Decatur Public Library Blog
April 28th, 2017
Free Comic Book Day and Madness Comics and Games
For many years, we here at the Decatur Public Library have been participating in Free Comic Book Day. What is Free Comic Book Day? It’s the first Saturday in May and people of all ages get to take home select titles and special issues of comic books for free! It’s a special magical day at the library with comics, activities, and door prizes!
For the last few years, we have been incredibly fortunate to be partnering with the wonderful people at Madness Comics and Games!
Jim Shuman has been a huge supporter of not just the public library but of literacy itself. He is well versed in the benefits of reading comics and how it can spark a love for all kinds of reading. He has the amazing ability to be able to match a person or child with the right title for them.
Jim and his staff are some of the most knowledgeable and kindest comic book people I have ever met. As a girl with an interest in comics, I often get the metaphorical pat on the head and an unnecessary explanation of titles I am very well acquainted with from comic book store employees. Not from Jim and his staff; they have always treated me like a comic book fan.
Whenever I visit the store, located on 2317 W. University Dr, Ste 185 in Denton, Texas, I always walk out happy and with a stack of comics.
Free Comic Book Day is right around the corner, May 6th to be exact, and we are excited to be a part of the fun again this year! We most certainly couldn’t have done it without the help, generosity, and support from Madness Comics and Games!
Stop by the library on May 6th starting at 10 am and check out the free comics and activities! If you have the time or are in the Denton area, check out Madness Comics and Games. I am confident that Jim and his staff will be able to find something just right for you!
April 8th, 2017
Teen Advisory Board
The Teen Advisory Board (TAB) at Decatur Public Library is made up of a group of middle, high school and home schooled students who help develop programming at the library. This group has one business meeting each month and they schedule at least one event for the teens in our community. In the past, this group has planned movie parties for new movies that are being released, holiday parties for younger children such as the stuffed animal sleepover and more! We welcome new members and new ideas for programs! Join us on Monday, April 10 at 4:00 p.m.
Check out the pics from some past events hosted by the Teen Advisory Board!
March 24th, 2017
In honor of Women’s History Month, check out these great books on women in Texas, across the United States, and around the world:
Legendary Ladies of Texas 920 ABE
Famous Women 920 BOC
First Ladies of the White House 920 BRO
Women in Early Texas 920 CAR
The Roosevelt Women 920 CAR
Women in Texas: Their Lives, Their Experiences, Their Accomplishments 920 CRA
Women of Texas 920 DAY
Royal Sisters: Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret 920 EDW
Gentle Giants: Women Writers in Texas 920 ELD
The Mothers of American Presidents 920 FAB
I Once Knew a Woman: A Patchwork of Seven Unforgettable Americans 920 JEN
Texas Women: Interviews and Images 920 LAS
The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism 920 MAR
Nobel Prize Women in Science: Their Lives, Struggles, and Momentous Discoveries 920 MCG
Pioneer Women in Texas 920 PIC
Westward the Women 920 ROS
Jackie Ethel Joan: Women of Camelot 920 TAR
Women of Courage 920 TRU
Letter to the World: Seven Women Who Shaped the American Century 920 WAR
The Women Who Made the West 920 WES
Leading Ladies: American Trailblazers 920.72 HUT
This Day in the Life: Diaries From Women Across America 920.72 THI
March 10, 2017
Riverdale and the Evolution of Archie Comics
Archie Andrews has been around for a very long time. Betty and Veronica have been romantic rivals for longer than I care to mention.
Since the first appearance of the likable redhead in Pep Comics, circa 1941, Archie and his friends have been through a lot. In some comics he picks Veronica and in others he chooses Betty. Jughead remains a mystery. He plays the guitar, a teenage witch joins the storyline, and Josie and the Pussycats rock out no matter what style of music is in at the time.
At some point though, Archie lost some of his appeal. His high school experience wasn’t relatable to the modern high school experience. A lot has changed, and ultimately Archie had to change.
Afterlife with Archie, the first horror Archie title, hit the stands in 2013. There is nothing quite like reading about the gang trying to survive a zombie apocalypse. That the zombie apocalypse was started by Jughead should come as no surprise. I can’t even begin to talk about Archie’s dog Spotty and his heroic act without tearing up.
In 2015, Archie was released and Archie and his friends went through some changes. His signature red hair was updated with a new haircut and sweet little Archibald got an updated wardrobe. It’s pretty cool to see them in this new way, and I must say that the comics are 100% enjoyable.
Where is all this Archie comics’ history going? Well, it’s leading straight to Riverdale, the new CW show Riverdale that is. Promoted as Archie meets Twin Peaks, and yeah I’d say that’s pretty accurate.
Riverdale has the whole gang, old and new, with all of their teenage angst and if that wasn’t enough it throws in some murder. What can I say, this show is the darker side of Riverdale and Archie is still the wholesome boy next door but there is a killer amongst them.
This show has all the teen drama you would come to expect and it has so much more. A diverse cast, Betty and Veronica are friends not rivals, Jughead is a writer with a tragic past, and Josie and the Pussycats will always rock. The murder mystery adds a darker element to the classic and it is just plain addictive.
Archie has been around for over 75 years, he made some changes, and now with Riverdale he is invading the young adult landscape in a completely new way.
Stop by and pick up an Archie comic before you get hooked on Riverdale.
Already hooked? Yeah, me too.
