Tuesday, October 30, 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.

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
Starring: Greg Cipes
Summary: It seems tot he Teens that all the major superheroes out there are starring in their own movies, except for the Teen Titans.  But de facto leader Robin is determined to remedy the situation, and be seen as a star instead of a sidekick.  If only they could get the hottest Hollywood film director to notice them.  With a few madcap ideas and a song in their heart, the Teen Titans head to Tinsel Town, certain to pull off their dream.  But when the group is radically misdirected by a seriously super villain and his maniacal plan to take over the Earth, things really go awry.  The team finds their friendship and their fighting spirit failing, putting the very fate of the Teen Titans themselves on the line.

The Spy Who Dumped Me
Starring: Mila Kunis
Summary: Audrey and Morgan, two 30-year-old best friends in Los Angeles, are thrust unexpectedly into an international conspiracy when Audrey's ex-boyfriend shows up at their apartment with a team of deadly assassins on his trail.  Surprising even themselves, the duo jump into action, on the run throughout Europe from assassins and a suspicious-but-charming British agent, as they hatch a plan to save the world.

Slender Man
Starring: Joey King
Summary: When their friend mysteriously disappears, a group of teenage girls explore whether the culprit could be the creepy Internet urban legend character Slenderman by summoning him with a ritual.  They begin experiencing supernatural phenomena that make them believe the story is real and that they are now being haunted by the Slenderman.

Author: Stephen King
Summary: Although Scott Carey doesn't look any different, he's been steadily losing weight.  There are a couple of other odd things, too.  He weighs the same in his clothes and out of them, no matter how heavy they are.  Scott doesn't want to be poked and prodded.  He mostly just wants someone else to know, and he trusts Doctor Bob Ellis.  In the small town of Castle Rock, the setting of many of King's most iconic stories, Scott is engaged in a low grade - but escalating - battle with the lesbians next door whose dog regularly drops his business on Scott's lawn.  One of the women is friendly; the other, cold as ice.  Both are trying to launch a new restaurant, but the people of Castle Rock want no part of a gay married couple, and the place is in trouble.  When Scott finally understands the prejudices they face - including his own - he tries to help.  Unlikely alliances, the annual foot race, and the mystery of Scott's affliction bring out the best in people who have indulged the worst in themselves and others.

Dark Sacred Night (Harry Bosch #21 & Renee Ballard #2)
Author: Michael Connelly
Summary: Renee Ballard is working the night beat again, and returns to Hollywood Station in the early hours only to find a stranger rifling through old file cabinets.  The intruder is retired detective Harry Bosch, working a cold case that has gotten under his skin.  Ballard kicks him out, but then checks into the case herself and it brings a deep tug of empathy and anger.  Bosch is investigating the death of fifteen-year-old Daisy Clayton, a runaway on the streets of Hollywood who was brutally murdered and her body left in a dumpster like so much trash.  Now, Ballard joins forces with Bosch to find out what happened to Daisy and finally bring her killer to justice.

The Meltdown (Diary of A Wimpy Kid #13)
Author: Jeff Kinney
Summary: When snow shuts down Greg Heffley's middle school, his neighborhood transforms into a wintry battlefield.  Rival groups fight over territory, build massive snow forts, and stage epic snowball fights.  And in the crosshairs are Greg and his trusty best friend, Rowley Jefferson.  It's a fight for survival as Greg and Rowley navigate alliances, betrayals, and warring gangs in a neighborhood meltdown.  When the snow clears, will Greg and Rowley emerge as heroes?  Or will they even survive to see another day.

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.

November's Book-to-Film Adaptations

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.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
Starring: Mackenzie Foy
Release Date: 11-02
Based On: "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" by E.T.A. Hoffmann
Summary: A young girl is transported into a magical world of gingerbread soldiers and an army of mice.

Boy Erased
Starring: Lucas Hedges
Release Date: 11-02
Based On: "Boy Erased: A Memoir" by Garrard Conley
Summary: The son of a Baptist preacher is forced to participate in a church-supported gay conversion program after being forcibly outed to his parents.

The Front Runner
Starring: Hugh Jackman
Release Date: 11-07
Summary: American Senator Gary Hart's presidential campaign in 1988 is derailed when he's caught in a scandalous love affair.

The Grinch
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch
Release Date: 11-09
Based On: "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" by Dr. Seuss
Summary: A grumpy Grinch plots to ruin Christmas for the village of Whoville.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Starring: Eddie Redmayne
Release Date: 11-16
Based On: Characters from "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" by J.K. Rowling
Summary: The second installment of the "Fantastic Beasts" series set in J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World featuring the adventures of magizoolgist Newt Scamander.

