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!
 
 
 




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