Library’s Annual Holiday Open House Is Saturday, Dec. 11

Join us for great holiday cheer at the Annual Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 11, 2021 from 10:00-4:00pm! Mingle with Library Board Members, Friends of the Library, library staff and volunteers, and neighbors and community members to celebrate holiday cheer. 


Our graham cracker house decoration tradition continues with some tweaks to keep everyone happy. Each hour from 10:00-3:00, we will have 40 houses available to decorate. The Pressley Meeting Room will have limited seating so kids are welcome to take a house and a few supplies home to decorate their masterpiece. Groups of up to eight can be accommodated in the Meeting Room.

A variety of musicians will perform including the Honor Choir, student musicians, and a local accordion player. 

The second annual Great City Decorating Contest (GC?DC) challenges City departments to decorate a graham cracker house, and you get to decide which department did the most spectacular job. The competition is fierce, so be ready to make the hard decision! Winners receive Facebook fame, a fabulous trophy, and bragging rights for the entire year!

Teens will participate in the Lighted Christmas parade. Space is limited to ten teenagers between the ages of 13-17 (or 18 if still in high school). Registration will open Thursday, December 2. 

In between shopping downtown on Saturday, December 11th, stop by the library to celebrate the season! 

Staying Home Over the Winter School Break?

Stop by the library! We’ll have self-directed and take-home activities for all ages! 

In the Children’s Area, there will be interactive questions that ask kids to share their opinion. Plus, there will be a take-and-make craft you can pick up and create at home. 

In the Teen Room, teen polls are back! Make sure your teen teen stops by to answer a thought-provoking question… like, “Are hotdogs sandwiches or tacos?”

Outside the Teen Room, the board games have returned! They are hanging on the shelves opposite  the Teen Room door, and anyone can play them in the library. Please make sure to put all the pieces back in the bag when you’re done so the next gamers can successfully play.

For those of you who like to snuggle under a blanket on the couch when it’s cold outside, we have created movie “binge boxes,” themed bundles of three movies that will keep you occupied all afternoon long. 

For adults, puzzle packs are back! You can find them in the same place they were this summer: on top of the new book shelf. If you can’t find them, please ask a staff member for assistance.

And last, but not least, we have a photo scavenger hunt! This will only be available December 28th-30th, the week after Christmas, and you’ll need a smart phone to participate. This should get your blood flowing-- and make more room for holiday leftovers! The QR code for the photo scavenger hunt will be shared on our Facebook page and in the library. 

If you and your kids participate in any of these activities, please share your holiday fun with us on Facebook (@BastropPublicLibrary) and Instagram (@BastropPublicLibrary) by tagging us-- or email us your pictures at We love to see y’all having fun! 

Don’t Have the Bandwidth to Read, Try…

Work stress, holiday stress, financial stress, parenting stress, fill-in-your-own-stress-here stress. The stress is real, especially during the holiday season. Try reading middle-grade or tween books! 

Middle grade authors are great at breaking down events, topics, and themes into digestible reading. It’s not too complicated when your brain is tired after a full day-- and you can have something to discuss with your own 4th-8th grader! 

Here are some of our favorite middle grade reads:


Words on Fire by Jennifer A. Nielsen - JF Nie + CD Book JF Nie + Libby ebooks

 In this suspenseful and thoughtful historical fiction story, it’s 1893, and 12-year-old Audra lives on a farm in Lithuania. But when Cossack (Russian) soldiers invade the farm, Audra is the only one who escapes and, unsure of what has happened to her parents, she embarks on a dangerous journey, carrying the smuggled Lithuanian books that fuel the growing resistance movement, unsure of who to trust, but risking her life and freedom for her country.


Odette’s Secrets by Maryann Macdonald - JF Mac + Libby ebooks


 When Odette's father is sent to a Nazi work camp, her mother sends Odette from Paris to the French countryside where she must pretend to be a Catholic peasant to remain safe, while secrets burn within her in this attention-grabbing and moving novel in verse.


 The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart - JF Gem + CD Book JF Gem + Libby ebooks

 Twelve-year-old Coyote and her father rush to Poplin Springs, Washington, in their old school bus to save a memory box buried in a park that will soon be demolished in this funny and moving story that deals with grief.


Clean Getaway by Nic Stone - JF Sto + Libby ebooks

 An 11-year-old boy confronts the realities of race relations, past and present, and the mysterious agenda of his unconventional grandmother during an unplanned spring break road trip through the once-segregated American South in this funny and richly detailed story.


 Frankie & Bug by Gayle Forman - JF For (New)

 In the summer of 1987 in Venice, California, 10-year-old Bug and her new friend Frankie learn important lessons about life, family, being your true self, and how to navigate in a world that is not always just or fair in this culturally diverse coming-of-age story.


 Refugee by Alan Gratz - JF Gra + Libby ebook

 Separated by decades, Josef, a Jew living in 1930s Nazi Germany; Isabel, a girl trying to escape unrest in 1994 Cuba; and Mahmoud, a Syrian boy in 2015 whose homeland is torn apart by violence, embark on journeys in search of refuge. This serious and suspenseful story of parallel narratives will change your life. 


Front Desk by Kelly Yang - JF Yan + Libby ebooks

 In this character-driven and thought-provoking story that takes place in the early ‘90s, 10-year-old Mia’s parents, all newly emigrated from China, take a job managing a rundown motel, despite the nasty owner, Mr. Yao, who exploits them, while she works the front desk and tries to cope with fitting in at her school.


Starfish by Lisa Fipps - JF Fip

 Bullied and shamed her whole life for being fat, 12-year-old Ellie finally gains the confidence to stand up for herself, with the help of some wonderful new allies in this moving novel in verse.


 Tornado Brain by Cat Patrick - JF Pat (New) + Libby ebooks

 In this character-driven coming-of-age story, seventh-grader Frankie, who has various sensory disorders, is determined to find her missing best friend, Colette, before it is too late.


OCDaniel by Wesley King - JF Kin (New) + Libby ebooks

 A 13-year-old boy's life revolves around hiding his obsessive compulsive disorder until a girl at school, who is unkindly nicknamed Psycho Sara, notices him for the first time and he gets a mysterious note that changes everything. This coming-of-age story will positively change how you view mental illness.

If you’d like more suggestions, ask for Bethany or Bonnie, and we’ll happily recommend titles until the cows come home (from over the river and through the woods)!

We Suggest - December 2021

Brenda Smith, library volunteer

False Witness by Karin Slaughter

Drug addiction, murder, COVID, race relations, and two very different sisters who share a horrible secret are just a fraction of the suspense in Slaughter's newest book. Leigh is a successful attorney who receives a very high-profile case: she is to defend a wealthy man accused of rape. But: they know each other. How? Why did this horrible person want Leigh as his lawyer? What will happen to Leigh if she loses this case? Will the shared pasts of all involved become too much? Can the trial be sabotaged? Fast-paced and current, this is another excellent read!

Find it: MYS Sla (New) + CD Book F Sla (New) + LT Sla (New) + Libby ebooks


Mary McCormick, patron

Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate

This powerful story tells of 12-year-old Ril Foss and her four younger siblings, a poor river family who were captured, separated, and sold to wealthy families. It’s based on the true story of Georgia Tann and the Memphis-based adoption agency that kidnapped and sold children all over the country for several decades. The tale is horrifying at times but always riveting.

Find it: NOV Win + Libby ebooks


Dianne Tripp, Friend of the Library

The Afghanistan Papers by Craig Whitlock

Whitlock, an investigative reporter for The Washington Post, digs into the Afghan War in this revelatory work. Drawing comparisons to the Vietnam War, Whitlock analyzes the bad decisions that were made by Presidents Bush, Obama, and Trump, as well as their administrations, military brass, CIA, DEA, and many civilian officials. Hopefully, this book will be a warning of group think and lying to the American people.

Find it: 958.104 Whi (New)


Becky Bennet, library board member

Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

Konstance, 14 years old, lives aboard The Argos, a spacecraft launched 65 years earlier, headed to a distant planet that is to be man's new home. Zeno is 80 years old and leading a group of fifth-graders in a production of Cloud Cuckoo Land, a Diogenean comedy, at the public library. Seymour is a young man who is intent on placing a bomb in that library. Anna is a young girl that works in an embroidery shop with her sister in 15th century Constantinople. Omeir, a Bulgarian boy born with a cleft lip, gets drafted by the Sultan's army in their attack on Constantinople. What links all these characters? A story. A story that was once lost and has been found. A story that saves each of their lives. This love-letter to stories and books is beautiful and enthralling, a masterpiece, and has been predicted to be in the running for next year's Pulitzer. If you love books, you will love this book.

Find it: NOV Doe (New) + CD Book F Doe (New)

Book and Plant Sale a Success!

Wow! We are just blown away by how much money was raised at this year’s Book and Plant Sale hosted by the Friends of Bastrop Public Library and Lost Pines Garden Club! Thank YOU for coming out and buying up their books and plants! 

