Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's the Holiday Season

December is usually a busy time of year for everyone, whether you participate in holiday celebrations or not. There's a sense of haste in the air as everyone rushes to complete errands or simply get out of the cold. If you have children, literacy is probably not at the top your list this month. Fortunately, Ruben Casteneda, director of EPAL (El Paso Area Libraries consortium), has some great tips for promoting literacy during the holiday season. Ruben also says that he'll be giving books as gifts to his nieces and nephews this Christmas.

Don't forget to stop by the library in between all those errands you're running. We have lots of new books, ebooks, and DVDs coming in almost weekly. We also have some fun and entertaining events happening during December for all ages listed below.

Literacy Tips for the Holidays:
  • Set aside a special reading time.
  • While cooking for the holidays, let your child read the recipe and measure the ingredients.
  • Read a book while the food is baking.
  • Let your child write the gift tags.
  • Have your child read to others.
  • Go to the library for storytime and/or Santa’s visit.

Upcoming events at the Dorris Van Doren Branch:

Cello Quartet Performance featuring students from Franklin High School
Tuesday, December 13 @ 4 pm 4:30 pm

Santa Visit!
Saturday, December 14 @ 4 pm

Monthly Movie Matinee (call 875-0700 for movie title)
Saturday, December 24 @ 3 pm

The staff at the Dorris Van Doren Branch wishes everyone safe and happy holidays!

Check out the Family Room!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy Friends of the Westside Libraries Week!

On November 29, the Mayor officially declared the first week of December as Friends of the Westside Libraries Week! A Friends group is a group of individuals who work together to raise money for their neighborhood library. Money that is collected through book sales and other fundraising events is used to purchase books and provide funding for library programs. Most of our library branches here in El Paso have a Friends group that you can join or support. Visit this page to view a listing of local groups and contact information.

If you have ever attended a music, children, or teen program at the Dorris Van Doren or Westside Branches, it was most likely funded by our Friends group. If it weren't for them, we wouldn't be able to provide refreshments, craft programs, and concerts for free to the public. Our annual Summer Reading Club is also partly funded by the Friends. The City provides us with a very small book and materials budget, but the Friends are able to help supplement that budget.

We are very grateful to our Friends group for all of their hard work, and hope that you'll join us in celebrating them by thanking them, becoming a member, and purchasing items from The Bookmark. The Bookmark is their used bookstore, located near the Westside Post Office at 7348 Remcon Circle. The store also accepts book and magazine donations.

Friends of the Westside Libraries Week Celebration Sale! 
50% off sale happening from Wednesday, November 30 through Saturday, December 3.

The Bookmark's Hours of Operation:
Closed Sunday-Tuesday
Wednesday 3-6 pm
Thursday 9 am-3 pm
Friday 3-8 pm
Saturday  9 am-3 pm

Friday, October 21, 2011

Happy Teen Read Week!

Teen Read Week was started by a library association (YALSA) as a way to celebrate and encourage teens to read. Teen Read Week is also when the Teens' Top Ten list is announced. Teens nominate and vote for the titles on the list. View this year's winners with links to their availability in our catalog here.

The El Paso Public Library System participates every year by hosting fun activities, book giveaways, and more. Don't worry if you missed this year's events, because each library branch hosts a Teen Hangout program where teens can come meet other teens, play games, video games, watch movies, enjoy snacks, make crafts, do homework, and more! Teen Hangout is every Thursday @ 4:30 pm. 

To wrap up Teen Read Week, we asked staff members to help us celebrate by telling us about their teen reads, as well as past and current favorites. A list of the books mentioned with links to our catalog can be found below. What are you favorite young adult/teen books?

Susan: I just read "Glow" and "Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy." Both were very different. Glow, I couldn't put down! My absolute favorite YA book is "The Hunger Games." I love Katniss!

Mary Helen: Jane Eyre! My mom didn't really approve of all the gothic paperback romances in my cousin's basement, but I got away with reading that one, in public, because it was a classic. Woo-woo...stormy moors and forbidden love-I'm there! Who needs vampires?

