Thursday, May 21, 2015

Weekly Events @ Your Library (May 25-30)

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 program calendar, and remember, all programming is offered FREE of charge.

May 25; All Day
All Locations
325-677-2474 for Info.
All locations of the library will be closed in observance of Memorial Day.  Outside materials returns will be available at all locations and we'll resume our normal hours of operation on Tuesday at 9:00AM. 

May 26 @ 4:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6067 for Info.
Teens are invited to come out and be a part of our book club discussion group that reads books that made the Lone Star Reading List of recommended reads for Texas students.  For this month we'll be discussing Brandon Sanderson's "Steelheart" and also choosing the books we'll read in the months to come. 

South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
325-698-7565 for Info.
Don't miss the final crafting session at your library that will feature an assortment of fun crafts for kids of all ages to make.  Come out and choose the ones you'll want to make and take home with you in this fun program.  We'll supply all the materials needed. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Today's Top Book & DVD Releases @ Your Library

Everyone loves staying on top of the latest releases in books & DVDs, and we receive them on a regular basis at your Abilene Public Library.  Tuesdays are the biggest days of the week in the world of libraries, as these are the days that the bulk of all new materials are released for the week.  Join us as we hit the highlights of some of the more popular titles coming to your library, and be sure to get yourselves on the reserve lists!

American Sniper
Starring: Bradley Cooper
Summary: U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle is sent to Iraq with only one mission: to protect his brothers-in-arms.  His pinpoint accuracy saves countless lives on the battlefield.  However, his reputation is also growing behind enemy lines, putting a price on his head and making him a prime target of insurgents.  He is also facing a different kind of battle on the home front: striving to be a good husband and father from halfway around the world. 

Hot Tub Time Machine 2
Starring: Craig Robinson
Summary: Set ten years in the future, Lou, who has become the 'father of the Internet,' is shot by an unknown assailant, Jacob and Nick fire up the time machine to save their friend. 

The Murderer's Daughter
Author: Jonathan Kellerman
Summary: Brilliant psychologist Grace Blades has a gift for treating troubled souls and tormented psyches - perhaps because she bears her own invisible scars: only 5-years-old when she witnessed her parents' death in a bloody murder-suicide, Grace took refuge in the loving couple who adopted her.  As an adult, she still has a dark, secret side.  When her two worlds shockingly converge, Grace's harrowing past returns with a vengeance.

Monday, May 18, 2015

"How Do You Feel" ~ @ the Library Article

Reading to your children for fun and to help their literacy skills is a great way to benefit them, but reading can also be a great method for improving your children's relationships with others.  One of the most important responsibilities that parents have is to teach their children how to identify and deal with their emotions. How do you teach your children about common emotions of being angry, sad, jealous, fearful, happy, etc. in an effective way?  Books are a great vehicle with which to introduce conversations about feelings.

Children's picture books are particularly effective in this, as a quick way to introduce a problem, demonstrate the emotions associated with the problem, and to present possible solutions.  In many of the stories, the character is NOT a good example.  This gives the parents the opportunity to say with the children, "NO! That's not how we act!"  Books can also teach children how to understand how others are feeling.  As they see a character who is sad, jealous, or angry, they also see what actions produced these negative emotions.  Children's books contain a wealth of great illustrations and stories for teaching your children all about emotions and how to live with them.

In dealing with emotions, children must learn how to identify their feelings as well as how to express them.  Dr. Seuss's classic, My Many Colored Days addresses a wide range of feelings by comparing various emotions to colors and animals such as "Green and quiet fish.  That's me."  In Today I Feel Silly & Other Moods That Make My Day Jamie Lee Curtis uses bright illustrations and silly verses to describe different moods.  How Are You Peeling? Foods with Moods by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers has amazing illustrations of foods who are "peeling" different emotions.  Walter Was Worried by Laura Seeger is a clever book in which the letters that spell out the feelings also form the facial characteristics in the character's expressions.  As a storm approaches, the characters illustrate shock, puzzlement, delight, hope, and more.  All of these books are great for discussing a variety of feelings.

