Pages

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Participate in Special Events for Downton Abbey Fans

With the soon to be released Downton Abbey movie, your Abilene Public Library is hosting two great programs related to this exceptional series.  For fans of the show, these are must attend events!  These are great opportunities to share you love of Downton with other fans.

Downton Abbey is a British show set in the English countryside at a large estate.  The show's setting began in 1912 and continued through the 1920s.  It follows the life of the aristocratic Crawley family and the servants that work for them.  The show also shows the political and social changes that happened during the changing time period.

On Thursday, September 12 at 6:30PM (ArtWalk Night) at the Main Library in our makerspace area we are having a hat making program.  We will provide all the supplies you need to make a fancy hat or fascinator.  Exercise your creativity in making a one of a kind hat for yourself.  This program is open to ages 15+.  The hat would be perfect to wear when you see the movie or if you attend the second program.  Supplies are limited so show up early!

The second program, Downton Day, is Saturday, September 14 at 10:00AM at the Main Library's auditorium.  This program will include tea, refreshments, Downton trivia, and a presentation on the fashion and clothing styles seen in the show.  The presenter will be ACU Theatre Department Costume Designer Catherine Baumgardener.  Ms. Baumgardener has worked as a costume designer for stage and screen.  Dressing up and wearing fancy hats, like the ones you will make on Thursday night, is strongly encouraged, don't be left out of the fun.  The Saturday program does require registration and is open to ages 18+.  You can REGISTER ONLINE and the registration will end on September 10 at 9:00PM.
So mark your calendars for these two great events.  Remember, registration is required for the September 14th event, and you must register by September 10th.  They are both free and open to the public.

Blog Post Contributed by Amy Watterman, Information Services Librarian

Sunday, August 25, 2019

"Labor Day: Holiday and History at the Abilene Public Library" | @ the Library Article

The last holiday of the summer and the "official" start to Fall, Labor Day in America has become a day off for picnics and family gatherings.  Nothing wrong with that, but few people seem to remember how this day Monday holiday came to be.  Your Abilene Public Library has a great deal of information on why all American workers owe a lot to the labor movement in our country.

A book available in downloadable audio, and at Hardin-Simmons University, Death in the Haymarket: A Story of Chicago, the First Labor Movement and the Bombing That Divided the Gilded Age America by James R. Green, describes in detail the forces leading up to the 1886 confrontation; the first labor rally/riot that resulted in death, and the setback of the unions for many years.  But the labor movement forged on.

Congress made Labor Day an official federal holiday in 1894, to be celebrated on the first Monday of September each year to recognize working people.  In the years following, the labor movement in America gained force, working for the eight-hour work day and better working conditions in factories, particularly.

Another seminal event in American labor history was the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire in March, 1911, the worst workplace disaster in New York City until 9/11, i which 148 workers died.  Triangle: The Fire that Changed America by David Von Drehle is a vivid retelling of this horrifying event which begins with the strike that immediately preceded it and then examines the terrible fire, the unsuccessful prosecution of the factory owners, and the fight to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

Lesser known, but highly significant, is the story of the Lawrence, Massachusetts textile workers and industrial poverty in the early part of the last century.  Waves of immigrants, and dozens of new factories were drawn to Lawrence, where whole families crowded into unsafe and unsanitary tenements, working long hours for slave wages.  Forced by poverty and encouraged by town officials, children left school early and went to the mills.  In 1912, the Massachusetts legislature decreased the numbers of hours children could work from 56 to 54 per week (adults often worked 60-72 hours per week on average).  Families already on the edge anxiously requested that total wages remain the same.  Owners refused.  A strike loomed.  Once labor organizers from New York arrived, the strike gained focus and purpose.  It brought national attention to the miserable conditions of the Larence workers and their compatriots in similar circumstances around the United States.

One book about this, geared towards young readers, is Bread and Roses, Too by Katherine Paterson.  In it, Jake and Ross, two children, form an unlikely friendship as they try to survive and understand the 1912 Bread and Roses strike of mill workers in Lawrence.

Labor issues remain in the news, but we often forget how we got the benefits we take for granted today.  As is often the case, workers today stand on the shoulders and achievements of those who have gone before...so stop by your Abilene Public Library this week of our annual observance of Labor Day (when two of the three library locations will be closed so our workers can enjoy this day too) and find out more about who you owe this holiday to.

Article Contributed by Janis C. Test, Information Services Manager

Monday, August 19, 2019

"Enjoy Some Family Fun Courtesy of a Community Super Team" | @ the Library Article

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work...the Abilene Public Library, Abilene Zoo, and the Parks & Recreation Department have partnered together to present a fun, free, community-wide event this coming Saturday called Stories in the Garden.  We've all worked hard to bring you a fantastic lineup of great activities and will be featuring some very special guests, all for FREE!