Aracelli: My favorite YA book is Killing Mr. Griffin. I just reread it last month. All these years later, it's still a great read!

Sandra: I just finished reading 'Thirteen reasons why' by Jay Asher and I liked it. It has a different flow than other YA fiction I've read. It plays more like a movie in my head than a novel. Of course, I LOVED the Hunger Games Series. Each book is totally one of those books I couldn't put down until I finished it. My favorite of the 3 I think had to be Catching Fire. This is the second of the 3 and it's the one most involved with the characters.
Other YA books I enjoyed:
Loose Girl by Kerry Cohen
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Fallen by Lauren Kate

Elvia: I have 2 books that come to mind: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and On The Road by Jack Kerouac.

Aimee: My favorite book is The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley. Harry (her real name is truly horrible, so she prefers Harry) is a young girl that gets caught up in a life she never expected and has inner talents that can change the world.  I read this book about once a year and have since I was 12.

Laura: My favorite book as a teen was "The Diary of Anne Frank" - Spanish "Diario de Ana Frank", and right now my favorite book is "The Freedom Writers Diary".  It's funny, I just found out that the story in these 2 books are somehow related! 

Lizett: Silence (third book in series) by Becca Fitzpatick was awesome! Also Abandon by Meg Cabot.

Lisa: On the Road by Jack Kerouac was my favorite as a teen. Looking for Alaska by John Green is my current YA favorite. It was the first YA book I read as a librarian, and I LOVED it. I also really liked Freak Show by James St. James. 

Juanita: One of my favorite YA Books that I have recently read is Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King author of Please Ignore Vera Dietz. The main character Lucky Linderman has been bullied since he was 7 and now he is in high school. His experiences of bullying has effected him tremendously that he at time escapes from reality through his dreams. This is a very powerful book, I strongly recommend it to teens. 

Here's the list!
Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy
The Hunger Games
Catching Fire
Jane Eyre
Killing Mr. Griffin
Thirteen Reasons Why
Loose Girl
On the Road
The Blue Sword
The Diary of Anne Frank
Diaro de Ana Frank 
The Freedom Writers Diary
Silence (not available yet) Hush, Hush & Crescendo
Looking For Alaska
Freak Show
Please Ignore Vera Dietz
Everybody Sees the Ants

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Friends Newsletter, September 2011

Check out the September issue of the Friends of the Westside Branches Newsletter! Read about the Westside Library's new construction, volunteer profiles, 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)!

Friends Newsletter September 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Teen Events for September 2011

Beginning today, our hours of operation and weekly Teen Hangout time will change. You can view our new hours and programs on the left of this page or in the previous blog post.

New Weekly Teen Progams:
Teen Club on Tuesdays from 4:30-6:30 pm
Snacks, video games, board games, etc.

Teen Hangout on Thursdays from 4:30-6:30 pm
Snacks, crafts, etc.

We also have a couple of big events in September, beginning with this week!

Friday, September 9 @ 4 pm (all ages)
Our branch was chosen as one of the hosting sites for Unofficial EPCON Day!!! Phi3 Comics, Terry McChesney (author of Dog Tacos), and Anthony Guajardo (actor from The Walking Dead) will be here for a meet and greet! There will also be other special guests at several branches across town, but the event takes place at the same time. So...choose wisely or just come to the Dorris Van Doren Library! : )

Tuesday, September 20 @ 4 pm
Read the book. Meet the author. Keep the book.
J.L. Powers will be visiting our branch to discuss her new book, This Thing Called the Future. J.L Powers is originally from El Paso, and her previous book, The Confessional, also takes place in El Paso!

If you would like to read her new book before her visit and keep it, send an email to

For more info on J.L. Powers and the books she writes, visit her website.

