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.

Discover Popular Series @ Your Library: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

Your Abilene Public Library carries the best in literature for all ages, and we invite you to discover some books that are part of a series.  Each week we'll highlight a different series and give you a quick look at what makes it popular.  Then, if it sounds of interest to you, feel free to check them out from your nearest library and get to reading them.  You may just discover your next favorite series.

Alexander McCall Smith may be a bestselling Scottish author and expert on medical law and bioethics, but he's probably best known for writing a series of books, set in Africa, and collectively titled The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.  One would initially think how could a man in Scotland create a series set in Africa; however, he was born in Rhodesia, which was then a British colony that is now called Zimbabwe.

Monday, July 21, 2014

@ the Library Article: "Poetry Slam Will Mark Comma Collectors' Anniversary"

Select Collecting Commas Members
On your mark, get set, slam!

The words will fly at the Abilene Public Library during a poetry slam at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.  The program will be presented by Collecting Commas, the library's writing club for youths 10-17.

Collecting Commas will mark its anniversary in August.  Members have expressed themselves through short stories, plays, and now poems.

Thursday's program will be the second live performance by Collecting Commas members.  The group presented its full-length play, Bullies, Fairytales, and Awakenings, Oh My, in December.

Original Play, Dec. 2013
Members have been hard at work on poetry since April, which was National Poetry Month.

Although many members already enjoyed poetry, for others the genre was new and somewhat intimidating.  Many people think that poetry has to rhyme or follow a certain meter, and although many poems do, modern poetry often is considered to be free verse, which removes the restraints that intimidate so many.

Club members have learned about many forms of poetry, including free verse, narrative poetry, poetry rounds (in which everyone writes a line then passes the poem on to the next person), and other poetical devices.

For members who are on vacation and unable to attend the poetry slam, another member will read their work.

Audience at the Play
No open mic will be available; only Collecting Commas members will participate.  But please come and enjoy their poetry.

What is a poetry slam?  It sounds like something found in an independent coffee shop.  A poetry slam, as its core, is poets gathering to share their work with an audience.  Although many poetry slams award prizes or money - often measured by how much applause each poet receives - ours is simply to showcase everyone's talented work and to share Collecting Commas' love of poetry with Abilene.

Are you interested in poetry, either reading or writing it, but don't know where to begin?  One of the easiest ways to start is by looking through our poetry sections here at the Abilene Public Library.

All poetry books are cataloged in the nonfiction section in the 800s, both for adult and juvenile poetry.  Some of my favorite poets for adults are T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, and E.E. Cummings.  Great titles for juvenile poetry include anything by Shel Silverstein; Mirror Mirror by Marilyn Singer; and Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant by Jack Prelutsky.

Of course, writing poetry is something else entirely - and for that, it's best to listen to your heart.  It certainly will aid you in creating beautiful, lyrical poetry that you could perhaps share at our next poetry slam.

We hope to see you Thursday.

Article Contributed by Kelsie Nygren, Children's Library Assistant at the Main Branch of the Abilene Public Library

Sunday, July 20, 2014

August'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 Abilene Public Library.  Meeting on the third Thursdays of the month, this group reads everything including bestsellers, fiction, biographies, non-fiction, classics, and more.

For August, the featured selection is Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen and we invite you to look out for a copy at your library and attend the book club discussion group on Thursday, August 21 @ 7:00 p.m.  For more information, be sure to contact Ann Mount, 325-676-6025.

Still Life with Bread Crumbs
Author: Anna Quindlen
Call Number: F QUINDLEN
Summary: This novel begins with an imagined gunshot and ends with a new tin roof.  Between the two is a wry and knowing portrait of Rebecca Winter, a photographer whose work makes her an unlikely heroine for many women.  Her career is now descendent, her bank balance shaky, and she has fled the city for the middle of nowhere.  There she discovers, in a tree stand with a roofer named Jim Bates, that what she sees through a camera lens is not all there is to life.

Be sure to checkout this title from your Abilene Public Library, or borrow one from a friend if you'd like, and then come out ready to discuss this title with other avid readers in the community.  Again, the Cover-to-Cover Book Club will meet on Thursday, August 21 @ 7:00 p.m., so be sure to get in on the reading fun.

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of July 20)

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: Act of War
Author: Brad Thor
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F THOR
Summary: The counterterroism operative Scot Harvath undertakes two dangerous missions as America faces an imminent attack.

#2: Power Play
Author: Catherine Coulter
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F COULTER
Summary: The F.B.I. agents Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock are out to discover who is trying to kill the ambassador to Britain.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Weekly Events @ Your Library (July 21-26)

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.

FYI: This is the last week of the Summer Reading Clubs at your library.  Be sure to get your reading logs turned in (for teens and adults) for your chance to win a Kindle Fire, and kids won't want to miss the chance to pick up the prizes for the final week.  It's been one explosive summer so let's end things with a bang!

Kids of All Ages
July 21 @ 4:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6067 for Info.
We invite you to come out to the final Family Fun event of the month where we're all going to have a Very Merry Unbirthday together.  It may not be your birthday, but it will at this program as kids of all ages, and parents too, will delight in stories, games, crafts, and more that will certainly be a fun afternoon activity for everyone. 

Youth, Ages 8-15
July 21 @ 6:30PM
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
325-698-7565 for Info.
If you like crafts, and you love sweets, you'll certainly not want to miss this workshop where we'll supply all of the tastiest candies needed to create your own edible campfire sites for the summer.  If you can't go out camping yourselves, enjoy a tastier version of this experience inside the comfort of your library! 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

App Watch: SlideShark for iDevices

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 of your devices, and like your library services, each will be FREE to take advantage of.

I provide a lot of presentations to tell people about library services.  Having a PowerPoint presentation on hand is important for illustrating my talking points; however, not everyone wants to rely on there being a computer available to access your slideshows.  SlideShark is an app I stumbled across, and once I used it, it's now my go-to app.  Although you'll have to pay to access the premium features, I've been okay with using the free version, but let me share what's great about it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Discover Popular Series @ Your Library: The Ranger's Apprentice

Your Abilene Public Library carries the best in literature for all ages, and we invite you to discover some books that are part of a series.  Each week we'll highlight a different series and give you a look at what makes it popular.  Then, if it sounds of interest to you, feel free to check them out from your nearest library and get to reading them.  You may just discover your next favorite series!

John Flanagan is an Australian author best known for crafting the series of young adult books collectively titled The Ranger's Apprentice.  Also experiencing crossover appeal to adult readers, which again is popular for most YA reads these days, this fantasy series consists of 12 entries that started with 2004's release of The Ruins of Gorlan.

This series follows the adventures of Will, an orphan taken in as an apprentice ranger, keeping the Kingdom of Araluen safe from invaders, traitors, and threats.  Along the way, he's joined on his adventures by his mentor and best friend.  Having sold millions of copies around the world, this series originated from a series of short stories Flanagan had written for his son with the desire to get him interested in reading.  Ten years after that experience, he revisited those stories and turned them into a book series.