Book Club Ideas?

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Ideas! I’ve been brainstorming ideas to hopefully build a book club for the library. Been meaning to have one but I admit, I feel like I’m trying to put all these ideas into play in so little amount of time. It’s time to sit down, focus, and breathe. Make a 5 year plan. Not a 1 year “do all the things” plan!

Continue reading Book Club Ideas?

Bullet Journal 101 for Teens

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Here’s to 2018, a new year filled with adventure and goals! I’ve been keeping a bullet journal consistently since mid-2017 and found that it has helped me a lot. It got me thinking, teens could get into this as well! When I was in school, I wasn’t keen on my school planner but with bullet journaling, I can create and mold the planner to my lifestyle. For school, I’m a few years too late on that boat. Not too late for the teens though!

Number of participants: 2
Total: 5 (parents included)

We went over what a bullet journal is and the basics of what it entails. We watched a quick video by Buzzfeed (~4 minutes) on starting a bullet journal. Understandably we did talk about how the video wasn’t geared towards teens. That’s okay though because we made it our way!

Then we showed off supplies!

 

Each pouch had:

  • 4 binder clips
  • 1 washi tape
  • 1 multi-colored pen with 6 different color ink
  • 1 black gel pen
  • 1 double-sided tape dispenser with whiteout tape on the other side
  • Each participant can choose between a grid notebook or a blank notebook (dot/lined was not available)

We went over the handout, from bullet journal basics to supplies then to steps.

 

Bullet Journal 101

First we made a key. Second we made an Index. We all made a weekly page together to try our hand at making a template. Afterwards the participants were free to brainstorm and create for their journal. Some pages that were created:

  • Favorite book genre page
  • Art page
  • Favorite sticker page

 

Overall the program was a hit with the kids and the parents. We extended the time by half an hour so the kids can create more. We had a couple books available for everyone to read through, one of which was listed in the handout.

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What I should have done:

  • Change signage to read open to 6th – 12th grade instead of 7th – 12th grade.
  • Have blank template examples ready to look at/to take home. I’ve seen some journals where they print their template out, cut and tape inside their journal.
  • Make it more teen friendly. I know I listed template ideas but let’s discuss/brainstorm ideas and ask the teens themselves what would be an essential template for them. Also mold templates for “adulting” such as expense tracker to teens, such as turning it into an allowance tracker.

I would definitely do this program again. I would move it to December so that participants can brainstorm and create their bujo prior to the new year starting. As someone who has been attempting to be organized, I found that creating a bujo has helped in both the personal and professional arena. I’m able to keep better track of my readings, errands, and thoughts that would otherwise be a pile of Post-It Notes, scribbles in my notebook, or lost in my file cabinet monster. I hope that teens will be able to use this technique to organize themselves in this rapidly changing world. Here’s to a new year, new you!

*Note: Jennifer F. of The Artist Librarian took pictures of the program but sadly they couldn’t upload correctly. I wanted to give a shoutout to her for coming in and observing! ❤️

Favorite Links – December 2017

Inspired by Teen Services Underground, today’s post will be a collection of links I found that struck my interest. For an awesome and recent example of TSU’s “Links of the Month”, feel free to click on the link to view.

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Program Ideas: Bullet Journal

Preparing for my upcoming Bullet Journal Workshop for Teens, Buzzfeed had a helpful post on ways to track your mental health in your journal. I feel this is important to know; I’ve had several teen patrons tell me that they are unable to attend programs at the library due to feeling “overloaded” at school and other activities. I feel you, I’ve been there; I’ve been keeping track of at least one happy thing that happened a day. Whether it be a good patron interaction or bringing a good lunch, it’s nice to look back at a nice thing that made my happy on that day.

A Bullet Journal idea masterpost! When I first looked it over, I couldn’t believe I didn’t think about making a tracker for watching my Netflix series, skincare routine, or reading comics. I understand, I’m behind on tracking graphic novels I’ve read (usually would put the title under a date I started/finished) but this helps. However this gave me more ideas, I’m afraid I’ll need another journal by the time it’s Summer 2018!