Click on the calendar to save or print out, so that you can keep track of what's going on this month:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

New Library Hours & Program Schedule

Have you heard the news yet? Our hours are changing and we'll be open on Mondays! The branches haven't opened on Mondays in over 30 years! In order to unify our public library system and better serve the community, hours of operation and programs will be the same at all branches. Please feel free to let us know what you like or dislike about all of the new changes.

Beginning September 6th (the day after Labor Day), the library will begin observing a new schedule that will be effective for all the El Paso Public Library Branches. The Main Library downtown will still be open 7 days a week, but all the other branches will be open Monday through Saturday.

Although the new schedule goes into effect soon, ALL of the libraries will be CLOSED on Monday, September 5th in observance of Labor Day. The first Monday that we will be open is Monday, September 12th.

Here is the new schedule, effective September 6th:
Monday: 10am – 6pm (CLOSED September 5th for Labor Day)
Tuesday: 10am – 7pm
Wednesday: 10am – 7pm
Thursday: 10am – 7pm
Friday: 1pm – 6pm
Saturday: 10am – 6pm

Here's what's happening at the Dorris Van Doren Branch every week:
Toddler Storytime @ 11 am
Teen Club @ 4:30 pm
Citizenship Class @ 5 pm

Preschool Storytime @ 11 am
Computer Class @ 5:30 pm

Computer Class @ 10 am
Teen Hangout @ 4:30 pm

Family Storytime @ 11 am

We'll keep you update on all other upcoming progams. You can also download a PDF of the current quarterly calendar of events for the El Paso Public Library System here or view it below:


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Summer Reading Club Results!

Over 750 children and teens registered for the summer reading club, enabling us to surpass our reading goal of 6,500 books this year! A total of 6,819 books were read! Last year, we had 600 participants read 4,917 books.

Congratulations to Luz Garcia and Iljana Boyer who won Barnes & Noble gift cards in the teen reading raffle! For those that missed the wrap up parties, don’t forget to pick up your certificate and goody bag at the information desk. Children can also look for their name on the bulletin board in the children’s section of the library. Teens can continue reading to win prizes up until August 22, 2011 (more info in the Young Adult area of the library).

We would like to thank our partners and sponsors who made our programs and prizes possible. The Friends of the Westside Library, the Loan Star Grant, and the YALSA/Dollar General grant generously provided funding for programs and materials. Sponsors included, Adventure Zone, Carl’s Jr., Cici’s Pizza, McDonald’s, Peter Piper Pizza, Whataburger, and Sonic.

We would also like to thank you for participating and attending our programs!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Summer Reading Club Deadlines

The summer reading club ends this month!
Children & teens can still register up until Saturday, July 9. After reading 8 or more books or for 8 or more hours, both age groups are eligible for a certificate and goody bag. Teens can also get prizes and a chance to win a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card. Saturday, July 16 is the last day to turn in reading logs.

Register and turn in reading logs at the information desk.

Important Dates:
July 9: Last Day to Register
July 16: Last Day to Turn in Reading Logs
July 19: @ 4 pm: Teen Awards Party & Raffle
July 21: @ 4:30 pm: Children’s Awards Party & Magic Show (last names A-M)
July 23: @ 12:30 pm: Children’s Awards Party & Magic Show (last names N-Z)

Help us reach our goal!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Friends Newsletter, June 2011

Check out our Friends of the Westside Libraries Newsletter!
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)!

Friends Newsletter June 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011

YA Author Visits El Paso

At the beginning of the month, Dorris Van Doren librarian Lisa Martinez attended Todd Strasser’s visit to the Burges High School library. She shares her experience and photos of the event on this blog:

On May 4, the librarians at Burges High School were kind enough to invite El Paso Public Library staff to attend their annual Young Adult author visit. Librarians Mrs. Avalos and Ms. Trevino were successful last year at getting Chris Crutcher to speak to Burges H.S. students. This year they invited Todd Strasser to visit! They used grant money to purchase books for the ninth grade class to read as a group and then to fund the author’s visit. This year the students read Tod Strasser’s award winning book, The Wave.

