Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Finds for December 20, 2013

This is a new weekly blog post featuring what the Dorris Van Doren staff members are reading, watching, playing, making, or listening to. Share your finds with us here in the comments or on twitter (@elpasolibrary) and we'll retweet you!


Sara: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
It has been a while since I've read a young adult book and I am really enjoying it. My goal is to read it before I watch the movie. I became interested after recently watching the Hunger Games movie. Although the book has its slow parts I definitely recommend it to both teens and adults.

Lisa: Luna by Julie Anne Peters
I finally got around to reading this classic young adult novel about Liam who identifies as a girl. His story is told through his sister, Regan. I enjoyed the book and thought the subject matter was handled well, but it moved a little slow at times and then wrapped up too neatly in the end. This book brought to mind another book I read years ago. Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger is about Angela who identifies as a boy. While Parrotfish is informative, it seemed to only scratch the surface of what it's like to be a transgender teen. I did like it and thought it was sweet.

Lluvia: Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
Painstakingly detailed and unambiguous, this book, gives an account of Lincoln’s last days in office before his assassination and the eventual capture of the assassins. The narrative is as informative as it is gripping. The in-depth research that was done for this book is evident and almost unbelievable due to its attention to small details like the clothing worn by the subjects. It is not a typical historical book in that it just dictates dates and locations; this book plays out more like a thriller which makes it much more enjoyable.

Angie: Beast Behaving Badly (Pride Stories Series) by Shelly Laurenston
I really like this series, it makes me laugh. Its romantic, quirky and funny. Bo is part polar bear, part lion, and pure alpha male. He's determined to protect Blayne from stalkers who want to use her in shifter dogfights. The only book from the series that's in our system is The Beast in Him.


Sara: I just binge-watched the third season of Boardwalk Empire, an HBO series about bootleggers during the Prohibition era. The library has the first three seasons. The series is considered historical fiction and includes a bit on how Al Capone got his start, and of course many other gangsters I had never heard of. The drama, the costumes, and the characters are great. I recently found out it's based on a book by Nelson Johnson titled Boardwalk Empire: The birth, high times, and corruption of Atlantic City. The series is a bit violent so I am sure it is not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you liked the Sopranos you might enjoy this one.
The Conjuring: I gave it an A+ for scary moments and because it’s based on a true story.
Disconnect starring Jason Bateman gets a D- since it was quite predictable.

Lisa: PortlandiaI randomly watched a couple of episodes from season 2 the other night. I laughed a little too obnoxiously. I love this series because Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen nail stereotypes I can totally identify with. Unfortunately, we don't have this IFC series at the El Paso Public Library...yet?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Holiday News

Holiday Raffle

In celebration of the upcoming holidays, we're hosting a raffle! You'll get one entry for every 10 items you check out. The winner will be chosen and contacted on Thursday, January 2.
Win this tin of edible goodies!

Santa's Visit

Santa made his annual visit this past Saturday, and he brought meteorologist Robert Bettes with him! After Robert read stories and sang Christmas songs, children took pictures with Santa, received a free book and goody bag, and made a craft.

Sale @ The Bookmark

The Friends of the Library used bookstore is having a 50% off sale! On everything! The sale begins today, December 18 and ends Saturday December 21. For more info on the store check out this post.

They're located at 7348 Remcon and their hours are: Wednesdays 3-6 pm, Thursdays 9 am-3 pm, Fridays 3-8 pm, and Saturdays 9 am-3 pm. Stock up, because after this Saturday, they'll be closed for the holidays. They will reopen Friday, January 3rd.

Library Holiday Hours

For the next couple of weeks all of the El Paso Public Libraries will be observing holiday hours. Don't forget about our holiday movie fest, which also begins next week. We'll be showing a holiday movie each day at 2 pm except for Wednesday and Saturday (monthly movie matinee on Saturday is at 3 pm). Teen Hangout, Computer, and Citizenship classes will be cancelled during these weeks as well.

December 23-24: 9 am-5 pm
December 25: Closed
December 26-28: 9 am-5 pm
December 30-31: 9 am-5 pm
January 1: Closed
January 2-4: 9 am-5 pm

The Dorris Van Doren Staff wishes you safe and happy holidays!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Finds

Welcome to Friday Finds! This will be a new weekly blog post featuring what the Dorris Van Doren staff members are reading, watching, playing, making, or listening to. Share your finds with us here in the comments or on twitter (@elpasolibrary) and we'll retweet you!

This week, Lisa and Angie share their finds. Click on the hyperlinks for more info or to request items.


