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Lions, Tigers, and Bears: Oh, My!



Library staff and volunteers have been working diligently for nearly a year on a big project: refreshing the juvenile nonfiction books. We looked at all the kids’ nonfiction books and identified the ones in poor condition, ones that aren’t being read anymore, ones that are outdated (bye, bye, 80’s sweaters!) so that there is room on the shelf for new books. Books still in decent condition were donated to the Friends of the Library for their book sale.


Books that already arrived are mostly in the natural sciences section, also known as the 500’s according to the Dewey Decimal System, so animal books, space books, earth science and weather books, counting and simple math books, chemistry and science projects books, and other earth related topics.  We’ve also added new books on religion (200’s), social situations and manners (100’s and 300’s), history (900’s), forensics (300’s), holidays (300’s), fairy tales(300’s), and sports (700’s). More books on additional topics will be coming soon. All of these books have been carefully selected for our community based on the credibility of the authors and the publishers, favorable reviews on titles, and data supporting topics of interest.


Browse for these new books in the juvenile nonfiction shelves, on the display in the Children’s Area or online. We know you’ll find something interesting! 


Happy reading!


Want to Grow Your Business?

The Texas State Libraries and Archives Commission has teamed up with Texas State University in San Marcos to help businesses –especially minority-owned businesses—grow and be successful. Together, they have created SCALEUP, a partnership to help local business grow.


SCALEUP is focused on researching the unique challenges affecting minority-business growth and developing practical tools to help overcome these challenges. The goal is to close the growth gap, which creates economic and employment opportunities for everyone in the region. Sign-up online to receive more information and start your business’s upward trajectory.


┬┐Quieres crecer tu negocio?

La Comisión de Bibliotecas y Archivos del Estado de Texas se ha asociado con la Universidad Estatal de Texas en San Marcos para ayudar a las empresas, especialmente las empresas pertenecientes a minorías, a crecer y tener éxito. Juntos, han creado SCALEUP, una asociación para ayudar al crecimiento de las empresas locales.


SCALEUP se enfoca en investigar los desafíos únicos que afectan el crecimiento de las empresas de minorías y desarrollar herramientas prácticas para ayudar a superar estos desafíos. El objetivo es cerrar la brecha de crecimiento, lo que crea oportunidades económicas y de empleo para todos en la región. Regístrese en línea para recibir más información y comenzar la trayectoria ascendente de su negocio.


Grab Your Paintbrushes!

The Noon Lion’s Club and Bastrop County Emergency Food Pantry are teaming up at First Friday Art Walks each month in 2022, and they need your help! Stop by their booth at 1110 Main Street (next to the post office) and paint a bowl. These bowls will be fired and then offered during the Food Pantry’s annual Empty Bowl Project next spring.



If your teen needs volunteer hours, this counts! Just make sure they bring their documentation form and have someone from the Lions’ Club sign in it. If your kid just likes art, bring them down! Any and all are welcome to decorate the bowls. 


For more information about painting the bowls, visit Facebook. To learn more about the Bastrop County Emergency Food Pantry and the Empty Bowl Project, visit their website . And, if you’d like to join the Lion’s Club, there is an evening group and a noon group .



We Suggest!

Becky Bennet, library board member

Last Dance on the Starlight Pier by Sarah Bird

Evie Grace escapes Depression-ravaged Houston and becomes the "nurse" for a dance marathon that has been running for weeks. Evie's new career takes her to Chicago and eventually back to Galveston for the most spectacular dance marathon ever with a prize that will change her life. However, not everyone wants the marathon to continue. Author Sarah Bird has created another fast-paced historical novel with endearing characters and true-to-life dialog. The story is suspenseful, funny, and unputdownable.

Find it: NOV Bir (New)



Brenda Smith, library volunteer

The Night Shift by Alex Finlay

In this thrilling mystery, there are two mass murders, fifteen years apart, in the same small New Jersey town. One teenage girl survivor each time. Very pregnant FBI agent Sarah Keller will have to solve the shocking mysteries by delving into the lives of both survivors. Heart-wrenching at times, but quite satisfying in the end, I would have never guessed the murderer!

