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Teen Anime & Manga Club This Saturday

by Brian Visser on February 20th, 2014

squid girl

Hey!  Our Teen Anime & Manga Club is meeting this Saturday from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in the Teen Center on the 2nd floor of the Library.  We’re watching Squid Girl, which is about a girl from the sea who possesses squid-like tentacles and vows to conquer humanity as revenge for its pollution of the ocean.  Seriously.

You can watch a trailer for it here.

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

by Brian Visser on February 10th, 2014
Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith Cover Image

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith is about the end of the world as told by 16-year-old Austin Szerba.  Austin is confused:  He’s in love with his girlfriend Shann, but he’s also in love with Robby, his gay best friend.  Austin is preoccupied with history, and he points out that history chews up sexual confused young men.

Austin’s narration meanders and repeats itself.  He gives us history lessons about his Polish ancestors as well as telling us the unlikely series of events that led to unstoppable, giant, man-eating praying mantises being unleashed on the fictional town of Ealing, Iowa.  Yes, you read that right:  Giant, man-eating praying mantises.

Grasshopper Jungle is a brutally honest work.  Smith is an amazing writer.  He has expertly tapped into the adolescent male mind.  A word of warning: This book is awesome, and it also contains copious profanity, sexual situations and people being eaten by giant bugs.  I recommend it to readers looking for a highly original YA book.

February Teen Events

by Brian Visser on February 5th, 2014

February Teen Events Blog

Here are the upcoming February events for teens at the Iowa City Public Library:

We Write in Sand: a Synchronous Transmedia Creative Collaboration
We are hosting a session for teen participants to collaborate on a digital, real-time, multifaceted writing activity.
Date: Saturday, February 8, 2014
Time: 4:15-5:15 p.m.
Location: Teen Center

Teen Activity Group
Calling all people in grades 7-12! TAG is looking for new members!
The Teen Activity Group (TAG) helps plan teen programs and give teens a greater voice at the Library…also we eat lots of snacks.
Want to make a difference in your Library? TAG is a fun way to earn volunteer hours!
Date: Saturday, February 22, 2013
Time: 1:00-2:00 p.m.
Location: Teen Center

Teen Anime & Manga Club
We watch anime, talk about our favorite manga, draw and trade tips on cosplay! For Grades 7-12.
Date: Saturday, February 22, 2013
Time: 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Location: Teen Center

Teen Minecraft Meetup
Do you play Minecraft and want to meet other Minecraft players? Then join us for our monthly Minecraft meetups! For Grades 7-12.
Date: Saturday, February 22, 2013
Time: 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Location: Computer Lab

Teen Welcome to Night Vale Party
Friday we will grow fangs. Or at the very least, play Welcome to Night Vale monopoly, make our own Glow Clouds (all hail), and listen to the podcast. The winner of the WtNV Fanart Contest will also be announced; the winner will be spared. For teens in grades 7-12.
Date: Friday, February 28, 2014
Time: 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Location: Teen Center

Drew: The Man Behind The Poster

by Brian Visser on January 21st, 2014
Drew: The Man Behind The Poster Cover Image

You may not know his name, but you know his work.  He has created some of the most iconic movie posters of all time including Back to the Future, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  His paintings seem to effortlessly evoke the spirit of each movie that he works on.  He’s Drew Struzan, and he was profiled in the insightful, entertaining documentary, “Drew: The Man Behind the Poster.”

I realized that I knew very little about Drew.  I was pleased to see that he’s a very down-to-earth, humble guy.  He speaks candidly about his life and his work, and an all star line up of directors and actors gush about Drew’s posters including George Lucas, Frank Darabont, Steven Spielberg and Harrison Ford.  Drew is now semi-retired from movie work and is focusing his own original art.

A lot of the documentaries that I watch are, in some way, about movies.  If you can say the same thing about yourself, then I wholeheartedly recommend “Drew: The Man Behind the Poster.”

Need For Speed Rivals

by Brian Visser on January 2nd, 2014

I never gave the “Need for Speed” franchise much thought until Criterion Games, makers of my beloved “Burnout” series, became stewards of the annual racer with 2010′s “Hot Pursuit.”  I was going to skip this year’s iteration as it was being created by a different developer, Ghost Games.  I’m glad I didn’t, because “Need for Speed Rivals” has one of the most addictive gameplay loops ever.

“Rivals’” gameplay is similar to “Hot Pursuit.”  You race expensive cars and evade the police or you play as cops and takedown street racers in an open world.  The delicious hook is that you earn SP (essentially experience points) by completing  races and other events to upgrade your car.  As the racers, you can build up an SP multiplier by racing as long as possible before heading back to your hideout.  As the cops, you arrest racers and take their SP.  It creates these ridiculous risk/reward situations where you think “should I try one more event?”

