Friday, December 28, 2018

Christmas at Dorris Van Doren

Santa visited the Dorris Van Doren Library on December 15th, bringing good cheer to library patrons during a special Saturday morning storytime.

Attendees listened to Christmas stories and sang Christmas carols until Santa Claus made his appearance.  Santa gave out small treats to children and took pictures with those in attendance. A jolly time was had by all!

The teens who attend our weekly Teen Hangout program also got into the holiday spirit by participating in two Christmas themed events. In one program, they created pop-up greeting cards to present to their friends for Christmas. In the other program, they painted glass Christmas ornaments. Both activities helped them wind down from their busy academic schedules and prepare for their winter break from school!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Winterfest Reading Club is here!

The El Paso Public Library kicked off the Winterfest Reading Club last weekend to coincide with the Winterfest taking place in Downtown El Paso.

The Winterfest Reading Club is for all ages. Come by the Dorris Van Doren information desk to pick up a registration card/reading log or register online. Read 5 or more books between now and January 6th for a chance to win Winterfest skate passes.

We also have a variety of activities this winter to get everyone into the holiday spirit!

Programs for Kids
We will have a series of storytimes dedicated to teaching children about some of the major holidays celebrated in December.

  • Hanukkah Storytimes will take place at 11 am on Tuesday, December 4, Wednesday,  December 5,  and Saturday, December 8.
  • Christmas Storytimes will take place at 11 am on Tuesday, December 18, Wednesday, December 19, and Saturday, December 22.
  • Kwanzaa Storytimes will take place at 11 am on Wednesday, December 26 and Saturday, December 29.

Our Holly Jolly Christmas celebration will be on Saturday, December 15 at 11 am with a special visit from Santa Claus. Bring your camera!

We also have a fun make and take Christmas Craft on Wednesday, December 19 at 4pm.

Programs for Teens (12-18)
Teens also have a chance to get into the spirit, by attending these holiday-themed programs. On Thursday, December 13 at 4:30 PM they will create pop-up Christmas/Holiday cards.

On Thursday, December 20 at 4:30 PM, they are invited to decorate glass ornaments.

Teen programming is limited to ages 12-18.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Happy Halloween!

Halloween was kind of a big deal at the Dorris Van Doren branch. Staff members dressed up in fun costumes to celebrate the day, and there was plenty of candy for patrons to munch on while selecting books for checkout.

The library was decorated for the occasion, as well. Our book drop monsters gobbled up all the returned materials. We waited along with Linus for the Great Pumpkin to appear. We also decorated in anticipation of Dia de los Muertos, which takes place in the days after Halloween, with a tribute to the movie Coco. 

We held a Harvest Festival on Halloween with crafts and snacks to give the kids to have something fun while they waited in anticipation of trick or treating. We also had a special screening of the movie Coco. 

Earlier in the month, our teens solved a scary horror-themed escape room. We also had a display of scary YA reads all month long, to help get them into the Halloween spirit. 

Monday, September 10, 2018

Upcoming Workshop: Alebrije/Fantasy Animals on Plastic

This Saturday, to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month, the Dorris Van Doren library will be hosting a workshop by artist Maria Natividad on the Mexican folkart of Alebije or fantasy animals.

In this workshop, participants will learn all about the artform created by Mexican artist Pedro Linares Lopez. They will be guided through a step-by-step process on how to make their own alebrije using cel drawing techniques (using plastic sheets and ink pens) commonly used by traditional animators.

The program will take place from 4 - 5:30 PM on Saturday, September 15, 2018. Registration is limited to 30 people, so we urge you to call and book your spot today! Please call 915-212-0440 to register. This program is for ages 6 and up.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Vote for the Teens' Top Ten!

Voting has opened for YALSA's 2018 Teens' Top Ten! Teens can vote for their favorites between now and October 13th. The Teens' Top Ten will be announced on October 15th. This is one of the few best-of booklists that is chosen entirely by teens, so let your voice be heard on which books are the best of the best!

Check out the list of nominees below. The links will take you to our catalog, so you can request a hold on a copy.

The nominees are:

All Rights Reserved by Gregory Scott Katsoulis
The Black Witch by Laurie Forest
Book of Lies by Teri Terry
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray
The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy
How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz
Invictus by Ryan Graudin
The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller*
Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
Once and For All by Sarah Dessen
One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
Paper Hearts by Ali Novak*
Remember Me Always by Renee Collins*
Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne*
Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Warcross by Marie Lu
Waste of Space by Gina Damico
Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

*Starred titles are not yet available at the library, but keep checking back!

