Blog Archive

April 2013 Blogs

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

You know that annoying feeling you get when you finish a really good book?   You're driven crazy because you WANT TO KNOW! What happens next?! Is that all?! It's going to be such a long time before you get the next one! Argh!   After I finished Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix, I found myself in the grips of the biggest and baddest case of TEABS (short for: The End of An Awesome Book Syndrome--credit for naming this particular affliction goes to FYA).  I just didn't want that book to end--in fact, I spent some time staring the blank pages after the last chapter willing with all my might for more of the story to magically appear!  As crazy-making as it can be, TEABS has made amazing things happen though. It creates a dynamic relationship between authors and fans of their works. The best example I can come up with is way back in the Victorian times, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle--he of the Sherlock Holmes fame--killed off the famous detective in a dramatic battle with his arch-enemy.  The resultant outcry and outrage from Sherlock Holmes's devoted fans was so great, that Doyle had to bring him back from the dead.  That's some book fan-power!

These days, the internet is chock full of great ways to connect with your favorite author. The reward of keeping up with an author's blog, twitter feed, tumblr, or facebook page, is that it is a great way to get an inside picture of the writing process, book/movie/tour news, and ultimately gain a better picture of your favorite novel.   

Are you a big fan of Looking for Alaska or Fault in Our Stars, both by John Green?  You're in luck: John Green has made a name for himself  through his website and series of vlogs (Youtube videos where he and his brother Hank discuss various topics).  He has extensive sections devoted to extra information on his books and his writing processes, all worth a look. Check out John Green's awesomeness at:    

Let's say you really luuuuurve Veronica Roth's Divergent trilogy and you JUST can't wait for the third book! Take a look at her website:  Along with sprinkling information about the movie-in-making (!), Roth also writes thoughtful essays about current issues that are happening, her struggles with creating and writing an epic trilogy, and cracking funny jokes (the working title of the third, yet unpublished book of the Divergent trilogy, was Detergent!).

Another author blog worth visiting is Maggie Stiefvater's (author of The Raven Boys and The Scorpio Races) website:  Stiefvater's sense of humor and little snippets of her personal life (did you know she just bought two pygmy fainting goats?) and discussions of being a writer and author really go a long way in giving people a better picture of her novels. 

Maureen Johnson, author of the popular books such as The Name of the Star and 13 Little Blue Envelopes, is famous for her twitter feed--follow her at  Maureen Johnson is well known for using twitter to communicate with other YA authors, her fans and other people.  If you ever need a little laugh, Maureen Johnson's 140-character tweets will do the trick!

One of the most anticipated movies coming out this summer is The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.  This movie is based on the first book of Cassandra Clare's Shadowhunter series.  If you are a big fan of Clare's works--visiting her tumblr page is a MUST:  Cassandra goes out of her way to answer people's questions about her books, puts in examples of fan art, movie news, excerpts of upcoming books. 

Another way to connect with an author is through their Facebook pages--social media at its finest!  Check out Ally Carter's, author of the Gallagher Girls series and The Heist Society series, Facebook page:  Through her Facebook page, Carter gives out news of book tours, Gallagher Girl updates and other goodies that make it worth it to "friend" her.

Happy surfing!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Austin is an increasingly a bike-centric city. Whether you combine your biking with a ride on the bus or train, use our ever increasing bike lanes, or manage to get on some of those lovely hike and bike trails the city maintains, there is no doubt about it – people want to get out there and ride their bikes.

But what if you’re a kid, just starting out? What is the best way to stay safe? Well, we are positive that the best way to start is to attend the Bike Rodeo program at the Ruiz Branch Library! Load up the kids’ bikes and head on over to participate in a bicycle obstacle course, protect their noggins by having their helmets properly fitted, and learn the ABCs of bicycle safety from the Austin Police department. We even have a special surprise for the adults…free bike lights!

We hope you will join us for this fun and educational event.

Thursday, May 2 4-6 p.m.
Ruiz Branch Library
1600 Grove Blvd

Monday, April 29, 2013

TumbleBookLibraryYou and your kids may already enjoy TumbleBook Library, which is an online collection of animated talking picture books for young readers. It includes storybooks, read-alongs,  puzzles, games, and short educational videos to get children excited about learning. TumbleBook has recently added new features and revamped other ones to make it easier to access and to provide even more enrichment opportunities.

