Posted by Trixie on 06.27.14

 
Yesterday, we learned some basic movie-making principles and explored the equipment and resources the library has to offer. Then, each team was given a filming assignment with specific instructions to hone their visual thinking skills. Here's one of the videos that resulted: the challenge was to film a subject ascending and descending stairs. Heather H., Lynette H., and Emma K., great job!
 
 
Want to learn more about film-making? Come into the Hub for help with your film, to use video editing software, or to check out cameras, tripods, and more!
 
We're accepting submissions for the 8th Annual Film Fest! Get the specs and register for upcoming film-making class here.




Posted by Trixie on 06.18.14

 
Yesterday we welcomed Kathleen an instructor from Pulsation Yoga for an invigorating yoga practice. We learned about the benefits of incorporating a regular yoga practice into our lives. Besides improving flexiblity and building strength, yoga can give us an energy boost, provide balance in our busy lives, and help us relax.
 
Photo from the yoga practice: a circle of trees opening their hearts to the sky
 
For the second part of the program, Paulina & Erica from Pure Juice talked about making healthy, delicious smoothies. They demonstrated how to make three of their most popular smoothies, complete with samples for all participants! Green Goddess was my favorite - stop by there and let me know which ones you like the best!
 




Posted by Trixie on 05.12.14

 
Laura Lee Gulledge’s graphic novel Will & Whit is a perfect example of why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. At first glance, I assumed it was a teen romance. Don’t get me wrong; there’s nothing wrong with teen romance. I checked it out and turned out to be wrong about the book’s plot.
 
The story is about a teenager trying to face her fears and deal with tragedy as well as friendship, her supporting cast. It’s about summer adventures and creativity. “Problems just force us to be more creative, right?” As far as creativity, Gulledge’s illustrations are fantastic. Black and white drawing that seems to radiate off the page, creepy shadows cast that enrich the story. “You know, in the dark, people see what they want to see.” It’s a great graphic novel for someone that likes realistic fiction and coming-of-age stories. It kind of reminded me of The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
 
As a bonus, Gulledge includes a few extras, like the soundtrack she envisions for the book (included below, less one song), her inspiration and a recipe for the Blue Crush Cookies referenced. Who’s going to bake the cookies and bring ‘em to the Hub? Any takers (or bakers)?
 
 




Posted by Trixie on 03.24.14

I like to think that he saw me, the loosened ends of my long bandages and the wispy tangled curls of my hair reaching out to the wind, the skirt of my nightgown billowing in the melodic waves. I like to think that he watched as I climbed over the side of the rickety widow’s walk, my toes perched on the ledge, my fingers clasped lightly to the railing behind me. Perhaps he noted, with quiet irony, that never before had anyone more resembled an angel. I like to think that he marveled at the mass of bandages that unraveled completely and tumbled to the ground, and at the pair of pure white wings, large and strong, that unfolded from my shoulder blades.
 
 
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender is about love: unrequited and impossible, elation, loss, and suffering; in the midst of it, a girl is born with wings. First, readers follow the relentless suffering of Ava's immigrant family over the course of three generations. This chronicle culminates in her birth. Set in 1950s Seattle, Ava's mother and grandmother shelter winged Ava from the community in order to protect her. However, as any blossoming teen, Ava longs to fit in with her peers. In this novel, Leslye Walton writes about a teenage girl's exploration of self and her place in an unexplored world. 
 

I absolutely LOVED this book! It’s beautifully written with incredible imagery. I felt as if I opened the book and walked right into the scenes described. Walton delivers a rich and full story that provides the context for Ava's plight; she weaves together stories across generations à la Marquez. I also adored the characters and was invested in their outcome. I liked the dark, traditional fairy tale/fable feel of the novel - sobbed at the end of it, but strangely hopeful and satisfied despite tragedy. If you like magical realism or emotional stories, this is a must read!

 




Posted by Trixie on 03.07.14

Have you ever read a book and felt like there should be a playlist to go along with it? Sometimes it’s really obvious, like there are actual songs referenced in the novel (hint hint). Other times the characters, themes, situations, or settings may just remind you of a track, album, or artist.

