Nerdfighter Gathering 2014

TFIOS has come & gone, and it was just fantastic, was it not? My teens are still raving about it. To celebrate the movie’s premiere, we held a Nerdfighter Gathering, and it was so, so much nerdy fun.

What’d we do?
YouTube playlist of a variety of TFIOS stuff & classic Vlogbrother videos
Hanklerfish hot potato; the kids got SO into this it was hilarious. The prize was just a fun size bag of plain M&Ms! I think we did it six times, to A Song about an Anglerfish.
– Book charms!
– TFIOS/Okay bracelets & keychains
– TFIOS cloud t-shirts
– Nerdfighter pins
– Prizes of print outs of various Nerdfighter art
– Pizza! It’s always the answer.
– NO EDGE four-square, which was especially fun because most of them had never even heard of it!
– Pin the Glasses on John Green (you might have seen it on Tumblr. John Green basically made my life by reblogging it to his own Tumblr; aaaaaah.)

To be honest, a lot of this stuff must sound like nonsense if you’re not pretty familiar with Nerdfighteria, but it was basically the highlight of my teen librarian experience. To get to be so nerdy with something I love so dearly was just so great. Here are some more pictures of the event in action!

#WeNeedDiverseBooks!

With all the conversations going on right now about the importance of diversity, take this as your reminder to add some diversity in ALL of your displays. Add TYRELL by Coe Booth to your John Green display. Put Cindy Pon’s SILVER PHOENIX and Nnedi Okorafor’s AKATA WITCH on your fantasy display. BOY MEETS BOY by David Levithan ought to be on your romance display. Antony John’s brilliant FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB should be on your realistic fiction display.

Take a step back & make sure you have faces of all kinds throughout your teen space, no matter the population you serve.

Because it’s important.

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Update 08.2015: So here’s a display I put together to celebrate the Paper Towns movie. When I put this together, I challenged myself to find as many diverse books as possible that I would, in fact, recommend to someone who has read Paper Towns or other John Green books – books with themes about imagining others complexly and getting to know both yourself and those around you.

Here’s what’s on display: GLBT, African-American, Native American, Hispanic, Asian-American*, size acceptance, economic disparity, mixed race, disability (deafness & blindness), along with plenty of books about white kids.There are all GREAT books that ALL teens should have access to.

*I would have loved to put ‘To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’ on this display, but it’s ALWAYS out (yay!). But why is there so little realistic fiction that show an Asian on the cover? It’s sad and frustrating.

Creating a great, diverse display shouldn’t be hard. And it isn’t. Very few of the books on the wall here are books I wouldn’t consider a part of a core teen fiction collection. What would YOU have added?

Do More with Less! 25 Under 25

Hello librarians across Ohio! And anyone else who might be stopping by, of course.

Do More with Less! 25 Programs Under $25 Dollars is a presentation at several Ohio Library Council chapter conferences I'll be doing throughout the spring. In the interest of wanting to share with the teen librarian population at large (and in the interest of saving paper), I've made the resources available here.

>> Powerpoint // Slides PDF
>> Resource sheet

Supplemental sources:
>> Live & Let Spy: Trivia, Caesar cipher, Morse code, & Running key cipher
>> Superheroes vs Villains Ultimate Showdown: Trivia // Challenge sheet
>> Night of the Ninja: Trivia
>> Zombie Infestation: Trivia // Answers
>> Doctor Who: Trivia through Time and Space
>> Mortal Instruments: City of Bones trivia
>> Supernatural Survival Skills 101: Trivia
>> Divergent: Trivia
>> Love Stinks Chocolate Fest: Name That Candy! // Youtube playlist
>> Nightmare on Mahoning Ave: YouTube playlist // Horror movie trivia

Note: I don't have the answers for most trivia (sorry!), but all answers can be found online. Also, all Powerpoints include fancy, aptly-themed fonts, but if you search online for the font, you can easily install it. While playing the game, to return to the question grid, click the shape in the corner.

Mentioned previous programs:
>> Divergent
>> Doctor Who
>> Love Stinks Chocolate Fest
>> Mortal Instruments
>> Silent Library Around the World
>> Nerdfighter Gathering
>> The Hunger Games
>> Live Angry Birds
>> The Nightmare on Mahoning Ave

Please note: Previous programs are not, as presented here at the blog, under $25.

 

One choice can transform you…

Here’s a confession for you: I like Tris better than Katniss (That doesn’t mean that I think Divergent is better than Hunger Games, because well, it’s not). And I’m very, very happy that the actor playing Four is only two years younger than me. I really liked Four in Divergent, and I’m quite delighted that I can find him attractive without feeling like a dirty old woman. I guess that’s the price you pay for reading so much teen literature!

But anyways! Are you throwing a party for the premiere of the Divergent film? I am!

