Out
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya
Summary: A young African-American photographer is nervous at the thought of meeting his white girlfriend's parents for the first time during a trip to the latter's country estate.  However, his anxiety soon turns into outright terror when he discovers that the family's seemingly idyllic community is hiding a sinister conspiracy, one that involves the disappearance of several black people in the area.

Logan
Place Hold
Starring: Hugh Jackman
Summary: In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X somewhere on the Mexican border.  However, Logan attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are upended when a young mutant arrives, pursued by dark forces.

The Great Wall
Starring: Matt Damon
Summary: In this action-fantasy epic set in 11th century China, two mercenaries from the West are captured by a military organization that are headquartered in a fortress on the Great Wall.  In time, the duo get caught up in a battle between the Chinese warriors and a supernatural menace that the Great Wall was built to repel.

Crazy House
Author: James Patterson
Summary: There were no charges.  There was no trial.  There will be no escape.  17-year-old Becca was snatched from her small hometown.  She was thrown into a maximum-security prison and put on Death Row with other kids her age.  Until her execution, Becca's told to fig in and shut her mouth...but Becca's never been very good at either.  Her sister Cassie was always the perfect twin.  Becca's only hope is that her twin sister will find her.  That perfect little priss Cassie will stop following the rules and start breaking them, before it's too late.  Because her jailers made a mistake that could get them both killed: they took the wrong twin.

Dragon Teeth
Author: Michael Crichton
Summary: The year is 1876.  Warring Indian tribes still populate America's western territories even as lawless gold-rush towns begin to mark the landscape.  In much of the country it is still illegal to espouse evolution.  Against this backdrop, two monomaniacal paleontologists pillage the Wild West, hunting for dinosaur fossils, while surveilling, deceiving, and sabotaging each other in a rivalry that will come to be known as the Bone Wars.  Based on the rivalry between real-life paleontologists Edwin Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh.

Lord of Shadows (Dark Artifices #2)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Summary: Emma has finally avenged her parents.  She thought she'd be at peace.  But she is anything but calm.  Torn between her desire for her parabatai Julian and her desire to protect him from the brutal consequences of parabatai relationships, she has begun dating his brother, Mark.  But Mark has spent the past five years trapped in Faerie; can he ever truly be a Shadowhunter again.  And the faerie courts are not silent.  The Unseelie King is tired of the Cold Peace, and will no longer concede to the Shadowhunters' demands.  Caught between the demands of faerie and the laws of the Clave, Emma, Julian, and Mark must find a way to come together to defend everything they hold dear - before it's too late.

Rise of the Isle of the Lost (Descendants #3)
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Summary: In this sequel, Mal, Evie, Carlos, and Jay face their biggest challenge yet as a rotten villain from their past returns.  They'll have to do everything in their power-good and evil- to keep Auradon safe.  Packed with plenty of humor and adventure, this sequel spinoff is destined to please.

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, May 22, 2017

"Celebrate 40 Years of 'Star Wars' at Your Library" @ the Library Article

As of this month, Star Wars will have been around and popular for 40 years.  (Does that make you feel old?  It does me!)  And your Abilene Public Library is a great place to come to find all things Star Wars - not only the movies, but quite a bit of behind-the-scenes information as well.  Let us run down a little history on the famous franchise.

When the original Star Wars movie was released in theaters, it did not have the subtitle "Episode IV: A New Hope."  Added in 1981 with the theatrical re-release of "Star Wars," and one year after the release of "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back," it let the audience know that the story began in the middle.  The theatrical release of "Star Wars: Return of the Jedi" took place in 1983, bringing the trilogy to an end six years after the release of the first movie.

"Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace" was released in 1999 with great furor as it was 22 years after the original Star Wars release.  The beginning of the prequel trilogy, "The Phantom Menace" introduced Anakin Skywalker as a boy.  By the third episode, "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith," as everyone who watched episodes IV through VI knew would happen, Anakin ended up as Darth Vader.

The first six Star Wars movies were released during the month of May, with the exception of "The Empire Strikes Back" which only premiered and had a limited release in May but was widely released in June.  Disney, who now owns the franchise, was central in deciding when the release of the seventh episode would take place.  In 2015, the third trilogy began with "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," also known as Episode VII.  Although originally aimed at a May release, the studio decided to allow a bit more time for development but still wanted a 2015 release, so "The Force Awakens" released in December.

"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" takes place before and leads up to the events shown in "Episode IV: A New Hope."  The story began filming in 2015 and the completed film released in December 2016.  It is the first of a possible series of Star Wars anthology films, with the second part, "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" to have wide release this coming December.

If you're a true fan, we've got a lot of background information available at the Abilene Public Library.  For more information on the Death Star, for example, look at "Star Wars Death Star Imperial DS-1 Orbital Battle Station: Owner's Technical Manual" by Ryder Windham.  To explore the alien species shown in the first four movies, see Ann Margaret Lewis' "Star Wars: Essential Guide to Alien Species."  Fans of timelines should peruse "Star Wars: The New Essential Chronology" by Daniel Wallace.  Keeping track of the characters from the first five movies, the books, the comics, games, and TV specials up to 2002 can be done using "Star Wars: The New Essential Guide to Characters."

