Category Archives: Library News

Charlotte Holmes: Texas author puts a spin on Sherlock

By Stacey Doud

Thomas

Author Sherry Thomas

I recently had the pleasure of listening to Texas author Sherry Thomas at the Irving South Public Library. Thomas is the author of the “Lady Sherlock” books. The library has hosted an “Adult Winter Reading Challenge” every year for the past three years. This year’s theme is “Sherlocked.” Participants are required to read five books of his or her choice within the theme and log them online. Upon completing the task, readers will win a limited-edition puzzle book, a Sherlock Holmes keychain and a free book.

Thomas’s “Lady Sherlock” book series puts a new spin on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s popular Sherlock Holmes character from the 1800s. Thomas imagined Sherlock as a woman named Charlotte Holmes and she compares and contrasts Charlotte’s behavior, personality and methods with the well-established Sherlock character.

ArtOfTheftSenior Librarian Karen Wong explained that, “This year, we wanted to focus on the mystery genre, but there are just so many great mysteries, so what book to pick? Eventually we realized that we should go with the most famous detective of all-time, Sherlock Holmes.”

Wong was tasked with finding an author that has altered the Holmes character in some way. “My first thought was Sherry Thomas,” Wong said. “I had just read her first book in the ‘Lady Sherlock’ series and enjoyed it so much.”

Sherry Thomas was born in China and left the country when she was 13 years old, when her family immigrated to Louisiana. She credits American romance novels as her English tutor, as Chinese was her original language. She is a graduate of Louisiana State University (LSU) and the University of Texas (UT).

With Bachelors and Masters degrees in accounting, life eventually led Thomas in a different direction. When asked where the idea of Lady Sherlock came from, Thomas said, “I had been a fan of Sherlock Holmes for my entire life. I read ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ in Chinese. I also watched the TV show in China in the mid-80s.

“Around the same time, I discovered ‘The Seven-Per-Cent Solution: Being a Reprint from the Reminiscences of John H. Watson, M.D. (The Journals of John H. Watson, M.D.).'”

This book was written by Nicholas Meyer and was published in 1993. It looked at events from the perspective of Holmes’ sidekick, Dr. Watson, and includes Dr. Sigmund Freud as Holmes’s counterpart, with Watson chronicling their adventures.

SherryThomas

A video wall at the Irving South Library

“That showed me that a lot of other people have been writing Sherlock Holmes stuff. Right around the time I went to UT, I read ‘The Beekeeper’s Apprentice,’ which is the first book in a series called ‘Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes’, [which was written by Laurie King and published in 1994]. I loved that book so much that I would listen to audio cassettes of the book series,” said Thomas.

“It wasn’t until the new BBC [British Broadcasting Corporation] show with Benedict Cumberbatch came out that I thought, ‘I wonder what else people could do with Sherlock Holmes to bring him into the 21st century?’” Thomas said. “It was about the same time that CBS came out with their show, ‘Elementary,’ in which Dr. Watson was now a woman. That made me think about what would happen if Sherlock was a woman?”

Thomas’s Charlotte Holmes mirrors Sherlock in some ways but is completely different in others. When asked if Charlotte might be Autistic, Thomas answered in the affirmative and said that the original Sherlock was most likely “on the spectrum” as well.

“Sherry Thomas has a wonderful way with words, and she’s very funny and down-to-earth. She kept me captivated with her fascinating comments, and I think everyone left the event as either new fans or even more devoted long-time fans of this charming writer,” Wong said.

Thomas has written books in a variety of genres and plans to write ten “Lady Sherlock” books. She is currently writing the fifth installment of the series.

For more information, visit SherryThomas.com or The South Irving Library’s website.

Grapevine Public Library is one of a kind: First sensory-inclusive certified library in Texas

Author: Sean Giggy

library.front

Photo: City of Grapevine

Libraries are supposed to be quiet places, but the Grapevine Public Library has done something that speaks volumes.