Lisa: Darth Paper Strikes Back (Book 2)
The Origami Yoda Files series is hilarious! It's pretty much about middle school with Star Wars references.
Bonus: origami instructions at the end of each book. Appropriate for grades 4 and up.
Zom-B (Book 1) & Zom-B Underground (Book 2)
This semi-new series is by Darren Shan, famous for his Cirque du Freak series. I've never read anything by Shan and am not particularly a fan of zombies (except for The Walking Dead show and graphic novels of course), but book one blew me away! Chilling beginning, good pacing, and a very unexpected ending. Bonus: takes place in London, so there's plenty of British slang. Violence, dark subject matter, and racism make this series more appropriate for grades 9 and up.
Angie: The Mane Attraction by Shelley Laurenston


Angie: Sleepy Hollow (TV show on Fox). Loves it!


Lisa: QatQi on the iPhone (free, iOS only). It's like Scrabble, but requires more strategy. Beautiful and relaxing interface.
Angie: Harvest Moon: A New Beginning on 3DS. 


Crafts for library programs and decorations:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Here Comes Santa!

It's beginning to feel like Christmas at the Dorris Van Doren Branch! We've been busily decorating the library in time for Santa's visit this Saturday, December 14 at 1 p.m. News Channel 4's meteorologist, Robert Bettes will be here reading stories as well. Don't forget your cameras! We've also been turning on the fireplace in the family room where it's been a cozy study haven for some.

Coming up in December, we're hosting a holiday movie festival. We'll be showing a holiday movie each day at 2 p.m. from December 23-27 (except for the 25th; we're closed Christmas Day). Then on December 28 at 3 p.m., we're showing our monthly matinee (hint: it's a very popular sequel that was released to DVD yesterday). Come visit or call us to find out the titles of the movies we'll be showing.

In case you can't attend our Santa visit, here's the list for other branches all over town:

Wednesday, December 11 @ 6 pm
Jose Cisneros Branch 1300 Hawkins
Santa Claus visits with City Representative Emma Acosta. Goodies will be provided.

Saturday, December 14 @ 11 am
Irving Schwartz Branch 1865 Dean Martin
Santa Claus Storytime. Bring your camera and take pictures with Santa.

Saturday, December 14 @ 1 pm
Dorris Van Doren Branch 551 E. Redd
Come see Santa at the library and get ready to take pictures. Enjoy a book giveaway, crafts and refreshments.

Saturday, December 14 @ 2 pm
Ysleta Branch 9321 Alameda
Santa Claus visits with City Representative Eddie Holguin.

Saturday, December 14 @ 3 pm
Memorial Park Branch 3200 Copper
Santa visits with City Representative Larry Romero. Refreshments, games and fun! Parents, bring your cameras.

Wednesday, December 18 @ 11 am
Armijo Branch 620 E. 7th Ave.
Santa storytime & visit.

Wednesday, December 18 @ 11 am
Main Library 501 N. Oregon
Santa visits with City Representative Cortney Niland.

Thursday, December 19 @ 5 pm
Judge Marquez Branch 610 N. Yarbrough
Santa visits with City Representative Lily Limon. Bring a camera and take a picture with Santa!

Thursday, December 19 @ 5:30 pm
Westside Branch 125 Belvidere 
Santa is visiting. Bring your wish list and your camera!

Saturday, December 21 @ 11 am
Esperanza Acosta Moreno Branch 12480 Pebble Hills Blvd.
Santa visits with City Representative Dr. Michael Noe. Listen to holiday stories.

Saturday, December 21 @ 2 pm
Main Library 501 N. Oregon St.
See Santa and their special Christmas party!

Saturday, December 21 @ 2 pm
Richard Burges 9600 Dyer
Santa Claus visits with City Representative Carl Robinson.
Bring your wish lists and cameras!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Beat the Thanksgiving Break Boredom

The Dorris Van Doren staff wishes you a safe and happy Thanksgiving! 
Downloadable magazine

Don't forget we'll be open from 9 am-5 pm today (November 27, 2013), closed Thursday and Friday, and open Saturday, 9 am-5 pm.

Sometimes having a lot of time off, along with tryptophan and carbs pumping through your veins can leave you a little bored. The public libraries may be closed Thursday and Friday, but we can still help you fight the boredom!

Make a New Tradition
All El Paso Public Libraries are now accepting poetry entries for our annual poetry contest. Entries are due January 31, 2014 (one entry per participant please). If you're in grades 1-12, you can enter! If not, then you can encourage the children and teens in your life to enter. You can make it an annual Thanksgiving tradition to read and write poetry during the break.

