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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

City to Participate in Tornado Drills, March 7

Your Abilene Public Library is scheduled to participate in a City-Wide Tornado Drill on Wednesday, March 7.  Similar drills will be hosted at various businesses in our community, including all branch locations of your public library, at some point in the day.

This will be a great time for everyone to remind themselves of the importance of being prepared for natural disasters, having a safety plan, and to also assess your knowledge of what you would do if faced with a real-life situation.

As we will be hosting drills during business hours, library staff would appreciate everyone's cooperation by following the directions provided by staff throughout the duration of the drill.

We appreciate everyone's cooperation.

Hop on Board New Adventurous Book Club

When it comes to reading, would you consider yourself adventurous?  A reader not afraid of diving into books that aren't for the faint of heart?  Novels that will stretch your boundaries, push your limits, get you out of your comfort zones, and make you think?

If so, we invite local adults to join our brand-new Adventurous Book Club led by your South Branch Library staff.  This isn't your typical book club...we're adding another layer to it.  We're not staying confined within the library for our meetings.  We're taking them out and into the community.  Each month will feature a different local dive where you'll be encouraged to grab a drink or food while we discuss the featured book for the evening.  Sorry, the library will not be footing the bill for purchases so be sure to bring cash or cards with you.

Our first session will run on Friday, March 23 at 6:30PM, and we'll meet at El Chico Restaurant in the Mall of Abilene.  Our featured book will be the HILARIOUS bestseller by Jenny Lawson titled Let's Pretend This Never Happened.  It's an amazing read from a Texan that will have you laughing hysterically when it comes to the information she discloses.  Talk about a candid autobiography.

At the end of the club meeting, we'll decide on the next book selection and choose a place to meet in Abilene.  Don't pass up on your chance to be a part of another fun book club, with a twist, at your library.

Let's Pretend This Never Happened
Author: Jenny Lawson
About the Book: When Jenny Lawson was little, all she ever wanted was to fit in.  That dream was cut short by her fantastically unbalanced father and a morbidly eccentric childhood.  It did, however, open up an opportunity for Lawson to find the humor in the strange shame-spiral that is her life, and we are all the better for it.  In her autobiography, Lawson's long-suffering husband and sweet daughter help her uncover the surprising discovery that the most terribly human moments - the ones we want to pretend never happened - are the very same moments that make us the people we are today.  For every intellectually misfit who thought they were the only ones to think the things that Lawson dares to say out loud, this is a poignant and hysterical look at the dark, disturbing, yet wonderful moments of our lives.

Again, if you're at least 18+ and this sounds like a club of interest to you, check us out on Friday, March 23 at 6:30PM at El Chico Restaurant.  We plan on having tons of fun at our Adventurous Book Club.  Plus, don't forget about the library's regular monthly book club, the Cover-to-Cover Book Club, which meets on the third Thursdays of each month at 7:00PM.

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.

Just Getting Started
Starring: Morgan Freeman
Summary: A two-hander action comedy in the vein of Midnight Run, about an ex-FBI Agent and an ex-mob lawyer in the Witness Protection Program having to put aside their petty rivalry on the golf course to fend off a mob hit.

The Shape of Water
Author: Guillermo del Toro
Summary: This book is set in Cold War-era Baltimore at the Occam Aerospace Research Center, which has recently received its most sensitive asset ever: an amphibious man captured in the Amazon.  What unfolds is a stirring romance between the asset and one of the janitors on staff, a mute woman who uses sign language to communicate with the creature.  Developed from the ground up as a bold two-tiered release - one story interpreted by two artists in the independent mediums of literature and film - it weaves together fantasy, horror, and romance to create a tale that is equally gripping on the page and on the big screen.

One Last Breath
Author: Lisa Jackson
Summary: Rory Abernathy's wedding to Liam Bastian turned into a bloodbath.  She fled after stabbing a masked intruder, just before a gunman opened fire on the wedding party.  Five years on, Rory still has no idea who was behind the attacks.  Fearful she and her daughter remain targets, she's made a new life far from Liam and the wealthy, powerful Bastians.  But even in remote Point Roberts, Washington, she can't hide from the past.  Liam tracks Rory down, stunned to learn they have a child.  Did someone in Rory's family try to kill him for his portion of the Bastian estate?  As they gradually overcome distrust in search of the truth, Rory knows one thing for certain: someone is watching her.  Time has passed, but the killer's need for vengeance hasn't.  And as a nightmare stirs to life again, Rory will find that this time, there's nowhere left to run...

