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!
 
 
 




Posted by amypelman on 09.18.13

Looking for a really fun book to read?  Megan has a great suggestion for you!  See her IntraLibrary Teen Book Alliance Review below!    
 
 
Etiquette and Espionage (Finishing School Book 1) by Gail Carriger
Set in an alternate 1851, Mrs. Temminick is desperate for her tree-climbing, mechanically-apt daughter to become a proper lady, so she ships 14-year-old Sophronia off to finishing school. This is not just any finishing school, this is the exclusive Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.  Fortunately for Sophronia her new finishing school is not always quite what it seems.  The fact that the school is a floating dirigible and the classes are taught by vampires and werewolves is just the beginning. 
 
Along with improving her dreadful curtsy, Sophronia is schooled in the arts of espionage and intrigue.  With her trusty new friends and loyal mechanimal dachshund, Bumbersnoot, Sophronia must solve a mystery involving a cryptic object and suspicious older student all the while dodging professors, automatons, and attacking flywaymen
 
Overall, I found Carriger's YA debut charming and enjoyable.  Ms. Carriger brings her signature wit as well as a few characters from her previous series The Parasol Protectorate which actually takes place 25 years after this one.  My only complaint about this series is that the writing although done well seems rather young even for a YA audience.  That tiny flaw aside, I am looking forward to the continuation of the Finishing School series.

About me
Name: Megan M.
Department:  Circulation              
Years at AHML:  About 5 with a short hiatus in the middle somewhere.
Favorite Thing I Do at Work:  Getting paid!!!  Just kidding.  Finding awesome new books to read.
Best Place to Read My Book:  Weather permitting, either curled up in bed with my 3 dogs or out tanning by the pool.
Why I Like Reading YA:  It’s fun and there’s lots of variety. 

 
 
ITBA




Posted by emather on 09.16.13

 
 
 
“Grown-ups don't look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they're big and thoughtless and they always know what they're doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. Truth is, there aren't any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.”
 
 
The Ocean at the End of the Lane is the newest book from acclaimed author Neil Gaiman (the Sandman comics, The Graveyard Book, Coraline, American Gods, two of the very best episodes of Doctor Who, and a zillion more awesome things). It is told in the form of a flashback, where the narrator (never named in the book) sits and remembers incidents from his childhood that had been long forgotten. He recalls an adventure he had after meeting his neighbor, Lettie Hempstock, who claimed that the pond behind her house was in fact an ocean.  Lettie, along with her mother and grandmother, while loving and welcoming, are also magical and mysterious (like the body of water in their backyard).  They lead the seven-year-old narrator on an adventure that begins wondrous and enchanting, but becomes increasingly fraught with peril and foreboding.  Soon, his life, family, and in fact all of existence become endangered.

Gaiman’s narrator, a major bookworm, explains of his preference for myths over tales of other sorts: “They weren’t adult stories and they weren’t children stories. They were better than that. They just were.” Gaiman has written books for the very young and books for adults, but all have an almost timeless and ageless quality to them, and Ocean is no different. At under 200 pages, the book is a quick read, and while it’s currently marketed for adults, it’s perfect for teens.  In fact, it’s perfect for anyone who’s searching for a fantasy book filled with the requisite magic and monsters, a story where terrifying beasties intrude on the quiet English countryside, or those looking to relive their childhood while realizing that you never really can, and probably shouldn’t.




Posted by alice on 09.12.13

There's something many of you may not know about me.  I'm kind of a huge Harry Potter nerd.  After reading the books, watching all the movies, going to midnight release parties, re-reading the books, dressing up as a Hogwarts student for Halloween, re-reading the books, visiting the theme park, and re-reading the books...you can probably call me an obsessed crazy fanatic über-nerd.  So imagine my surprise and joy when it was announced today that the author of the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling, will be writing the screenplay for her Harry Potter supplement Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
 
This was me this morning.
 
 
Find out more about this awesome news here!
 
So rejoice my fellow Harry Potter nerds!  The magic never ends!
 
And if you haven't yet, check out Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them!  It's a fun read and it's especially cool to see Harry, Ron, and Hermione's notes and comments in the margins!
 
Nerd away, everyone!
 




Posted by amypelman on 09.09.13

 
 
Last Friday was our first "Appy Hour."  What's that you ask?  We got together to talk about cool (free!) apps for your phone, ipad, or tablet.  Because we're civilized folks, we enjoyed "mocktails" and chocolate biscuits while we passed around ipads loaded with some interesting, fun and useful apps!  Here are some of the apps we talked about:
 
Books and Magazines
  • Overdrive: Download ebooks and audiobooks from the library
  • Zinio: Download magazines from the library
  • YALSA Teen Book Finder: Recommendations of award-winning and otherwise recognized good books
 
Productivity & School
  • Evernote: Save notes, images, web clips, and audio notes all in one place
  • Voice Thread: Create a conversation using photos, documents, videos, diagrams, etc.
  • Word Reference: Dictionary containing English, Spanish, and French languages
  • Flashcards: Study aid
  • Grades2: Enter the requirements for your classes and then see what you need to do get the grade you want
  • Tango: Free texting that doesn’t use data rates – uses wifi or cellular network
 
Games
  • Flow Free: Connect the matching colors to create flowing pipes
  • Dots: Make lines of the same color dots to make them disappear
  • Cogs: Connect the cog puzzles
  • Lumosity: Brain games and puzzles good for brain health
  • Despicable Me - Minion Rush: If you like Temple Run
 
Photos
  • Snapseed: Photo editor to enhance or transform your photos
  • Color Splash: Selectively color your photos
  • Photowizard free: A different photo editor
 
Music & Entertainment
  • Soundhound: Like the full version Shazam but free!
  • Songza: Generates playlists according to your activity (i.e., studying, working out, etc.)
  • Can I Stream it?: Find out where to stream movies and tv
  •  
Want more ideas for apps?  Check out:
 
 
Programs




Posted by Trixie on 09.08.13

You know how Tony Stark uses a cool, holographic computer to manipulate 3D models in the Iron Man trilogy and The Avengers? Well, the real-life "Tony Stark" was inspired by the movie and actually invented modeling software and an interface that allows a user to do that and more!
 