The Friends raised nearly $2400 and the preliminary estimate from the Lost Pines Garden Club is $3500. 

Highlights from the two-day event include, of course, all of the nice, friendly community members who stopped by. There was a good turn-out for the members-only preview sale. If you’d like to get in on that first access to the books, pick up a membership form at the Circulation Desk; annual dues are $15. Other bargain-hunters included those who brought their FOL bag, which is a tote bag you can purchase year-round in the Book Nook. You pay only $10 for whatever you can fit in it at the Book Nook and at larger sales! The most popular items that were purchased were kids’ titles, history books, and mysteries/thrillers. 

If you couldn’t make it to September’s Book and Plant Sale, don’t worry: there will be a spinning sale in March 2022! 


Library’s Open House Preview

Bastrop Public Library staff, the Library Board, and the Friends of the Library are hard at work planning for the annual Open House that will be on Saturday, December 11, 2021 from 10:00-4:00. It will be a fun day of great holiday cheer! 

Here’s a brief preview of what is happening that day:

Our graham cracker house decoration tradition continues with some tweaks to keep everyone happy. Each hour from 10:00-3:00, we will have 40 houses available to decorate. The Pressley Meeting Room will have limited seating so kids are welcome to take a house and a few supplies home to decorate their masterpiece. Groups of up to eight can be accommodated in the Meeting Room.

A variety of musicians, including the Bastrop Honor Choir, will perform.

The second annual Great City Decorating Contest (GC?DC) challenges City departments to decorate a graham cracker house and you get to decide which department did the most spectacular job. The competition is fierce, so be ready to make the hard decision! Winners receive Facebook fame, a fabulous trophy, and bragging rights for the entire year!

Teens will participate in the Lighted Christmas parade. Space is limited to ten teenagers between the ages of 13-17 (or 18 if still in high school). Registration will open Thursday, December 2. 

More details will be available soon. But mark your calendars today so you won’t miss the jolly fun! 


We Suggest - November 2021 Newsletter

Becky Bennett, library board member

The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray

Belle de Costa Greene was the personal librarian to financier JP Morgan. As such, she was a most accomplished businesswoman and moved in elite social circles. However, she had a secret: she is light-skinned Black, spurring an inner struggle with her authentic identity versus her ambition. Throughout this rich story, you will be drawn to Belle’s story as she sacrifices her extended family, marriage, motherhood, and even her father to maintain the life she has built as a white woman.

Find it: NOV Ben (New) + Libby ebooks


Dianne Tripp, Friend of the Library

The Secret History of Food: Strange but True Stories About the Origins of Everything We Eat by Matt Siegel

This book is a blast to read! It has everything: shock, cringe, laugh-out-loud, superstition, gullibility, and the list goes on. This is a must-read for anyone that consumes food (or what they think of as food!). I promise there will be at least one thing in this book that you didn’t know! 

Find it: 641.3 Sie (New)

Brenda Smith, library volunteer

Survive the Night by Riley Sager

Charlie is a troubled college student looking for a ride home to Ohio. Josh, a stranger, offers to share a ride with her. There is something very suspicious about Josh, and Charlie soon thinks he is the Campus Killer who has murdered girls at her small college. Will she figure out a way to escape or send a message for help while on dark, deserted roads and through sparsely populated towns? How can she survive the night? Enjoy the many twists and turns with a very unreliable narrator until the surprising finale of this quite excellent thriller. I was so enthralled that I read this book in two days!

Find it: MYS Sag (New)

Bethany Dietrich, Public Services Librarian

The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson

June has lived in the same, small British hamlet all her life. She dreamed of going away to university, but then her mom got cancer, and June had to stay and take care of her. Eight years later, June still lives in the house she grew up in, all alone, and works as a library assistant. The town council has decided to potentially close various libraries in the area, including June’s, but several very passionate patrons team up to try to prevent this from happening. Can they count on timid, shy June for help? As a librarian, I’m biased towards loving this book, but it’s so sweet! June has to learn to move forward after grief and how to move out from under her mother’s shadow as the community librarian. If you need an uncomplicated, pick-me-up read, check-out this one today! 

Find it: NOV Sam (New)

"I Don't Have Time to Read"

“I don’t have time to read” is a lament we often hear when people explain why they may not check-out books. Parents who visit the library with their kids for storytime, empty nesters who are inundated with volunteer responsibilities, teens who have mountains of homework every day, parents of middle schoolers who spend a lot of time as a taxi service, and so on are often hard-pressed to find chunks of time to read.

The library has a solution for this: magazines!


The short, picture-heavy articles make it perfect for reading in small chunks, while waiting for soccer practice to finish, before falling asleep, while watching the kids on the playground, before the Zoom host admits you to the meeting, or all of those other mini moments of freetime during the day.  

Like books, we have magazines for adults, teens and kids; you can check-out back issues for two weeks (or three weeks if you are a Friend of the Library!). You can view the full list of titles online or browse the options in the round LCRA Reading Room, located in the back of the library, beyond the adult books. Kids’ magazines are located in the Children’s Area, opposite the Children’s Desk.

Check-out a magazine today and enjoy a mini break from your busy schedule!

Meet Ronni!


Veronica Nuñez is the new part-time executive administrator at Bastrop Public Library! She works largely behind the scenes helping with clerical tasks, ordering and receiving supplies, tracking finances, creating reports, and so much more. 

Ronni grew up in Cedar Creek and is a graduate of Colorado River Collegiate Academy. She is excited to be a member of the library family because she loves libraries and wants to help make the Bastrop Public Library the best it can be.  

The staff is excited to have Ronni here to help the library run more efficiently and smoothly! Welcome, Ronni!

"I" Is for Interlibrary Loan

A woman came up to the Information Desk the other week and said, “I’m re-reading Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone series. You know, A Is for Alibi, B Is for Burglar, and so on. And y’all don’t have K Is for Killer. I want to read them in order. What should I do? I don’t want to spend  $10 to buy a copy.”


We're always happy to help at the in Information Desk!

“Yes, ma’am! I have a solution for you!” I shared with a big smile on my face. “Interlibrary loan is where we ask another library to send us their copy of the book for you to read! Let’s see if K Is for Killer is available; I bet it is.” 

I turn to my computer and let my fingers fly across the keyboard. “Ah! Here it is! Nearly 400 libraries in Texas have a copy! We’ll definitely be able to get this for you!” 

“Now,” I wanted to be upfront with her, “it does cost $3 to help cover shipping.” 

“Oh!” she exclaimed, “$3 is hardly anything! I can L Is for Lawless AND the next in my sci-fi series, too, for what I could spend on just K Is for Killer at Barnes and Noble! That’s no problem! Do I pay now?”

“You pay when you pick up the book-- just in case we can’t get a title, we don’t want to have to  worry about refunds.”

We filled out the form and started the process so she could read it. In just a few weeks, she’ll be  back on track for murder… errr Kinsey Millhone will be back on track for SOLVING murders! 

If you are looking for a title that we don’t have, interlibrary loans (ILL’s) might be the solution! We do have a few parameters: it must have been published for at least 12 months, it must cost less than $100 on Amazon, and it must be a book (no DVD’s or audiobooks). Stop by the Information Desk to get the form and process started today!

We Suggest - October 2021 Newsletter

Brenda Smith, library volunteer

Falling by T.J. Newman

Newman, a former flight attendant for Virgin Airlines, has written a fast-paced thriller about a flight from LA to New York. A retired pilot's family has been kidnapped and now he has one impossible choice to make: Crash the plane and kill all onboard to save his family OR land the plane safely and doom his family to death. Buckle up your seat belts for an "edge of your seat" thrill ride! This will soon be a movie, so check this terrific book out beforehand.

Find it: MYS New (New) + CD Book F New (New) + Libby ebooks


K.F., library patron

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

When his most prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, is stolen, bookstore owner A.J. Fikry begins isolating himself from his friends, family, and associates before receiving a mysterious package that compels him to remake his life. I got so caught up in the quirky character's lives in this bittersweet and engaging story. If you’re a book-lover, you need to add this to your To Be Read list!

Find it: NOV Zev


Dianne Tripp, Friend of the Library

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

Kristin Hannah proved that she is one of the best writers of our time with The Nightingale published several years ago, and The Four Winds further cements that title! This novel’s setting is during the Dust Bowl/Great Depression, and Hannah’s writing makes you live it. Gritty, empowering, and terrifying, one can see how these folks became known as the “Greatest Generation.” I’m not sue my generation of Boomers and those following me have the backbone to have survived those appalling conditions.

