LEGO Challenge: Bridges

Time for another LEGO® Challenge!  I asked the LEGO®Mania teens to build bridges that would span the space between two tables.  Here are some photos:











Legoquest also did the same challenge, so check their website for more ideas.

Here’s the challenge:  Can you construct a bridge made entirely of LEGO®s?  Build it between two structures and see how long you can make it.  Will it hold weight like coins, cars or minifigures?

Take the challenge and share your photos with us.

Posted by Stacey Irish-Keffer at the Emily Fowler Central Library

September 27, 2014 at 3:43 pm Leave a comment

Creative Women’s Conference at the North Branch Library

Creative Women’s Conference at the North Branch Library

Saturday, September 27   from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

This conference is a drop in, come when you can, stay as long as you can, event offered at no cost.  All are welcome to come learn and be inspired.

What is it all about?

The Creative Women’s Conference was born out of the idea that there are a lot of women in the creative industry and these women deserve some recognition.  Not only should we recognize these women for their artistic talents, but for the resources they are to the community, men, women, girls and boys. So no, this is not a conference for women only; everyone can come and learn from these inspiring women who have turned their art and their passion into a way of living.

Which creative industries will be represented?

Graphic Design, Fashion, Radio, Theater and Film, Dance and Theater Production, Voice Acting, Photography, Comic and Video Game Art, Jewelry, Gaming Miniatures, Toy Creation, Novel Writing and Home Décor

What can you gain from attending?

Inspiration to be creative, to foster your artistic talents and to do what you  love for life.

These women are more than creative; they are business women making a living doing what they love. Learn from their experience, learn what it took for them to become successful – which does not usually happen overnight or without blood, sweat and tears. All these women have stories to tell and they are choosing to be a part of this conference to help others find their way.

In addition, Kerry Montz, the Denton Public Library’s Business Librarian will be here and will present at 1 p.m. on all the ingenious, free business tools and services the library provides.

The schedule for the day can be seen by clicking on the conference poster:







Who can you expect to see on Saturday?

The long list starts here: Make sure you scroll all the way down to check out everyone!

Art. Design, Fashion, Writing, Photography –


Halo Seraphim – artist, illustrator, toymaker and co-owner and art director of Shonuff! Studio

Designer of Graphic Lab Tees, Creator of a toy line for Collected Comic Stores

Contributor Literati Press, Production Assistant on Monsterverse Comics

@theonlyhalo  /   /


Eliamaria Madrid-Onofre – comic artist, writer, actress / Creator of webcomic – Elia In a Box

Senior Theater Performance major at UT Arlington,

Leader of Maverick Theater Company’s “Flight 12” Improv Troupe  / /


Jessica Nida – Video Game Artist eight years and running

19 games under her belt including: Star Wars and Walking Dead

Masters Degree in Video Game Creation – Has her own label

Teaches, Speaks and Demos to help budding developers learn how to launch their own games   /

@geekthumb     @harpygames


Elizabeth Howard – Graphic Designer at TWU, online shop – Wild Designs

Social Media Manager for magician and master electrician, Daryl Howard

Personal work focuses on pop (Geek) culture

Wife and mom of her son and three dogs   /

Nikki Duong-Koenig









Nikki Duong Koenig – Founder/owner and the “Chik” in her brand of fun, cruelty-free, eco-friendly and custom- made vegan hand bags and accessories, Cykochik, a business she started in her dorm room at SMU

Before committing to her business full time, worked as – advertising art director at several global agencies in New York and later as a creative director for an interactive marketing agency in Dallas.

Successful Kickstarter campaign allowed her to spend 100% of her time on Cykochik

In 2013, PETA recognized Cykochik with their Compassionate Business Award  @cykochik








Christine Curda – highly creative fashion designer

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion Design – UNT


kels profile pic-1








Kelsey Macke – long time creative, recently published her first novel, Damsel Distressed

Talk about creative, her novel inspired a soundtrack, Imogen Unlocked, produced and performed by Wedding Day Rain, her and her husband Daron’s band.

@kelsnotchels  /  /


shannon photo






Shannon Stiltz – Owner Queen Penguin Productions

Production and modification of pewter items – custom jewelry, accessories and figurines

Ten years with Reaper Miniatures – casting, moldmaking, painting    @shannonstiltz  /








Kaitlyn Qualls – photographer, blogger, event planner, graphic designer

Attending TWU for Graphic Design  /    @kaitbq  /







Cherry Fargo –  Arts, Crafts, Home Décor, Jewelry, Accessories








kristen 2

Kristen McGuire – artist and voice actor, self-published six comic books / webcomic

Published a children’s book / Funimation voice actress / @kriscomics  /


Apphia Yu – AKA Ayu – writer – head of visual novel group Sakevisual

Written and produced award winning Jisei Murder Mystery Series and Otome Games

Comic – “Ties that Bind” / Voice Actress – Funimation  /  @soymilkpudding   /  /  /