If Beale Street Could Talk
Starring: Stephan James
Release Date: 11-30
Based On: "If Beale Street Could Talk" by James Baldwin
Summary:  A woman in Harlem desperately scrambles to prove her fiance innocent of a crime while carrying their first child.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of Oct. 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 week.

Hardcover Fiction Top 5

#1: Every Breath
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F SPARKS
Summary: Hope Anderson is at a crossroads. At thirty-six, she's been dating her boyfriend, an orthopedic surgeon, for six years. With no wedding plans in sight, and her father recently diagnosed with ALS, she decides to use a week at her family's cottage in Sunset Beach, North Carolina, to ready the house for sale and mull over some difficult decisions about her future.

#2: The Next Person You Meet in Heaven
Author: Mitch Albom
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: F ALBOM
Summary: Fifteen years ago, in Mitch Albom's beloved novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, the world fell in love with Eddie, a grizzled war veteran- turned-amusement park mechanic who died saving the life of a young girl named Annie. Eddie's journey to heaven taught him that every life matters. Now, in this magical sequel, Albom reveals Annie's story.

#3: Unsheltered
Author: Barbara Kingsolver
Weeks On List: 1
Summary: The story of two families, in two centuries, who live at the corner of Sixth and Plum, as they navigate the challenges of surviving a world in the throes of major cultural shifts. In this mesmerizing story told in alternating chapters, Willa and Thatcher come to realize that though the future is uncertain, even unnerving, shelter can be found in the bonds of kindred, whether family or friends, and in the strength of the human spirit.

#4: A Spark of Light
Author: Jodi Picoult
Weeks On List: 3
Call Number: F PICOULT
Summary: The #1 New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things returns with a powerful and provocative new novel about ordinary lives that intersect during a heart-stopping crisis. The warm fall day starts like any other at the Center a women's reproductive health services clinic its staff offering care to anyone who passes through its doors. Then, in late morning, a desperate and distraught gunman bursts in and opens fire, taking all inside hostage. After rushing to the scene, Hugh McElroy, a police hostage negotiator, sets up a perimeter and begins making a plan to communicate with the gunman.

#5: Ambush
Author: James Patterson
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: M PATTERSON
Summary: An anonymous tip about a crime in Upper Manhattan proves to be a setup. An officer is taken down--and, despite the attackers' efforts, it's not Michael Bennett. New York's top cop is not the only one at risk. One of Bennett's children sustains a mysterious injury.

Hardcover Nonfiction Top 5

#1: Shade
Author: Pete Souza
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: Not Housed
Summary: The former White House photographer juxtaposes pictures of former President Obama with tweets, headlines and quotes from the Trump administration.

#2: Ship of Fools
Author: Tucker Carlson
Weeks On List: 3
Call Number: On Order
Summary: The popular FOX News star of Tucker Carlson Tonight offers his signature fearless and funny political commentary on how America's ruling class has failed everyday Americans. "You look on in horror, helpless and desperate. You have nowhere to go. You're trapped on a ship of fools." --From the Introduction In Ship of Fools: How a Selfish Ruling Class is Bringing America to the Brink of Revolution, Tucker Carlson tells the truth about the new American elites, a group whose power and wealth has grown beyond imagination even as the rest of the country has withered. The people who run America now barely interact with it. They fly on their own planes, ski on their own mountains, watch sporting events far from the stands in sky boxes. They have total contempt for you. "They view America the way a private equity firm sizes up an aging conglomerate," Carlson writes, "as something outdated they can profit from. When it fails, they're gone." In Ship of Fools, Tucker Carlson offers a blistering critique ofour new overlords. Traditional liberals are gone, he writes. The patchouli-scented hand-wringers who worried about whales and defended free speech have been replaced by globalists who hide their hard-edged economic agenda behind the smokescreen of identity politics. They'll outsource your job while lecturing you about transgender bathrooms. Left and right, Carlson says, are no longer meaningful categories in America. "The rift is between those who benefit from the status quo, and those who don't." Our leaders are fools, Carlson concludes, "unaware that they are captains of a sinking ship." But in the signature and witty style that viewers of Tucker Carlson Tonight have come to enjoy, his book answers the all-important question: How do we put the country back on course?

