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?
 




Posted by amypelman on 09.23.13

 
(2008 Banned Books Week Window at Twin Hickory Public Library, Glen Allen, VA)
 
Nothing gets a librarian madder than someone trying to dictate what others should or shouldn't read.  It's really infuriating when someone asserts that a book disturbed them, or their kid, so NO ONE should read it! Ridiculous, right? Something that disturbs one person might be healing, or eye-opening, life changing, or even run-of-the-mill to another person. You just never know. That's why we have book discussion groups, because it's always interesting to see how similarly or differently people react to the same book.  
 
We know that it's kind of crazy behavior to try to ban a book from a school, or a library, or the world (burning it), but people STILL TRY TO DO IT ALL THE TIME.  Thankfully, your librarian superhero friends will always fight for your intellectual freedom (with style, aplomb, and humor I might add - just look at that awesome photo above).  We even invented a whole week to celebrate the books that some people think are dangerous and don't want you to read.  Harry Potter anyone? The Giver?!?!  The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian!?!?  (can you tell I'm fuming a little?).  Anyway, it's called Banned Books Week and it's awesome.  Celebrate with us.  You've got a few days left to enter our contest.  What are you waiting for?     
 




Posted by Trixie on 09.19.13

 
Last Saturday, we welcomed Engineering Technology instructors from Triton College for an underwater robotics program. With the help of teen mentors that participate in the FIRST robotics programs, attendees worked in teams to design, build, program, and operate their waterbots.
 
First, we started with a brief discussion of automation and how robots assist people in industry and research. Next, we designed and built waterbots. Before getting started with programming the bots, we talked about the steps for making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The best instructions had over 30 steps! This taught attendees the importance of clear instructions and constructing if-then statements for programming their bots. Next, the teens programmed their bots. Finally, we watched each bot complete a figure 8 in a tub of water.
 
Check out photos from the program below! If you’d like to learn more about these types of programs, come to the Hub!