Blog Archives

Expecting to give (or receive) an eReader this holiday season? Check out what’s available at SAPL!

Black Friday is just around the corner, and it looks like eReaders will be hot holiday gifts again in 2011. The San Antonio Public Library wants to help you eReaderget the most out of your new technology, so make plans to visit one of our eReader clinics scheduled from now through January!

Besides showing you how to use an eReader, our November and December clinics can offer tips to help you figure out which eReader is best for you, or the lucky person receiving a gift from you. For a list of clinic dates, times and locations, please go to our online calendar and search for keyword “eReader clinic” or pick up a bookmark schedule at any San Antonio Public Library location. The class schedule is also available in our printed calendar of events, “Bookmarks.”

Don’t forget that you can download books for that new eReader, free on our website! (And Kindle is now compatible with library downloads.)

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Are you the next Danielle Steel or John Grisham?

Have you ever wanted to write a book? (I know I have – I have about 20 topic sentences written for different books, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.) Then join the San Antonio Public Library for National Novel Writing National Novel Writing Month logoMonth, November 1-30. This is your chance to put words to paper in a supportive, quiet environment. We’ll even have some published authors stopping by to offer words of encouragement! The goal is 50,000 words (a complete novel) by the end of November. Last year, 30,000 people met the goal; this year, the program will take place in 63 countries around the world. For more information, please go to our online calendar, or pick up a copy of our “Bookmarks” calendar at any Library location. You might not make it into print, but then again, you might be the author of the next Great American Novel!

It’s ¡Tamalada! time – tickets now available!

¡Tamalada! is the perfect holiday season kick-off. Get your family in the holiday spirit by joining us on Saturday, November 19, or Sunday, November 20, for this celebration of a great tradition.

Free tickets for San Antonio Public Library’s ¡Tamalada! are now available online at Brown Paper Tickets.

¡Tamalada! gives San Antonians a chance to enjoy the long-standing tradition of getting together at the home of a friend or relative to make tamales for the upcoming holiday season.

This year, for the first time, the event will take place over two days, giving more fans the opportunity to participate. For a full schedule, please visit our online calendar, and reserve your tickets now!

FYI: All libraries will be closed Friday, November 11, in observance of Veterans Day.

Pruitt Branch Library begins extended service hours

On Tuesday, November 1, the Molly Pruitt Library at Roosevelt High School, 5110 Walzem Road, extended its public service hours from 32 hours a week to 56 hours a week, bringing it in line with all other San Antonio Public Library branches. The branch library, which is located in a school, was previously open to the public only outside school hours.

The new operating schedule will be:

Monday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday     10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday         12:00 noon – 8:00 p.m.

The expanded public service schedule was made possible by an increase in Library funding approved by City Council in the Fiscal Year 2012 City budget.

The Pruitt Library is a partnership between the North East Independent School District and the City of San Antonio. For more information about resources, services and programs at the branch library, please visit our website, www.mysapl.org, or call (210) 650-1122.

Meet the author! Dagoberto Gilb

Texas author Dagoberto Gilb is known for his spare, crisp writing style and his topics, which focus on “working-class men who are slowly awakening to their ineptitude at relationships, who have a hard time shaking off old addictions, and who can’t quite move their careers out of neutral” (Kirkus Reviews), with a special focus on the experiences of Before the End, After the BeginninMexican-American men. Mr. Gilb’s newest book, Before the End, After the Beginning, is a collection of short stories that revisits his perennial themes. Written during a period of recovery and rehabilitation after a stroke he suffered in 2009, it also explores themes of morality, physical frailty, prejudice and family. You’ll have a chance to hear Mr. Gilb speak at the Central Library at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 2. The same event will also feature some of San Antonio’s rising literary lights. Mark your calendar and plan to join us for a session with an author whose work has appeared in Harper’s and The New Yorker. It’s free and everyone is invited (and the first hour of parking in the Library parking garage is free with a validated ticket.)

Speaking of authors, have you ever wanted to write a book yourself? Then join the San Antonio Public Library for National Novel Writing National Novel Writing Month logoMonth, November 1-30. This is your chance to put words to paper in a supportive, quiet environment. The goal is 50,000 words (a complete novel) by the end of November. For more information, please go to our online calendar, or pick up a copy of our “Bookmarks” calendar at any Library location.

Pruitt Branch Library begins extended service hours November 1

On Tuesday, November 1, the Molly Pruitt Library at Roosevelt High School, 5110 Walzem Road, extended its public service hours from 32 hours a week to 56 hours a week, bringing it in line with all other San Antonio Public Library branches. The branch library, which is located in a school, was previously open to the public only outside school hours.

The new operating schedule will be:

Monday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday     10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday            12:00 noon – 8:00 p.m.

The expanded public service schedule was made possible by an increase in Library funding approved by City Council in the Fiscal Year 2012 City budget.

The Pruitt Library is a partnership between the North East Independent School District and the City of San Antonio. For more information about resources, services and programs at the branch library, please visit our website, www.mysapl.org, or call (210) 650-1122.

Meet the Author! Susan Wittig Albert at Central Library

Since Nancy Drew’s first appearance in 1930 in The Secret of the Old Clock, her adventures have thrilled millions of girls. At the Central Library, 600 Soledad, on Saturday, October 8, you’ll have an opportunity to meet Susan WittigAuthor Susan Wittig Albert Albert, one of the authors who have penned Nancy Drew mysteries under the nom de plume Carolyn Keene. The program, “Our Nancy Never Cries: Strong Women Solve Mysteries,” will begin at 2:00 p.m. in the Central Library Auditorium. The program title is taken from an experience the author had during her tenure as Carolyn Keene.

