Posted by tspicer on 05.12.15

Did you hear that? Be alarmed. That's the sound of zombies eating flesh in the Hub! Well, not really but we've already had a bunch of teens come in and make hilarious and creepy stopmotion movies with little zombies as the undead stars of the film! You can do it too. Just bring a partner and get moviemaking. If you want to try this at home, we won't be responsible for any lives claimed by Zombies.
A whole bunch of mini figurines (These will be your 'actors'. We got our Zombies at the one of a kind extremely odd store American Science and Surplus, which isn't too far away.) Or just raid your old toy chest.
Little ornaments, dollhouse furniture or other toys. This is how you build your set for the movie.
A camera (or an ipad or iphone! We're using the super simple Stop Motion Studio app, which automatically creates super-fast transitions between photos, which is what you need to create the effect of stop motion)
A tri-pod! This is important as one key element to stop motion is that you want your characters to move just a little bit between the taking of photos. A tri-pod will keep your viewer oriented to the action. TIP: You need to be judicious when you move the camera!
Background for your set. We used a cheap tri-fold posterboard. Feel free to add art and create a vivid scene!
A partner. You need a partner for stop motion. One person to take pics, the other to move the figurines just a little bit closer ... to the rotting flesh!

Posted by emather on 05.04.15

Inklings is the HUB's creative writing club, where once a month, teens get together and explore some facet of writing and storytelling. (We meet the first Tuesday of every month, from 4-6. You should join us!)
At our March meeting, we talked about Choose Your Own Adventure stories, where the reader can choose different paths for the story to take. It's almost like playing a video game, in that your character will inevitably die over and over and over and over... There was a series of incredibly popular Choose Your Own Adventure books in the 1980s and 90s, with hilaroiusly cheesy and dated covers. Just recently, one popped up online to see if you could survive The Battle of Hogwarts!
Inklings decided to write their own Choose Your Own Adventure stories, and you can all read/play along! We used a free online software called Twine. (You can write your own stories there, too!) For each story, Inklingers paired up and chose an opening passage, setting up a scenario and a few choices. (One is a pirate adventure, the other a murder mystery.) Teams would then venture off of one of those choices, creating their own crazy branches for the story to go into. Most end in hilarious death, but a few lead your character to victory! Try them both out, and see how well you can survive!
A Pirate's Life for You! by Anna, Daniella, Izzy, Katja, and Tyler
Murder at the Library by Alice, Claire, Emma, Evan, Grace, and Jack

Posted by Trixie on 04.26.15

Friday, April 24th, marked the 100 year anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Not as well-known as the genocide that spurred World War II, more than 1 million Armenians were slaughtered or deported by the Ottoman Turks beginning in 1915. Some historians consider this to the primer used by Nazi Germany for the Holocaust.


Globally, from Los Angeles to Yerevan, crowds gathered to pay tribute to those lost and bring awareness to this catastrophe that continues to affect Armenians worldwide. American rock band System of a Down performed in Yerevan's Republic Square to honor their Armenian heritage.



Want to learn more? Explore more with these resources!


