Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Teen Tech Week 2013

A Blog entry from a YA Librarian. Yay!
For Teen Tech Week, the theme is "Check In @ your library!". I decided to keep it simple this year because I have a lot on my plate-and I mean a lot! I am excited to say, even though I do not have as many programs, they are very creative and cool. :) Since I am an "Artsy Librarian" and I do a lot of digital art, I wanted to create a contest for the teens. I've been playing around with the idea of the "RVA" sticker, so I created a sticker of my own. RVA stickers are a big thing here in Richmond and you see them everywhere. 
Here is my creation:

Uploading to was very simple and I was able to adjust my image. I was also allowed to download the image and I got it printed as a sticker.

Back to the Teens and the Contest:

There are so many free graphic programs out there that a teen can easily create a cool image. I am very excited about this contest and I look forward to the teen's creations.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Artsy: Banned Books Week Display

I am putting my skills to great use for this important cause.

To Kill a Mockingbird was recently on local TV and it made me think about writing this blog post. The book is by Harper Lee and was first challenged in 1977  and was temporarily banned for the use of inappropriate words to minors. The book would be challenged in other libraries and schools years later.

I really enjoyed reading To Kill a Mockingbird when I was a child and I am glad I had the opportunity to read it when I was in school. As I go through the list of banned books, I noticed that most of the books I enjoyed reading as a child were either banned or challenged.

 Another one of my favorite books growing up was Bridge of Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. This book was placed number eight on the American Library Association's list for 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books between 1990-2000. The reason the book has been challenged was because of death being the plot and one of the character's use of the word "lord" outside of prayer. This book was very powerful for me at a young age and I would recommend it to any child to read.

There are many more great books that can be found at the American Library Association (ALA) website and check out more information at this site as well, Banned Book Week. Reading is very important for young minds and as a librarian, I feel we should encourage people to read these wonderful books.

Banned Book Week is a nationwide movement to promote free expression with reading. To help with this movement of non-censorship, the Richmond Public Library is participating in Banned Book Week by displaying banned and challenged books. More than 11,000 books have been challenged since 1982. This is the 30th annual celebration of Banned Book Week and the celebration starts September 30 and ends October 6.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Teens Changing the World with Volunteering at the Library

This was my first summer as a YA Librarian and I had the wonder experience to work with teens. On July 26th a nonprofit organization, HandsOn, orchestrated a week long program with a selected group of teens who showed interest in volunteer work. I was thrilled when asked if we can be one of location for the teens to participate in the program.

We started off with the teens learning how to conduct a story time. The teens learned everything from puppetry,presentation,and and using expressions when conducting a story time


The Teen Impact group had an opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned during a story time for preschoolers. The kids loved the special treat they received from the group of teens.

After the story time, I gave the group a tour of the library.The teens were very fond of the Children's Department. I even shared a special moment with one of the kids when I helped her find Eric Carle's popular book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar (I love this book!).

"When We Were Young," featuring portraits by 
photographer Mark Mitchell of World War II veterans 
They also enjoyed our art exhibitions here at Main.

Observing the work of the late photographer, Louis L.Draper.

The teens also went outside and viewed our garden. The got the opportunity to taste the different varieties of mint. Later on that day they made signs/labels for the garden.

The whole point of the Teen Impact project was to get the teens involved with the arts. This included a session with the group making bracelets out of magazines, which is part of my recyclable crafts programs for teens.

Over all I hope the teens enjoyed themselves at the Main Library.
A group picture after they made a mess of themselves from painting signs for our garden.
If you are a parent or a teen and looking for volunteer opportunities just go to this website for HandsOn:

I also would like to mention our other teen volunteers and Interns from the Mayors Youth Academy. They were a great group of teens who helped with shelving, programs, and even help conducting programs.
Some of teen volunteers and Mayor Youth Academy members.

What a silly group of kids!
I am excited about starting a new Teen Advisory Group (TAG) at Main. I am branding the image below.

Catching up with YA

I promise I would get better at keeping up with my blog! It has been a very busy time for  me as the new YA Librarian at the Main Library. But no complaints!

I have been in this position for eight months and I am finally have confidence with what I am doing for the teens. Even though at times the programs I created can be stressful, I am rewarded by the outcome.

The Summer Reading Program for Richmond Public Library is over and man did it go by so fast?!

Nikki Giovanni @ RPL-Speaking to Teens
On June 27th, I had the honor to meet poet, Nikki Giovanni a couple of weeks ago as part  of our Summer Reading program for teens.  I also got the chance to speak to the crowd before she presented, which I was really nerves, but made it through. (the duties of a YA Librarian!)
Nikki was very inspirational to me and everyone in the crowd. She talked about her life growing up in the south, education and the community that surrounds her. She spoke directly to the teens and gave a message of wisdom, especially to the young males who were in the crowd. She held nothing back when it came to race and economics. I really enjoyed Nikki when she recited four of her poems. What a great treat we all had to hear Tennessee Native and Nikki-Rosa.

At the end of the program she answered questions from the audience and did a book signing.
Patty, Amanda, Me, Nikki Giovanni, Sarah, and Tuvita (Teen volunteer)

The YA Crew with with Nikki (Amanda, Me, and Sarah )

I had many successful programs over all, and I am proud that I am engaging the community.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

My First Year as a Teen Librarian and Teen Tech Week

I started my blog catering to children's services. I still love doing that but my focus now is improving YA services. I am starting my YA programs with Teen Tech week. For all of those who do not know what Teen Tech Week is, it is a national initiative sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association and is aimed at teens, their parents, educators and other concerned adults. The purpose of this initiative is to proved educational program and resources with DVDs, databases, audiobooks, and video games. I was concerned at first with what programs I can find engaging for teens. So I been communicating with other children and teen staff about possbile ideas. Teen Tech Week is next week and I am hoping it will be successful. During the week, the programs I have lined up are Microsoft Publisher, ebook workshop, gaming workshop, and Pinterest. Below is a flyer I've created for the program. Wish me luck!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Interesting and Odd Books for Teens-Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

This interesting novel, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs presents a collaboration of fiction and photographs. In this story a sixteen-year-old named Jacob comes across a remote island off the coast of Wales. He discovers a decaying building named Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Jacob explores the home of where children use to live and one of them was his grandfather. This is an interesting book for those who enjoy mysteries, horror and paranormal activities. The photographs add an interesting take to this novel.

Using Lois Ehlert and having fun with Shapes and Colors

There are lots of things you can do with shapes. Lois Ehlert is a children's book author and illustrator who uses different techniques for creating images to tell stories. One of her many skills are to use shapes and colors for some of her books. This past week I used her books as a resource for a storytime and craft project to show the children that they too can use their imagination to create beautiful masterpieces.

Color Zoo is an excellent book that includes shapes and colors. On each page are different animals and once the page is turned a cutout of a shape is revealed.

Circus is another book that incorporates shapes and colors. On each page a story is being told.

Color Farm, like Color Zoo is a wonderful book to present colors and shapes by using farm animals.

I've created this as an example to show the kids of what can be done with different shapes and colors. (I love turtles)!