Collect Donations
We're hosting two different donation drives here at the Dorris Van Doren and you can help! The boxes are up front, near the circulation desk. One box belongs to the Girl Scouts, who are collecting gently-used winter clothing (any size) up until the end of next week. The other box belongs to the Ronald McDonald House, which will be collecting new, unwrapped toys up until December 16.  

Download Magazines
Dowloadable magazine
This is one of our favorite new services we offer. You get to download and keep new digital magazines for free! There are many popular titles to choose from and recent back issues are now available. Find some last minute Thanksgiving ideas with the Food Network Magazine and five other cooking magazines. Get crafty with Cloth Paper Scissors and two other craft magazines. Peruse the ESPN Magazine while watching the football games. For more information and instructions, read our previous post about Zinio.

Downloadable Music 

Download Books, Movies, & More
If you can't make it to the library in time to check out materials, visit our digital library, OverDrive. You can download books, audiobooks, music, and movies. It may seem like there aren't many movies to choose from, but there's actually a pretty good selection of indie, foreign, and documentary films. If you're feeling guilty about feasting, there are also yoga and workout videos!

It can be a little confusing at first to get started, but depending on what device you'll be using you'll need to download software and/or apps, have an Adobe ID or Amazon account, and have your library card and pin number handy. Visit the Help Center to get started

Request Materials and Make Lists
Keep track of materials you've checked out or want to check out by creating lists. You can print, email, and text the lists to yourself if you wish. Remember that creating lists does not mean you have requested items; you must click on "Place Hold" to be placed on a waiting list or request items be sent to your branch. To create lists or request materials, simply login to your account using your library card and pin number. Be sure to type in all letters and numbers without the spaces.  

Why would you want to research during the break? We don't know, maybe you're getting a head start, have a last minute assignment due, or want some reliable medical information. We have access to subscription databases through TexShare that contain information and articles from books, magazines, and journals you can't access through Google or Bing. You can also study and take practice tests with Learning Express. All you need is your library card and a login and password (ask for it at the information desk).
Dowloadable movie

Dowloadable movie

Dowloadable movie

Dowloadable movie

Friday, November 22, 2013

50 Years After JFK

Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination, and thousands of published books later, there are still many theories with no consensus. This year alone saw 150 books published on Kennedy.

The following is a list of books that the El Paso Public Library owns that were published within 2012 and 2013. The list is a combination of new adult and children's non-fiction and fiction novels. Visit this link to request the books or visit your nearest branch to request and check out other books and movies about JFK.

Where Were You? America Remembers JFK
This book accompanies the NBC documentary that will air today at 7 pm our time. 46 people were asked to remember the day that John F. Kennedy was assassinated and speculate on what might have been since then. Interviewees consist of former heads of state, politicians, authors, journalists, performers, musicians, and more. You can also visit NBC's commemorative and interactive site:
End of Days: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy
A minute-by-minute account of the day President John F. Kennedy was shot, told by James Swanson, author of the New York Times bestseller Manhunt, which brought the Lincoln assassination to life. In End of Days, he reveals Lee Harvey Oswald's bizarre history of violence and follows John and Jacqueline Kennedy's wildly successful swing through Texas and their fateful Dallas motorcade ride. Swanson combines extensive research with his storytelling abilities.

The President Has Been Shot! 
James Swanson was busy this year. Right before End of Days was published, this book was released for youth, grades 7 and up. The book includes archival photographs, explicit diagrams of the assassination scene, source notes, and a bibliography that includes conspiracy-focused literature.

Hit List
Authors, Richard Belzer and David Wayne set out to uncover the truth about the many witness deaths tied to the JFK assassination. For decades, government pundits have dismissed these "coincidental" deaths. Some of the deaths seemed purely coincidental; heart attacks, hunting accidents. Others clearly seemed noteworthy; witnesses who did seem to know something and did seem to die mysteriously. The findings were absolutely staggering: some cases were clearly linked to a "clean-up operation" after the murder of President Kennedy, while others were the result of 'other forces'.

The Third Bullet
Bestselling author Stephen Hunter, continues his fictional thriller series starring Bob Lee Swagger, a legendary Marine sniper hero. In this title, Swagger probes the lingering mystery of John F. Kennedy's assassination and exposes the mastermind behind the third bullet. Why did the third bullet explode? The Warren Commission had no idea, but Bob Lee Swagger knows. 

