Author, Leif Pedersen visits our Library!

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 2:22pm

Leif Pederson, author of The Adventures of the Swamp Kids: The Missing Chord and Tutu’s Christmas, visited the Westlake Library for a book signing and a special storytime. Thanks for a great program and the visit!

Freegal Users can download 5 songs per week!

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 2:17pm

Hey Freegal music lovers! Guess what? 

The download limit has increased from 3 to 5 per week per patron! Get ready for the weekend!

Start downloading songs by Carrie Underwood, Beyonce, Jimi Hendrix, Kenny Chesney, Justin Timberlake, Daft Punk and more!

If you'd prefer, you may also stream music 3 hours daily!

No more Adobe Editions account with Overdrive

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 9:53am

Download the new version of the OverDrive app for Android, iOS (iPhone/iPad/iPod touch), and Windows 8 today.

What's new?

  • Elimination of the Adobe Authorization step from the app installation process. Register and use an Overdrive account instead of an Adobe Editions account. OverDrive account 
    • First-time users will be prompted to create an OverDrive account.
       
    • Existing users with an Adobe ID or OverDrive account associated with their OverDrive app are not affected.
       
  • Users under the age of 13 will be able to anonymously authorize the OverDrive app without creating an OverDrive account.
     
  • The app name will be shortened from "OverDrive Media Console" to "OverDrive."
  • Users will be able to return Open EPUB titles before the end of their lending period.
  • Ovedrive account offers syncing reading progress across multiple devices.

Libraries are a valuable "free" resource

Tue, 09/09/2014 - 9:41am

Libraries have become a gateway to the world, and not just through books, but videos, Internet-access and other resources that can broaden the horizons of people of all ages.

If you haven’t already got a library card to tap into these valuable resources, this is the time to do it. September of National Library Card Sign-Up Month.

The Calcasieu Parish Public Library is participating with the American Library Association and public libraries nationwide to make sure every citizen in Calcasieu Parish has one of the most important resources in their pocket — a free library card.

There is always something happening at every branch of the library and everything is always free and open to the public.

And that goes for all the parishes in Southwest Louisiana. Allen, Beauregard, Cameron, Jeff Davis, and Vernon parishes have excellent public library systems that are there for the citizens of those parishes as well.

Students can turn to the library materials, programs and services that support academic achievement and those outside of school can find information and entertainment on every shelf.

The library offers a variety of materials ranging from craft and art projects to test prep and author visits.

Library card holders can use their library cards from home, too. Your library offers access to important and fun online resources like entertainment from Hoopla and free downloads of popular movies and TV shows to educational resources like Learning Express, a one stop shop for test prep, career prep, and more.

“Our library provides all citizens a welcoming atmosphere where they can explore, discover and create,” says Christy Duhon, public information officer for the Calcasieu Parish Public library systems.

For more information on how to sign up for a library card, visit your nearest library branch or visit the library online at www.calcasieulibrary.org. Patrons can sign up for a library card online with instant access to online resources.

Other area parish libraries also have Web sites at: Allen, www.allen.lib.la.us; Beauregard, library.beau.org; Cameron, www.cameron.lib.la.us; Jefferson Davis, www.jefferson-davis.lib.la.us; and Vernon, www1.youseemore.com/VernonParish/default.asp.

Give your library a visit today. You’ll be glad you did.

article from the American Press

Adventure continues with rookie detective, Isaac Bell

Tue, 09/09/2014 - 9:37am

The Striker (2013) An Isaac Bell Adventure Book 6 by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott

Library Copies

From the Jacket cover flap-

“It is 1902, and a bright, inexperienced young man named Isaac Bell, only two years out of his apprenticeship at the Van Dorn Detective Agency, has an urgent message for his boss. Hired to hunt for radical unionist saboteurs in the coal mines, he is witness to a terrible accident that makes him think that something else is going on, that provocateurs are at work and bigger stakes are in play.

Little does he know just how big they are. Given exactly one week to prove his case, Bell quickly finds himself pitted against two of the most ruthless opponents he has ever known, men of staggering ambition and cold-bloodedness . . . who are not about to let some wet-behind-the-ears detective stand in their way.

