Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I need to find a .gif of someone being extremely busy, but I'M TOO BUSY!

Summer Reading registration started one week ago and we already have about 135  teens signed up!  That's pretty good, since teens tend to sign up when they come for their first prize--and prizes started today so those 135 are the super responsible ones.  (edit:  I had to stop here on this post yesterday--today we're up to 160!)

I'm excited about the prizes this year--especially the Above-and-Beyond.  The teens are too, I know this because there's a poster up behind me with the prizes and I can hear the squealing. Here's what I went with:

 Last year my final number of registered teens was about 620, and I've increased by about 50% every year for the past few years.  That means I'm aiming for 1000 this year, which is insane and  probably out of reach but that doesn't mean I'm not going to try!  I'm hoping to spend more time at the branches this summer pushing it--at the main library (where I spend most of my time) I track down teens and tell them enthusiastically about how they can win CANDY AND MONEY YOU GUYS! and it totally works.  The branch librarians do their best but many are not as comfortable engaging teens as I am.  Understandable, I'm totally nuts.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Fifth Wave - Rick Yancey

I confess:  I'm a huge fan of disaster/apocalyptic/dystopian teen novels.  You'd think I'd be tired of them by now, since nearly every other book published follows something along those lines, but so long as the author throws in some element that is new or different I'm generally totally in.  This means I've read quite a few really terrible books, but sometimes one really shines.

It's no secret that I'm a fan of Rick Yancey.  When I was on the Thumbs Up!  award committee, I lobbied hard for The Monstrumologist.  The committee felt it was a little too terrifying for the younger end of the age group that the award is for, so they went another direction, but I still think it was the best thing written that year.  I have made all of my book clubs read it, and I recommend it all the time, usually with the statement "DON'T TRY TO READ IT IF YOU'RE HOME ALONE!"

Obviously I have been anxiously waiting for The 5th Wave to come out.  It's possible I swiped it from the in-process cart...shhhhh don't tell.  It did not let me down.  I'd hate to spoil it for anyone, so I'll just say that the general premise is that aliens have come to earth and started wiping out the human race in a series of waves.  We have a tough but realistic female protagonist who is not perfect.  I love love love survival books, and the living in the woods and foraging for stuff elements of this one are great.  An offhand comment early on about how she is worried about her supply of tampons (I totally think about that when reading other books where the ladies are just tromping around happily) made me realize that the author really thought through what a woman alone and on the move might worry about.  There's a tough of romance but it's good and necessary, not just thrown over the top of a shaky plot like it is in so many cases. 

Read it!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Oh lordy it's June

Our local high schools are having finals right now.  Because we were so packed during midterm exams, I decided to throw a study hall.  We started yesterday, and I estimate we had a total of 25-30 teens make use of it, the most at one time was about 15.  Not too shabby, though I'm hoping for more today and tomorrow!

It's easy enough to do--I just booked our auditorium for Thursday-Tuesday, and had all the round tables set up.  I borrowed the laptops that our ANF department uses for computer classes and set them up, and had the IT department set up a printer so that I can offer free printing!  I filled a table with supplies that I thought they might need--paperclips, staplers, tape, markers, pencils and pens, scrap paper, rulers.  I bought Doritos, Cheetos, and pop in bulk (and some other snacks) and put them out on a counter (all free for studying teens!).  Tomorrow I'm coming in and doing nothing but Study Hall all day, so I'm getting them pizza.  I made sure to notify the schools, and one of them has been in contact with me.  They've been pushing it hard during announcements and that sort of thing.  The kids who came yesterday loved it--I heard a group of boys talking as they left yesterday about how much more they got done than they would have at home. 

Even if the crowd was a little small yesterday, it was made up mostly of teens I've never seen before, which is definitely a success.  I left flyers about summer reading around, and filled the display case across from the auditorium doors with summer reading prizes. 

Such a simple thing to do, yet it has helped our bond with the local schools and general community goodwill.  I had adults popping their heads in to see what was going on and commenting on what a good idea it was.  Yay!