When I set about planning this party, I knew that despite the setting of the first novel (and presumably, first movie) I didn’t want this to just be a Dauntless shindig – that kind of goes against the whole point of the books. So I wanted to have something that celebrated each faction, and this is what we have planned:

DAUNTLESS: chocolate cake & tattoos
ERUDITE: book trivia
CANDOR: confession jar
ABNEGATION: canned food drive
AMITY: peace sign bookmarks (in book thong style)

We’ll also create t-shirts (I order them in bulk from Adair so we have them for various programs) using stencils of the factions & the Crayola Airbrush – have you used this yet? It is AMAZING! I don’t understand how it works, but wow. Pretty fantastic, and a definite worthwhile investment for programming. I’m always looking for items I know I’ll use for multiple programs, & this is definitely one of them. We have two now, and I know we’ll get our money’s worth in no time.

We’ll probably also make book charms, because they’re so cheap, easy, & fun for the fans. To make them: print out 1″ images, cut out, glue onto folded paper for the “cover”, then staple 4-5 pages inside. Punch a small hole & loop a jump ring through – voila! Super easy & cheap craft your teens will spend HOURS making. It’s a great “merit badge” for book clubs, too.

So, what do you have planned for your Divergent party?

The Love BITES Chocolate Fest

This year, I'm hosting my SEVENTH Chocolate Fest. SEVEN! It's completely crazy to me that I've been a teen librarian now for seven years. I'm also in my very first rebuilding year, but that's a topic for another time.

The Chocolate Fest continues to be my most popular event – last year we had over seventy teens come. What shocks me about this event in particular, though, is that I get the largest variety of kids at this event, and that's why I don't mind that this is also by far my most expensive program.

With the Vampire Academy film being released the same week, & many of my teens being HUGE fans, I knew I needed to do something. But after doing five Twilight films, I really wasn't feeling doing yet another vampire program (nor did I really want to read Richelle Mead's novels. They might be really fun, but I'm personally kind of vampire-d out). So! The Chocolate Fest this year really BITES, and we're adding a few vampire elements to our usual mix of chocolate & break-up song videos.

  • Everybody will get vampire fangs when they walk in.
  • I'll have mini Vampire Academy posters for everyone (I just print these out)
  • We'll do some vampire trivia, with books, movies, & lore
  • All the chocolate stuff will be red – strawberries, chocolate covered cherries, etc
  • Red fruit punch!
  • I'm on the look out for the just the right craft this year. We've done mini voodoo dolls two years in a row now, so I think I might do something along the lines of a vampire kokeshi doll, a bottle necklace of “blood,” or the vampire bite necklaces.

     

    Anatomy of a Teen Event Flyer

    anatomy of an event flyer

    Hello fellow librarians of Ohio, & all who are looking for information on creating graphics to reach the teen audience: Anatomy of a Teen Event Flyer was a poster presentation at the 2013 Ohio Library Council Convention & Expo. Please feel free to print off any & all of the information below!

    PS: If you save the images, it’ll save the hi-res version, so you’ll be able to read it better! Yay!

    anatomy_opening

    anatomy diagram
    Click for larger image!
    anatomy_dosanatomy_where

    anatomy_brands
    anatomy_fonts

    PDF

    anatomy resource bookmark

    As always, if you have any questions, be sure to let me know!

    Update 01.12.16: Go here for samples of what I’ve created over the years.

    City of Bones (FINALLY!)

    Why finally? Because my teens have into this series for far longer than they’ve been into Hunger Games. They are so, so excited! I know a lot of you are probably working on movie premiere parties, as I am, so I thought I’d share what I’m planning now! 

    In case you hadn’t heard yet, the movie was moved to a Wednesday release, so now it’s premiering on August 21st. I always have my programs before the movie to lessen the chance of spoilers, so if you have the same concerns, take action now! 

    • Inspired by these pewter steles, we’ll be making similar ones out of polymer clay. All you have to do is completely coat the plastic, remove the ink before you bake, & you’re good to go! 
    • Henna tattoos of the runes, with official designs available at Cassandra Clare’s site. I’m going to get some temporary tattoo pens as well, for those wary of the henna. 
    • Tarot card readings 
    • Book prizes
    • Soundtrack listening party, sprinkled in with the trailers, as we always do. 
    • Jeopardy-style trivia (traditional at all our programs)
    • Food… honestly, I don’t know. I usually try to tie the food into the story somehow (we had wedding cake for the first Breaking Dawn movie, trail mix & other wilderness-type food for Hunger Games, etc), but so far, I haven’t really found any particular food that’s in the series, other than Jace’s fondness for tea. Anyone have any ideas?

    So that’s what we’re planning! What are you doing at your library?

    The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Celebration Extravaganza!


    I mentioned awhile ago now that Doctor Who was quite popular among the teens of our library, so when we set about creating our generic “ReImagine Your World @ your library” teen summer reading program, I *knew* I was going to host a Doctor Who event for the 50th.

    I just never imagined it would be such a hit.