Decatur Public Library
March 3, 2017
Young Adult Nonfiction
Young adults, middle through high school students, often have their own interests and information needs. For that reason, Decatur Public Library is in the beginning stages of developing a nonfiction section for young adults. Although our selection is small, we invite you to “check-out” our YA nonfiction selection and tell us what you think. We are also open to book suggestions for our collection.
Some of the books we have available are:
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Steve Jobs: insanely great by Jessie Hartland
Rapture practice: a true story by Aaron Hartzier
Sexual assault: the ultimate teen guide by Olivia Ghafoerkhan
The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Phillip Hoose
Youth Services Manager
Check out Miss Dawn's awesome book trailer for The Boys Who Challenged Hitler! Great Job, Miss Dawn!
February 17, 2017
We sure do love books. We also really love it when books win awards and we get a nice list of things to read.
Recently, the Blue Bonnet Award was announced and we wanted to share with you what awesome books are on the list and what books we have available at the library.
Check out the list below!
For more information about the Blue Bonnet Award, please visit the Texas Library Association's Blue Bonnet Award page.
Winner: Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
The Blue Bonnet Award Master List:
Ada’s Violin by Susan Hood, illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
The Best Man by Richard Peck
Follow the Moon Home: A Tale of One Idea, Twenty Kids, and a Hundred Sea Turtles by Philippe Cousteau and Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Meilo So
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
The Great Pet Escape (Pets on the Loose) by Victoria Jamieson
The Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth Eulberg
In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph Marshall, illustrated by James Mark Yellowhawk
The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd
The Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier, illustrated by Douglas Holgate
Little Cat’s Luck by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell
Lola Levine: Drama Queen by Monica Brown, illustrated by Angela Dominguez
Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt and Allison McGhee
The Princess and the Warrior by Duncan Tonatiuh
Soar by Joan Bauer
Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart
The Storyteller by Evan Turk
Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Unidentified Suburban Objects by Mike Jung
Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton, illustrated by Don Tate
February 11, 2017
By Aileen Fisher
I have a hundred Valentines,
A hundred, did I say?
I gave a thousand Valentines
One cold and wintry day.
I didn’t put my name on them
or any other words,
because my Valentines were seeds
for February birds.
Families can celebrate Valentine’s Day in so many ways. Instead of buying things for those close to you show them how much you love them by spending time together.
Here are some ideas of how you can spend family time together this Valentine’s Day.
Read a Book
Spending time snuggling and reading books is a great way to show children you love them. Pick a book about Valentine’s Day or any book that your child loves. Check out a fun poetry book such as Where the Sidwalk Ends by Shel Silverstein or a joke book like the one listed below.
Feed the birds
As our poem mentions at the beginning of this post, feed the birds! Spend time with your family in the great outdoors. You can go bird watching, visit a pond and feed the ducks or maybe go for a hike together. Being outdoors can relieve stress and can be great exercise for the family.
Play games or make a special dessert
Have a family game night, craft night or spend time cooking up some special chocolatey desserts. Check out one of our books listed below for ideas!
Remember to take family photos or selfies to remember this extra special Valentine’s Day! Take a few moments to post one to our Facebook page or just share with us how you will spend this special day with your family or loved ones.
Selected by Bennett Hopins
Illustrated by Tomie de Paola
By Linda Bozzo
By Judith Moffatt
By Kathy Ross
Illustrated by Sharon Lane Holm
By Elizabeth Macleod
February 3, 2017
Do You Like Stories and Games? We've Got a Program for You
If you haven’t been involved in One Page Adventures in the past, now is a great time to start. One Page Adventures is the Decatur Public Library’s program for role playing games. Without going excessive detail (check out October 7, 2016 post for more), role playing games are kind of like board games in the respect that everyone sits around a table with dice and sometimes mini figures and a map. But beyond the rules and mechanics of the game, there is another aspect: collective story telling. All of players as well as the game master are working together to spin a yarn. Each player is free to make their own choices for their character however, so the outcome is often anything but predictable.
Since the end of summer 2016 we’ve been having a different adventure every month. These adventures have taken our players to different worlds and time periods, but each contained its own contained story. With our teen and adult players as well as the younger players at our children’s table craving deeper character and story development, we’re taking our adventures to the next level this year with a far reaching story arc that spans a vast variety of settings. We’ll still keep the theme of multiple settings and time periods, but all of these settings exist as part of a single world of fractured dimensions. Players take on the role of dimensional travelers trying to correct problems that have occurred in the timeline, hopping from one domain to another throughout the course of their journey.
The characters’ first mission takes place in the primeval domain of Primundis, where prehistoric humans have been given the power of fire prematurely. Primundis is a mixture of prehistoric themes featuring dinosaurs and early mammals, as well dangerous tar pits and volcanoes. The characters enter the domain seeking out the source of this fire and clues as to who gave it to humans.
This is just the beginning though. As their story progresses the characters will journey to space and beyond in science fiction themed settings, encounter worlds of magic and medieval fantasy and even step foot into modern worlds very much like our own. Even better, the players’ characters can come from any of these worlds. We’ve got players who have taken on the identity of everything from an android law enforcer to a samurai warrior from feudal Japan. I’m really excited about the dynamic between all the players and their respective characters, and I can hardly wait to see what kinds of unique interactions come out of this setting.