Join us at Nelson Park Festival Gardens, located next to the Abilene Zoo, from 10AM - Noon on Saturday, August 24.  Activities will include: Storytime at 10:45AM, Princess visits, bubbles, chalk drawings, crafts, and bounce houses.  And rumor has it that a mermaid will be there too.

Some great community partners have joined us as well to put on this event.  May Farms will be providing animals for a Petting Zoo.  The Hardin-Simmons University Six White Horses will offer horse rides.  And kids will be able to meet and greet some Superhero friends from Characters for Kiddos.  Feel free to dress up as your favorite character.  Who knows?  You just might meet the real thing!  Be sure to check out each group's Facebook page for more information on each organization.

Storytime, presented by the library, will take place at 10:45AM during the middle of the event, and will feature delightfully interactive books as well as musical activities suitable for the entire family; all other activities are come-and-go.  There will definitely be something for everyone at Stories at the Garden.  And concessions, provided by the Zoo, will also be available for purchase.  Don't forget to stop by the info tables to learn about all the great programs and events coming up this fall from the Library, Zoo, and Parks & Recreation before you leave.

As a bonus for attending, the Abilene Zoo will offer one free child entry into the Zoo with one paid adult entry, as long as you have the special Stories at the Garden stamp, which you'll receive when you arrive.

There will be so much to do, see, and experience at Stories at the Garden that you won't want to miss it.  Get in some quality time with the whole family by bringing everyone to this spectacular event.  Keep the fun going by visiting the Zoo and playing at Fort Imagination.  Let's send summer off right, and get ready for a great new school year by spending the day engaged with your community.  We'll see you at the Festival Gardens on August 24th for Stories at the Garden.

For more information, visit www.abilenetx.gov/apl or call 325-698-7565.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

"The First Day of School Doesn't Have to be Scary" | @ the Library Article

If you have a child that is starting school for the first time next week, school may seem scary even if they have been to kindergarten.  It's a new place with children that your child may not know.  A helpful way to alleviate or address those anxieties is through reading stories that take place in school.  Reading stories helps children understand what may happen the first day of school, expectations for how to act, and allow parents to discuss feelings and concerns about going to school.  The Abilene Public Library has many great stories centered around the first day of school that can be used as a jumping off point to introduce going to school.

My First Day of School by Alyssa Satin Capucilli has simple and easy text along with pictures of real children participating in classroom activities.  The story introduces what happens when a child goes to school: meeting the teacher, singing songs, playing, and making friends along the way.  The pictures in the book feature a diverse group of children with smiling faces to create a clear message of school is a great place to be.  The back of the book has a guide about the different parts of the day.  Parents can use the guide to talk about circle time, playing outdoors, snack time, and washing hands.  When children know what to expect when they go to school, they are more confident in their endeavors.

Edda: A Little Valkyrie's First Day of School by Adam Auerback features a wonderful fantasy twist to a first day of school story.  Edda is a Valkyrie who has to go to school for the first time and school is quite a bit different from her home, Asgard.  Asgard has magical creatures and incredible feasts, but no other children.  Edda must learn important lessons at school such as following directions, waiting in line for her turn, sitting still, and dealing with time outs.  Edda doesn't seem confident or happy being in school until she discovers that she enjoys writing about her home, Asgard.  As she shares her story about home, the other children like her story and become her friend.  Edda is happy to be in school and becomes confident in her abilities.  Edda can be used as a positive example of perseverance.

There are a number of books about monsters attending school fr the first time.  One of my favorites is Go to School Little Monster by Helen Kettermann.  Little Monster is a shy monster, but his teacher, Mr. Drool, is very patient and encouraging to Little Monster.  The story follows Little Monster as he is introduced to his new teacher and participates in typical school activities such as storytime, lunch, math, and recess.  All the characters are cute kid-sized monsters with big expressive eyes to convey emotions.  As the day ends, Little Monster shows off his new friend for Show and Tell and is excited about going back to school the next day.

There are many wonderful stories available at the Abilene Public Library that address first day of school jitters or worries.  Picture books about school can help children better understand what it's like going to school even if the characters are monsters or a valkyrie.  It can help your child build confidence and lessen anxieties.  Stop by any branch location to talk to the children's staff to get more recommendations.