Filled with the intricate plotting and dazzling set pieces that are Cussler’s trademarks, The Striker is a splendid new novel from the grand master of adventure.” -- Amazon

Praise for THE STRIKER

  • “Fans of the Isaac Bell series will note the same exciting storytelling and vivid early twentieth-century setting, but they’ll also note something different: even though it’s set only four years earlier than the first Bell novel (2008’s The Chase), the book features a much different Isaac: younger, more impetuous, less calmly analytical . . . this origin story (every hero needs one) will give Bell’s fans a fresh look at their favorite private investigator.”—Booklist

Praise for the Isaac Bell Adventures

  • “Bell is a superb action hero who moves elegantly and lethally through the period.” —Library Journal
  • “Bell just keeps getting more interesting. Cussler is turning out some of his best work.” —Booklist

Other Isaac Bell Adventure novels

  • The Thief (2012) Book 5
  • The Race (2011) Book 4
  • The Spy (2010) Book 3
  • The Wrecker (2009) Book 2
  • The Chase (2007) Book 1

10 things learned from trying something new

Tue, 09/09/2014 - 9:32am

A couple of months ago, I wrote an article about trying something new for 30 days.

The idea came from a TED Talk by Matt Cutts, who decided to write a book in 30 days. It's a great way to tick something off your life list, learn something new or make time for something you've always wanted to do.

I decided to try and write my own book in 30 days and just to make things interesting; I went to Paris to do it.

Here are 10 things I learned from trying something new for 30 days:

  1. The first week is the hardest. Get into a routine and stick to it.
  2. There will be days that you will want to skip, but don't! Just push through.
  3. Once you're past the halfway mark it gets much easier. You actually start to like it because you notice the difference it makes to your life.
  4. It's hard to be disciplined. Despite your good intentions, when you're tired, you've got a splitting headache or you want to go out and do anything else, you must summon all of your willpower to stay focused.
  5. Have a goal. I wanted to write a book so I made sure I took the steps every day to do it. You may want to achieve something else like do a chin up or read War and Peace. Once you know your goal, you can set daily targets to reach it.
  6. Make it fun. You decided to do this new thing because you wanted to. Don't make it a burden; make it something you look forward to.
  7. Tell people about your plans. The more people you tell, the more likely you will be to stick to it because they'll keep asking you about it.
  8. Try to encourage other people to do it too. On the days where it all just feels too hard you can work on it together (or just whinge together).
  9. Reward yourself at the end.
  10. Set a new goal and try something new the following month.

September is here. If you're thinking of trying something new, why not start next month? 

written by Candace Davis for the Huffington Post

"Personal" is a page-burner!

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 10:34am

Library Copies

Jack Reacher is on his way to Seattle on a bus when he happens upon a copy of the Army Times, a military publication. In the middle of dozens of ads is a message for Reacher, who gets off the bus, finds a pay phone and calls the Pentagon. So begins Personal, Child's nineteenth novel in the series.

Reacher is on the hunt for John Kott, a former Army sniper just out of prison after serving fifteen years in Leavenworth for murder. There's concern Kott will attempt to assassinate the President of the United States, and Reacher had been the MP who arrested Kott, so he is a target as well.

In my recent interview with Lee Child, he talked about how he enjoys setting his books in America's heartland, and although Reacher pays a visit to Arkansas, most of the action in Personal takes place in Paris and London where Child knows the territory extremely well. Reacher teams up with Casey Nice, an attractive young woman from the state department, who he takes under his wing and schools in arts of detection, espionage and all other things Reacher.

Reacher and Nice make a good team and find Kott quickly. Unfortunately, he's under the protection of the book's major villain, Little Joey, 7 ft tall, 300 pound giant with a house to match. Little Joey leads a gang of thugs known as the Romford Boys, and they he deliver Child's usual array of fights, chases and general action.

Jack Reacher can opine on any subject, and in the hands of a lesser writer he could be a blowhard, but Child continues to make him interesting, informative and truly compelling. Child's style is much like Reacher's - straightforward and no-nonsense. Personal is a perfectly paced thriller that transcends being a page-turner. It's a page-burner!

article written by Rob Taub for the Huffington Post

It's all about friendship!

