Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Shift Into OverDrive @ Your Library

If you've got a smartphone, eReader, or tablet, your Abilene Public Library offers free access to popular digital eBooks & audiobooks.  If not, kick your habits into the digital age by taking our OverDrive services for a test drive.

As one of the leading American distributors of digital content, OverDrive offers the easiest way to access great reading materials at home or on-the-go.  Compatible with the leading devices on the market, OverDrive is like having a portable public library of books that fits into your pocket or bag.

OverDrive is 100% free to use, but you'll need a valid library card.  Each card affords you with 10 total checkout at any one time.  Since these items will return themselves, you'll never have to worry about late fees.

Your Abilene Public Library has worked hard to build a great collection of popular materials for all ages and reading tastes.  We also share an account with Tom Green County Library System in San Angelo, providing you with access to items they add and practically doubling the collection you have access to.

If there's something you want that we don't have, Contact Me and let me know.  I can take your request and if it's available for purchase in the OverDrive catalog, we're able to acquire a copy that will be available within 24-hours of purchase.  It's really that fast!

Although getting started on OverDrive might seem intimidating, staff is on hand to assist you.  Our Instructional Guides are available on our blog, which you may view, download, or print.  All are designed to help you get started, but if you need additional assistance, feel free to Contact Me.

OverDrive has been an extremely popular service, available 24/7, whether the library is physically open or not.  With thousands of titles to peruse, don't pass up on your chance to be a part of this trending service and start downloading great items today! 

Monday, September 29, 2014

"Free Workshop Offers Tips for Digital Photographers" @ the Library Article

Digital photography is becoming more and more popular as smartphones include cameras with higher pixel counts and even, in some cases, a physical zoom lens.

If you would like to improve your photography skills, plan to attend a free workshop, Basic Digital Photography, at 6:30PM Tuesday at the Mockingbird Branch of the Abilene Public Library, 1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.

The hour long workshop will be hosted by Ron Longwell, Steve Templeton and Steve Morrow, members of Abilene's West Texas Photographic Society.  Participants are encouraged to bring their own cameras and instruction manuals for hands-on instruction.

The Abilene Public Library also offers year round access to books on photography, including Digital Photography: Click, Then What? by Chuck Clifton and Digital Photography Essentials by Tom Ang, as well as an online database, Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center, which provides access to articles on a wide variety of hobbies, including photography.

Clifton's book provides step-by-step instructions on everything from how to scan old photos into digital format to how to create a wedding slideshow.  Clifton is direct and no-nonsense in his approach, and packs a lot of information into a small amount of space.  At less than 100 pages, this book is a quick resource for the beginning photographer.

Ang's book is a heftier proposition.  At more than 300 pages, this book really delves into the process and artistry of digital photography.  Focusing less on how to navigate photo editing or printing, Ang's book is, as the cover states, "a practical and inspiring guide that will take you from beginner to confident, creative photographer."

The Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center database provides many resources that otherwise would not easily be available, including articles from subject-specific journals such as "Popular Photography" and "Shutterbug."  It can be accessed from our website, www.abilenetx.com/apl.  Just follow the E-Resources link on the left side of the homepage to find a list of all of our databases.  Have your library card number handy to sign in, and you are good to go.

Whether or not you come to Tuesday's digital photography workshop, these resources and more are available to you at the Abilene Public Library.  We do hope, however, that you take advantage of the opportunity to learn from several top-notch photographers.

For more information, call 325-437-7323.  We hope to see you there.

Article Contributed by Susannah Barrington, Library Assistant at the Mockingbird Branch of the Abilene Public Library

Friday, September 26, 2014

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of Sept. 28)

Many patrons browse the new materials section of the library to discover the latest popular reads.  Part of finding them 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: Edge of Eternity
Author: Ken Follett
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: F FOLLETT
Summary: Five interrelated families grapple with the events of the 1960s through the 1980s; Book 3 of the Century Trilogy. 

#2: Personal
Author: Lee Child
Position Last Week: 1
Weeks On List: 3
Call Number: M CHILD
Summary: Jack Reacher, a former military cop, helps the State Department and the C.I.A. stop a sniper who has targeted a G8 summit. 

