Friday, December 14, 2012

Happy Holidays!

The Dorris Van Doren staff wishes you the happiest of holidays! Come take pictures with our decorations and don't forget to visit  the beautiful family room, which has a fireplace. 
This year has gone way too fast, but we are excited to start a new year with the many changes that have already been taking place within our library system. We recently upgraded our system and are still trying to adapt to all of the changes. We really appreciate how patient you have been with us as we learn and deal with the glitches. If you haven't already, check out our shiny new website and online catalog. Be sure to update your bookmarked links, as they have changed with the upgrade.

Santa visited our library this past week, but you can still catch him at other locations. He'll be at the Westside Branch on 125 Belvidere on Tuesday, December 18 at 5:30 pm. To see the complete list of locations that Santa will be at, visit this page.

All libraries, including this branch, will be taking a holiday break from our Ready to Read programs (storytimes) beginning December 17 and ending January 7. Storytimes will resume on Tuesday, January 8, 2013. The Teen Hangout program on Thursday, December 27 will also take a break due to our holiday hours.

Holiday Hours:
December 24-25: Closed
December 26-29: 9 am-5 pm
December 30-31: Closed
January 1: Closed
January 2-5: 9 am-5 pm

Our storytime break and holiday hours don't mean you have to stop bringing your children to the library! We posted Ruben Castaneda's holiday literacy tips last year, and we liked them so much, we're re-posting them here.

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.
  • Give books as gifts to the children in your life.

Our branch manager made this cute little book tree.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Food Day @ Your Library

Food Day is a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. This annual celebration is in its second year, and the Dorris Van Doren Library is excited to participate this year! Food Day is officially on Wednesday, October 24, but that happens to be the day of our annual Halloween party for children. The Halloween party will be at 4:30 pm and feature a "spook alley," crafts, and fun!

Our Food Day festivities kickoff this Saturday, October 20 at 2 pm at our monthly Cook the Book Club. We've selected Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything: The Basics. It's one of the cookbooks on the Food Day suggested reading list. If you haven't signed up for the Cook the Book potluck, there's still time if you sign up by Friday! If you're curious about the club, stop in on Saturday to see what it's all about.

On Thursday, October 25, the Vegetarian Society of El Paso is sponsoring a special event during our usual Teen Hangout time, but all ages are welcome to attend. At 4:30 pm we will have a sampling of quick, easy, and healthy snack ideas. At 5:30 pm we will screen the documentary Vegucated. Vegucated is part sociological experiment and part adventure comedy that follows 3 meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for 6 weeks. The movie is 1 hour and 17 minutes.

If you can't make it to either event, stop in the library during the week to view our Food Day display, which will consist of books from the reading list that will be available for check out. Information from various local organizations such as the El Paso Master Gardeners, Mountain View Market, the Vegetarian Society, and more will also be available to take home.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Art @ Your Library: Lizzie Ochoa

This past spring, our library was fortunate to receive Lizzie Ochoa as an intern through the GOAL (Grow Your Own Librarians) program. She has been a major help during our busiest times and when we are short-staffed. We didn't realize that we would also get a very talented professional artist and teacher. Lizzie has recently taught youth art programs at our library, and now we are very excited to be exhibiting her artwork and Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead Collection in our lobby.

Source: El Paso Times
Here's a pic of Lizzie when she was featured in the newspaper last year. Read the full article here.
Stop in during our hours of operation throughout October to view her artwork and personal collection. You'll get to read her complete bio, as well as the inspiration behind each art piece.

Here's a peek at what you'll find:
Lizzie's Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos collection.

Some of Lizzie's art on display in the lobby.

Instagram photo courtesy of Lisa Martinez

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Celebrate "Bless Me, Ultima" as a Community

Rudolfo Anaya's novel Bless Me, Ultima has recently been adapted into a film. The Plaza Theater will host the movie's worldwide premiere on September 17, and it will then be released in area theaters on September 21. In anticipation of the movie, the El Paso Public Library has partnered with CommUNITY en ACCION to create a community-wide reading event to promote literacy and celebrate this classic novel.

