APL Recommends

APL Recommends Blog

Monday, July 28, 2014

As the new school year approaches, we can’t help but reminisce about freshly sharpened pencils, crisp folders, and brand new clothes! When I’m looking for fresh fashion tips for my “back-to-school” shopping trips, I don’t want to be told what to wear. I want to be inspired! Luckily, the Austin Public Library has tons of amazing resources to fuel our imaginations. From biographies of world-renowned designers to books profiling pioneering fashion bloggers, we’ve got what you need to put the pep in your stylish step.

Below you’ll find an assortment of our library’s most unique, beautiful and inspiring fashion books. A few highlights include The New Kimono, which features gorgeous photographs and practical tips on how to wear, coordinate and accessorize kimonos for modern young women. Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy is a big, loud book that demonstrates how superhero costumes influenced street fashion as well as couture. Audrey Style dissects the fashionable past of one of the most stylish women to ever grace Hollywood, Audrey Hepburn. And Classic Rock T-Shirts is a collection of beautiful, powerful, and wearable Rock ‘n’ Roll graphics.  

Monday, July 28, 2014

Before Jaws, before Raiders, before Close Encounters, the big shots at Universal trusted a kid named Steven Spielberg to make a TV movie about a Peterbilt truck chasing a Plymouth Valiant through the Southern California desert.

The rest is movie history that culminates in our second LIBRARY FUN PACK, early Spielberg edition. The first person to call 512.974.7400, option 1, and ask for the Duel movie/books combo, gets all the lovely stuff you see in the photo at left.

Yours to check out (yes, these must come back to the library):

Yours to keep:

  • A tanker truck just like in the movie, except smaller.
  • A bungee cord. You can do a lot with a bungee cord.

Matheson also wrote the screenplay for the movie, and some other famous stories you might know including "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet," made into one of the best Twilight Zones ever, with William Shatner dangling from an airplane window shooting at a guy in a fur suit.

To claim the DUEL FUN PACK you’ll need a library card (here’s how to get one: LIBRARY CARDS), and you’ll have to come downtown to pick it up. Though Duel is all about transport, ironically, the DUEL FUN PACK cannot be transported to the branches.

The chase is on! Good luck!

UPDATE: 7/29/14, 11:50 A.M. The DUEL FUN PACK has been claimed! Thanks for playing! Watch for more fun packs because... they're fun!


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.