Are you unfamiliar with this series, but think the name sounds familiar? Maybe it's because you saw the 2007 film, Shooter starring Mark Wahlberg!

This book was originally published in 2007 under the name of Four Days in November. The book was re-released this year with a new title and cover to match the new motion picture starring Zac Efron, Marcia Gay harden, and other stars. In the book, Vincent Bugliosi analyzes JFK's assassination and its surrounding conspiracy theories drawing on forensic evidence, key witness testimonies, and other sources to explain what really happened and why conspiracy theories have become so popularized.

You can request both book and DVD at any El Paso Public Library branch.

Top Down
Famed journalist and news anchor, Jim Lehrer was actually a reporter in Dallas on November 22, 1963. He draws from his own experience to create a fictional account of a Secret Service agent who made the fateful decision to remove the security bubble from John F. Kennedy's parade car. The character struggles with suicidal feelings of guilt until a young reporter endeavors to determine the day's outcome if the bubbletop had been in place.

Who Really Killed Kennedy? 
In decades of meticulous research, investigative journalist Jerome Corsi has sorted through mountains of evidence. Dissecting the Warren Commission's conclusion, he carefully separates the unlikely from the real, and speculation from facts. Having personally known or met many of the key players in the assassination drama, including a former top Soviet bloc intelligence official, Corsi reveals shocking information for the first time.

The Kennedy Half-Century
Celebrated political scientist and analyst, Larry J. Sabato explores the fascinating and powerful influence JFK has had over five decades on the media, the general public, and especially on each of his 9 presidential successors. Sabato reexamines JFK's assassination using heretofore unseen information to which he has had unique access, then documents the extraordinary effect the assassination has had on Americans of every modern generation.
This illustrated tribute was written for the kinder through third grade set. The author introduces children to JFK's early life and career, and offers insight into his cultural significance to everyday Americans.
They Killed Our President
The former governor of Minnesota teams up with a successful author and some of the most respected and influential assassination researchers to provide all the conspiracy angles of this notable event in American history.
Killing Kennedy
The host of The O'Reilly Factor recounts the murder of JFK and how gunshots on a Dallas afternoon not only killed a beloved president but also sent the nation into the cataclysmic division of the Vietnam War and its culture-changing aftermath.

A couple of weeks ago, National Geographic aired a movie adaptation of the book starring Rob Lowe. The movie will re-air tonight at 7 pm. Visit the movie's site here. Be sure to also visit their interactive documentary:!/premiere-screen
The online documentary follows both Kennedy and Oswald side-by-side, combining soundbites, archival photos, video, and other primary sources.

Kennedy's Last Days
This is O'Reilly's adaptation of Killing Kennedy written for grades 5 and up. The book also includes O'Reilly's memories of the day his high school class learned of the events of November 22, 1963. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

October by Windows

October at the Dorris Van Doren Library has gone by so fast, and it's easy to see why. 

The fire department visited storytime earlier this month to build fire safety awareness (don't forget to check out their display in the lobby) and gave us a tour of a fire engine. Last week, we celebrated Teen Read Week by encouraging teens to read for fun and use the library. We had book giveaways, a contest, and a cosplay ball. 

This week we're celebrating Food Day with a display of books and free information and recipes. Food Day is a nationwide campaign for healthy, affordable, and sustainably produced food. The El Paso Food Day celebration is this Saturday, October 26 at the Downtown Artist and Farmers Market in the Union Plaza District from 9 am-1 pm. Afterwards, come to the Dorris Van Doren Libray to watch an animated Halloween movie (PG rating) at 3 pm.

Next week is our annual Halloween party for kids ages 12 and under. Join us on Wednesday, October 30 from 4-6 pm for a mini carnival, spook alley, a craft, and treats. Children are welcome to wear their costumes. 

Explore new worlds with your library card. 
Stop in and see the latest window murals that local artist and library volunteer, Lizzie Ochoa has dreamed up for us this month: 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Happy Teen Read Week 2013!

This year marks the 15th year that the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) celebrates Teen Read Week! Libraries all across the nation plan fun programs and displays that encourage teens to read for pleasure and use the library's resources. Research shows that teens who read for fun have better test scores and are more likely to succeed in the workforce. During this week, teens can also vote for their favorite books to be included in the annual Teens' Top Ten list.

All El Paso Public Libraries are celebrating this week with different events and contests. Here's how the Dorris Van Doren Library is celebrating:

Book-In-A-Jar Contest! Stop in & fill out an entry with your book title guess. You'll be entered in a raffle to win a Teen Read Week prize pack.