#3: Killing the SS
Author: Bill O'Reilly
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: 940.5318 ORE
Summary: As the true horrors of the Third Reich began to be exposed immediately after World War II, the Nazi war criminals who committed genocide went on the run. A few were swiftly caught, including the notorious SS leader, Heinrich Himmler. Others, however, evaded capture through a sophisticated Nazi organization designed to hide them. Among those war criminals were Josef Mengele, the "Angel of Death" who performed hideous medical experiments at Auschwitz; Martin Bormann, Hitler's brutal personal secretary; Klaus Barbie, the cruel "Butcher of Lyon"; and perhaps the most awful Nazi of all: Adolf Eichmann.

#4: Brief Answers to the Big Questions
Author: Stephen Hawking
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: On Order
Summary: Stephen Hawking was the most renowned scientist since Einstein, known both for his groundbreaking work in physics and cosmology and for his mischievous sense of humor. He educated millions of readers about the origins of the universe and the nature of black holes, and inspired millions more by defying a terrifying early prognosis of ALS, which originally gave him only two years to live. In later life he could communicate only by using a few facial muscles, but he continued to advance his field and serve as a revered voice on social and humanitarian issues.

#5: Fear
Author: Bob Woodward
Weeks On List: 6
Call Number: 973.933 WOO
Summary: With authoritative reporting honed through eight presidencies from Nixon to Obama, author Bob Woodward reveals in unprecedented detail the harrowing life inside President Donald Trump's White House and precisely how he makes decisions on major foreign and domestic policies. Woodward draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand sources, meeting notes, personal diaries, files and documents. The focus is on the explosive debates and the decision-making in the Oval Office, the Situation Room, Air Force One and the White House residence. Fear is the most intimate portrait of a sitting president ever published during the president's first years in office.

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

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Weekly Library Events (Oct. 28 - Nov. 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: "A Quiet Place"
Sunday, Oct. 28 at 2:00PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565 for Info.
Everyone’s invited out for a great thriller that that’s perfect for the Halloween season at your South Branch Library.  At this session, we’ll be showing one of the quietest ones around, with 2018’s “A Quiet Place” starring John Krasinski and Emily Blunt.  In this film, two parents do what it takes to keep their children safe in a world full of creatures hunting every sound they can hear. Not a sound can be heard from the family hiding in silence, but all it takes is one noise and everything can go wrong.  This film is rated PG-13 for terror and some bloody images and has a run time of 1 hour and 30 minutes. Light snacks will be provided, or feel free to bring your own.

Monday, Oct. 29 at 10:00AM
Mockingbird Branch Library
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323 for Info.
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 three times a week on Mondays from 10AM to Noon at the Mockingbird Branch, and then 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 20-minutes if others are waiting.

Monday, Oct. 29 at 2:00PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565 for Info.
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 three times a week on Mondays from 10AM to Noon at the Mockingbird Branch, and then 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 20-minutes if others are waiting.

Sugar Skulls Workshop
Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 5:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067 for Info.
Everyone get ready for the annual Sugar Skull Workshop at your Main Library, where we’ll be getting hands on with a fun multicultural craft activity celebrating Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).  At this event, we’ll provide everyone with their own pre-made sugar skull, and then we’ll have a host of fun accessories for your to decorate them with. Perfect for all ages, come express your creativity by designing your special skull, also called a calavera (a little trivia for you).  So come on out and make your own Sugar Skull by dropping into this fun craft workshop. We’ll supply all the materials you’ll need.

Mall-O-Ween @ Your Library
Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 6:00PM
South Branch Library
44310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565 for Info.
Join your South Branch Library, and the entire Mall of Abilene, for the Annual Mall-O-Ween celebration.  It was a major hit last year as hundreds of you stopped by the library for our night of fun and this evening will be no different.  Come dressed in your costumes to participate in the mall’s Costume Contest for ages 0-12, plus you can come out to enjoy the games we’ll be putting on, trick-or-treating at the library and other retailers in the mall, as well as all the additional family fun that will be going on.

Tuesday, Oct. 30 at 6:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025 for Info.
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 three times a week on Mondays from 10AM to Noon at the Mockingbird Branch, and then 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 20-minutes if others are waiting.

Super Spooky Storytime
Wednesday, Oct. 31 at 10:45AM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565 for Info.
Join your South Branch Library as we get ready for a Super Spooky Storytime event that is certain to get your kids in the mood for some trick or treating this evening.  We’ll be sharing some (not so) scary stories including Dr. Seuss’ “What Was I Scared Of?” and Aaron Reynolds’ “Creepy Carrots.” You can also join us in some great games including Pin the Bone on the Skeleton, Pumpkin Bowling, and even a gross game of What IS That?  Feel free to come dressed in your costumes to trick-or-treat at the library and let the Fright Fest begin. 