Raspberry Danish Murder (Hannah Swenson #22)
Author: Joanne Fluke
Summary: Hannah has felt as bitter as November in Minnesota since Ross vanished without a trace and left their marriage in limbo.  Still, she throws herself into a baking frenzy for the sake of pumpkin pie and Thanksgiving-themed treats while endless holiday orders pour into The Cookie Jar.  Hannah even introduces a raspberry Danish pastry to the menu, and P.K., her husband's assistant at KCOW-TV, will be one of the first to sample it.  But instead of taking a bite, P.K., who is driving Ross' car and using his desk at work, is murdered.  Was someone plotting against P.K. all along or did Ross dodge a deadly dose of sweet revenge?  Hannah will have to quickly sift through a cornucopia of clues and suspects to stop a killer from bringing another murder to the table...

I've Been Thinking...Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life
Author: Maria Shriver
Summary: As a prominent woman juggling many roles, Maria Shriver knows just how surprising, unpredictable, and stressful everyday life can be.  In this moving and powerful book, she shares inspiring quotes, prayers, and reflections designed to get readers thinking, get them feeling, get them laughing, and help them in their journey to what she calls The Open Field - a place of acceptance, purpose, and passion - a place of joy.  This book is ideal for anyone at any point in her life.  Whether you feel like you've got it all together or like it's all falling apart - whether you're taking stock of your life or simply looking to recharge, this is the book you will turn to again and again.  Like talking with a close friend, it's the perfect companion - an exceptional gift for someone looking to move forward in life with hope and grace.

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 day.

Monday, February 26, 2018

"Introducing Busy Bags at Your South Branch Library" | @ the Library Article

The South Branch Library would like to introduce Busy Bags - a new collection of activities offered for use while in the library.  These bags are currently available and are located in the Children's Area next to the puzzles.  But just what is a Busy Bag?  Busy Bags are an excellent way to keep toddlers and preschoolers quietly occupied with simple learning tasks while in the library.  The main idea behind a busy bag is to participate in independent learning.

Busy Bags contain simple activities for toddlers or preschoolers that are always ready to go.  Each bag includes one engaging activity that a child can do on their own, and they are great for playing during quiet time, or to keep them busy either before and after storytime, or while mom or dad look for books or complete a task on the computer.  Each bag uses simple, inexpensive materials like pom poms, craft sticks, and/or printables which are then stored in a plastic hanging bag children to decide which to do.  Some children can complete a bag quickly, while others will find them a bit more challenging.

Each Busy Bag has only a few items so that they are not difficult to clean up when finished and all items are easily replaceable and utilize recycled goods.  The bags are also fun and meaningful in that they teach something or reinforce a skill - like counting, identifying letters and colors, completing puzzles, practicing gross motor skills, matching, etc.  The bags have a clear theme and purpose, so a child will be able to understand how to complete it and take ownership of their learning and how they choose to spend their time in the library.

There are currently 32 Busy Bags ready for use at the South Branch Library with plans to expand the offerings after a few months of use and a positive response from patrons.  Please come into the library and see this new collection for yourself.  Some Busy Bags examples include:
  • Match the front and back of each animal.
  • Choose the correct upper and lowercase letter.
  • Sort the buttons.
  • Lace around the shapes.
  • Build the butterfly
  • Finish the patterns.
  • Sort by fruit or vegetable.
  • Complete the puzzle.
If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Alyssa Crow at the South Branch Library in the Mall of Abilene, 325-698-7565. 

Article Contributed by Alyssa Crow, South Branch Library Manager

Saturday, February 24, 2018

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of Feb. 25)

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 back on the Hardcover Fiction & Nonfiction lists for the upcoming week.

Hardcover Fiction Top 5

#1: The Great Alone
Author: Kristin Hannah
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: F HANNAH
Summary: Lenora Allbright is 13 when her father convinces her mother, Cora, to forgo their inauspicious existence in Seattle and move to Kaneq, AK. It's 1974, and the former Vietnam POW sees a better future away from the noise and nightmares that plague him. Having been left a homestead by a buddy who died in the war, Ernt is secure in his beliefs, but never was a family less prepared for the reality of Alaska, the long, cold winters and isolation. Locals want to help out, especially classmate Matthew Walker, who likes everything about Leni. Yet the harsh conditions bring out the worst in Ernt, whose paranoia takes over their lives and exacerbates what Leni sees as the toxic relationship between her parents. The Allbrights are as green as greenhorns can be, and even first love must endure unimaginable hardship and tragedy as the wilderness tries to claim more victims.

