Thursday, August 7, 2014

Computer Classes, August 2014

We revamped our computer classes! We have new teachers, new material, and a slightly different schedule.
Our basics class is still on Thursdays at 10 am, but our advanced class has moved to Wednesdays at 5:30 pm. From now on, we'll post the schedule of topics so that you'll know exactly what will be covered in advance. Come to one or all of the classes!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Summer Reading 2014

Don't forget to sign up for our annual summer reading club! You have until July 12 to sign up and get all your reading done to be eligible for prizes. 

Don't know what to read? Check out these recommendations or ask us at the information desk!
Let us know what you're reading this summer in the comments or on any of our social media sites. 

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Dia De Los Ninos 2014

Dia de los Ninos/Dia de los Libros (Children's Day/Book Day) is a nationally recognized initiative that emphasizes the importance of literacy and education for children of all backgrounds. The El Paso Public Library and Parks & Recreation have been hosting this event since 1997. This is the second year that the Dorris Van Doren Branch hosts a "mini Dia" event, and we had a great turnout!

We had about 2,000 in attendance and gave away over a thousand books to children and teens. Thanks for coming out to celebrate children and literacy!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Finds for April 11, 2014

This is a sometimes 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, on Twitter (@elpasolibrary) or Facebook (ElPasoPublicLibrary)!

Patron Pick: No Jumping on the Bed by Tedd Arnold
A couple of weeks ago, a little boy about 4 or 5 years old gave us a great recommendation. We were helping his older sister find a book when he showed us this book:
He told us that we should read this book because his school library has it and it's funny. We couldn't agree more. You can request this children's classic at any library.

Staff Pick (Lisa): Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang
I ordered these graphic novels for the library based on their subject matter and high praise, but I probably wouldn't have read it if it weren't for YALSA's The Hub Reading Challenge. I've fallen a bit behind in the challenge, so I thought this two-volume set would catch me up quicker (it counts as 2 books). I was hesitant to read these graphic novels because I wasn't a fan of American Born Chinese, Yang's other highly acclaimed and award-winning graphic novel, but I ended up liking the story and artwork of Boxers & Saints a lot.

These graphic novels are told by two different points of view (hence the two volumes) during the Boxer Rebellion in China. It's an interesting and heartbreaking look at a time in history that is hardly covered in literature and often forgotten. Some might find the violence and bloodshed excessive; I would recommend it for older teens and adults. It's better if you read them in order, but it's not completely necessary. That said, I agree with others that have said it would have been better if the volumes were just combined into one complete alternating story.
This graphic novel set was a 2013 National Book Award finalist in the young people's literature category, and also made it onto YALSA's 2014 lists for Great Graphic Novels and Popular Paperbacks. Find out what else I've read for the challenge at Goodreads.

Watch the book trailer for Boxers & Saints:

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Finds for March 21, 2014

This is a sometimes 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, on Twitter (@elpasolibrary) or Facebook (ElPasoPublicLibrary)!

This week is all about books!
Aracelli: Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight (ebook)
It was good, although some may find the ending disappointing.

The Ape Man's Brother by Joe Lansdale.
Very, very funny and at only 100 pages, can be read in an afternoon.

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani
Excellent book!

This is the third book I read for YALSA's The Hub Reading Challenge. Click here to read about the challenge and find out what I read first.

This book is set in Queens and follows Piddy's downward spiral when she moves to a new school and begins receiving threats from a girl she's never met before. I liked this book, but didn't love it. I thought everything was very realistic, but I just couldn't connect with any of the characters. 

This book was the recipient of the 2014 Pura Belpre Award. The award is presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.

Friday, March 14, 2014

We're a Family Place Library!

The Dorris Van Doren Library has been selected as a Family Place Library through a grant from Family Place Library, A Model for Institutional Change.
We join the nationally acclaimed initiative for young children, families and caregivers.

Family Place Libraries provide a center for early childhood information, parent education, emergent literacy and socialization and family support. The Family Place Library builds on the knowledge that good health, early learning, parental involvement and supportive communities play a critical role in young children’s growth and development.

During the last two decades, research has conclusively proven that the ways in which adults respond to and interact with children between birth and 5 years have dramatic effects on the brain, impacting a child’s social, emotional and intellectual development. Researchers have also confirmed that learning is an interactive process and depends on the interwoven development of multiple abilities and skills. Resources like Family Place help foster the healthy development of these relationships.