For the family on-the-go, TumbleBook Library now has a mobile interface. If you login from a tablet or smartphone, the program will recognize that you're on a device and take you to a Flash-free version of the site. You can also click on the drop-down menu under the Austin Public Library logo and select the option for "Mobile". No matter where you are, you can browse through TumbleBooks on any internet-connected mobile device.

If Spanish or French are spoken in your home, or you just want to give your kids a head start with language learning, TumbleBook Library can help. Included in TumbleBook's drop-down menu are options for an Español or Français interface, with books in these languages as well. For your convenience, we link directly to Biblioteca TumbleBook from the En Español databases page. The catch-phrase of Biblioteca TumbleBook is "Ciber-libros para Ciber-niños", which has cyber-similarities to the name of tomorrow's celebration, Día de los Niños, Día de los Libros—Children's Day, Book Day.   

TumbleBook has made it easier to organize lists of favorite books with MyCloud. MyCloud is a feature to create, edit, and save a list of your favorite books and then access this list from any computer at any time.  This means that you can save multiple favorites or lists on the same computer. You can keep track of books you've already read, or create favorites lists for different kids. To use the MyCloud feature, log into TumbleBook Library, click on MyCloud, and follow the instructions to create/register a secondary login. Please be sure to remember your MyCloud login information!

With TumbleBook Library, kids will have fun learning how to read and use technology, and you'll have an easy time knowing that they're reading and listening to quality content. All it takes is an Austin Public Library card and an internet connection.

Happy Reading!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Muchas naciones en el mundo tienen un día especial en su calendario donde se rinde homenaje a los niños. En México y en varios países de América Latina el día del niño se celebra el 30 de abril.  En los Estados Unidos, se designó esa misma fecha como: El día de los niños/El día de los libros. Esta celebración fué fundada por la reconocida autora y poeta Pat Mora, después de percatarse que en México existía un día especial donde se celebra a los niños. Amante de la literatura y de los niños, la señora Mora se propuso en importar este festejo con una pequeña alteración: según ella, la literatura y el alfabetismo son supremamente importantes para el bienestar de los niños, por esa razón impulsó la celebración de El día de los niños/El día de los libros.

El día del niño tiene su origen en el año 1924 cuando la Liga de las Naciones, precursora de las Naciones Unidas, estableció que "la humanidad les debe a los niños lo mejor que tiene para ofrecer". Después de atravesar por una guerra mundial donde muchísimos niños perecieron, los líderes del mundo decidieron adoptar medidas para proteger a los niños del mundo. Desde ese entonces se convocó esta celebración internacional para honrar a los niños y niñas del mundo y se aprobó la Declaración de los Derechos del Niño. Esta declaración se ha expandido y se ha hecho más detallada, y en 1959 La Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas la ratificó por tercera vez.

Finalmente, en 1989, la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas aprobó la Convención sobre los Derechos del Niño por unanimidad y. el 2 de septiembre de 1990, el tratado entró en vigor con fuerza legal para todos los Estados que lo ratificaron.

Los derechos del niño en resumen son:

  • El derecho a la vida.
  • El derecho a la salud.
  • El derecho al descanso, el esparcimiento, el juego, la creatividad y las actividades recreativas.
  • El derecho a la libertad de expresión y a compartir sus puntos de vista con otros.
  • El derecho a un nombre y una nacionalidad.
  • El derecho a una familia.
  • El derecho a la protección durante los conflictos armados.
  • El derecho a la libertad de pensamiento, conciencia y religión.
  • El derecho a la protección contra el descuido o trato negligente.
  • El derecho a la protección contra el trabajo infantil y contra la explotación económica en general.
  • El derecho a la educación, que será gratuita y obligatoria por lo menos en las etapas elementales.
  • El derecho a la protección contra toda clase de explotación y/o abuso sexual.

La inclusión por Pat Mora de la literatura y el alfabetismo a esta celebración recalca la importancia de unir el saber leer y poder gozar y aprender leyendo a los derechos del niño. Cuando Pat compartió su idea con bibliotecarios en este país, ellos se entusiasmaron muchísimo y se unieron a su llamado. La idea se difundió a través del apoyo que REFORMA, La asociación nacional para promover servicios bibliotecarios a latinos y a personas de habla hispana y también con la ayuda de ALA la Asociación Nacional de Bibliotecas de los Estados Unidos. En 2007, el mismo año que comenzó la celebración en el país, también se llevó a cabo en Austin con la ayuda de Elva Garza y de Oralia Garza de Cortéz. Desde ese entonces El Día de los Niños ~ El Día de los Libros ha tenido lugar anualmente durante el mes de abril en varias bibliotecas, escuelas y otras entidades culturales y recreacionales de la ciudad de Austin.