#2: An American Marriage
Author: Tayari Jones
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: F JONES
Summary: Newlyweds Celestial and Roy, the living embodiment of the New South, are settling into the routine of their life together when Roy is sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit. An insightful look into the lives of people who are bound and separated by forces beyond their control.

#3: The Woman in the Window
Author: A.J. Finn
Weeks On List: 7
Call Number: F FINN
Summary: It isn't paranoia if it's really happening ... Anna Fox lives alone -- a recluse in her New York City home, drinking too much wine, watching old movies ... and spying on her neighbors. Then the Russells move next door: a father, a mother, their teenaged son. The perfect family. But when Anna sees something she shouldn't, her world begins to crumble -- and its shocking secrets are laid bare. What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this gripping Hitchcockian thriller, no one and nothing are what they seem.

#4: Still Me
Author: Jojo Moyes
Weeks On List: 3
Call Number: F MOYES
Summary: Louisa Clark heads for New York and finds herself torn between her old life and her new one. As she tries to keep the two sides of her world together, Lou finds herself carrying secrets--not all her own--that cause a catastrophic change in her circumstances.

#5: Look for Me
Author: Lisa Gardner
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: M GARDNER
Summary: Detective D.D. Warren and Find Her's Flora Dane return in a race against the clock to either save a young girl's life. or bring her to justice. The home of a family of five is now a crime scene: four of them savagely murdered, one--a sixteen-year-old girl--missing. Was she lucky to have escaped? Or is her absence evidence of something sinister? Detective D. D. Warren is on the case--but so is survivor-turned-avenger Flora Dane. Seeking different types of justice, they must make sense of the clues left behind by a young woman who, whether as victim or suspect, is silently pleading, Look for me.

Hardcover Nonfiction Top 5

#1: Fire and Fury
Author: Michael Wolf
Weeks On List: 7
Call Number: 973.933 WOL
Summary: Thanks to his deep access to the West Wing, Michael Wolff tells the story of the stormy first nine months of Donald Trump's term as President. Among the revelations: What President Trump's staff really thinks of him -- What inspired Trump to claim he was wire-tapped by President Obama -- Why FBI director James Comey was really fired -- Why chief strategist Steve Bannon and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner couldn't be in the same room -- Who is really directing the Trump administration's strategy in the wake of Bannon's firing -- What the secret to communicating with Trump is -- What the Trump administration has in common with the movie The Producers.

#2: Enlightenment Now
Author: Steven Pinker
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: On Order
Summary: An assessment of the human condition in the twenty-first century presents data demonstrating that life quality, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise throughout the world because of the Enlightenment ideal of using reason and science.

#3: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
Author: Neil deGrasse Tyson
Weeks On List: 42
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.  Offers witty, digestible explanations of topics in cosmology, from the Big Bang and black holes to quantum mechanics and the search for life in the universe.

#4: All-American Murder
Author: James Patterson
Weeks On List: 4
Call Number: 364.152309 PAT
Summary: Everyone thought they knew Aaron Hernandez. He was an NFL star who made the game of football look easy. Until he became the prime suspect in a gruesome murder. Rich with in-depth, on-the-ground investigative reporting that gives readers a front row seat to Hernandez's tumultuous downward spiral, this biography reveals the truth behind the troubled star, with first-person accounts and untold stories.

#5: Promise Me, Dad
Author: Joe Biden
Weeks On List: 11
Call Number: 973.932 BID
Summary: The former vice-president of the United States chronicles the difficult final year of his son's battle with cancer, his efforts to balance his responsibilities to the country and his family, and the lessons he learned.

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, February 22, 2018

Weekly Library Events (Feb. 25 - Mar. 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.

Weekend Walk-In Flix: "Wonder"
Sunday, Feb. 25 at 3:00PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565 for Details
You’re welcome to join your South Branch Library for another great Weekend Walk-In Flix session at your South Branch Library, located in the Mall of Abilene.  Each session focuses on showing blockbuster hits and recent releases and at this session, we’re showing the recently released drama “Wonder” starring Jacob Tremblay, Julia Roberts, and Owen Wilson, and also based on the bestselling book of the same name by R.J. Palacio.  In this amazingly well-constructed adaptation, it tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time.   This film is rated PG for thematic elements including bullying, and some mild language, and has a run time of 1 hour and 53 minutes.  Light snacks will be provided, and feel free to look out for a copy of the book to checkout from your library.

TECH Time
Monday, Feb. 26 at 2:00PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565 for Details
If you’ve ever needed help with your smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other similar devices, we invite you to take advantage of TECH (Technology Enrichment & Collaborative Help) Time at your library.  Your library tech gurus will be on hand to help answer your questions each week on Mondays at the South Branch Library and Thursdays at the Main Library.  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 help.  Guests will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis.