I’m also happy to say that some of our regular attenders have also volunteered to run additional tables during our sessions. One of our players who first started playing table top RPGs when we began our program in 2014 is now game mastering a table of his own. He’s very creative and enthusiastic, so I’m looking forward to hearing about the adventures at his table. I’m just really impressed and very thankful for the help, especially with our steadily growing attendance.
All of the players and game masters come here once a month to play a game and tell a story together. Whether you’re veteran to table top RPGs or just interested for the first time come check out our One Page Adventures and add your own page to the story.
One Page Adventures meets every second Saturday of the month from 10am to 2pm. Join our adventures in Primundis this February the 11th!
Decatur Public Library
January 27th, 2017
One day Sarah came into my office and shared a wonderful idea that she had for a book display. After some talking and planning, we decided that having a book display about Banned Books and Band Books would be awesome! Not only was it a delightful play on words, but we could make some cute bookmarks and buttons to go along with our display.
So we set out to make a list of every book we could think of that involved a band. We came up with a long list of books that included titles from all areas of the library. Some of my favorites include Punk Farm by Jarret J. Krosoczka, Jem and the Holograms by Kelly Thompson, The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour, and A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan. Though there are so many other books to choose from that range from all ages to some unexpected titles, such as Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill. We made some awesome bookmarks and buttons to go along with our display. In fact, each book on our display comes with a free button.
The Banned Books portion of our display was easier. We have made a few book displays that have been about banned books and we selected some of our favorites for this display. One of my favorites, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood has been adapted as a series for Hulu that will premiere later this year.
This display is about having the freedom to choose what read and reading what you want.
Stop by and check it out, pick up a good book to read, and enjoy our cool buttons!
January 20th, 2017
PrinterOn Makes Printing at Your Decatur Public Library Even More Convenient
Available now at the Decatur Public Library, PrinterOn allows users everywhere to send print jobs from their home computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet, expanding the availability and convenience of a commonly used library service.
Public printing is one of the most commonly used features provided by Decatur Public Library. Printing from the library’s public access computers allows anyone to print just about anything they need. Printing at the library is now more readily available than ever. PrinterOn is an online mobile printing service. By accessing the PrinterOn website set up for the library or by using the free PrinterOn app from a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet, users can upload documents directly to the library’s printing queue from their home or other location with internet access. They can then pick up their prints at their convenience within 24 hours.
This service will also prove useful for library users who want to print while they are at the library. Library employees are often asked by users if they can print from their personal laptop while in the library. Prior to subscribing to this service users had to save their document to a flash drive or send it to their email, then sign in to a public computer to print. Now, for instance, a student could take their laptop to the library to work on their paper, and then print that paper without any intermediate steps.
The employees of the Decatur Public Library are excited to provide this service for the community, but they couldn’t have done it with the support of the Decatur Library Foundation which has graciously provided the funding for the PrinterOn service for the first year.
How to use PrinterOn:
- From your own computer, go to the library’s website, www.decaturpubliclibrary.com, and click on the “Print Now” banner. This takes you to the PrinterOn site. Enter your email address under “User Info”; this will be your ID when you pick up your print job. Then click the Browse button under “Select Document”; then find the document you want to print and click on it. Click on the Triangle button on the right as you move through the instructions. Be sure to select the pages you want to print. Note how many pages will be printing before you click on the green Print button. Your print job has been sent and can now be printed at the library.
- From your tablet or smartphone, download the app “PrinterOn” from the App Store or Marketplace. When you can select a printer, put in “Decatur Public Library” and you’ll find us as an option. Select the type of file you wish to print and then find the file you want. Click on it; then click the green Print button. Enter your email; this is how your print job will be identified at the library. Then click on the check mark on the upper right of your screen. The blue banner at the top of your screen shows the progress on your print job.
At this time, Decatur Public Library has only black-and-white printing available. Prints are $0.20 per page.
The library is open:
Mondays, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Tuesday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Wednesdays, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Fridays, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
For more information on mobile printing, please contact the Decatur Public Library at 940-393-0290 or visit our website.
The Decatur Public Library is proud to be a resource and provider of information, education, and enjoyment. With free internet access, up-to-date resources, and current editions of popular fiction and nonfiction materials. Decatur Public Library is the place to be.
Check out our instructional videos below!
--- Chris Shenkir
January 6th, 2017
At Decatur Public Library, “The Place to Be for Education, Information and Enjoyment” isn’t just our motto. It’s what we live by.
Education is at the heart of what we do at DPL.
Our weekly Early Literacy Classes are designed to give young children the skills they need to learn to read when the time is right and to be successful in their formal learning later on. Little Learners Storytime meets Wednesday mornings at 10:15. Sensory Storytime, for all ages and abilities, meets on Wednesdays at 11:30am and on Thursdays at 10:15am. Check it out!
For school-age children, there’s STEAMing Tuesday Nights. Hands-on activities focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts or Math are happening every second Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Let us know if you plan to come; we’ll save a spot for you!
Students preparing for the ACT or SAT, who need help with their regular classes or who are applying for colleges or looking for jobs can use LearningExpress Library. It’s available for free through the TexShare Databases on our website: Research and Literacy. LEX includes practice tests, computer tutorials, resume builders, and more.