Friday, August 24, 2018

Spotlight on DVD Teen Hangout

Dorris Van Doren has programs for teens (ages 12-18) all year round. Teen Hangout takes place every Thursday afternoon from 4:30 to 6:30 PM. Among some of the programs we had this summer were a Scott Pilgrim Interactive Movie Screening, rock painting, and more!

In keeping with the Summer Reading Program theme, Libraries Rock, teens were invited to create guitar pick jewelry. Among their creations were keychains, charm bracelets, necklaces, and many pairs of earrings. 

Teens also flocked to the library to take part in a Rock this Escape Room program, in which they were given a series of puzzles to solve in 90 minutes. Solving each puzzle led them to open the locks on a lockbox within the room. Teens worked together on the puzzles, flexing their teamwork and critical thinking skills.

Ultimately the group of teens were able to solve all the puzzles and open the box in just over 90 minutes.

Our teens participated in a Wreck this T-Shirt program this July. Each teen was provided a t-shirt and they were encouraged to design or redesign it in any way they like. They also learned how to make iron-on stencils for use with fabric spray paint.

Even though school is back in session for most of our teens, the fun still continues! Our latest Teen Hangout event gave our teens the opportunity to make their own plushies! They cut out patterns, sewed and stuffed their plushies.

We have a lot of fun programs planned for the fall, including a Haunted Escape Room, button making, papel picado, and much more!

Monday, June 25, 2018

El Paso Public Library rocks!

Summer is in full swing at the Dorris Van Doren Regional Library. We are excited to see so many people dropping in to check out books, use our computers, and come in from of the 100+ degree heat! Most of all, we're thrilled that so many people have signed up to join this year's summer reading program. So far, we've signed up over 350 people of all ages to commit themselves to reading this summer! To sign up, please go to: or drop by the Information Desk during your next library visit. The program lasts until August 4th.

While supplies last, all participants who turn in a reading log (paper or digital) showing they've read at least 8 books receive their choice of a Libraries Rock tote bag or a set of earbuds.

Children and teens additionally have the opportunity to earn a free book for every 8 books they read. 

Summer also means fun programs for kids and teens. In addition to our regular storytimes at 11am on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, we have fun activities for children every Thursday morning at 11am.

We also have cool things for teens to do every Thursday afternoon at 4:30pm.

Don't forget the Teen Writing Club is also meeting this summer, every other Wednesday at 4:30pm. The upcoming dates for summer are June 27, July 11, and July 25. 

We hope that you will join us this summer!

Monday, May 21, 2018

Congratulations, Maria!

The Dorris Van Doren Regional Library is excited to announce that one of our staff members, through her hard work and diligence, has entered the profession of librarianship.

After years of study, Maria Maese graduated with a Masters of Library Science from the University of North Texas' School of Information Science on Saturday, May 12.

We are all very proud of her, and we look forward to seeing what she accomplishes next in her career with the El Paso Public Library. Congratulations, Maria!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Teen Hangout Spring Wrap-Up!

The school year is winding down, and the Dorris Van Doren Library is getting ready for summer. But we're also looking back at all the fun Teen Hangout programs we've held this spring, which have included a Fiesta Flower Crown Workshop and making paper sun catchers (as seen above). 

This creative bunch of teens have made decoupage photo frames...

decorated wall plates to brighten up their rooms...

painted flower pots in celebration of Earth Day...

and celebrated Star Wars Day (May the Fourth) by participating in a Breakout Room.

Our annual Summer Reading Club begins June 2, and we have a lot of incredible programming planned for our teens, beginning with a School's Out for the Summer Celebration on Thursday, March 31 at 4:30pm. 

Check back with us soon for our full summer calendar of events! We look forward to seeing you this summer!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

New Garden Coming Soon!

Springtime has come to the Dorris Van Doren Regional Library, and with it, a brand new garden located in our teen patio. So far, library staff have planted tomatillo, tomato, jalapeno, carrot and lettuce seeds in the garden. Now, we all wait to see the outcome of their labor.