3D Design Class
Monday, Feb. 26 at 4:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025 for Details
We invite you to expand your makerspace knowledge this this third course to help you build knowledge and skills for using the 3D PolyPrinter at your Main Library’s Creation Station.  Although you’re more than free to search the Internet for free STL files for use, Tinker CAD is a program that will help you learn how to create your own projects.  This class will cover that program, how to use the slicing program, and ho to upload and print your creations on the PolyPrinter.

DIY Decor: Decorative Switch Plates
Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 6:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025
Are you an avid crafter and you find it hard to steer clear from DIY projects because they’re so addictive?  If so, we’ve got absolutely no problem feeding your love of crafting by hosting the next DIY Decor session.  These projects help to teach you how to be self-reliant, you learn new skills, develop better organizational skills, and more, plus, we just love doing them.  This month we’ll be showing you how to make Decorative Switch Plates and we’ll supply all the materials and supplies you’ll need to make your light switches just a little more fun.  Designed for adults, come out and get your confidence boost, while opening up your imagination to what you can create.  It’s a great social activity for adults to enjoy.

Mockingbird Nights: DIY Weddings
Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 6:30PM
Mockingbird Branch Library
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323 for Details
If you are looking for ways to spruce up your wedding on a budget or just love the hands on DIY vibe check out this month's Mockingbird Nights at your library.  Staff will be on hand to show you how to hunt down, create, and then craft your own wedding with some simple DIY ideas.  Even if you’re not incredibly super crafty, we’ll still have resources to share on how to get the best deals and planning tips.  This activity is intended for adults and there’s no need to register.  We’ll supply all materials.

Free Tax Assistance
Feb. 28 - Mar. 1, 10AM to 3PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025 for Details
Take advantage of the Free Tax Assistance program to e-File your taxes for free, at your library, with help from IRS-trained volunteers with the AARP.  Guests will be helped first-come, first-served as space is available, and sessions will be hosted weekly through the end of tax season.  Be sure to bring your 2017 tax materials, Photo ID, social security card, etc. and participate in this popular series provided at your library.  For additional information, contact staff at 325-676-6025, or feel free to find all your information about this program on our website.

Job Time: Application Assistance
Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 4:00PM
Mockingbird Branch Library
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323 for Details
If you’re looking for a job and need some help, you’re invited to stop by the Mockingbird Branch for our Job Time: Application Assistance program where we’ll get you started on the road to employment success.  We will cover how to search for jobs, how to create a resume, share advice on how to dress for and succeed in an interview, and much more.  We’ll have a set number of computers available for use so don’t miss your chance to participate in this program.

Teen Crafts: Button Silhouettes
Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 4:00PM
Mockingbird Branch Library
132 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323 for Details
Teens won’t want to miss out on the next Teen Crafts workshop at your Mockingbird Branch Library where each month we meetup to have fun in a host of various projects at your library.  Designed as a fun activity for teens after school, this time around we’ll be showing you how to make a great piece of art using buttons, glue, and the silhouette or pattern of your choice.  That’s right.  We’re making Button Silhouettes that you can make as elegant, funky, or nerdy as you’d like.  We’ll supply all the materials you’ll need, just come out ready to have a little crafting fun with staff at the library.

TECH Time
Thursday, Mar. 1 at 2:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025 for Details
As more people acquire smartphones, tablets, and laptops, you may find yourself needing a little help.  If that’s you, 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 2PM to 4PM.  Sessions will be provided by the library’s tech gurus as we help you to navigate your way through learning to use your devices and answering your tech-related questions.  We may not have all the answers, but we’ll certainly be on hand to help.  Guests will be helped on a first-come, first-served basis and limited to 30-minutes if others are waiting.  For more information, contact staff at 325-698-7565 or 325-676-6025.


Make & Take: Weather Clocks
Thursday, Mar. 1 at 4:00PM
Mockingbird Branch Library
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323 for Details
Kids won’t want to miss out on the next afternoon crafting session at your Mockingbird Branch Library.  In March, we’re celebrating how unpredictable the weather can be.  Will it be sunny?  Will it be rainy?  You never know, especially in West Texas.  Youth are invited to come out and join us for a great Make & Take craft session where we’ll be showing them how to make a DIY weather clock and use it to identify and keep track of the weather each day of the month.  We’ll supply all the materials needed for the craft, and for additional information, contact staff at 325-437-7323.