Get the Information you need:
How do I fix my lawn mower or dishwasher? Where can I find a simple power of attorney form? What is this medicine supposed to do for me? All these questions and more can be answered through DPL’s TexShare databases. Go to Research and Literacy and select TexShare databases. You’ll need a library username and password (let us know if you need that info). Then you’ll find Small Engine Repair and Home Improvement Center, Gale Legal Forms, and EBSCO Health Source: Consumer. All are available
Read magazines on your computer, tablet or smartphone with Zinio. Click on the Zinio link from the library’s home page: http://www.decaturpubliclibrary.com. Set up your free account and choose your magazines. Zinio will even email you when a new issue is available. Of course, the library still has select magazines and newspapers in print. Stop by to read or check out back issues.
Enjoy life more:
In the library, you’ll find the latest bestsellers, novels by your favorite authors, nonfiction on the hot topics of the day, and memoirs from personalities you know! You can also find DVDs and audiobooks to borrow. Find titles and availability on the Library Catalog.
Online there’s even more. Read or listen to the latest bestsellers or your favorite classics on your tablet or smartphone from our digital library. Download the app: Overdrive eBooks and Audiobooks.
Adults who love to read are invited to The Book Experience Book Club. Meeting at 11am the first Tuesday of each month, The Book Experience reads a different book each month. Join us for good literature and lively discussion.
Both teens and adults are invited to join us for Raid the Library! RPG Day every second Saturday, 10am-2pm as we play Savage Worlds One Page Adventures roleplaying game. It’s a new game every months, so new players, novice or experienced, are always welcome. Children can get in on the fun with Half Page Adventures every second Saturday, 10am-12noon.
It’s all free! Find out more at Decatur Public Library or call us at 940-393-0290. Of course, you’re more than welcome to stop by Decatur Public Library, 1700 S. FM 51, at the corner of Hwy. 51 and Thompson St.
Check it out!
~~ by Patricia Peters, Library Director
December 30, 2016
Miss Pat's Favorite Books:
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it's barely begun. When "Verity" is arrested by the Gestapo, she's sure she doesn't stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she's living a spy's worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution. As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .
Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life— big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living. A Love Story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby. Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a “gift from God,” and against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time? Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
“Are you happy with your life?” Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before a man Jason’s never met smiles down at him and says, “Welcome back, my friend.” In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible. Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined—one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.
Miss Denice also counts this as one of her favorite books of the year. Here is what she had to say about it: I have recommended this book to a few people and I always say, "It's about the multi-verse and how it got too real for one guy in particular."
Morning Star by Pierce Brown
Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within. Finally, the time has come. But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied—and too glorious to surrender.
Miss Denice also counts this as one of her favorite books of the year. Here is what she had to say about it: I don't normally like to read trilogies. I picked up Red Rising because I found Pierce Brown's author photo to be of an insanely handsome man and I just had to know if he was as talented of a writer as all the praise had indicated on the back of his debut novel or if his blue eyes had gotten him much farther than anyone could have imagined. I was instantly fascinated by his writing and his story. I was enthralled in this futuristic world and I was gripped by Darrow's journey. Morning Star is a fantastic conclusion to this amazing story. It also has a wonderful Bye Felicia moment that I will always cherish.
The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier
It is a Blue Bonnet nominee. Although it is for younger readers, if you want to read something a little spooky, this would be a good read. Recommended for third through adult, although, if your child gets scared easily, you might want to steer away from this book.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
This book surprised me because it was so good and held my interest even though it was written in 1932. It received the Anthony Award for Best Novel of the Century and has never gone out of print. I recommend this book to teens through adults.
The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Phillip Hoose
This is my nonfiction pick of the year. It is an interesting view of World War II and how other countries dealt with the war and how teens made a difference. This is a Texas Lone Star book choice which is recommended for middle school students. I would recommend this to teen and adult readers as well. It was interesting and easy to follow.
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
This was very cute. It's a teen romance, but unusual because of the main character's rare disease. I listened to the audiobook in my car, and the end had me driving circles around my neighborhood, unwilling to finish it the net day-I had to know how things sorted out.
Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
This is a really delightful collection of spooky stories. The stories are good, but what makes them are the illustrations. They are beautiful, but very creepy. A word of advice: if you are like me and you can turn shadows in the corner of your eye into certain death, consider not reading this after midnight, all alone. Or do, if you're into that.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth
Often, it's too much to ask that a book about a gay teenager be well written and end on a hopeful note and be more than 150 pages. This book ticks all three boxes. While beautiful to read, be warned that this book features conversion therapy and its tragic results. Still, it's very good, and I'm glad I read it.
The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
If you're like me, you like sci-fi. But most of the time, it's too doom-and-gloom, all royal intrigue and government experiments gone wrong. This book has none of that- it's straight-up-feel-good sci-fi. Think Firefly, except with aliens and without a teenage girl losing her mind, and clothes, for no real reason. i loved this so much, I recommended it to a friend on the other side of the world before I reached page 50. Read this book!
But What If We're Wrong by Chuck Klosterman
I feel that I must start out by saying that I LOVE Chuck Klosterman. I normally don't read non-fiction, but Chuck Klosterman is one of the few non-fiction authors that I adore and will read everything and anything that he writes. This book made me think about so many things, music, art, film, writing, science, and even sports. He brings up several good questions that have branched out from the main theme of the book which is: How certain are we of our understanding about anything that we think we know? Wonderful book!
All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
I would classify this book as realistic fantasy. Set in the modern world with hidden magic and advancements in technology. What makes this book awesome is that you have two vastly different sides of the spectrum falling in love with each other. Science and Magic at war, and only love can bring it to an end and simultaneously save the world from either a technological or magical devastation. This book has it all, secret magic academy, time machines, spells gone awry, technological barriers broken, and of course, love.