Earlier this summer the library became the first sensory-inclusive certified library in Texas. “We’re hoping more join us, ’cause it’s really a great thing to do,” said Grapevine library director Ruth Chiego.

It’s also quite necessary. One in six Americans has a sensory need.

That means, sometimes, being in public places like the library can be overwhelming. 

Read more from WFAA…

Colleyville Public Library open again after renovations

By 

The Colleyville Public Library reopened Sept. 28 at 110 Main St., Colleyville, after undergoing renovations to make the library more user-friendly and more efficient. Work has been done to improve technology, floor space, device connectivity, lighting and shelving, said Mary Rodne, library and special events director. 817-503-1153. www.colleyvillelibrary.com

Read more from Community Impact…

Library System Long-Range Plan Meetings

11708010_846014498785424_7971709636433685912_oThe Brazoria County Library System is creating a new long-range plan, which will be for 2016 through 2021. As part of the process, there will be long-range planning meetings at the Pearland Library on Tuesday, July 21 at 7 p.m. and at the Pearland Westside Library on Tuesday, July 28 at 7 p.m.

The meetings are open to the public, and they are identical, in that there is no need for an individual to attend both. The meetings are a chance for the Brazoria County Library System to better understand peoples’ aspirations for the community, their concerns and what they believe might strengthen the community. Attendees will help define the Library’s future roles.

Individuals who wish to attend should contact the appropriate branch or email lloranc@bcls.lib.tx.us to confirm attendance. The Pearland Library’s phone number is 281.652.1677, and the Pearland Westside Library’s phone number is 713.436.0995.

Brazoria County Library System schedules annual book sale

The Brazoria County Library System will hold its annual book sale Thursday evening, July 30 and all day Friday, July 31 and Saturday, August 1 at the Angleton Library, a branch of Brazoria County Library System, in Angleton.

Starting Thursday, July 30 from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., the public can find and buy books covering various topics for bargain prices. Most books sell for one dollar or less.

The sale Friday, July 31 starts at 9:00 a.m. and will continue until 6:00 p.m.; Saturday, August 1, the hours will be the same. The sale includes outdated items removed from library shelves over the past five months. Donated books from the public are also available. These materials are gathered and sold to the public to dispose of the property. There will be fiction, nonfiction, videos, audiocassette tapes and children’s books. Since space at the Angleton Library is limited, additional books are always added to the sale. Since the library has boxes and boxes of books to sell; the inventory is constantly changing. For this reason, people should come back and see what new books are available.

Money raised during the book sale is used by the County Library Board to benefit the branches. The money also helps the branches pay for performers during the summer reading program.

Volunteers are also needed to help with the book sale set-up that takes place Thursday, from 8:30 a.m. until noon.

The Angleton Library is located at 401 E. Cedar Street.

For more information or to volunteer, call Library Administration and ask for Lisa Gay.

In the west or central areas of the county, call 979-864-1505. In the Brazosport area, dial 979-388-1505. In the northern part of the county, call 281-756-1505.

Rename the Pearland Westside Library

The Brazoria County Library System will be renaming the Pearland Westside Library. To ensure the selection of the most popular and appropriate name, the library system is asking library patrons to assist with the selection. Voting will take place at the Pearland Westside Library throughout the month of June.

BCLS has two branches in the City of Pearland: the original branch, Pearland Library on Liberty Drive and the most recent addition to the library system, Pearland Westside Library on Business Center Drive. Pearland library patrons have expressed their dissatisfaction with these similar names, often confusing the branch locations and missing library events as a result. In response to these patron concerns, BCLS will be renaming the Pearland Westside Library.

The BCLS Marketing Committee considered several suggestions and narrowed the choice to four candidates: Town Center Library; Shadow Lake Library; The Library @ 288 and Westside Library. Voting is available to patrons of all ages.