Collecting Commas Writing Club
Thursday, Mar. 1 at 4:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067 for Details
If you’re a teen who loves to write, be a part of the Collecting Commas Writing Club at your Main Library.  At each session, we’ll work on a host of activities designed to increase our creative writing skills with your peers.  Come express yourself through words, with your peers, in a stress-free environment.  No registration is required, and for additional information, contact staff at 325-676-6067.


Free Tax Assistance
March 2-3; 10AM to 3PM
Mockingbird Branch Library
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323 for Details
Take advantage of the Free Tax Assistance program to e-File your taxes for free, at your library, with help from IRS-trained volunteers with the AARP.  Guests will be helped first-come, first-served as space is available, and sessions will be hosted weekly through the end of tax season.  Be sure to bring your 2017 tax materials, Photo ID, social security card, etc. and participate in this popular series provided at your library.  For additional information, contact staff at 325-676-6025, or feel free to find all your information about this program on our website.


Seusstacular Super Storytime
Friday, Mar. 2 at 11:00AM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067 for Details
In honor of Read Across America Day, and the birthday of Dr. Seuss, we’re inviting kids and parents to join your Main Library for a Seusstacular Super Storytime.  Sponsored by the National Education Association, this event is designed to build a nation of readers, and it all starts with promoting literacy in children.  Join your children’s staff as we’ll share some great stories, songs, and also make some wonderful works of Dr. Seuss such as our own hats so we can be just like the Cat in the Hat.  We’ll supply all materials for the craft of the morning.  Don’t miss out on the seussical fun, and for additional information, contact staff at 325-676-6067.


Read Across America Day
Friday, Mar. 2 at 4:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067 for Details
In case you can’t make it out to the Seusstacular Super Storytime event in the morning, your Main Library is hosting an afternoon Read Across America Day event.  This day honors the birthday of Dr. Seuss, and the National Education Association’s initiative to actively promote the importance of literacy in youth.  This event is aimed at kids of all ages and we’ll be hosting a special afternoon storytime featuring the beloved Dr. Seuss book titled “Horton Hatches an Egg.”  Listen to the story of how Horton, an elephant, tries to keep his promise to sit on an egg.  After the story, kids can even participate in making a fun egg craft.  We’ll supply all the materials needed, and for additional information, contact staff at 325-676-6067.


KeySkills Real Estate Training: "Considerations for Selling Your Home"
Saturday, Mar. 3 at 3:00PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565 for Details  
Join us at your South Branch library as we host several seminars answering all of your questions about real estate and the process of buying your own home with Mickey Lackey, Realtor from Key City Realty.  Lackey will be on hand to answer your questions, keep you informed about the processes and considerations involved when buying your own home.  Join us for a seminar that meets your current interests.  The topic for this session will be Considerations for Selling Your Home.  Future sessions will include Real Estate for First Time Investors and Re-Finance, Remodel, and Re-Buying.  For more information about this new series at your library, be sure to contact staff at 325-698-7565.

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

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

March's Cover-to-Cover Book Club Selection

If you're looking for a great book club discussion group, try our Cover-to-Cover Book Club at your library.  Meeting on the third Thursdays of the month, this group reads everything including bestsellers, fiction, biographies, nonfiction, classics, and more.

For March, the featured selection is Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly and we invite you to look out for a copy at your library, then attend the book club meeting on Thursday, March 15 at 7:00PM.

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race
Author: Margot Lee Shetterly
Summary: Set against the backdrop of the Jim Crow South and the civil rights movement, the never-before-told true story of NASA's African-American female mathematicians who played a crucial role in America's space program - and whose contributions have been unheralded, until now.  Before John Glenn orbited the Earth or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of professionals worked as "Human Computers," calculating the flight paths that would enable these historic achievements.  Among these were a coterie of bright, talented African-American women.  Segregated from their white counterparts by Jim Crow laws, these "colored computers," as they were known, used slide rules, adding machines, and pencil and paper to support America's fledgling aeronautics industry, and helped write the equations that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.  Drawing on the oral histories of scores of these "computers," personal recollections, interviews with NASA executives and engineers, archival documents, correspondence, and reporting from the era, this book recalls America's greatest adventure and NASA's groundbreaking successes through the experiences of five spunky, courageous, intelligent, determined, and patriotic women: Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, Christine Darden, and Gloria Champine.

Be sure to checkout this title from your Abilene Public Library and come out ready to discuss it with other avid readers in the community.

Acclaimed Classical Guitarist to Perform March 8

If you're a fan of music and live performances, mark your calendar for Thursday, March 8 at 7:00PM at your Main Library, 202 Cedar St.  During this ArtWalk Night in Downtown Abilene we're welcoming in Peter Fletcher, an acclaimed classical guitarist, for a one-night only concert.  Free for the entire community to enjoy, music-lovers won't want to miss this special night.

