by Jessica Lee on July 14th, 2014
If you’ve been online at all in the past couple of days, you might’ve gotten wind of the disaster that has been #DashCon, a first-year convention organized by and for members of Tumblr. Elsewise, consider this a primer.
In the organizers’ own words,
DashCon aims to be the largest gathering of Tumblr users to date, concentrating on the particulars of this stand out social media site. DashCon will be a place where Tumblr users can express common site wide interests, in both fashion, art, science, and in the world of geekery.
(To be super clear, this was an unofficial event that is not affiliated with the administrators of Tumblr itself.)
Moreover, the convention’s primary target audience appears to have been Tumblr users who are also active participants in various fandoms across media, an intersection of interests that is hugely populated by teens. The inaugural event took place in Schaumburg, Illinois (my old stomping grounds!), over this past weekend and has already become a meme.
And from what I can tell, it has been outrageously disorganized and mismanaged from start to finish, the highlights of which include
- mis/disinformation from DashCon organizers to attendees, performers, and possibly the host site
- reports that the organizers were unable to pay agreed-upon performance, transportation, or accommodation fees for guests of honor, such as Noelle Stevenson and the Welcome to Night Vale staff, on arrival
- reports that DashCon admin held a hasty (though, amazingly, successful) crowdfunding effort to raise $17,000 in the middle of the convention, ostensibly in order to keep the convention going
- reports that some panels were poorly/not moderated, and that crushed attendees who had registered for cancelled events were not refunded the cost of their ticket but were instead offered the now-infamous free hour in the ball pit
Here are some master posts that go into more detail:
Opinions vary on whether or not the chaos of DashCon’14 was a result of the organizers’ honest incompetence (managing an event of this size, with so many moving pieces, is seriously daunting stuff) or if the whole thing was a scam targeting the young and inexperienced (and their parents).
by Jessica Lee on July 12th, 2014
Some of you may’ve already noticed the newest addition to the Koza Family Teen Center: board games!
Now, during staffed hours (12:30-5pm Monday through Friday, 1:00-6pm on Saturdays), you can play Bananagrams, Settlers of Catan, Skip-Bo, Smash Up, Taboo, Ticket to Ride, Uno, or Zombie Dice.
by Jessica Lee on July 7th, 2014
src: Dallas News (click through for related article)
This recent post, “Cursive is an Endangered Species,” along with many other similar articles, discusses the decline of cursive in younger generations, particularly with increased reliance on digital devices to take notes, send messages, etc.
So now I’m curious: how many of you learned how to write in cursive, in or out of school? When have you found it useful to know? (Could you read the text in the image?)
by Jessica Lee on June 25th, 2014
We’re having a baller first month of the Summer Reading Program! So far we have 322 teen participants, of whom 55 have already submitted their first game cards. Don’t worry if you’re not one of them; everyone reads at eir own pace; ye’re all champions in my heart.
DON’T FORGET: somewhere on the game card, you need to write 1.) your name, 2.) the last four digits of your phone number (or whatever number you used to register), and 3.) the number of the prize you’d like a chance to win. Here they are again:
#1: The John Green Pack (a signed copy of Looking for Alaska and an audio book of The Fault in Our Stars)
#2: A Daydreams Comics gift certificate
#3: A Prairie Lights gift certificate
#4: A movie theater gift certificate to Marcus Theaters
PLEASE! WRITE! LEGIBLY! Because if it takes me longer than three seconds to make sense of somebody’s chicken scrawl, I CONSIGN THE OFFENDING GAME CARD TO THE FLAMES.
“But Jei,” you might well protest, “it’s dangerous to light fires in a library.” You’re right. I was exaggerating. I don’t incinerate difficult-to-decipher game cards. I fold them into paper airplanes THAT I THEN LAUNCH INTO THE SUN.
Remember, once you turn in your first game card (which is an automatic entry for the grand prize in addition to being an entry for your Prize o’ Choice), you can get a Bonus / Super Extra Bonus game card for YET MOAR entries into the Grand Prize Drawing (for a Kindle Fire)! Woowoowoo!
by Jessica Lee on June 23rd, 2014
How to Train Your Dragon 2 came out in theaters earlier this month, but did you know that it started out as a book? A whole bunch of ‘em, in fact.