We are currently hosting a five week parent/child workshop program that involves children ages 1-3 and their parents/caregivers. The program is facilitated by professionals from our community. The program is full, but we'll let you know when you can register for the next round of workshops.

This is the playtime setup during the workshops.
In the meantime, visit our Family Place area! The middle area of our library has been converted into a Family Place area where you and your child can read, play and learn in a safe and fun environment. The area is open during our hours of operation to children ages 5 and under and their parent or adult caregivers. This space features board books, toys, puzzles, blocks and more for little ones to explore. As your child's first and most important teacher, these activities will help you build your child's early literacy skills.

The Family Place area in the middle of the library.

The view from the fish tank. Look who we caught reading!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Finds for February 28, 2014

This is a sometimes 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, we have two recommendations for your listening and reading pleasure!

Lluvia: Carrie by Stephen King (Playaway)
This is the well known story of the creepy girl with telekinesis, in which the 70’s movie was based on, and this audio version of the book is so entwined with the film version that Sissy Spacek does the narration. What makes the difference in this edition of the novel is the introduction done by the author Steven King, in which he recounts the heartbreaking inspirations for the main character. That is when you realize that, telekinesis aside, Carrie is a real girl with real problems and that changes the whole story. It goes from creepy girl to painfully bullied girl and you feel for her. I recommend reading the novel for more a human connection to the character that the films do not seem to reach.

If you tuned into this blog a couple of weeks ago, you'll know that I'm participating in YALSA's The Hub Reading Challenge. Click here to read about it and find out what I read first. 

This is the second book that I read for the challenge, and I loved it, but not at first. It took me time to get into it because it begins with the end of the story, and I wasn't clear where the author was going. It's about a British teenager who is famous for surviving being struck by a meteorite when he was ten. Alex ends up befriending an elderly American. The book is about meteors, epilepsy, Kurt Vonnegut, marijuana, and more!

It's funny, sad, and endearing. Check it out! Unfortunately, we only have it available as an ebook. 
This book won an Alex Award, which is given to 10 books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12-18.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday Finds for February 14, 2014

This is a sometimes 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, we have two book recommendations!

Paola: Tandem by Anna Jarzab 
I was captivated by this book not only because of the new perspective on parallel worlds but also because it was entertaining and fun to read. I enjoyed the relationship between the main characters and although there is romance throughout the book, it didn’t overpower the conversations or chapters in the book. This book also included some action and mystery scenes making it a well rounded book. Overall I found this book to be refreshing and I would recommend you to check it out and give it a try.

This is a book that I would've never picked up on my own if it wasn't for the Hub Reading Challenge that I'm participating in. The Young Adult Services Library Association has a YA literature blog that hosts a Reading Challenge every year after the Youth Media Awards (Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, etc.) are announced. The goal is to read 25 books by June 22 from a list of award winners and book lists. For details on how you can participate and the list of titles, visit this blog post.

The title and book cover of Far Far Away did not appeal to me, but I did like the premise. Jeremy can hear voices of dead people in his head from time to time. One ghost hears of Jeremy's gift and is told that harm will eventually befall Jeremy. That ghost is the narrator and happens to be the famous Jacob Grimm. Jacob finds Jeremy and is determined to protect him from the "Finder of Occasions," which could be anyone in the small town of Never Better. 

I really liked this book and the way the story unfolded. It had a dark and foreboding tone. There are plenty of fairy tale references, but the book stays realistic, never making it a fantasy or paranormal novel, with the exception of Jacob's ghost of course. This book also made me want to learn more about the Grimms. 

Far Far Away is a National Book Award Finalist and on YALSA's 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults list. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Blind Date with a Book

Happy Valentine's Day from the Dorris Van Doren Library!
Whether you've got a Valentine or not, the Dorris Van Doren staff has arranged some very eligible book bachelors for you. Visit our new books area to find the blind date display. These books have been selected by staff members and wrapped to conceal their identities. A few subject keywords have been written on them to help you determine if you'll hit it off. After you've found your blind date, take it to the circulation desk or self-check out machine to check out and take home. Unwrap the book, and if you find that you're not a match, there's no need to commit. Simply return the book and no one's feelings will be hurt.

If blind dates make you nervous, take a look at our display in the lobby for suggestions or visit the information desk. One of our matchmakers, aka librarians, will try to find the right book for you.

