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Teens at the Library

by Amber Keck, Children’s Librarian

TLAB_edited

Teenagers in Manhattan and surrounding areas have many opportunities to be a part of Manhattan Public Library. Not only can teens have access to materials and activities, but they also have the chance to log community service hours and connect with other teens and adults in the community.  With their parents’ permission, teens may own their own library card and have access to any unrestricted materials, including comic books, video games, fiction and nonfiction books. Programming for teens include Yu-Gi-Oh dueling, After Hours parties, crafting afternoons, and much more. Any activity or program for teenagers is free, but they do sometimes require pre-registration because of high attendance.

Teens can be a part of the brainstorming and implementation of programming in the library, as well. Keri Mills, MPL’s Young Adult Librarian, hosts a meeting of the Teen Library Advisory Board (TLAB) every month. During this time, TLAB plans activities and programs, discusses the library’s young adult book collection, and keeps Keri up-to-date on topics of interest to teenagers in the community. These meetings are held on the fourth Thursday of the month from 3:30-4:30 pm.  The next TLAB meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 23rd in the Friends’ Room. Anyone is welcome to attend these meetings.

Rebecca Price, a summer teen volunteer and consistent contributor to TLAB, likes that she gets to meet a lot of new people through the volunteer program and TLAB. As a lover of the library, being an active member of TLAB is important to her. Over the years, she has had the chance to plan a number of different programs and activities, but the Catching Fire After Hours was by far her favorite.

During the summer months, teenagers can also be a part of the teen volunteer program, in which they assist library staff in presenting programs and giving out prizes to summer reading participants. During the summer of 2014, teen volunteers logged in 520 hours! The children’s staff simply could not pull off the extensive programming and awesome summer reading incentives without the help of the teen volunteers. Spots for this program go fast, so be sure to start inquiring about it in the wintertime.

At Manhattan Public Library, teenagers have a space to share their ideas, connect with the resources they need, and make a positive impact on their community.

Posted in: For Adults, For Teens, News, Young Adult Dept

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2014 Teens’ Top Ten

Keri Mills, Young Adult Librarian

The Teens’ Top Ten is a teens’ choice list sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA). Each year, teens nominate their favorite books from the previous year. Nominations are posted in April, and teens ages twelve to eighteen can vote on their favorite titles. The winning books will be announced on October 20, so teens still have one more week to vote for their favorites at http://www.dogobooks.com/book_clubs/teens-top-reads. As usual, there are a wide cross-section of genres represented on the list, so if your teen is looking for something to read, this list is a good place to start. Many of the titles have crossover appeal to adults, as well. Here are a few of my picks from the list of nominees this year:siege

“Siege and Storm” by Leigh Bardugo
This is the last book of an excellent trilogy, so be sure to start with the first one, “Shadow and Bone,” or you will be lost. Alina and Mal, who have been best friends since childhood, are soldiers in the First Army of Ravka. Ravka is a harsh place, ravaged by war and currently split in two by the Shadow Fold. The Fold is a place of darkness and danger, where creature called volcra snatch and eat men who attempt to cross through to the other side.  While attempting to cross the fold, Mal is gravely injured and Alina manifests the rare ability to summon light in order to save Mal’s life. Alina is immediately taken to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, those who can wield magic, and swept up in the intrigue of the court. Those who enjoy fantasy or historical fiction (many elements of the story were based on Russian myth and culture) should give this one a try.

“Eleanor and Park” by Rainbow Rowell
I put off reading this book even after hearing all the buzz about it, thinking it was just another typical romance. However, this turned out to be one of those rare books that sticks with you, long after you are done reading it. The year is 1986, and Eleanor is the new girl in town. She is forced to walk the gauntlet of the school bus where she is exposed to taunting and bullying because she is overweight and dresses strangely. She ends up sitting next to Park, who is half-Korean and something of an outsider at school. This is definitely not love at first sight. For awhile the two completely ignore each other, but gradually throughout the course of the year, they begin bonding over comic books and music. Eventually, they fall in love, but there is likely no happily ever after to this story. Park gradually learns about Eleanor’s poverty and her volatile family situation, which finally explodes.steel

“Steelheart” by Brandon Sanderson
This is a fun, fast-paced superhero story that is the first in a projected series. In this story, superheroes are the villains. Twelve years ago when the Calamity came, Epics were created, giving random humans incredible powers (and of course weaknesses). These Epics began subjugating the rest of humanity and taking over different parts of the world. Ten years ago, David’s father was killed by one of the most powerful Epics, named Steelheart. Ever since, David has made it his life’s mission to study the Epics and find their weaknesses. His one goal is to avenge his father’s death and take down Steelheart.

