Monday, December 11, 2017

Hamilton Trivia - One Week Away

Believe it or not, we're a week away from our Hamilton Trivia evening. Don't throw away your shot at some solid pizza and prizes for teens who compete in this musical theatre extravaganza!

You can still sign up as an individual participant at the Robbins Reference Desk or by emailing Megan at Please feel free to email me if you have questions as well!

At this point, we've decided it would be easier to have everyone participate as individuals.

Want more information, please take a peek at our fb event!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Are you Interested in a Gap Year Experience?!

Gap Year Presentation
Thursday, December 7th
6:30 pm to 7:30 pm
Community Room (Lower Level)

Have you looked into gap year options and feel overwhelmed by what is out there? Do you worry about what the cost of a gap year? Come learn all about gap year options and experiences from Jane Sarouhan, Vice President of the Center for Interim Programs, the first independent gap year counseling organization in the United States. As an educator, programmer, director and counselor, Jane has been working with young adults, families, and programs for 20 years. Students, parents and staff are welcome to attend!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Book Recommendations

We're approaching that time of year where teens come in for book recommendations for a myriad of assignments! We're here to help in that process. Whether you look for recommendations at the Reference Desk or the Children's Desk, we're here to help you find the book you're not only required to read, but also looking forward to reading! There's nothing worse than forcing yourself to read something you're not actively interested in reading.

Here are a few things you may want to consider before you visit:
  1. What is the assignment? (feel free to show us) 
  2. What do you enjoy reading about? (genres? authors? format - listening, graphics?) 
  3. What was the last book you couldn't put down?
  4. What keeps you intrigued by a book? (characters? world-building and setting? plot twists?) 
  5. Are there requirements for the assignment? (genre? topic? subjects? number of pages?) 
  6. When is the assignment due? (we're with you on managing your time!) 
  7. Any other personal requests you'd like to make us aware of! 
You may not even know what you're looking for when you get here, but we're here to help you change that forced reading into fun reading! Let us know what you need, and we'll focus on combing our shelves for options that fit you! 

Here's an example: 
  1. The assignment: 
    • I need read 600 pages that revolve around historical fiction and mystery, not on World War II.  
  2. What do you enjoy reading about? 
    • I enjoy reading about realistic situations that are relatable.
  3. What was the last book you couldn't put down? Why? 
    • All Rights Reserved (2017) by Gregory Scott Katsoulis. The author's presentation on how the government copyrighted and censored speech seemed super possible in today's world. 
  4. What keeps you intrigued in a book? 
    • I enjoy resolution. I want a fixable moment, and I know that doesn't always happen, but it's nice when something in the book works out. It can be a series of books, but I enjoy conflict resolution.
  5. Are there requirements for the Assignment? 
    • 600 total pages for potentially two books
    • Genre: Historical Fiction and/or Mystery 
    • No Historical Fiction Books on World War II 
  6. When is the assignment due? 
    • It's due in 3 weeks, and I'd like to find both books today! 
Recommendation time!

Mystery Fiction with contemporary situations:
A Line in the Dark by Malinda Lo (2017) - 281 pages 
When Chinese American teenager Jess Wong's best friend Angie falls in love with a girl from the nearby boarding school, Jess expects heartbreak. But when everybody's secrets start to be revealed, the stakes quickly elevate from love or loneliness to life or death. 

Boarding school drama with psychological undercurrents that lead to a definite whodunit conclusion. 

Disappeared by Francisco X. Stork (2017)  - 326 pages 
Four months ago Sara Zapata's best friend, Linda, disappeared from the streets of Juarez, and ever since Sara has been using her job as a reporter to draw attention to the girls who have been kidnapped by the criminals who control the city, but now she and her family are being threatened--meanwhile her younger brother, Emiliano, is being lured into the narcotics business by the promise of big money, and soon the only way for both of them to escape is to risk the dangerous trek across the desert to the United States border. 

Relevant current political issues in a true crime format that pull on family heartstrings.

Warcross by Marie Lu (2017)  - 353 pages
When teenage coder Emika Chen hacks her way into the opening tournament of the Warcross Championships, she glitches herself into the game as well as a sinister plot with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire. 

Think Mr. Robot with a tenacious female main character that secretly fights computer crime for the owner of a massive tech company.


Historical Fiction with the exception of World War II:
Dodger by Terry Pratchett (2012) - 360 pages
In an alternative version of Victorian London, a seventeen-year-old Dodger, a cunning and cheeky street urchin, unexpectedly rises in life when he saves a mysterious girl, meets Charles Dickens, and unintentionally puts a stop to the murders of Sweeny Todd.