Radio, TV, Film, Theater -


Nicholle Walton-Durban – producer, development executive, performing artist, actor, wife,

mom,business entrepreneur

CEO of Edgen Films

Regional Director of Heyman Talent’s Crew Division – Austin, TX


Kristi Rothrock – communications and broadcasting

Co-host of The Nerd Show

Texoma Broadcasting host KBBC 99.7 Durant, OK  @krockjock   / @grandpa_trout


Jennifer Hobson – CEO Jennifer Hudson Productions

Professional Artistic & Creative Director and Producer

Credits: Dallas Children’s Theater, Samuel French Commissioned Broadway Plays

Southern Dallas Magazine /Best Fashion Show in DFW 3 years running  / @jenniferjhobson


Leslie Stephens-MacFall – Founder, Artistic Director Black Fox Players – local income-based

theater company / Instructor, Choreographer, Student – Green Space Arts Collaborative

Royal Academy of Dance Trained – Perform community dance efforts: College Dance Festival,

Arts and Jazz Festival, Denton’s Day of the Dead Festival featuring Cirque Du Horror  /


Karen Hallford – Casting Works LA – network of resources to find actors, extras and stand ins

Eye for talent – merging backgrounds in advertising, art and industry

Bridging gap between the creative vision of the director, producer and client – brings conceptual

vision to an on screen reality

recently brought producing services and capabilities to Casting Works LA     @karenhallford


For more information call or email Juli Gonzalez, 940-349-8741 /

- Juli Gonzalez

Librarian at the North Branch Library

September 23, 2014 at 8:55 pm Leave a comment

Denton Bird’s Eye View

The Denton Public Library Special Collections has a bird’s eye view of Denton displayed at the Emily Fowler Central Library. This map was created in 1883 by August Koch. The map depicts Denton from the north east, and shows the railroad depot, the 1875 courthouse, the flour mills, and many other historic buildings in town.

August Koch was born around 1840 in Birnbaum, Germany. Throughout his career of creating bird’s eye view maps, he traveled to Iowa, California, New York, Alabama, and Texas. He created twenty-four views of Texas cities.

A website, created by the Amon Carter museum,, features many of Koch’s maps, including the map of Denton. The website allows the user to zoom in and out to view details, provides information about the map and supporting illustrations.




Kathy is the Senior Librarian in Special Collections at the Emily Fowler Central Library.

September 20, 2014 at 9:36 am Leave a comment

Gale Courses


For awhile now the library has offered a service called Gale Courses.  The courses are extensive (about 24 hours,) six-week online classes on a variety of subjects.  Each course consists of 12 lessons, two lessons released each week.  I took the course about basic Microsoft Access 2007, and I really enjoyed it.

Now, you might be thinking something like “Sure he thought it was great; he works at the library.”  Well, it’s true I work at the library, but I got a lot from the course, and I’ll tell you why.

These are instructor-led courses.  This doesn’t mean that you have to work on the lessons at a specific time the instructor is available; you can work on them anytime that is convenient for you.  What it does mean is that the instructor created the course, wrote the lessons and exercises, is an expert, and has opened a forum so that you can ask questions or leave comments.  You will get a response within 24 hours.  The instructor for the course I took answered my questions in a patient, clear manner.  The forum also facilitates communication with the other students in the class.

I find most computer instruction books daunting.  Most of it goes over my head.  But the course I took through the library was written in a conversational style and each exercise built upon the previous one, so that at the end I had created two fairly complex databases using Access.  This is the way I learn best, and I felt that I had really accomplished something when the course was over.  I also received a certificate at the end of the class.

Each lesson in this computer course was hands-on, and ended with a multiple-choice quiz.  The quiz did not affect whether or not I passed the course, but it was evaluated.  I knew right away which answers I had missed, and could take the quiz again as practice.  There was a multiple-choice final exam, and passing this was necessary for me to get my certificate.  The final was no problem.  I had my notes to help me because I had been able to print the lessons and index to the course.  I had the equivalent of an easy-to-follow manual.

There are more than 100 computer courses available, from beginner to advanced.  There are also courses in other subjects, including accounting & finance; healthcare & medical; law & legal; and writing & publishing.  Among the popular courses are ones for test-preparation.  Gale Courses through the Denton Public Library is a great way to gain skills, and all it costs is a bit of time.  My experience is that it is time well spent.

Anyone can use Gale Courses on any of the computers in the library.  Also, if you have a library card that allows you to check out books, and don’t have a fine over $5.00, you can take these courses from your home (again, free of charge.)  Simply go to  and click on the Gale Courses picture (shown above,) type in your library card number, and choose the subject you are interested in from the list at the left of the screen.  Within each subject are dozens of courses to choose from.  Choose the course you want, click “enroll,” determine when you want to start the course, and create an account (this account is in addition to your library account, and you’ll use it for any other course you take.)  After that, you’re on your way!