“In the Shadow of Blackbirds” by Cat Winters
Mary Shelley Black, age 16, has been sent to live with her aunt in San Diego. Like many cities in 1918, it is not only dealing with World War II, but also the Spanish flu pandemic which is killing millions all over the world. Surrounded by loss many have turned to spiritualism in an attempt to speak with dead loved ones. Taking advantage of this is Julius, the older brother of Mary’s love Stephen, who claims he can capture ghosts in photographs. Soon after finding out that Stephen has died, Mary begins being visited by his tormented ghost, who talks about the blackbirds who tortured and killed him. Mary embarks on a quest to learn the truth about Stephen’s death.5th

5th Wave by Rick Yancey
There couldn’t be a teen list without some post apocalyptic fiction. This one is the best of the bunch. This time the earth has been decimated by an alien invasion through four separate waves: an electromagnetic pulse, tsunamis, the Red Death, and Silencers (humans who were implanted with alien intelligence as fetuses). One of the rare survivors, Cassie, armed with an M16 and her brother’s teddy bear, is trying to reunite with her brother while escaping Silencers and the 5th Wave.

Posted in: For Teens, Mercury Column, News

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Yell like a Wookie. Train like a Jedi. Chill with Storm Troopers.

Wookie cutout posed behind the circulation desk

Return of the Wookie

The force is strong in Manhattan, Kansas! On Saturday, October 11, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Manhattan Public Library will celebrate Star Wars Reads Day with an Empire-sized party for all ages.

Star Wars Reads Day was started in 2012 by Lucasfilm and its publishing partners as a way to highlight the vast number of books written about Star Wars, its characters, and its universe. Last year, there were more than 2,000 schools, bookstores, and libraries that marked the day with read-a-thons, movie showings, and creative activities that feature the beloved sci-fi series and its characters.

This year, Manhattan Public Library is getting in on the fun with a full day of activities and events for all ages. The celebration will kick off at 10:00 a.m. with crafts and activities, including Star Wars origami, a Yoda ears project, and Star Wars magnetic poetry. Adventurous folks can also step outside to participate in a Jedi Training Academy and obstacle course to earn a Jedi knight certificate.

From 12:00 to 2:00 p.m., there will be a Star Wars photo booth on the second floor. Using a green screen, you can be transported to the distant land of Tatooine or the dangerous halls of the Death Star. To add to the fun, you can pose with one of our resident librarian-Jedis!

For everyone who wants to make a little noise in the library without getting shushed, you can participate in a Wookie Yelling Contest from 12:30 to 1:00 p.m. in the third floor atrium. Local Star Wars experts from Project Nerd will be on hand to help judge the event, and the top three Wookie yells will win prizes. Keri Mills, Young Adult Librarian, says, “Try to sound like a cross between a bear and a walrus.”

At 1:00 p.m., relax and enjoy some lovely Star Wars chamber music with local musicians in the first floor atrium. Then, at 2:00 p.m. in the Groesbeck Room, laugh your blasters off with a montage video of comedy Star Wars spoofs.

Throughout the day, there will be opportunities to try your hand at Star Wars trivia. Plus, you can participate in a trivia contest at 2:30 p.m. in the Groesbeck Room.

Star Wars Reads Day wouldn’t be complete without a movie showing. Join fans in the Groesbeck Room at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. for a PG movie, plus snacks and Yoda soda.

Costumes are strongly encouraged. We would love to see you dressed up in your finest Star Wars memorabilia. Librarians will be wearing their buns over both ears today , and Storm Troopers will be collecting fines!

Star Wars Reads Day is generously sponsored by the Manhattan Library Association, Wal-Mart, Hy-Vee, GameHounds, and Wheat State Pizza.

For more information, contact refstaff@mhklibrary.org or call (785) 776-4741 ext.141.

Posted in: For Adults, For Kids, For Teens, News

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This is a No Bullying Zone

bully free zone

image courtesy of Wikimedia

By Amber Keck, Children’s Librarian

October 1st marks the beginning of National Bullying Prevention Month. This is a time to raise awareness about bullying and to do our part to prevent the emotional and physical suffering that bullying causes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28% of students in grades 6-12 have experienced bullying, including name calling, teasing, pushing and threatening.  While we usually focus on the problems of bullying for children and teens, bullying can happen at home or in the workplace during the adult years, too.