Cressida Cowell’s heroic misadventures of Hiccup the Viking were written for kids, but we’ve got plenty of dragon-related novels in the young adult fiction section! Which is your favorite?
by Jessica Lee on June 16th, 2014
If you’ve been perusing our summer reading program calendar, you’ve noticed that we’ll be hosting a steampunk DIY event from 2:00-3:00 p.m. tomorrow in the Koza Family Teen Center. But maybe you’ve no idea what this means, and the define:steampunk tool on Google isn’t cutting it.
Here’s how Jeff Vandermeer defines it in The Steampunk Bible An Illustrated Guide to the World of Imaginary Airships, Corsets and Goggles, Mad Scientists, and Strange Literature:
Steampunk = Mad Scientist Inventor [invention (steam x airship or metal man/ baroque stylings) x (pseudo) Victorian (or Edwardian) settings] + progressive or reactionary politics x adventure plot. (p. 9)
src: Rachel Frank
Or maybe you’re already familiar with the aesthetic, but never knew it had a name: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6-AmXihFsU
For a fantastic primer on the genre of steampunk, as well as some literary and cinematic examples thereof, check out Steampunk: An Introduction for Teens by NYPL’s Anne Rouyer.
If all of this is old hat to you and you’d like to delve deeper into that “progressive or reactionary politics” business, try these links:
The Intersection of Race and Steampunk: Colonialism’s After-Effects & Other Stories, from a Steampunk of Colour’s Perspective
And for even MOAR perspectives and resources, check out Tor’s Steampunk Week Series.
by Jessica Lee on May 1st, 2014
Hey folks, we are proud to announce the ICPL’s first ever gamified teen programming!
What this means is that once you register, the ways in which you already interact with the library (volunteering, attending programs and events, and even checking out books) can help you win prizes, fame, and glory! Check out our site at http://icpl-teens.weebly.com/ for more info. And as always,
by Jessica Lee on May 1st, 2014
We have two shiny new monthly displays for your perusal!
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so our main display in the YA Fiction area features books that deal with mental health issues. Here’s a digital version of Corey Marie’s great self-care comic that we have on the floor:
In honor of Towel Day, which falls on May 25, our mini display just inside the Koza Family Teen Center is all about interstellar travel and extraterrestrial visitors!
by Jessica Lee on April 28th, 2014
THIS THURSDAY, May 1st, from 6:00-7:00 p.m in the Koza Family Teen Center. Play Harry Potter bingo, win prizes, and nom ice cream!
by Jessica Lee on April 3rd, 2014
This Saturday, April 5, the Iowa City Public Library and Mission Creek Festival will host a series of youth events that will take place in Meeting Rooms A-C of the Iowa City Public Library.
YOUTH SONGWRITING WORKSHOP! (12pm, ages 12-18)
Do you have a song in your heart? The first Youth Songwriting Workshop is welcoming volunteers and participants! Local musicians and writers will work with middle and high school aged kids to write original songs from 12 to 1, before playing them as a group at 5 o’clock! All instruments (including no instruments) welcome! Parents and friends are welcome to attend the concert.
DANCE PARTY IN THE LIBRARY WITH CHIC-A-GO-GO! (3pm, all ages)
Chic-A-Go-Go (“Chicago’s Dance Show for Kids of All Ages”) is the kind of public access television show that will make you drop your remote control, your jaw, or both. Bring costumes or just wear your everyday clothes to a special taping of this very special program! Guest lip-syncing appearances by Samuel Locke Ward, Katie Roche, Dave Zollo, and Lipstick Homicide! Kids of all ages — from one to one hundred — are welcome.
YOUTH SONGWRITING WORKSHOP PERFORMANCE! (open to the public)
The public is invited to watch a group performance of the songs worked on in the youth songwriting workshop held earlier in the day.
Sponsored by the UI Office of Outreach and Engagement, University of Iowa- Department of Communication Studies, Iowa City Public Library, Iowa Youth Writing Project, Mission Creek Festival, Frank N. Magid Center for Undergraduate Writing, The James Gang, and Girls Rock Iowa City.