Not ready for a blind date? Try these suggestions!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Finds for January 24, 2014

This is a 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!


Life in England's Dark Ages and Camelot are the backdrop of the story. The main character's humorous exploits while introducing modern ideas make it a fun read.

Also currently reading Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool.

Aracelli: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck by Jeff Kinney
Gregg Heffley is growing up, but his misadventures make for a very funny book. I was laughing out loud reading the latest book in the Wimpy Kid series.

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch
Carey and her younger sister have been abandoned in the woods by their drug-addicted mother. They have had no contact with the real world in six years. When they are “discovered” and forced to live with their father, Carey finds it difficult to adjust. This YA book reads like an adult book; it is heartbreaking, yet uplifting.

Lisa: The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppet by Tom Angleberger 
I'm in the middle of this fourth book, and still loving the Origami Yoda series. 

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
I'm still in the first pages of Artemis Fowl, and I'm having a hard time getting into it. I really hope it gets better, because I've been blindly recommending this series for years based on rave reviews from both teens' and adults' that come into the library.   


Andrea: Dracula (NBC television series)
Tonight is the season finale of NBC’s latest show “Dracula”. So far the show has taken a different approach to Bram Stoker’s classic novel. While it is still set in Victorian London, the revamped series has breathed new life into Dracula (also known as Alexander Grayson in this series). I have really enjoyed this show and hope others have as well. If you have not seen this show, the past episodes are available online and can be found at The finale tonight looks to be very explosive; I look forward to seeing how it all comes together.

Lisa: The Hangover Part III
It of course wasn't as funny and creative as the first one, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be either. I felt like they tried really hard to break the Hangover formula and use offensive humor that just fell flat. They also focused more on side characters Alan and Chow. When the movie ends, don't hit stop right away; stick around a bit for another scene.


Leslie: Gods of Guilt (Playaway) by Michael Connelly


Don't forget, we have several books on knitting and also subscribe to Creative Knitting magazine, which can be checked out!
Leslie: Knitting a scarf for her husband

Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Finds for January 17, 2014

This is a 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, our staff is into zombie books, reminiscing about obscure animated movies, and playing some addictive games (during their personal time of course).  


Lluvia: World War Z by Max Brooks (Playaway*)
It is a thinking man’s zombie book. It is politically and culturally relevant to an almost believable level. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
*Playaways are little devices that have audiobooks already loaded onto them. You simply plug in headphones or an adapter to listen. View the collection here>>

Angie: Dark Wolf by Christine Feehan
I just finished reading “Dark Wolf” book number 25 in Christine Feehan's Carpathian Series. I really enjoyed the book. The series does have to be read in order.

Lisa: Zom-B Angels
This is book 4. I don't want to give any spoilers, so I'll just say this is where we find out the origin of zombies in this series (!). I don't like committing to series fiction, but this one has me hooked and looking forward to reading Zom-B Baby. They're really quick reads.


Joe: Pinchcliffe Grand Prix
I was watching TV the other day and something I saw reminded me of one of my favorite animated movies. It's called "Pinchcliffe Grand Prix". It's a stop-action film from Norway by Ivo Carpino that came out in 1975. Nearly everyone I've ever told about the film has never heard of it. It's worth looking for, although it's not available at the library or on Netflix.

Lisa: We're The Millers
I didn't expect this movie to be so funny. It's worth watching if you're not offended by cursing, drug material, and crude humor. There are highly improbable and ridiculous situations, but the humor helps you overlook them.


Animal Crossing: New Leaf (System: Nintendo 2DS / 3DS, Genre: Simulation) - Like
Hometown Story (System: Nintendo 3DS, Genre: Role Playing) - Hooked on it
Bravely Default Demo (System: Nintendo 3DS, Genre: RPG) - Will be buying the game. It’s really good.

Candy Crush (iOS)
I know I'm late to the party, but I finally downloaded this game and it really is addictive and strangely satisfying to match colorful, little candies. Don't worry, I won't be sending you a Facebook game request. I believe I'm on the 11th stage of addiction; sometimes I see candy when I close my eyes. See Buzzfeed's The 12 Stages of Candy Crush Addiction.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday Finds for January 10, 2014

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!

Welcome to the first Friday Finds of 2014! Keep visiting the library for new and popular items. We get new books, DVDs, CDs, and more every month. Don't forget to check the OverDrive site to see what new digital materials have been added, too!