The Sky Over Lima by Juan Gomez Barcena
The first thing that caught my eye was the blurb on the inside of the book that says that this is based on a true story. Add in the poet Juan Ramon Jimenez and some ancient cat fishing and I was completely intrigued. So, cat fishing before the internet was much more time consuming and elaborate. Two young, wealthy, wanna-be poets write a letter to the famous poet, Juan Ramon Jimenez, under the guise of a beautiful woman named Georgina. At first it was just a ploy to get a signed book of poetry from their idol but it quickly turned into a full blown deceitful affair. I found myself feeling some sort of affection for Carlos, the sensitive one who is more of a poet in spirit than in talent, but by the end of the novel, he had lost all of my affection and I felt that both Carlos and Jose deserved the lives they got, devoid of art, happiness, and poetic satisfaction. The story was beautifully written, with a clear message of what kind of damage you can do and the hearts you break when you let lies and greed consume your soul.
My Body is a Book of Rules by Elissa Washuta
This book is absolutely amazing. It is heart breaking, gut wrenching, tear jerking, open, and completely honest. I found myself having to put it down several times to process what I had just read. Elissa Washuta lays herself bare about her experiences with mental illness, an eating disorder, sexual assault, and cultural identity. She pulls no punches as she explores and brings forth a fierce look into a rarely talked about human experience. It is a difficult memoir to read but, in my opinion, an important memoir. Full of anguish, despair, and hope this book changed me.
December 19, 2016
Darcy the Dragon’s Stuffed Animal Sleepover Journal
I was invited to a sleepover at the library. All week long, I have been thinking about all the fun I was going to have and all the new friends I was going to make. I am a little nervous to meet new stuffed animals, I hope they like me, but I am excited too.
I had so much fun last night at the sleepover! We played, read stories, and I made a bunch of new friends! Miss Dawn took lots of pictures for us!
Here are all my new buddies! We posed in front of the Christmas tree because it was so pretty and Miss Dawn said that it was festive. I really like the lights! They are so sparkly!
We made some fun crafts with our people before they went home and let us sleepover in the library. Our people are so great! I’m sure they missed us at bed time but they were happy to let us spend some time hanging out together. Our people want us to make lots of friends too.
Miss Dawn is so nice! She read us some stories and did a very special storytime just for us! She read Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay up Late! by Mo Willems. I love the Pigeon books! They are so funny and the Pigeon gets into all kinds of fun situations!
We played Go Fish! I had never played this card game before but it was a lot of fun to learn how to play a new game. My stuffed buddies taught me how to play and I even won a round!
I took a picture of some of my new friends hiding from Miss Dawn. We were playing Hide and Seek, so she knew that we were hiding. She found us pretty quickly, but probably because we were giggling so much. It’s hard to be quite when you’re having so much fun!
We cuddled up in front of the fireplace, and talked and giggled some more before we fell asleep. We had such an exciting night!
December 9, 2016
This blog post is going to be completely dedicated to the great and wonderful Kate Beaton!
Let me start off by talking about her funny and adorable picture book, The Princess and the Pony. This book is not just about a princess that wants to be a warrior. She already is a little fighter, but it’s about being true to yourself, resourceful, and showing your cuddly side. All Princess Pinecone wants for her birthday is a big, fast, and strong horse so that she can ride him into the upcoming battle. She usually gets a cozy sweater, but this year she gets a pony that is fat, tiny, and a round thing that farts too much. But, man is he cute! That is all that I am going to say in regards to the story. I don’t want to spoil this amazing picture book for anyone, but it is so worth the read! The illustrations are cartoon style and super cute.
I first heard of Kate Beaton when I stumbled across her webcomic, Hark! A Vagrant. She writes and draws about literature, history, and comic books. Hark! A Vagrant is most definitely for adults. She has hundreds of comics that poke fun at literature and history but also the popular perception of these things. From poking fun at the change that the image of Dr. Watson, from the Sherlock stories, took when it went from print to television, to the complexities of Wuthering Heights. With some myths and popular culture sprinkled in between. It is all gold.
She currently has two hardcover collections of her webcomics called Hark! A Vagrant and Step Aside Pops.
At the library, we have a copy of The Princess and the Pony in the children’s section, and a copy of Hark! A Vagrant and Step Aside Pops can be located in the A CMX section! She also has a chapter book, titled King Baby, that is published by Scholastic and is out now! King Baby will be on our library shelf very soon!
To read some of Kate Beaton’s comics or to find out more about her work, check out the Hark! A Vagrant Website
November 28, 2016
Remembering Pearl Harbor
“December 7th, 1941—a date which will live in infamy--the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.”—President Franklin D. Roosevelt, December 8, 1941, the opening of his Pearl Harbor Speech*
December 7, 2016 marks the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Of course, that attack was the turning point which caused the United States to enter what became known as World War II.
ONLINE: For general information, go to Explora for Public Libraries, part of the TexShare Databases found on our website under “Research and Literacy.” You can find newspaper and magazine articles, images, and video about Pearl Harbor and other important events during World War II. If you have a DPL library card, you can get a username and password to gain free access.
BOOKS: Decatur Public Library also has books for all ages related to Pearl Harbor:
Infamy: Pearl Harbor and Its Aftermath by John Toland 940.54 TOL
Toland examines the days leading up to the attack and the effects on the United States and, ultimately, on the resolution of World War II.