#3: Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good
Author: Jan Karon
Position Last Week: 2
Weeks On List: 3
Call Number: F KARON
Summary: The Mitford character Father Tim finds friends and family wrestling with difficulties. 

Book-to-Film Adaptations: October 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.

Gone Girl
Starring: Ben Affleck
Release Date: Oct. 3
Based On: "Gone Girl"
Author: Gillian Flynn
Summary: With his wife's disappearance, and having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when it's suspected that he may not be innocent.

Left Behind
Starring: Nicolas Cage
Release Date: Oct. 3
Based On: "Left Behind"
Author: Tim LaHaye
Summary: A small group of survivors are left behind after millions of people suddenly vanish and the world is plunged into chaos.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Starring: Bella Thorne
Release Date: Oct. 10
Author: Judith Viorst
Summary: Alexander wakes up with gum in his hair, and things just get worse as his day progresses.

Kill the Messenger
Starring: Martin Sheen
Release Date: Oct. 10
Author: Gary Webb
Summary: A reporter becomes the target of a vicious smear campaign that drives him to the point of suicide after he exposes the CIA's role in arming Contra rebels in Nicaragua and importing cocaine into California.  Based on the true story of journalist Gary Webb.

Dracula Untold
Starring: Luke Evans
Release Date: Oct. 10
Based On: "Dracula"
Author: Bram Stoker
Summary: The origin story of the man who becomes Dracula.

Horns
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe
Release Date: Oct. 31
Based On: "Horns"
Author: Joe Hill
Summary: In the aftermath of his girlfriend's mysterious death, a young man awakens to strange horns sprouting from his temples.

And there you have it, your look at October's book-to-film adaptations to be on the lookout for in theaters.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Weekly Events @ Your Library (Sept. 29 to Oct. 4)

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.

Sept. 30 @ 4PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St.
325-676-6067 for Info.
Are you a teen who loves to read?  Join our Teens Only Book Club at the library, meeting on the last Tuesdays of each month.  September's featured title is The Maze Runner by James Dashner, which was also adapted to a popular feature film that was released earlier this month.  Come ready to discuss it with other fans! 

Oct. 1 @ 4PM
Mockingbird Branch 
1326 N. Mockingbird Ln.
325-437-7323 for Info.
Gear up for the first crafting session of the month for kids, where we'll be making cute ghosts out of materials you can usually find around the home.  We'll supply all the materials, you just come ready for a little crafting fun. 

Oct. 2 @ 4:30PM
Main Library
202 Cedar St
325-676-6067 for Info.
If you're between the ages of 10-17m, and you love to write, you'll definitely want to be a part of our weekly writing club at the library.  Hone your creative writing skills at your library, by joining in on this great group of youth who practice all forms of writing through a host of fun activities.  No signup required, just come check it out. 

Oct. 2 @ 6PM
South Branch
1401 S. Danville Dr.
325-698-7565 for Info.
It's all about BUBBLES for the first Family Fun event of the month.  Kids of all ages are welcome to join us for a great storytime featuring bubbles in stories, games, crafts, and we'll even try to blow some super big bubbles inside the library.  Don't miss out on the bubble fun!

Don't miss out on these fun activities being hosted at your Abilene Public Library and get in on what your local library has to offer you.

Monday, September 22, 2014

"Best-Selling Author with Local Tie to Attend Book Fest Luncheon" - @ the Library Article

It's the first day of the 14th annual West Texas Book Festival, and we are hoping you will join us for lunch each day at the downtown Abilene Public Library as we hear from diverse authors who write for a wide range of audiences.

Feel free to bring your own lunch or we will have a light lunch available for $5.

To Dwell in Darkness
Monday's noon lunch session will feature New York Times best-selling author Deborah Crombie as she unveils the 16th book in her Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James mystery series, To Dwell in Darkness.

The book will be released internationally Tuesday, so we are getting the first look.  Crombie's visit marks the Dallas native's first trip to our festival and it's high time she did visit: Crombie is the niece of A.C. Greene, for whom our annual literary award is named.

West Texas
On Tuesday, you can hear H.C. Zachry talk about the new coffee table book Frontier Texas! A Journey through the Wild West.  Also, Tiffany Fink, professor of history at Hardin-Simmons University, will discuss her contribution to the book West Texas: A History of the Giant Side of the State, and Spelile Rivas, one of our Authors in Schools participants, will talk about her bilingual books for children.