Job Time: Application Assistance
Wednesday, Oct. 31 at 4:00PM
Mockingbird Branch Library
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323 for Info.
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.

Tabletop Teens
Wednesday, Oct. 31 at 4:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067
If you’re a teen that’s into some traditional board gaming fun, you won’t want to pass up on our weekly after school Tabletop Teens gaming session at your Main Library.  Come on out and test your hands at a great lineup of games that are a bit off the beaten path like Exploding Kittens and Settlers of Catan. They’re certainly not the games your parents grew up playing.  Each session will feature more games to introduce you to, challenge your mind, build teamwork, and allow you to have some fun with your friends, while making new ones. 

Teen After Hours: Halloween Party
Wednesday, Oct. 31 at 5:45PM
South Branch Library
4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.
PH: 325-698-7565 for Info.
Teens are invited to come out to your South Branch Library on Halloween Night for some seasonal fun with staff.  If you’re looking for some safe fun this evening, you’ll certainly want to attend our party where we’ll have food, contests, crafts, games, and more to offer for tweens and young adults ages 11-18.  Also throughout the evening, we’ll be watching episodes of the hit TV show “Supernatural.” In this highly rated series, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki play brothers Dean and Sam Winchester who, after their father’s footsteps, are hunters who fight evil supernatural beings of all kinds that roam the earth.  Don’t miss out on this evening activity on Halloween.

LEGO My Library
Thursday, Nov. 1 at 4:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067 for Info.
If you’re into LEGO building, and fun, don’t miss out on the next LEGO My Library session at your Main Library.  This is the time where we layout a sea of LEGO and platform and then see what youth are inspired to create within an hour.  Work on a project solo, or partner up with others for a joint projects, there’s no wrong way to have fun. Just come out ready to express yourself through some friendly building in this weekly program.

Make & Take: Turkeys, Turkeys, Turkeys
Thursday, Nov. 1 at 4:00PM
Mockingbird Branch Library
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
PH: 325-437-7323 for Info.
Let’s get the fall season going as we begin to get ready for the biggest holiday of the month...Thanksgiving.  As one of our favorite holidays, we all know what special bird is most associated with it. That’s right, we’re celebrating turkeys at your Mockingbird Branch Library and that kicks off with a great hands-on craft for youth after school.  We’ll supply all the materials to show you how to make some festive turkey fridge magnets and Tom Turkey suncatchers that will look great when hung from your window. 

Get STEAM'ed: Art with the Center
Thursday, Nov. 1 at 6:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025 for Info.
Get ready for the next STEAM’ed event for adults at your Abilene Public Library.  STEAM activities may have been created with youth in mind, but they refer programming that relates to the science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics.  At each STEAM’ed event at your library, we’ll bring in local professionals to teach you about one of these areas, and then participants will get hands-on with a project.  At this session, we’ll be focusing on art and learning about basic design elements with Manny de los Santos, the Curator of Education at the Center for Contemporary Arts. Come look at different contemporary art examples, talk about why certain pieces have the power to draw us in, and more.  You’ll also get the chance to recreate a contemporary art piece too. That’s right. We’ll get to paint/draw/color.

Super Storytime: P is for Pie
Friday, Nov. 2 at 11:00AM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6067 for Info.
The fall and winter seasons are two of the best times for pie, plus they’re around major holidays that all have their fair share of great desserts.  From pumpkin to sweet potato, apple to blueberry, pie is just wonderful! If you think so too, we invite you to join us for the next Super Storytime session at your Main Library where the theme is “P is for Pie.”  Great for younger kids to come out and enjoy, this session will feature great stories about pie, plus we’ll have some singing and dancing, and even get to make a fun pie craft to take home. We’ll supply all the materials needed for the craft project.  All you need to do is come out and be ready to have some fun with staff at your library.