Todd Strasser hails from New York and is the author of more than 120 books for teens and middle graders including the best-selling Help! I'm Trapped In ... series, and numerous award-winning YA novels including Give A Boy A Gun, The Accident, Can't Get There From Here, Boot Camp, and If I Grow Up. His newest book is called Famous. He spoke to three different groups of students throughout the day. He talked about growing up and the events that influenced some of his books. The students were amazed to learn that he was a poor reader and was almost held back in school. He really got their attention when he showed them a picture of himself as a teen (see photo below). He concluded his presentation with a writing workshop, as well as a discussion on his writing and publishing process. The librarians also raffled away books for Todd to sign.

Big thanks to Ms. Trevino & Mrs. Avalos for sharing this opportunity with us! I can't wait to find out who they bring next year.
  • Check out Chris Crutcher’s visit to Burges H.S. here>>
  • Visit Todd Strasser’s website>>
  • Watch a cool book trailer for Blood on My Hands here>>
  • Check out Todd Strasser's books at the library>>
  • Books that Todd Strasser recommended: The Hunger Games, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Feed, Wish You Were Dead, Famous, The Graveyard Book, & Scaredy Squirrel Makes a Friend (all available @ the library).

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Reconsidering Hip Hop

This Saturday will be your last chance to catch the “Reconsidering Hip Hop” series at the library. The El Paso Public Library hosted three programs featuring lectures, performances, and movies. At Dorris Van Doren, there will be a live breakdance exhibition and a screening of Wild Style. Wild Style is a classic hip hop movie, starring Grandmaster Flash, Fab 5 Freddy, and others.

Justin De Senso and Lecroy Rhyanes, both NMSU grads, founded the Hip Hop Alumni (HHA) in 2008. HHA is an online resource that documents hip hop’s continued impact on society, education, history, art, and culture. For more info, check out their website:

Hop Alumni makes its last stop here at DVD on Saturday, May 14 from 3-5:30 p.m.

Check out these news articles about the program:

The talented staff @ DVD tries their hand at graffiti art.

Friday, April 8, 2011

New (De) Contsruction

Have you noticed that there are a few shelves missing from our middle area near the bestsellers? The shelves have have been removed and are now being used as storage shelves for equipment and games. Both staff and patrons are liking the new "construction." There's more room to browse books, access requested items, and a clear walkway to the courtyard and family room.

What do you think? Should we have left them as they were?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tax Season

This tax season has brought about heightened anxiety for many tax filers that have had to wait for tax form changes. The good news is that the deadline to file tax returns has been extended to April 18, 2011. The IRS needed time to implement changes when President Obama signed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Act into law back in December. You can read more about the act here.

We finally received the following forms and booklets yesterday:
  • 1040
  • 1040A
  • 1040EZ
Find and print other forms at, or stop in the library and ask someone to print the forms out for you, free of charge (limit 10 copies).

Other Resources:
  • A list of free tax help locations provided by AARP and VITA have been compiled by our Government Documents Departments. View them here.
  • Free help with electronically filing your taxes will be available at the Main Library this Saturday, February 19 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. You can also visit their website at
  • Get the latest scoop by following the IRS on Twitter: @IRSnews

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Morganville Comes to El Paso!

The El Paso Public Libraries are so excited to be able to bring another bestselling author to town! Rachel Caine is the author of several series, including The Morganville Vampires, Weather Warden, and The Outcast Season. She will be in El Paso from January 26-29, stopping at several libraries across town.

Best of all, she'll be here at Dorris Van Doren on the 28th from 5-9 p.m. for a Vampire Ball! So, make sure to come dressed as a vampire, character out of the book, or just as you are. We'll have a photo booth set up so that you can take pictures! It's free and open to all ages.

In the meantime, you can...
Don't forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for the latest updates!

Morganville in El Paso 2011
The official Twitter hashtag for this event is #mvep11