Small Business Owner? The Denton Public Library has your back!

The Denton Public Library is pleased to have a number of excellent resources (FOR FREE) to help you succeed in starting your own business:

Reference USA: This is a database of 49 million businesses and 274 individual consumers to help you identify the perfect potential customer for your business.

Lynda.com: Need a refresher on using QuickBooks? Have a staff member who needs training on Blender, but no money in the training budget? Lynda.com is the database for you. Thousands of webinars on every topic a business owner can dream of!

Small Business Support Group: Have you ever stood up and given your 30-second business introduction (AKA elevator speech) to a group of other business people? The Small Business Support Group is a friendly, nurturing environment to practice your networking skills and learn from others.
North Branch Library
2nd Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m.

Image result for business meeting

SCORE (Service Core of Retired Executives)
Make your free appointment with a business mentor! Start working on your business plan or find funding.
Call Kerry Montz at 940-349-8757 to make your appointment.

Questions?
Call Kerry Montz (Business Outreach Librarian) 940-349-8757 or Randy Simmans (Small Business Marketing Expert) 940-349-8741

Vacation Resources at the Library

I just had a week long vacation back in March, but I’m already craving my next one. Though I don’t know when that will be, or where it will be to just yet, I’m satisfying my current craving by looking through some of the library’s vacation resources. Whether your plan is flying out of country and you need to learn a new language, need a guide book of restaurants, hotels, and attractions, or want to know the history of the location you’re visiting, the library gives you access to a plethora of resources, both physical and digital.

In-Flight French     Costa Rica     Mannahatta

If you’re like me, you want to keep your vacation as cheap as possible. For me, that means taking advantage of roadside attractions, camping, and keeping a cooler full of food for all my meals. Keeping things low budget like this allowed me to take a great trip from Oklahoma City to Santa Fe traveling along Route 66. This adventure stands out in my memory because of the many quirky and unique roadside attractions along the way. I never needed to spend money on entertainment when I was looking at a giant spider made out of trash and an old VW Bug or a 30 foot tall soda bottle.

Route 66     Road Trip USA     Adventure Handbook

Visiting National Parks, National Forests, or State Parks is another way to keep expenses down. There is only a small entrance and camping fee, but once you are in the park, there are indefinite opportunities for adventures. Whether you prefer day hikes, multi-day backpacking trips, fishing, birding, swimming, off-roading, or biking, state and national parks hold adventures for all types of travelers.

Hiking     Camping     Day Hikes

I know that my ideal vacation is not the most preferable, but using the library’s resources can help you plan your ideal getaway. Next time, when you need help planning your vacation, check out one of the many resources that the Denton Public Library has to offer!

Sara Davis
Library Assistant I
Emily Fowler Central Library

Wear Them Shoes

The title refers to one of my favorite Patrick Sweany songs, the lyrics of which keep popping up in my head whenever I think about my two jobs: being a municipal employee and working in the part of the library where preserving the past is in the job description. The image is relevant for both jobs.

Employing 1,383 people, the City of Denton is one of the top five major public employers in Denton, Texas. After working for the City for 20 years, I visualize it as a gigantic puzzle with many missing pieces as employees retire, leave, or die. The collective memory of numerous individuals who might be able to provide the answers to those questions that each and every person who lives in a city or works for a city has (or might have had).

The Denton Public Library keeps some of that history of which many items are on the Portal to Texas History website. Our newest collection, the Denton Municipal Collection, features various photos, newsletters, and documents from the early 1900s to the present. The collection is still growing and we will be adding new items each year as we “harvest” items from the different departments and individuals as they retire. We also encourage former City of Denton employees to contact us with items they would like to preserve or have added in this collection.

The newsletters are a wonderful addition and provide helpful context to these bits of historical and government happenings, such as this article that was in the Spotlight in Dec. 1966. It discusses the framework for the round room in the Civic Center, which was originally known as the Community Center.

Spotlight Dec 1966

The photos on the Portal cover the 1910s and upward, although we have yet to upload all of them. The photo below is one that will be added next year. According to the stamp on the cardboard holder, the negative was developed in October of 1973. I  used the library’s subscription to Newspaper Archives to search the Denton Record-Chronicle for apartment fires in 1973 and came to the conclusion that this fire took place on Tuesday, October 2, 1973 at the Cedar Crest Apartments located at 223 Avenue G – these apartments still stand, but are now called Vendi Place.  In the article, a student had a cooking fire, put it out and went to class, however the flames traveled up the vent and started burning in the attic.

Fire at Cedar Crest Apartments, October 2, 1973 in Denton, Texas.   (Courtesy of the Denton Public Library)

Many of the people in these photos have no information written on the back and there are no accompanying notes, so if you know the name of someone in a photograph, or have something to add to the content, please contact us at genealogy@cityofdenton.com.

COD_Slides030Carroll Boulevard at Hickory Street, looking south – before it was widened to 3 lanes.

COD_Slides024

Looking at the corner of Locust and Hickory when Craven’s used to be behind the Denton County National Bank (now Wells Fargo).