Read the Book
Extra copies of the novel have been purchased for the library system and Sun Metro. A limited number will be available on various bus routes (read the press release here). Bless Me, Ultima will be available in English and Spanish at all library locations, but if they are all checked out, you can request a copy here.

Attend a Program
The Dorris Van Doren Library will have a special presentation entitled The Medicinal Herbs of Bless Me, Ultima this Saturday, September 15 at 2 pm.  Jose O. Rivera, Pharm.D. and Armando Enrique Gonzalez-Stuart, Ph.D (Alt. Med.) will discuss the healing properties of local plants and herbs.

eReader Raffle!
Win a free eReader by entering our essay raffle each week! We have already had 3 winners, but there are still 3 more chances to win. Just read the book, answer a short essay question, and you'll be entered into the raffle. Enter online by clicking the links below or pick up and submit your entry at any library location. Entries are due on Saturdays and winners are drawn on Wednesdays.

Question 4 deadline is September 15, 2012:
Question 5 deadline is September 22, 2012:
Question 6 deadline is September 29, 2012:

Read Essays by Local Authors
The El Paso Times is also participating by running guest essays in the Sunday issue:
Watch and Listen to local celebrities read from the book here.

Watch the Movie Trailer:
Visit the official site.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cook the Book Club: July/August


You would think that a cookbook of salads would make for one boring and unfulfilling potluck, but quite the opposite occurred. A medley of fresh and flavorful salads abounded that included leafy greens, legumes, pasta, potatoes, and fruit. You really need to check this cookbook out! Each recipe is accompanied by a beautiful photograph, and the recipes have creative and unlikely flavor combinations. Reserve a copy by clicking here. The only problem that our group encountered was the lengthy amount of preparation time that went into the recipes. Also, some ingredients were expensive, but were easily substituted without compromising any flavors.

Top, left to right: Cooking Light Big Book of Salads, BLT Bread Salad, Candied Walnut, Pear, & Leafy Green Salad.
Middle, left to right: Farmers' Market Potato Salad, Pasta Salad w/Green Beans, Pistachios, & Lemon Thyme, Grilled Peppers & Lentil Salad.
Bottom, left to right: Romano Bean Salad, Romaine Salad w/Balsamic Vinaigrette, Winter Jeweled Salad.


We're trying something different this month by allowing participants to vote for this month's featured cookbook. Stop by the information desk to peruse the three selected titles, then vote for your favorite one by August 6.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Perfect Ten

Happy 10 Year Anniversary 
to The Bookmark!!!

The Friends of the Westside Libraries group is a non-profit organization that raises funds for all four Westside region public libraries, including the Dorris Van Doren Regional Branch library. Funds are raised through donations and sales from their bookstore, The Bookmark. 

The Bookmark is a gem of a used bookstore that sells books, magazines, CDs, and more. Most of the books are in excellent condition, and are even recent bestsellers or popular titles. If you haven't visited the Bookmark, now's the perfect time to go! To celebrate their anniversary, they are having a 50% off sale on everything in the store. Hurry, the sale ends tomorrow, July 21!

They are located at 7348 Remcon Circle, across from the post office.
Phone#: 833-2342
Wednesdays 3pm-6 pm
Thursdays 9am-3pm
Fridays 3pm-8pm
Saturdays 9am-3pm

Check out their great selection! Book and magazine donations are gratefully accepted. You can become a member for only $5 a year and receive 10% off all purchases.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Cook the Book Club: June/July

What looked like a good cookbook full of colorful pictures and potluck friendly recipes turned out to be a bit of a miss. Everyone had a hard time selecting a recipe and agreed they didn't much care for the cookbook. Nigella's newest cookbook was oddly organized and many of the recipes contained hard to find ingredients. Nonetheless, good food and conversation was shared by all.

Big thanks to Lizzie for taking pictures!

It's been so hot lately, I doubt anybody has felt like cooking or being near a stove. This month's selection is perfectly seasonal and the latest offering from Cooking Light Magazine. Big Book of Salads contains over 150 recipes for starters, sides, and easy weeknight dinners.

Sign up for this month's potluck by Monday, July 16. By the way, Dorothy had the fantastic idea of bringing several storage containers. We almost always have more than enough food, so feel free to bring your own containers to take home any leftovers.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Get a Clue @ Your Library!

