APL Recommends

APL Recommends 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!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

When the thermometer hits 103 degrees and you’re wrinkled as a prune from hanging out in the pool—you’re going need something new to do, right? It’s too hot go outside. You’re “vehically-challenged” and can’t really go anywhere. The buttons on your game console have lost their spring from countless rounds of Donkey Kong. Now is a great time to flex your drawing skills! Brush off those dusty pencils, erasers, and markers—there’s a whole new world of art waiting for you! It’s no big deal if you’re bad at drawing; just remember that Michelangelo didn’t paint the Sistine Chapel in one day.  (It took him four years!)  You can experiment with many different styles and mediums--comic strips, fine art, still life, watercolors, oil pastels or just even a pencil and eraser. The Austin Public Library has a huge collection of art and drawing instruction books that you can work with to improve your inner Salvador Dali persona!    


Also--If you are up for some fun at the library, come over to the Ruiz Branch’s Drawing Club. It is a popular program for youth at Ruiz Library. We explore various themes and incorporate free drawing. Participants are encouraged to express themselves in the most positive and artistic way. Cool prizes and certificates are given for outstanding composition, originality and creativity! Kids, ages 7 to 17, are welcome to the monthly program, (always on the second Tuesday of the month) at 5:30 PM.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Are you using the For Later shelf? Do you know how it works? Need some instruction? Here’s a link to a page we call How to Use the Catalog; you’ll find the following link there: Learn more about shelves. (Some library lingo is ambiguous, but these are a couple of aptly named pages.)   

Let me tell you about the For Later shelf because it’s my favorite feature of bibliocommons, in fact, since I usually end up there anyway, I’m getting in the habit of starting at the For Later page.

Log in to your account here My APL. On the next page, hover the mouse over My APL and a menu will drop. Look at the middle column, MY COLLECTIONS. The third option under My Shelves is For Later. Click it.

Now you’re in My Shelves/For Later. Click Add Title. You can search the next box just like you search the catalog (although you have fewer choices). Type into the rightmost box Struck by Genius—don’t change anything else—and click Search. The list on the next page is our three holdings of the recent book by Jason Padgett in three formats, downloadable, book on paper, and audiobook. You can click on the Add button on the left, and voila! There it is on your For Later list.

But here’s the best part: If you’re looking for something we don’t own, something brand new, say, that hasn’t come in yet, you can search Amazon for it--from this page--and add it to your list, even though it isn’t in our catalog! Here’s how to do that.

Let’s search the next John Grisham book, Gray Mountain, we don't have it yet, it doesn't come out until October. Type Gray Mountain into the search box. You get Thunder Mountain and books set in the mountains, but Grisham’s Gray Mountain isn’t there. How can you put it on your list to remind yourself to slap a hold on it as soon as you see it in our catalog?  Scroll down the page until you see a red Search box at the bottom. Click it, and you’re searching Amazon for the book. And there it is on the next page, top of the list. Click Add, and you have a reminder for October with a pretty blue thumbnail and everything!

Take a look at your list now. You should have two books on it. Notice there’s a Place a Hold button to the right of Struck by Genius. Because we own it, you can place it on hold from this list. Notice there’s no hold button next to Gray Mountain, and when we get Gray Mountain, though they’re working on it, bibliocommons won’t offer you a hold button on this list. You'll have to click on the book title and place a hold from the catalog page.

But still. For Later. Pretty cool, eh?



Monday, July 14, 2014

The Ramones in concertThe last Bruddah has died. Tom Erdelyi, aka Tommy Ramone, was arguably the brains behind one of the most influential bands in rock n' roll. He played drums on their first three albums, produced several others, and shaped the "stoopid" outcasts from Queens into a cultural force that spawned punk rock and put CBGB's on the map.

A tribute in The Guardian summed them up thusly:

"...the Ramones were the best group rock'n'roll ever produced. Not the most inventive, or the most versatile, or the most skilful, or the most emotionally resonant, or the most lyrical – but the best, because every time I put on one of the Ramones' best records, I was reminded of how I felt the first time I heard it."

So, how did you feel the first time you heard The Ramones?

I came upon them serendipitously, picking up a VHS copy of Rock 'n' Roll High School at a video rental store (remember those?) because I thought the title sounded cool. They instantly became one of my favorite bands and set the course for my burgeoning musical tastes. While I never got to see Tommy behind the drum kit, I was able to catch a show with Dee Dee and a few other memorable Ramones gigs before they disbanded. While I don't listen to them constantly anymore, there are always a handful of Ramones songs on my playlists. And there are more than a handful of songs that just need to be listened to when the mood strikes, when there's a need to be transported back to a certain moment in time, and only "I Wanna Be Sedated" or "We're a Happy Family" will do.

If you need to refresh your "Hey, Ho, Let's Go!", the Austin Public Library has many of their CDs, some DVDs with live clips, and a bunch of books detailing their legacy. If you're new to The Ramones, why not start with Rock 'n' Roll High School, Rocket to Russia, or their eponymous debut? I guarantee that it will be a memorable experience.

Gabba Gabba Hey!


Photograph of The Ramones in concert, Toronto, 1976, with Tommy Ramone on drums, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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APL Recommends

Cover of the book All quiet on the Western front
By Erich Maria Remarque ; translated from the German by A.W. Wheen.
Depicts the experiences of a group of young German soldiers fighting and suffering during the last days of World War I.