Regarding the Bullet Journal ideas, here is a Tumblr dedicated to studying and note-taking. I’ve used the Cornell Notes method since middle school and has stuck with me since. I went from lined to blank pages in a Moleskin journal during college and now I’m going to dot journals but always the same template. The Cornell Notes template is good when we have staff meetings or when I’m brainstorming ideas.

Graphic Novel Talk

From the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, an article “How Comics Conquered Libraries”. A must-read when it comes to understanding how the rise of graphic novels in our libraries have made way for literacy.

Comics, the King of Libraries rings true with this Publisher’s Weekly article. There is mention of attempts to ban comics, how digital comics run through libraries, acquiring webcomics, and the continuing rise for these books. Indeed there is a growing demand for comics and with public libraries being a channel for people to access comics for free, we’ll continue to see that demand rise. Honestly I’m intrigued by the banning of books, particularly graphic novels. There is still the presumption that due to the graphic medium, the books are only for children. With suggested age ratings on the books, librarians have shields to explain to those who wish to ban graphic novels. I believe with proper guidance, graphic novels of all levels will be accepted.

I hope to make this a monthly thing, to share things I come across and to organize it all. Cheers and thanks for reading!

Movie Programs

Movies! We all love them! Especially when they’re free!

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The library I work at has a movie license through Movie Licensing USA, which has a nifty search feature that shows what movies can be shown at X location.

Choosing the movie can be difficult. From experience I’ve found that screening movies that have just released get more people in the library program than movies that have been out for a few years. Also due to the rising costs of movie tickets and large amount of movies being shown at a time, a free screening at the library doesn’t sound that bad.

Promoting is essential. Get that promotion out there! Plan the dates around school breaks or after school. Screen the movie around a special date. In July of this year, I screen Jaws (PG-13) during Shark Week! Surprisingly a handful of people were there but because they know that hey, you’re showing a free movie and it’s around this occasion, maybe you’ll do it again next year!

Two movies that surprised me in having a large crowd, many children, were Iron Man (PG-13) and Captain America: Civil War (PG-13). Parents/caregivers were present but it struck me interested that children, some as young as 6 were glued to the movies without making a sound. Understandably, both movies are part of Marvel which is owned by Disney. There are also children books and toys with these same characters. Are kids growing up fast or is the understanding that “this is a movie” with their favorite characters has reached its zenith?

Keep on going~

Radical Rubix Cube Program

The Radical Rubix Cube Program was my first program that a high school student helped plan and execute. J.W.* is interested in Rubik Cubes, specifically Speedcubing. The planning took 3 months and in the end, it was worth it!

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The program was for 5th graders and up. Parents and caregivers were welcome to show up to learn more about the Rubik Cube. First we started off with a slideshow created by J.W. on the history of the Rubik’s Cube. From there we went into solving techniques, then going into detail on Speedcubing. We watched videos of people speedcubing in seconds and that go the crowd going. Free Rubik’s Cubes were given out to youths on a first come, first serve basis as we had a limited supply.

Since J.W.’s goal was speedcubing, he created a tournament for interested youths to enter and attempt to solve their cubes in a speedy fashion. While the tournament was going on, on the other side of the room we had families and youths practicing, talking story, and getting to know one another over this 3×3 brain teaser.

We had a total of 50 people show up. The program lasted 2 hours with an enthusiastic crowd. Would I do it again? Yes! Definitely. Am I able to solve a Rubik’s Cube on my own? Not yet… But this is encouraging.

Did you know that it is spelt “Rubik” and not “Rubix”? Something to remember when going on Jeopardy.

*Initials to protect privacy

Books to Read (Found in Library System)
Handbook of Cubik Math by Alexander Hamilton Frey and David Singmaster [512.2 F]
Inside Rubik’s Cube and Beyond by C. Bandelow [512.2 B]
Notes on Rubik’s Magic Cube by David Singmaster [793.74 SI]
Mastering the Rubik’s Cube: The Solution to the 20th Century’s Most Amazing Puzzle by Don Taylor [793.73 T]
Speedsolving the Cube: Easy-to-Follow, Step-by-Step Instructions for Many Popular 3-D Puzzles by Dan Harris [793.74 HA]

Rubik Cube Information
History of the Rubik’s Cube
Rubik’s Cube Home Page
Speedcubing

Speedcubing Guide
You Can Do the Cube
World Cube Association

Teen Library Council

The Teen Library Council! Let’s get started!

