Thursday, June 26, 2008

Comic Artist Bob McLeod

What a fabulous program! Bob McLeod was just here. You may not recognize the name, but if you've seen any superhero comic books at all, you've probably seen his work. He's worked for both DC Comics and Marvel Comics for a couple of decades, and has worked on just about any superhero you can think of. In fact, when I was talking this one up at school visits, I said that we could probably go the entire hour or so of his program listing characters, and not come up with one that he hasn't worked on. Although actually, someone did come up with one. He's never done any work on Transformers. Anyway, his program was great! He talked about how he got his start, brought along some really cool original art, and then walked us through the process of drawing first a simple character, and then a superhero. After the program he even sat down with a budding artist's work and offered him some suggestions for improvement and additional things to work on. A very, very talented artist and a really nice guy! If you missed it, some photos are below.

Weekly Challenge June 30 - July 5

I put out next week's challenge in the library yesterday, but forgot to get it up here on the blogsite. Sorry about that! Here it is.
Next week's challenge is a Sudoku. If you enjoy Sudoku's, be sure to sign up for the Sudoku tournament scheduled for July 7 at 1:00! 2008 Sudoku Challenge

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bottle Cap Jewelry

We just wrapped up another really cool program - Bottle Cap Jewelry. I love to see the creativity that kids bring to this type of program, where I just provide an assortment of supplies and turn them loose. They are so much better at that sort of thing than I am. I'm frequently amazed that anyone actually signs up for some of the programs based on seeing the samples that I made. They're frequently pretty pathetic. Check out the pics below for just a sampling of what the kids made today. It sounded like a construction site down there, with hammers and awls going. Thankfully, there were no accidental lobotomies, just a very minor finger cut. Also, before I forget, a big thank you to Katie and Kristie B who brought in those really cool Mexican soda bottle caps. Another thank you to our friends at Rancho Grande Mexican restaurant, who donated the pile of caps when Katie and Kristie asked for the caps from the sodas they had ordered and explained what they wanted them for. That's always been my favorite area Mexican restaurant, but I like them even more now. Also, thanks to everyone who came and cleaned up after themselves. This one one of the better groups I've had in a while for cleaning up.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Supersize Trouble

Today was one of my favorite summer programs - Supersize Trouble. There were a number of kids there who have come to this one all 3 years that we've done it, and specifically looked for it on the program brochure, so it's a teen favorite as well. For the uninitiated, we set up 2 18' x 18' Trouble boards on the Community Room floor and play with giant inflatable dice and human game pieces. It's just silly enough to be an awful lot of fun! If you missed it a few pics are below. It's a perennial favorite, so look for it again next year.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sports Video Game Day

After a slightly rocky start (the EBGames guys thought the program was 2-4 pm, rather than 1-3 pm) we had a great time with Wii Sports and a handful of other sports games. The Nerf ping pong continues to be quite popular. This time kids were adding some additional challenges to the game (see photo below). I wasn't quick enough with the camera to get a shot of the setup with, essentially, a moat running down the middle of the table (about a 4" gap between the tables). Seriously, if anyone ever sees one of those sets at a yard sale, pick it up and bring it in for me. I'll reimburse you reasonable cost (don't get in a bidding war for one!)
Anyway, photos below if you missed it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Weekly Challenge June 23 - 28, 2008

What day would tomorrow be if yesterday was five days before the day after Sunday's tomorrow?

Read this one through slowly and plot it out on a piece of paper. It's not as bad as it sounds.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mentalism with Russ Clarke

We had about 50 people (a nice combination of teens and adults) turn out for Mentalism with Russ Clarke last night. If you weren't one of the 50, you missed a great evening's entertainment! Due to the weather and several bad accidents along the way, it took Russ twice as long as usual to get here from Baltimore. Thankfully everyone was patient while I plugged the Teen Summer Reading program and played "stump the audience" with clues for the next couple of weeks' teen movies. (I really do need to learn to juggle or tap dance or something for just such an occasion. Had I decided to try to sing, everyone would have left!) Fortunately, Russ was only about 10 minutes late, but he was worth the wait! He matched 5 objects in manila envelopes with their owners, correctly identified (and drew) the President who's name was randomly drawn from a bag, correctly matched 5 different people with vacation destinations, and my personal favorite, was able to correctly write down the word that a woman from the audience had chosen randomly from a book. (Coming up with the word "kitchenware" took a whole lot more than a lucky guess!) And that's just a sampling of what he did. There was plenty of audience participation. I think just about everyone who wanted to volunteer got to do something during the evening. Again, if you missed it, you missed a really cool program! A few photos are below, but it just isn't the same.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Music Discussion

We just wrapped up our music discussion. It was pretty cool! Everyone was asked to bring a few favorite songs on either a CD or MP3 player, and be ready to share both the music and the reason they like it. We listened to everything from Led Zeppelin, and the Doors, to Thousand Foot Krutch, and Kelly Clarkson. After talking about a song with an unusual beat, I even pulled out my MP3 player and shared Dave Brubeck's Take Five. The kids thought it was contemporary jazz. Anyone who cares to look it up will know how old I am, because it was recorded the same year I was born. Anyway, we all had a good time so we'll probably do this one again next summer. Look for it!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Duct Tape Wallets

We just wrapped up two sessions of duct tape wallets. I don't know why, but it went much smoother than the last time I did this program 3 years ago. Probably because I limited to a smaller number of participants, and had good helpers. (Thank you Drew and Elizabeth!)