Este año La biblioteca pública de Austin planeó tres eventos para conmemorar esta fecha. El primer evento tuvo lugar en la sucursal de Southeast el sábado 20 de abril. Contó con la participación de más de 450 personas y más de 300 libros fueron donados a los niños que acudieron. El ballet folklórico Mexicayotl se presentó con danzas de la región de Colima y el grupo mariachi Las Aguilas de la Escuela elemental Linder aporto música al evento. Con la ayuda y participación de BookSpring, KLRU, The Austin Project, Mendez Family Resource Center, y voluntarios de  A Community for Education, ACE AmeriCorps y de la escuela McCallum, los participantes gozaron de una variedad de actividades educativas, y también gozaron de cuentos presentados por nuestros bibliotecarios y de la presencia de Clifford y Maya y Miguel. Un segundo evento tomo lugar en la sucursal Ruiz el jueves 25 de abril, donde niños y padres compartieron sus libros favoritos. La última conmemoración de este día tendrá lugar el martes, 30 de abril en la biblioteca Cepeda durante su hora de cuentos en inglés a las 11 am.

En resumidas cuentas lo esencial de El Día de los Niños ~ El Día de los Libros es recalcarle a estos tesoros qué tan especiales son y apoyarlos en el viaje a la lectura, para que ellos sigan desplegando las alas de su imaginación al desarrollar la destreza de leer y el amor a los libros. Aquí hay una pequeña lista para que usted se embarque en este viaje de aventuras. Si quiere otras ideas adicionales puede encontrar varias listas en el sitio web:


Friday, April 26, 2013

We have a lot of corrugated plastic signs lying around the store right now. Luckily, we have been able to use them in a number of ways already—from table protectors for painting our chalkboard magnets last week, to material for displays for outreach events. Thanks to the creative people of the internet, we’re able to bring you our spin on another great idea: Corrugated plastic bulletin boards!


  • Corrugated plastic sign (If you're not in Austin (and therefore unable to attend our corrugated plastic sign craft workshop May 2*), Aunt Peaches points out that you can usually find these just after an election)
  • Paper for mosaic--I used a damaged picture book, for example
  • Glue
  • Mod Podge
  • Hooks (optional--we received them by donation a while ago and have been waiting for the right project!)

First, consider how you want your final product to look. Do you want it to hold photos? Jewelry? Things you find in old books?  The corrugated plastic makes a great base for a bulletin board. It easily holds pictures with straight pins, or with thick rubber bands or elastic ribbon pulled around the board you could wedge reminders and appointment dates. Use whatever kinds of materials you have available to make it your own!

Here, I tore pictures from a damaged kids’ book with illustrations by Ezra Jack Keats. After laying out some of the pages I liked to make sure they covered the piece of plastic, I glued them down with liquid glue. I was a little messy, and my pages got wrinkled because of it. Use a brush to evenly apply your glue and while it is still wet, smooth out the pages with your library card. (Just be sure to clean it afterward!)

 After the glue dried, I added a layer of Mod Podge to seal up the mosaic.

craft_hook<< Then all that was left was adding the slip-on hooks. They fit perfectly into the “corrugated part” of the plastic signs.craft_finished

*Like I said, we have a lot of plastic signs to upcycle, so we’re inviting you to come make a bulletin board with us as part of our First Thursday Craft Workshop in May.

First Thursday Craft Workshop
May 2: upcycled bulletin boards
6:00-8:00pm at the store