Check out the 2013 nominees at your library and vote before October 19, 2013 at

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Fire Safety with the El Paso Fire Department

October is Fire Prevention Month, and while this is a serious topic, the Dorris Van Doren Library will host a fun program for kids. Local firefighters will visit the library next week to teach us about fire safety.

On Thursday, October 10 @ 10 am, a fire engine will be parked at the east section of the library's parking lot. Kids will get to tour the fire engine and ask questions. After the tour, we'll head to the auditorium for storytime by the firefighters. Every child will receive a firefighter hat, pencil and coloring book. There is a chance that the visit could be interrupted and cut short if the firefighters are called to a job. If this happens, there will still be storytime in the auditorium.

If you can't make this program, be sure to visit our lobby to view current and historical items, as well as safety tips on display.

Don't miss out on this important display!

EPFD at a glance:
  • January 18th, 1882: El Paso Fire Company No. 1 was organized. El Paso didn't have a water system at the time.
  • February 1909: Firefighters were mostly volunteers up to this point. This was the year they became a fully paid department.
  • View historical photographs here
  • View pictures of the training academy here
  • As of October 1, 2013, there are 36 stations and 31 engines.
  • EPFD responds to 70,000 emergency calls annually.
  • Home safety checklist forms are available here 
  • If you don't have a smoke detector in your home, EPFD will give you one for free. More info here
Information was taken from the EPFD site:

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Digital Magazines @ Your Library!

The perks of having an El Paso Public Library card just got better with the addition of free digital magazines!

  • Free for everyone with an El Paso Public Library card! No late fees!
  • Current issues of popular magazines.
  • Keep issues forever! No need to return magazines & they won't disappear from your device. You have the choice of keeping or deleting issues.
  • No checkout limit.
  • Access magazines on more than one computer and/or device.
  • Available 24/7.
  • Print pages 
  • Hyperlinks within magazines work on computers and iOS devices.
  • No back issues. Only the current month's issue is available.
  • No subscriptions. You have to log in and download every time a new issue comes out. 
  • You can't view the library's collection in the app. You have to log in to the RB Digital portal to check out the magazine, then you can launch the Zinio app to download and view the magazine issue.
  • Hyperlinks within magazines didn't work on Windows tablet.
Get started today! 
All you need is your library card, pin number and to create two free accounts (we recommend using the same email address & password for both). You should never enter your credit card information on either account since this is a free service provided by El Paso Public Library. 

This is your first stop where you will need to create a new account and enter your library card number. You'll be able to view magazines that the El Paso Public Library currently owns. This is also where you'll check out issues.

Once you select a magazine to check out, you'll be prompted to create a Zinio account if you don't already have one. You're ready to view the magazine on your computer.

Zinio App
If you're going to view magazines on your computer, you'll just need to log into the RB Digital link above. If you want to view magazines on a device you can download the app for these supported devices:
iPhone & iPad
Kindle Fire

Visit this page on the El Paso Public Library's site for detailed instructions and video.

Check out this quick little screencast we created. You'll get an idea of how to access titles you've checked out and how magazines look when viewed on a PC. Warning: It might make you hungry ;)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Friends Newsletter, September 2013

Check out the September issue of the Friends of the Westside Branches Newsletter! Inside, you'll find information about the membership drive, book budget, excess book donations, and more!

You can become a member for only $5 a year. Your membership helps fund programs and book purchases for the libraries, and you get a 10% discount at The Bookmark Used Bookstore (7348 Remcon)! 

Friday, July 19, 2013

End of Summer Reading Club 2013

We can't believe summer reading club is almost over! If you haven't turned in your reading logs or entered them online, make sure to do so by tomorrow (Saturday, July 20). If you didn't register online and we're closed, drop off your reading logs in the drive-thru book drop behind the library. Just make sure first and last names are legibly written on the logs.
We're still posting names, so don't worry yet if you don't see your children's names up on the board.
End of Summer Reading Club Parties:
Teen Summer Reading Wrap Up Party: Tuesday, July 23 from 4:30-6:30 pm
Ice Cream Social: Certificate & goody bag for those that completed the program. Ice cream for everyone :)

Children's Summer Reading Wrap Up Party: Wednesday, July 24
Pick up certificates and goody bags at either 3-4 pm or 5-6 pm
World Beat Drumming: Making Music Together with Karuna Richard Warren @ 4 pm 

Also, be sure to check out the amazing decorating job done by our staff!
Decorations by library staff
Window paintings by Lizzie Ochoa