Eric Carle has several classic books that deal with feelings; in The Grouchy Ladybug, the Grouchy Ladybug spurns every offer of friendship and tries to fight with everyone she meets.  When she returns to the other ladybug later that day, tired and discouraged, she learns that it is nice to have friends.  In one of our new books, Julie Gassman tells the story of a young boy who learns about the rule, You Get What You Get.  It's a great story to reinforce the excellent adage: "you get what you get and you don't throw a fit!"

At the Abilene Public Library, we are happy to assist you in finding the books you need to best suit you and your children's needs.  Better yet, check out one of our storytimes to discover outstanding children's literature, songs, and interactions with other parents and children.  Our storytimes re more than just reading books; they are places where children learn social skills as well as a love for reading.  Each locations has several storytimes available as well as a great staff who will always welcome your questions and try to help you find the books that you and your children will enjoy!

Article Contributed by Janet West, Children's Library Assistant at the South Branch of the Abilene Public Library

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Weekly Events @ Your Library (May 18-23)

Keep up with the great programs and events at 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 program calendar, and remember, all programming is offered FREE of charge.

May 18 @ 4:00PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6067 for Info.
Kids are invited to come out and explore the ocean with us through a wonderful array of stories, games, and even some awesome crafts where we'll show you how to make a jellyfish that doesn't sting.  Don't miss out on this interactive storytime event after school and designed for the entire family to enjoy. 

May 18 @ 6:30PM
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
325-698-7565 for Info.
Youth, ages 8-15, are invited to come out for a fun painting party at the library, where we'll show you how to make many different types of paints for use in creating different styles.  The possibilities are endless, but they're all fun!  We'll supply all the materials you'll need. 

May 19 @ 10:45AM
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
325-698-7565 for Info.
Don't miss the next morning storytime event where the monkeys in the library may not be up to any good at all.  Join us for great stories, songs, crafts, and more fun in this highly attended monthly event at your library, which is perfect for youth who aren't in school. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Hoopla Expands Collection, Now Offering eBooks & Comics!

As if the Hoopla Digital streaming service couldn't get better, with offering access to audiobooks, movies, TV series, and music albums that are always available, they've outdone themselves again.  Hoopla now offers access to a great selection of eBooks and comics for you to checkout!

This new enhancement just rolled out today, and you'll be able to discover thousands of new titles, across a number of genres, offering access to children's books, comics, biographies, self-help books, general fiction for adults, and more.

The new selection of materials is ready for you to use now, and you may need to update your Hoopla app to see the new collection, or you'll automatically see them if using this service on your PC.

If you haven't checked out the Hoopla service yet, now is as good of a time as ever.  All you need is a valid Abilene Public Library card and the service is FREE to use.  Get started with streaming your way through the Hoopla collection, and if you have any questions, feel free to Contact Me!

Mark Your Calendars for Annual Book Sale!

The Friends of the Abilene Public Library are gearing up to host one of their most well-attended events of the year...the Annual Book Sale!!!  Hosted each June, this is the time when the Civic Center will be transformed into a book-lover's paradise as you'll find the best prices on a wide selection of books, movies, music, and more.

2015 Hours of Operation
  • Thurs., June 18 from 5:00PM - 8:00PM (Preview Sale): Open to current members of the Friends of the Library where you'll get the first crack at the items on sale before the event is open to the general public.  Memberships start as low as $15 and you may purchase one the night of the Preview Sale.  View Membership Levels online.
  • Fri., June 19 from 10:00AM - 8:00PM: Open to the public at no charge.
  • Sat., June 20 from 10:00AM - 6:00PM: Open to the public at no charge.
  • Sun., June 21 from 1:00PM - 4:00PM: Open to the public, the final day is the Bag-O-Books Sale where $6.00 will get you a bag and you can take with you whatever you can fill into it.
It's really the easiest way to build up your personal library at prices you can't pass up on.  On average, most hardback and trade paperback books sell for $1.75 each, mass-market paperbacks for $0.75 each, and children's books are sold by the inch.  You'll also have access to the Corner Store (featuring new books at a fraction of the cost) and the Antiques and Uniques area (with rare, hard-to-find titles and collectibles).