Find it: MYS Fin (New) + Libby ebooks



Dianne Tripp, Friend of the Library

Happy-Go-Lucky by David Sedaris

David Sedaris’s new book of essays is in the same vein as his previous works: candid, acerbic, and hilariously observant on the absurdity of human behavior. This book, however, is a little darker since he covers the pandemic and the decline and death of his father, whom it seems was not a very nice person to others, including his children. If you enjoy dark humor, this one fits the bill!

Find it: 92 Sed (New) + Libby ebooks



Mary McCormick, library patron

The Hurricane Sisters by Dorothea Benton Frank

This entertaining book presents three generations of women from the South Carolina Lowcountry: Maisie, the 80-year-old, quirky but controlling matriarch; Liz, Maisie’s daughter who runs a nonprofit for abused women (to the consternation of her husband); Ashley, the lovely artist granddaughter who aspires to be the next Jackie O; and Mary Beth, Ashley's roommate and best friend. These women are constantly in each other’s lives with their joys, sorrows, and grievances. In the end, a hurricane drives them together to solve and resolve their pasts and futures.

Find it: NOV Fra + Libby ebooks


Find Your Groove Back to Reading



I have a confession. I’ve really struggled with reading these past six months. Let me amend that: I’ve struggled with reading print/ebook titles. Audiobooks haven’t been a problem, but I haven’t really been able to finish a book. 

I’ve picked up and discarded ten books in the past six months. And I’ve only read and finished 15 print/ebook titles. For someone who read 417 books last year –and who is a librarian– that’s a pretty paltry number. 

I’ve read the articles that suggest picking up an old favorite, so I tried Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman, which I loved in middle and high school. But, today, it was a bit… racist in its treatment of indigenous peoples. It was written in 1947, so I probably should have expected that. 

One of the articles suggested trying to read “candy” books, like fluffy romances. Romance is one of my favorite genres, and is a go-to, so I tried it. I tried THREE fluffy romances, and they just didn’t do it. 

I tried reading the newest book by an author that I adored. I loved T.J. Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea, so I borrowed his most recently published: Under the Whispering Door. I read some and then never picked it up again. 

I attempted reading something that many of the teens are enjoying: Not My Problem by Ciara Smyth. I got pretty far in this one –about 80%, and then I couldn’t take anymore of the protagonist’s whining. Teens will identify with the main character and her struggles, but I could not! 

I tried a tween graphic novel: Hooky by Míriam Bonastre Tur. I thought I could be successful since it is a tween book AND a graphic novel– there are more pictures than words! It’ll fly by! Alas, my brain (as it sometimes does) struggled with following the story via the pictures. I applaud those who can interpret stories from pictures and minimal text because it is not a strength of mine!

In March, I just gave up trying. I still listened to many and various audiobooks while folding the laundry or mowing the lawn, but I cut myself a break and stopped berating myself.

Between bites of sandwich one lunch break, a Library Journal editorial provided coherence on my struggles. “Our social emphasis on getting out of our comfort zones [via stories and books] presupposes that we are already in those zones and have got as much comfort as we need. This isn’t true for an awful lot of people, who may feel they should want novelty but actually want stability to help navigate micro- and macro-level upheaval” (Schwartz 6).

Between the pandemic, preparing for summer reading, navigating months 9-12 of understaffing, managing all of the “hats” I wear for my librarian responsibilities, weathering political and social upheaval, caring for new interpersonal connections, and maintaining my mental health and “spoons,” I didn’t have any energy left to deal with characters’ lives. I barely had enough energy for my own life! 

So I just stopped asking this of myself. I couldn’t refuse to do my job or cook myself dinner or call my mom on Mother’s Day. However, I could allow myself to slow down and not worry as much about reading. 

But, this past week, I did it! I actually finished a print book! My first in six weeks! 




Summer reading is here, so all of the planning and preparing and worrying about it going well was checked off my list. Summer as a public librarian is still stressful, but with the planning hurdle behind me, I had time and space in my brain for a new story. 