Aracelli: The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan
At 589 pages, this book appears daunting, but after the first chapter you will be hooked on the story of Violet, who after some deception, is forced to live as a courtesan in early 20th century Shanghai. Amy Tan’s book is full of drama, sprinkled with romance and suspense.

Lisa: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Looking for Alaska was one of the first young adult books I read, which really got me hooked on John Green. I was reluctant to read TFIOS because I thought reading about teenagers with terminal cancer was going to make me bawl. It was funny and cute without being sappy, but some aspects were annoying. While I liked the book and would recommend it, it's not my favorite John Green novel. The movie comes out in June!

Also, be on the lookout in February for This Star Won't Go Out: The Life & Words of Esther Grace Earl. John Green dedicated TFIOS to Esther, who passed away in 2010 at the age of 16. Proceeds from the book go to a nonprofit by the same name that Esther's parents started. The foundation assists families struggling through the journey of a child living with cancer. Find out more at


Aracelli: Downton Abbey
After what seems like an eternity, the newest season of Downton Abbey has finally returned to PBS. Last Sunday’s premiere episode picked up six months later after last season’s tragic ending. I do not want to give anything away, so if you have not caught up with the happenings of the Grantham family and their loyal servants, the library has all three seasons available. Also, since Downton Abbey is a British export and the newest season has already aired in England, you can expect to find Season Four at our library by next month.

Lisa: Drinking Buddies 
After hearing about this movie from the Tasting Table newsletter, I was super excited to check it out from the library. Unfortunately, it was a huge disappointment. I thought there would be more focus on the brewing process or the craft beer industry. It was more about relationships, which would've been fine except this whole movie was unscripted. The improvisation made it feel awkward and boring. Don't waste your time with this movie unless you really want to see that guy from New Girl and Olivia Wilde do some improv while drinking a lot of beer.


Thursday, January 9, 2014

Resolutions You Can Keep

It's a new year, and the easiest resolution to make and fulfill is to visit your library! There are plenty of reasons for everyone to visit the library, especially the Dorris Van Doren Branch. If you need a more concrete resolution, try one of our 6 suggestions below. You can also visit our teen area and grab a one word resolution. HUGE thanks to the Art Bar blog for providing the idea and templates!

Resolution 1: Wipe my slate clean @ the library during Amnesty/Food For Fines
During January 3-18, come into the library to clear your fines! Return your overdue library materials in good condition without having to pay any applicable fines. If you already have fines, you can pay them down by donating canned and non-perishable goods. You can donate up to 5 items a day to get $5 worth of fines removed from your account. 1 food item = $1 fine

Resolution 2: Make good use of my electronic device
Did you receive a new gadget for Christmas or want to make use of the one you already own? Ask us about our digital services! You can download magazines from Zinio or download books, audiobooks, and more from OverDrive. You'll need your library card and PIN number, and depending on your device, you'll need to download the OverDrive app and use an Adobe ID or an Amazon account.

Resolution 3: Join a club
The Cook the Book Club returns this month, so be sure to sign up by January 16 for the potluck that will take place on Saturday, January 18 at 2 pm in the craft area. This month's cookbook selection is The Pioneer Woman Cooks: A Year of Holidays.

Other clubs at Dorris Van Doren:
Crochet & Knitting Club, Saturdays @ 10 am
Chess Club, Thursdays @ 5 pm

Resolution 4: Get crafty
Second Friday Craft Hour for children, 2nd-6th grades @ 3:30 pm
Sweetheart Valentine's Day craft for all ages on February 8 @ 1 pm
Teen Hangout Crafts for teens ages 13-18 on Thursdays @ 4:30 pm

Resolution 5: If you have children, bring them to a storytime or playtime
Weekly Storytimes:
Toddler Tuesdays @ 11 am
Preschool Wednesdays & Thursdays @ 11 am
Family Saturdays @ 11 am

Lego Playtimes:
Get creative and build stuff. We provide the legos. Please do not bring your own.
2nd Fridays for ages 7-12 (January 17) @ 4 pm
3rd Fridays for ages 6 & under (January 24) @ 4 pm

Resolution 6: Learn a language beginning February
Classes are free and do not require registration.
Learn French
Conversational French classes begin February 11 @ 5:30 pm

Learn English
Clase de Conversación en Inglés
Vengan y practiquén el ingles. Todos los niveles bienvenidos.
Begins February 7 @ 4:30 pm