If exploring "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" tops your list of things to do, see "Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary" by Pablo Hidalgo or Phil Szostak's "The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens."  These titles and more are available at your Abilene Public Library.  Check them out!

Article Contributed by Marie Skufca, Information Services Librarian

Saturday, May 20, 2017

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of May 21)

Many 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: Into the Water
Author: Paula Hawkins
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: F HAWKINS
Summary: A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged. Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother's sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from, a place to which she vowed she'd never return.

#2: 16th Seduction
Author: James Patterson
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: M PATTERSON
Summary: Detective Lindsay Boxer faces a heart-stopping threat in the newest Women's Murder Club thriller. Fifteen months ago, Detective Lindsay Boxer's life was perfect--she had a beautiful child and a doting husband, Joe, who helped her catch a criminal who'd brazenly detonated a bomb in downtown San Francisco, killing twelve people. But Joe wasn't everything that Lindsay thought he was, and she's still reeling from the betrayal as a wave of mysterious, and possibly unnatural, heart attacks claim seemingly unrelated victims across San Francisco. As if that weren't enough, the bomber that she and Joe captured is about to go on trial, and his defense raises damning questions about Lindsay and Joe's investigation.

#3: Against All Odds
Author: Danielle Steel
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: F STEEL
Summary: The story of a long-widowed proprietor of a top flight haute couture resale shop and her four adult children, who, in their search to find the right partners for themselves, encounter and struggle with some very difficult and modern problems facing young people today.

#4: The Fix
Author: David Baldacci
Weeks On List: 4
Call Number: F BALDACCI
Summary: Amos Decker witnesses a murder just outside FBI headquarters. A man shoots a woman execution-style on a crowded sidewalk, then turns the gun on himself.  Even with Decker's extraordinary powers of observation and deduction, the killing is baffling.  Decker and his team can find absolutely no connection between the shooter--a family man with a successful consulting business--and his victim, a schoolteacher.  Nor is there a hint of any possible motive for the attack. Enter Harper Brown.  An agent of the Defense Intelligence Agency, she orders Decker to back off the case.  The murder is part of an open DIA investigation, one so classified that Decker and his team aren't cleared for it.  But they learn that the DIA believes solving the murder is now a matter of urgent national security.  Critical information may have been leaked to a hostile government--or worse, an international terrorist group--and an attack may be imminent.  Decker's never been one to follow the rules, especially with the stakes so high.  Forced into an uneasy alliance with Agent Brown, Decker remains laser focused on only one goal: solving the case before it's too late.

#5: Golden Prey
Author: John Sandford
Weeks On List: 3
Call Number: F SANDFORD
Summary: The man was smart and he didn't mind killing people. Welcome to the big leagues, Davenport. Lucas Davenport's first case as a U.S. Marshal sends him into uncharted territory... Thanks to some very influential people whose lives he saved, Lucas is no longer working for the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, but for the U.S. Marshals Service, and with unusual scope. He gets to pick his own cases, whatever they are, wherever they lead him. And where they've led him this time is into real trouble.

Hardcover Nonfiction Top 5

#1: Option B
Author: Sheryl Sandberg
Weeks On List: 3
Call Number: 155.937 SAN
Summary: The author's experience with grief after the sudden death of her husband, combined with social science on resilience.

#2: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
Author: Neil deGrasse Tyson
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: 523.01 DEG
Summary: The essential universe, from our most celebrated and beloved astrophysicist. What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There's no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson.

#3: Shattered
Author: Jonathan Allen
Weeks On List: 4
Call Number: 324.973 ALL
Summary: It was never supposed to be this close. And of course she was supposed to win. How Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election to Donald Trump is the tragic story of a sure thing gone off the rails. For every Comey revelation or hindsight acknowledgment about the electorate, no explanation of defeat can begin with anything other than the core problem of Hillary's campaign -- the candidate herself. Through deep access to insiders from the top to the bottom of the campaign, political writers Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes have reconstructed the key decisions and unseized opportunities, the well-intentioned misfires and the hidden thorns that turned a winnable contest into a devastating loss. Drawing on the authors' deep knowledge of Hillary from their previous book, the biography HRC, Shattered offers an object lesson in how Hillary herself made victory an uphill battle, how her difficulty articulating a vision irreparably hobbled her impact with voters, and how the campaign failed to internalize the lessons of populist fury from the hard-fought primary against Bernie Sanders. Moving blow-by-blow from the campaign's difficult birth through the bewildering terror of election night, Shattered tells a story with urgent lessons both political and personal, filled with revelations that will change the way readers understand just what happened to America on November 8, 2016.

#4: Democracy
Author: Condoleezza Rice
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: NOT HOUSED
Summary: The former secretary of state argues that the promotion of democracy should shape America's foreign policy.

#5: Killers of the Flower Moon
Author: David Grann
Weeks On List: 4
Call Number: F GRANN
Summary: Presents a true account of the early twentieth-century murders of dozens of wealthy Osage and law-enforcement officials, citing the contributions and missteps of a fledgling FBI that eventually uncovered one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.

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.