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The debate about using drones in far off lands to damage al-Queda has begun. On Tuesday Democratic and Republican senators joined a former deputy chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in calling upon the administration to make public more information about its top-secret targeted killing program, amid questions about the legality and effectiveness of hundreds of CIA drone strikes. Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Mark Mazzetti's new book, The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth, looks at how the CIA’s  role has changed since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. The book is an incredibly rich account of the third (after Iraq and Afghanistan) or “shadow” war conducted by the CIA and military special operations in Yemen, east Africa and most of all Pakistan. Mazetti traces its evolution from an agency charged with gathering foreign intelligence into one with a primary mission to hunt and kill terrorists and militants. Mazzetti reports that after 9/11, the CIA director morphed into "a military commander running a clandestine, global war with a skeleton staff and very little oversight".  Mazzetti says it’s too easy for the government to carry out secret warfare without the normal checks and balances required for going to war. The Pentagon can be a lumbering bureaucracy, but there is a certain benefit of having many layers that operations must pass through in order to get approved. When decisions about life and death are made among a small group of people, and in secret, there are inherent risks.  Today there are 17 holds on the 3 copies we have of the book, but while you are waiting, check out some other recommended 2013 nonfiction titles.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Our six-week journey through America's Music ends on Tuesday, April 30, with a look at how Latin rhythms have affected American popular music in general, then we will hear how Puerto Rican immigrants and African Americans created hip hop music during the 1970s, in From Mambo To Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale. The program begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Terrazas Branch Meeting Room.

In addition to being the birthplace of Hip Hop, the South Bronx also was the place where salsa music came into being in the 1960s. One generation of musicians played salsa and the next generation developed hip hop. Of all the genres of music covered so far, these are the ones I know the least about. I also know very little about the actual life and culture of the South Bronx. Like many Americans, my images of the South Bronx are shaped by films like The Warriors and Fort Apache: The Bronx and by crime dramas on television.  Join me and UT musicologist Caroline O'Meara as we get a clearer picture of how people from this part of New York City made musical history.

Click here to learn more about the upcoming program and related media. We also have a display of related books, CDs, and DVDs at the Terrazas Branch. I have also included a couple of suggested resources below, which can be found at Austin Public Library.

America’s Music: A Film History of Our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway is a project of the Tribeca Film Institute in collaboration with the American Library Association, Tribeca Flashpoint, and the Society for American Music. America’s Music has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor.”

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

This is a very distinctive type of music that is not only known as gypsy jazz but also as jazz manouche.  Django Reinhardt is undoubtedly its main exponent; some even affirm that he started this new kind of music in Paris during the 1930s. Violinist Stephane Grappelli also played an important role in the development of this new style.  With Django, he co-founded the Quintette du Hot Club de France.

Gypsy Jazz, in a broad sense, is a combination of swing and jazz, with the guitar as the lead instrument.  The way the guitar is played, however, is a bit different since Django Reinhardt had an injured left hand. His method of playing, gives this type of music a very unique sound.

This music was as its peak during the 1930s and 40s. Gypsy jazz, nevertheless, is still fresh and continues to gain new followers, not only musicians interested in performing this music, but also fans around the world.

The best way of having a sense of this music is by listening to it, so here’s a video of Django performing.

If you would like to enjoy more of the gypsy jazz genre , here  are some music CD’s we recommend:



Tuesday, April 23, 2013

There are many things to celebrate in April: April Fool’s Day, Earth Day, National Library Week, and even the possibility of April Showers bringing May Flowers. All of these things can be heralded with poems since April is also National Poetry Month! What better way to start than  Outside your Window: A First Book of Nature

                             Making Compost

                            Peelings from the kitchen,

                            cuttings from the garden.

                              Inside the compost bin

                                                                           they wilt and wither and then rot.

                                                                           Slowly, over months and months and months,

                                                        They change and turn brown and crumbly…compost!

                                                                  Spread it on the garden to help plants grow.

                                                    -Nicola Davies-

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Spring is not apple season, but happily, for an apple lover like me, it's always apple season somewhere on the planet. So not only can apples be shipped to Austin any time of year, but it seems to me that they've improved. The new varieties are sweeter and crisper:  Pink Lady, Fuji, Jazz. It’s rare anymore that you bite into a mealy, dull apple. (If you do get one, cook it! It will turn out better than a crisp one.)

The first extra-sweet variety was the Honeycrisp, a hybrid developed at the University of Minnesota. The success of the Honeycrisp led the apple-growing industry to develop more like it, which is fine with me, but there is controversy concerning these extra-sweet, explosively crisp, popular varieties. Some people pine for heritage apples and worry that we’re losing genetic diversity.

People grow apples in Texas.  Here’s how:

Monday, April 22, 2013

Take a look at what we made this month at the Manchaca Road Branch (click the photo to view the set!). Our next Lego Lab program will be Tuesday, May 21, from 5:00-6:00 p.m. at the Manchaca Road Library. We have Lego Lab programs all over Austin, so check our events calendar for a location near you!


