Friday, February 8, 2013

What the Council Reads (Part 2)

In part two of "What the Council Reads", I have five offerings for you.

First, we have Hunter who is a lover of the fantastical.  His chosen book is Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.

Next up is one of our longest standing members, Brandi, talking about Ashes by Ilsa Bick.  I've read this book and it is awesome!

Now we have LaDonna, a second year member, with Looking for Alaska by John Green.  DFTBA! <--------- Look it up!

Here is Madison, a first year TLC member, chatting about Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld.

Last but not least is Rachel with her pick, Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan.

We have more council members, but the rest were either gone when we made these videos or simply could not keep it together in front of a camera.  I'll be pestering them for another set of these videos this month, so keep your eyes peeled!

Friday, February 1, 2013

What the Council Reads (Part 1)

Several months ago, I asked my library council to prepare some video book reviews.  What was their favorite book and what makes it their favorite?

To say they were nervous and a bit awkward is an understatement, but I did manage to coax a few gems out of them.

Here are a few:

Bree, who is new to our council this year, chose If I Stay by Gale Foreman.

Next up is Steven, a member of the council for the last 3 years.  He's a sucker for the classics, so it is no surprise that he picked The Scarlet Letter.

And finally, for today, we have Colleen, a first year member, with The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan.

I'll have more of their favorites for you next week and I'll be sure to torture them again soon by asking for what they're currently reading.

Happy Friday!

Monday, January 28, 2013

And we're back!

I have been lax.  Really lax.  Four months lax.  But no more!  I'm putting this blog on the front burner from here on out and I will make sure I don't have a long absence again.

I want to fill you in on some awesome stuff we have going on here in the Teen Library!

January's Friday After Hours

First off, we have a new, wildly successful program called Friday After Hours.  Basically we just open the library up from 6-10pm one Friday a month for you guys to come hang out.  I'm here, Amy is here, and then we typically have 2-3 adult volunteers to help us as well, but that's it.  No other adults hanging around, squelching your fun.  We have 3 tvs set up for video games, we get out the ping pong table, we do crafts, eat snacks, and watch a movie.  All of that stuff is going on at once, so you have your choice of activities.  We've done crafts as simple as advanced coloring sheets and as complicated as making modge podged newspaper signs (it is hard to explain).  Movie-wise, we usually watch something that has just been released on DVD.  In January, that was Pitch Perfect.  In November, it was The Amazing Spiderman.  We haven't decided on February's movie yet, but show up on February 15 and you can find out for yourself!

Next Meeting: February 12

Naturally, our other programs are still going strong.  The Anime Club still meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 5-6:30.  They are deep in the planning for this years mini-convention, which will be held on April 20.  Teen Tuesdays still rock our world the 4th Tuesday of each month from 5-7.  January's Teen Tuesday was last week and we had an absolute blast making playdough sculptures and homemade gak.

I'm also waist deep in the planning of our upcoming summer.  I've got all the prizes on order and am working on getting everything on the calendar.  Spoiler alert: We have two trips planned, one of which involves more than a 3 hour drive.  It is going to be epic!

A hint about one of our summer trips...

In February, we are having a Superbowl Watch Party, which is actually coming up on Sunday.  Be sure you register so that I can buy the right amount of food.  Even if you don't like the Superbowl (like me) they'll be plenty to do.  Just like Friday After Hours, we'll hook up the video games and break out the ping pong table.  It'll be fun!

Me at my junior prom (with my then boyfriend, now husband) in 2000.  This dress will be at the sale!

We are also having our First Annual Prom Dress Sale February 8-10 (1-6:30pm on the 8th, 1-5 on the 9th and 10th) in partnership with the Junior Auxiliary.  If you have any old prom dresses laying around, we'd love for you to donate them to us for the sale.  Your donation is tax deductible and all proceeds go to fund programs for the teen department right here at your very own library.  The amount of teens attending our programs has increased by three TIMES across the board but county revenues (ie-how we pay for stuff) are going down, so we actually really need fundraisers like this to keep us able to host awesome programs.

Also in February we have our Murder Mystery Tour on February 23 as a part of Arkansas Heritage Program Series, presented by the Friends of the Library.  We have a local author coming in to talk about a selection of grisly murders that have taken place in Baxter County.  Then we'll load up and tour murder sites and hit the oldest cemetery in town to check out creepy old graves.  This is also an event that requires registration.