Adventurous Book Club: "Refugee"
Friday, Nov. 2 at 6:30PM
Rosa's Cafe & Tortilla Factory
3333 Catclaw Dr.
PH: 325-698-7565 for Info.
Join the South Branch Library for a brand new Adventurous Book Club that’s not for the faint of heart. Be warned, we intend to read books in all genres that stretch boundaries, get you out of your comfort zone, that make you think, and might be just a little bit hard to finish. We’ll be reading some staff favorites, as well as letting members propose their own selections. Lively discussion is expected and encouraged. This time around we’ll be reading “Refugee” by Alan Gratz.  In this book, although separated by continents and decades, Josef, a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany; Isabel, a Cuban girl trying to escape the riots and unrest plaguing her country in 1994; and Mahmoud, a Syrian boy in 2015 whose homeland is torn apart by violence and destruction, embark on harrowing journeys in search of refuge, discovering shocking connections that tie their stories together. Look for checking out this book from your library, and then come ready to discuss it with other readers as we meet up at Rosa’s Cafe & Tortilla Factory, located at 3333 Catclaw Dr., in south Abilene.

String Art Ornaments
Saturday, Nov. 3 at 10:00AM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
PH: 325-676-6025 for Info.
The holidays are upon us with Thanksgiving around the corner, Christmas following a month later, and this is the time that many people start decorating their homes to help get them in the holiday spirit.  If that’s you, and you’re a crafter, we invite you to take part in a great hands-on workshop for adults making String Art Ornaments. Join staff for this special activity where we’ll offer four different designs for guests to come out and make.  We’ll supply all the materials and instruction needed for this workshop and there will be several staff members available to assist you along the way. Don’t miss your chance to create a little holiday cheer for your homes this day at your library; it’ll be a great way to spend a morning.

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

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Sugar Skulls to Spooky Flicks, Your Library's a Great Halloween Stop

Halloween is drawing near, but your Abilene Public Library is not about to let it go by without upping the number of family-friendly fun to get you in the mood.  With annual traditional activities to spooky movies, we've got a great lineup of events for you to take advantage of.  As always, they're offered 100% free and there's no need to register for any of them.  Take a look at the lineup of activities we've got planned for Saturday, October 27 through Halloween.
  • Family Flix: "Hocus Pocus" (All Ages) | Saturday, October 27 at 11:00AM: As an annual tradition at the South Branch Library, we'll host a free showing of "Hocus Pocus," which is about the best Disney Halloween movie ever.  This PG flick follows three sister witches who are resurrected after three centuries in the town of Salem, Massachusetts on Halloween Night.  They have one chance to stay alive and wreak havoc on the town, unless two teens, a young girl, and an immortal cat stops them.
  • Family Films: "Goosebumps" (All Ages) | Saturday, October 27 at 2:30PM: Don't miss the chance to catch a great afternoon Halloween flick that draws on all the scary creatures and monsters that appear in a popular children's book series by R.L. Stine.  Always in heavy demand with kids at the library, we'll be showing the live-action adaptation of the books and TV series with 2015's "Goosebumps" at your Mockingbird Branch Library.  In this film, all the monsters from the stories are set free on the town of Madison, Delaware, and it's up to the author of the series, his daughter, and a neighbor teen to do something about it.
  • South STEAM: Spooky Science (Ages 5+) | Saturday, October 27 at 4:00PM: Youth won't want to pass up on a fun and hands-on STEAM event at your South Branch Library that will delve into all things spooky for Halloween.  Those who are brave will be asked to get involved in all things gross, squishy, creepy, and downright disgusting in a way that will not only have them grimacing in "fear," but learning at the same time.  We'll supply all the materials and instruction needed for this fun workshop your children will not want to miss out on.
  • Weekend Walk-In Flix: "A Quiet Place" (Ages 13+) | Sunday, October 28 at 2:00PM: If you're ready for a thriller, then join your South Branch Library as we'll be showing a movie that proves that even in silence, the world around you can be just as terrifying.  We'll be showing 2018's "A Quiet Place," starring John Krasinski and Emily Blunt.  In this film, two parents do whatever it takes to keep their children safe in a world of creatures hunting every sound they can hear.  Not a sound can be heard from the family hiding in silence, but all it takes is just one noise and everything they know can go completely wrong.  It's a clever thriller that will certainly delight fans of creature features.
  • Sugar Skulls Workshop (All Ages) | Tuesday, October 30 at 5:00PM: Your Main Library will once again be hosting our annual Sugar Skulls Workshop, which is a great multicultural program celebrating Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).  Designed for all ages to enjoy, we'll supply you with pre-made sugar skulls as blank canvases, and then you can use paints and other accessories to decorate them however you choose.  It always draws out a great crowd each year, so be sure you come out to your Main Library and make one for yourself.
  • Mall-O-Ween @ Your Library (All Ages) | Tuesday, October 30 at 6:00PM: Don't miss your chance to stop by your South Branch Library as we join in on the annual Mall-O-Ween festivities hosted at the Mall of Abilene.  Starting at 6:00PM, we'll host a series of fun activities for youth to engage in, along with some trick-or-treating, and you will also get the chance to trick-or-treat at other stores and businesses in the mall too.  And if you come dressed in your costumes this year, you can participate in the mall's annual costume contest.  We had a blast last year, with hundreds of people coming out to celebrate with us, so be sure to make your South Branch Library your place to be this evening.
  • Super Spooky Storytime (Kids of All Ages) | Wednesday, October 31 at 10:45AM: Kids and parents won't want to miss this special event at your South Branch Library on Halloween morning.  We'll be replacing our regularly scheduled preschool storytime with an enhanced event that will certainly get your kids in the mood for trick-or-treating this evening.  We'll share some of our favorite stories and play great games like Pin the Bone on the Skeleton, Pumpkin Bowling, and a gross game of What IS That?  Plus, we encourage you to come dressed in your costumes too because we may have some trick-or-treating you can take advantage of in the library.
  • Teen After Hours: Halloween Party (Ages 11-18) | Wednesday, October 31 at 5:45PM: If you have a teen looking for something fun to do on Halloween Night, and you want to make sure they're safe, bring them to your South Branch Library.  We're hosting an after hours Halloween Party when the doors close to the public.  All teens will be supervised by library staff where we'll have a host of activities to keep them busy.  Come out and enjoy some Halloween-themed games, crafts, contests, and more, plus we'll be watching episodes of the hit show "Supernatural."  We do ask that all teens arrive at the library no later than 5:45PM so everyone will be in the library before we close the doors to the public.  At that time, we'll notify parents when they should arrive for pickup.
With such great activities coming up, don't miss your chance to participate in all the Halloween fun going on at your library this month.