Find it: NOV Han (New) + CD Book F Han (New) + Libby ebooks

Becky Bennet, library board member

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

The story opens when Kathy is ending her unusually long career as a "carer" after attending her childhood friends, Tommy and Ruth, through "completion." She recalls their childhoods in Hailsham and later at the Cottages. Their "guardians" at Hailsham teach them that they are special, but outsiders shun them, even seem afraid of them. This gripping masterpiece of social commentary is an examination of human nature and how people can transcend their fate. I chose it because I loved Klara and the Sun so much, and I was not disappointed.

Find it: Libby ebooks

Summer Reading 2021 Wrap-Up

Hippo-hippo-hooray! Everyone had a WHALEY great Summer Reading Program! 

This summer, 812 kids, tweens, teens, and adults registered for Tails & Tales and logged 1,334,723 minutes! Those minutes resulted in 437 youth and adults completing the program by reading 500 minutes for youth or 1,000 minutes for adults. That means 54% of people completed the program! Hippo-hippo-hooray! That’s awesome, y’all! This is the highest completion percentage ever in the history of Bastrop Public Library! Give yourselves a pat on the back! 

Youth readers received more than 400 books as prizes and nearly 100 adults earned $1 Book Nook coupons! Thank you to the Friends of Bastrop Public Library and Lost Pines Garden Club for making these prizes available to our r


Highlights from this summer included Storytime with Ms. Carmen. Enthusiasm for the return of in-person storytime was overwhelming. It was a joy to reconnect with returning kids and parents and meet new families. An especially hilarious moment was when Bastrop Police Officers participated in singing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” at the June Storytime with a Cop!


Teen programs also enjoyed a return to in-person programming. It was wonderful to experience the teens’ unfettered enthusiasm at being able to spend time with friends and just have fun after the isolation and stress of the past year. Some of their favorite programs were Messy Mayhem, Wet’n’Wild Water Games, Gravity Art, and a scavenger hunt in Fisherman’s Park. 


The new program Coffee with Catherine has been a huge success! Catherine Lombardo has worked so hard to make connections with her participants, and their joy is infectious on Wednesday afternoons! It really improves the whole atmosphere in the library! They cherish the opportunity to connect with one another in a supportive environment. 

The last program of the summer was A Whale of a Scavenger Hunt. It was great to interact with kids and families as they stopped in to get the instructions and so rewarding to see the smiles on their faces after completing the challenge. The best part of the day was when they found out their prize for participating in the scavenger hunt was an ice cream sandwich!


It was a terrific summer and all of us at the library say “thank you!” for making it a WHALEY good summer!

Teen Bag o' Books

Fifteen teens signed up to receive three librarian-chosen YA books and goodies each month this summer, and it was a smashing success! 

One teen talked about one of their choices on the Teen Discord:

And one parent is jealous that their teen gets this service:

Your teen can also get this great service in September, October, and November by filling out the online survey. The pick-up dates will be September 15th, October 15th, and November 15th. 

If you have questions, please email Bethany at Happy reading! 

Book and Plant Sale - September 2021


The Friends of Bastrop Public Library and the Lost Pines Garden Club are teaming up this month to bring you the Book and Plant Sale on Friday, September 24th and Saturday, September 25th! 

Current Friends of the Library will have a special first-access on Friday, September 24th from 9:00-10:00am. You can be a part of this great group by getting a membership form at the Circulation Desk. Friends annual dues are $15.00. 

The Book and Plant Sale is open to the public Friday, September 24th from 10:00-5:00 and Saturday, September 25th from 10:00-3:00. 

Books of all genres and for all ages will be available in the Pressley Meeting Room and plants for fall planting will be available in the library parking lot. All proceeds support the programs and collections of Bastrop Public Library. 

Bring your bags, because there will be too many deals for you to want to pass up! 

**Any changes to the Book and Plant Sale due to the spread of the Delta Variant of COVID-19 will be available on our website and on our Facebook page.**

Wifi on the Go: Hotspots Now Available for Checkout!

Do you struggle to get internet access at home? Checkout a hotspot from the Bastrop Public Library and surf the web to your heart’s content for two whole weeks! 

Frequently asked questions:

Q: What is a hotspot? 

A: A hotspot is a small device that connects your personal device such as a tablet or laptop to the internet. The hotspot uses T-Mobile data to bring you the internet.

Q: How do I checkout a hotspot? 

A: Stop at the Circulation Desk and let library staff know that you’d like to checkout a hotspot. If they are all checked out at that time, we will put you on hold for one to checkout when one becomes available. 

Q: What do I need to checkout a hotspot?
A: You must be at least 18 years old with a valid picture ID and current address. Your Bastrop Public Library card must be current and active for at least two weeks with no fines or fees on the account. Additionally, you must read and sign the Hotspot Lending Guidelines and Agreement. A Hotspot Borrowing Agreement must be signed each time a hotspot is checked out to indicate the device is not damaged and all parts are included. 

Q: How do I return the hotspot once my two weeks are up?

A: Hotspots must be returned to the Circulation Desk. We want to check the device, with you, at the Circulation Desk to ensure it is not damaged and you are not unfairly charged. Hotspots returned in the bookdrop will be charged a $5 fee. 

Q: How long do I get to keep the hotspot?

A: Checkout time for hotspots is two weeks. Any device kept over that time period will be charged $1/day in fines, and there is no grace period. After 48 hours past the due date, service to the hotspot will be turned off. 

This exciting new service is made possible by a grant from the Ladd and Katherine Hancher Library Foundation. Stop by the library today to checkout a hotspot and take the internet home!

We Suggest - September 2021

Brenda Smith, library volunteer

The Guest List by Lucy Foley

A beautifully written mystery reminiscent of Agatha Christie. I promise this isn’t a spoiler, but someone dies. Who? Someone ELSE on the guest list has a true motive for revenge. As you try to solve the mystery, the POV changes by chapter to a different guest, so pay close attention to the clues…. The characters are richly drawn and the island wedding sets the stage for tension. Can you guess the victim and the killer? This is true page turner to keep you up all night! Loved it!

Find it: MYS Fol + CD Book F Fol (New) + Libby ebooks

Dianne Tripp, Friend of the Library

The Daughters of Kobani by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

This nonfiction works is the unforgettable and unusual story of the women soldiers in the Kurdish Militia. These women not only helped defeat ISIS in Syria, but they changed the perception of women’s equality in a very male dominated and traditional Middle East. Recommended for those who want to read about courage, sacrifice, heroism, and the real meaning of sisterhood.

Find it: 956.91 Lem (New)


Mary McCormick, library patron

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

Cussy Mary, one of the last of the Blue People of Appalachian Kentucky, is a packhorse librarian in the early part of the 20th century. She delivers books over treacherous miles, mountains, and terrain on her route, but the treatment she receives for her inherited medical condition is just prejudiced. This book will keep you enthralled and give you insight into these humans-just-like-you-and-me people.

Find it: NOV Ric + Libby ebooks


Becky Bennett, library board member

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

Nora Seed's life is full of regrets: she regrets quitting competitive swimming when she was an Olympic hopeful, she regrets quitting her band when they were offered a record deal, and she regrets breaking up with her boyfriend two days before their wedding. One Tuesday, her cat dies, her boss fires her, she runs into an old bandmate and he hates her. That night, Nora decides to end it all. But between life and death is the midnight library where she can try out any life that she didn't live: one where she marries her boyfriend, one where she stays in the band, one where she is an Olympic champion, and many others. While trying to decide which life to choose forever, she learns about herself and what she really wants. This fast-paced, quick read is moving and entertaining. I stayed up way too late finishing it.

Find it: NOV Hai + CD Book F Hai (New) + Libby ebooks

Mosey on over to the Local History Room

The 74th Annual Bastrop Homecoming & Rodeo is August 4-7th this year, and what better way to celebrate Bastrop than by showcasing some of the resources available in the Local History Room!

First out of the chute are Bastrop Advertiser articles written  between 1977-1995 highlight  Homecoming & Rodeo events taking place those years. Copies of these articles are in the filing cabinets housing our vertical files. 

At the Portal to Texas History, a University of North Texas project to digitize Texas newspaper archives, older Bastrop Advertiser articles about Homecoming can be found online. The first mention of Homecoming is from a cover story in June 1939, which cites “many unusual and interesting events” being held during the festivities. 

In a 1940 issue, you can read about a unique fundraiser where townspeople might just get “arrested!” There were several years when there was no Homecoming & Rodeo in the late 1940’s, but there was a call for it to resume. By 1960, those spurred kicks had done their job, and Homecoming was in full-swing with many people who had moved away returning for the festivities. There are 900 more articles about Homecoming & Rodeo at the Portal to Texas History ANDmuch more to explore in the Local History Room, too. 

A top-scored item in the Local History Room are the Bastrop county cemetery records. These treasures are visual representations of the burial plots at a number of local cemeteries, including Oak Hill Cemetery in Smithville, Old Red Rock Cemetery, Fairview Cemetery, Elgin Cemetery, Cedar Creek Hispanic Cemetery, and more. Some  of this history is in books on the Genealogy shelves (on the left side of the room) and others are paper documents stored in the filing cabinets. 