Posted by Trixie on 03.30.15

"I start to run, start to turn into air, the blue careening off the sky, careening after me, as I sink into green, shades and shades of it, blending and spinning into yellow, freaking yellow, then head-on colliding in the punk-hair purple of lupine: everywhere. I vacuum it in, all of it, in, in – (SELF-PORTRAIT: Boy Detonates Grenade of Awesome) – getting happy now, the gulpy, out-of-breath kind that makes you feel you have a thousand lives crammed inside your measly one…"
I'll Give You the Sun gif
I absolutely adored this book! It’s beautifully written and had me laughing, crying, and completely giddy. I raced through it like light speeding through the universe.
(SELF-PORTRAIT: Teen Librarian Squealing with Delight)
Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun is about twins Noah and Jude. Like most twins, they are incredibly close; they have an uncanny ability to know what the other is thinking and can finish each other’s sentences. Noah is an eccentric artist. He’s constantly drawing or painting, sometimes just in his head. Jude is a gregarious daredevil. She loves surfing and makes friends easily. The story begins when the twins are thirteen, a time when they’re experiencing change and exploring life. It continues through sixteen when they’ve seemingly switched roles. They’re coming to terms with the heartbreak they’ve felt due to tragedy and loss, tentatively living their lives and trying to rebuild.
The novel shifts between Noah’s and Jude’s perspectives alternating from early to later years. The voices and viewpoints juxtaposed plainly shows that neither character has the whole story. Throughout Noah’s narration, his artist mind is evident: he’s constantly imagining his surroundings in colors and relays how he’d describe the moment on canvas or paper and what he’d name it. Jude’s are filled with quirky wives’ tales and superstition.
Nelson’s writing is lyrical and expressive. The characters and imagery jump off the page. The characters’ confusion, heartache, and elation are felt through description. Nelson weaves a vivid tale of life, loss, and love intertwined with a message about self-identity and being true to yourself.
This is a must-read for romantics, artists, inspiration seekers, and lovers of words!

Posted by red_sonya on 03.23.15

We have many anime and manga lovers in the HUB, which is why we created Anime Academy. Originally, it started out as a monthly anime screening instead of our usual Friday night movie back on March 28th 2014. Now we are only a few days away from our one year anniversary!
The very first anime night we watched Fruits Basket and created shrinky-dinks of our favorite characters. Next we had a Black Butler tea party, which is where we created the name Anime Academy. We also had a program all about making ramen healthy.
The very first official Anime Academy meeting was on July 25th 2014 at the La Corda d’Oro program. Since then, we’ve watched Fairy Tail, Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, Sailor Moon, and Angel Beats!. Each program has a craft that coincides with the anime we watch. Recently, we started implementing a drawing and language lesson into the meetings that relates to the anime we watch.
We’ve had some very special events, like our Cosplay night back in October. We are hoping to make it even bigger and better this upcoming year.
Just a few days ago, March 21st 2015, we had artist Susan Sieber come host a manga drawing workshop.
Anime Academy has a very loyal following, and is a big part of the HUB. We are always trying to come up with new program ideas and ways to make Anime Academy even better.
In May I will be at ACEN (Anime Central) gathering as much information and new ideas as I can handle.
Anime Academy is something that I love hosting and enjoy immensely. This is a thank you to everyone who has made Anime Academy what it is today. We are looking forward to another amazing year filled with even more anime than the last.

See you space cowboy. 

Posted by emather on 03.17.15

Last Thursday, the AHML Studio was a hotbed of creativity. A bunch of aspiring musicians and producers showed up for our Become a Remix Master program, and took what was originally a pretty simple, unoriginal, and dumb song (we literally titled it DUMB SONG) and used the Studio's tools to alter and adjust different parts of the song into some really exciting and original remixes.
(All of this practice as producers and remixers gave teens the skills they need for our Battle of the Recorded Bands, where teen musicians record and submit songs to win awesome prizes like TicketMaster gift cards, raffles from Guitar Center, and chances to perform at HUB programs. If you're interested in participating, check out the site or send us an email.)
We first went over how the song was created in Garage Band. Give the original DUMB SONG a listen:
We learned how to change instruments, adjust the tempo, and overlay filters using GarageBand. Then the teens each got a copy of the original DUMB SONG file and took over the Studio.

Using some of the awesome Studio tools like our vocal booth and instruments, they each made their own remixes. Teens only had about an hour and a half to remix. Some remixes ended up being more different or similar to the originals, or that much more complex, depending on what directions and tools teens decided to go with. Teens changed up the instruments, wrote new musical parts, and even did some super creative things with sound effects. 


So here they are, some awesome teen remixes. Despite their titles, these songs are notably NOT dumb. 