We can't believe that we're already halfway through our Summer Reading Club, but don't worry there's still time for children and teens to register! The last day to register is July 7, 2012 and the last day to turn in reading logs is July 14, 2012. After registering, participants must read (or be read to) a minimum of 8 books or for 8 hours.

There are also still plenty of fun programs left to attend!

For children of all ages on Saturdays @ 1:00 pm:
June 30 Desert Weeds Printmaking by Oscar Moya
July 7 Special storytime and meet & greet with Chet Gecko
July 14 EP Police Department K9 Unit Presentation
Closing parties with Randy Collins (magician):

  • Wednesday, July 18 @ 5:00 pm: Awarding of certificates for last names A-M (begins at 4:30 pm & continues after the program).
  • Saturday, July 21 @ 1:00 pm: Awarding of certificates for last names N-Z (begins at 12:30 pm & continues after the program).

For teens on Tuesdays (crafts) and Thursdays (video games) @ 4:30 pm:
July 3 Make Paper Lanterns
July 10 Make & Eat Onigiri (Japanese rice balls)
July 17 Make Shredded Paper Bowls
Thursday, July 26 @ 4:30 pm: Mad Hatter Tea Party (crafts & awards)
Don't forget to turn in your reading logs to help us reach our goal of 7,000 books read!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cook the Book Club May/June

Last month's Cook the Book Club had a good variety of delicious dishes, and a few new faces! We even had a discussion about organic and raw foods. Did you know that you can order and pick up harvest boxes of regional organic produce from Skarsgard Farms? Check out their website for more info.

Join us on Saturday, June 23 at 2 pm for our next Cook the Club potluck. This month's featured cookbook is Nigella Kitchen. Don't forget to choose a recipe and sign up by Monday, June 18 at the Information Desk.

The Recipes (click each title to get the recipe):
Chickpea Snack, p. 48
Vegetable Quesadillas with Corn Relish
Kale Salad, p. 120
Pasta with Peas & Ricotta
Quick Navy Bean Stew, p. 97
Teriyaki Tofu
Stuffed Poblanos
Chicken with Tomatoes, Olives, & Cilantro
Creamy Lemon Squares, p. 346

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summer Reading Kickoff!

It isn't officially summer yet and for most, school hasn't let out, but the library is ready for its annual summer reading club program! Beginning this Saturday, children and teens can register for the summer reading program up until July 7. Infants on up to teenagers will be required to read (or be read to) a minimum of either 8 books or for 8 hours in order to get prizes, a certificate, and goodie bag. For more information, visit the library's website at You can also download the children's events brochure here. Don't forget, all events are free!

Saturday, June 2 @ 1 pm: Kickoff: Asombro Animal Adaptations Presentation
The children's summer reading kickoff event will feature a special science presentation from the Asombro Institute (formerly the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park). Learn about the interesting animals around us and the differences between physical and behavorial adaptations in animals.

Saturday, June 2 from 6-10 pm: TeenFest 2012
The teen's summer reading kickoff event will feature an after hours indoor/outdoor festival of art, games, crafts, info booths, and music. Local band Skunk will perform at 8 pm.

Monday, April 23, 2012

April CBC Recap

This month's Cook the Book Club went vegan when we teamed up with the Vegetarian Society of El Paso. The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester is filled with mouthwatering pictures for almost every recipe, and most of the recipes are easy. The book has everything, from stock to pasta to pizza, and even desserts. Everyone had their reservations about cooking a meal in a crock pot, since most use theirs for making beans or chile con queso. Everyone was afraid that their recipe would burn, not cook through, or stick to the pot. None of that happened and the results were delicious! Here's how it went:

Lisa chose to make the Pumpkin & White Bean Lasagna (p. 104). She conducted a test run of the recipe during the week and found the lasagna a bit bland, and thought it desperately needed a topping, whether it be cheese or a bechamel sauce. On the day of the club, she tweaked the recipe by replacing the Italian seasoning with 1 teaspoon of dried sage and added a bit more salt. She also made a vegan alfredo made of cashew cream to top the lasagna with at the very end of the cooking time. You can find the recipe for her sauce here.