None of the items in the Local History Room can be checked out, but you can make copies for $0.10/page. 

If you’re interested in more Bastrop history, here are a few title s worth of the winner’s circle: 

  •  A History of Central Texas by Mary Starr Barkley, written in 1970 - R 976.4 Ame
  •  In the Shadow of the Lost Pines: A History of Bastrop County and Its People by the Bastrop Historical Society, written in 1955 - R 976.4 Bas
  •  Bastrop, Texas 1874-1900 by Kenneth Kesselus, written in 2020 - R 976.4 Kes
  •  Bastrop County, Texas: Historical and Educational Development by William Henry Korges, written in 1933 - R 976.4 Kor
  •  Austin Colony Pioneers: Including History of Bastrop, Fayette, Grimes, Montgomery, and Washington Counties, Texas by Worth S. Ray, written in 1970 - R 976.4 Ray

There are Bastrop county genealogy resources located on the genealogy shelves on the left side of the room, as well as 19th and 20th century census records, lists of early settlers, old telephone directories, land survey maps, records of marriage licenses, and much more. 

Whether this is your first rodeo to the Local History Room or your hundredth, our staff are happy to help you find what you are looking for-- just ask at the Information Desk. You will be a champion researcher in no time! 


Mobile Circ Survey

Mobile circ is a new, grant-funded way to checkout materials! 

Have you downloaded the CloudLibrary app (App Store, Google Play Store) to try it?

Here are the steps to do it right now:

  1. Download the Cloud Library app (App Store, Google Play Store).

  2. Answer the questions on your screen. (Helpful hint: Your phone number is your PIN/password.)

  3. Click the Checkout tab at the bottom of your screen.

  4. Click "Scan barcode."

  5. Center the barcode in the middle of the frame to scan.

  6. Once the scan box turns green, click "Finish."

If you’re a visual learner, here’s a brief tutorial video for you

Whether you’ve tried mobile circ or not, please take this very brief survey and let us know what you think as we work to improve your library experience.

Hotspots Now Available for Checkout!

During the pandemic, we all learned a lot: how to make sourdough bread; how to spend time alone; how to work from home; how easy it is to wear sweatpants; and how to stand in a line, six feet apart from others. But we also learned that the digital divide still exists. 

The digital divide, according to Merriam-Webster, is the economic, educational, and social inequalities between those who have computers and online access and those who do not. Those of us who live in rural areas, like Bastrop, also know it includes those who live in areas where internet service providers won’t run cables. 

During the pandemic, Connected Nation, a nonprofit working to develop and provide tools, resources, and methods to help local communities, states, and federal agencies create and implement solutions to their broadband and digital technology gaps, conducted a survey to assess the state of broadband in Bastrop county. Connected Nation identified five key findings, which explain how much of a struggle internet access is for many in Bastrop county. 

To help those who do not have access to adequate internet at home, Bastrop Public Library applied for and was awarded a grant from the Hancher Foundation. We now have 10 hotspots that are available for checkout! 

What is a hotspot? A hotspot is a device that you plug into your computer or laptop to access the internet. Our hotspots receive internet service from T-Mobile, so you must be in the T-Mobile service area for the hotspots to work. You can view a T-Mobile coverage map here

To checkout a hotspot, you must be an adult in good standing, which means you’ve had a library card for at least two weeks and have no unpaid fines or fees associated with it. You must also show your valid, government-issued ID with your current address on it at checkout.

Before checking out, the Hotspot Lending Guidelines and Agreement must be completed and filed at the library. Each time a device is checked out, a Hotspot Borrowing Agreement must be signed.

One hotspot per household may be checked out for 14 days; however, hotspots cannot be renewed. The hotspot must be returned to the circulation desk during operating hours. If the hotspot is not returned on time, its service will be terminated 24 hours past the due date, and it will not work at that time. Overdue fines for a hotspot is $1 per day with no grace period. 

You may view the full Hotspot Lending Guidelines and Agreement online. The Hotspot Borrowing Agreement can be obtained at the circulation desk prior to checking out a hotspot.

Additionally, the Hancher Foundation grant enabled us to extend the library wifi available out to the main parking lot! This allows individuals to access the wifi even if the library is not open for business! 

To access our wifi, go to the wifi options within your settings on your phone or tablet and choose “Library wifi.” There is no password, so once you have switched over to our wifi, you are ready to access the internet immediately. 


Happy internetting, Bastrop!

We Suggest - August 2021 Newsletter

For the past several months, we’ve had an interactive display in the audiobook section where we asked individuals to tell us what their favorite audiobooks are. And here are your answers:

The Maggie Hope series by Susan Elia MacNeil 

  •  Start with Mr. Churchill’s Secretary (#1)
  •  After German Luftwaffe bomb London, Maggie Hope--trained in math and code breaking, but only able to find a job as Winston Churchill's secretary--uses the unfettered access her position demands to try to unravel a plot to assassinate Churchill himself in this fast-paced and suspenseful story.
  •  Find it: Libby eaudio



Anything by CJ Box

  •  Start with Back of Beyond (#1)
  •  Cody, a brilliant cop, is an alcoholic struggling with sobriety when his AA sponsor is found burned to death. It looks like the suicide of a man who's fallen off the wagon, but Cody knows Hank better than that and is sure foul play is at hand. After years of bad behavior at the PD, Cody’s in no position to investigate a homicide, but he’s determined to find his mentor’s killer in this gritty thriller.
  •  Find it: CD Book F Box + Libby eaudio

The Guest List by Lucy Foley


The Guests List by Lucy Foley

  • An expertly planned celebrity wedding between a rising television star and an ambitious magazine publisher is thrown into turmoil by petty jealousies, a college drinking game, the bride's ruined dress, and an untimely murder in this creepy and intricately plotted thriller.
  •  Find it: CD Book F Fol (New) + Libby eaudio


Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

  •  Surviving a horrific multiple homicide, a girl from the wrong side of the tracks is unexpectedly offered a full scholarship to Yale, where her mysterious benefactors task her with monitoring the university’s secret societies in this compelling and suspenseful urban fantasy.
  •  Find it: CD Book F Bar + Libby eaudio

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens


Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

  • Viewed with suspicion in the aftermath of a tragedy, a beautiful hermit who has survived for years in a marsh becomes targeted by unthinkable forces in this leisurely paced and character-driven coming-of-age story.
  • Find it: CD Book F Owe + Libby eaudio


Wicked Business series by Janet Evanovich

  •  Start with Wicked Appetite (#1)
  •  On Boston's North Shore, pastry chef Lizzie Tucker is recruited by newcomer Diesel to track down a cache of priceless ancient relics while keeping them out of the hands of Diesel's criminal mastermind cousin in this witty and funny story.
  •  Find it: CD Book F Eva + Libby eaudio


House Rules by Jodi Picoult

  •  Unable to express himself socially but possessing a savant-like knack for investigating crimes, a teenage boy with Asperger's Syndrome is wrongly accused of killing his tutor when the police mistake his autistic tics for guilty behavior in this complex and well-developed book.
  •  Find it: CD Book F Pic 

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by Victoria Schwab


The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by Victoria Schwab

  • Making a Faustian bargain to live forever but never be remembered, a woman from early 18th-century France endures unacknowledged centuries before meeting a man who remembers her name in this sweeping and haunting historical fantasy.
  • Find it: CD Book F Sch (New) + Libby eaudio.

A Whale of a Scavenger Hunt

We’re nearly half-way through the 2021 Summer Reading Program Tails & Tales! Have you been logging your minutes in Beanstack? Don’t forget that prize books are available for pick-up in the library children’s area and that your virtual tickets can be designated for any of the grand prize baskets in Beanstack! Baskets are ondisplay in the children’s area, too! 

The last of our Summer Reading fun is the Whale of a Scavenger Hunt on Saturday, July 24th from 11:00-1:00pm. Anyone can participate in A Whale of a Scavenger Hunt! 

This scavenger hunt will have you find lots of BIG things around Downtown! Come on back to the library once you’ve finished to get your sweet (and melty!) treat! We’ll do the grand prize basket drawings on the lawn between Bastrop Christian Church and Bastrop Public Library at 1:00pm that afternoon. 

If you can’t make the grand prize basket drawings event in-person, that’s okay! We’ll be Live on Facebook, too! Mark your calendars, because you won’t want to miss this WHALEY fun event! 


Mobile Circ-- Making It Even Easier for You to Checkout Books!

Mobile circ is another way you can easily check out books! Whether you want to bypass the line at the Circulation Desk, your kid wants to learn some responsibility, or you don’t want to unpack your big tote of items again and again, you can easily download the app and check your books out all by yourself! 


