The Austin Public Library Friends Foundation together with the Mayor's Office and the Austin Public Library invites you to an afternoon with 2011 National Book Award Winner Jesmyn Ward, author of this year's Mayor's Book Club Selection, Salvage the Bones.

The event will include an introduction by Mayor Leffingwell, a reading and a Q&A with Jesmyn Ward. A reception and book signing will follow the Q&A.

Be sure to check out a copy of Salvage the Bones from your local Austin Public Library location and join us for the other Mayor's Book Club events!

“The Mayor’s Book Club is a great way to advocate literacy and promote a sense of community through a shared experience. We are happy to announce that Jesymn Ward’s novel “Salvage the Bones” is this year’s selection and are thrilled that Ms. Ward will be joining us in Austin to kick off our  11th annual event." - Mayor Leffingwell

Time:
1:00 PM
Event Location:

Events Blog

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Have you noticed the desert landscapes going in all over town in response to the drought? We put desert in our front yard last year. We landscaped with Indian fig (prickly pear without the prickles), feather grass, and crushed granite. Our yard looks like an unkempt Taco Cabana. And when I saw the weeds coming up through the gravel, I realized that putting the Arizona desert in my yard is almost as strange as installing the rolling lawn of an English country estate. Neither is right for Central Texas.

Can you pick out the operative word in the paragraph above? It’s “weed”. What’s a weed and what’s a native? Why is the dark green of water-sucking, high-maintenance St. Augustine preferable to the delicate spring green (with bonus tiny yellow flowers!) of our native horse herb (photo left) that volunteers to cover the ground effortlessly and for free? Are natives the middle ground—something drought tolerant that doesn’t look like the Sahara?

If you’ve been watching the highland lakes empty and have come to accept that your lawn is unsustainable, but you’re not convinced that crushed granite is the way to go, this is the week, Native Plant Week, to figure out your future yard. The Watershed Protection Department has a site just packed with information for you, with downloadable plant guides and landscape templates, and even an esperanza Halloween mask to color and cut out.

And while you’re clicking around, take a look at the library’s Native Plant information guide, and this list of materials in our catalog with links to local sites. And if you’re out enjoying native plants in our beautiful fall weather, come on downtown to the central library to pick up books on natives by native authors and free copies of the city’s gardening and water-saving booklets, and check out water and electricity meters for gaging how you’re using resources at home.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

I have always been, well. . . lazy. Instead of searching out lots of cool things to do and be into, I have instead surrounded myself with awesome and interesting people who I will then mooch off of for pop culture. I call it being a “cultural symbiote”, here’s how it works. My friend has someone to go on and on with about the subject close to his/her heart and I get an enthusiastic entry to a band, author, or what have you. Then, at a certain level of exposure I decide if the new interest is going to ‘stick’ or not. Usually the answer is a resounding “YES!” and I am a convert.

The best example of this is when a buddy in college had Neil Gaiman’s Sandman #50 on his coffee table. He had just been re-reading the series and I was intrigued by the gorgeous artwork. I fell into the intricate story and the next thing you know I’d read the entire series. Oh, and I later married the guy, so that’s good, too! So, hobbies, great music and reads, even romance could be yours with just a little bit of interest in other folks.

How can you develop this time and energy-saving ability, you ask? Practice!

Where can you practice? At the Library!

We have lots of events and bookclubs all around town and one of the newest, and my current favorite, is the Milwood Graphic Novel Bookclub. They meet on the first Thursday of the month, from 6 to 8 pm and chat about lots of great comics and graphic novels they are reading.

 Check out the roster of upcoming titles here  http://library.austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/AMI_GNBC_flyer_SUMMER2013-SMALL_0.pdf

I’ll see you there and maybe we’ll share a new interest with each other.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Join us for Café au Lit Tuesday October 15 at 7 p.m. for a nice informal book group--instead of discussing one title, we'll discuss what everyone has been reading! It's a great way to get recommendations for trying new genres and authors. It's also a great venue for telling people about that book you just finished that you want EVERYBODY to read! Coffee and sweets are provided.

Here's a smattering of titles the group talked about in September.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

When:
Monday, October 14
6:30-8:30
Where:
Ruiz Branch Library
1600 Grove Blvd.
512-974-7500
Who:
Adults interested in crafting
What:
Coffee Cozies!

The weather is turning cool, and it is time to drink your hot teas and coffees in style! Forget about those cardboard cozies. Sure, they keep your hands from getting burned, but they are so completely plain! Jazz up any hot (or cold) beverage with your very own handmade cozy. Be prepared to fall in love with this simple sewing project.

Choose between cotton, felt, and embellish with embroidery or keep it simple. As always, we will provide all the supplies.

Hope you can make it!

 

Friday, October 4, 2013

I watch the news…sometimes. I keep my eyes open and my head up. I know just enough about our country’s politics to be, well, emotional. I say emotional because I have mixed feelings when I hear the reports and people talking about the state of national affairs. Healthy debate and less-than-helpful blaming is rampant these days whether it is regarding the war in Syria or Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act. What strikes me the most is the overwhelming notion that as everyday citizens, we have no voice, no impact, and no control. I can’t say I disagree. All too often I have joined peaceful protests, signed petitions, and even made financial contributions, only to be disappointed in the outcomes. However, the truth is that we still have the right to cast a ballot and vote. Generating interest in the political process, especially within underrepresented communities, is important. As the cultural landscape of the country progresses so too should the government; a government made of, by and for the people. There are plenty of ways to make a cultural impact - theater, art, food, festivities - but only one way to influence the law of the land: voting. We vote for people meant to represent us on both a local and national level, and the only way those in office can be a true representation of us is if we get out and vote. We also are able to vote for propositions that, as we have recently seen in dynamic ways, have decidedly significant results. The only way we secure a “yes” or “no” to those best suited to our community is if everyone affected by them votes.

I don’t always understand every issue during election season, but I do make an effort to be informed so that I am able to participate in this uniquely democratic process. And I urge everyone to do the same, for it might make the difference in determining how our country is governed. To take advantage of this invaluable civic duty, one first must be registered in the correct district. Visit one of the many Austin Public Library branches on Saturday October 5th for the “Check out the Vote!” event and get informed through the “Pressdisplay” and “World News Digest” databases. Then get out and vote!

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