To kick off Teen Tech Week (March 9th-15th), we’re having a contest featuring some tunes from the library’s collection. You can check out any of these songs on their respective CDs or on Hoopla, a streaming service you can use with your library card!
 
(Source: http://crewsreviews.edublogs.org/files/2011/10/headphones-and-book-26wbb3l.jpg)

Here’s how it works:
  • We’ll post a song on Tumblr each day, Monday-Friday starting on the 10th.
  • Each week will represent a different teen book.
  • The first person to guess the book represented will win an iTunes gift card.
  • You can comment on any of the songs posted on Tumblr to submit your guess.

Questions? Contact us on Tumblr or via email at teens@ahml.info.

One last thing: you have until the end of the month to submit an entry for our Battle of the Recorded Bands contest. We have prizes donated by Guitar Center to give away and other goodies, including a live gig at the library to kick off the summer!

What are you waiting for? Get started by following us on Tumblr!
 




Posted by Trixie on 02.24.14

It's been awhile since we've featured local teen writing so I thought I'd bring back Made in the Hub. Avid writer and Hub regular Silvio provided this short story, "The Crippled Jackal." Beware: this one isn't for the faint of heart! There's an excerpt below and the full text can be found online. Of course, you can always come to the Hub to read it too!
 
We're always making things in the Hub, from crafts and doodles on the drawing pad tables to good times over films on Fridays and Karaoke Koncerts. If you're interested in having your work featured in the Hub or want to know what we're up to, stop in to chat!
 
Even the darkness was marked with fear, as shadows joined it in its fright. There was no wind, and not a single tear fell from the sky, though tormented streams scarred the night air. For them, all the forces of nature and all spirits took pity, as much as any spirit can. Though the darkness endured, as did the screams of the tortured, resonating in the marble walls of ancient halls. Following the screams came the trickling of blood as it stained the milk white steps of ancient stairs. A pleasure palace bathed in blood. Though even when every marble step had been stained red, screams persisted to sound in the dark even as a new sound was heard. A faint but cruel laughter, light but sadistic in its origin emerged out of the horror, even more terrifying than the painful howling of all the other victims.
 
The assailants pressed him with pain, though he dealt them only laughter, and so they spared him for last, making him watch as they extinguished his friends one by one. Finally when it was his turn to die, they cut off a limb and bludgeoned the rest, but again the main was returned in equal measure by laughter, not screaming, but sadistic laughter.
 
Thinking that their victim was enjoying his torture, the assailants silenced his laughter forever and mutilated his eyes for good measure.
 
Thinking the task had been completed; the perpetrators departed with in stealth, just as quickly as they had appeared, leaving behind only corpses, and one tattered, broken body of a man with only a single eye. 
 




Posted by Trixie on 02.05.14

February is "heart the library" month and we're celebrating in the Hub!
 
Come out and up-cycle an old book or make a book-based paper craft. There are many different project ideas in books we've checked out for the Hub (like The Repurposed Library and Art Made From Booksor come up with your own project!
 
DIY book mobile
 
We even have a photo booth for you to pose with your favorite item from the library's collection or something you made in the Hub. Take one copy of the picture home with you and leave the other here telling everyone why YOU heart the library!
 




Posted by Trixie on 01.27.14

If you’re anything like me, you opted to watch the Blackhawks game instead of the Grammys. Although it was a heartbreaking Hawks loss, I would still choose it over the Grammys. Don’t get me wrong – I REALLY dig music. The Grammys just have a little too much hoopla for me. Sounds like I missed some epic performances: Beyonce & Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar & Imagine Dragons, not to mention Taylor Swift’s dance moves and a giant wedding ceremony. Luckily, coverage was pretty thorough; a web search delivered dozens of clips to accompany my morning coffee!
 
Source: Time Out London

Here’s a rundown of the most important part of the Grammys – the winners of course!