A Victorian adventure that will satisfy any anglophile leanings with special guest stars and Terry Pratchett's dry humor.

Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham (2017)  - 371 pages
When Rowan finds a skeleton on her family's property, investigating the brutal, century-old murder leads to painful discoveries about the past. Alternating chapters tell the story of William, another teen grappling with the racial firestorm leading up to the 1921 Tulsa race riot, providing some clues to the mystery.

Follow the horrific events of the race riot in Tulsa 1921 written parallel to a story of the discovery of human bones beneath the floorboards of a house in present-day Tulsa.

Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee (2015) - 374 pages
In 1845, Sammy, a Chinese American girl, and Annamae, an African American slave girl, disguise themselves as boys and travel on the Oregon Trail to California from Missouri.

The book not only demonstrates pioneer hardships but also delves into what it means to be a nonwhite person in the U.S. in 1849, including insights on Chinese culture and slavery.

While this is just an example, we can also find what's right for you and your assignment! Truth be told, this example is very similar to an Ottoson Middle School assignment...

Don't have the time to stop by the library? 
Send me, Megan, Teen Services Librarian, an email at

We look forward to making your assignments less arduous and more fun! Happy reading, and best of luck!

Friday, December 1, 2017

NaNoWriMo Wrap-Up Event

NaNoWriMo Wrap-up Session
Tuesday, December 5th
4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Community Room (Lower Level)

So, you gave National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) a shot! Well done! How did it go? Come share your experience with other NaNoWriMo participants, and share a writing sample if you want to. No registration required; open to teens and adults. Light refreshments. 

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Hour of Code - December 4th to 10th

Some Hour of Code FAQs

Who can complete the Hour of Code? 
Anyone can take part in an Hour of Code! From pre-readers to adults, there are activities for everyone!

What is Hour of Code? 
Hour of Code is an annual week of programming for people around the world to take an hour of time out of schedules to code.

When is Hour of Code? 
This year, the week of Hour of Code falls between December 4th and 10th. You can conduct your hour anytime throughout this week! We're hosting one at the library for middle schoolers, but you can complete your own hour by visiting to learn more about what tutorial may work for you!

How do I complete the Hour of Code? 

If you're looking to complete a tutorial from the Hour of Code website, there are many options to complete anything from fandom block coding to language specific tutorials! Once you make it to the website, you can browse to see what options work for you! If you're not sure about which hour you'd like to complete, there are different ways to narrow your search by topic, age, activity type, length, language, and necessary technology!

Where can I complete the Hour of Code? 

Anywhere! There are even activities to be completed without wifi or a device. The Hour of Code is meant to be for all, and we're certainly looking forward to promoting and hosting a session! Our session is December 4th from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm. You can check for availability HERE!

Why take part in the Hour of Code? 
The core people and organizations behind Hour of Code believe that a quality computer science education should be available to every child, not just a lucky few. To make this an essential subject and goal in all education systems around the world, Hour of Code is meant to demonstrate the solidarity and significance of coding for all! If you think this is a pretty solid goal, get involved and complete the Hour of Code!

Would you like more information or to coordinate your own Hour of Code at the library?
Please contact Megan, Teen Services Librarian at

Happy coding!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Teen Early Release Movie - Spider-Man: Homecoming

Next Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, we'll be showing Spider-Man:Homecoming (2017) on the big screen at 12:30 pm in the Community Room on the lower level of Robbins! There will refreshments for teens! We look forward to seeing you! 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

6th Grade Book Club Reads NIMONA

This month we're taking on Nimona by Noelle Stevenson! Nimona, a young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy, and Lord Ballister Blackheart, a villain with a vendetta, set out to prove that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his friends are not the heroes everyone thinks they are, but Lord Blackheart soon realizes that Nimona's powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. Her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit. This graphic novel is relatable and entertaining.

This will be our second session of 6th Grade Book Club this year. The last session we read Ghost by Jason Reynolds, and in our December club meeting, we'll be tackling The Metropolitans by Carol Goodman. We'll continue throughout the school year and hopefully meet at the Fox Library once this academic year!

Beyond being a place for discussion and hang out, we'll also complete an activity related to the book each month. Last month we made and raced origami frogs to demonstrate the metaphoric hardship of Ghost's past and his track career. We'll enjoy another activity this month for Nimona!

While book club will be every month, there will be sign-ups via Eventbrite each month.

Feeling interested? You can stop by the Robbins Library Circulation Desk to pick up the book, and join us for our meeting on November 16th at 4:30 pm. Please sign up HERE

Not quite sure you can make it this month, but maybe you'd like to try our December 14th meeting? You can sign up for The Metropolitans HERE.