Billionaire Elon Musk, the inspiration for Iron Man's alter ego Tony Stark and SpaceX CEO, unveiled video of this technology, what Musk calls immersive virtual reality, a couple of days ago. Watch the video below to see a rocket part 3D modeled using a holograph and hand gestures. Then see it 3D printed in titanium! Pretty cool, huh? Now, someone just needs to invent a Garbo Mansion à la Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series complete with talking and clothes producing walls...sans The Surge and Specials of course!
 
(Source: Venture Beat)
 




Posted by alice on 09.03.13

There's not much I can say about this except... AWESOME!
 
 
So if you're ever missing The Hub or the library in general, you can walk the stacks from wherever you have the internet thanks to Google Maps!
 
Okay, now something equally as cool... go ahead and press the double arrows that are pointing toward the telephone box.
 
I want to go to that telephone box!  
 
Anyone know of any other Google Maps Easter Eggs?  Share them with us in the comments!
 
fandom, techy




Posted by emather on 09.03.13

Banned Books Week, September 22-28, 2013
 
In honor of Banned Books Week, we are celebrating our intellectual freedom by having TWO social media contests during the month of September.
 
FIRST CONTEST!
 
Tweet us @Hub500 a review of a banned or challenged book and Tag it #Hub500BBW. You can read a brand new banned or challenged book, or one you've read before.  (I promise you've read at least one before; here are several frighteningly long lists...and they are nowhere near complete!).
 
SECOND CONTEST!
 
Post a photo to Instagram promoting intellectual liberty and the freedom to read.  Make sure to mention us (@hub500) and tag it #Hub500BBW.
 
The winner of each contest will be announced September 27th.  
 
So think freely, get creative, and READ BANNED BOOKS!




Posted by amypelman on 09.01.13

 
 
 
It's time for a few ITBA books reviews!  Ahhh, so many books, so little time!! 
 
Review by Amy H.
 
Ryan Dean West is a fourteen year old junior at Pine Mountain, a boarding school.  Even though he is a couple years younger than his fellow juniors, he is a starting winger on the rugby team.  He is in love with his best friend Annie, but she only finds him “adorable.”   Ryan Dean is a normal teenage boy who has normal teenage desires, but he also goes through struggles. The way Ryan Dean deals with his struggles captivates readers as they wonder what he will do next.  A shocking twist at the end of the story leaves readers wondering about life and how we treat other people who are different.
 
Name: 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.
 
Review by Susan B.
 
Conor’s mother is sick and ever since she started receiving treatments, Conor’s been having nightmares. So when the monster shows up at his window one night, he thinks he’s having another nightmare. The monster comes to Conor’s window at seven minutes past midnight, like clockwork. But Conor realizes something -- he’s not dreaming. The monster is really there and it wants the truth.
 
I first picked up this book because the cover looked creepy, and I felt like reading something a little out of my comfort zone. I was surprised to find it’s not really scary at all, but I didn’t mind because ultimately it was a very powerful and moving read. The illustrations that accompany the story only add another layer to this already poignant book. This is one of the best books I’ve read this year and its message will stay with you long after you turn the last page.
 
Name: Susan B.
Department: Circulation
Years at AHML: 10
Favorite thing you do at work: Checking in books! I love getting to see what’s new and popular.
Best place to read your book: Curled up in bed.
Why you like reading YA: I like reading about characters my age – it makes them easier to relate to.
 
Review by Megan M. 
 
Alyssa is a high school senior, her mother is in a mental institution, and her crush is dating her nemesis. As if that weren't enough for a teenage girl to worry about, Alyssa is also cursed. Alyssa's great-great-great grandmother was Alice, as in the Alice who went down the rabbit hole.  As a result of Alice's actions in wonderland, all the women in Alice's family have been plagued with the ability to hear the voices of flowers and insects which doesn’t have a very beneficial impact on their sanity. 
When Alyssa comes of age, she starts hearing the voices too and worries she'll end up just like her mother.  Alyssa is determined to find a way to rid herself and her mother of the curse before it's too late.  When a shadowy figure named Morpheus shows up from Alyssa's memories she realizes it might not be as hard as she thought to find wonderland but finding out who she can trust in this fantastical new world is another story.
 
Splintered was a creative and entertaining twist on Lewis Carrol's time-honored tale.  I thoroughly enjoyed venturing to this darker version of wonderland and meeting all the more mischievous versions of the classic characters, as well as some very interesting new ones.  Overall, a few sluggish parts aside, Splintered was a delightfully creepy and well-paced read.
 
Name: Megan M.
Department:  Circulation              
Years at AHML:  About 5 with a short hiatus in the middle somewhere.
Favorite Thing I Do at Work:  Getting paid!!!  Just kidding.  Finding awesome new books to read.
Best Place to Read My Book:  Weather permitting, either curled up in bed with my 3 dogs or out tanning by the pool.
Why I Like Reading YA:  It’s fun and there’s lots of variety.
 
ITBA