Record of the year & Best pop duo/group performance
"Get Lucky" -- Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers
Album of the year & Best dance/electronica album
"Random Access Memories" -- Daft Punk
Song of the year & Best pop solo performance
"Royals" -- Lorde
Best new artist 
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (Best rap album -- "The Heist" and Best rap performance & Best rap song -- "Thrift Shop")
Best pop vocal album
Bruno Mars -- "Unorthodox Jukebox"
Best dance recording
"Clarity" -- Zedd featuring Foxes
Best traditional pop vocal album
"To Be Loved" -- Michael Bublé
Best rock performance
Imagine Dragons -- "Radioactive"
Best metal performances
Black Sabbath -- "God is Dead?"
Best rock song
"Cut Me Some Slack" -- Paul McCartney, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, Pat Smear
Best rock album
Led Zeppelin -- "Celebration Day"
Best alternative music album
Vampire Weekend -- "Modern Vampires of the City"
Best R&B song
"Pusher Love Girl" -- Justin Timberlake
Best urban contemporary album
Rihanna -- "Unapologetic"
Best R&B album
Alicia Keys -- "Girl on Fire"
Best rap/sung collaboration
Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake -- "Holy Grail"
Best country solo performance
Darius Rucker -- "Wagon Wheel"
Best country duo/group performance
The Civil Wars -- "From This Valley"
Best country album
Kacey Musgraves -- "Same Trailer Different Park" (Best country song -- "Merry Go 'Round")
Producer of the year, nonclassical
Pharrell Williams
Best compilation soundtrack for visual media
"Sound City: Real to Reel"
Best score soundtrack for visual media
"Skyfall"
Best song written for visual media
Adele -- "Skyfall" -- "Skyfall"
Best music video
Justin Timberlake featuring Jay Z -- "Suit & Tie"
Best music film
Paul McCartney -- "Live Kisses"
 
A complete list of nominees and winners can be found on the Grammy site.
 

For all of you aspiring musicians, check out our Battle of the Recorded Bands contest: YOU could play a live show to kick off the library's summer reading program!




Posted by Trixie on 01.06.14

One Stop Shop sign
Photo Credit: marc e marc
 
I'm sure everyone is heartbroken about school being closed today and tomorrow. With two weeks off for winter break, you didn't really need a couple of extra days off, right? Well, if you're fretting about upcoming final exams and projects instead of the polar vortex, come into the Hub for a place to study and to get research help!
 
I'm resurrecting a few research tips that I posted a few months ago below. They might come in handy with end-of-semester projects and papers.
 
We'll also be turning the Hub into a Finals Study Lounge on Saturday, January 11th - Thursday, January 16th. Join us for brain friendly snacks, stress relieving therapy dogs, and yoga sessions. We'll have laptops, iPads, and other supplies to help you survive finals!
 
Here are the aforementioned tips. 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.
 




Posted by Trixie on 12.18.13

I'm just damned. I am utterly and completely damned. You'll shoot me at the end no matter what I do, because that's what you do to enemy agents. It's what we do to enemy agents. After I write this confession, if you don't shoot me and I ever make it home, I'll be tried and shot as a collaborator anyway. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and this is the easy one, the obvious one. What's in my future - a tin of kerosene poured down my throat and a match held to my lips?

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein is an expressive novel set during World War II. Verity, a secret agent, is captured by the Gestapo and “convinced” to reveal her mission. Verity explores her past, how she came to be a spy, and how she arrived in Nazi-occupied France in her written confession. Verity is battling for her life as she fills sheet after sheet followed by random scraps of paper. As her intricate story unfolds, readers are left to wonder whether her detailed confession will be enough to save her life.
 
To be perfectly honest, I’ve never been one to enjoy historical fiction. I’d much rather read factual or personal accounts related to an event or time period. Well, I absolutely LOVED this book! Wein weaves a beautiful tale of desperation, courage, and friendship. The novel is written in journal-style from Verity’s and her pilot friend Kittyhawk’s points of view. Through these characters’ perilous journeys, readers experience the heartache and anxiety of friends and family separated during wartime. The harrowing tale pits evil against a clever, would-be traitor. I HIGHLY recommend this book – you won’t be disappointed!