At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor by Gordon W. Prange 940.54 PRA
Prange’s extensive research results in one of the most comprehensive account of the Pearl Harbor attacks written.
The Eagle and the Rising Sun: The Japanese-American War, 1941-1943, Pearl Harbor through Guadalcanal by Alan Schom 940.54 SCH
Historian Schom details the decisions (and consequent results) of the various military and political leaders who sent thousands of American troops into battle during the first two years of the war in the Pacific theater.
Pearl Harbor: From Infamy to Greatness by Craig Nelson 940.54 NEL
In a multi-pronged approach, Nelson follows the building of the U.S.S. Arizona, the movement of the Japanese government to fascism, and the details of the Pearl Harbor attack from both American and Japanese perspectives.
For children, see:
Pearl Harbor by Tamara L. Britton J 940.54 BRI
Includes an overview of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the establishment of the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial.
World War II in the Pacific: Remember Pearl Harbor by R. Conrad Stein J 940.54 STE
A general overview of the battles in the Pacific, beginning with the attack on Pearl Harbor.
World War II: Visual Encyclopedia by Brian Williams J 940.54 WIL
An introduction to the key figures and important battles of World War II.
DISPLAY: While you’re in the library, check out the display from the Wise County Veterans Memorial Museum.
* Roosevelt, Franklin Delano. “Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation.” December 8, 1941. American Rhetoric: Top 100 Speeches. Accessed 28 Nov. 2016.
November 16, 2016
Thanksgiving is just around the corner.
Some people have this holiday down with signature dishes, traditional gatherings, and classic desserts.
I am not one of those people.
Every year, I think I can make something simple to take to my family gathering. Maybe some mashed potatoes or a couple of pumpkin pies. And every year, I decide, at the last minute, to try something completely different. Sometimes it works out and I make something delicious and other times I show up empty handed, with a sad look on my face, and a great story about a fire.
As of this writing, Thanksgiving is about a week away and I have no idea what I am going to make. This doesn’t concern me as much as it should, but I am concerned enough to do a little recipe gathering.
The Decatur Public Library has a great selection of cookbooks and a nice portion of those are books on baking. I’m not just saying that because I work here, either.
I have made things that I normally wouldn’t have thought of if it wasn’t for my constant need to flip through a book about pies. I have stumbled upon many lovely photographs of delicious looking pies and thought, “I can make that”.
So let’s talk about the cookbooks that I am currently flipping through looking for the perfect Thanksgiving dessert.
Let’s start with Sweety Pies by Patty Pinner. In Sweety Pies you have recipes for the classics like pecan pie, pumpkin pie, and lemon meringue pie, but you can also find recipes for tasty wonders like Miss Claudette Cotton’s White Potato Pie, Cousin Eunice’s Grated Carrot Pie, and Aunt Helen’s Pineapple Pie. If you’re like me and like to go the non-traditional route, Sweety Pies is a great place to start.
Pies are awesome, and I have been talking a lot about pies, but cakes are also delicious and should be mentioned.
Right now, in between sentences, I am flipping through Grandbaby Cakes by Jocelyn Delk Adams. There are so many great recipes in this book, but I am going to focus on her Seasons and Holidays section for obvious reasons. One of the things that I like about this book is that the first thing you see on the list of recipes, that are in each section, is a little icon of measuring spoons that indicates the difficulty level of each recipe. So, even though Red Velvet S’mores Cake sounds super tasty, I am nowhere near ready for a level three. Caramel-Apple Pound Cakelettes or Coffee-Toffee Pumpkin Cupcakes are more my speed (they’re both level twos). Cakelettes, by the way, are adorable!
I am looking at these recipes and I am 99% sure that I can make each and every one of the mentioned desserts.
I will try not to think about how desserts is stressed spelled backwards.
Now which one do I choose?
November 8, 2016
The New Youth Services Manager
Decatur Public Library is excited to welcome our new Youth Services Manager, Dawn Wilbert!
Dawn comes to us from Rhome Public Library, where she served as Library Manager. Prior to entering the library field, Dawn worked in education, marketing, and event planning. She brings a passion for developing readers among children and teens and for supporting education across the curriculum.
Dawn is looking forward to the opportunity to work with kids and continue to learn. The ability to help the community and enjoy lifelong learning along with the children and teens are what brings her to this job. One challenge she will be working to meet is getting to know the regular library patrons and learning how to fulfill their needs.
Dawn and her family (her husband and middle-school son) have lived in the area for 12 years. Her hobbies include reading, crafting, traveling, and spending time with family. She is completing her Master of Library Science degree at Texas Woman’s University.
Currently, Dawn is reading Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier and also enjoys reading young adult novels. She says, “They’re so good, they don’t need to be exclusive to young adults. Adults would like them, too.” When asked about her favorite author or genre, Dawn stated that she is reading across genres, trying to broaden her horizons. And it’s working!
Be sure to welcome Dawn to the library the next time you visit. And if you have suggestions for children’s or teen resources or programs, let her know.
November 1st, 2016
National Novel Writing Month
The Decatur Public Library has decided to help anyone that is participating in National Novel Writing Month by transforming our meeting room into a quiet room. We will have coffee and space for anyone that needs a place to write. Please check out the schedule below to see what days and times the meeting room will be available.