If you’re also struggling to read, I encourage you to look at Schwartz’s article, but, even more, I give you judgment-free space to take a break. The library will be here when you’re back in the reading groove.



Tropical State of Mind
Coconut bras and swimsuits are not required to attend the Tropical End of Summer Party on Saturday, July 23rd from 11:00-2:00 to celebrate the end of Summer Reading 2022: Oceans of Possibilities! The library will only be open that day from 11:00-2:00 for the Tropical End of Summer Party.



There will be games, prizes to win that day, refreshments, a big inflatable slide INSIDE the library, and fin-tastic fun! Make sure you log all your minutes and spend all your virtual tickets in Beanstack by Friday, July 22nd at 11:59 p.m. so that your name is included in the drawings for the grand prize baskets. 





SEA you there!

We Suggest!

Book Suggestions


Annie Marrs, library patron – July 2022 newsletter

Still Life by Louise Penny

Still Life is the first book in the Chief Inspector Gamach series. If you are a mystery lover, chances are good that you will love this series! Penny is a very descriptive writer, taking your mind and heart into the small village of Three Pines. The plots always pick you up on the first page and carry you eagerly through twists and turns until the final surprise ending. You can read each book independently or in order for great character development.

Find it: MYS Pen + Libby ebooks



Becky Bennett, library board member

Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez

High school senior Naomi and her young twin half-siblings move from her abuelitos' house in San Antonio to the oil fields of 1936 New London, Texas, to live with her stepfather. There Naomi endures racism at school and sexual abuse at home. She meets and falls in love with Wash, the son of the principal of the Black school. They make plans to run away, but the horrific New London school explosion and racial violence interrupt their plans. This beautiful and heartbreaking story is part Cinderella and part Romeo and Juliet. This book tells a moving story that offers hope even after the darkest events.

Find it: YA F Per + Libby ebooks



Dianne Tripp, Friend of the Library

Where the Deer and the Antelope Play: The Pastoral Observations of One Ignorant American Who Loves to Walk Outside by Nick Offerman

What a fun book to read! It made me miss traveling and hiking the National Parks left on my bucket list. This is a patriotic and realistic portrait of our history and the very human problems we must confront in order to protect these beautiful lands we inhabit.

Find it: 917.304 Off (New)




Brenda Smith, library volunteer

Billy Summers by Stephen King

Billy is a decorated Iraqi War vet: he was an excellent marksman and sniper. Now an assassin for hire, he only kills really bad guys. Before retiring, Billy has agreed to one more job. Unfortunately, just about everything goes wrong except finding an extraordinary friend. This book is not your typical Stephen King horror novel, but a thrilling, fast-paced story about redemption, love, and luck. You’ll be sad it’s over when you turn the last page.

Find it: MYS Kin + Libby ebooks


We Suggest!

All of this month’s suggestions come from summer reading 2021 reviews! You can write reviews in Beanstack, too, and be published in upcoming newsletters! Year-round, we also accept suggestions to Bastrop readers at


Santos R., 4.5 years old

Noisy Night by Mac Barnett

Great book for beginner readers and those learning to talk! Together, we practiced making sounds and moving our lips and tongue. We learned new words and really took our time viewing the amazing illustrations, too.

Find it: E Bar




Lydia H., 8 years old

Snow White Lucks Out by Joan Holub

My favorite part was when her Step-mom, the Evil Witch, gave her a new pair of sneakers because her laces broke and she fell back into a bush. It was silly. ??

Find it: JF Hol




Rebekah M., 12.5 years old

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

After reading the Percy Jackson series, I decided to give the Kane Chronicles a try. I absolutely loved this first one. It switches from the point of  view of Carter and Sadie, which at times can be a bit tricky and confusing, but I still give it a 10/10.

Find it: JF Rio + Libby ebooks



Cheryl B., adult

When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McLain

I never read crime dramas/mystery/thrillers. But this really kept my attention. Great writing!