Fletcher performs more than 100 concerts annually, has earned awards for his work, performed to a packed audience at Carnegie Hall, while also playing at additional celebrated venues including the Lincoln Center, the Chicago Cultural Center, and the George Eastman House.  Don't miss your opportunity to hear Fletcher, live, and you can learn more about the artist by visiting his official website.  There you will find background information, see videos of past performances, sample his discography, and more.

When it comes to providing special events, your Abilene Public Library seeks to offer fresh content.  It doesn't come any better than this musical event.  Don't miss your opportunity to share in this special night with your library, and for additional information, contact staff at 325-676-6025.

If you're looking to catch more adult programming in March, don't pass up on some activities at your remaining library branches.  The South Branch Library will continue a special KeySkills Real Estate Training series of seminars led by Mickey Lackey, a realtor at Key City Realty.  Three more sessions have been planned in March including "Considerations for Selling Your Home" on Saturday, March 3 at 3:00PM, "Real Estate for First-Time Investors" on Monday, March 12 at 7:00PM, and "Re-Finance, Re-Model, or Re-Buy" on Monday, March 19 at 7:00PM.  Benefit from real estate advice from a local professional and come prepared with your questions as well.  For more information about this series, contact staff at 325-698-7565.

Your Mockingbird Branch Library also has some exciting workshops this month beginning with "Making Cents: Budgeting & Saving Made Easy" on Thursday, March 8 at 4:30PM.  Led by financial coach Lisette Alverio, participants will learn how to make a budget, understand the benefits of a savings account, and learn some tips that will hopefully have you getting out of the rut of living paycheck to paycheck.  Next, on Wednesday, March 21 at 10:00AM, we'll host an "IRC Citizenship Class" led by Ashley Kennedy.  If you're interested in the steps needed to apply for citizenship, or know of someone who might benefit from the information, this workshop is for you.  For more information regarding these activities, contact staff at 325-437-7323.

Take advantage of all these great activities begin hosted at your Abilene Public Library and be sure to check out all of our regular events we've got planned for all ages.  There's always something going on at your library...be a part of it.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Today's Top Book & DVD Releases

Everyone loves staying on top of the latest in books and 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.

Same Kind of Different As Me
Starring: Greg Kinnear
Summary: International art dealer Ron Hall must befriend a dangerous homeless man in order to save his struggling marriage to his wife, a woman whose dreams will lead all three of them on the journey of their lives.  Based on an internationally bestselling book and true story, which you can also checkout from the library.

Daddy's Home 2
Starring: Mark Wahlberg
Summary: Stepfather Brad and biological dad Dusty have set aside their differences, and are content to work together to care for their children.  However, their family get-together at Christmas is complicated by the arrival of Brad's fusty dad and Dusty's hell-raising pop.

Fifty Fifty
Author: James Patterson
Summary: What are the chances...that convicted killer Sam Blue is innocent of the serial murders of three young women?  Detective Harriet Blue is certain that her brother is incapable of having committed these horrific crimes.  Determined to clear his name, no matter the cost to her career, Harry attends Sam's hearing.  The outburst she unleashes earns her a reassignment - to the Outback.  What are the chances...that convicted killer Sam Blue is innocent of the serial murders of three young women?  Detective Harriet Blue is certain that her brother is incapable of having committed these horrific crimes.  Determined to clear his name, no matter the cost to her career, Harry attends Sam's hearing.  The outburst she unleashes earns her a reassignment - to the Outback.  What are the chances...that Harry has landed in a town where the population of 75 is in the sights of a seasoned killer?  A diary found on the roadside outlines a shocking plan: the massacre of the entire town.  And the first murder, shortly after Harry's arrival, suggests that the clock is already ticking.  What are the chances...that meanwhile, back in Sydney, a young woman holds the key to crack Harry's brother's case wide open?  If only she could escape the madman holding her hostage...

Agent in Place (Gray Man #7)
Author: Mark Greaney
Summary: Fresh off his first mission back with the CIA, Court Gentry secures what seems like a cut-and-dried contract job: A group of expats in Paris hires him to kidnap the mistress of Syrian dictator Ahmed Azzam to get intel that could destabilize Azzam's regime.  Court delivers Bianca Medina to the rebels, but his job doesn't end there.  She soon reveals that she has given birth to a son, the only heir to Azzam's rule - and a potent threat to the Syrian president's powerful wife.  Now, to get Bianca's cooperation, Court must bring her out of Syria alive.  With the clock ticking on Bianca's life, he goes off the grid in a free-fire zone in the Middle East - and winds up in the right place at the right time to take a shot at bringing one of the most brutal dictatorships on earth to a close...