  1. Download the CloudLibrary app (App Store, Google Play Store).

  2. Answer the questions on your screen (hint: your phone number is your PIN/password).

  3. Click the Checkout tab at the bottom of your screen.

  4. Click “Scan barcode.”

  5. Center the barcode in the middle of the frame to scan.

  6. Once the scan box turns green, click “Finish.”


Watch this quick tutorial video if you need additional help, or stop at the Information Desk-- we can help you get started!


Happy (faster) reading! 

We Suggest - July 2021 Newsletter

Blood Gun Money: How American Arms Gangs and Cartels by Ioan Grillo

Dianne Tripp, Friend of the Library

Grillo is an excellent reporter. He has documented, in layman’s terms, the “iron river” of gun trafficking from the US to Mexico, Central American, and globally. With that flow south comes the inevitable flow north of drugs from the cartels. This globally historic information is the best researched—and the most terrifying—book I’ve ever read. More bloodshed than any fiction I’ve experienced in literature or films.

Find it: 338.476 Gri (New)

Miss Julia Takes the Wheel by Ann B. Ross

Mary McCormick, library patron

Miss Julia is an amateur sleuth in her 60’s who lives in North Carolina and likes to be in everybody’s business, and this time, she is concerned about the substitute doctor that over-prescribes medication for her husband: why did this doctor ask for the unused portion to be returned to him? And why is it that the doctor’s wife looks so downtrodden all the time? And why is it that Lloyd, now a teen, is refusing to work for his father at a job he initially loved to do? There are more questions than answer, but Miss Julia is up to the challenge and is soon eliciting everyone’s help to solve the town’s mysteries!

Find it: MYS Ros + Libby ebooks


The Anthropocene Reviewed by John Green

Cheryl Brock, library patron

This nonfiction novel, based on Green’s podcast, is very different from his YA books and other works. It is a collection of essays on different topics relating to the current age of human activity: the Anthropocene. He then rates the topic on a 5-star scale, like much too many things are these days. His voice shines through in each essay, and he is as refreshing as always with hope, honesty, and clarity. If you aren't a fan of nonfiction, this is the book to turn that opinion around. With its reviews on CNN and sunsets, from Piggly Wiggly to plague, you'll be sure to learn, laugh, and think about the intricacies of the human condition you may regularly take for granted. It's an inspiring read—one I give 5 stars.

Find it: 814.6 Gre (New)


Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro

Becky Bennet, library board member

Klara is an AF (artificial friend) waiting to be chosen when 14-year-old Josie sees her in a store window. Klara waits expectantly for Josie to return and take her home. When she does, Klara believes that things will be wonderful for the two of them. However, Josie has bouts of a mysterious illness that keep her bedridden for weeks at a time. Klara concludes that if she asks in just the right way, the Sun will use his special nourishment to cure Josie and save her life. Although often described as a young adult/teen novel, "Klara and the Sun" is a masterpiece that will enthrall adult audiences. The main themes of this novel have to do with love and mortality, but the secondary issues--pollution, consumerism, gene editing, economic displacement, and distrust of others--left me hoping for sequels in the coming years.

Find it: NOV Ish (New) + Libby ebooks

Hippo-Hippo-Hooray! Summer Reading 2021 Is Here!

Summer Reading 2021 Tails & Tales starts June 1st with a WHOLE WEEK of fun! Tuesday through Saturday, you can visit the library and participate in a fun activity:

  • Monday: Closed for Memorial Day
  • Tuesday: Endangered Species Scavenger Hunt around the library
  • Wednesday: Vote on which animal sounds you’d like the librarians to make on Facebook Live Wednesday afternoon at 5:30 *Sure to be silly and fun!*
  • Thursday: Fishing for Time-- We’ve got a fishing pole and a “lake,” full of fish ripe for catching! Each fish has different a amount of minutes on it that you can add to your reading log! 
  • Friday: Animal sounds part 2! Which sounds will our librarians have to make on Facebook Live Friday afternoon at 5:30-- you get to choose!
  • Saturday: Summer in the City-- visit the library’s booth and help decorate Tails & Tales letters that will be up all summer long!

When you stop in and register to participate in Summer Reading during Opening Week, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a Summer Fun basket worth $50! We’ll also have guessing jars and self-directed interactives for participants of all ages to have fun with. 


Community Adventure is back again this summer! As an individual or as a small group, you can sign-up to participate in the Community Adventure. You’ll need to complete 15 of the approximately 40 activities in Beanstack by July 24th. When you do, you’ll be entered into a drawing for a $50 School Supply Basket!

Activities this summer are different from last year, and you’ll have to put on your thinking cap for some of them: 

  • Find outside art around Bastrop and take your picture with it. If you post it online, tag the library.
  • Record you and some friends/family playing air guitars and air drums along to a song. If you post it online, tag the library.
  • Look up four animal yoga poses and learn how to do them.
  • Walk up and down Main Street and find all the letters of your name in the signs in the shops’ windows.

The Community Adventure opens Saturday, June 5th as part of the Summer in the City event.

New at the library this summer is a “photostand”: a large temporary mural that you can take your picture with! Show off how many minutes you’ve read, how much you love the library, or what kind of fun you can have at the library and post it to your social media! 

This photostand will only be around this summer, so stop in and mug for the camera before it goes away forever! 

Summer Reading participants will be tracking minutes online through the library's website or a free app you can download to your smart device. You can register on the library’s website and click on the Summer Reading tab, in the Beanstack app (App Store, Google Play Store), and at the library. You can view a tutorial of how to register and a video on how to log minutes if you need help. Or, you can stop at the Summer Reading Desk in the Children’s Area at the library for help. 

When youth readers (0-17 year olds) reach 500; 1,000; and 1,500 minutes, they have earned free books of their choice. Books can be picked up at the library beginning June 14th. Additionally, they will have earned virtual tickets to redeem for grand prize baskets. Virtual tickets are earned at every 500 minute increment up to 10,000 minutes. Adult readers earn $1 Book Nook coupons at 1,000; 2,000; and 3,000 minutes read, as well as virtual tickets for grand prize basket drawings at increments of 1,000 minutes up to 10,000 minutes. You may view a tutorial video on how to designate your virtual tickets for grand prize tickets here.




All ages may choose from all of the prize baskets this year! And we’ve got some great baskets lined up:

  • Arts and Crafts Basket
  • Book Addict Basket
  • DIY Basket
  • Date Night Basket
  • LEGO 1 Basket
  • LEGO 2 Basket
  • Local Favorites Basket
  • Manga Basket
  • Snack Basket
  • Film Alley Basket

The grand prize drawings will be on Saturday, July 24th at 1:00pm. Join us on Facebook Live or on the lawn between the library and Bastrop Christian Church to see if you are a winner of a great Summer Reading prize basket! 

Have questions about Summer Reading? Visit the library’s FAQ page or give us a call at 512-332-8880. 

Happy reading and logging and earning of prizes!

Calling All Adult Sci-Fi and Fantasy Readers!

Are you a Tolkein fan? Do you inhale anything and everything Christine Feehan publishes? Or maybe Jim Butcher is more your style? You are our only hope! 

Whether you prefer sci-fi like Star Wars or Martha Wells’s series The Murderbot Diaries or fantasy like N.K. Jemison’s Broken Earth series or Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, we want to know your opinions on sci-fi and fantasy books by taking our brief survey

We will be using this information to get a better idea of what sci-fi and fantasy titles to add to the adult fiction collection. We want to add books and authors that you want to read, so please complete this survey now. 


Interactive Movie Kits for Family Fun

There is something new for you and your family to checkout this summer: Interactive Movie Kits! These kits come with a DVD, props, and instructions for how you and your family can interact along with the movie. 

For example, in the 101 Dalmatians movie kit, there are some fake flowers. The instructions tell you to sniff your flower when Roger and Anita get married! The instructions also direct you to play an imaginary piano when Roger plays his piano, to clap your hands loudly whenever a door is slammed, and so on.

These kits come with enough props for four people to interact with the movie. Kits are available for 101 Dalmatians, Babe, The Emperor’s New Groove, Detective Pikachu, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. You can find them in the Children’s Area, near the children's DVD's, or you can reserve them in the catalog


Storytime in the Summer

Ms. Carmen is reintroducing Friday Storytimes this summer! 

Wednesday Storytimes will continue as they have since mid-March and be in the Pressley Meeting Room in the library. Ms. Carmen will lead 20 minutes of stories, fingerplays, and songs on Wednesdays at 10:30. There is no toy time but we have plenty of space for social distancing so everyone has room to participate and still feel safe.


Meet Ms. Carmen in Fisherman’s Park on Fridays at 10:30 for an outside edition of Storytime! Ms. Carmen will be set up in the shade at the foot of the stairs next to the library. She’ll have a speaker so everyone can hear the stories, fingerplays, and songs. Participants are invited to bring blankets or chairs. Storytime will be the same on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Storytime is a rich in early literacy learning experience for toddlers and preschoolers and provides a supportive community for caregivers. Join us this summer on Wednesdays or Fridays for lots of fun! 