    First & foremost, I am incredibly proud of myself for that flyer. Although I do think I have an eye for graphic design, I have no formal training, and am usually stuck with whatever images I can find through the various royalty-free databases. But that flyer up there, I created the entire thing using shapes in Publisher. Obviously, I printed it on blue paper, but it just worked so well. Everyone IMMEDIATELY knew what it was, & so the marketing worked perfectly.

    I decided to host this for all ages – and they came. We had well over 100 people, which the most I’ve ever had at an event. The most amazing thing, though, was that the Facebook event was shared all over the place. I had calls from the next county over, asking about the program. And just… wow. It was so much fun!

    forgive the bad quality; it was take with someone's phone

    So, what did we do? Well, to begin, I turned the entrance to our meeting room into the TARDIS. I painted a bunch of cardboard blue, hot glued it together to match the doorway (there were plenty of overlaps), use black duct tape for the lines, & then duct taped the whole thing to the door frame. It was a lot of trial & error, but definitely worth it. Everyone had a great time entering the doors only to discover that yes, it’s “bigger on the inside.” Plenty of photos were taken, too.

    Food was simple – I made sugar cookie “fish fingers” and small cups of vanilla pudding “custard”!

    As for activities…
    Van Gogh coloring sheets for the little ones
    – Duct tape bowties, which I hear are cool.
    – Vote for your favorite Doctor – very close between 10 & 11, with 4 right behind.
    – Trivia through space & time
    – “Don’t blink!” staring contest – we gave away a Weeping Angel Barbie, and everyone who participated received a “don’t blink” button
    Sonic screwdriver pens made with polymer clay
    – Gallifreyan name translator using this nifty widget – we printed on blue paper!
    TARDIS and Dalek paper toys
    Doctor Who at the Proms from 2008 aired throughout the program

    Will the Doctor be visiting your library in the future?

    An Evening of Awesome

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    Have Nerdfighters invaded your library? They’ve certainly invaded mine! So for our kick-off party this summer, I hosted our own Nerdfighter Gathering, “An Evening of Awesome.” 

    What’d we do? So glad you asked! 

    • Pizza, because after all, the answer is always pizza.
    • Charms of John’s books & Hank’s CDs (print out 1″ images, cut out, glue onto folded paper for the “cover”, then staple 4-5 pages inside. Punch a small hole & loop a jump ring through – voila! Super easy & cheap craft your teens will spend HOURS making. It’s a great “merit badge” for book clubs, too.)
    • “Okay” bracelets with TFIOS book charms
    • DFTBA bracelets & keychains (you can get specific letters at most craft stores)
    • Stamped pennies (usually with names & DFTBA)
    • Viewing of the “official” Evening of Awesome (freely available on YouTube!)
    • General nerdiness: giant Jenga & Star Trek Monopoly

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    Beyond Anime: 100+ ideas to keep your otaku happy!



    I used Happy from Fairy Tail because it’s all about keeping them happy – get it?
    Anyways, I presented this at the OLC Northeast Chapter Conference today – hello! Feel free to use any of the information here for anything you might need it for, or to pass it on.

    Resources
    » Saturday Night Live “J Pop America Fun Time Now” Skit, which really ought to be required viewing for those us who love, but occasionally get tired of, the obsessed otaku in our lives.
    » Slides in PDF form
    » Hand out PDF

     

    One thing I ought to mention: these are ideas. While I’ve done my fair share of these, I can’t say I’ve done them all. But please don’t hesitate to ask about anything, though!

    If you have any questions or comments or just want to talk, please feel free to contact me, either here or through my work email (amazings AT wtcpl DOT org). It was awesome to see everyone, & I hope we’ll talk again soon!

     

    Hello Awesome Librarians of Ohio!

    Beyond Book Clubs

    If you were at my presentation (Beyond Book Clubs & Gaming: Creating dynamic programs to which your teens will flock!) – hello! Thanks for stopping by!

    I am sorry I ran out of time to give you a proper send-off, but some of you asked for this information, so here you go!

    PDF Handouts:

    If you have any questions or comments or just want to talk, please feel free to email me, either here or through my work email (amazings AT wtcpl DOT org). It was awesome to see everyone, & I hope we’ll talk again soon!

    Moon phase necklaces

    While attending our local medieval faire this summer, I stumbled on this fabulous craft, combining craft & astronomy with a touch of personal identity. The necklace up there on the left is what I purchased – a beautiful work of art showcasing the phase of the moon on the day I was born. It’s so simple, & yet so sweet & personal.

    The necklace on the right is the modified, very inexpensive version I made with my teens this summer. To make it, all you need is a bottlecap (these are only $10/50 at Pat Catan’s), some string, a clear protector, & your birthday moon phase!

    To find your moon phase, either download Moon Preview, a free app, or head to this moon phases calendar.

    As for the moons? I saved the files I used. Just print these off on white cardstock, & punch them out with a one inch circle punch. Have fun!