What is National Novel Writing Month? Well, the goal is to have written a 50,000 word novel by 11:59 pm on November 30th. So, you write every day and hopefully by the end of the month you have a novel. Editing is not a huge concern when it comes to NaNoWriMo. The point is to write and to write every day.
There have been several books that were written during NaNoWriMo that have been published. Last year alone 82 books were published that were written during this speed writing month! They were published by independent presses as well as big publishing houses such as HarperCollins, Penguin Books, Scholastic, and Macmillan.
National Novel Writing Month can be a lot of fun but it can also be intense. Some people need a ticking clock over their heads to get them to focus and to write every day. I am one of those people. This is the time when I just want to drink coffee and write but without having a deadline of some sort, I will get distracted by the internet and all of the kittens you can find there. If this sounds like you, then take a look at the NaNoWriMo website www.nanowrimo.org and consider the satisfaction you will feel when you have finished your novel. Even if you don’t make it to the 50,000 word goal, you tried, you wrote, and you have started something wonderful.
Decatur Public Library
October 25th, 2016
Halloween Happenings at the Library!
Be our guest on Monday, October 31, 4:00-6:0 p.m. for Decatur Public Library’s annual Halloween Carnival! Children of all ages are invited to come in costume and enjoy spooky games, Halloween challenges, and—of course—candy! Come and go as your schedule allows. It’s free for everyone.
And while you’re at the library, check out these great Halloween books for kids:
It’s Halloween by Jack Prelutsky J 811 PRE
Spooky and funny poems.
Angelina’s Halloween by Katharine Holabird E HOL
Enjoy trick-or-treating with Angelina Ballerina and friends.
The Haunted Halloween Party by Gail Herman LR HER
Join Scooby-Doo, Shaggy and the gang for a shivery time.
On Halloween Night by Ferrida Wolff and Dolores Kozielski E WOL
Count Halloween things from 1 to 13.
Shivery Shades of Halloween by Mary McKenna Siddals E SID
Learn colors with a cute creature on Halloween night.
Babymouse: Monster Mash by Jennifer L. Holm and Matt Holm J CMX HOL v. 9
Spend Halloween with our favorite mouse friend.
In the Haunted House by Eve Bunting E BUN
Tour a mysterious house with a little girl and her father.
Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman E SIL
It takes all the monsters around to pick the BIG pumpkin.
There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat by Lucille Colandro E COL
Sing along with this variation on the traditional song.
Click on the links to place a hold on any of the items listed above.
October 15, 2016
The Decatur Public Library will be having an Introduction to Creative Journaling workshop on October 25th at 6:30 pm with Sarah and me teaching. In this workshop, Sarah and I will be going over drawing, black out poetry, and collaging. Supplies will be provided.
What is creative journaling?
Well, creative journaling is best described as a mix of scrapbooking, writing, collaging, and drawing.
Keeping a journal is a great way to chronicle your life experiences and to gather your thoughts. This can be therapeutic and useful when you’re preparing to start a bigger creative project.
I, personally, enjoy keeping an art journal. I draw, color, and write, occasionally there’s a poem involved, in a book that I bought at the last library book sale. I write about and draw things that I see every day and things that somehow impacted or made an impression on me during my day.
Sarah is much more experienced with collaging and poetry than I am. So, she will be leading the discussion on these subjects. Sarah is looking forward to sharing her techniques and experiences with a group and we are both excited about this workshop.
If you feel that you are not very artistic but are interested in learning more about creative journaling and wish to join us, then please do. We all have different artistic skills and preferences, but that does not mean that creative journaling is only for the artists. Keeping a journal is for everyone and adding a little art here or there can make the experience more rewarding, expressive, and fulfilling.
For some examples and a peek at my art journal, check out the slideshow below.
Decatur Public Library
One Page and Half Page Adventures
We’ve had a role playing program at the Decatur Public Library for over two years now. This fall we decided to change the program up by having a completely different adventure every month. This program is called One Page Adventures. In addition we now have a role playing program for young people ages 8 to 11 called Half Page Adventures.
If you aren’t familiar, role playing games, or RPGs, are games where the players take the role of a character and play through an adventure story. The players make choices that affect the outcome of that story and determine the role their character plays. Each character also has different skills. Success or failure with these skills is usually determined by a roll of dice. One unique aspect is that unlike video games or other tabletop games players are free to interact with the world however they choose. The game also has a game master, or GM, who is in charge of presenting the story as well as the challenges to the players and their characters. There are many different systems of rules for running a role playing game. For our One Page and Half Page Adventures we are using the Savage Worlds system.
September’s adventure took place in the old west. The characters faced the task of transporting the dangerous criminal Jedidiah Stone a.k.a. “The Gambler” to the city of Promise for trial.
Nate Howard is the game master for the Half Page Adventures, and he’s gotten it off to a great start. Nate has been playing RPGs for a while, but really wanted to start game mastering for children when his son and daughter couldn’t wait to start playing as well.
During this session Nate encouraged the players to create a backstory for their characters. “One, in particular,” Nate says, “created a backstory immediately. He decided his name…would be Slim. He told us that Slim was from a little town…and that he had got into some trouble with the locals and was asked to ‘Pack your things and leave’. That is why Slim happened to be in the area, he was looking for a new start.”
Nate also gave accents and personalities to his non-player characters. These are characters in the story that are played by the game master. “The kids really seemed to get more into the role playing aspect after I did that, and even decided to try to give their characters some accents of their own.”