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It has been two months since opening applications and holding monthly meetings for the Teen Library Council. This underutilized yet goldmine of a resource has helped me in one meeting more than I could ever ask for. Although small, we got into the details of what kind of programs the library should offer and more importantly, how to get teens coming into the library (for more than just Internet and A/C).

I’ll admit. It’s nerve-wracking for me. My first program held for almost a whole year (September – May) and with teens. I’m a bit more introverted and feel better making booklists and helping patrons 1-on-1. Is it scary? Sure, anything could come up, no one could show up, there’s a 3-day weekend (so it’ll be risky having it on a Thursday before that weekend or rescheduling), it slowly peters out, etc. But! Hearing from teens that so-and-so program would be attractive since a lot of teens at school are talking about it, it’s worth the feelings akin to butterflies in my stomach.

giphy1 A YA librarian colleague lent me her Teen Library Council materials as a good starting point. The goal was to make applications for teens to sign up with. The application was similar to a job application (good practice for the future, right?) and an agreement that stipulates the teen, should they become a member, must attend x amount of programs during their term as member, attendance is mandatory, etc. Main requirement: Have a library card in good standing.

Next came the promotions. Flyers, bulletin board, white board, emails to school librarian contact became important.

So what’s the lure? What’s the catch? Why should teens sign up for the Teen Library Council anyway? Volunteer hours.

For every meeting a TLC Member attends, that’s one hour of volunteer service. For every program they attend/volunteer, that’s double the hours. Same if the program they attend/volunteer for is an idea they thought of.

Since they’re doing library material suggestions on their own time, I think that doubling the hours if they attend program is a good balance. Suggestions can be music, books, movies for the library to purchase with library funds. Subject to approval. The members do their research on the item by looking at sources (New York Times Best Seller Lists, Kirkus Reviews, etc.) and turn in to me for review. Should we purchase the items and put into the library’s collection, that feeling of contribution is there. Also it helps the community by being the voice of the community.

I’ll have to come back to this post in a few months to detail my first journey into being a Teen Library Council Advisor!

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Anime Programs

I just did my first official Ani-mazing Anime Showing!

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Yay! It was quite exhilarating I’ll say. However I have to wonder, with technology widespread and anime being available (pirated or streaming), is it worth showing anime at the public library anymore?

First thing is to pre-screen the series to be shown. The series have been pre-screened by me so to make sure the series can also be good for middle schoolers who want to watch, so context can be mentioned if there are questions.

How it works: The program is set at two Fridays a month after school (3 pm). Audience members can choose from a list of anime titles that can be shown at the next showing. In essence, it would be beneficial for an audience member to come to the first showing because they have a chance to vote for a series they want to show at the next showing, and so on. The trick also I had was to mix titles up, that way the audience doesn’t know which series I’ll be showing, it’ll be based on a vote by the audience members.

The thing is, I had to learn from previous YA librarians who held anime showings at their libraries. One librarian had teens suggest a series to show and when the time came, he didn’t show up. When she saw him later and asked why he didn’t show up because she showed the series he suggested, he replied that he had already seen it.

From that example, I had decided to the the aforementioned voting and mix and match series. However… Out of the participants (all of 3 people) have already seen what Crunchyroll had to offer, even the Premium episodes. Premium episodes can only be viewed by a paid member of Crunchyroll and will be free to watch after a certain time frame. There’s only so much that the library is licensed to show. From that, where does anime programs fit if it is so easily accessible? Another point to consider is that, because the series have been pre-screened, that means the series has to have finished already. Unless it is a remake of an old series, under that rule I cannot show brand new anime series that comes out each season.

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*Updated