Research shows that consistent bullying leads to feelings of isolation and despair, as well as depression and anxiety, which can contribute to suicidal behavior.

It can be difficult to decide when and how to seek help. With so many resources available, help is closer than you might think.

  • If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless and thinking of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.
  • If a child is being bullied at school, contact the teacher, counselor, principal or superintendent.
  • If you or someone you know is seeking professional help to recover from acts of bullying, visit Psychology Today to find an appropriate therapist for your needs.

This month, let’s do a little more to recognize bullying and help those who are suffering. Discuss bullying with your children and reach out to people who may need your help. Here are some recommended fiction and non-fiction resources at Manhattan Public Library regarding bullying:

Posted in: For Adults, For Kids, For Teens, News

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Coming Soon to Theater Near You–Favorite Books Made into Movies!

In the coming weeks and months, several books that have been favorites at Manhattan Public Library have been made into films and will be coming to a theater near you! Some of the films coming soon are:

hundredThe Hundred Foot Journey, coming to theaters on August 8, stars Helen Mirren and Manish Dayal, tells how the hundred-foot distance between a new Indian restaurant and a traditional French one can represent the gulf between different cultures and desires. It is a fable that is a testament to the inevitability of destiny.

Before I Go to Sleep, starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, is scheduled for release August 12.  Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love–all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may be telling you only half the story. Welcome to Christine’s life. (more…)

Posted in: Adult Services, For Teens, Mercury Column, News

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Science Saturdays: Survival 101

Couldn’t survive five minutes out in the wilderness? Then, this program is for you. Learn the ropes of wilderness survival with Daniel Schapaugh. Katniss and Peeta will have nothing on you after this program. Be there on Saturday, July 19th at 10:00 in the Groesbeck Room. See you there! Recommended for tweens to adults.

Posted in: Adult Services, Children's Dept, For Adults, For Kids, For Teens, Young Adult Dept

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Waiting for “The Fault in Our Stars”? Try a Read-Alike

Keri Mills, Young Adult Librarian

With the acclaim of both the book and the resultant movie, “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green is the hot book to read this summer for teens and adults alike. Unfortunately, due to its popularity, there is a waiting list to check out the book from the library. However, there are a number of great books to read while you are waiting your turn.

me youOne such book is “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” by Jesse Andrews. Greg and Earl, social outcasts at school, spend their free time making their own versions of cult movie classics by Herzog and Coppola. Their movies are terrible, but Greg and Earl aren’t making them for other people, that is until Rachel comes along. Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia, and Greg’s mom suggests that he should befriend her. When Rachel decides to stop her cancer treatment, Greg and Earl make a film that forces them to step into the spotlight. The book is humorous and moving with a sarcastic tone.

 

 

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Posted in: For Teens, Mercury Column, News, Young Adult Dept

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Science Saturdays: Bug Surprise!

Join us at the library Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. in the Groesbeck Room for Bug Surprise sponsored by the KSU Entomology Department. They will lead us in a hands-on workshop all about insects. The program will include information on insect biology with live specimens that you can touch. They will also go over the importance of insects for humans, both positive and negative aspects. And, for the all the brave souls, there will be an insect cooking and tasting activity! The workshop will be geared towards teens and adults, but is probably appropriate for upper elementary school kids, as well.

Posted in: Adult Services, Children's Dept, For Adults, For Kids, For Teens, Young Adult Dept

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Soccer Mania begins!

soccerAll around the world, televisions will be tuned to watching the soccer matches taking place in Brazil as the FIFA World Cup play begins.  Tonight at 5:00 Central time begins the quest by Team USA to win the World Cup, starting with play against the team from Ghana. Soccer is continually growing in popularity in the US, with children’s teams of all ages in communities all over the country. To follow the World Cup action, check out the official web site at www.fifa.com. The US Men’s team has worked hard to prepare for the difficult matches they face in the first round of play (teams so skilled it has been coined “The Round of Death!”)  Information on the team and it’s players can be found at www.ussoccer.com.

From books on coaching and conditioning drills to titles about the history of the game, Manhattan Public Library has the soccer books to help you with your game!

Posted in: Adult Services, For Teens, Young Adult Dept

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