 

For items that are on the Portal, their website has a link in the record of each item that says, “Corrections & Problems,” which allows you to add comments that they forward to us.

Thanks for reading and please take a look at the collections. Or come by the library and take a look at some of the items in our display case at the Emily Fowler Central Library. We’re open 7 days a week.

Oh no, now I’ve got a Beatles song stuck in my head…

Leslie Couture, Special Collections Department

Top 10 Reasons to Take the Summer Reading Challenge at the Denton Public Library (July 4th edition)

Summer Reading Challenge

10. Reading is an exercise in intellectual freedom.

9. If you don’t read, it’s hard to complain about what you don’t know. So if you like complaining about what you do know, read!

8. Reading is the best insurance against ignorance.

7. Reading for yourself is better than saying “I heard it on Facebook.”

6. There’s nothing like the smell of new books in the morning.

5. Tyranny cannot flourish with an adequately informed citizenry.

4. Don’t wait until certain books are banned to wish you had read them. And yes, banning books is still a thing in this country (learn more at http://www.ala.org/bbooks/).

3. Reading something new is a great way to rid yourself of those pesky prejudices and misconceptions.

2. No one likes a know-it-all, and the more you read, the more you realize you don’t, in fact, know it all.

1. Stick it to The Man: read!

Kerol Harrod
Emily Fowler Central Library

Check out our Graphic Novel Selection

Our Graphic Novel Selection has grown quite a bit in the last year here at the Denton Public Library. We have a Graphic Novel Adult section, a Graphic Novel Teen section and a Graphic Novel Junior section all of which are quite large. I have become quite a fan of many of the Graphic Novels we carry. Below are some favorites (with descriptions from various readers.)

Patience by Daniel Clowes


The book opens in 2012, with its eponymous heroine discovering that she is pregnant. Patience, who thinks of herself as “white-trash”, has had a rough life, marked by abuse, neglect, and poverty. Her relationship with Jack Barlow, the only man who has ever been nice to her, and the pregnancy, are her lifelines. Jack, too, thinks of their love as his salvation, but very soon inside this threshold of a new, better life, he comes home to find Patience dead, apparently killed by an intruder. His life goes into freefall: he is first accused of her murder but released after a year, whereupon he becomes obsessively focused on finding out who killed Patience.

Bright Eyed at Midnight by Leslie Stein

“Life is nonlinear and that takes a lot of courage to cope with,” writes Leslie Stein in her new book, Bright-Eyed at Midnight. Stein coped, in part, by sitting down at a blank page each night for a year to draw comics. Fueled by insomnia and prompted by characters she encountered while tending bar or traveling the city or by bittersweet childhood memories (her insomnia stretches back to juvenile night terrors), she produced twelve months’ worth of microstories that build a larger narrative through accumulation. In addition to diaristic recollections of everyday events, she meditates on collaged aphorisms and observations snipped from Jules Renard’s Journal, offers up doodled portraits of teen crushes, and returns again and again to the moment just before dawn, when she is alone, awake, and contemplating her art and her existential questions.

Boundless by Jillian Tamaki.

Jenny becomes obsessed with a strange “mirror Facebook,” which presents an alternate, possibly better, version of herself. Helen finds her clothes growing baggy, her shoes looser, and as she shrinks away to nothingness, the world around her recedes as well. The animals of the city briefly open their minds to us, and we see the world as they do. A mysterious music file surfaces on the internet and forms the basis of a utopian society–or is it a cult? Boundless is at once fantastical and realist, playfully hinting at possible transcendence: from one’s culture, one’s relationship, oneself. This collection of short stories is a showcase for the masterful blend of emotion and humour of award-winning cartoonist Jillian Tamaki.

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

In this graphic memoir, Alison Bechdel charts her fraught relationship with her late father. Distant and exacting, Bruce Bechdel was an English teacher and director of the town funeral home, which Alison and her family referred to as the Fun Home. It was not until college that Alison, who had recently come out as a lesbian, discovered that her father was also gay. A few weeks after this revelation, he was dead, leaving a legacy of mystery for his daughter to resolve.
Rosalie Lightning by Tom Hart

Graphic novelist Tom Hart and his wife, Leela, lived through a horror story. Their baby girl, Rosalie, beautiful and vibrant, like all little children, died unexpectedly — and without explanation — in 2011, three weeks before her second birthday. It’s the kind of thing often too painful to consider, let alone experience. But Hart, the acclaimed author of the Hutch Owen series of graphic novels, wasn’t given a choice, nor did he have any option but to try to arrive at some sort of understanding — tenuous as it may be — by turning what happened into art. “There was a part of me,” says the soft-spoken, Gainesville-based Hart, “that realized I need to give my feelings some sort of form.” 

