SAPL Launches Mayor’s Book Club



Mayor Ivy R. Taylor and the San Antonio Public Library officially launched San Antonio’s first city-wide book club on October 1.

The Mayor’s Book Club is a reading campaign that the both the mayor and SAPL staff believe will promote a community experience through reading, discussion and special story-related events at branch libraries. In addition, the hope is that participants – especially young people – will develop an appreciation for literature and a love of reading. At the same time, this experience is expected to encourage new visitors to libraries throughout the community.

The first book club selection is Rocket Boys by former aerospace engineer Homer H. Hickam. This popular book is the story of Mr. Hickam’s teen years in West Virginia and his budding interest in rockets and space. It is also the inspiration for the film, October Sky. We are making this title available in print, AudioBook, eBook and eAudioBook so that you will have the opportunity to read and enjoy this great story in the format that you prefer.

The book club and its related SAPL events will run during October and November. In November, SAPL host a discussion at the Central Library at which the community will be invited to share its Rocket Boys reading experience.

Expect to receive details about the event in the coming weeks.

If you’re interested in participating in the inaugural Mayor’s Book Club, stop by any branch location or the Central Library and pick up a bookmark that has details about this new and exciting program. You can also learn more at

Copies of the book are available at branch locations or at Would you like to start your own book club? Visit any branch library for a book club kit and remember to check our events calendar regularly for Mayor’s Book Club events for children and teens as well.

The San Antonio Public Library would also like to thank Mayor Taylor, San Antonio Parks and Recreation, San Antonio Health Services, San Antonio Public Library Foundation and the Friends of the San Antonio Public Library for working with us to make the Mayor’s Book Club a huge success.

There’s still time to sign up for the Summer Reading Program

Launched on June 1 by Mayor Julian Castro, the San Antonio Public Library’s annual Mayor’s Summer Reading Club for children and the 2014 Summer Reading Program for teens and adults are in full swing, but there’s still time to join!


The Mayor’s Summer Reading Club and the Summer Reading Program encourage children and teens to read during the summer to maintain current reading levels. Children, especially, lose reading skills if they don’t keep up with reading over the summer.


This year’s theme, Fizz, Boom, Read! , encourages summer readers with a slew of science-based events and programming at local Library locations.


Children can sign up for the Mayor’s Summer Reading at any San Antonio Public Library location or join online at beginning June 1. Participants will keep track of the books they read –or listen to- and receive a Reading Club certificate signed by Mayor Castro and a free paperback book to keep. Readers need to complete 8 books, and listeners complete 15.


The San Antonio Public Library will celebrate all of the summer’s super readers with SummerFest celebrations at each location, between July 26 and August 2.


For more information on the Summer Reading Club and the Summer Reading Program, visit or call your neighborhood branch location.



November 1 in San Antonio history…

San Antonio consumers were confused and dismayed as the Texas Legislature’s new “blue law” went into effect.  The new law prohibits the sale of certain types of merchandise on weekend shopping days.  Merchants can sell certain items Saturday or Sunday, but not both.  Among the items a merchant may sell on only one of the two days of the weekend are: clothing, clothing accessories, footwear, headwear, home, business, office or outdoor furniture, kitchen wear,  kitchen utensils, china, home appliances, stoves, refrigerators, air conditioners, electric fans,  radios, television sets, washing machines, dryers, cameras, hardware, tools, except non-power driven hand tools, jewelry, precious stones, semi-precious stones, silverware, watches, clocks,  motor vehicles,  musical instruments, recordings, toys, except items customarily sold as novelties and souvenirs,  mattresses, bed coverings, household linens, floor coverings, lamps, draperies, blinds, curtains, mirrors, lawn mowers and cloth piece goods.

North Star Mall opens their new wing with Marshall Field’s and food court.

San Antonio’s telephone area code changes from 512 to 210.

October 31 in San Antonio history…

The bell for St. Mark’s Episcopal Church arrives from Troy, NY.  It was cast from a cannon at the Alamo at the expense of Samuel A. Maverick.

In the process of lifting the tophouse to the top of the Tower of the Americas structure, three steel lifting rods snapped halting the process.  Elmer Joiner, project engineer, said that if one more rod had broken, the whole tophouse structure would have fallen to the ground crushing as many as ten men.  In the meantime, seven giant cranes have been brought in to support the tophouse while the lifting rods are being replaced.

City councilman Al Rohde proposes a three-to-five year plan for improvments to Brackenridge Park.  He explains that the park has not had a major landscaping and facelifting job since its creation in 1899.  His plan, which could cost as much as $3 million, calls for parking lots in peripheral areas to cut down on traffic in the park, reduction by half of paved areas already in the park, more mini duck ponds, fountains, park benches and tables, a roller skating rink and a swimming pool; better lighting, more bike and foot trails and a culture center.

October 30 in San Antonio history…

A tragic fire at St. John’s Orphans Home (right), on the corner of San Saba and W. Houston Street, kills six nuns and three orphans.

Trinity University dedicates their new $4.8 million, 3,000-seat Laurie Auditorium, named for former president, James W. Laurie.

Montgomery Ward opens their third San Antonio location – a brand new 194,000 sq. ft. store in Windsor Park Mall.  Metro manager J. V. Johnson announces plans for expanding the Wonderland and McCreeless stores in the near future also.

October 29 in San Antonio history…

World War I – 1914
Newspapers report that Germany has tried to broker peace with France by offering Metz and a part of Alsace.  The hope was that Germany could separate France from the other allies.  The offer was rejected.

The Express-News dedicates its new building at the corner of Avenue E and 3rd streets (right).

All lights in Bexar County were out for the first time in history last night due to a public service power failure. The blackout extended beyond the county limits as far as Comfort, Boerne, Kerrville, New Braunfels, and Floresville.

Texas A&M (7-0) and SMU (1-7) play a wild game in the Alamodome, ending in a 21-21 after a last-second missed field goal by the Mustangs.

October 28 in San Antonio history…

World War I – 1914
The sheer exhaustion of the armies fighting in West Flanders causes almost a complete lull in the battle for a day.  There are some infantry skirmishes but artillery shelling has ceased.

The Battle of Concepcion, which historian J.R. Edmondson describes as “the first major engagement of the Texas Revolution”, takes place on the grounds of Mission Concepcion.  Texian troops under Stephen F. Austin are engaged by Mexican troops commanded by Colonel Domingo Ugartechea.  The 30-minute battle results in 14 to 75 Mexican troops killed.  Richard Andrews is the only Texian casualty.

City Council today approved final plans for San Antonio’s planned $8 million Convention Center.

The rock band Rush plays their first concert in San Antonio at Randy’s Rodeo. Heyoka opens the show (right).

October 27 in San Antonio history…

World War I – October 27, 1914
Germany fires shells containing the irritant dianisidine chlorosulfonate at British troops near Neuve-Chapelle, France.  This is possibly the first use of poison gas in the war. It was also a violation of the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 which prohibited “asphyxiating gases.”

Sears, Roebuck & Co. moves from the Transit Tower location to their new downtown headquarters at Romana Plaza. In 1995, this location would become the San Antonio Central Library.

H.G. Wells, in San Antonio to attend the 65th annual United States Brewers Convention, meets Orson Welles for the first time at the Plaza Hotel.  Welles stopped in the city briefly, en route to Tucson to scout a movie location.  He admitted to being apprehensive at meeting the “War of the Worlds” author.

October 26 in San Antonio history…

World War I – 1914
Gavrilo Princip and 22 accomplices were found guilty of treason today in Sarajevo, Bosnia for the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie.

The Army’s largest non-rigid dirigible, the TC-13, was lodged in a huge Brooks Field hangar before continuing a journey to Sunnyvale, California.

Over protests of one commissioner who wanted the new coliseum to be named for a deceased war hero, it was named in honor of Joe Freeman today.  The official name is Joe Freeman Bexar County Coliseum.

The Children’s Hospital at Santa Rosa Medical Center opens its new 30-bed Infant Care Center today.  The unit combines the neonatal unit and special care center for toddlers up to the age of two.  Children’s Hospital at Santa Rosa was the first private hospital in San Antonio to open a neonatal intensive care unit, in 1969.

October 25 in San Antonio history…

World War I – 1914
German ambassador Count von Bernsdorff said today that since Canada is sending troops to Europe to fight against his country, the United States should not consider it a violation of the Monroe Doctrine if Germany should land an armed force on Canadian soil. He also assured the State Department that Germany was not considering any South American colonization in the event of victory over the Allies.

An early morning fire at Travis Park Methodist Church caused an estimated $75,000 damage to the downtown landmark.

George “The Iceman” Gervin is traded to the Chicago Bulls for journeyman forward David Greenwood.   “I really wanted to finish my career in San Antonio, but I found out that wishin’ doesn’t help. Maybe I should have prayed,” said Gervin to the Express-News on the trade.

The Regal Fiesta 16 theater at DeZavala & IH-10 holds its grand opening, despite having only 10 completed screens.

October 24 in San Antonio history…

World War I – 1914
A German submarine is sunk off the Dutch coast by the British destroyer Badger.

1946>October 24 in San Antonio history...
Harlandale School District’s board voted to buy the stadium at Tech Field from the San Antonio Transit Co.

The epic John Wayne movie The Alamo has its world premiere at the Woodlawn Theater on Fredricksburg Road in San Antonio.


October 23 in San Antonio history…

Eleven people, nine of which are children, drown when the San Antonio River floods after a torrential rain.  The house of Albert Liebe was washed from its foundation, resulting in the death of Mrs. Liebe and her infant child born just hours earlier, along with four other children: Henry, 14; Otilia, 8; Edna, 6; Edward, 4 and Mrs. August Liebe, Albert’s mother.

San Antonio’s first drive-in theater opens at 3602 Fredericksburg Road.

Soprano Leontyne Price performs at Laurie Auditorium.


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