And finally, we have the first of a three part class on Self-Awareness/Self-Defense (first class held February 28).  Paulette Hill from Serenity will be here to teach teen girls about healthy relationships and how to tell if something is "off".  We follow this up the first session with two more (the first two Thursdays in March) taught by Bubba Jones of the Mtn. Home Police Department with a focus on actual defense techniques.  This class is limited to teen girls only and requires registration.

We are busy!  Come take in a program or two with us in February!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mandy's Book of the Week (9/17)

How about a classic YA novel today?

I read this book as a part of the "classics" lesson in my most recent class.  My first impression wasn't great; I mean, just look at that cover?  But I was a bit intrigued by the synopsis, so I cracked it open and got to reading.

Change a few details and this could be any book about bullying written today.

Every year at the Catholic school where this novel is set, they host a chocolate sale.  It is a way to show school spirit and help raise some very needed funds for the school each year.

Operating under the radar, even though everyone from teachers to students know they exist, is a group called the Vigils.  The Vigils go around basically bullying and harassing kids into pulling pranks or doing their dirty work.  One of the first "assignments" they give during this particular school year is for a kid to go into a room and loosen all the screws to every desk, chair, table, and the chalkboard.  That way when the students go to sit down, they'll all collapse.

Jerry is a freshman who lives with his dad (his mother died the previous spring) and he's doing everything he can to make the football team.  Beyond that, he just wants to be left alone.  Of course the leader of the Vigils, Archie, singles Jerry out for an extra special assignment targeting the chocolate sale.  Basically, he's supposed to not sell the chocolates.  So when the time comes and the teachers are handing out boxes, Jerry should refuse them.  This leads to unexpected repercussions and the Vigils tell him after two weeks to accept the chocolates and sell them as usual.  But Jerry continues to refuse them in direct violation to the order from the Vigils.  This is where the heavy handed bullying starts.

I enjoyed this book a lot, but I see it having huge potential as a book for dudes.  It was a page turner for sure.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Mandy's Book of the Week (9/10)

I'm finally back to posting these!  Between getting library cards issued to every Cotter student and doing lots of book talks, I've been out of the office most Monday mornings and these postings got put on hold.

This week, I present you with a book that is unique at the present time.  This book is a standalone novel, meaning it is not a part of a series.  The entire story opens and closes within the confines of this book.

Maggie Stiefvater has taken the legend of the water horses, a Celtic mythical creature (called the capaill uisce in this book), and made it her own.  I'm not a "horse girl,"  and I was worried that I wouldn't like this book, but MAN!, this book is good.

The capaill uisce live in the ocean and start coming to land on the island of Thisby every autumn.  This is dangerous as the horses are carnivorous (read: they'll eat you, your sheep, your cat, whatever) and super strong.  In fact, one of the main character's parents were killed by the horses several years before.

This is a flip perspective book, so you go back and forth between Puck (real name Kate, the middle child orphaned by the capaill uisce) and Sean, a 19 year old who works at the island's stable.

Thisby is generally an island filled with the poor and there is no exception for Puck and her two brothers.  She and her younger brother take odd jobs when they can, but their main breadwinner is her older brother, Gabe.  Gabe is responsible for keeping them afloat, so when he decides he just can't take island life anymore and decides to move to the mainland, Puck has to take drastic measures to make sure the rest of the family can afford to live.

For Sean, his risk comes for the horse he loves.  He's been training his capaill uisce, Corr, for years and has grown to love him dearly.  In fact, while the water horses generally cannot be trusted, Sean and Corr have developed a small sense of trust with each other.

Every November, the Scorpio Races are held.  This is the island's primary means of support as people come from all over the world to watch people chance their lives by racing the capaill uisce on the beach.  Lives are lost every year; the horses are drawn to the sea and have a type of magic living in them that causes their riders to go willingly into the sea with them.  And that is the more bloodless type of death, the horses maim and kill on the beach as well.

Puck decides to enter the race as a means to save her house and provide for herself and her brother, since the winner gets a sizable amount of money.  However, Puck is going to race her mare instead of a water horse and she's the first woman ever to enter the race, leaving her vulnerable to attack by men who think she shouldn't be a part of it.

Sean has asked to purchase Corr from his ruthless boss, the owner of the stable where he works, to no avail.  Sean has won the Scorpio Races on Corr for the last 2 years and has been saving his money.  He hopes that this will be the year he can somehow find the right price to make Corr his.

This book was such a joy to read.  It was full of suspense and Maggie Stiefvater writes in such a way that you never know what is going to happen.  The Scorpio Races was also a Printz Honor book, meaning that it expands from being simply a book and became literature.