Find it: MYS McL + CD Book F McL + Libby ebooks



Isabel F., adult

Dark Horses by Susan Mihalic

Dark Horses was true to its name and it was indeed dark. The author did a great job researching horse competitions and the care of horses, and I loved the personalities of all the horses. The human characters on the other hand were troubling. Things are not what they seem, and, once you realize what lies beneath the happy exterior, that poison permeates into the rest of the interactions. What is read cannot be unread. The book contains disturbing material that may be triggering or difficult for some to read. However, it is a book that stays with you, and I couldn't put it down.

Find it: NOV Mih + Libby ebooks


Summer Reading 2022 Ocean of Possibilities


Summer Reading is almost here, and we’ve got a whole ocean’s worth of fun activities and programs in store! 

NEW this summer! No matter your age, all readers who log 500 minutes will accomplish their goal completing the summer reading program! At 500 minutes, you earn an entry into a grand prize drawing of your choice –everyone will get to choose from ten grand prize baskets– and a free book!Books on a variety of reading levels will be available for kids and teens, and adults will receive a $1 coupon to the Book Nook, where 90% of items only cost $1! Participants reading 1,000 and 1,500 minutes will get additional prize books and grand prize entries! Grand prize basket entries can be earned at 500-minute increments beyond 1,500 minutes. You can learn how to register online or sign back in to a previously used account, how to log minutes, and how to spend virtual tickets via our YouTube tutorials. Registration opens for all readers on May 31, so bookmark these tutorials to watch then.

Summer Reading 2022 officially begins Tuesday, May 31 with Opening Week activities! Visit the library any or every day that week, Tuesday through Saturday, for extra activities and opportunities to win a prize basket. If you sign-up to participate in summer reading in the library, you get an EXTRA ticket in the drawing! On Tuesday, we’ll make a mural together; Wednesday, you can test your knowledge with Questions of the Day; Thursday will have a variety of activity stations; Friday is Fishing for Time, where you can earn extra minutes toward your reading log; and Saturday will be the first of three Rockin’ Reading programs. 

Rockin’ Reading is a family friendly program led by Bastropian Dr. Allison Bumsted as an opportunity to share her love of music through books and hands-on musical experiences. Rockin’ Reading programs are on the first three Saturdays in June from 1:00-3:00. 

  • June 4th: Meet the Beatles! Learn how to use a record player and all about the Beatles.

  • June 11th: Oh Gosh Golly, It’s Dolly! We learn how Dolly Parton shares her kindness and thankfulness with her home-town community and how that has spread beyond that small town in Tennessee.

  • June 18th: All Hail the Queen, Aretha Franklin! For Juneteenth weekend, celebrate the Queen of Soul with local speakers. 

Community Adventure is back again this summer, ready to help you explore Bastrop and have fun as a family, with a friend, or even by yourself. You can sign-up to participate at or pick up a print copy at the Summer Reading table in the Children’s Area. Complete 15 of the 40 activities, and you’ll get your name in a drawing for a basket full of local gift cards and goodies. Community Adventure is for all ages so join the fun!

The summer calendar of events is available at by clicking the Summer Reading tab. Read on for more fun happening at the library this summer! 

We Suggest

Dianne Tripp, Friend of the Library
Girly Drinks: A World History of Women and Alcohol by Mallory O’Meara
Girly Drinks is hysterical! O’Meara writes the history of women and alcohol from a true feminist perspective. Wonderfully detailed and researched, this book is a must-read for anyone that is a cocktail enthusiast.
Find it: 362.292 Ome (New) + Libby ebooks


Brenda Smith, library volunteer
The Love of My Life by Rosie Walsh
Emma has been married to Leo for 10 years and has been hiding terrible secrets from him. Leo gradually learns the entire truth and is truly shattered. What happened before these 2 met? Why is Emma withholding these experiences? Will long ago decisions destroy the wonderful life they
have built together? Part mystery, part thriller, and part heart wrenching love story, this Good Morning America Club Pick will keep you turning the pages until the very end.
Find it: MYS Wal (New) + Libby ebooks