Everyone went home with something cool. If you missed it, here are some of the final products.

And as promised, here's the link to a website with directions so you can do it yourself at home.
Duct Tape Wallet Instructions

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Latin Dance - Part 2

We had another great session of Latin dance instruction this afternoon. The moves were a little harder today, but everyone maintained a sense of humor and got the hang of it eventually - a real testament to the skills and patience of Nathanael, our instructor. When he gets that song list to me, for practicing at home, I'll post it here.
If you missed it, here are some photos.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Latin Dance - Part One

We had a fabulous time yesterday, learning the merengue and the cha-cha. With a great, patient instructor, anything is possible. Thanks Nathanael! Part Two will be on Thursday, June 12 at 3:00. I think almost everyone from Tuesday's class said they would be coming back, but you don't need to have attended the first one to do the second one. Girls outnumbered the guys at this one, so guys - here's your chance to be the center of attention for a group of girls! Come on out and have some fun!
Photos from yesterday are below.

Weekly Challenge June 16 - 21, 2008

Bring in a brochure, menu, newspaper ad, or printout from the web page, of any 3 of our prize sponsors, and show them to a member of the Reference Staff.

Remember to thank any of our sponsors, if you happen to be in their establishment. We couldn't do this without them!

Shakespeare on the Lawn (in the Community Room)

We had a very nice turnout for our Shakespeare on the Lawn program yesterday. OK, so technically it wasn't on the lawn after all, due to some technical difficulty in putting together the group's new tent, so we relocated to the Community Room. Given that the temperature outside was about 95 degrees in the shade with a gazillion percent humidity, it was just as well. A big, big thank you to the Camp Hill Middle School Drama Club! They did a fabulous job! If you missed it, either check out the photos below, or get ready for next summer when we're planning to have them back.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Weekly Challenge July 14 - 19, 2008

A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms. The first is full of raging fires, the second is full of assassins with loaded guns, and the third is full of lions that haven't eaten in three years. Which room is safest for him?

Friday, June 06, 2008

Author Visit - Elizabeth Wein

We had an absolutely wonderful visit by author Elizabeth Wein last night! Her program was really great for anyone who has any thoughts of possibly doing some writing. She talked primarily about how she takes her life experiences, along with research, and uses both to come up with her great fantasy/adventure stories. She had slides from her visit to Ethiopia as well as a 1500 year old coin from the region. Very cool! If you missed it (if so, sorry you did!) there a few pics below. Thanks Elizabeth!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

What Mrs N's Been Reading - The Falconer's Knot and H.I.V.E The Higher Institute of Villainous Education

Wow, I have really been neglecting postings. I've finished 2 books since I posted last. I've been scrambling to get ready for Teen Summer Reading and been on the road as I've visited a bunch of the local middle schools to talk up the program. Anyway, I finished Mary Hoffman's The Falconer's Knot: A Story of Friars, Flirtation, and Foul Play. This one takes place in Italy in 1316, not a common book setting. It's got multiple murders, love triangles and unrequited love, and most of it takes place in a convent and a friary. It's a nice light read, perfectly fine for middle-schoolers of any age. In addition to a good murder mystery, you also get a bit of an education on the master painters of that period and how they did their work. I'm usually not much for history or the fine points of art (I know what I like and I don't need to analyze it) but I actually found the part about the artists quite interesting. All in all, a good read, again, suitable for any age.

I also read Mark Walden's H.I.V.E. The Higher Institute of Villainous Education. It's another one about a group of kids who are taken to a remote location to learn things that, let's say, aren't ordinarily taught in school. Most of this genre has the institution being run by the government and the kids learning espionage techniques. This one is a little different in that the institution is run by master criminals and the kids are being taught how to become criminal masterminds, not to be confused with your everyday common criminal. The kids are also abducted and taken there, rather than being given a choice, although their family's have generally consented to it. The story centers around a new batch of students who don't want to be there and are planning an escape attempt. It's full of some of the campier James Bond stuff. I actually liked this one better than Spy High. It was written a little better and the characters were more interesting. This is another one that would be fine for any middle-schooler, but could still be enjoyed by someone in high school as a fun break.
Check 'em out!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Weekly Challenge June 9 - 14, 2008

To give you a little head start, here's next week's Weekly Challenge.

Which of these figures can NOT be folded to make a cube?