Friday, October 10, 2014

120th Anniversary Celebration

A couple of weeks ago, all of the public libraries in El Paso celebrated the 120th anniversary of our library system. We are so very proud to say that we are the longest continuously operating public library system in Texas!

It all started in the fall of 1894 with a reading room and a teacher with a passion for books. Mary Irene Stanton was a teacher at Central School who had a personal library of 600 volumes. She decided to make her entire library available to her students by starting a reading club in a room in the Sheldon Building (which later became the Sheldon Hotel). The library became so popular, it grew to 2,000 volumes and was moved to a larger room in 1899 in the new City Hall building.

In the next few years, Mary was able to help secure grants from Andrew Carnegie to build an independent library. In 1904, the Carnegie Library opened to the public at the 500 block of North Oregon Street. Today, the El Paso Public Library System has grown to include 12 libraries, an art library in the El Paso Museum of Art, a partnership with the Northwest EPCC campus, 2 bookmobiles, and a mobile technology center.

Come pick up your free commemorative postcard!

Thank you to all who came out to celebrate with us! The Dorris Van Doren Library celebrated with cake and refreshments. Lisa Martinez designed a commemorative postcard that was given out at all of the celebrations. We still have some left if you didn't get a chance to pick one up. Andrea Vick, Lluvia Parral, and Paola Aranda collected past and present photos of iconic El Paso buildings to create a commanding display. They also created banner displays of books that were popular in 1894 and books of 2014 that are popular so far. Our favorite activity of the celebration was the collection of our patrons' favorite memories of the El Paso Public Libraries. It's amazing to see how much public libraries impact our lives. Here's to many more years of serving our community!


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!