Besides earning SP, “Rivals” has some other RPG-like features (turning it into a caRPG, as the guys at Penny Arcade called it) including Speedlists which give you objectives to complete like “Drift for 50 feet.”  These are somewhat analogous to quests in full-blown role-playing games, and you also earn Ranks similar to leveling up.  All this turns what would’ve been a generic game into an addictive gem.  The Library owns “Need for Speed Rivals” on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.

Fencing Fundraiser!

by Brian Visser on January 2nd, 2014

Challenge yourself! Go from en guard to touche in just two hours! Participants learn the basics of foil fencing from how to stand and move to how to attack, defend, and fence their first bouts. No experience necessary. All equipment is provided; wear sneakers, a t-shirt and long, comfortable pants.

Cost is $25, with all proceeds going to the Iowa City Public Library.

There are two sessions on Sunday, January 26: 12:30-2:30 & 3:00-5:00.

Register by calling the Iowa City Fencing Center at (319)338-7171 or e-mailing icfencingcenter@gmail.com

December Teen Events

by Brian Visser on November 27th, 2013

Here are the upcoming December events for teens at the Iowa City Public Library:

Teen Minecraft Meetup
Do you play Minecraft and want to meet other Minecraft players? Then join us for our monthly Minecraft meetups! For Grades 7-12.
Date: Thursday, December 19, 2013
Time: 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Location: Computer Lab

Teen Activity Group
Calling all people in grades 7-12! TAG is looking for new members!
The Teen Activity Group (TAG) helps plan teen programs and give teens a greater voice at the Library…also we eat lots snacks.
Want to make a difference in your Library? Maybe you just love reading and making new friends? We’d love to hear from you!
Date: Saturday, December 21, 2013
Time: 1:00-2:00 p.m.
Location: Teen Center

Teen Anime & Manga Club
We watch anime, talk about our favorite manga, draw and trade tips on cosplay! For Grades 7-12.
Date: Saturday, December 21, 2013
Time: 2:30-3:30 p.m.
Location: Teen Center

Teen Holiday Movie: Elf
Join us in the Teen Center to watch “Elf” starring Will Ferrell. We’ll also have cookies and cocoa! For Grades 7-12.
Date: Monday, December 23, 2013
Time: 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Location: Teen Center

Teen Doctor Who Day
Join us in the Teen Center to watch episodes of Doctor Who. We’ll also have Doctor Who themed crafts and activites! For Grades 7-12.
Date: Monday, December 30, 2013
Time: 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Location: Teen Center

Teen Anime & Manga Club This Saturday

by Brian Visser on November 14th, 2013

Hey!  Our Teen Anime & Manga Club is meeting this Saturday from 1:30-2:30 p.m. in the Teen Center on the 2nd floor of the Library.  We’re watching Log Horizon, which has the absolute most ridiculous opening theme song ever.

 

 

Koza Family Teen Center is Open!

by Brian Visser on November 12th, 2013

The Koza Family Teen Center at the Iowa City Public Library is a place for teens in grades 7-12 to hangout, have fun, be creative and comfortably do homework. It’s available all hours that the Library is open.  We also have after school & weekend Tech Times.  During Tech Times, you can use the computers without having to login with your library card. You can also check out laptops and iPads for use within the space. Gaming, including PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, will be available. We’ll also have programs during these hours. The Tech Times are 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 3 to 8 p.m. on Thursday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Come in and check it out!

November Teen Events

by Brian Visser on October 30th, 2013

Here are the upcoming November events for teens at the Iowa City Public Library:

Teen NaNoWriMo Kick-Off Party!
Saturday, November 2, 2013, 1:30-2:30 p.m., Teen Center

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is an annual, international challenge to write the first draft of a novel during the month of November. Seasoned participants, first-timers, and the merely curious alike are all welcome in the Teen Center for the ICPL Teens NaNoWriMo Kick-Off Party! We will be providing tea, hot chocolate, and light snacks to fuel your writing frenzy.

College Essay Workshop
Tuesday, November 12, 2013, 6:00-7:00 p.m., Teen Center

When applying to college, writing the Dreaded Essay can be the trickiest part. Come to our College Essay Workshop and learn how to write an essay that gets admission’s attention—in a good way! We’ll talk opening lines, dos and don’ts, and picking a topic that shows the best of who you are.

Teen Gaming: 1st Annual Teen Omegathon
Saturday, November 16, 2013, 3:00-5:00 p.m., Teen Center

ICPL is hosting its first ever Teen Omegathon! Omegathon is a tournament where participants compete in games from different genres and formats culminating in a championship match. The games this year are: Round 1–Mario Kart 64. Round 2–Zombie Dice. Round 3–Injustice: Gods Among Us. Round 4–Mystery Game! The winner will receive the coveted Omegathon trophy and eternal bragging rights!

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Release Party
Thursday, November 21, 2013, 4:00-6:30 p.m., Teen Center

Come celebrate the release of “Catching Fire” by watching the “The Hunger Games” in the Teen Center!  We’ll have Hunger Games trivia and snacks.