Becky Bennet, library board member
Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead
Furniture dealer and sometime fence Ray Carney gets dragged into a hotel heist by his much-crookeder cousin, Freddie. After that, trouble seems to come looking for Carney. He's got to settle a score, protect his business from rioters and mob muscle, and try to keep Freddie and himself alive. Whitehead's latest is funny, thrilling, and gracefully written.
Find it: NOV Whi (New) + Libby ebooks



Bethany Dietrich, librarian
The Guncle by Steven Rowley
Gay Uncle Patrick (GUP) has unexpectedly received custody of his elementary-aged niece and nephew after their mom dies and their dad checks into rehab. While initially wary about the kids, he quickly warms up to them, and they all learn about healing from grief. This is a sorrowful book, as any book on grief is, but it also is a celebration of life: how one can still laugh, still have fun, still grow, and still love even after the death of a loved one.
Find it: NOV Row (New) + Libby ebooks


Connect with Libby!


Libraries are places to get connected to broadband, computers, technology resources, people, programs, ideas—and, of course, books! During National Library Week, April 3-9 and the whole month of April, we challenge you to connect with Bastrop Public Library in a way you haven’t before! 

Have you tried connecting with… ebooks? Your library card gives you access to over 21,000 ebook and eaudiobook titles through the Libby app. To access them, download the Libby app on your phone, tablet, or other smart device. Plug in your library card number and phone number, and you’re ready to go! If you need help, feel free to ask a librarian at the Information Desk. Bring your device, too, so we can troubleshoot together. 

Have you tried connecting with… hotspots? Hotspots are portable devices that take the internet to you! Thanks to a grant from the Ladd and Katherine Hancher Library Foundation, we have ten hotspots available for checkout. Reserve a hotspot in the catalog or ask about them at the Circulation Desk.

Have you tried connecting with… the wifi in the parking lot? Thanks to the same Hancher Foundation grant, we were also able to extend the wifi out into the parking lot! It’s available with no password needed to access it. So browse away! 

Have you tried connecting with… SimplyE? SimplyE is a second ebook collection the library has access to thanks to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC). To view these books, download the SimplyE app from the App Store or Google Play Store and type in your library card number and phone number. All Libby ebooks and eaudiobooks are available in this app in addition to the SimplyE collection provided by TSLAC for all Texas libraries. 

Have you tried connecting with… programs? If technology isn’t your thing– or you’re all set in that arena already, join us for a program or two! For the littles, we’ve got Storytime on Wednesdays and Fridays at 10:30am. Teen Thursdays for 13-17 year-olds happens every Thursday from 4:45-6:15pm. Coffee with Catherine is for adults and perfect for those who want to share and connect with others; they meet every Wednesday from 3:00-4:00pm. Lastly, LEGO Club is once a month on the third Tuesday from 3:00-4:30pm (sign up for an email reminder here). 

Try connecting with one of these library services during National Library Week– and maybe tell a librarian thank you for all their work they do for you and the community. 

Book and Plant Sale

The Book and Plant Sale is almost here! 

The Friends of the Library Book Sale is Friday, April 29 from 10:00-6:00pm and Saturday, April 30th from 10:00-3:00pm. 

Members of the Friends of the Library have first choice of the book selection during a Friends Only preview on Friday from 9:00-10:00am. To join the Friends, ask for an application at the Circulation Desk.

On Saturday, April 30th, the Lost Pines Garden Club will have a variety of plants ranging from shrubs and annuals to budding plants and vegetables. The sale starts at 9:00 and goes until they run out of plants! 

Don’t miss these cheap books and great plants! All proceeds directly support the Bastrop Public Library. 






Don’t miss these cheap books and great plants! All proceeds directly support the Bastrop Public Library.

Summer Volunteers Needed

The library is looking for teen and adult volunteers to help with various projects and programs this summer! 

Teens must be 14-17 years old. There are a limited number of spots available, so get your application in sooner rather than later. Applications and details for teen volunteers are available online. Please direct questions to Bethany at



Adult volunteers help with shelving and other projects. Those who are interested need to stop by the Circulation Desk for an application. Questions can be directed to Catherine at