Just as in years past, credit cards and debit cards will be accepted at the sale, and of course you're able to pay with cold hard cash and checks too.  This sale only comes around once a year, and each time it gets even bigger, generating great funds that go back to the Friends of the Library to support your library system.

Where do all the books in the sale come from?
Really glad you asked.  The majority of all materials in the sale come from people in the community who donate their books to the library especially for the sale.  Only a small fraction of the collection comes from materials removed from the library's collection.  Plus, each year the Friends start off with a fresh new selection of materials to choose from.  All items remaining at the end of each sale are donated to local nonprofits and organizations.

For more information about the Friends of the Abilene Public Library Book Sale, feel free to Contact Me and I'll be happy to get the answers you need.

GI Bill: Get the Facts @ Your Mockingbird Branch!

Have you ever wondered just what the GI Bill covers and who qualifies?

Join us Thursday, May 28, 6:30PM at the Mockingbird Branch Library for a free public program and more information on this great federal benefit.  Our host for the evening will be Stanley Garland, formerly of Dyess Air Force Base and the new Veterans Recruiter at Texas State Technical College - West Texas.

Mr. Garland is an eight-year Air Force veteran from Summerville, South Carolina.  Growing up Stanley had all of the potential in the world, but by his own admission, never truly recognized it.  In late 2005 life came to a crossroads, when he failed community college English>  Coming from a home that valued education, this was a demoralizing moment in his life.  Stanley knew that he had to make a positive change, so in 2006 he went into the Air Force.  Little did he know that choice would change his life forever!  The Air Force was not only the chance to serve his country, but the catalyst that unlocked his true educational potential.

According to Mr. Garland, one of the main reasons he joined the armed services was the education benefit known as the Post 9/11 GI-Bill.  Education was Stanley's main priority throughout his eight years in the Air Force.  Starting out with no credits he was able to earn seven degrees and certificates using both tuition assistance and the Post 9/11 GI Bill throughout his enlistment.  He is in the process of earning his second master's degree using the Post 9/11 GI Bill benefit and is passionate about helping others maximize their educational benefits.

During this open forum and discussion session at the Mockingbird Branch Library, Mr. Garland will outline the basics of who qualifies, how you apply, as well as many more questions.  All veterans and family members are welcome to attend this free event.  After all, it's never too late to head back to school and embrace a new path!

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

Tremain's Book Corner: "Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk" by David Sedaris

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary
Click to Place Hold
Author: David Sedaris
Reviewed By: Tremain Jackson, South Branch Manager
Personal Rating: 3.5 Stars

Book Summary: Featuring David Sedaris's unique blend of hilarity and heart, this new collection of keen-eyed animal-themed tales is an utter delight.  Though the characters may not be human, the situations in these stories bear an uncanny resemblance to the insanity of everyday life.

In "The Toad, the Turtle, and the Duck," three strangers commiserate about animal bureaucracy while waiting in a complaint line.  In "Hello Kitty," a cynical feline struggles to sit through his prison-mandated AA meetings.  In "The Squirrel and the Chipmunk," a pair of star-crossed lovers is separated by prejudiced family members.

With original illustrations by Ian Falconer, author of the bestselling Olivia series of children's books, these stories are David Sedaris at his most observant, poignant, and surprising.

Personal Review: I've been a fan of David Sedaris since I read his bestseller "Me Talk Pretty One Day."  When I came across this book, I didn't know what to expect from the cover and the title, but based on the author, I had to go ahead and give it a shot, without having read the synopsis.

True to form, Sedaris was ale to deliver a story, covering human experiences, but placing them on different animals to illuminate his thoughts.  In each of the stories, these animals are having human conversations wit a bit of dark humor added to many of the stories.  So they might be fictional stories, but they certainly have the Sedaris mark on them.

The animals in the stories aren't the cutesy animals they appear to be.  Instead, they're petty, vain, arrogant, and other qualities humans display.  Talk about personification.  What I wasn't prepared for when reading this book, was they would be a collection of short fictional stories.  Sedaris is known for authoring nonfiction works.  This was a bit of a departure that alarmed me at first, but he's a great essayist who I felt was branching out just a bit with this book.