On Wednesday, Spur Award-winning Western novelist Henry Chappell will discuss his novels Silent We Stood, The Callings, and Blood Kin.  Young-adult authors Rene Saldana Jr. and Nathan Dahlstrom, who also will visit schools during the festival, will talk about their work.  Saldana writes for the entire spectrum of ages, from picture books for children, to the bilingual Mickey Rangel series for teens, to books for adults.  Dahlstrom's books feature Wilder Good, a 12-year-old boy who seems to have more than his share of outdoor adventures.

Culinary Cuisine Luncheon
Thursday will feature our Culinary Cuisine Luncheon at the TSTC Culinary Institute.  This $25-dollar-a-plate event has few opening left, so if you are interested, call Mary Pizzorno at 325-691-1868 for the latest information on availability.

This luncheon is special because it features the collaboration of four Texas chefs for its three-course menu.  Lisa Fain, author of The Homesick Texan's Family Table; former Dallas Morning News food writer Dotty Griffith, author of The Texas Holiday Cookbook; Adan Medrano, author of Truly Texas Mexican; and Rebecca Rather, author of Pastry Queen Parties, have created a delectable menu.

Truly Texas Mexican by: Adan Medrano
The students at the TSTC Culinary Institute cook the food and get to meet and learn from the chefs.  And the food's delicious.

At 2 p.m. Friday, not only will you get to hear from five West Texas authors, you can stick around to get the benefit of their experience during a free Getting Published workshop at the downtown library.

Rosa Latimer (Harvey Houses of Texas); Kay Ellington & Barbara Brannon (The Paragraph Ranch); Bear Mills (The Ecuadorian Deception) and Russell Smith (The Gun That Wasn't There and No Reasons to Kill) will be our speakers.

The authors will be joined by editors and publishing representatives, whose brains you can pick on the entire book-writing process.  Sweet!

We'll look forward to seeing you at one or more of our programs during the week and certainly on Saturday at the Abilene Civic Center.  For more information on the book festival, call 325-676-6025.

Article Contributed by Janis C. Test, Information Services Manager at the Main Branch of the Abilene Public Library

Saturday, September 20, 2014

New York Times Bestsellers Top 5 (Week of Sept. 21)

Many patrons browse the new materials section of the library to discover the latest popular reads.  Part of finding them 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: Personal
Author: Lee Child
Position Last Week: 1
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: M CHILD
Summary: Jack Reacher, a former military cop, helps the State Department and the C.I.A. stop a sniper who has targeted a G8 summit.

#2: Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good
Author: Jan Karon
Position Last Week: 2
Weeks On List: 2
Call Number: F KARON
Summary: The Mitford character Father Tim finds friends and family wrestling with difficulties.

#3: Festive in Death
Author: J.D. Robb
Position Last Week: n/a
Weeks On List: 1
Call Number: M ROBB
Summary: At Christmas, Lt. Eve Dallas investigate the murder of a narcissistic personal trainer; by Nora Roberts, writing pseudonymously.

Friday, September 19, 2014

2014 West Texas Book Festival Starts Sept. 22!

The West Texas Book Festival starts on Monday, Sept. 22, and if you've been following our blog, you've been keeping up with all the festival fun in a weekly entry since August.  Next week, Downtown Abilene will serve as host to a great number of literary events and authors for everyone to enjoy.  Sponsored by the Friends of the Abilene Public Library and the Abilene Reporter-News, don't pass up on your chance to be a part of the festival fun.

Kay Bailey Hutchison Book Signing, 2013
For your convenience, rather than providing a rundown of the festival activities, I'll provide you with a link to all of the previous festival entries since August.  This way, you can feel free to focus on the areas of the festival that appeal to you.  Simply click one of the following links to be taken to the full entry...
Be sure to save up your strength this weekend as you're definitely going to need all you can muster to keep up with all that's going on at the 2014 West Texas Book Festival.  Again, it will be running all week, September 22-27, and with an explosive series of literary events for everyone to take advantage of.

We hope to see you out at the festival this year, and if you have any questions, feel free to Contact Me and I'll do my best to get you the answers you need.