Austin Public Library Blog

APL Blog

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Sports don’t do well in fiction. The drama within the game and the drama outside the game address many of the benchmarks of good fiction: conflict, suffering, and achievement to name a few. Yet sport occupies its world and fiction its world. Don DeLillo’s Underworld begins with an exceptional fictionalized account of Bobby Thomson’s 1951 Shot Heard’ Round the World, but the remaining 750 pages veer away from baseball.

The game might be changing. David Peace’s latest novel Red or Dead is decidedly about sport, soccer, and might win some literary prizes. Bill Shankly, a hard-nosed former coal miner, arrived on the scene in Liverpool to manage the beleaguered local team. He turned Liverpool into the dominant English team for three decades, coinciding with the rise of the Beatles and the chaotic era of the city’s shipping industry falling apart. Shankly and Liverpool Football Club gave relief and hope to Liverpool. David Peace gives us a novel with sport at the center, but that addresses so much more, showing that sport can and often encompasses the joys and complexities of life.


A few good novels featuring sports:

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Managing your checkouts and holds from the Library just got easier! We've integrated many of the functions from our regular Catalog with our OverDrive catalog so you can see your checkouts and holds in one place, regardless of format. You can also checkout, download, and place holds on OverDrive eBooks and eAudiobooks directly from the Catalog.


If you're searching for titles in the Catalog, you'll see the following changes for OverDrive items. You can check if it's available for checkout, place a hold on it, or download it directly, right from the search results display:

Bibliocommons OverDrive Integration


You can also check out or place a hold from the item display by clicking "Request this Download":

Request this Download from Item Display


Best of all, you can now see your OverDrive checkouts and holds in My APL, alongside physical books, audiobooks, CDs, and DVDs. See all of them listed together, or select between the Physical and Digital tabs for those checkouts/holds only:

My APL with Physical and Digital tabs


Your checkout and hold limits for your Virtual Library and physical items won't be affected by this change. Unfortunately, we don't have this functionality for items checked out from OneClickdigital and Comics Plus, so you may still need to check other accounts. However, by combining the functions of our two largest catalogs, we're moving closer to making your Library checkout experience seamless and stress-free.

If you have any questions about the display and function of our updated Catalog, be sure to Ask a Librarian!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hace algunos meses que me reincorporé a la unidad de servicios para jóvenes y niños de la biblioteca. Es lindísimo trabajar con jovencitos y verlos crecer y entusiasmarse con los cuentos que les leemos y que compartimos con ellos. En uno de estos programas recientes compartí cuentos de ratones y me divertí muchísimo. ¿Quién se hubiera imaginado que unos ratoncitos harían tanta gracia?

Uno de grande ve a estos animalitos generalmente como al “enemigo.” Pero ¿se acuerdan que para muchos de nosotros era él (bueno uno en particular) quien nos recogía los dientes caídos y que a cambio nos dejaba un par de monedas debajo de nuestras almohadas?

El ratoncito Perez no es tan bien conocido en los EE UU, pero si hay muchos otros cuentos bastante divertidos para compartir con nuestros chiquitos. Abajo podrán ver algunos de ellos y aquí tambien les dejo una listica para que los gocen.

Monday, July 21, 2014

For some inexplicable reason, it seems like TV networks don’t believe in science fiction sitcoms or TV series. We often see how they get cancelled too early. There is, however, something special about them because they have the capacity to create, very quickly, big fandom groups.  A well-known example is Star Trek which was cancelled after season two, but due to a very successful campaign lead by its fans, was renewed for one more season. NBC decided to change the time in which the show aired to later at night, competing with Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, another popular show back then. This affected the number of people that could watch Star Trek, and so it was cancelled after Season Three.

A more contemporary example is the show Firefly, which was cancelled after the first season. The episodes were aired out of order which didn’t help much. But even in that short period of time, the series developed a large group of followers and years later the movie, Serenity was produced as a way to give some closure to fans, crew, and director.

The main reason given for the cancellations of these series was that the creation of the sets was too expensive. Even when the shows were doing well in terms of ranking, the production efforts were bigger than what the studios got back from these shows. Other titles in the list of “sci-fi shows that were cancelled too soon” are:  Dollhouse, Terminator the Sarah connor Chronicles,Caprica, V, and Stargate Universe.

Some science fiction series though, survived more than three seasons against all odds Here is a small sample of those sci-fi series that we carry at the Austin Public Library for your enjoyment:


Friday, July 18, 2014

    Guest Blogger:  Stephanie L.

Anxiety! Worry! Stress!  We worry over our marriages, our children, caring for aging parents…It’s time we took control over our happiness, and learn to manage our difficulties in a productive way. For some, gardening may minimize stress and anxiety. For others, a jog through one of Austin’s many parks or running trails does the trick. Others turn to books, and get lost in another world as their stress melts away.  Take a look at the resources we have available to support self-improvement and self-discovery:

10 Steps to Mastering Stress by David Barlow
10% Happier by Dan Harris
Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine
The Mindful Caregiver by Nancy Kriseman

To learn how to better manage those issues, Master Life Coach Dene’ Ballatine will be leading a series of workshops, “Building Blocks to a Great Life.” This series, offered at the Yarborough Branch Library from 10:30 a.m.  – 12:30 p.m. on the third Saturday of every month from July to October, 2014, will offer techniques for taking better care of ourselves and improving relationships with others. Join us for workshops on the following topics:

  • July 19:  Four Steps to Minimizing Arguments
  • August 16:  Caregivers: Taking Care of Yourselves
  • September 20:  EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) for Managing Anxiety and Stress
  • October 18:  EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique): Helping Children Manage Anxiety and Stress (presentation geared towards adults)


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The APL Blog promotes Austin Public Library's resources and services through thematic item lists from our collection; topics related to today's events and news; research tips; programs and events; and databases.

APL Recommends

Cover of the book Behind the beautiful forevers life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity
By Katherine Boo.
Annawadi is a settlement in the shadow of luxury hotels near the Mumbai airport, and as India starts to prosper, Annawadians are filled with hope. Abdul, a reflective and enterprising Muslim teenager, sees ₃a fortune beyond counting₄ in the recyclable garbage that richer people throw away. But then Abdul is falsely accused in a shocking tragedy; terror and a global recession rock the city; and suppressed tensions over religion, caste, sex, power and economic envy turn brutal.

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