Sunburn
Author: Laura Lippman
Summary: One is playing a long game.  But which one?  They meet at a local tavern in the small town of Belleville, Delaware.  Polly is set on heading west.  Adam says he's also passing through.  Yet she stays and he stays - drawn to this mysterious redhead whose quiet stillness both unnerves and excites him.  Over the course of a punishing summer, Polly and Adam abandon themselves to a steamy, inexorable affair.  Still, each holds something back from the other - dangerous, even lethal, secrets.  Then someone dies.  Was it an accident, or part of a plan?  By now, Adam and Polly are so ensnared in each other's lives and lies that neither one knows how to get away - or even if they want to.  Is their love strong enough to withstand the truth, or will it ultimately destroy them?  Something - or someone - has to give.  Which one will it be?

Down the River Unto the Sea
Author: Walter Mosley
Summary: Joe King Oliver was one of NYPD's finest investigators, until, dispatched to arrest a well-heeled car thief, he is framed for assault by his enemies within the NYPD, a charge which lands him in solitary at Rikers Island.  A decade later, King is a private detective, running his agency with the help of his teenage daughter, Aja-Denise.  Broken by the brutality he suffered and committed in equal measure while behind bars, his work and his daughter are the only light in his solitary life.  When he receives a card in the mail from the woman who admits she was paid to frame him those years ago, King realizes that he has no choice but to take his own case: figuring out who on the force wanted him disposed of - and why.  Running in parallel with King's own quest for justice is the case of a Black radical journalist accused of killing two on-duty police officers who had been abusing their badges to traffic in drugs and women within the city's poorest neighborhoods.  Joined by Melquarth Frost, a brilliant sociopath, our hero must beat dirty cops and dirtier bankers, craven lawyers, and above all keep his daughter far from the underworld in which he works.  All the while, two lives hang in the balance: King's client's, and King's own.

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 day.

Monday, February 19, 2018

"Science is Fun at Your Abilene Library" | @ Your Library Article

The fiction section here at the Main Abilene Public Library is pretty popular.  The cookbook and crafts areas also see lots of traffic.  However, one section doesn't receive quite so much patron love, which is a shame because it is filled with fascinating books on a diverse range of topics.  It is better known as the Science and Mathematics zone.  To some, this may not sound either interesting or exciting, but stop by sometime and scan the titles.  Something might just prove worth a look.

A great place to begin a foray into science is Milestones of Science by Curt Suplee.  The author takes what could be a dry subject and transforms it into a dramatic world of discovery and accomplishment that has shaped how humans view themselves and the world.  Another strong introduction to science is a book simply named The Science Book.  This fascinating title is from the Big Ideas Simply Explained series.  Multiple contributors helped shape this exploration of everything from astronomy to physics.  Complicated concepts become accessible through a clever use of art, diagrams, and illustrations.

From Michael H. Tunick comes The Science of Cheese.  Tunick explores the many scientific properties of cheese including the biology and chemistry required to produce this edible marvel.  This book goes back 8,000 years to introduce the creation of cheese and how humans fine-tuned cheese production.

To get a more human spin on the world of science, check out Woman in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky.  An array of artwork celebrates women who shaped science as we know it today.  Expect to find well-known names such as Jane Goodall as well as the lesser known Katherine Johnson, the African-American physicist and mathematician who calculated the trajectory of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon.

Most people have heard of the Smithsonian.  It is one of the largest museums and research centers in the world.  However, not many know the story behind this national treasure.  Author Heather Ewing aims to change this in her book The Lost World of James Smithson: Science, Revolution, and the Birth of the Smithsonian.  Smithson is the enigmatic benefactor who gifted the United States with a half-million dollars (9 million today) to encourage the exploration of knowledge.  Fans of science and museums will appreciate this heavily researched book.

Blood, Bullets, and Bones: the Story of Forensic Science from Sherlock Holmes to DNA by Bridget Heos taps into science fictional detectives and crime dramas.  True crimes are used to explore everything from arsenic testing to profiling.  Heos goes back to ancient China where dead bodies were studied for foul play and brings the reader forward to the most cutting edge scientific crime solving methods of today.  It reveals just how important these techniques have become to criminal justice.

For some, science may seem a boring or dry topic but perhaps they simply haven't found the right book yet.  The titles described above are just a small sampling of what the library has on its shelves.  Stop by and browse, or let our staff match you with a book that will change your mind about the world of science.