Come and enjoy it!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Summer Recap

Welcome to a new school year!  No matter if you love it or hate it, there is no doubt that is is upon us again.

Here at the library, we had a great summer.  We had classes and film screenings and craft sessions and more.

Just a little recap:

Making dream catchers during Crafternoon:

Crafternoon 3 using bleach on black shirts:

Stargazing (I couldn't get good pictures of the outside portion):

One of our many game nights:

Glass etching during Crafternoon 4:

Zombies After Hours:

The winning zombie cookie.

I wasn't able to get pictures of all our activities, but there were lots more than this and we had a great time.

Now, we're gearing up to get back to our regularly scheduled programming.

If you need volunteer hours and/or are a great party planner or into the latest books, consider applying to be on the Teen Library Council.  They are responsible for helping me order everything in the teen area and for planning events.  Applications can be picked up in the Teen Library or from your English teacher at school and are due by August 31.

Anime Club will start meeting again on September 11.  It is the 2nd Tuesday of every month from 5-6:30 and is open to all teens.

Teen Tuesdays will start back up on September 25.  They are the 4th Tuesday of each month from 5-7pm.  TLC plans a different theme for each of these with food and activities to go with it and they are a ton of fun.

We also have a new program debuting this fall called Friday After Hours.  It'll be September 21 and November 16 this fall from 6-10pm.  We'll eat, watch movies, do crafts, and other stuff as decided by TLC.

We also scatter special activities throughout the year, like Banned Books Week Open Mic Night (Oct. 2), Teen Read Week Read-a-Thon (Oct. 19), and our 2nd Annual Scary Movie Marathon (Oct. 26).  That's just a sampling, so be sure to keep up to date on teen activities on the teen calendar.

I hope you have a painless school year!  See you soon!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Our Library: the Summer Edition

I think libraries get a bad rap.  They are so stereotyped: the librarian with glasses and a bun, shushing people as they browse the stacks.  When I go into schools to chat with students, I'm always sure to tell them that we are not your mother's library.  We are LOUD.  We are so much more than books (although, we have a lot of those as well!): we have video games going all the time and computers that are age discriminate so only teens can log on.  We have some really comfy couches too, perfect for hanging out.  It is very rare that I'll ever shush you, although I can't say it has never happened. ;-)

See?  This is the second picture that popped up on Google Images.

I work very hard, in coordination with my Teen Library Council, to make sure that this is a great place for teens, no matter if you're attending a program or just coming to do some homework without your little brother bugging you constantly.  Our summer reading program and activities are no different.

I've broken things up into 3 different categories this summer.

I love this year's theme!

Summer Reading Program

This is where the swag is.  Basically, for every hour increment that you hit (we start at 10 hours and go up to 70), you get a prize.  You are guaranteed something at every level.  Prizes start small with pizza gift certificates and eventually work up into t-shirts and lunch at the Thai place and cap out with a drawing for a Kindle Fire (you read that right).  We have TONS of prizes, not just the stuff I mentioned here.

Some people are hesitant to do the reading program because they aren't really "readers."  That's ok!  We count listening to audiobooks in our program too.  Audiobooks are anywhere from around 7-10 hours long, so theoretically you could listen to 7 books and be eligible for the Kindle drawing.

Our summer reading program for teens starts June 4.  We're having a picnic lunch on the patio that day from 11-1, so you can come pick up your reading forms and grab lunch and a book at the same time.  But you aren't limited to that day or time; the reading forms will be available until we run out, which could be days or weeks later.

Summer Book Chats

This year, all the books in our book chats are independent novels, meaning that you don't have to read one to understand the next.  I hope that that makes it easier for people to attend one session and not the others, if they so choose.  Additionally, participants who attend the book chat will get to keep their book.  Score!

This year's books:

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Peak by Roland Smith

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefeter

Summer Activities

This is where the meat of our summer is.  We have lots and lots of different activities going on.  There is something for everyone!  We have AR Game and Fish coming out twice to issue boating safety certificates and, later, hunter's education cards.  We have craft sessions.  We have a Lord of the Rings movie marathon.  And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Seriously, there are so many things that I lack the stamina to type them all out.  You can pick up a brochure of everything from the library, if you happen to swing by, or you can go to our website to download a copy.

Registration for our summer activities starts May 28.  Everything except the picnic on June 4 and the Game Nights on Tuesdays requires registration; how else will I know how much food I need??

I'm thrilled about all our summer programs and I hope that you are too!  And, remember, you are always welcome to call me (580-0987 x 2703) or email me ( with any questions or issues.

Happy summer!