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.



October 23 in San Antonio history…

Eleven people, nine of which are children, drown when the San Antonio 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.

October 22 in San Antonio history…

World War I – 1914
The Russians have won a great victory over the German army in Petrograd and the Germans are in full retreat from Russian Poland.

On account of the unsubstantiated rumors of yellow fever in the city, the highly anticipated football game due to take place today at the International Fair between the Varsity team from the State University in Austin and Baylor University has been postponed to Saturday and relocated to Austin.

President Taft comes to San Antonio to dedicate the chapel at Ft. Sam Houston.

Senator Ted Kennedy comes to San Antonio to formally dedicate John F. Kennedy High School, which was completed in 1963.

October 21 in San Antonio history…

World War I – 1914
Allied forces have retaken the city of Roulers in West Flanders after a successful bombardment.

The University of Texas football team, coached by Clyde Littlefield, takes on favored Centenary University at Eagle Field here in San Antonio. They play to a scoreless tie.

San Antonio had another college added to its list with the acceptance of Westmoorland as a senior college.

October 20 in San Antonio history…

World War I – 1914
The Belgian Army, supported by the Allies, has so far prevented the German Army from advancing along the coast and is holding along the River Yser.

The first automobile in San Antonio, an electric, arrived at Staacke Brothers today. However, the batteries did not arrive with the car so the first drive will have to wait.

Chicago-based rock band Styx brings their ill-conceived “Kilroy Was Here” tour to Convention Center Arena. It is the penultimate stop on the tour.

October 19 in San Antonio history…

World War – 1914
It is estimated that over 400,000 Belgian refugees have fled into Holland since Antwerp fell.  Usually the distance between Antwerp, Belgium and Essen on the border is covered in twenty minutes.  The refugee trains took six hours.

Baylor University defeats Villanova, 7-0, in a game played at Alamo Stadium.  Milt Merka scored the decisive touchdown midway through the final period.

Bexar County’s brand new coliseum was “open for business” with the two-day performance of the Ringling Brothers – Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Six new K-mart stores open in San Antonio today.  The stores are located at 7142 San Pedro Ave., 238 S.W. Military Drive, 315 S. Santa Rosa St., 4902 Frederickburg Rd., 8505 Broadway and 4343 W. Commerce. The six new K-marts are only part of an expansion of 1,400 K-marts worldwide.  (K-mart would close all their San Antonio locations in November 2002.)

October 18 in San Antonio history…

Carl Hilmar Guenther who built the Guenther mills in 1859, died at his residence at 205 Guenther Street.  He was born in Germany and came to the U.S. as a young man in 1848.

A large vaudeville company, including the Marx Brothers, plays the Majestic Theater.

Janis Joplin and the Kozmic Blues Band play a concert at Hemisfair Arena (right).

October 17 in San Antonio history…

World War I – 1914
Four German destroyers are sunk by four British destroyers and a cruiser.

President William Howard Taft was due to arrive at 7:10 p.m. today on the presidential train.

A storm system dumped a record daily rainfall of 11.26 inches on San Antonio, causing massive flooding in Olmos Basin and into Alamo Heights. It claimed 29 lives in seven counties, left more than 10,000 people displaced from their homes and caused about $1 billion in property damage.

October 16 in San Antonio history…

World War I – 1914
The Germans entered Ostend, Belgium at 10:30 this morning.

The Alamo will be re-roofed it was decided today at a meeting of the Alamo Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, but nothing was decided as to when the necessary funds would be raised.

San Antonio is plunged into darkness at 7:08 p.m. when the city suffers a blackout due to a succession of errors by City Public Service.  The diesel generators installed after the last city blackout in 1949 fail to kick in. The area affected is larger than Rhode Island.  Ironically, after New York City had suffered a blackout earlier in the year on July 14, CPS spokesman Ben Scholl said, “The chances of San Antonio having an earthquake are greater than the chance the city will have a blackout similar to the one in New York.”

Santikos opens the new Mayan 14-screen theater, replacing the Century Plaza 8 complex, built in 1968 as the Century South, San Antonio’s first multiplex.

October 15 in San Antonio history…

1914 – World War I
President Wilson’s attitude on neutrality was lauded today by former President William Howard Taft and Andrew Carnegie at a luncheon of the Chamber of Commerce in Providence, Rhode Island.  “President Wilson has taken the exact stand,” said Taft, “and has expressed it with admirable accuracy.”

I Love Lucy” premieres at 7:00 p.m. on WOAI-TV (right).

Local television station WOAI Channel 4 begins broadcasting in color from its studios today.  WOAI is the sixteenth station in the world to be equipped to telecast live local color programs.  The station has invested $500,000 in new equipment and construction to facilitate color broadcasting.  The WOAI-TV color system is compatible with black and white so that all viewers without color televisions will be able to view the broadcasts in monochrome.

October 14 in San Antonio history…

Early this morning, thousands thronged the sidewalks to view the Barnum & Bailey Circus parade. People of all classes, country and city folk, were there, even Sam Jones the preacher.

1956>October 14 in San Antonio history...
Elvis Presley with his band, Scotty Moore, Bill Black and D.J. Fontana,  played two shows at the Bexar County Coliseum to thousands of swooning, screaming, mainly female, fans (right).
(photo from the Oct. 15, 1956 edition of the San Antonio News)

The Spurs kick off their season against their new division rival Kansas City Kings.  With the addition of the Dallas Mavericks to the NBA, the Spurs move from the Central Division of the Eastern Conference to the Midwest Division of the Western Conference.  The division also includes the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz.


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