Posted by alice on 10.29.13

Cookie Cupcake Cannibals was held this past Sunday in The HUB!  Initially we were going to decorate cookies, but it turns out, you can make grosser, grimmer looking desserts using cupcakes.  Boy, was that a deliciously gruesome choice.  With the help of Justine Chavez, a Chicago-area baker and professional cake decorator, teens were able to create some zombielicious treats.  (Yes, I'm definitely taking liberties with the English language in this blog post.)
 
There were brains, eyeballs, gravestones, and blood... oh so much blood!  Don't worry the blood was actually caramel.  Mmmm blood.
 
It wasn't all just cupcakes and frosting though (although that is delicious enough).  We used Oreo crumbs for graveyard dirt, Twizzlers Pull n' Peel for eye veins, and fondant for a blade to the heart!
 
Check out the photos from the program below.  Nice and creepy treats any zombie would enjoy.  Bon apetit!
 
 




Posted by amypelman on 10.23.13

 
As always, the intrepid group of library employees who read YA have a few good books you might want to check out.  See two reviews below!  
 
 
Have you ever wondered what life would be like if you could instantly be the most beautiful person in the world?  When 18-year-old Becky’s mother passes away, she receives a message to look up a New York Fashion magnate, who promises to make her the most beautiful girl in the world if she wears three dresses that he designs for her.  She reluctantly agrees because her mother’s last words were for her to not be afraid to take chances and to be all that she can be.  Becky is then transformed into Rebecca, and gets to star in a movie alongside her crush, be on the cover of Vogue, and she meets and falls in love with a British prince.   Becky has only one year as Rebecca unless she falls in love (and the guy has to love her back).  What I love about this book is that even though it seems to be about outer beauty, the message of the book is that it is what is inside that matters.  There are a few twists in the plot that kept me engaged and I loved the sense of mystery of how the fashion magnate can transform Becky into Rebecca with the outfits he designs for her.  This is a great read for anyone who loves a good romance story with a twist.
 
Review by: Amy H.
Department: Circulation
Years at AHML: 4
Favorite thing I do at work: Talk to people about books 
Best Place to read my book: Outside in the sun
Why I like reading YA: The stories are fun to read and are thought provoking.  Even though I am not a teen anymore, I still relate to what many of the characters go through and I love getting caught up in different worlds.
 
Good Kings Bad Kings By Susan Nussbaum
 
Good things, bad things about “Good Kings Bad Kings” - -
Good things:  This is a story that makes you care about the issues and characters.  It will make you question who you think “disabled” people really are.  It will force you to reconsider the ways that economics and society impact people in challenging circumstances. The best “good thing” is that the characters are so funny and real, and the writing style is so great, that you could totally miss all of the above and still really enjoy the story.
Bad thing:  You will be so sad when the story ends, wondering what’s next for each of the characters that you’ve grown to love.  Hopefully, there will be a sequel!
 
Review by: Carol E. 
Department: Circulation
Years at AHML:  8 years, with a short break in between
Favorite thing I do at work:  Talk with all of the nice people who visit the library
Best place to read my book:  Where ever I can. ;)
Why I like reading:  It helps me to understand people who think and feel differently than I do.
 

 
 
ITBA




Posted by emather on 10.21.13

"I love you," he said.
She looked up at him, her eyes shiny and black, then looked away. "I know," she said.
He pulled one of his arms out from under her and traced her outline against the couch. he could spend all day like this, running his hand down her ribs, into her waist, out to her hips and back again...If he had all day, he would. If she weren't made of so many other miracles.
"You know?" he repeated. She smiled, so he kissed her. "You're not the Han Solo in this relationship, you know."
"I'm totally the Han Solo," she whispered. It was good to hear her. It was good to remember it was Eleanor under all this new flesh.
"Well, I"m not the Princess Leia," he said.
"Don't get so hung up on gender roles," Eleanor said.
 
Eleanor is a smart but shy outcast, struggling with enough personal and family problems to fill three after-school specials, the least of which is starting a new school. Park’s issues are less dramatic, but he still struggles with fitting in and getting along with his parents.  The two are forced to sit together on the bus, and end up bonding over comics, music, and a dislike for the idiots who also ride their bus.  Soon they form an unlikely friendship, and eventually a romantic relationship blossoms, though not without ever-growing complications.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell is a romance for people who don’t like romances.  (It’s still really good if you like romances, too.)  The novel boasts funny-but-realistic dialog and incredibly likeable characters.  The two narrators are so three-dimensional that you feel you’ve known them for years; it’s less like reading a romance and closer to simply watching two good friends discover how cool and amazing you already know they each are. On top of that, it features some of the steamiest hand-holding scenes put to paper. Seriously, it’s like the Fifty Shades of Grey of holding hands. (If you really think about it, though, holding hands is pretty steamy if you really like the hand you’re holding.)
 
The novel deals with issues of bullying and difficult family circumstances in very honest and direct ways, with all of the tough language and mature situations that those entail.  Because of this frankness, the book and its author garnered some extra attention last month, facing challenges in a Minnesota school district which ironically enough became news during Banned Books Week. It’s this honesty that makes the book so refreshing, though.  It’s the ability of Eleanor & Park (both the book and characters) to find happiness and connection in the midst of all the ugliness that life can throw at us that lifts the book above standard romantic cliché and become something simultaneously funny, honest, and beautifully life-affirming.
 




Posted by Trixie on 10.17.13

This week I did a database presentation for District 25's Young Entrepreneurs Academy. I showed them how to access library databases, gave them some  tips on searching databases and the web, and went over evaluating online sources.
 