Dr. Albert has more in her portfolio than Nancy Drew, however. She is the author of the China Bayles herbal mystery series (one of my favorites!), the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter mystery series, the new Darling Dahlias mystery series, and, writing as Robin Paige with her husband Bill Albert, a Victorian mystery series. Her non-fiction includes Together, Alone: A Memoir of Marriage and Place, Work of Her Own: a Woman’s Guide to Success off the Career Track, and An Extraordinary Year of Ordinary Days. She is also the editor of an anthology, What Wildness Is This: Women Write about the Southwest. Her first China Bayles novel was nominated for both the Agatha and Anthony Awards.

During her presentation, Dr. Albert will discuss her writing and what led to her decision to leave a fast-track academic career for life as an author. Following the program, there will be a book sale and signing.

The program is free and open to the public. One hour of free parking is available in the Library parking garage with a validated ticket.

Coolest news I’ve heard recently: Library downloadable e-Books are now compatible with Kindle readers! To find out how to get started using your Kindle (or the Kindle app on other mobile devices), go here. (You’ll need a San Antonio Public Library card.)

Listening to: Stone’s Fall by Iain Pears – a powerful British arms manufacturer and financier is killed by a fall from the window of his house, and his widow asks a young journalist to search out secrets from the man’s past.

Waiting for: audiobooks of Janet Evanovich‘s new Stephanie Plum mystery Smokin’ Seventeen, and Kerry Greenwood‘s Earthly Delights and Devil’s Food.

September is library card sign-up month

September is library card sign-up month! Your San Antonio Public Library card can give you access to free downloadable books and music, discounts on great events around town, free live homework help, and more!

If you don’t already have a San Antonio Public Library card, join the 983,925 of your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers who do – just ask at any library location, or click here.

Have you tried it yet? Free music downloads @ your library!

Have you tried out our latest super service? Free music downloads!

If you have an iPod, mp3 or Smartphone you are probably looking for music to help fill your playlist, and the San Antonio Public Library has your answer – from Britney Spears to Jimi Hendrix to Juan Gabriel to Yo-Yo Ma! With a San Antonio public library card you can use our new Freegal (it’s free Freegal logoand legal!) service to download free music from the Sony music library, at any time of the day or night, from our website www.mysapl.org. Just go to the website and click on “Services” to get directions and start downloading your music.

Here’s how it works: the service is absolutely free to San Antonio Public Library cardholders. Freegal Music lets you search by artist, song title or genre. Music can be downloaded directly through your browser, then transferred to your device, and, once downloaded, the song is yours to keep! There is a download limit of three music tracks per week, beginning each Monday.

For more information, call (210) 207-2500, or visit the Library website.

How many of your New Year’s resolutions have you broken?

January is a little more than half gone. Did you make some New Year’s resolutions back on January 1? How many of them are you sticking to? Guest blogger K.G. Wilkins reminds us that your public library is a great place to get the support you need to make those resolutions into reality (we’ve made just a few edits to make her advice fit San Antonio):

The tradition of starting the New Year right has been around for hundreds of years. Lately, it has sold lots of diet books and exercise equipment. We at the Library are ready for any resolution you might want to make – and at much less cost than the purchase of a new treadmill!

I will lose weight and get in shape: We have the popular diet books and cookbooks that go with finding a newer way to cook. We also have books and videos on exercise and yoga. Our OverDrive selections include e-books that you can read on your computer or portable devices (depending on the title and your device). [Editor’s note: your local library might even have exercise classes. One San Antonio branch library offers tai chi, another, line dancing. To see what’s available, call your branch library, check our online calendar of events, or pick up a copy of our “Bookmarks” quarterly calendar next time you visit your library.]

I will improve my computer skills: We have in-person instructors on a rotating basis at libraries throughout the system. Other branches offer practice sessions where you can get some personalized coaching from Library staff.

I will learn a language: We have books and CDs and online language courses that you can download from the OverDrive collection at the Library. And our librarians have developed a guide to help you find some of the best resources around – go here to see our recommendations.

I will travel more: We have lots of travel guides and public access computers if you want to shop for a better deal online. We even have a special online page to help you find new places to go and ways to get there. You can also come in and print out your e-ticket at the library from our public access computers or print out a map from Google or Mapquest for your driving vacations.

I will relax: We have books on stress management. We also have lots of music on CD that you can listen to. Exercise is a great way to work off stress, so don’t forget all the library resources that can help you there. And don’t underestimate the power of a good book to take you away from your daily cares. A lovely romance or an exciting suspense novel or a biography of a character that you admire can give you a regular way to de-compress.

I will do more with my children or grandchildren: Think of taking them to the library and helping them get library cards and visiting regularly. All San Antonio Public Library locations offer free story times and lots of special events through the year. Share the joy of reading and a few wonderful DVD movies and music. Your library card can make for some wonderful memories. (And, while it might not be exactly fun, you can help a struggling student by pointing him or her to our free online live homework help service, tutor.com.)

I will save money: Well, consider that you can check out a DVD, CD, audiobook or printed book free from the library any day. You can use the public access computers for free any day. We have free wi-fi for your laptop web-surfing, or for businesspeople to use if they need a place to work for a while. We also have books on saving money and investing for retirement – all free for you to use.

I will give back to my community: Systemwide, the San Antonio Public Library is used by more than 11,000 people a day. Donating to the San Antonio Public Library Foundation or joining the Friends of the San Antonio Public Library is a way to support our 900,000 plus library card-holders. Your gift will enhance every neighborhood and will support education and self-improvement. Happy New Year! May it be prosperous and healthy for us all.

Guest blogger K.G. Wilkins is a Children’s Services Librarian at the Main Branch of the New Orleans Public Library.

Special thanks to the New Orleans Times-Picayune for allowing us to share Ms. Wilkins’ article with our readers!