December 2021 Newsletter

          From the Branch Manager

Trans Art Show:  

The Oak Lawn Branch Library hosted an Art Contest for Trans Awareness Week during November. Open to the public, the contest had two categories: Adult and Teen. The contest included any art medium such as acrylic on canvas, photographic and digital prints. We had 8 entries. Voting was done by the public—it was such a blast to have our customers, and anyone who walked into our doors be part of the contest by voting– between Wednesday, November 17th through Friday November 19th. Votes were counted, and the winners were announced and notified on November 20th, on Transgender Day of Remembrance. With the funding of the Oak Lawn Library Friends, our winners won a $25 gift prize. The art submitted was highly impressive and we cannot thank the entries enough for participating in this year’s contest to celebrate our trans community for this awareness week, and the day of remembrance.  

Books purchased: As an early holiday gift, the Oak Lawn Library Friends allowed our library staff to make a wish list of book titles we wanted to add to our LGBTQIA+ collections. Over 30 titles were requested, and many have already been delivered to the branch to add into our library. This generous gift includes popular titles such as Hola Papi and My Name’s Alaska, What’s Yours? There are other copies in the library system, but they are always in use due to heavy requests.  We are excited to be able to add these specifically to the Oak lawn Library’s Special Collections for our community to be able to visit, see and check out.  

The long-awaited return of the Novel Discussions Book Club to the Oak Lawn Branch Library has come. The book club will resume meeting in person at the branch beginning January of this upcoming year. While we have enjoyed the virtual model, and having the gift of two spectacular co-hosts, with Jacob Wise and Tanya Harris from the Erik J. Johnson library, Oak Lawn will begin meeting in our Auditorium on the last Wednesday of the month once more.

    Our first meeting for the New Year will be on January 26th at 11:00am. The first book of the year was unavailable for our club last year.  The book is “The Badass Librarians of Timbuktu” by Joshua Hammer. Please join us for our exciting first meeting back at the branch! We will also be discussing possible titles for the book club to read this next new year, so any suggestion is welcomed!  

December event: Oak Lawn Branch Library is happy to announce it is turning 25 at the current location this December 15th! In honor of this special birthday and milestone, the library will be having a 25th Birthday Bash on December 18th, from 12pm-2pm. Oak Lawn Library will be honoring our birthday by having a small community fair with organizations like the Resource Center, Prism Health North Texas, Union Coffee, and the Urban Inter-Tribal Center of North Texas being present to represent our local community of Oak Lawn and Dallas. Festivities will not only include these organizations of people to see and hear about, but also cookies, crafts, and a performance for all to enjoy. Please swing by and help staff and our community celebrate Oak Lawn Branch Library and this wonderful and diverse community we call home.    

 Upcoming programs in 2022:  

The Oak Law Library will continue to have available make and take craft kits for kids continuing into 2022. We have seen families and kids enjoy this thus far, with the kits being used in the Children’s area.  Families have the opportunity to do the kits at the library with staff or take them home to enjoy. We are excited to bring fun kits to do in-house, or for families who just need to come and grab-and -go. Kits will be available for such celebrations like Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Lunar New Year, and Valentine’s Day! Remember to come and get your kits in December for some holiday crafting fun!  

This year for National Puzzle Day, library staff will be hosting a weeklong activity! A table will be placed for our community to come and help build a community puzzle! Anyone and everyone can come and participate and assembling a fun and small 200+ piece puzzle, that represent our community diversity and inclusion! While the actual national day of recognition is January 29th, we will be hosting the communal puzzle assembling between the week of January 25-January 29. Be sure to stop buy and add you piece to the puzzle and join the community in building a fun and beautiful puzzle to add to our library walls.  

Gabriela Montantes, Library Manager Oak Lawn Library

North Texas Day of Giving Sept 23, 2021

          We raised $1075 this year from the North Texas Day of Giving.   It will help us to continue supporting our branch.

          Our first big spend since the “Day of Giving” was to fund a wish list from the branch staff to add books to the LGBTQ collection.   The request was for 39 books, and we were able to order 38.  One of the books won’t be published until May 2022.

          I have created a page on our website so you can see the book covers once they are delivered to the library.   They will have to go downtown to be cataloged but should begin showing up on the shelves no later than January 2022.

          The link to the page about the next books is:

It is a slide show of book covers.


          Are you looking for new books to read?  BookPage is a source for new books that are just coming out.   The Oak Lawn Library Friends (OLLF) funded a monthly subscription of 100 copies per month. 

Novel Discussion Book Club News

Starting in Jan. 2022, the Novel Discussion Book Club will be meeting in person at the Oak Lawn Library.

Due to Covid, we will still need to make an online reservation since there still are capacity limits for the meeting space.

If you want to see the books that we read in 2021, you can go to this link on our website at:

This page has a complete list of all the books we read plus links to a page for each of the authors that we read this year.

Online Services at DPL

          Several library services are available at the DPL website at the following location:

          I have been using Hoopla for streaming TV shows and movies.   It also has audio books and music albums. 

You can also use Overdrive:  for downloadable media.

Tom Thumb Good Neighbor Rewards

If you shop at Tom Thumb, you can link your Tom Thumb Rewards card with Good Neighbor Charity #2923. OLLF will get 1% of money you spend at Tom Thumb. For more information, visit Tom Thumb’s Good Neighbor Program webpage.

