David Cherry's blog

Book Hunters in Brief #152: Mickey Mouse's 88th Birthday

He's the original mouse that roared, and built an empire. From his beginnings as Steamboat Willie, he now has his four-fingered, white-gloved hand in some very lucrative pies ranging from the four-letter TV sports behemoth to far-flung amusement complexes in places like Paris and Hong Kong.

Even with a prodigious imagination like Walt Disney's, it is hard to imagine he dared to imagine his little flickering, black and white rodent would be so phenomenally successful.

So, let's all raise a cup of Ovaltine to Mickey on the occasion of his 88th birthday.

Kindle Your Fire for Reading: Check Out a Kindle Touch!

You’ve heard a lot about eBooks. You’re curious and wonder what all the fuss is about, but don’t really want to drop your hard-earned cash on a Kindle so you can find out. Now, you don’t have to. You can borrow a Kindle Touch from us to take home and try out. It’s simple; you check it out just like other library books. Yes. Really.

• You can find one in the catalog just like any other item. Search: kindle touch
• If your HCPL branch doesn’t have one on hand, you can request one online and pick it up when it arrives.
• You can use the Kindle to check out free eBooks from HCPL’s collection or download books available on Amazon.com
• You get to keep it for two weeks.
• All you need is an HCPL library card.

Book Hunters in Brief #151: Need a Laugh?

The Book Hunters have been thinking there are a lot of folks out there who could use a good laugh right about now.

Success! HCPL Customers Checkout 1,000,000 eBooks in 2016 for Project Mill-E

Harris County Public Library is the first library system in Texas to circulate one million eBooks in a calendar year

Last January, we challenged you to checkout a million eBooks in 2016 and, in the process, make HCPL the first library system in Texas to circulate a million eBooks in a calendar year. Your response was overwhelming to put it mildly. We are delighted to announce that on Thursday, November 10, one of you put us over the top--with fifty days left in the year!  That is an average of 2,500 or so eBooks checked out every day.

All of us at HCPL want to congratulate everyone who helped us toward the goal, whether you checked out five eBooks or fifty or more, you made a difference.  We knew you were up to the task,  but we had no idea that you would embrace Project Mill-E with such gusto. Thank you all.

In the end, Project Mill-E is not about numbers or bragging rights, Edward Melton, Harris County Public Library’s Director.sees it as evidence of the continued transformation in the ways our customers access information and entertainment, and the necessity for the library to adapt to them, “HCPL and public libraries in general, are constantly evolving and changing to better meet the information needs of the community regardless of the format.”

Book Hunters in Brief #150: Citizenship Month

November is Citizenship Month in Houston which both civic engagement that true citizenship entails as well as "the vibrant mix of native Houstonians, transplants from other cities and states, Immigrants, refugees, foreign students and international resident workers."

Book Hunters is doing its part with this offering of reads for adult and youth:

For adults
Becoming Americans: Immigrants Tell their Stories from Jamestown to Today Edited by Ilan Stavans

Book Hunters in Brief #149: Scary Stories (But Not Too Scary)

Millions of years of evolution was aimed at one thing: to make it possible not to live in a constant state of fear. Our big brains allowed us to out think those that would make us their lunch, our forward facing eyes enabled us to see them before they could decide whether we would taste better broiled, fried or fricasseed, and our opposable thumbs let us make weapons so that we could make them OUR lunch as well as build shelters in which to enjoy the meal in comfort.

And what do we do as soon as our safety becomes more or less a given? We invent stories to scare ourselves witless.

NOTICE: West University Is Closed for Improvements

West University Place City Council recently approved funding for necessary improvements to West University Branch Library that will bring it into full compliance with new ADA and safety requirements. Although no firm completion date is currently available, it is hoped the branch will reopen in January 2017.

Until then, the nearest Harris County Public Library branch is Spring Branch Memorial located at 930 Corbindale, Houston TX 77024.

Bellaire City Library has graciously lent their assistance during West University's closure. See below for details

Book Hunters in Brief #148: Feeling Stressed Out? Maybe Book Hunters Can Help.

Are you stressed out? Of course you are, and you have every right to be, what with the most contentious presidential election in living memory reaching new depths with each passing day, the daily litany of violence we humans seem so perversely bent on inflicting upon one another, the natural disasters that come along at regular intervals to remind us that any control we think we have is illusory, and the endless news crawl of large and small tragedies that serve only to make us feel just a smidgen worse about ourselves for complaining about inconsequential things like traffic and the slowness of the overwhelmed barista with our pumpkin spice latte.

Book Hunters has come up with a list of books that we hope will take the edge off, at least for a little while.

Book Hunters in Brief #147: Rocking Memoirs

On this week when Bob Dylan became a Nobel Laureate, and Bruce Springsteen is in the midst of a book tour as opposed to his customary arena-packing, six-encores and a cross-stage vamp kind of tour, Book Hunters got to thinking about musicians on paper. Below is just a sampling of what some musicians have to say that they could not say in a song.

Mo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson

Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein

Book Hunters in Brief #146: Teen Read Week #146

It's our fault--us, adults. It's our fault that an awful lot of teens think the word "reading" and "fun" are, for all intents and purposes, opposites. Yes, our intentions are good. There's no doubt about that. We know how important literacy is for success. We know--because we've seen it--how hard life is for people who struggle with the written word. From traffic sign to mortgage contracts, the ability to read keeps you out of a lot of jams.

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