April 27, 2017

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Book Review: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Publisher’s Book Description A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married. Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the […]

Thinking about 13 Reasons Why: Teens, Mental Health and Media

Please Note: This Post Will Contain Discussions of Triggering Topics and Spoilers for the Book/Show You are probably aware that 13 Reasons Why the book by Jay Asher has been made into a popular Netflix show. And you’ve probably seen a lot of discussion about this show. In fact, if you’re life looks anything like […]

MakerSpace: 5 Low or No Tech Activities for a Teen MakerSpace

When I first began transforming my teen space into a Teen MakerSpace, I was adamant that the space had to be tech, tech, tech heavy. All tech, all the time. I pushed back hard against suggestions that I should do things like have gel pens or paint. Part of my concern was legitimate, cost and […]

You Don’t Have to Use the Internet & Other Absurd Things Politicians Say in 2017

Internet privacy is under attack with the current administration. This means that the things you say and do online can no longer be considered private in the same ways we thought of them a few weeks ago. Congress has ruled that Internet providers can sale your information in an effort to make more money. You, […]

Rethinking How We Think about Cheerleaders

My 8-year-old keeps saying she wants to be a cheerleader, something The Mr. keeps routinely saying no to. And when he says no, you can hear it –  there is an edge of disgust to his voice. The truth is, we have a lot of animosity towards cheerleaders, thanks in no small part to the […]

App Review: Enlight

For months now I have been wanting to talk to you about a photo app called Enlight, the only problem is – I can’t figure out how to use it very well. This may sound like a dig at the app but it’s not, it’s an admission of my own lack of skills. The truth […]

Sunday Reflections: Empty Bellies, Starving Hearts – What happens when teens see compassion die

A teen looks up from a project she is working on and realizes that she has been working too long, she has missed it. She comes to our Teen MakerSpace every day after school and stays until closing. But she leaves every night around 6:00 PM to go to the local dinner. You see poverty […]

MakerSpace Madness: Out of the 1, Many – Transforming Art in Multiple Ways

I spent yesterday casually demonstrating to the teens in the Teen MakerSpace how one project can turn into many, many projects. Making isn’t just about making, it’s about re-making and transforming. It’s about thinking outside of the box. It’s about pushing the limits of what you know and learning new things. So yesterday we explored […]

Sunday Reflections: That’s Me in the Corner . . .

TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL VIOLENCE This year was more triggering for me then I ever could have imagined. 8th grade, the worst year of my life. The year of betrayal at the hands of a man who swore to keep me safe, a man I trusted. The year my teenage daughter was now entering into. This […]

MakerSpace: Low Tech, Low Cost “Screenprinting”

For some time now I have been on a quest to get a screen printing station into my Teen MakerSpace. My research involved reading a ton of books, a lot of trial and error and visiting a local art studio that did traditional screen printing. The big stumbling block for us is that to make […]

Video Games Weekly: Legend of Zelda, Breath of the Wild

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was the launch game that was simultaneously released with Nintendo’s newest console, Nintendo Switch, which came out in mid-March.  In my opinion, Breath of the Wild is by far the best game in 2017, although I have been playing it on my Wii U, not the Switch.  I […]

The Power of Humor in YA, a guest post by Jeff Strand

By way of introduction, I present to you dear reader Jeff Strand. Jeff Strand writes funny, irreverent, slap your sides humorous YA. It’s the kind of humor I don’t think there is enough of in YA, though if you like Jeff Strand I do recommend Lish McBride,  Sarah Rees Brennan and Lance Rubin as well. […]

MakerSpace Madness: Mod-A-Tee @ Your Library – Fun with T-Shirts

Like most teen services/ya librarians, I’m heavy in the midst of planning my teen summer reading programming. This will be the second year of planning that incorporates our Teen MakerSpace at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County (OH) and we know based on our experience from last year that our current model […]

TPiB: Escape Room The Game, a review

Today’s Teen Program in a Box literally came in a box – that I bought at the store. This weekend my family, friends and I gathered together to play this Escape Room game so that I can see if it would work well as a teen program at the library. The short answer is: no. […]

Sunday Reflections: A Sea of Black Belts and the Myth of the Lazy Teen

Teenagers, they’re all so lazy and entitled, amirite? Having worked with teenagers for a over 22 years now, I know that there are certain truths that the general public holds self evident. The most popular among them is the idea that teenagers are lazy, entitled brats who are a menace to society. I thought about […]

Teen Book Club – Creating a Place to Read and Belong! (a guest post by Sheri Schubbe)

Everyone who works with teens in an educational library setting knows it’s a struggle to compete for a their time and attention. We’re up against schoolwork, sports, various extracurricular activities, part-time jobs, social media and technology. We want teens to spend time in our libraries and love reading, but it can be challenging to get […]

Things I Never Learned in Library School: The Best Made Plans . . . Still Sometimes Fail

On paper, it’s the perfect program. An afternoon spent making as we help teens learn various tasks they may need to participate in cosplay? Sounds like a great idea. It was an idea sparked by a comment made by a presenter at ALA in 2016. And we ran with it because 1) we have an […]

Quick Book Review: The Other F-Word by Natasha Friend

Basic Synopsis: A teen conceived through IVF goes in search of answers about her past and finds herself examining what it means to be a family. Karen’s Quick Thoughts: So this book was fun, heartwarming and enjoyable. It covered a topic I have never seen discussed in YA – kids conceived by donor sperm. 5 […]

Support Libraries, Save the IMLS

Earlier this week, the newest proposed federal budget was introduced and it included massive cuts to many services (see link below for a complete look at the budget in the Washington Post). Included in those potential cuts would be a complete elimination of the IMLS, the Institute of Museums and Library Services. The IMLS provides […]

MakerSpace: April National Poetry Month Activities

In the Teen MakerSpace at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County (OH), we’re getting ready for National Poetry Month (April). We have a variety of activities that we will be hosting all month long in our makerspace using our materials to get teens thinking about and creating poetry. Some of our ideas […]