The Girl from H.O.P.P.E.R.S. A Love and Rockets Book by Jaime Hernandez

The 25th anniversary Love and Rockets celebration continues with this, the second of three volumes collecting the adventures of the spunky Maggie; her annoying, pixie-ish best friend and sometime lover Hopey; and their circle of friends, including their bombshell friend Penny Century, Maggie’s weirdo mentor Izzy—as well as the aging but still heroic wrestler Rena Titanon and Maggie’s handsome love interest, Rand Race. After the sci-fi trappings of his earliest stories (as seen in Maggie the Mechanic, the first volume in this series), Hernandez refined his approach, settling on the more naturalistic environment of the fictional Los Angeles barrio, Hoppers, and the lives of the young Mexican-Americans and punk rockers who live there. A central story and one of Jaime’s absolute peaks is “The Death of Speedy.” Such is Jaime’s mastery that even though the end of the story is telegraphed from the very title, the downhill spiral of Speedy, the local heartthrob, is utterly compelling and ultimately quite surprising. Also in this volume, Maggie begins her on-again off-again romance with Ray D., leading to friction and an eventual separation from Hopey.

-Juliana Dieterich, South Branch Library

Yer a Wizard, Harry

Azkaban. Diagon Alley. Gryffindor. Wingardium Levi-O-sa (not Levio-SAH!). And an easy one, if you haven’t caught on yet: Hogwarts.

If you recognized these as references to the magical wizarding world of Harry Potter, you’re in good company. As of last April the brand had an estimated worth of $25 billion, so you can imagine just how thoroughly the HP universe has permeated our modern society.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was released in the United States exactly one month before I turned eight years old and it completely changed the landscape of juvenile literature.  As someone who grew up with the characters and read the books immediately as they were published, I will always have a soft spot for anything related to Harry Potter. I can’t wait to read the novels with my own child one day so I can watch their eyes light up as they go along with Harry, Ron, and Hermione on their various adventures.

I remember what it felt like to be instantly transported to a world where anything was possible. Back when I was reading the first book, I think I was most intrigued by the magical candy, owls, and the possibility of finding out you had an exciting, alternate life awaiting you. Today I just want a time-turner so I can have more hours in the day (side note: don’t grow up, it’s a trap).

As the Teen Services Librarian, it makes my heart so happy to have kids ask me where they can find the HP books in the library. It’s always the first series I ask about when giving recommendations to kids who say they like fantasy. Spending an entire summer day reading a brand-new Harry Potter book is an experience that changed my life as a reader, so I love to watch other children and teens discover that indulgence as well.

Now that it’s abundantly clear that I am (and will always be) a huge Harry Potter nerd, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that we’re having a huge Harry Potter themed event this summer! On June 27th, Denton Public Library will be hosting our own version of a Triwizard Tournament from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the North Branch for young people ages 11-17. There will be a costume contest, trivia, food, games, crafts, and tons of other Potter-themed activities. Your Harry Potter-loving kids and teens will not want to miss it because, hello, where else will they get to be surrounded by other people who think their acceptance letters from Hogwarts were lost in the mail?! Hope to see you there (preferably dressed in costume)!

HP

And to end this post, here’s a fun little Buzzfeed quiz to see if your age can be guessed based on your taste in books. My result was only four years off from my real age (and my answer for question number one will be quite obvious…). Leave your result in the comments section!

Kasey
Teen Services Librarian
North Branch Library

Hidden History: Betty Jane Blazier Memorial Play Wall

Nestled in Quakertown Park between the Civic Center Pool and the Senior Center stands a rather unique, large, concrete wall. There are no clues on the structure as to its purpose, only a plaque that reads “In Memory of Betty Jane Blazier, 1915-1964, Teacher and Friend of Children”.

Incorporated into its long length are what appear to be tunnels, stairs, and random geometric shapes.  Is it an outdoor sculpture that should be admired from afar but not touched?  That description just does not feel right. The structure seems to extend an invitation to come and play, and in actuality that is what it is, a play wall.

Blazier 1962 Dadilian2

Photograph from the 1962 TWU Daedalian

The play wall was built as a memorial to Miss Betty Jane Blazier, who was an instructor for the College of Household Arts and Sciences at Texas Woman’s University for 18 years. She specialized in child development and nursery education and served as the director for the on-site nursery school. She was also one of the founding members of the Denton Unitarian Fellowship. Miss Blazier died on July 20, 1964, at 48 years old, after a five year battle with breast cancer.

Funding for the project was organized by the Unitarian Fellowship who commissioned Dr. Richard Laing, then a member of the North Texas State University (now UNT), art faculty to create something that children would enjoy as a memorial to Miss Blazier. The play wall was specifically designed to help children develop a sense of mass and form and to encourage children to participate in active play.

The City of Denton Parks and Recreation Department built the foundation and the sand enclosure for the memorial. The structure itself was constructed by Alvin Ellis, under the supervision of Mount-Miller Architects. The project had the approval of the Municipal Complex architect O’Neil Ford. The play wall was dedicated in a public ceremony on December 13, 1970.

DRC 06 Oct 1970

So, the next time you are at Quakertown Park, take a moment, and yield to the call of the wall, just stop and play.

Are you curious about the history of any other places in Denton? Stop by the Genealogy and Local History Department at the Emily Fowler Central Library and let’s see what interesting information we can find.

Laura Douglas
Emily Fowler Central Library