Wednesday, July 30, 2014

App Watch: RAIDS Online

Technology is a part of our everyday lives with the accessibility of smartphones, tablets, and comparable devices.  Your Abilene Public Library understands the value of mobile technology and we're frequently asked to assist patrons in learning to use theirs to the fullest.  This blog series will look at some popular apps you can take advantage of to get the most out of your devices, and like your library services, each will be FREE to take advantage of.

Many library staff were first introduced to RAIDS (Regional Data & Information Data Sharing) Online, thanks to training we received from the Abilene Police Department.  Available through an app, as well as online, is a free way to view public crime maps.  Sharing information with the public, law enforcement is able to be more transparent with what goes on in your area, allowing citizens to easily search for information.  Abilene participates in this service, powered by BAIR Analytics, so you have the ability to access crime information in your area.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bike Night @ Your Mockingbird Branch!

Learning to ride a bike is a rite of passage: the first time you pedaled on your own, the first time you left your training wheels behind.  But are bikes just for kids and should there be more to it than simply hitting the road?

Join us on Monday night August 11 @ 7PM at the Mockingbird Branch, as local officers from the Abilene Police Department discuss the basics of modern-day bike safety, for both adults and youth.  They'll go over the importance of helmets, demonstrate how to properly fit and adjust one, as well as cover basic road rules that those of us traveling the city streets should abide by.

Following the program, a brief demonstration of proper riding techniques will be provided by an officer in the library parking lot.  Intended for adults and children ages 7 and up (with an accompanying adult) this is a great family program for all generations as we head back to school in just a few short weeks!

In addition, your Abilene Public Library has a wonderful variety of reading materials on this topic you're available to checkout.  Two of my favorites include:

Essential Bicycle Maintenance & Repair
Author: Daimeon Shanks
Call Number: 629.28772 SHA
Summary: Detail specific and filled with close-up pictures, this is a great book for anyone attempting to repair a bike on their own for the first time.  Chapters include "The Modern Road Bike," "Basic Maintenance," "Wheels," "Cranks & Chainrings," "Brakes," and more. 

The Complete Do-It-Yourself Bike Book
Author: Mel Allwood
Call Number: 629.287 ALL
Summary: Taking a different approach, this book covers topics such as: "Which bike is right for me?" and "What kind of clothing and gear do I need as I get started in the sport?"  This book also covers basic safety tips for city and long-distance biking as well.  The last few chapters cover the all-important maintenance aspect of cycling, detailing everything from brakes, cables and wheels to proper seat alignment by gender and height.

Other interesting titles include
So for more information on Bike Night @ Mockingbird Branch, or to place a hold on one of these books, phone the Mockingbird Branch at 325-437-7323. 

Post Contributed by Anne Ellis, Manager of the Mockingbird Branch of the Abilene Public Library

Book-To-Film Adaptations: August 2014

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 the books they're based on at your Abilene Public Library if we own them.

Guardians of the Galaxy
Starring: Chris Pratt
Release Date: Aug. 1
Based On: Guardians of the Galaxy
Author: Dan Abnett
Summary: In the far reaches of space, and American pilot named Peter Quill finds himself the object of a manhunt after stealing an orb coveted by the villainous Ronan.

The Hundred-Foot Journey
Starring: Helen Mirren
Release Date: Aug. 8
Based On: The Hundred-Foot Journey
Author: Richard C. Morais
Summary: A story centered on an Indian family who moves to France and opens an eatery across the street from a Michelin-starred French restaurant run by Madame Mallory.

@ the Library Article: "Early Literacy Stations Help Children Connect with World"

AWE Early Literacy Stations
Over the past year, the Abilene Public Library has installed AWE-some new technology in its children's departments.
Early literacy stations are now available at all three library locations.  The stations were created by AWE, a digital learning solutions company, and offer access to more than 60 educational programs - available in English and Spanish - that are simply amazing.
Thanks to the Friends of the Abilene Public Library, three stations are available at both the main library and the Mockingbird Branch, and one station is available at the South Branch.
We've heard nothing but praise for these workstations from kids and parents alike.
The early literacy stations are great because the all-inclusive computers connect kids with a wide range of educational materials that make learning so much fun.
Various programs help kids develop reading skills; learn about different parts of the world; delve into the mysteries of science; learn about the bones of the body; and so much more.  All of this content is presented through fun, interactive programs.
The stations feature a colorful, kid-friendly keyboard and mouse, but the monitor also doubles as a touch screen.  With the popularity of smartphones and tablets, kids often enjoy using this type of interface when they play apps on mobile devices.  The ELS allows them to do just that.
Additionally, parents don't have to worry about kids playing on the Internet - the AWE stations do not allow access to the Web.  Children can only access the long list of educational games and content available on the station itself.
Although we do see parents excited by using these new stations with their kids, rest assured that you don't have to look over their shoulder and monitor their activity.
The AWE stations have received high ratings and praise from many sources, including Children's Technology Review and kids in our community.
If you've yet to experience the early literacy stations at your Abilene Public Library, we invite you to visit.  If you need help getting started, ask library staff for assistance and we'll be more than happy to help.
At your Abilene Public Library, we embrace technology as a means to allow us to offer you great services that appeal to all ages.  Come check out what we can do for you, as there's truly something for everyone.
Post Contributed by Me (Tremain Jackson, Branch Manager of the South Branch location of the Abilene Public Library)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Join Our New Science Club @ Your Library!

