Saturday, November 25, 2006

'Tis the Season

‘Tis the season of giving. In fact, the average consumer spends $700 around the holidays, so here are some tips on how to be a smart shopper. Plan ahead before you buy, avoid impulse purchases, and try not to buy things on sale that you don’t really need. Sales and coupons aren't gifts from the shopping gods, but ruses designed to get you into the store. One recent study found that coupon-clipping supermarket shoppers spent 8% more than the coupon-free. Use a debit card or cash if possible. Of the $400 billion that Americans spend each holiday season, roughly a third goes onto already-overburdened credit cards, according to the National Retail Federation. Websites that can help you plan your purchases are: Pricegrabber, Shopzilla; and Consumer Reports in the Library’s Masterfile database.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Everything Austin Online!

Wouldn’t it be nice if someone gathered all the Austin information into one place? Wish no more! The Austin History Center librarians have compiled a portal to all the facts about Austin you could ever want to know. Add Everything Austin to your Favorites list for easy access to information about education, jobs, government, neighborhoods, real estate, sports, transportation, weather, population statistics, media, history, family, clubs and associations, business, arts, and even other sites that talk about Austin.

Below is just a small sampling of the wealth of information you can find:

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Get the book you want!

Would you like to receive a friendly email notifying you that the book you have been wanting to read is waiting for you at your branch? For example, you could place a hold on a New York Times bestseller such as Stephen King's new romance, Lisey's Story, Charles Frazier's new historical novel, Thirteen Moons, John Grisham's first nonfiction title, The Innocent Man, or, in anticipation of Thanksgiving, Amy Sedaris' I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence.

Log into the catalog in the upper right part of the screen with your Library Card bar code number and your Library PIN.

If you don't have a PIN, you can create one under "My Account."

Find the item in the catalog, then place a hold by following these instructions.
1. Click on the "Details/Place Hold" and/or "Place Hold" buttons.
2. Select the branch where you want to pick it up.
3. Click on the "Place Hold" button.
You will be contacted by email or mail when the item is ready to be picked up. The item will be held 10 days after the date of the email or mail.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Cause for Celebration!

We would like to thank the citizens of Austin for voting “YES” on Proposition 6. We will get our new downtown Central Library! This bond will pay for the construction and outfitting of a new Central Library facility and acquiring the land for it.

Among other things this new library will provide improved technology; program and exhibit space for the community and cultural events; dedicated program space for teens and kids; increased parking (!); and greater research and circulating collections augmenting branch collections.

We appreciate your steadfastness in supporting our efforts of getting a new Central Library and can’t wait to open the doors in 2012! See you there!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Reflections on the Texas Book Festival 2006

On Saturday, my husband and I attended the panel discussion on Hurricane Katrina in the House Chamber and got to sit in the big soft chairs on floor of the House. Douglas Brinkley talked about his book The Great Deluge (get the book, read the book, be the book). He sat on a panel with other Katrina authors including Ivor van Heerden (The Storm: What Went Wrong during Hurricane Katrina), a Louisiana scientist who minced no words. (Question from the audience: "I went back to my house and everything smells like an oil spill. Are there abatement programs or studies being done?" Van Heerden: "No.")

That afternoon we saw Lawrence Wright (The Looming Tower) talking about what led up to 9/11. He spoke mostly about his sources: he was able to get excellent information from very violent people who horrified him.

Sunday’s seminar was the most fun: Lou Dubose and Jake Bernstein talked about their new book, Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency. I leave it to you to imagine the tone of the discussion. Suffice to say that Laura Bush might have thought twice about founding this book festival eleven years ago if she'd known where the publishing industry was heading.

The picture of the dancers was taken in front of the capitol building in the late morning.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Mini-Monster Book Sale!

This weekend, November 4 & 5, the Friends of the Austin Public Library are hosting a Mini-Monster Book Sale at the Monster Book Store! Come find that long, lost, childhood book you treasured as a child or the missing encyclopedia volume from your collection. There will be books, CDs, records, software, DVDs, and videos galore. Most of the items will sell for $1 - $2 and will benefit the Library!

While you’re there, consider joining the Friends of the Austin Public Library. The friends group is a non-profit that provides volunteers and financial support to the Library throughout the year. They are also steadfast in promoting reading and literacy in the community.

We look forward to seeing you this weekend at the Mini-Monster Book Sale!