Monday, April 22, 2013

On April 22, 1970, the first Earth Day generated 13,000 events where millions of people participated, and Congress took the day off.  Forty-three years later, Adam Rome has written the first serious history of the largest demonstration in American history in The Genius of Earth Day (APL has ordered it). His captivating narrative explains the roots and remarkable success of Earth Day. The grass-roots but very powerful movement engaged politicians, youth, the media, schools, and everyday people in an explosion of interest and activity around protecting the Earth. It led to the Clean Air Act of 1970,  the Clean Water Act of 1972,  the Endangered Species Act of 1973, and to the creation of the EPA. Throughout the 1970s, mostly during Republican presidencies, Congress passed many more environmental bills, but since then there has been no significant environmental legislation. Rome believes we the public need to embrace environmentalism at the local level again if we want to prevent climate change today.

Aaron Sachs presents a different point of view in Arcadian America,  an exploration of our neglected environmental tradition. In this unique interdisciplinary blend of historical narrative, cultural criticism, and poignant memoir, Sachs argues that American cemeteries embody a forgotten landscape tradition that has much to teach us in our current moment of environmental crisis. Sachs explores the notion of Arcadia in the works of nineteenth-century nature writers, novelists, painters, horticulturists, landscape architects, and city planners, and holds up for comparison the twenty-first century's--and his own--tendency toward denial of both death and environmental limits. His far-reaching insights suggest new possibilities for the environmental movement today and new ways of understanding American history.

Monday, April 22, 2013

OneClickdigital logoYou can now checkout and download exclusive, unabridged audiobooks from OneClickdigital, a product of industry-giant Recorded Books. 

To use OneClickdigital you’ll need:

  • A current Austin Public Library Card
  • A computer or portable device with Internet access
  • Speakers or headphones
  • Free software for your computer or device:
    • OneClickdigital Media Manager for Windows
    • OneClickdigital Media Manager App for Mac
    • OneClickdigital Media Manager App for iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch
    • OneClickdigital Media Manager App for Android
    • OneClickdigital Media Manager App for Kindle Fire & Kindle Fire HD

Checkouts: You will be able to check out 3 audiobooks at a time for up to 14 days each. You will also be able to renew audiobooks once for an additional 7 days.

Holds: You can place 5 holds at a time. Once you are notified that a hold is available, you have 48 hours in which to check it out.

To get started using OneClickdigital, click here.

For more information:

For Support:

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Manu-ChaoJosé-Manuel Thomas Arthur Chao nacido en París, de padres españoles, que huyeron del dictador Francisco Franco, es hoy  mejor conocido como Manu Chao.


Si tiene la oportunidad  de escuchar la música de este artista, tendrá una experiencia musical única. Podrá distinguir  una mezcla de ritmos, melodías y cantos en varios idiomas. Cuando un compañero me recomendó el album el Clandestino, que salió en 1998. Este CD  estaba en la colección de la biblioteca. Lo saqué con mi tarjeta. Lo llevé a casa, puse el CD en el aparato y oprimí el botón play. Desde entonces no he dejado de explorar su música. Tenía un buen ritmo que me sonaba como a regae,  pensaba que  se trataba de un latinoamericano. Ya que narraba las dificultades que sufren los indocumentados en el extranjero, es decir en los Estados Unidos. Presento unas estrofas de la canción Desaparecido:

Me llaman el desaparecido

Cuando llega ya se ha ido

Volando vengo, volando voy

Deprisa, deprisa rumbo perdido


La estrofa anterior, es característico de miles de personas inmigrantes, que viven sin papeles. Se encuentran marginados, en las sombras de la sociedad. No sienten que tienen una presencia plena, pues temen ser aprehendida por no tener sus documentos en regla. Tienen que mudarse constantemente de ciudad  en ciudad buscando trabajo, o huyendo de la autoridades migratorias.



Cuando me buscan nunca estoy

Cuando me encuentran yo no soy

El que está enfrente porque ya

Me fui corriendo más allá


Yo llevo en mi cuerpo un dolor
que no me deja respirar
llevo en el cuerpo una condena
que siempre me echa a caminar


El dolor de no poder ser una persona con derechos, de no tener un domicilio estable. Los indocumentados  quieren expresarse en su propia lengua, pero  sienten que no tienen voz. Lo dice más claro en la cancion del Clandestino


Solo voy con mi pena

Sola va mi condena

Correr es mi destino

Para burlar la ley

Perdido en el corazón

De la grande Babylon

Me dicen el clandestino

Por no llevar papel


Cantos que evocan las peripecias de inmigrantesque podría aplicarse lo mismo para indocumentados en los Estados Unidos asi como de Europa.