Well, I'm sure that EVERYONE can use some research help. Here are some of the tips I gave in the presentation and the handout.
 
Of course, you can always come into the Hub for help, email, Tweet, or Facebook message us too!
 
 
Search Strategies:
• Boolean Searching: Use operators to narrow or broaden your search. AND and NOT will narrow your search. OR will broaden your search. Quotation marks will search for a specific string of words (e.g. “moving truck”)
• Use the database's built-in filters to drill down to the most relevant search results.
• Read summary or abstract to determine whether an article will be useful. It will save you time!
• Want to cite an article? Check to see if there is a built-in citation generator on the webpage. If not, Purdue's Online Writing Lab has APA, MLA, and Turabian style guides.
• Searching the web? Evaluate your sources! Use the CRAAP or SMELL test.
 
 
Reference & Information sign
Photo Credit: olinlibref
study skills




Posted by amypelman on 10.14.13

 
Recently we hosted two separate Minecraft programs. Over 35 teens participated! Teens were challenged to build the best stadium and everyone definitely rose to the occasion.  Stadiums were judged based on creativity, artistry, realism and sport. Check out some of the amazing structures that were built in less than 2 hours!
 
  
Programs




Posted by alice on 10.09.13

 
Want to win a much coveted rubber duckie?  How about an even more coveted ARC (Advanced Reader Copy)?  Well, you can if you're a winner of our contest this month!
 
For the month of October, we're looking at things up-close.  Real close.  Nose-pressed-up-to-the-glass close.
 
Every week we'll post a close-up photo of an object in our library on all of our social media sites. That means @HUB500 on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!  
 
In the middle of the week, we'll post a picture of the same object but with the camera pulled back just a little bit more.
 
Finally, on Friday, we'll post the picture revealing the object.  Your mission, if you choose to accept, is to guess what that object is as quickly as possible in the comments of the photo on our Instagram page!
 
The first person to correctly guess each week's photo is a winner of the contest!  We'll let you know if you're the winner for the week!
 
A duckie and ARC are at stake here, folks!  Let's do this!  Happy guessing!  wink
 
THE CONTEST STARTS NOW WITH THIS PHOTO...
 
 
Hmmmm...




Posted by amypelman on 10.09.13

 
It's coming to the Hub in a matter of weeks! 
 
 
 
Don't miss out!  
Programs




Posted by emather on 09.30.13

Last week was Banned Books Week, where people all over this great land of ours oppose censorship and celebrate intellectual freedom and the right to read. It's really one of our favorite weeks of the year, and we kind of couldn't shut up about it: we wrote about it on our blog AND read some hilarious/terrifying stories of book-bannings both past and present.
 
We also took to Instagram to share "mugshots" of the HUB staff with their favorite banned books:
 
 
Speaking of Instagram, we had some amazing submissions for our two social media contests.  Check out this winning review of a banned book we received on Twitter:
 
 
 
And maybe our favorite thing from this past week is the BBW-themed Instagram submission celebrating intellectual freedom from AH teen Delia L.:
 
 
Congratulations to both winners!  Swing by the HUB any time to pick up your prizes.
 
All in all, it was a great Banned Books Week (except for, ya know, all those books getting banned). So keep exercising your independence, and fight the system by reading banned books.  (For some reason, that really irritates the system.  We're still not sure why.)




Posted by Trixie on 09.26.13

The shelves were packed close together, and it felt like I was standing at the border of a forest – not a friendly California forest, either, but an old Transylvanian forest, a forest full of wolves and witches and dagger-wielding bandits all waiting just beyond moonlight’s reach. There were ladders that clung to the shelves and rolled side to side. Usually those seem charming, but here, stretching up in to the gloom, they were ominous. They whispered rumors of accidents in the dark.

Clay Jannon is an unemployed marketer and web designer. His days are spent surfing the web unsuccessfully obtaining employment. That is until he comes across Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore a narrow, vertigo-inspiring bookstore packed with books on its skyscraper shelves. Mr. Penumbra hires the new night clerk on the spot. Clay didn’t know that the course of his life would change that afternoon. It only takes him a couple of days to notice peculiarities with the business and its clientele. Clay and his new love interest Kat delve into the world of a 500 year old secret society called the Unbroken Spine.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore explores the tension between new technology and old, digital versus print, working out a problem longhand instead of relying on computer assistance. Clay, his friends, and Google through employee Kat try to help Mr. Penumbra solve an age-old mystery using modern technology. Robin Sloan cleverly weaves fantasy and reality to construct an adventure tale that engages readers and makes them cheer for the ragtag bunch of codebreakers. Throughout the novel, Clay calls upon his friends, actual and virtual, to help him uncover the treasure coveted by the Unbroken Spine for centuries. This is a quick read, definitely worth checking out…AND the cover glows in the dark!




Posted by alice on 09.25.13

The HUB was hopping last Friday night for the Mario Kart Wii Tournament!  We had several Wiis, TVs, and a lot of excited teens revved up and ready to show off their Mario Kart skills.  They bounced their karts on the mushrooms of Mushroom Gorge, dodged as many blue shells as possible (a difficult task), and attempted to not fall off of the Rainbow Road.
 
 
Alas, there can only be one winner in a tournament and he was lucky enough to walk away with a sweet NES controller messenger bag AND bragging rights!
 
 
Our second place winner won a Mario costume - giant mustache and all!
 
 
Mario Karting isn't all we did at the program either.  While many were competing to stay in the tournament, others were creating Mario-inspired sweets out of Airheads.  They were colorful, very sticky, and delicious!
 
 
All in all, it was a great Friday night!  I mean there was pizza, candy, games, and friends!  What more can you ask for?