Thursday, July 29, 2010
Well, we wrapped up our summer program today with the final movie and weekly prize drawing. We also held the prize drawing for the 4 additional $25 iTunes gift cards. Each book review submitted got you a chance in that drawing. A big thank you to Good Hope Middle School librarian, Susie Breaux for sponsoring that drawing, and to all of the local businesses that donated other cool prizes for the regular weekly drawings. Thanks also to the Friends of Fredricksen for sponsoring all of our individual programs again this year. We couldn't do this without their enthusiastic support. And another big thank you to Meaghan, my faithful, incredibly efficient, summer assistant. It was a great summer! Seemed to fly by awfully quick this year. Not sure why. Before you know it we'll be planning for next summer. Remember, there are lots of cool programs during the school year as well, so I hope to see lots of you in the coming months. Watch this space for details. One last thank you to the members of my Teen Advisory Group (TAG) that helped me plan all of those great programs. If you'd like to join them, just shoot me an email and I'll get info to you. New faces are always welcome. Enjoy the rest of your summer, and have a great school year!
Congrats to Nick T for winning our sudoku tournament yesterday. (Yes, we can manage to make something like Sudokus competitive!) Matthew B was a very close second. Nick had been our second place winner a few years ago, when we last did this one. This is his last year of eligibility for the summer program, so it was nice to see him finally win it.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Just wrapped up our second annual Aquapalooza. What a fabulous day for it! Couldn't have asked for better weather, and it was a great group of kids. We supplied the giant inflatable slip-n-slide, kiddie pools, 1000 water balloons, and beach balls. Lots of folks brought water guns. The music was much better this year since we took the big outdoor speakers out. Much better than the little boom box we used last year. If you missed, what can I say except "You missed a really good one!" Pics below.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Believe it or not, the summer program is rapidly coming to an end. This Thursday, July 29 is the last prize drawing so get any book reviews in by about 3:30 pm. Remember, we have the additional ITunes gift cards drawing with one chance for each book review submitted.
Always enjoy the interactive murder mysteries. This year's was Rock and Roll Over Dead, with a dead librarian case to solve. We ran 2 sessions to get everyone in without it being too crowded. It seemed like more of this year's participants solved the case correctly than some other years, so it came down to justifying your solution. Congrats to winners. Pics below. We do one every year, so look for a different one next year.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
The video game days are always a lot of fun. Call of Duty and Nerf ping-pong were the most popular games of the day, but there was also plenty of board game activity, as well as a variety of Wii games, and some Guitar Hero. A big thank you to the guys who helped with cleanup. Look for tournaments in the fall.
This was another one of those "finally-got-around-to-this-one" books - Sherman Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. It's the story of Arnold "Junior" spirit, a young native American who decides as a freshman, at the urging of one of his teachers, to attend school off the reservation where he lives, in order to get an education that would give me a chance at attending college. Junior is smart and a kid whose heart and intentions are good. On the negative side, he's scrawny, with a host of medical issues. He has a hard time fitting in anywhere, since many on the reservation consider him a traitor, but the white kids at his new school aren't real receptive to an Indian attending their school either. It's a sometimes funny, sometimes sad look at both the positive and negative sides of reservation life, and a realistic look at the struggles and successes of a young man that almost anyone could relate to. Highly recommended. Enjoy
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
We just finished up our latest round of, what we call, Build 'Em, Smash 'Em. We did this one back in the spring, and it was so much fun, we brought it back. Basically, teams of 2-4, are given a certain amount of set materials, some size parameters, and 90 minutes to design and build a structure using those materials and parameters. Then we smash 'em, by gradually adding sand to a bucket on top of the structure. The team whose structure holds the most weight before being crushed wins. If needed, pre-smashing height is the tie-breaker. Today's materials included hot glue, toothpicks, spaghetti, loose-leaf paper, and scotch tape. Materials change every time we do this one. We had 24 kids in 7 teams competing today. 2 teams' structures were DQ'd for not meeting the minimum height requirement. We smashed 'em anyway - why not? Of the teams remaining, first place went to DeAnne M., Maria O. and John Paul O. Second place went to Ameer Q., Cody P, and Riley F. Just watching this one is a lot of fun, since you get to see the very different approaches that different teams take. And, of course, when the weight is added, there's usually a surprise or two - either a great looking structure that collapses immediately, or a questionable looking one that turns out to be sturdier than it looked. Congratulations to everyone who competed. Look for this again in October.
Monday, July 19, 2010
We had a great program this afternoon, presented by Lt. Col. Kyle Burley from the Army War College. He looked at the wepaons and tactics used in video games like Call of Duty, and compared them to what is actually used by the military. He also talked a bit about the conditions that modern soldiers fight in everyday - a bit different from what you see in the movies or video games. He also brought along a WWII Mauser rifle and a modern AR15 (firing pins and ammunition all removed for safety) to give the kids an idea of the actual size and weight. We had originally planned to show a little of Call of Duty as part of the program, but there were so many good questions and great discussion that, in a room full of gamers, we never actually got to the game! Quite a testament to the program content! If you missed it, keep an eye out - we may try to bring him back sometime in the future. Pics below.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Just finished S.A. Harazin's Blood Brothers. Recent high school graduate, Clay, has had some tough breaks in life. His mom died giving birth to him and his dad has been kind of lost ever since. His older sister, who really raised Clay, moved out of town years earlier to pursue a music career, unsuccessfully. Joey has been Clay's best friend since Clay's family moved nearby when he was seven, and Joey's dad helped Clay's dad get a job. Joey's family lives in a nice house, has just about everything they want, and Joey is headed to Duke to study pre-med. Clay and his dad live in a tiny apartment and he works at the local hospital as a med tech, dreaming of someday becoming a doctor. On his way home from work one night, Clay finds Joey, uncharacteristically, under the influence of something and acting pretty wild, including attacking Clay. When Clay pushes Joey away in self-defense, Joey falls back and hits his head on a concrete floor. Clay had already been on the phone with a 911 operator trying to get help for Joey, so an ambulance and the police appear pretty quickly. Things seem to be OK, but Joey later slips into a coma before he can tell anyone what happened. The police, Joey's parents, and most of the kids in town think Clay tried to hurt Joey in a fight over a girl. Despite his life getting awfully complicated awfully quickly, Clay vows to find out what happened to Joey and set the record straight for both of them. The author is a former nurse, so I'm presuming that the medical terminology, which there is plenty of, is accurate. Don't let that frighten you away from this one. It's in there so that you can actually be inside Clay's head. Clay is a very likable character that I found myself pulling for. There are several back stories about Clay's family, his relationship with Joey, the issues with the girl, a planned cross-country bike trip, the relationship that develops between Clay and the police chief, Clay's job at the hospital, etc., that all get resolved by the end, some positively, and some not. A quick read that packs a lot of punch.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Looks like we had almost 40 kids here in two sessions yesterday to make these very cool can tab bracelets. If you missed it want to try it on your own, please DO NOT use the instructions on the website that was listed on the resource sheet in your summer registration packet. I put that in there before I had a chance to try it out. As it turned neither Meaghan nor I could make heads or tails of those directions. I found much better ones - try this site. Some pics below of the two sessions. With decent directions they are actually very easy to make. Everyone was able to make at least two yesterday. Definitely look for this program again. We even had tabs leftover that we're saving for the next time. A big thank you to Nia for the suggestion, and to all of library staff, patrons, and anyone else who collected tabs for us the last few months.