Pero también canta de las dificultades del amor en francés, Je Ne T'aime Plus, (o sea Ya no te amo más) y también otra muy famosa titulada Me Gustas Tú, . Manú tiene un bing característico en sus canciones que acompaña con un  ritmo único. 


En la canción Mentira presenta un mundo nihilista:


Todo es mentira en este mundo...

Te quiero más que a mi vida llorona 
Hay una voz que canta la parte de la llorona en el trasfondo. Quizás haciendo referencia al amor desesperado de los marginados.

Un poco más adelante hace referencias a las  políticas de protección del medio ambiente de los grandes países industrializados, que realmente no hacen mucho.


En algunas canciones podemos distinguir  discursos secundarios que narran un submundo que apoya su narrativa.  Hay muchas influencias  tales como punk, el rock, la chanson francés,  la salsa, reggae, ska y ritmos del continente africano.


En fin, la biblioteca tiene, El Clandestino, Próxima Estación-Esperanza, Radio Bemba Sound System, La Radiolina, y Baionarena. Manú Chao es  algo diferente en distintos ritmos y voces.



Friday, April 19, 2013

This Friday, we’re getting ready for the Earth Day Festival this Saturday, April 20th at Mueller. In honor of that, I wanted to feature some of the prize magnets we’ll be giving away there, as well as some of the magnets we will be featuring at Maker Faire in May.

We took old magnets, stripped off the printed paper, and collaged art from books and other upcycled items. Our guiding theme was reuse, so all of the materials used in the decoration of the magnets were taken from soda bottles, old transparencies, nature, or damaged books. Here are some examples:


tree magnet

yucca magnet

Friday, April 19, 2013

The 2013 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards nominations were announced earlier this week. The Eisner Award – which some refer to as The Oscars of the Comic Industry – celebrates artists and writers of comic books and graphic novels. It may not be as glamorous as the Oscars, and may not be televised, but in the Comics Industry it is the top of the top. Even if you’re not into comics you’ve most likely heard of Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, and Brian Michael Bendis who are all recipients of the award and have also contributed novels and films to our lives.

One of the neat things about the Eisner Award is the process itself. It’s interesting to see how each literary award takes a different approach to nominating and selecting works and writers. For the Eisner, nominations are made by a five-member panel and voted on by people in the profession with winners being awarded each year at Comic-Con International in San Diego.

The hot titles/authors this year are Ed Brubaker’s Fatale (6 nominations), Chris Ware’s Building Stories (5), Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye (5), Ryan North’s Adventure Time (4), Saga by Brian K. Vaughan(3), and Charles Burns’ The Hive (3).

You can see the full nomination list on Comic-Con’s web page

Check out this list to see which of the nominations we already have in our Adult Graphic Novel collection at APL!

Friday, April 19, 2013

What better way to celebrate Earth Day, April 22, than by reading a tree-friendly, nonperishable eBook?  Better still?  Check out these eBooks that promote Earth Day initiatives.  Be inspired by the words of Earth Day’s founder, Gaylord Nelson.  Explore a green career.  Learn how to save endangered ecosystems with simple, everyday acts, or just get your garden through our scorching summers.


50 Simple Steps to Save the World's Rainforests50 Simple Steps to Save the World's Rainforests

Becoming a Green Building ProfessionalBecoming a Green Building Professional

Beyond Earth DayBeyond Earth Day

Designing 2050Designing 2050

Ecological LiteracyEcological Literacy


Fair FoodFair Food

Lemons and LavenderLemons and Lavender

Modern HomesteadModern Homestead

Sustainable Gardening for DummiesSustainable Gardening for Dummies

Towards Sustainable CommunitiesToward Sustainable Communities

Waterwise plants for sustainable gardensWaterwise Plants for Sustainable Gardens


And here are some kid-friendly titles for Earth Day — and every day!

10 ways I can save the Earth10 Ways I Can Save the Earth

All new crafts for Earth DayAll New Crafts for Earth Day

Earth Day Every DayEarth Day Every Day

Earth Friendly CraftsEarth-Friendly Crafts: Clever Ways to Reuse Everyday Items

A leaf can be... A Leaf Can Be...