Article by Ellene Cudd, Children's Librarian at Main Branch

Monday, August 5, 2019

"Catch Up On Coffee Culture at Your Abilene Public Library" | @ the Library Article

Coffee has been around for centuries and in fact, many people connect it with libraries and reading.  It can be comforting to get a cup and settle down with a good book, as you can do at your Abilene Public Library.  However, if you've ever wondered where coffee originated, your library has that answer!  It is thought to be indigenous to East Africa, specifically Ethiopia and Sudan.  According to legend it was first discovered in either the 6th or 9th century depending on the source.  A couple of legends about the discover of coffee exist.

The first legend concerns a shepherd who noticed how frenetic his goats became after eating the beans from a particular plant.  The other credits a Sheikh Omar, renowned for his healing ability, who was exiled to a desert cave.  Starving he ate some berries but found them too bitter.  So he roasted them to improve the taste but they became hard.  He boiled them to soften them and ended up with a fragrant brown liquid.  When he drank the liquid he was energized.

The first written evidence of knowledge of coffee and coffee drinking appeared in Yemen.  The writer of these accounts, Sufi Imam Muhammad Ign Said Al Dhabhani, imported goods from Ethiopia to Yemen in the 15th century.

By the 16th century, coffee had traveled to the Isle of Malta and from there spread to the rest of Europe including England by the 17th century.  Coffee houses became predominant as meeting places for both social and intellectual activities.  There were over 300 coffee houses in London by the 1650's.  Many catered to specific groups of the population, such as merchants, brokers, or artists, among others.

The town of Mocha was the center for the coffee trade for much of the early modern era.  The Dutch eventually got hold of some seedlings and managed to grow coffee plants on the island of java or a flavoring ingredient with mocha.

Coffee did come to the Americas, although until the Boston Tea Party, tea remained the favored drink.  After that, coffee rapidly became the preferred beverage.  Until now with specialty coffee houses and their lingo, coffee is everywhere and ordering correctly is a mark of sophistication and key to getting the type of coffee you actually want to drink.

Confessions of a Coffee Bean by Marie Nadine Antol is a guide to brewing coffee and cooking with it.  The Joy of Coffee by Corby Kummer is the essential guide to buying and brewing coffee.  The Coffee Book by Gregory Dicum and Nina Luttinger provides some history of coffee and the coffee industry.  All of these titles are available at the Abilene Public Library, along with a couple of titles about Starbucks.  Come to the library and check them out.

Article Contributed by Marie Skufca, Information Services Librarian

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Community Services Presents: Stories in the Garden!

Festival Gardens by the Zoo
Teamwork makes the dream work!  The Abilene Public Library, Abilene Zoo, and the Parks & Recreation Department have all partnered together to present a fun, free community-wide event called Stories at the Garden.  We've all worked hard to bring you a fantastic line-up of great activities and will be featuring some very special guests, all for FREE!

Join us at Nelson Park Festival Gardens, located next to the Abilene Zoo, from 10AM to Noon on Saturday, August 24, 2019.  Activities will include: Storytime at 10:45AM, Princess visits, bubbles, chalk drawings, crafts, and bounce houses.  And rumor has it that a mermaid will be there too!

Meet HSU's Six White Horses (with Rides)
Some great community partners have joined us as well to put on this event.  May Farms will be providing animals for a Petting Zoo.  The Hardin-Simmons University Six White Horses will offer horse rides.  And kids will be able to meet and greet some Superhero friends from Characters for Kiddos.  Feel free to dress up as your favorite character.  Who knows?  You might meet the real thing!  Be sure to check out each group's Facebook page for more information on each organization.

Storytime, presented by the library, will take place at 10:45AM during the middle of the event, and will feature delightfully interactive books as well as musical activities suitable for the entire family; all other activities are come-and-go.  There will definitely be something for everyone at Stories at the Garden.  And concessions, provided by the Zoo, will also be available for purchase.  Don't forget to stop by the info tables to learn about all the great programs and events coming up from the Library, Zoo, and Parks & Recreation  before you leave.

Pet Adorable Animal Friends from May Farm
As a bonus for attending, the Abilene Zoo will offer one free child entry into the Zoo with one paid adult entry, as long as you have the special Stories at the Garden stamp, which you'll receive when you arrive.

There will be so much to do, see, and experience at Stories in the Garden that you won't want to miss it.  Get in some quality time with the whole family by bringing everyone to this spectacular event.  Keep the fun going by visiting the Zoo and playing at Fort Imagination.  Let's send summer off right, and get ready for a great new school year by spending the day engaged with your community.  We'll see you at the Festival Gardens on August 25 for Stories at the Garden!

Article Contributed by Alyssa Crow, South Branch Manager
Photos Contributed by Alyssa Hartley, Parks & Recreation Multimedia Specialist and Owner of Crosslet Photography and Videography