Posted by emather on 01.09.15

We are liars. We are beautiful and privileged. We are cracked and broken.
We Were Liars by e. lockhart is narrated by Cadence, the oldest Sinclair grandchild, and the latest in a line of old-money wealth. Each summer, the Sinclairs vacation on their own private island, Beechwood, off the coast of Massachusetts. Cady, her cousins Johnny and Mirren, and friend (and sometimes more) Gat – the four “Liars” – have been attached at the hip since their eighth summer on the island. During the fifteenth summer, though, Cadence suffers a calamity she cannot remember. Even more mysterious is that her family refuses to tell her about it. She spends the next several years in a fog of debilitating migraines, pills, and partial amnesia. As she returns to Beechwood for her seventeenth summer, she attempts to piece together the mystery of what happened and why her relatives are behaving so peculiarly.
Cady is an incredibly unreliable narrator, and the both emotional and mental toll her injuries have taken are evident in the novel’s jumbled, nonlinear plot and beautiful impressionistic language. Cadence and the Liars take a long hard look at the Sinclair’s wealth, privilege, and concealed racism. With allusions as varied as King LearWuthering Heights, and classic fairy tales, it’s a familiar story of family squabbles amid decadent wealth, and star-crossed love. (Cady and Gat share some of the steamiest hand holding scenes this side of Eleanor & Park.) The mystery and emotions boil over in a twist thatmight have you hurling the book across the room before rushing to pick it up and race to finish.
(We Were Liars is an option in our poll for Favorite YA Book of 2014. Go vote for your pick!)

Posted by Trixie on 12.23.14

If you haven't heard, we have a 3D printer and scanner in the Hub! So far, we've had a couple of programs teaching teens how to 3D model their own designs and use this technology.
Besides printing out cool trinkets and rapid prototyping, 3D printing has many practical uses too. Imagine printing out a missing piece to your favorite board game or replicating a lost button on a well-worn sweater. You can even use a 3D printer for household repairs! Recently, a pair of brackets for blinds in my apartment broke. Instead of going out and buying new brackets, I decided to model a pair using TinkerCAD. See the different design iterations below.
If you are interested in learning more about the library's 3D printers, join us at one of these upcoming programs or stop by the Hub to chat.

Posted by emather on 11.18.14

Fight the slipperiness, press the valves firmly,
play the love, the hate,
the misery, the hope,
the freedom that I wanted, never wanted, can’t have;
that doesn’t exist.
In The Sound of Letting Go, seventeen-year-old Daisy, an exceptional trumpet player, often feels like a “third parent” for her autistic younger brother, Steven. She and her parents feel trapped by their responsibilities towards Steven, and the burden has put definite strains on her parents’ marriage. The family is growing more fearful of Steven’s increasingly violent outbursts. These have become worse since he “has morphed from challenging autistic boy/ to dangerous, nonverbal near-man." After her parents decide to move Steven to a residential facility, Daisy is upset. The usually-responsible Daisy tries to work through her complex and conflicting emotions by rebelling. Some of these are mild, like wearing edgier outfits involving more black and an increase in eyeliner. Some are more out-of-character, like getting steamy in parked cars with the local “bad boy,” and ditching band class.
Author Stasia Ward Kehoe wrote the novel in verse from Daisy’s first-person point of view. The poetic style serves the tone and character well, instead of becoming another cliché or gimmick. The irregular asymmetrical rhythm of the writing reflects both Daisy’s love of jazz and her conflicted emotions. It’s through music that she best expresses and understands the world, where her muddled emotions find more solid ground. (It’s also nice to find a character so involved in school band, something that’s so common in real life but rarely seen in YA books.) The novel doesn’t offer any grand statements or easy answers. Still, like all good jazz, the strands of melody converge and build a complex harmony.

Posted by alice on 11.16.14

This week, we're asking you to doodle on Evan's face!
This is how it works...
  1. Print out or download this picture of Evan.
  2. Draw a cool beard pattern onto Evan's face. You can use a photo editing software like Pixlr. (Tip: It helps if you use a bright color!)
  3. Send it to or tag it with #ShaveEvansBeard
  4. We'll put your drawings to a vote next week!
  5. In December, our awesome Teen Advisor, Evan, will shave his beard to look like the winning drawing!
Think about it... Evan could shave his beard to look like Seneca Crane's!