We Suggest - June 2021 Newsletter

We're expanding who is writing newsletter reviews so that we can get a variety of genre suggestions for all types of readers! If you've read a book and want to write a positive review for the newsletter, please email Bethany at

Becky Bennett, library board member

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

Gifty is the American-born daughter of Ghanian parents. Her family struggles with finances and the racial bias one might expect in their Alabama town. When Gifty is just three, her father returns to Ghana having never felt at home in the US. When Gifty is a teenager, her older brother, whom she idolized, dies of a drug overdose; her mother plunges into a deep depression. The story opens when Gifty is in graduate school studying how mice respond to addiction and treatment. Her mother has fallen into another deep depression and their pastor sends her to live with Gifty. This follow-up (not sequel) to Gysasi's award-winning Homegoing is just as much a masterpiece. Beautifully written, bittersweet, heart-breaking, and triumphant, Gyasi manages to artfully blend religion, science, and the pain and joy of loving other people in a narrative that blends two chronologies.

Find it: NOV Gya + CD Book F Gya + Libby ebooks


Dianne Tripp, Friend of the Library

Useful Delusions: The Power and Paradox of the Self-Deceiving Brain by Shankar Vedantam and Bill Mesler

This nonfiction book examines how beliefs can be powerful in positive and negative ways. One way is understanding that we have the ability to see situations with more fairness and open-mindedness. On the other hand, the opposite is to realize evolution gave us the ability to deceive ourselves in order to ensure our survival and success. Even though I couldn’t see some aspects applying to how I view myself, what Vendantam and Mesler present is the opportunity to do much soul searching on the reasoning for the lies we tell ourselves, our co-workers, friends, family members, and others.

Find it: 153.4 Ved (New)

Brenda Smith, library volunteer

We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

This heartbreaking, yet heartwarming, crime thriller should be next on your reading list! Although this is a murder mystery, it is more about family love and hate. It deals with justice and the triumph over obstacles thirteen-year-old Duchess tackles as she grows up. You really won’t want this book to end… it’s wonderful!

Find it: MYS Whi (New) + Libby ebooks

K.F., library patron

The Children’s Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin

Reading The Children's Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin during the artic snap probably wasn't the best way to stay warm! This richly detailed story of the Great Plains Blizzard of 1888 is based on true events, and that make it a hard read at times. However, the teachers’ bravery is astounding. You’ll definitely want a cozy blanket and a nice cup of tea on hand when you’re reading it!

Find it: NOV Ben (New) + Libby ebooks

A Book for Everyone’s TBR!

Every year, the Texas Library Association identifies books that readers of all ages are sure to enjoy and between Bonnie, Bethany, other library staff, patrons, and social media posts of book lovers across the world, we whole-heartedly agree that these books are ones to check out-- or at least put on your to-be-read (TBR) list!


Summer 2021 Sneak Peek!

Summer Reading is nearly here! Hip-hip-hooray! Or should we say “HIPPO-HIPPO-hooray” as the theme this year is “Tails and Tales” and will focus on animals! 


Summer Reading will begin Tuesday, June 1, 2021, and we will celebrate the whole week, Tuesday, June 1st to Saturday, June 5th.  Each day in the library, we’ll have fun activities for you to do or take home to complete. Hint, hint: there will be extra prizes for participants! Also, you can vote for silly things the librarians will do! 

Participants will log minutes in Beanstack on the Bastrop Public Library website or through the app. Paper logs can be printed from the website, and a limited supply will be available for pick-up in the library. Youth aged 0-17 years will read 500 minutes to receive their first prize book and virtual tickets into grand prize drawings of their choice. Adults 18 and older will read 1,000 minutes to receive a $1 Book Nook coupon and virtual tickets into the grand prize drawings of their choice. We’ve got some pretty FLY grand prize baskets for readers to choose from this summer! 

Community Adventure is back again this summer starting Saturday, June 5th! Participants who complete 15 of this summer’s activities will be entered into a drawing for a $50 school supply basket. The activities run the gamut from visiting the StoryWalk ® in Fisherman’s Park to trying a new recipe and sharing it with a friend or family member. Community Adventure can be completed alone, as a family, or with a group of friends. It’s all about having fun and getting to know your community! Community Adventure will be available on the library website or the Beanstack app. Paper copies will be available at the library. 

In June, we will have Storytime twice a week. On Wednesdays, join us in the Pressley Meeting Room and on Fridays, we’re down at FISHerman’s Park. Ms. Carmen may even convince some of the Bastrop police officers to join us for Storytime with a Cop! Look for those dates on the calendars that will be available in mid-May on our website and at the library. 

LEGO Club will continue to meet virtually on Zoom to provide a safe environment for participants. There will still be lots of opportunities for kids to show off their CREATURE creations and have social time together. You can sign-up to receive notice of LEGO Club challenges via email here

Teen Thursdays will start meeting in-person again on Thursday, June 3 at 4:45 p.m. Many of the programs will take place outside, but we will initially meet in the Pressley Room. Because the heat is often unBEARable during Texas summers, programs have been planned where participants will likely get wet and/or messy and/or eat ice-cold treats. As such, participants are encouraged to wear clothes that can get wet and/or messy. And Teen Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) will also continue to meet on Fridays at 4:45 p.m. Campaigners of all skill levels are welcome. 

Crafters Anonymous will continue to meet in-person in the Pressley Meeting Room on third Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. Cary has some creative ideas up her sleeves for PAWticipants, so make sure you save your spot as registration is limited to 10. To sign up, call or visit the library the Thursday before the program (i.e. June 10 and July 15). 

It’s going to be a fun summer, so MULE want to mark Tuesday, June 1st on your calendars! Drop by the library to register for Tails & Tales Summer Reading 2021! It will be PAWSitiviely great!

Laid-Back Book Club

Are you perpetually busy? Or maybe you’re still being super careful about social distancing and activities? Or maybe you’re antisocial? Or your couch is more comfortable than the meeting room chairs at the library? Any way you swing it, we have a new book club for you: Laid-Back Book Club! 

Laid-Back Book Club is for adults who like to read but don’t have time or the inclination to participate in a regular monthly book club meeting. Instead, you are invited to read all (or some) of the titles at some point between May 1, 2021 and August 31, 2021 and talk about them in our new Facebook group. (Join here and look for the welcome post!). 

There is one book per month, but you can read them in any order. If you read the May book in August, go back and find the posts from May to add your two cents. If you think just the June book looks interesting, only read the June book and participate in those discussions. This should be stress-free and as the name suggests… laid back! 

Without further ado, here are the books for this summer’s Laid-Back Book Club:


May 2021: The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

Find it: SFF Klu + Libby ebooks


June 2021: The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Find it: MYS Mic + CD Book F Mic (New) + Libby ebooks


July 2021: The Lost Family: How DNA Testing Is Upending Who We Are by Libby Copeland

Find it: 929.107 Cop (New) + CD Book 929.107 Cop (New) + Libby ebooks


August 2021: Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore

Find it: NOV Wet + CD Book F Wet (New) + Libby ebooks


These books were chosen because library staff have read them and recommended them or they have appeared on the NYT Bestsellers’ Lists and/or the Texas Library Association’s Lariat or Topaz Lists. The library has purchased additional copies--or they will soon be added to the collection-- plus audiobooks and eBooks and eAudiobooks where available. 


If you have questions about LBBC, please email Bethany at


Happy reading! We can’t wait to hear your thoughts about these titles in the Facebook group

Virtual LEGO Club

The third Tuesday of every month, Ms. Carmen and kids meet for LEGO Club! 

To keep kiddos and their adults safe, Ms. Carmen leads this program over Zoom. A week before the program over Zoom, Ms. Carmen emails a challenge for kids to make prior to the program. Each participant can “show and tell” their creation at the program before Ms. Carmen calls out several quick-build challenges. 

To receive the LEGO Club challenge and Zoom information, sign-up for email reminders on our website.


We Suggest - May 2021

We're expanding who is writing newsletter reviews so that we can get a variety of genre suggestions for all types of readers! If you've read a book and want to write a positive review for the newsletter, please email Bethany at


Brenda Smith, library volunteer

The Big Door Prize by M.O. Walsh

Imagine going into HEB and seeing a DNAMIX booth by the front doors. For $2, it will tell your life's destiny: the mayor will be a cowboy, the high school principal a carpenter. But what about those who are happy with their current lives? What about the twin who lost his brother and never gets a reading? The most happily married couple you have ever met? The priest and his wayward niece? The community itself is changing, but is it for the better? If you are looking for some optimism, humor, and love, you need not look any further as this book has it all!