Article Contributed by Deborah Tarsiewicz, Information Services Department

Saturday, February 17, 2018

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of Feb. 18)

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

#1: The Great Alone
Author: Kristin Hannah
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F HANNAH
Summary: Lenora Allbright is 13 when her father convinces her mother, Cora, to forgo their inauspicious existence in Seattle and move to Kaneq, AK. It's 1974, and the former Vietnam POW sees a better future away from the noise and nightmares that plague him. Having been left a homestead by a buddy who died in the war, Ernt is secure in his beliefs, but never was a family less prepared for the reality of Alaska, the long, cold winters and isolation. Locals want to help out, especially classmate Matthew Walker, who likes everything about Leni. Yet the harsh conditions bring out the worst in Ernt, whose paranoia takes over their lives and exacerbates what Leni sees as the toxic relationship between her parents. The Allbrights are as green as greenhorns can be, and even first love must endure unimaginable hardship and tragedy as the wilderness tries to claim more victims.

#2: An American Marriage
Author: Tayari Jones
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F JONES
Summary: Newlyweds Celestial and Roy, the living embodiment of the New South, are settling into the routine of their life together when Roy is sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit. An insightful look into the lives of people who are bound and separated byforces beyond their control.

#3: The Woman in the Window
Author: A.J. Finn
Weeks On List: 6
Call Number: F FINN
Summary: It isn't paranoia if it's really happening ... Anna Fox lives alone -- a recluse in her New York City home, drinking too much wine, watching old movies ... and spying on her neighbors. Then the Russells move next door: a father, a mother, their teenaged son. The perfect family. But when Anna sees something she shouldn't, her world begins to crumble -- and its shocking secrets are laid bare. What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this gripping Hitchcockian thriller, no one and nothing are what they seem.

#4: Still Me
Author: Jojo Moyes
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: F MOYES
Summary: Louisa Clark heads for New York and finds herself torn between her old life and her new one. As she tries to keep the two sides of her world together, Lou finds herself carrying secrets--not all her own--that cause a catastrophic change in her circumstances.

#5: Look for Me
Author: Lisa Gardner
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: M GARDNER
Summary: Detective D.D. Warren and Find Her's Flora Dane return in a race against the clock to either save a young girl's life. or bring her to justice. The home of a family of five is now a crime scene: four of them savagely murdered, one--a sixteen-year-old girl--missing. Was she lucky to have escaped? Or is her absence evidence of something sinister? Detective D. D. Warren is on the case--but so is survivor-turned-avenger Flora Dane. Seeking different types of justice, they must make sense of the clues left behind by a young woman who, whether as victim or suspect, is silently pleading, Look for me.

Hardcover Nonfiction Top 5

#1: Fire and Fury
Author: Michael Wolff
Weeks On List: 6
Call Number: 973.933 WOL
Summary: Thanks to his deep access to the West Wing, Michael Wolff tells the story of the stormy first nine months of Donald Trump's term as President. Among the revelations: What President Trump's staff really thinks of him -- What inspired Trump to claim he was wire-tapped by President Obama -- Why FBI director James Comey was really fired -- Why chief strategist Steve Bannon and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner couldn't be in the same room -- Who is really directing the Trump administration's strategy in the wake of Bannon's firing -- What the secret to communicating with Trump is -- What the Trump administration has in common with the movie The Producers.

#2: Obama
Author: Pete Souza
Weeks On List: 9
Call Number: NOT HOUSED
Summary: More than 300 pictures of the former president by his White House photographer, with behind-the-scenes stories.

#3: All-American Murder
Author: James Patterson
Weeks On List: 3
Call Number: 364.152309 PAT
Summary: Everyone thought they knew Aaron Hernandez. He was an NFL star who made the game of football look easy. Until he became the prime suspect in a gruesome murder. Rich with in-depth, on-the-ground investigative reporting that gives readers a front row seat to Hernandez's tumultuous downward spiral, this biography reveals the truth behind the troubled star, with first-person accounts and untold stories.

#4: Directorate S
Author: Steve Coll
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: 958.104 COL
Summary: Traces America's intelligence, military, and diplomatic efforts to defeat Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the years since 9/11, and how the U.S. efforts in the Afghan War faltered because of a failure to understand the intentions of Pakistan's intelligence agency.

#5: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
Author: Neil deGrasse Tyson
Weeks On List: 41
Call Number: 523.04 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.  Offers witty, digestible explanations of topics in cosmology, from the Big Bang and black holes to quantum mechanics and the search for life in the universe.

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.