Ballots can be cast at the Pearland Westside Library at 2803 Business Center Drive, Ste. 101, Pearland 77584. Business hours are Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. For more information, contact the Pearland Westside Library at (713) 436-0995

Best-Selling Author to Speak at Friendswood Library

ShollyColonel Robert H. Sholly, USA (Ret.) author of the award-winning book, “Young Soldiers Amazing Warriors: Inside One of the Most Highly Decorated Battalions of Vietnam” will speak about his first tour in Vietnam at the Friendswood library located at 416 South Friendswood Dr. on Thursday (Feb. 26) from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

“Young Soldiers Amazing Warriors” is based on journals the author kept during his first combat tour in Vietnam and eye-witness accounts of survivors. It has reached the No. 1 Best Seller position on Amazon Kindle and has won 20 national awards, including a Grand Prize, since its publication in February 2014.

The story recounts day-to-day operations in the Central Highlands of Vietnam in 1966-67. Humor is mixed with the difficulties of mountainous terrain, wild animals and vegetation. Included in the account are stories about unexpected animals, ferocious firefights and awe-inspiring actions of young men just out of high school, who are heroes in the making.

Sholly gives accounts from his men’s perspective which are exciting, intriguing and memorable. Numerous individual citations were awarded to soldiers for their bravery and valor.

In addition to other awards and decorations in an unheard of 60-day period, four men were awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest honor, while five other soldiers were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest award.

Colonel Sholly will be available to sign books after his presentation.

Additional information on the book and the author may be found on Amazon.com and at YoungSoldiersAmazingWarriors.com.

Brazoria County Library System Book Sale Jan. 29 – 31

The Brazoria County Library System will hold its annual book sale Thursday evening, January 29 and all day Friday, January 30 and Saturday, January 31 at the Angleton Library, a branch of Brazoria County Library System, in Angleton.

Starting Thursday, January 29 from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., the public can find and buy books covering various topics for bargain prices. Most books sell for one dollar or less.

The sale Friday, January 30 starts at 9:00 a.m. and will continue until 6:00 p.m.; Saturday, January 31, the hours will be the same. The sale includes outdated items removed from library shelves over the past five months. Donated books from the public are also available. These materials are gathered and sold to the public to dispose of the property. There will be fiction, nonfiction, videos, audiocassette tapes and children’s books. Since space at the Angleton Library is limited, additional books are always added to the sale.

There will be boxes and boxes of books to sell. Therefore, the inventory is constantly being updated. So people should come back and see what’s available that wasn’t there before.

Money raised during the book sale is used by the County Library Board to benefit the branches. The money also helps the branches pay for performers during the summer reading program.

Volunteers 16 years of age or older are also needed to help with the book sale set-up that takes place Thursday, from 8:30 a.m. until noon.

The Angleton Library is located at 401 E. Cedar Street.

For more information or to volunteer, call Library Administration and ask for Lisa Gay.

In the west or central areas of the county, call 979-864-1505. In the Brazosport area, dial 979-388-1505. In the northern part of the county, call 281-756-1505.

Pearland Library Weekly Events

The Pearland Library has a little something for just about everyone this week!

  • Monday: Baby Bounce at 10:30 AM for ages 0-18 months and Novel Discussions at 6:30 PM discussing “A Land More Kind Than Home”
  • Tuesday: Regular Toddler Storytimes at 10:15 and 11:15 AM
  • Wednesday: Movie at 2 PM, call us at 281-652-1677 for the title. And we also have a second session of Baby Bounce at 3:30 PM
  • Thursday: Regular Preschool Storytimes at 10:15 and 11:15 AM.

Join us for something fun this week!

Location: 3522 Liberty Dr. Pearland; website

Library Hosts After-Hours Game Night on August 8

Library

Come out to the Tom Reid Library for after-hours Game Night on Friday, August 8 at 7pm! The library is located at 3522 Liberty Drive. For more information, call (281) 652-1677.