Find it: NOV Wal

Mary McCormick, library patron

After You by Jojo Moyes

After You will make you cry—and laugh! Louisa was caregiver for Will, a quadriplegic who took his life; she had fallen in love with him and then lost him. After a night of grieving and drinking, she slips on the rooftop of her flat and falls two stories. Handsome and kind ambulance driver Sam rushes her to the hospital. Louisa’s once grievous and confused life begins to turn on end after her recovery as she has to balance a new teenage “daughter” and a love interest. This compelling book causes you to look with new eyes at both loss and life.

Find it: NOV Moy + Libby ebooks


Dianne Tripp, Friend of the Library

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

This haunting and character-driven story reminded me of an African version of Giant by Edna Ferber. While Giant is a white, sanitized epic of Texas and wealth, Homegoing blunter and more disturbing. It is a Ghanaian saga exploring how the slave trade and its aftermath in the U.S. profoundly affects lives and legacies—even today, 300 years later. What I found most blatant was the treatment of black women; how little has changed.

Find it: NOV Gya + Libby ebooks



K.F., library patron

How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry

In this amusing and heartwarming romance, Emilia finds support from family-like customers as she struggles to hold on to her family’s bookshop after her father dies. The prose is difficult to follow at times because of British emoting, but, you can tell this author is well-read. This lighter read was enjoyable!

Find it: ROM Hen

The Transition to “Phase Out”

If you missed the biggest piece of news in March coming from Governor Abbott’s office, Texas is open again! In conjunction with that decision, the City of Bastrop City Council decided to move the library and other City departments from Phase 3 to Phase Out. So what does this mean for the library?

Bastrop Public Library will gradually be returning to 100% service. Thank you for your patience as we add furniture, bring back computers, begin in-person programs, and open meeting spaces.

We want to reassure everyone that patrons’ and employees’ safety is our priority. The City of Bastrop recommends the use of a mask or face covering inside government or public buildings, while interacting with others, and especially when social distancing cannot be maintained. Bastrop Public Library employees will continue to wear masks. There are no more temperature checks, but if you are feeling unwell, please refrain from visiting the library until you feel better. This helps keep everyone well. 

Storytime officially began in-person again on Wednesday, March 17, 2021! Join Ms. Carmen in the Meeting Room for 20 minutes of stories, fingerplays and songs on Wednesdays at 10:30 or 11:00. There is no toy time but we will have "zones" for social distancing to ensure everyone has room to participate and still feel safe. Virtual Storytimes will continue to be posted on the library’s Facebook on Fridays at 10:30am. 

LEGO Club will continue on Zoom as keeping all of our LEGO clean is a massive challenge. If you’d like to join Virtual LEGO Club with Ms. Carmen each month, please email her at to get the monthly challenge and the Zoom link. At the Zoom event, participants will be able to show off their creation and participate in several quick build challenges. For every participant who joins, their name will be entered into a drawing with some fun LEGO prizes! 


Teen Dungeons and Dragons will resume on Fridays in April at 4:45. Participants aged 13-17 of all skill levels are invited to campaign! We will have character sheets, player handbooks, polyhedral dice, and other supplies to share. We will meet for the first time again on Friday, April 9 in the Meeting Room here at the library. Teen Thursdays will continue to be virtual, on Discord, until Thursday, June 3rd, when we will move back to our regular time at 4:45pm. 

Crafters Anonymous also began in-person earlier this month. Participants had a lovely time creating mini canvas photos-- perfect for showing off the loved ones in their families! Seats are limited to 10, and sign-ups will start the Thursday before the event (April 15th, May 13th, etc). To reserve your spot, you must call the library at (512) 332-8880 during open hours (1pm-9pm Tuesday and Thursday; 10am-6pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; and 10am-4pm on Saturday). Facebook messages, private messages through social media or voicemails left on an answering machine will not be accepted. 


Coffee with Catherine has moved to in-person! Participants meet on Fridays at 10am in the Meeting Room. Please bring your own coffee or tea and join us for lovely conversations where we check in with one another. 


Study Booths and Meeting Rooms will become available as we transition our furniture back into the public areas of the library. Study rooms will be available by April 1. The Pressley Meeting Room will be available in late April. The Maynard Conference Room will be available for small groups of up to six in June. Any group or organization interested in reserving the Pressley Meeting Room should review our Meeting Room Policy under the services tab on our website and complete the reservation form available on our website.

We appreciate everyone’s patience as we continue to transition back to 100% service with community safety in mind. 

Closed for Easter

Bastrop Public Library will be closed for the Easter holiday so that staff may spend time with their families. The library will be closed Friday, April 2 and Saturday, April 3. We will re-open  Monday, April 5th at 10am.


Survey Results

Thank you to the several hundred people who completed the survey in February! We were tickled by all of the kind sentiment and have sorted the ideas for improvement into a variety of categories to help us as we work on our five-year, long-range plan for the Texas State Libraries and Archives Commission. 

The survey consisted of general information questions, questions ranking services, and written response questions. Participation in the survey was optional and all questions were not answered by every respondent. A total of 406 surveys were returned. Of these, 86% of participants have a library card and 40% visit the library weekly.

The survey asked respondents to rate several library services. 73% said staff customer service is excellent. Our facility is also viewed as excellent by 68% of participants. Hours of operation and online or internet services were rated excellent by about 30% of respondents. 


Borrowing materials such as books and DVD’s is considered very important by 78% of the people. Online services are important to 52%, and internet access is important to 48% of participants. Community spaces, including study and meeting rooms, and programs were ranked important by 25% of respondents.

When asked to write in what they valued most or what could be improved, the top responses all mentioned books or the library’s collection. 56% reported that the variety of formats and availability of materials is what they value the most about the library. When looking at how the collection was rated as a service, it received a good or fair mark by 60% of respondents.

Overall, participants responded favorably about the library and the services it provides. We received positive comments about the staff, the facility, the hours of operation, the programs available, and the benefits the library brings to the community. And, as you can see in the following chart, respondents are, overall, pleased with the library:

With your help, we are identifying how to best serve the City of Bastrop, and we are looking forward to improving --or continuing to improve-- the collection, the programs, the publicity, the outreach, the services, and a variety of other aspects of the library.

Pop-up Book Sale

The Friends of the Library’s storage is overflowing! And they need to get rid of some books fast! Which is to YOUR advantage! 

On Saturday, April 10, there will be a pop-up book sale in the library parking lot. It will be from 10:00-3:00. If it rains that day, the pop-up book sale will be moved to Saturday, April 17. Cash is preferred, but if you must pay with a card, you’ll have to go into the library to pay at the Circulation Desk. 

Titles include adult and children’s fiction include suspense, romance, westerns, sci-fi, DVD’s, and more! All books will be $1 or less. 

Coupons for kids to get a free children’s book will be available at the library’s Circulation Desk beginning in early April. Kids will be able to redeem it at the Pop-up Book Sale for a juvenile title of their choice! 

Make sure you put Saturday, April 10 on your calendar so that you can snatch up these great deals before the full Book and Plant Sale in September. 


A NEW Newsletter

Every month, collection selectors order new books for the library, and we want to put these books in your hands! In order to do this, we are creating a second newsletter “A Little Word Told Me” to share with you the newest adult fiction and nonfiction titles. 

If you sign up to receive this monthly newsletter, you’ll be one of the first to know which new titles will soon be in circulation. You’ll be able to put yourself on the reserve lists for them so you can read them as soon as they arrive at the library! 

To sign up, go online to our website and check the box next to New Adult Fiction & Nonfiction Titles (Monthly). 

Here's a preview from what would have been sent in February:

Happy reading!

We Suggest - April 2021 Newsletter

The Doctors Blackwell by Janice P. Nimura

Dianne Tripp, Friend of the Library

This was an excellent (if wordy) biography of the sisters that were responsible for establishing and inspiring women to break the stereotype that they should never be physicians. Elizabeth and Emily Blackwell persisted against the chauvinistic medical establishment that believed women were "too delicate in nature" to handle the rigors of medical practice. This period was also when the women's suffragette movement was coming of age, slavery was dividing the north and south, and Florence Nightingale was creating modern nursing guidelines. Interestingly, the sisters weren't feminists. 

Find it: 920 Nim (New) + Libby ebooks

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

K.F., library patron

D’Aprix Sweeney truly lures readers into the lives of her cast of flawed characters in this sardonic yet moving story of a dysfunctional family that has lived for years with simmering tensions. It made me count my blessings about how well my family of origin still gets on!

Find it: NOV Swe + Libby ebooks

The Searcher by Tana French

Becky Bennett, library board member

Cal Hooper, retired from Chicago PD, buys a run-down farm in a tiny Irish village looking for peace and a way to forget the trauma of his career and his failed marriage. His plans are upset when a local teen shows up asking for his help. Trey's brother has been missing for six months. At first Cal resists--this is exactly what he is trying to escape--but finally relents and agrees to help Trey. What he learns is that his little Irish village is not as idyllic as it seems. Of all French's novels, this one definitely has the happiest ending. The conclusion is not as tidy as some crime novels--with the bad guys dead or captured--but at least it presents a resolution and allows Cal and Trey some peace.