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 11:25am

I love my friends. They are there for me through thick and thin. We need friends to give us perspective, and we need each other to make up for where we fall short. This is a prevalent theme in many children's books, as young people are beginning to learn about relationships and how to interact with others their age. My favorite friendship books feature characters with real emotions that kids (and anyone really) can relate to. We all need a friend to get us through the hard times, and a friend makes the happy times even happier.

I am really inspired by how friendship connects and enriches lives. In my new book, Little Elliot, Big City, a little polka dotted elephant named Elliot makes his way through the hustle and bustle of the big city. Just when his challenges seem insurmountable, he makes a new friend who changes everything. Life is so much sweeter with a friend to share it with.

Here is a list of what I think are the best children's book friendships:

Frog & ToadArnold Lobel's charming odd couple perfectly complements each other: happy-go-lucky Frog balances uptight Toad. Together, they make up for each other's shortcomings during their whimsical adventures. Lobel's sensitive illustrations and simple narrative have captured the hearts of many.

Elephant & PiggieIt's easy to love Mo Willems' Elephant & Piggie series. They are funny, heart-felt, and honest. Willem's spare text and illustrations convey mountains of emotion. I think Elephant and Piggie's success is due to how relatable the characters are.

George & MarthaJames Marshall's George and Martha are real friends. The two are able to counterbalance each other's insecurities and imperfections in short, funny vignettes. While one's flaw is found out, the other never shames them, but gently and lovingly offers reassurance.

Duck & Goose: Tad Hill's adorable poultry pair have a fun time discovering their world from a toddler's perspective. Though Duck and Goose are obviously different animals, they are so close that they interact as if they were twins.

Pooh & PigletEveryone knows Pooh Bear and Piglet from A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard's classic Winnie-the-Pooh (and of course from Disney's adaptations). Pooh & Piglet are faithful friends who see each other through all sorts of predicaments, like floods, an "expotition" to the North Pole, and encounters with a Woozle.

Flora & the FlamingoMolly Idle won a Caldecott Honor this year for her wordless book, Flora and the Flamingo. A little ballerina makes fast friends with a flamingo through dance. Interactive flaps and fold-outs add movement and surprise, as readers watch the two froclick through the pages.

Wilbur & CharlotteE.B. White's timeless middle grade novel, Charlotte's Web, beautifully exhibits the lengths a true friend will go to. Good friends look out for each other and keep each other safe from harm. Charlotte the spider, who is small but wise, becomes the protector of sweet, innocent Wilbur the pig. In the end, Wilbur is able to return the favor.

Flora & UlyssesKate DiCamillo's sweetly quirky story about a girl and her squirrel won the 2014 Newbery Medal. Comic-crazed Flora witnesses the transformation of a squirrel into a superhero in a freak vacuum cleaner accident, and dubs him Ulysses. Ulysses' heroic feats include flying, writing poetry, and proving to Flora that it's ok to hope.

written by author, Mike Curato for the Huffington Post

Updates: OverDrive digital library website and mobile app

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 10:59am

In the mobile view, search results filters have been relocated to the top of the page to improve the browsing experience.

Users will now see a red notification flag on their Account and Holds pages when they have a title on hold that is ready to be checked out.

Users can now identify titles to be recommended to Library from the cover page view.

Goodbye Freegal Movies/TV! Hello Hoopla!

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 3:48pm

In mid-September, we'll are saying "goodbye" to Freegal Movies and Television. What? Don't worry, we've got Hoopla!

Have you heard what all the Hoopla was about? It's about movies and television, music and audiobooks! 

With Hoopla, access an extensive movie/tv catalog of educational materials, children's titles, foreign films, and other hard-to-find content not offered anywhere else with unlimited number of copies, so there are never any waiting lists.

Start streaming movies/tv immediately, or download a title to a phone or tablet for offline viewing later. It’s returned for you at the end of the lending period (3 days), so there are never any late fees.

Have you seen the categories? Browse titles within Recently Released, Film Festival Flix, Action, French Films, Drama, Featured Spanish, Featured Children’s, Homeschool and Classics (90’s, 80’s, 70’s, 60’s, 50’s and 40’s/before. And the list goes on and on.

Are you new to Hoopla? Get the Scoop!

FYI....this is only the movie and television option from Freegal. You may continue to enjoy the music collection from Freegal music!

 

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