Jenn and her daughter Zoey made the Split Pea & Lentil Soup (p. 55). Jenn had to cook the lentils longer and still didn't think they were cooked enough (Lisa thought they were cooked through perfectly). She said that she would probably precook her lentils next time. In place of the chickeny bouillon (recipe included in the book), she used No Chicken broth, which can be found at Sprouts. She also thought that the soup was a bit bland, so she added more spices.

Lizzie made the Texas Style Tofu Tacos (p. 150). She thought it was really easy, and was surprised that all of the liquid had evaporated without the tofu didn't sticking to the pot (she made sure to keep checking it and stirring it).

Phyllis made the Smoky Bean Dip (p. 180). This recipe introduced Phyllis to two ingredients she had never cooked with before. She was surprised that this recipe asked for liquid smoke. Phyllis tried Daiya brand's Pepper Jack Shreds (vegan cheese), and found that it took awhile for the shreds to melt.

Luciano and his sister made the Chile-Chocolate Black Bean Brownies (p. 205). If you'll recall from last month's recap, Luciano is only 11 years old and already a proficient chef at home. Luciano was also going to make the Turkish Delight Tapioca (p. 210), but he wasn't able to find rose water. Lisa said that you can find rose water at Jerusalem International Foods Grocery Store, but she wasn't sure of the cost. Luciano omitted the chile so that his sister could enjoy them, too. He said that next time he would not add as much chocolate so that you could taste the banana more.

More discussion took place about vegetarianism and cooking tips. The group agreed that the media has sensationalized the need for protein and how a vegetarian diet lacks enough protein and essential vitamins. Vegetarians and vegans actually don't really worry about getting enough protein or vitamins, since they eat a variety of foods that include beans, grains, and vegetables. Jenn shared a great tip for preventing freezer burn: she places a piece of wax paper over the food in the container before freezing it.

Make the recipes pictured below and more, from Kathy Hester's The Vegan Slow Cooker. Click here to request the book @ your library.

We hope you'll join us next month on Saturday, May 19 @ 2 pm when we cook from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food: Fresh Flavor Fast.
Please note that the potluck may not necessarily be vegan/vegetarian, but Lisa will always bring a vegetarian dish.  

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

April 2012 Events

April 8-14: National Library Week
We're celebrating libraries and their contribution to our community! Visit this site to find out more about this annual celebration. Children and teens will receive a free book during this week! Visit us to find out how.

Wednesday, April 18 @ 4:30 pm
Repujado Workshop (ages 8 & up, sign up required @ the information desk) Local artist, Maria Natividad will teach the ancient art of embossing or pressing shapes into metal to create a design. Visit Maria's site here.

Saturday, April 21 @ 2 pm
Cook the Book Club (sign up required by April 16)
Potluck & book discussion. This month's pick is The Vegan Slow Cooker. Visit the information desk for more details and to sign up. Still not sure? Read the recap of our previous meeting here.

Monday, April 23 @ 4 pm
Spring Crafts
For children of all ages. Get ready for spring by making fun crafts! No sign-up required.

Monday, April 23 @ 4 pm
Money Smart Week Program: Raising Financially Responsible Children
Visit this site for more info & money smart tips.

Saturday, April 28 @ 3 pm
Movie Matinee
Join us for a free movie and free popcorn.
Call 875-0700 to find out which movie we'll be screening.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hunger Games Read-Alikes

Are you still on the waiting list for The Hunger Games? Then, try reading one of these dystopian read-alikes in the meantime! This list is adapted from the Seattle Public Library's list

Click on the title caption below the book image to see which El Paso Public Library branch owns a copy or to request a copy. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March CBC Recap

We held our first ever cookbook club potluck this past Saturday, and it was a deliciously fun time! The club began with everyone serving themselves a little bit of everything. After a few bites, each of us introduced ourselves and talked about the recipe that we chose to make. Here's how it went:

Lisa started the introductions since she is the librarian at Dorris Van Doren who coordinated the club. She made shortbread with lime zest, and was surprised to find that these cookies took 45 minutes to bake (she took them out of the oven 15 minutes early when they started to brown). She thought that the recipe was a little vague when the exact size of the baking pan wasn't mentioned. She decided to use a 13x9 glass Pyrex pan. Lisa liked the simplicity of the ingredients and ease of the recipe.

