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

Afternoon Open Mic Program

Afternoon Open Mic was a program that was easy to coordinate and advertise, it was just a matter of getting performers!

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The purpose of the Afternoon Open Mic Program is to encourage teens who wish to express themselves through song, dance, music, poetry, or acting. Pieces were pre-screened by the librarian to ensure that there was no R-rated material. The reason is that the event, while meant for teens to participate and watch, was open to any patron of all ages to watch.

Teens interested could sign up at the Reference Desk with a preferred time slot they would like. The performer(s) have 10 minutes for their piece with a 5 minute break between acts to set up the next group. If they wanted to go over 10 minutes, it would be on a case-by-case basis to make sure that there were enough time slots for other teens to participate.

Advertising was on a flyer through Canva and was distributed to the nearby schools as well as posted on the library website and within in-house. While advertising was in an abundance, the number of participants were lower than expected but it meant they could perform as much as they wanted within the program time.

We did not have any equipment (speakers, microphone) but we made due without.

We had 2 participants who sang and played guitar! The audience were receptive and friendly, even asking for a recording of the program to be distributed. I’d say a small victory!

This is a throwback post to a program I held in the past hence the lack of pictures.

 

“The Life-Changing Manga on Tidying Up: A Magical Story” Review

I’ve been interested in Marie Kondo’s book on tidying up ever since 4 patrons requested the book in 2 days a while back. I was curious but never got around to it… That is until Marie Kondo teamed up with illustrator Yuko Uramoto to create a manga version of her insanely popular #1 Amazon Bestseller in Homecleaning. I immediately requested it from the library to borrow.

Konmari, as Marie Kondo calls herself, is a tidy specialist who comes to the aid of Chiaki, a young 29-year-old salary woman who works in the beverage industry. Chiaki has an unkempt apartment; it is revealed she keeps hobby items that past boyfriends have associated with. That, plus her demanding job (as seen from her arriving home at night, mentioning she only has the weekend the tidy up, and stays out working late) causes her to keep to a cluttered routine. Konmari helps, not by going on her hands and knees scrubbing, but by asking Chiaki a series of questions such as “What kind of lifestyle do you want?” or “What kind of life do you want to live here?”

The questions help determine what items should be kept and what items should be discarded. From there Chiaki finds herself with a different routine in life: She wakes up earlier to cook her own breakfast rather than going to a convenience store and her work desk is clean and neat.

Quite frankly, it is amazing how Konmari put in perspective that cleaning isn’t just cleaning but analyzing your living space and lifestyle to determine what you want out of a tidy area. As someone whose purse is filled with paper receipts, this leisure read became instructive and got me planning on the kind of lifestyle I want.

 

The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up: A Magical Story can be found on Amazon or libraries near you. A wonderful addition to any manga collection, especially on the topic of cleaning and tidying up.