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 highlight some of the popular titles being released today.

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
Starring: Amanda Seyfried
Summary: Discover Donna's young life, experiencing the fun she had with the three possible dads of Sophie.  As she reflects on her mom's journey, Sophie finds herself to be more like her mother than she ever even realized.

Sorry to Bother You
Starring: Lakeith Stanfield
Summary: In an alternate version of Oakland, Cassius Green gets a telemarketing job and finds the commission paid job a dispriting struggle as a black man selling to predominately white people over the phone.  That changes when a veteran advises him to use his "white voice," and the attitude behind it to make himself more appealing to customers.  With a bizarrely high-pitched accent, Cassius becomes a success even as his colleagues form a union to improve their miserable jobs.  Regardless, Cassius finds himself promoted a "Power Caller" selling the most morally abhorrent but lucrative products and services as his connection to his girlfriend and colleagues fades away.  However, Cassius' conscience arises anew as he finds himself in the midst of his boss' bizarre world of condescending bigoted decadence and his sinister plans create the perfect subservient work force with Cassius' help.

The Reckoning
Author: John Grisham
Summary: Pete Banning was Clanton's favorite son, a returning war hero, the patriarch of a prominent family, a farmer, father, neighbor, and a faithful member of the Methodist church.  Then one cool October morning in 1946, he rose early, drove into town, walked into the Church, and calmly shot and killed the Reverend Dexter Bell.  As if the murder wasn't shocking enough, it was even more baffling that Pete's only statement about it - to the sheriff, to his defense attorney, to the judge, to his family and friends, and to the people of Clanton - was "I have nothing to say."  And so the murder of the esteemed Reverend Bell became the most mysterious and unforgettable crime Ford County had ever known.

Author: Iris Johansen
Summary: With his dying breath, Carl Venable, head of the CIA task force on terrorism and Jude Brandon's final link to terrorist ringleader Max Huber, gives Brandon a mandate: keep his daughter, Rachel, safe at any cost.  But Rachel Venable has a shocking, twisted past of her own, one that comes rushing back after her medical clinic in Guyana is attacked by Huber - the same man who murdered her father and kept her imprisoned for months.  Brandon and Catherine Ling, Rachel's longtime ally and fierce protector, are determined to keep Rachel out of danger, but she knows that it's impossible to stay hidden when Max Huber wants you dead.  As Rachel and Brandon race against the clock to bring Huber down before he can orchestrate a disaster that will lay waste to half the country, they also fight a growing attraction to each other - an attraction that could prove just as dangerous as Huber himself.