Find it: MYS Fre (New) + CD Book F Fre (New) + Libby ebooks

If It Bleeds by Stephen King

Brenda Smith, library volunteer

If you love King, but don't want to tackle one of his long books right now-- or if you want to get started with the master of horror-- these 4 novellas fit the bill. All four stories have one of his recurring themes. Rat King: writer's block and an isolated cabin, Mr. Harrigan's Phone: Death and a cell phone buried with the deceased, The Life of Chuck:  well...just insane, and If It Bleeds: Holly Gibney from Mr. Mercedes returns to bring down an Outsider, who this time appears for decades as a tv reporter. I devoured this book more quickly than his other offerings-- it was that good!

Find it: MYS Kin + Libby ebooks

New Mobile Circulation!

Bastrop Public Library has been awarded grant money from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Texas State Library and Archives Commission, and CARES to help with community safety as the pandemic continues: mobile circulation! 

Mobile circulation allows patrons to download the Cloud Library app (iTunes app store, Google Play Store) to your phone all without having to touch items that others may have come into contact with previously. The first time you log-in to the app, you input your library card number and phone number. 

Within the app, you can scan books, and then check them out. After that, you’re good to check-out books straight from your phone! You can by-pass lines at the Circulation Desk and Selfcheck machines! You can do 100% of your library check-out transactions on your own time and be on your way. 

When you’re finished with your items, return them to the outside or inside bookdrops, just like you always have. 

The CloudLibrary app allows for more personalization. If you want to come up to the desk and interact with a librarian, we’d love to help you, but if you’re in a rush and you just want to run into the library and scan your items, check them out, and be on your way, then you can do that, too! 

Within the Cloud Library app, you can also access your account, see if you have any fines or fees, place reserves, see what you’ve recently checked out, renew items already checked out to your account, order curbside, access the library’s website, send an email to the library, and more. This is a hard-working app-- working to make your library experience more personalized, more seamless, and easier!

You can watch our step-by-step tutorial video on YouTube, or ask for help at the Information or Circulation Desks. Happy reading!

Bag o’ Books = Bag o’ Fun

Teens who have attended Teen Thursdays in the past three and a half years know that Ms. Bethany likes to give out bags o’ candy as prizes. Now, they can sign-up to get bags o’ books! 

If you’ve ever heard of Hello Fresh, Owl Crate or Loot Crate --or other subscription boxes-- Bag o’ Books is very similar. Teens aged 13-17 fill out a brief survey of what they like (and don’t like) in their books. We’ll then pick three books based on their preferences, add some goodies, and place them in an individually decorated bag to be picked up via curbside. 

They’ll have two weeks to read their books before they have to be returned to the library. Teens  can keep their bag and the goodies, which will vary each month. 

Sign-ups will be for three months. The first sign-up deadline is Friday, March 5th. This will guarantee they get a bag in March, April, and May. Bags will be picked up each month on approximately the 15th of the month (depending on which day of the week the 15th is). Like with curbside, we’ll contact your teen (or their parent/guardian) to remind them that they have a Bag o’ Books to pick-up. We’ll have a second deadline in June for the summer months.

If your teen misses the March 5th deadline, that’s okay! They won’t get a subscription bag for March, but they will get ones in April and May. And the same goes for later this spring. If they sign-up after April 5th, they can get a May Bag o’ Books. 

This subscription is perfect for a myriad of teens: those who don’t like to read, those who get choice paralysis because there are too many titles to choose from, those who think they’ve read everything and need something new, and those who may want to stretch their wings and try a new genre but aren’t sure where to start. Give them the survey today so that they can get the first month of books and goodies!

For questions, please contact Bethany at (512) 332-8880 or

Couple More Days for Survey!

You have a say in what the library looks like in the near future! Tell us your opinions and ideas in this (brief!) survey

Staff at the library will be using the information we gather from this survey in creating the new five-year strategic plan for the library. Because we value our community and all of those in our community, we value the ideas and input you are able to share with us on making the library the best it can be. 

If you prefer to answer the survey on paper, please stop in at the library and ask for a copy at the Circulation Desk. 

Thank you to those who have already completed the survey and to those who click the link right now to complete the survey

Virtual Programming Is Still Happening!

The programming team at Bastrop Public Library is still hosting various virtual programs for all ages, and we want you to join us! 


For toddlers and preschoolers, Ms. Carmen films a 10-minute storytime each week. They are posted on our Facebook page at 10:30 a.m. every Wednesday. If your child has a favorite book they’d like Ms. Carmen to read, please email her at or comment on one of the recent Facebook videos

Storytime is a great early literacy tool for pre-readers as they learn counting --in English and Spanish!-- how to hold a book and turn pages, introductions to concepts such as shapes and colors, the importance of books and stories, and so much more. 

For teens aged 13-17, Bethany hosts a weekly Teen Thursdays program on the library’s Discord server. Activities may vary slightly based on what teens are interested in, but we are currently following this general schedule:

  • 1st Thursday of the month: Among Us (free appstore game)
  • 2nd Thursday of the month: Virtual Drawing Club
  • 3rd Thursday of the month: Among Us (free appstore game)
  • 4th Thursday of the month: Wild card! 


The Virtual Drawing Club invites teens to bring whatever art, craft, or any project they’re currently working on, share their progress, and then vote on a YA book that Bethany will read aloud to them as they continue to work on their art. So far this year, we’re reading the survival book Not if I Save You First by Ally Carter. Look at what they’ve been working on recently:



The Wild Card program changes each month and is directly based on what the teens have suggested. On the docket this spring is new Jackbox games, learning mug meal recipes, and trivia.

We also often check-in on one another. One of the great things about the Discord server is that,  like Facebook, it’s always open, so the teens are always welcome to post. We like to share things that happen on a daily basis that make us happy or grateful, and we like to share good news and congratulate one another. The Discord community has been instrumental in these teens’ mental health during the pandemic this past year. 

To access the library Discord server, please have your teen email Bethany at to receive an invite link. 

For adults, we have two virtual programs. The first is a weekly social-hour on Friday mornings at 10:00 a.m.: Coffee with Catherine and Cary. Grab your cup of joe (or tea) and log into Zoom for easy conversation with other retired folks. Past conversation topics have included sharing favorite recipes, old photos, checking in with one another, sharing worries and joys, craft projects they’ve worked on in their own time, and joking with one another. 

During this past year of navigating the pandemic, Coffee with Catherine and Cary has been a wonderful outlet for so many who have felt alone and disconnected from the world as we’ve all had to stay home more often. It’s been truly wonderful to get to know more folks-- and even some of their friends and family who live far away. If you are feeling lonely, this is the perfect antidote for you. And “bring” a friend with you, too! 


Cary also leads a monthly Virtual Crafters Anonymous group. They meet on the third Tuesday of the month at 6:30. Cary creates a kit of supplies, and participants pick them up via curbside. Participants meet together on Zoom to work on the project together. 




It’s a very social gathering, and everyone enjoys hearing about one another’s daily lives, celebrations, and challenges and supporting one another. You participate from home, so if you’ve already pulled on the pajamas after work and are nursing an adult beverage of your choice, that is a-okay! 

This past year has been so hard for everyone, and this group could use your smile, your deft crafting skills, and your care-- and they’d love to reciprocate in kind. Come and make new friends with us!

For Zoom information for both of these adult programs, please email Cary at

Please Excuse Our Mess

In the Adult Fiction stacks, we are doing a big shifting project, which means books may not be where they have always been. As we are slowly working on redistributing these titles to the back of the last set of shelves, books will be more spread out. We are doing this so that books are less crammed on the shelves and so that you don’t have to stoop all the way to the bottom shelf to retrieve what you’re looking for. 

If you’re having difficulty locating the book, author, or genre you’re looking for, please ask at the Information Desk. 

We appreciate your patience as we are working on making the books more accessible!

Check-Out Our Magazines

Are you a fan of flipping through magazines? Did you know that you can check-out the magazines Bastrop Public Library subscribes to and read them at home? We do ask that you return them, but this is great news for those who just want to lift their feet up after a day at work and skim the latest issue of [insert your favorite magazine here]! 

We offer the following titles:

  • Archaeology
  • Better Homes & Gardens
  • Better Homes & Gardens DIY
  • Birds & Blooms
  • Bloomberg Business Week
  • Christianity Today
  • Consumer Reports
  • Cooks Illustrated
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Country Living
  • Discover
  • Entertainment Weekly
  • Family Handyman
  • Food Network
  • Garden & Gun
  • Good Housekeeping
  • Harpers Magazine
  • HGTV
  • Magnolia Journal
  • Martha Stewart Living
  • Men's Journal
  • Mother Earth News
  • National Geographic
  • National Review
  • New Yorker
  • Outdoor Life
  • Parents
  • People
  • People in Espanol
  • Popular Mechanics