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President's Day: Not What You Expected

President's Day is a holiday that is celebrated in many different ways... just not the ways that you may expect. It's not that everyone has a cool different craft or neat idea for advertising used cars, instead, it's that the holiday isn't what we think it is. In fact, it's not even really called "President's Day." It's still "Washington's Birthday."

Originally, President's Day was celebrated as a federal holiday to remember and honor our first president, George Washington, on his birthday. However, after Abraham Lincoln's presidency, many northern states started to celebrate the newer president's birthday at around the same time. When the official celebration of Washington's birthday was changed to the 3rd Monday in February, it started to confuse people: who's birthday was being celebrated?

Adding to the confusion is the fact that Nixon proclaimed the 3rd Monday in 1971 to be President's Day to honor all pa…
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Branch Manager Reviews: How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu

Valentine's Day is coming up and while we most often associate the holiday with Romantic love, we know that there are actually many other kinds of love. In How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe, Charles Yu explores the love in families, especially love between a father and son. Charles (of Mirror Universe 31), has been barely living since his father time-traveled out of his life. Charles feels that he has disappointed his father, and while they had always had trouble communicating, Charles badly wants to reconnect.

The problem is that Charles isn't going anywhere. He's a time-machine technician and he's given up on his own life. He has no motivation. It isn't until Charles' future self appears and a panicked present-Charles shoots himself in the stomach that his life finally starts to move forward--even if it's into a time loop. The journey Charles takes pulls him backwards in ti…

Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is a very unique holiday! But what is a Groundhog anyway, and do they live in El Paso?

Groundhogs are large, cat-sized rodents.  They are also known as marmots, Woodchucks and whistle pigs. They are a type of ground squirrel. And sadly, they don't live in El Paso! But some of their relatives, hoary marmots and yellow-bellied marmots, live in the mountains in the Northwest United States.

Now.... Groundhog Day! The most famous groundhog of all is Punxsutawney Phil. He's a groundhog from Punxsatawney, Pennsylvania where people have been celebrating Groundhog Day since 1886! According to the Groundhog Day website, Phil is always 100% correct about his predictions. If he sees his shadow, then there will be 6 more weeks of winter. If he doesn't see his shadow on Groundhog Day, then there's an early spring.

Learn more about the Holiday and about Groundhogs!
Groundhog Day official Page
Facts about Groundhogs from National Geographic 
Groundhog storie…

Today in Westside Library History: Open House Dedication

An Open House reception was planned so that the community could preview the new Westside Library. At the time, the Westside Library was the first library branch opened in 27 years and was the first to be paid for by "direct community contributions for partial structure payment." People could meet the new staff members, Bill Lockhart and Lisa Bunker.

Read more here: El Paso Times December 7, 1988

Branch Manager Reviews: An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten

An Elderly Lady is Up to No Good by Helene Tursten

For something completely different this Christmas, try out this little book. The stories are about Maud, an 88 year old lady who lives alone in her very nice, rent-controlled apartment. Maud figures things out and solves her problems on her own. The only problem is that she often solves them using murder.

I found the book to be darkly humorous and an excellent commentary on how older people, especially women, become invisible in this world. There are several short stories in this book and one that is Christmas-themed. So instead of curling up with a cozy this winter, try getting to know Maud... if you dare!

FindAn Elderly Lady is Up to No Good at the library!

Today in Westside Library History: Haunted House in 1997

In 1997, the Westside Library hosted a haunted house for kids!

Read more here: El Paso Times 30 October 1997

Today in Westside Library history: Rare book sale, 1990

The Friends of the Westside Library held a rare book sale at the library in September of 1990. Books included autographed copies from famous authors. Marjorie Cunningham, a member of the Friends group, is pictured.

Read more here: El Paso Times  19 September 1990