Planet Earth: 25 Environmental Projects You Can Build YourselfPlanet Earth: 25 Environmental Projects You Can Build Yourself

SpongeBob Goes GreenSpongeBob Goes Green

Thursday, April 18, 2013

On Tuesday, April 23, at 6:30 p.m. at the Terrazas Branch, the America's Music series continues with "Rock." We will be viewing all of "Plugging In," from The History of Rock 'n' Roll. The film first focuses on Bob Dylan, looking at the way he merged expansive, poetic lyrics with the driving beat and electronic instruments of rock music. Dylan went from being one of the leaders of the folk music revival to redefining the lyrical possibilities of rock songs.  As the decade went on, albums like "Pet Sounds" by the Beach Boys showed a continuing refinement of the genre. By playing songs from albums instead of hit singles, FM radio stations helped change the way listeners experienced the music. The film concludes with a look at how musicians like Jimi Hendrix and bands like The Who expanded live musical performances into something also very visual and theatrical.

Click here to learn more about the upcoming program and related media. We also have a display of related books, CDs, and DVDs at the Terrazas Branch. I have also included a couple of suggested resources below, which can be found at Austin Public Library.

America’s Music: A Film History of Our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway is a project of the Tribeca Film Institute in collaboration with the American Library Association, Tribeca Flashpoint, and the Society for American Music. America’s Music has been made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor.”

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Here at Recycled Reads, we’ve been busy making upcycled papercrafts out of books that are either damaged or otherwise can’t be sold. A lot of people, especially book lovers, wonder: why destroy books? As a book lover myself, I completely understand this sentiment, and yet, as a librarian, I realize not all books are created equal. For example, there are certain bestsellers like the Da Vinci Code that we see come through in donations all the time. If we tried to keep all the copies of one book, we wouldn’t have room for any other titles! There are so many books out there that deserve to be preserved and passed on to others to read, but for those books that have millions of copies – enough to fill a warehouse – maybe some of those books deserve a new life as a different object.

Another point that hits home for the environmentally conscious is that by repurposing a book that is damaged or can’t be sold, it is kept out of the landfill. Space in our landfills is at a premium as we continue to consume more and more material goods. Repurposing books not only keeps them from taking up space in the landfill, but it has the potential to change the perspectives of people regarding the one-use culture we have lived by for so long. We throw away so many things on a daily basis that, given a little imagination, could be repurposed into something else.

We try to incorporate this mindset into our daily lives here at the bookstore, and just recently Recycled Reads became a certified by the City of Austin’s Office of Sustainability as an Austin Green Business Leader. We are excited to share our love of being green with others in the community and encourage you to stop by to learn more. We will also be at the Earth Day Festival at Mueller this Saturday. Look for our table in the City of Austin tent. We’ll have examples of our upcycled art and will be more than happy to discuss our passion for books – whether it’s giving them a new home or recreating them for a second chance at life.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The 2013 Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction has been awarded to Adam Johnson for The Orphan Master’s Son. The Pulitzer committee made the announcement Monday afternoon, stating that Johnson’ novel is “an exquisitely crafted novel that carries the reader on an adventuresome journey into the depths of totalitarian North Korea and into the most intimate spaces of the human heart.” Jun Do works as a government-sponsored kidnapper responsible for the removal of dissidents. His cruel work coupled with North Korea’s overall bleakness make the story border on the unbearable, but Johnson softens the brutality with elements of hope and reflection. The characters engage in forced violence yet carve out moments for longing and rare opportunities to affirm personal dignity.

North Korea has occupied the world’s attention recently. Perhaps this interest informed the Pulitzer committee’s selection. Perhaps not.

Books about North Korea read almost like fiction. Blaine Harden’s Escape from Camp 14 tells the harrowing real-life story of Shin Dong-hyuk. Born into an oppressive labor camp to parents gifted to each other as rewards for their hard work, Shin was taken from his mother and raised in a dormitory disconnected from any familial bonds. Harden depicts the incredible story of Shin’s labor camp life and unlikely escape.

Barbara Demick’s Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea provides another almost unbelievable account of life in North Korea. Demick’s work follows six North Koreans through fifteen years of toil, hardship, confusion, and ultimately disillusionment with their country.

We struggle to comprehend what life must be like for North Koreans. These books provide glimpses.



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