Not Quite Over You
Author: Susan Mallery
Summary: Silver Tesdal has a head for business and a mouth for kissing, and banker Drew Lovato has his eye on both.  But ever since he was dumb enough to let her go, she's kept him at a distance.  When the bank turns her down for a loan, Drew sees a double opportunity - he can finance her brilliant, unique idea to rock Happily Inc's wedding industry and win back her trust.  Despite her reputation, Silver's not as tough as she seems.  Losing Drew nearly destroyed her.  Still, his kisses are as tempting as his offer to invest in her business.  If she can't quite get over him, maybe she should get under him and knock him out of her system once and for all.  But her best laid plans begin to unravel as Silver finds herself falling even harder than when they were high school sweethearts.  Which means that she'll have to come clean about the secret she's been hiding from him for years - and risk losing him forever. 

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, October 22, 2018

"Honoree Gives 'Condensed' History of Abilene Festival at Boots & Books Luncheon" | Abilene Reporter-News

As published by the Greg Jaklewicz, of the Abilene Reporter-News, on Saturday, October 20, 2018.

Glenn Dromgoole, who has been on the giving end of things over the years at the West Texas Book Festival, was on the receiving end Saturday.
Dromgoole, wearing his trademark bow tie, was honored with the A.C. Greene Award at the Boots & Books Luncheon at the Abilene Woman's Club.  It was Dromgoole who about 18 years ago asked Greene if the award could be named in his honor.  Greene, born in Abilene, approved and attended the first festival.

He died the following year.

Dromgoole, the former Abilene Reporter-News editor who has operated Texas Star Trading Co. downtown with his wife, Carol, since 2004, accepted the award that honors the lifetime achievement of an author.

Dromgoole's achievement include writing books, including his recent two-week project titled Book Guy: One Authors Adventures in Publishing just in time for the yearly event.

The honoree spoke, mixing anecdotes about his career as a writer with a history of the book festiva, which he co-founded in 2001.

He credited his still unexplainable quest launched in 1998 to obtain every copy of Reader's Digest Condensed Books started in 1950.  He sought those for purchase at a Friends of the Abilene Public Library book sale but was given boxes of them because they didn't sell.

Dromgoole was asked to join the support organization an it was when he was president in 2001 that the book festival was started, chaired by Jane Jones.

Before leaving the podium, Dromgoole thanked those who have worked with him on his projects.  He also left $1,000 lighter in the wallet after presenting a check to the Friends to help ensure there will be a 2019 book festival.

And, he hinted in noting the organization's roles in opening north and south Abilene branches over the years, there's "more big news on the horizon."

"Learn to Stitch Without a Hitch at the Library" | @ the Library Article

Home decoration is a popular pastime.  Many people are interested in creating interesting or beautiful items for their homes.  Crafts of numerous types may be used in these endeavors.  Woodwork, painting, re-purposing junk into new items, and sewing are among the new and old crafts used.  Embroidery is one such craft, but it is not a new one.

The website dates the origin of embroidery "back to Cro-Magnon days or 30,000 BC.  During a recent archaeological find, fossilized remains of heavily hand-stitched and decorated clothing, boots, and hat were found."  Wikipedia lists chain stitch, blanket stitch, running stitch, satin stitch, and cross stitch as some of the earliest stitches.  They're still in use today.

In the Beginning Embroidery class being offered at the Abilene Public Library Creation Station at 202 Cedar St. on Thursday, November 8 at 2:30PM, two of the six stitches being taught are blanket stitch and satin stitch.  The other four stitches are French knot, stem/outline stitch, lazy daisy, and woven wheel stitch.  The names of the stitches are both descriptive and frequently amusing.

Embroidery stitches abound.  Learning new ones requires either a teacher or a manual to show how how the new stitch is created.  If a particular stitch is needed to complete a design or is suggested by the pattern designer, that makes it necessary to find out how to create the stitch to determine if that stitch is actually required or another stitch will work instead.  Also different stitches frequently provide different textures.  Teachers exist but are sometimes hard to find.  Embroidery manuals, on the other hand, can be found at your local library.  The Complete Guide to Embroidery Stitches: Photographs, Diagrams, and Instructions for Over 260 Stitches by Jennifer Campbell and Ann-Marie Bakewell is one such titled available at the Abilene Public Library.

Anchor Complete Embroidery Course by Christina Marsh goes into more depth about embroidery and the equipment needed as well as transferring designs, frames, and mounting some completed projects.

A few other titles that offer instruction about Embroidery include Beautiful Beaded Embroidery by Marian Carpenter, which includes information about incorporating beads into the embroidery.  Also, Boho Embroidery: Modern Projects from Traditional Stitches by Nichole Vogelsinger provides more modern ideas about embroidery use from collage designs in hoops to wearable accessories and embellishments.  Last, Crewel Intentions: Fresh Ideas for Jacobean Embroidery by Hazel Blomkamp takes a look at a different type of embroidery.  Crewel uses wool instead of cotton or silk for the stitches.