One thing to keep in mind is that, although you can work on the lessons at any time, you must complete each lesson within two weeks of the day it was released, and complete the final within two weeks of the last lesson.  You are allowed 8 weeks for each course.

Gale Courses is just one of the great resources the library offers, and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to improve their skills and learn something new.


gale courses

September 17, 2014 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Science Kits

Did you know you can check out Science Experiment Kits from the library? Thanks to the students at the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS) at UNT, the Denton Public Library has 25 different Experiment Kits available at all 3 branches.

I took one of these kits home to my 5 year old daughter, and it was a big hit. The kits include 3 different experiments each, and instructions that were simple enough for her to understand. Most of the supplies needed to do the experiments are common household items, if not; they are included in the box. The TAMS students who created the boxes even included an explanation of “The Science Behind the Magic”. It’s great to see her learning and engaged over the summer break!  So far, Light and Color and Music have been her favorites. Let us know which ones you have tried, and how your experiments worked out.


Click here to see the Experiment Kits available at your branch.


Grace Smart is a Library Assistant II at the Emily Fowler Central Library.


September 13, 2014 at 9:09 am Leave a comment

Britcoms at the Denton Public Library

I saw my first Britcom (American slang for “British Sitcom”) when I accidentally stumbled across an episode of Rising Damp on my local PBS station. I think I was about 12, and I was hooked. The comedic chemistry between Richard Beckinsale and Leonard Rossiter struck a nerve with me, and of course, I found the flirty spinster character played by Frances De La Tour hysterically funny. I was delighted recently to find Ms. De La Tour back on the small screen in the hilarious new Britcom, Vicious, which also stars Derek Jacobi and Ian McKellen. The first season of Vicious is available at the Denton Public Library, as well as a number of other terrific shows from the other side of the pond.

If you enjoy shows with strong, memorable characters, Keeping Up Appearances and As Time Goes By are great fun. You must ‘meet’ Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced ‘Bouquet’) at once, if you haven’t already! The Vicar of Dibley introduces an assortment of interesting village folk, who aren’t quite sure if they are pleased with their new female vicar. If you were a fan of Friends, you’ll love Coupling.

If you have a strong stomach for uncomfortable awkwardness, you absolutely must see The Office with Ricky Gervais as David Brent. Yes, I loved the American version of The Office; I watched it from beginning to end. But after the first 4-5 episodes, it really became something else. If you like The Office, you may also like Black Books with the Irish comedian Dylan Moran. His bookshop owner character Bernard Black prefers wine consumption to actually helping any of his customers find books to purchase.

Comedy in sketch format is done brilliantly by David Walliams and Matt Lucas in Little Britain; please be aware of the envelope-pushing done very gleefully! If you prefer your comedy with a flavor of sci-fi, you may enjoy Red Dwarf in which a misfit crew travels through space in a mining ship 3 million years in the future. History buffs may find their funny bone itched with the Black Adder series with Rowan Atkinson. History is re-written as Richard III actually loves his nephew and whom eventually takes the throne as Richard IV – hilarity then ensues as he has a scheming son, Edmund, Duke of Edinburgh. His descendents somehow find their way through time during the Elizabethan period, the Regency, and World War I.

Each of these shows can be found at the Denton Public Library – please let us know what we can help you find!


- Kerry Montz, Assistant Branch Manager, North Branch and Business Liaison Librarian (who also has a very cunning plan…….)



September 9, 2014 at 11:59 am 5 comments

Families and Favorite Foods

Our memories of favorite foods are often created at family gatherings like Sunday dinners, family reunions, cookouts, and over holidays. This is where family members bring out their best dishes to share and pass on family lore. One of my favorite family food memories was over Sunday dinners where my mother would serve her wonderful Potatoes Au Gratin. She called it “Masterpiece.” I asked her one time how this dish got its name. She told me that it was the first dish she learned to make as a child. When she proudly served it, her daddy proclaimed it “Masterpiece,” and it has been known as that ever since.

You can preserve your special memories by remembering the favorite foods of your childhood and passing the stories along to your family. Write down these stories or record them while talking to family members at gatherings. Use your smart phone or a digital recorder and make copies to share. You will be surprised at how many other family stories these will generate.


download (1)

Photo of Virginia Nobles.  Courtesy of the Portal to Texas History.

Kathy Strauss, Assistant Branch Manager of the Emily Fowler Central Library

September 6, 2014 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

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DPL on Twitter

  • 10/01, 7PM at North. Learn the basics of programming with Scratch, make games and animations. Ages 11-17. Registration req at 940-349-8752. 12 hours ago
  • 10/01, 7PM at North. Visit our fun new book group and discuss "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot. No registration. 12 hours ago
  • 10/01, 3:30PM at North. Number Ninjas! Play fun games that reinforce the basic functions of mathematics. Ages 6-10. 12 hours ago



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