Science, Science, Science.  It feels as if that's all we've talked about with kids at your Abilene Public Library during our Summer Reading Club program.  With a theme of "Fizz, Boom, Read," we hosted many programs at your library that focused on getting hands-on in science experiments with interested youth in the community.

Each branch library has hosted several science experiments workshops in June and July, each being attended by masses of interested youth ready to learn and perform fun and safe experiments inside the library.  As those sessions have ended, we'd like to invite your children to be a part of a new club debuting in August.

Chazley's Dry Ice Experiments
The Main Library (202 Cedar St.) will debut a new Science Club for school-aged children on August 11 @ 4:30PM, which will be a monthly program meeting on the second Mondays of each month for youth ages 8 and older.

Led by Chazley Dotson, she'll be on hand to take kids further into the joys of science by demonstrating ad educating youth about the inner-workings of science.  Each month will feature new science demonstrations, and we invite all youth to be a part of the fun.

No registration is needed to join the club and all are welcome.  Again, the first session of the new Science Club will be hosted on Monday, August 11 @ 4:30PM, and youth ages 8 and older are encouraged to be a part of the educational fun.

For more information, feel free to Contact Me (Tremain Jackson), and we hope to see you at the first club meeting!

Friday, July 25, 2014

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of July 27)

Many patrons browse the new materials sections of the library to discover the latest reads.  Part of finding those items is browsing the New York Times bestsellers lists we make available to locate that popular title, or get yourselves on the reserve lists.  Check out this blog entry to discover the latest to lead the pack on the Hardcover Fiction & Non-Fiction lists for the upcoming week.

Hardcover Fiction Top 5

#1: The Book of Life
Author: Deborah Harkness
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: SF HARKNESS
Summary: In the conclusion to the All Souls Trilogy, the Oxford scholar/witch Diana Bishop and the vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont return from Elizabethan London to the present.

#2: The Heist
Author: Daniel Silva
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F SILVA
Summary: Gabriel Allon, an art restorer and occasional spy for the Israeli secret service, must track down a famous missing painting by Caravaggio.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Weekly Events @ Your Library (July 28 - Aug 2)

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 of events, visit our main website to take a look at our interactive calendar, and remember, all programming is offered FREE of charge.

July 29 @ 4:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6067 for Info.
Join our children's staff at the library as we'll show you how to create some great art and crafts using duct tape, and all the fun colors it comes in.  We'll supply the materials and instruction you'll need, all you have to do is be ready to come out and have some fun with us in this great afternoon activity at your library! 

July 29 @ 2:30PM
Mockingbird Branch
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
325-437-7323 for Info.
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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

App Watch: Scout GPS, Maps, Voice Navigation & Traffic

Technology is a part of our everyday lives with the accessibility of smartphones, tablets, and comparable devices.  Your Abilene Public Library understands the value of mobile technology and we're frequently asked to assist patrons in learning to use theirs to the fullest.  This blog series will look at some popular apps you can take advantage of to get the most our of your devices, and like your library services, each will be FREE to take advantage of.

Scout GPS, Maps, Voice Navigation & Traffic is a must for anyone who's a bit directionally challenged, yet finds themselves deemed as being the navigator when traveling to places you've never been.  Gone are the days of pulling out that paper map you could never fold back correctly, or purchasing bulky devices to be installed in your car.  With Scout GPS, you can put it directly on your phone and take it with you anywhere, in any vehicle.

The beauty of this app is that it makes it completely easy to find your destination with a few taps.  Rather than give you a full report, here's the highlights on what makes this app great for all users...again speaking to the directionally challenged such as myself.