Luciano introduced himself next. He was the most ambitious of the bunch, taking on the Dr. Pepper Ribs. He was also the youngest. Luciano has been cooking since he was 3 years old, and this is his third time making ribs at the ripe old age of 11. Seriously though, his parents (which he brought with him) bought all of the ingredients and he cooked the ribs on his own. Luciano said the recipe took a long time to make when you combine the marinating and cooking times. He said there were a lot of spices in the recipe, two of which he didn't have on hand- mustard powder and allspice. Everyone loved the ribs!

Erika, who also works at the library made the cactus salad. She took the smart shortcut by using jarred nopales (cactus). For some participants, this was their first time trying nopales, and found that they actually liked them.

Dawn recently moved to El Paso from Ohio. She made the poblano mac & cheese, and said that it was an easy recipe that she would make again. The most time consuming part was roasting the poblanos and waiting for them to cool down. She also forgot to grease the pan, but this didn't make any difference. The recipe also recommended additional add-ins, such as chorizo, chicken, squash, or corn.

Lizzie is an intern at our library, and she made the Texas caviar. This was her first time completely following a recipe. She likes to cook without recipes or make changes to them. She also thought it was an easy recipe that she would make again. Prepping and chopping the ingredients were the only time consuming parts. She thought this might make a good base for a soup.

More discussion took place about food and cooking tips. Everyone agreed they loved pasta, and would like to see a pasta cookbook selected for an upcoming potluck. All left contently full and excited for the next Cook the Book Club potluck.

Make the recipes pictured below and more, from Lisa Fain's The Homesick Texan Cookbook. Click here to request the book @ your library.

We hope you'll join us in April for our next Cook the Book Club potluck and discussion. Save the date for Saturday, April 21! Details at the information desk. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

New Book Club!

Introducing a new kind of book club at the Dorris Van Doren Library! Every month, a cookbook will be selected, reserved, and put on display at the information desk. If more than one copy is available, you may check out the book. At the end of the month, we'll host a potluck to discuss and taste the recipes from the chosen cookbook. 

We have decided to kick off  March with The Homesick Texan Cookbook by Lisa Fain. I don't know about you, but as a native El Pasoan I've never felt comfortable calling myself a Texan. We live so far out west in Texas that it doesn't even feel like you're in Texas anymore. This fairly new cookbook offers a taste of all areas of Texas (including El Paso!) with beautiful full-color photographs and anecdotes. The book contains a wide variety of recipes that seem fairly simple to make. We hope you'll join us on Saturday, March 24 @ 2 pm for our first ever cookbook club potluck! Don't forget stop in the library by Monday, March 19 to register. 

General Guidelines:
· Browse through the book to pick a recipe that piques your interest (or taste buds).
· A Post-it note with your name will be used to mark the recipe to keep track of potluck dishes, and to keep members from choosing the same dish.
· A staff member will make a copy of your recipe for you to take home.
· Prepare your recipe, then bring it to the potluck on March 24 @ 2 pm to share with other participants.

Potluck Guidelines:
· Pre-registration prior to each monthly meeting is required. The deadline for this month is March 19. Space is limited. You will be notified if the potluck is canceled.  
· Make and bring one regular-size recipe on March 24 @ 2 pm. There is no need to double or triple recipes. 
· Recipes should be prepared at home prior to the meeting. The library kitchen has a microwave that can be used for re-heating if necessary. 
· Make sure to bring a serving utensil for the dish, as well as a beverage for yourself (the library has a soda machine, but beverages will not be provided).
· Potlucks will take place in the auditorium.

Contact us if you have more questions or suggestions!

-Lisa M., Public Services Librarian 
(915) 875-0700


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Friends Newsletter, January 2012

Check out the January issue of the Friends of the Westside Branches Newsletter! Inside, you'll find your invitation to the annual board meeting, a few reminders, coverage of the Westside Branch's recent facelift, 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)!

Correction: The newsletter states that the Dorris Van Doren Branch has proposed to enclose the patio between the main building and family room. We have actually proposed to enclose the teen courtyard, which is located near the Young Adult area. 

Friends Newsletter January 2012