The seeds used in the garden were acquired from the library's seed collection, part of the Sow.Grow.Reap.Eat program, now entering its second year. The Sow.Grow.Reap.Eat program launched seed libraries at all El Paso Public Library locations. Library patrons can check out up to five seed packets per season from a selection of several dozen types of seeds. These seed packets are free and, unlike our other materials, do not need to be returned.

We hope you will join us in watching the outcome of our garden. Please read the blog in the coming weeks for further updates on how the garden is progressing.

For more information about our seed libraries, including how to grow your own garden, please visit the program's website:

Friday, March 16, 2018

Easter's on its way!

The Dorris Van Doren Regional Library is preparing for Easter by raffling off an Easter basket! For every 10 items a patron checks out from our library, they'll receive a ticket to enter the raffle. All ages are invited to enter, and multiple entries are encouraged! 

The Easter basket is filled with goodies, such as a plush Snoopy with a copy of It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown! on DVD, an Easter themed book, candy-filled Easter eggs, Marshmallow Peeps, and a Russell Stover chocolate bunny!

Also, don't forget to join us on Friday, March 30 at 3 PM for a special visit from the Easter Bunny! There will also be Easter stories and treats for the kids in attendance.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Teen Tech Week Raffle

Teen Tech Week is March 4-10, and the Dorris Van Doren Library is celebrating by having a raffle!

To participate, check out books from the Young Adult (YA) section of our library. For every three YA books you check out, you'll get a raffle ticket. Multiple entries are encouraged! So if you check out thirty books, which is our limit, you'll have 10 chances to win our raffle prize: a Teen Tech Pack. 

The Teen Tech Pack consists of one $30 Cinemark gift card, a virtual reality headset, a tablet case, a portable power pack charger, and earbuds. The prizes were made possible by the Friends of the Westside Libraries. 

The winner of the Teen Tech Pack will be announced during Teen Hangout on March 8th at 5pm. You don't have to be present to win, but we'd love for you to join us. Our activity for that day will be button making using Canva. 

Don't forget that Teen Hangout is every Thursday from 4:30-6:30 PM. We have a lot of fun events coming up! Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A Visit from Clifford the Big Red Dog

In honor of the birthday of Norman Bridwell, creator of Clifford the Big Red Dog, the Dorris Van Doren Regional Library held a Meet Clifford! event on Thursday, February 15th. Even though it was a damp day outside, a hundred people still showed up to celebrate the beloved children's book character.

While guests waited for Clifford to appear, they munched on yummy snacks and made Clifford ears to wear when they met their favorite big red dog. 

The main event was meeting Clifford himself! He was jumping with excitement at making so many new friends. All the kids were eager to shake his paw and take a picture with him. Although Clifford couldn't stay long, a fun time was had by all.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Winnie the Pooh Party

The Dorris Van Doren Library had a fantastic time celebrating A.A. Milne's 136th birthday on January 18th. A.A. Milne was the creator of everyone's favorite silly old bear, Winnie the Pooh, and all his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood. Over a hundred guests showed up on a Thursday afternoon to celebrate All Things Pooh!

While there was no Hunny for our guests to guzzle, there were delicious refreshments that would tempt even Heffalumps and Woozles. 

There were also a variety of Winnie the Pooh crafts for our guests to try! Children created handpuppets of Pooh, Piglet, and Tigger. They also made a Hunny pots with clothespin bees! 

Next Thursday, February 15th at 4pm we'll be honoring Norman Bridwell, the creator of another beloved character, Clifford the Big Red Dog. We have a lot of fun planned for that event, and we hope you'll come join us in the celebration!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Seeking: Teens Who Love to Write

The Dorris Van Doren Library recently started a Teen Writing Club for teens in grades 7-12. The group meets every other Wednesday from 4:30-5:30pm, and gives teens the opportunity to discuss writing with their peers.

We accept writers of all formats: fiction (novel and short story), poetry, graphic novels, fan fiction, etc. If you're a teen who loves to write and is interested in becoming a better writer, you're welcome to attend!

Our next meeting is February 7th. Hope to see you there! 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Renaissance Music Concert

The Dorris Van Doren Library was thrilled to host a quartet of musicians from the Rio Grande Recorder Society, who performed a free concert of renaissance music for library patrons on Saturday, January 20th.

The concert took place right in the middle of the library, which allowed patrons to enjoy the music as they browsed our movies and books available for check out. 

The musicians explained the context surrounding the pieces that they played, making it a great cultural and educational experience for all in attendance!