These titles and more are available at the Abilene Public Library.  Check them out and come to the class on November 8 to try out a new craft.  It's a pastime frequently considered relaxing and enjoyable.  It's also actually lightweight and easy to carry around and work on anywhere.

Article Contributed by Marie Skufca, Information Services Librarian

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Honoring Our Friends of the Library, Oct. 21-27

It's a special week in the nation, one where special groups across the nation will be recognized for the amazing service they provide to their respective library systems.  It's National Friends of Libraries Week, and if there's one group associated with the library that is worthy of being recognized for their great works, it's the wonderful Friends of the Abilene Public Library.  Made up of valued members and volunteers, this agency allows us (the Abilene Public Library) to stand taller and prouder and able to help with offering the community with some of the best services around.

Our Friends group works tirelessly to help fulfill the mission of our library system.  Never turning from a challenge, they've literally helped to make the impossible possible and their accomplishments have benefited the library system and the community as a whole.  Among such contributions, over the years, our Friends group has:
  • Raised the funds to establish the Mockingbird Branch Library (1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.) including the opening collection, remodeling the existing building, furnishings, and rent for the first two years in record time.  This increased the city's library locations to three, helping to serve residents in northwest Abilene.
  • Contributed $540,000.00 to the costs of relocated the South Branch Library from its original location at 1401 S. Danville Dr. to its present location in the Mall of Abilene at 4310 Buffalo Gap Rd.  Such funds helped to offer the south side of Abilene with a beautiful location, along with much needed space, that has proven itself to be a great success with monthly visits exceeding 20,000 guests per month compared to an average of 6,000 to 7,000 visits a month at the previous location.
  • Continues to conduct an Annual Book Sale, which is one of the most highly anticipated library events of the year.  Along with such sale, they work diligently year round to collect and sort through community donations and contributions to be able to put on this event each year.
  • Hosts an annual Texas Author Series of talks for the community on an annual basis, aimed at connecting people with talented writers from the Lone Star State.
  • Assists the library in Summer Reading Club opportunities and prizes during a time when the library sees a great increase in the number of people utilizing its services than any other time of year.
  • Provides funding to help support the library budget in the purchasing of materials and equipment that can be utilized by both staff and the public.
  • Provided funding to allow staff to attend professional library conferences and training as a means of helping to strengthen skills and bring back new ideas and practices to incorporate into our library system, and much more.
With all they do, it's safe to state again that we are fortunate to have such a wonderful Friends of the Library group supporting our library system.  They remain active within the library and the community, and we couldn't be more grateful for their hard work and the countless hours they put in to benefit what we do.  As a volunteer organization, such dedication is not taken for granted.

If you're not a part of the Friends of the Library, and you're interested in finding out how you can join, you may do so by stopping by the library to pick up a membership form, or registering online through their page.  As a member, not only does your contribution go towards supporting your library, you'll also have the opportunity to actively volunteer in the wonderful events and activities organized by this group.  It's certainly an organization you'd want to be a part of, and what better time to do so than the week set aside to recognize these amazing groups across the nation.

We also hope you'll join us when it comes to giving thanks to this group.  As hard as they work, they could never hear it enough.

National Friends of Libraries Week is coordinated by United for Libraries, a division of the American Library Association with approximately 4,000 personal and group members representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters.  United for Libraries supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and raise funds for libraries, and brings together library trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century.

November's Cover-to-Cover Book Club Selection

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

For November, the featured selection is Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948 by Madeleine Albright and we invite you to look out for a copy at your library, then attend the book club meeting on Thursday, November 15 at 7:00PM.

Prague Winter
Author: Madeleine Albright
Summary: From former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright comes a moving and thoughtful memoir of her formative years in Czechoslovakia during the tumult of Nazi occupation, World War II, fascism, and the onset of the Cold War.  An intensely personal journey into the past that offers vital lessons for the future, this book combines the intimacy of an autobiography with the drama of an exciting and well-told story - all underpinned by the gravity and intelligence of a serious work of history.  The result is a highly readable and incisive work filled with tragedy and triumph, a resonant narrative informed by Albright's remarkable life experience and her characteristic candor in speaking hard truths.

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.  Plus, visit the Book Clubs Page on our website for a listing of the upcoming book club selections to be on the lookout for.