Solving problems as a group is also a big part of RPGs. Nate went on to say that the young people, “displayed excellent team work and problem solving skills. It wasn't [just] one or two of them running the party; they all consulted with each other and made group decisions.”
If you or your children are interested in RPGs or just want to find out more about it come check it out and join the adventures!
Decatur Public Library
September 26, 2016
Star Wars Reads Day
This may come as a surprise to some, but I wasn’t much of a Star Wars fan growing up. I just didn’t get it and I was a huge science fiction and fantasy nerd in my early days. Don’t worry; I became a fan later on in life. This happened because some of my closest friends were fans. They loved the story, they loved discussing the plot, logistics, and by golly the science behind it. Eventually their enthusiasm got me and I gave it another shot.
When I went to the theater to watch The Force Awakens, I was amongst many fans, and it was heartwarming to see children with their parents, all in costume, bursting with excitement. It’s amazing to see the fandom grow and expand to encompass so many people of all ages.
Star Wars Reads Day is a celebration that not only focuses on our love for Star Wars but also our love of reading. Star Wars has embraced so many formats that it can now be enjoyed beyond the screen. This is another aspect of the fandom that I adore. Books of all kinds for all ages have become a huge part of the fandom.
For many years, the Decatur Public Library has participated in Star Wars Reads Day. We tend to go all out for this event. We dress up, we bake cookies, we give out Star Wars themed prizes (mainly books), and we take tons of pictures!
Not to mention that our very own Jedi demonstrates his light saber skills and even teaches a few tricks to the delight of many.
Join us on Saturday, October 1st from 10 a.m. to noon for this awesome event. We’ll be here, sharing our love for Star Wars and for reading.
We truly believe that reading is our only hope, and with the help of books, the force can awaken in you too.
May the force be with you.
Decatur Public Library
September 19, 2016
Founding Mother Martha Hughes
Next Saturday, September 24 at 10:15 a.m., the Decatur Public Library Board, Friends of the Decatur Public Library and library staff will dedicate a memorial marker in honor of Martha Lou Hughes. In the 1960s, Martha and several other community members decided that Decatur needed a real library that was open to all citizens. Martha was the driving force behind the fundraising and collecting of donated books that resulted in the opening of the Decatur Public Library in June of 1970.
Martha served as DPL’s first librarian. With her southern lady charm and her refusal to take “no” for an answer, Martha brought in and cataloged book donations, raised funds, and staffed the library with enthusiastic and knowledgeable volunteers. She was a member of the Decatur Public Library Advisory Board from the library’s inception until her passing in 2015.
Martha was never one to rest on her laurels. After her dream of a Decatur Public Library came to fruition, she continued to take an interest in ensuring that DPL was serving the citizens of Decatur and Wise County in the best possible way. Martha continued to volunteer weekly at the library as long as her health permitted, receiving and cataloging magazines. At least once a month, she would present me with an article she had cut from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about books and libraries, particularly those highlighting cutting-edge ideas and services. In 2006, Martha was honored for her volunteerism with “The President’s Call to Service Award” from President George W. Bush.
Decatur Public Library would not be here without the dedication and commitment of Martha Lou Hughes. We miss you, Martha.
by Patricia Peters, Library Director
September 12, 2016
Hi! Miss Denice here to tell you about some great graphic novels that I just read. If you’re into comics, then you’re in for a treat. We have some amazing books in three different collections! I will be talking about one book from each collection that I just read and loved!
Let’s start with the juvenile graphic novel section. Ben Hatke, of Zita the Spacegirl fame, wrote a sweet and exciting book about friendship called Little Robot. Little Robot is about a robot that doesn’t make it to his designated destination and instead meets an adventurous little girl. She introduces the little robot to cats, skipping stones, and sunsets. All the while, they are being tracked by a bigger, angrier robot that has been sent to retrieve the little robot. Don’t worry, there’s a happy ending. There are few words and lots of wonderful illustrations, which makes it perfect for little ones that like to tell their own stories with the pictures.
Place a hold on Little Robot here.
We have many great titles in the teen graphic novel collection. The title that I recently read and had so much fun with is Invader Zim Volume 1. Now, I am a big fan of the short lived Invader Zim animated series that aired on Nickelodeon a long time ago. This comic is like watching an episode of the series. It starts with Dib realizing that he has spent way too much time simply observing Zim. Though Zim doesn’t seem to have been up to much either, they easily resume their battle. Gaz and Gir are still the best. If you’re a fan of Invader Zim or just want something fun with some over the top silliness, then I strongly recommend picking this one up.
Place a hold on Invader Zim Volume 1 here.
The adult comic section is relatively new and we are adding to this collection often. We recently added a few awesome titles that I could go on and on about but I’ll pick just one for now. That title is Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: The Interconnectedness of All Kings. Dirk Gently is a character that was created by Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) and will have a new series that will premiere on BBC in October. Dirk Gently calls himself a “holistic detective” due to his use of "the fundamental interconnectedness of all things", he’s also psychic but he’ll never admit to that, as he doesn’t believe in such things. Anyway, back to the comic, Dirk has left England and has found himself in San Diego. He immediately gets caught up in what appears to be three separate crimes involving reanimated Egyptians, copycat killers, and crazy animals. Of course, Dirk solves it all with style and humor and all is right with the universe. Dirk Gently is one of my all-time favorite characters and I am excited to see what comes next, not only in the comics but with the new BBC show as well.
Place a hold on Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency: The Interconnectedness of All Kings here.