Kroger Community Rewards Program

It is easy to continue your support every time you shop and use your Shopper’s Card. Just login to and select # 41560 which is the Oak Lawn Library Friends number.

You need to renew your selection starting in August.  It does not increase your grocery bill, but it does benefit the library

Book Festivals – Online

          Most book festivals have gone online this past year due to Covid19.   Here is a link to Book Festivals in the US by State:

Art News

Upcoming Art Shows for 2022

Now that the library is open to programs, we will start showing art exhibits on the library walls; however, we will continue with our virtual art shows.  

          The schedule for art exhibits and art shows are wide open with no artists currently signed up.

January –

February –

March –

April –

Online Resources for Book Lovers


          Since our last newsletter, the Oak Lawn Library Friends website has been updated and expanded.     

The website has information on authors and book festivals in the US.

There is even a link to NPR’s list of top books for 2020.

There are currently over 2500 author pages on the website and the list is updated weekly.


Join the Oak Lawn Library Friends


Why the Friends?

The Oak Lawn Library Friends was formed to assist the branch in meeting the needs of all its patrons. The Friends actively support the branch by:

  • Encouraging donations and volunteering
  • Organizing and hosting programs and special events
  • Volunteering at the direction of the branch manager
  • Publicizing OLLF activities to the media and patrons
  • Advocating for the branch and the Dallas Public Library system

Membership levels are:
Student/Senior Citizen: $6                  Sustaining: $20

Household: $25   

Close Friend: $75                     Corporate: $250   

Memorial/Other Contribution: Open    amount.

If paying by check, please make it payable to: Oak Lawn Library Friends (OLLF).

Volunteers from the Oak Lawn Library Friends decorated the library for the holidays on Nov. 27th.  Here are photos of the holiday trees:

This tree is visible from the street.

This tree is located by the library entrance.

Looking for something new to read this winter, consider some of the following non-fiction books and fiction.


Empire of Pain by Patrick Keefe is an in depth look at the Sackler family and their long history of legally selling addictive drugs to Americans and to folks around the globe.  They started with Librium and Valium in the 1960’s. 

In the 1990’s it was Oxycontin.    Even after they received information from their sales representatives about the abuse of Oxycontin, the Sackler family continued to push the drug.

England’s Magnificent Gardens by Roderick Floud.  A look at the economic impact of gardening in England and on the English economy from the reign of Charles the 2nd to the present. 

By adjusting the cost to reflect inflation and equivalent spending over time, this shows the vast sums of money spent for many of the famous gardens in England.   Many of the most important gardens built in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries cost 10’s of millions of dollars to build and cost millions to maintain.

Fall by John Preston.  A biography looking at the life of Robert Maxwell.  Mr. Maxwell was a wheeler dealer who ran several publishing companies and newspapers in the UK and US.    He is best known today for looting the pension funds of the Daily Mirror newspaper.

Kick by Pamela Byrne – A biography of JFK’s sister, Kathleen Kennedy who died at age 28.   She was near in age to JFK.   When the family went to England pre-WW2, she liked it so much so spent part of the war living in England helping in the war effort.  She married an English lord who died in combat in 1945.


The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams.  A Novel about a woman who worked on the Oxford English Dictionary in the early part of the 20th century.     It is an interesting look at how a dictionary was created and how words were included or excluded based on the prejudices of the people working on the project.

The Delightful Life of a Suicide Pilot by Colin Cotterill.   In this latest Dr. Siri novel, Dr. Siri comes into the possession of a strange diary that is partly written in Lao & Japanese.     In the process of translating the diary, Dr. Siri uncovers an untold chapter of history about WW2 in Laos.

Janus Stone by Elly Griffith.    In this 2nd Ruth Galloway murder mystery, Ruth discovers she is pregnant.  She also is asked to help identify the skeleton of a small child buried at the site of a former Catholic home.  She must determine the age of the body and decide if is a recent death or that of a Roman child.   Lots of twists and turns to keep you interested in this story.

The American Agent by Jacqueline Winspear.  Set in London in 1940, Masie Dobbs is asked to investigate a murder of an American journalist.   As Masie digs into the murder, she discovers several secrets about the murder victim and her family.  You need not have read the earlier books in the series because Jaqueline is good about explaining how each person fits into this story.

Night Tiger by Yangzee Choo.  A 2nd novel by Ms. Choo set in the Malaya Federated States in the 1930’s.    The book alternates chapters between Ji Lin, a young woman trying to find her place in the world and Ren an 11-year-old house boy.  The writer skillfully intertwines their story into a well written historical novel.   It is an interesting look into Malaysia and different views on the world.

The Line by Martin Limon.   The 13th in a series of murder mysteries set in South Korea during the 1970’s, this latest book involves two crimes, the murder of a South Korean solider in the DMZ and the disappearance of a military wife under suspicious circumstances.   As usual Sueno and Bascom have an interesting time solving these crimes as they travel across South Korea.

Enigma of China by Qiu Xiaolong.  A well written police procedural set in Shanghai.   Inspector Chen of the Shanghai police bureau is called in to consult in the investigation of the apparent suicide of a prominent govt. Official.   He was in govt. Custody when he hung himself or did, he?

%d bloggers like this: