20 July 2013 - Stencils!
So, the Main Library held a Stencils 101 program last Thursday night. We made a brilliant art project by creating and using stencils to paint over a collage. The finished project was pretty cool. Here’s an example:
The best part about stenciling is how versatile it is. Not only can you make stencils out of numerous cheap materials, you can also stencil on all kinds of different materials. The whole process is only as complicated as you want to make it. The hardest part is creating images that have clear negative spaces. Think of it as a coloring book: thick black lines enclose blank white areas. With a stencil, you can either color the lines or the white areas, but not both.
Something to make the stencil out of
Cardboard/cardstock – great for stenciling on paper, or other hard surfaces
Contact paper – sticks to your surface, but comes up clean afterward
Freezer paper – perfect for t-shirt or other fabrics. Just iron the waxy side down
Something to fill the stencil in with – fabric paint, tempera/acrylic paint, sharpies
Fabric paint – permanent for clothes
Tempera/acrylic – good for paper
Sharpies! – stays decent on clothes, good on paper too!
Something to stencil onto – t-shirt, pillow case, cardstock, backpack, canvas, etc.
You’ll also need:
Scissors (for cutting large areas)
x-acto knife (for cutting smaller areas)
cutting surface (when using an x-acto knife, don’t use the kitchen counter)
paintbrush/sponge (something to spread the paint on)
cardboard/newspaper (to keep the paint from bleeding through)
tape (possibly necessary to keep your stencil from moving around)
There are many ways to create a stencil. You can hand-draw images, trace an image onto your stencil material with carbon paper, or use a computer program like GIMP (free!) to make your stencil.
Once you have your stencil, paint/marker, and material-to-be-stenciled, you’re set!
I’ll leave you with three pro tips:
1) If your material is thin, put cardboard or paper underneath so the paint doesn’t bleed through.
2) Try to use thin layers of paint. It’ll dry quicker, won’t spread under your stencil, and won’t crack and peel off your masterpiece.
3) Use an iron to set your paint! If you’ve made a t-shirt/other washable fabric item, place an old sheet over your image (make sure it’s dry) and iron before washing.
Here are some links for projects and instructions to get you excited:
20 July 2013 - Mystery
What screams “beneath the surface” more than a good crime mystery? Any detective worth his salt has to assess the situation, search for clues, and catch the perpetrator at his own game. Although the point is to nab the criminal, the fun is working alongside the detective to solve the mystery. If you’re feeling observant, grab one of these titles and see if you can figure things out before the gumshoe does.
16 July 2013 - More on life underwater.
Have you ever actually looked at pictures of deep sea fish? They are weird. They are unlike anything above water. If you're feeling brave, they're worth looking into. And unlike sharks, manta rays, and jellyfish, you can take solace in the fact they like where they live and will likely never surface enough for you to meet them in the flesh.
You can experience the deep without lifting a finger (except your mouse-clicking finger) at NatGeo’s website. They have neat stuff about shipwrecks, coral reefs, and much less creepy fish.
The American Museum of Natural History has a really cool page that proves the history of mermaids is a long-standing, multi-cultural phenomenon. There’s also a sidebar with similar articles on other mythical creatures like dragons, sea monsters, and unicorns.
And what would a post be without a quiz? See how well you know your sharks.
21 June 2013 - Underground
In many situations, it's best to take a look at the most obvious first. If you have a tech problem, the rule of thumb is to check the basics (is it plugged in?) before calling in the geek squad. When writing a scientific hypothesis, you must include absolutely every step, almost to a painful degree.
Science and technology are both booming fields; therefore they must be doing something right. So it only makes sense in our exploration of this year's theme of "Beneath the Surface" to start at the start and take a look at books that deal directly with the earth in one way or another. I won't say all of these titles take place underground, but I will say they all sound interesting and earth-related.
20 June 2013 - From Page to Screen
YA is huge right now. With books like Twilight and the Hunger Games blowing up, everyone’s on the lookout for the next big hit. Because of this, YA books are being turned into movies and TV shows left and right.
The point of this post is preparation; to ensure you have as much time as possible to read through all the fantastic prospects before they become hard to come by.
Just in case you’ve been stuck under a pile of homework, these books have already been turned into movies. And the movies are actually on DVD, already @ your library.
You can watch for these titles in theaters this summer/fall:
And if you have time at all left over, pick up one of these books. Hollywood is a tricky business and sometimes hype takes a while to solidify. The following books have all been optioned for the screen (some big, some small) but no release dates have been set.
17 June 2013 - Teen Summer Reading…Beneath the Surface
It’s that time again – Teen Summer Reading has finally arrived! Make your library a regular stop this summer for fun events, really cool prizes, and a whole ton of great books. Contact your branch for more details, but bottom line is stuff will be happening and you’ll want to take part.
Remember, if there’s ever a week you can’t make it to your library, check the library's website instead. New book suggestions and links will be posted regularly on the blog. We also have a good selection of eBooks to tide you over until your next visit.
One last thing – The theme “Beneath the Surface” will be the driving force behind the programs and book selections from June 17th – August 10th. Be prepared to dig deep, explore, and possibly run into zombies.
31 May 2013 - Free Audiobooks
Partnerships can be awesome, and this one is no exception.
AudioFile Magazine and audiobook publishers have come together to offer one more way to get your book fix this summer. Sync is offering two free audiobook downloads a week, every week, for twelve weeks.
Each week, two new books will be available: one classic title and one popular young adult novel. There are some really great choices, including Maggie Stiefvater's The Raven Boys and Andrew Lane's Death Cloud.
And if you haven't listened to an audiobook before, you might find that listening to the classics is actually easier than trying to read through them on your own. There are a few Shakespeare titles on the list this summer, along with the original Sherlock Holmes and Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass.
Check out the full list here.
13 March 2013 - Teen Tech Week
Officially, we are smack in the middle of Teen Tech Week (or month, if you're celebrating at the Main library) - a great opportunity for you to take advantage of the technology available @ your library.
To break it down, here are a few common issues that come up and how your library can help solve them.
Problem: You're assigned a research paper at school. You get to the library to find all the books on your subject are checked out. What do you do?
Solution: Try a database! You can access most of them from home, they cover a lot of subjects, and they're credible! Make sure the "full-text" box is checked and you are on your way to keyword searching for complete articles from newspapers, journals, and magazines.
Problem: You like to read, but you have trouble getting a ride to the library for new books.
Solution: Download one! We have a decent selection of eBooks and audio books that is constantly growing. You must have a current library card, know your pin number, and can't have fines. But once you're set, you can download books straight to your iPod, smart phone, eReader, or computer.
Problem: Your friends keep talking about some band you've never heard of. Or you can't get that song out of your head and can only find the video on YouTube. Or you're tired of all your music and need something new but don't know what.
Solution: We have a fantastic CD collection, they're free to check out, and you can have 50 at a time! Seriously, we try to have everything available for you, so if you notice something is missing, please let us know. But hopefully you'll find the pop, emo, oldies, dubstep, shoegaze, chillwave, you-name-it already on our shelves.
Oh yeah, we have computers and movies, too. And audiobooks. And magazines about tech stuff. And books about a digital future that will give your imagination a run for its money.
Don't wait. Check-in @ your library!
4 March 2013 - Hub Reading Challenge
I don't know about you, but I have a hard time passing up a good challenge. Especially if it gives me an excuse to do more of something I love to do already.
YALSA's 2013 Hub Reading Challege started about a month ago, but do not fear. You have until June 22nd to read/listen to 25 titles from the eligible reading list. The list is made up of award winners from a wide array of genres and reading levels. Take a look at the full list here.
All contest details can be found here. Grand prize is a tote bag chuck-full of brand new teen books! And so long as you finish the challenge, you'll have the opportunity to submit a response to one of the books you read and have it published on the Hub site.
So, if you're looking for some direction in what to read, or incentive to read at all, consider taking part.
8 February 2013 - Alex Awards
Every year, YALSA gives the Alex Award to 10 adult titles with special youth appeal. The 2013 winners are in. If you're looking for something a bit different, or want to venture slowly into the world of adult fiction, perhaps one of these titles is for you.
7 February 2013 - Valentine's
Love it or hate it, Valentine's day is coming quick.
While you're eating candy hearts and swooning over that special someone, here are a few romantic stories to set the stage.
For those of you less swayed by the idealistic notions of love at first sight, here are some titles that deal with relationships in a less gushy way.
10 December 2012 - Call for Best Books!
With the year coming to an end, now is a great time to look back at what you’ve read. A lot of fantastic teen books came out in 2012. Which ones did you like best? Send an email and let us know your favorites so they can be shared with other voracious readers.
1 November 2012 - NaNoWriMo
National Novel Writing Month is upon us!
Do you feel inspired? Are your friends always saying you're a great storyteller? Are you looking for a creative outlet? Writing might be for you!
Although the library is not affiliated with NaNoWriMo, we do think it's a good kick starter and worth highlighting. Your library is offering events across the system encouraging young writers to explore the craft.
Contact the following branches or check the web calendar for more information.
Algonac has an ongoing NaNoWriMo event at 1 p.m. every Saturday in November.
Burtchville is hosting a NaNoWriMo kickoff party Saturday November 3rd at 10 a.m. as well as Write-ins all month long.
The Main Library will host Write! Edit! Publish!, a presentation describing what it takes to get published, Saturday November 3rd at 9 a.m.
Also at the Main Library, author Ann Aschauer will visit Thursday November 8th at 5 p.m. to talk about her writing process and answer audience questions.
So join us for this month-long celebration of writing and check out the NaNoWriMo site for ideas, tips, and resources!
22 October 2012 - Scary Stories
Halloween is fast approaching. Grab some treats, a flashlight, and one of these spooky stories to set the stage.
8 October 2012 - Teen Read Week
Dare to read for the fun of it this October 15th-20th @ your library! Teen Read Week is nearly here and you should be excited! An entire week dedicated to celebrating reading in all its awesomeness with contests, prizes, and programs just for you. Stop in at your branch to find out how to get involved. While you’re there, scan the shelves for a good book or five. Here are some suggestions:
Considering this year’s theme - "It Came from the Library" - I thought it fitting to showcase teen books that have been or soon will be made into movies.
10 September 2012 - Book Review
Sometimes it's tough to choose your next book. So many interesting titles to pick from, so little time! Luckily, there are plenty of reviews online that can help you narrow down your choices. Today's review comes from a St. Clair County teen.
Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright
The wolf is back. Valerie finds herself with the same question over and over: Who is the wolf? With everyone Valerie holds dear there is something each one of them is hiding. Lucy is dead. There is no one Valerie can trust, not even her childhood friend Peter. Death is waiting around every corner until the townspeople find out who or what the wolf wants. This riveting book will hold your attention and keep you guessing until the very end. So, if you like werewolves and a good mystery then read this book. A similar book is Sweetly.
-Review by Samantha, age 15
10 August 2012 - Summer Reading Wrap-up
Tomorrow is the very last day of the Teen Summer Reading program. Be sure to turn in your entry forms for your chance to win prizes @ your library. Also, check the web calendar to see if your library is hosting an end of summer reading party.
Hopefully you've had a fantastic summer and read at least a few great books during your time off. Thank you for taking part in our TSR program!
3 August 2012 - Alex Awards
There is only ONE WEEK until TSR ends! Hurry in to your library and participate before time runs out!
Because it is the very last week of TSR, we are highlighting something a bit different.
Every year, YALSA announces ten titles to receive Alex Awards. Named after Baltimore librarian Margaret Alexander Edwards, Alex Awards are given to adult books that have special appeal to teens. If you’re ready to expand your reading horizons and enter the world of adult fiction, check out one of this year’s top ten titles. The rest of this year’s nominations can be found here.
27 July 2012 - Fantasy and Sci-fi
Only a few weeks left of summer reading! If you haven't done so yet, get to your branch and ask about participating in the Teen Summer Reading program. You may also want to check the web calendar to find out what programs are being offered at your library during the month of August.
Last week the focus was on gritty, thoughtful, realistic fiction. This week's highlight is on escapism. Fantasy and science fiction allow for the reader to experience something different, yet familiar. The creatures and lifestyles may be extraordinary, but more often than not the message is still very much human.
Click on one of the following covers if it grabs your interest.
20 July 2012 - Realistic Fiction
One of the best things about reading is immersing yourself in someone else's experiences. Through books, you can gain a better understanding of so many viewpoints and situations without ever having to actually handle heartbreak, make mistakes, or go through the horrors others may have to endure.
This week's picks vary drastically in subject matter. However, all of these stories describe events that happen in real life.
13 July 2012 - Horror Fiction
Today is Friday the 13th (arguably the spookiest day of the year) which is a great opportunity to discuss horror stories.
There are the obvious classics, such as Edgar Allan Poe, R. L. Stine, and Stephen King, that are worth picking up for the genius of plot and guaranteed creep factor. However, there's a wide array of new books that continue the horror legacy.
These are a few current titles that fall into the supernatural and horror genres:
6 July 2012 - Steampunk
Like science fiction? Reimagined history? Adventure? Horror stories?
Try one of these steampunk novels on for size:
29 June 2012 - Alternate Choices
Believe it or not, some people aren't too keen on reading in the usual sense. Do you or someone you know fall into this category? If you can answer yes to any of the following, please read on:
- Do you tire of fictional stories with their made-up plot lines and lack of factual information?
- Do you find it tedious to carry around numerous heavy, bulky, print books?
- Do you have trouble finding the time to sit down and read?
Now, would you believe there is a cure for your predicament? Because there is! You have options! You can still participate in the summer reading program!
Here's the breakdown:
Nonfiction: In school, you learn a lot of stuff and not all of it is fascinating. That's just because they have to cover all the basics and cram in the most important events, people, etc. BUT there are tons of interesting side notes throughout history, as well as different ways to learn about them. Nonfiction can make that happen.
Graphic novels: Short on time but interested in reading? Try a graphic novel. They're not all superheroes and manga (although we have those, too). Stories cover everything these days, from important historical figures to modern love stories.
eBooks: If you have a computer, iPhone, Kindle, Nook, laptop, etc., you can download an eBook. We have a growing selection on our website, and we're always looking for suggestions to purchase.
Audiobooks: Possibly the best option of all. You can actually read while driving, riding a bike, taking a walk, cleaning your room, lying in bed, or working a monotonous job. It can make the most boring of tasks pass faster while making them doubly interesting. You can download them to your computer, iPod, iPhone, etc. Try our site for titles. There’s also a cool promotion going on at this site – they’re giving out two free audiobooks every week, all summer long.
Here are a few books to get you interested. As always, click the image to find a copy in the library.
22 June 2012 - Dystopia/Survival
Teen Summer Reading is in full effect! If you've been to your library, you know what you have to do to win prizes just for reading (which is what you were going to do anyway, right?). It is that easy. If you haven't - make the trip. It will be well worth it.
What can be more difficult, though, is choosing the right book. Dystopia/survival novels are huge right now. If you liked the Hunger Games and NEED MORE, try one of the following to get your fix.
16 June 2012 - Thumbs Up! Awards
The Teen Summer Reading Program starts next Monday, June 18th. There will be reading! There will be prizes! There will be fun programs all summer long! Be sure to check the web calendar to find out what events are taking place and stop into your local branch to get the low down on what it takes to participate in TSR.
In the meantime, it's not too early to chose your first book. Each year, the Michigan Library Association hands out the "Thumbs Up! Award" to a single outstanding title in teen lit. The best part - you can help choose the winner!
This year's top ten are:
Each image is linked to the library's catalog. So, if you see something that looks interesting, follow the link to place it on hold.
Check back throughout the summer for new book suggestions. Happy summer reading!
10 May 2012 - Online Book Tie-ins
Great books + fun online games = best idea ever!
When you finish a really good book and just can't let go, check online to see if extra content is available. Sometimes series like the Hunger Games have online games, quizzes, and more to keep the story going long after you put the book down.
Here are a few to get you started:
Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins
Maze Runner Series by James Dashner
Gone Series by Michael Grant
I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
13 March 2012 - Events
When you’re not out enjoying the early spring weather, check out the following programs offered this month @ your library:
Main Library – Fiction Face Off! – March 5th-31st
Some of the best books from the past year are battling each other for top honors. Stop by the teen area and fill out a bracket. There is no easier way to win free stuff!
Ira – Make a Movie Poster – March 24th 12-2 pm
If they turned your favorite book into a movie, what would the poster look like?
Marine City – Teen Time – Every Friday 3-4:30 pm
Board games, gossip, homework & fun! What more could you want?!
Memphis – Hunger Games Trivia – March 1st – 21st
All winning answers are entered in a drawing to see the new movie for free!
Memphis – Teen Time – March 20th 3-4 pm
Create a Hunger Games craft!
G. Lynn Campbell – Teen Game Night – March 27th 4-6 pm
Space set aside just for teens to talk, play games, do homework, whatever!
St. Clair – Teen Game Night – March 27th 4-6 pm
Hang out, snack, play games, and have fun!
And don’t forget about the web calendar! You can always check your particular branch and age group for programs and special events all year round.
24 January 2012 - Youth Media Awards
The 2012 Youth Media Award winners were announced yesterday!
The following are a few highlights worth looking into: