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Author Archive for Jason Paulios

A Novel Idea – Divergent

by Jason Paulios on September 27th, 2012

West High School’s book club “A Novel Idea” meets today after school at 2:30 in the West High Library.  They’ve been reading the wildly popular dystopian Fantasy novel “Divergent” by Veronica Roth.  It won the 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards “Favorite Book of 2011,” I have to say I was not a member of the “favorite” faction.

West High Librarians Beth and Jill have again allowed me to join you all to hash this one out.  Hope to see you there!

FoxSoccer-FIFA Club

by Jason Paulios on September 12th, 2012

Thursday is the first of many Thursday Fox Soccer / FIFA12 Club meetings in the Computer Lab upstairs from 3-5.

We decided to form the club after seeing Justin Hoenke’s (of Portland, ME Public Library) club and talking with a couple West High teens over the summer.

World soccer fans will know that the International break is just wrapping up so we won’t be able to stream club matches for our first week.  FoxSoccer2Go has the England v. Ukraine available though.  It’s a World Cup qualifier and a chance for Ukraine to avenge their dubious loss from the Euro 2012 Group Stage match.  Find out if Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin again challenges anyone to “go outside and have a man conversation”!

From Sky

We’ve also got FIFA12 for PS3 for those that prefer to wait for the English Premier League to restart on Saturday.  If you have an EPL Fantasy Team be sure to come prepared to talk strategy with me!  #YayaAndTevezFTW

You can download the poster below:

Frank Ocean – Channel Orange

by Jason Paulios on August 27th, 2012
Frank Ocean – Channel Orange Cover Image

I first discovered Frank Ocean through his 2011 free online mixtape “Nostalgia, Ultra” which had some original R&B tracks and others that were sampled music put to original lyrics.  If you follow music news then you might remember the mixtape’s problems relating to his remake of “Hotel California” (bless those ever-litigious Eagles). I wasn’t sure what he’d be capable of with his own material but have found that I’m pleasantly surprised with the final album, “Channel Orange.”

In terms of song styles and themes it’s a bit all over the park but because of the quality of each track, the album works it out.  Lyrically he blends modern playboy swagger talk with sweetly naïve introspective emo poetry. These songs are chock full of hooks that you’ll be singing under your breath all day long, or, if you’re like some of the teens in our Computer Lab, you’ll proudly sing them loudly and off-key.

There are a few throw-aways that you might skip on subsequent listens but I think even these have their moments.  At his best he channels the funky “Songs in the Key of Life” Stevie Wonder hooks and vocals, the falsetto soul bedroom-voice of D’Angelo, and the brash modern arrogance of big R&B artists tempered with indie-emo sensibilities.

Standout tracks are the ballad “Thinking Bout You”, fun ’70s soul/funk throwback “Sweet Life”, the summer-mellow melody and rapping on “Super Rich Kids”, and epic prog-funk “Pyramids.”  I can also see a lot of broken-hearted teens and twenty-somethings singing “Bad Religion” to themselves in the dark thinking about their own unrequited love.

So far Channel Orange is my favorite album of the year, even after a solid month of it on repeat.

ICPL Coding Club / CoderDojo – Iowa City

by Jason Paulios on August 24th, 2012

We’re excited to announce that the Iowa City CoderDojo has partnered with us to offer their volunteer-led coding workshops here for students in grades 5-12!  Our first meeting will be on Saturday, September 22nd from 2-4 p.m. in the Computer Lab on the second floor.  CoderDojo volunteers and ICPL staff will help teach you and your friends how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and more with HTML and Python.

If you’re interested but unable to come to the first meeting please join us at any of the follow up sessions on the 2nd Saturday of every month from 2-4 p.m. :

October 13, 2012
November 10, 2012
December 8, 2012
January 12, 2013
February 9, 2013
March 9, 2013
April 13, 2013
May 11, 2013

If you have any questions you can ask us at teens[at]

Snoop Lion

by Jason Paulios on August 1st, 2012

I’m just going to leave this image from Buzzfeed here.

Congrats to new grads!

by Jason Paulios on June 1st, 2012

Just wanted to give a shout out to all the 2012 local high school graduates!  You may have had to contend with a landfill on fire but you didn’t have to destroy an evil Mayor!

There are some photo galleries of the ceremonies at the Press-Citizen, take a look:

Elizabeth Tate

City High

West High



Little Rock Girl 1957 – Shelley Tougas

by Jason Paulios on March 8th, 2012
Little Rock Girl 1957 – Shelley Tougas Cover Image

This nonfiction book, primarily aimed at upper elementary and junior high students, gives a quick, readable overview of the iconic American civil rights photograph of Elizabeth Eckford and the attempted integration of Little Rock Central High School in 1957.

Tougas uses the first chapter to give a riveting account, with primary source dialogue, of what was to be 15-year-old Elizabeth’s first day of school at the newly integrated Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas.  She and eight other African-American students (now known as the Little Rock Nine) were to begin classes on September 4th, 1957, but when Elizabeth arrived she was alone and faced an angry mob of hundreds of protestors and armed National Guardsmen who barred her entrance.  The photo spreads and personal accounts are shocking albeit a bit emotionally distant due to the succinct text.

Being part of the Compass Point Books “Captured History” series, the book features large photos depicting the events of that day and the aftermath of this Civil Rights Movement struggle.  There is quite a bit of discussion about the iconic photograph taken by photographer Will Counts of white student, Hazel Bryan, shouting racial abuse at Elizabeth.  Readers will learn about the impact photojournalism has on the world and what it can feel like to be defined not only by your skin color but by a single photograph.

Short chapters with simple, effective sentences also allow tweens and teens to easily follow the developments of the integration battle in Little Rock, give a basic history of the Civil Rights Movement, and provide a “where are they now” of Will Counts and the Little Rock Nine students.  Tougas’ book gives us a good introduction to the topic and includes a list of further reading to help students know where to go for more detailed information.

Anime and Manga Festival 2012!

by Jason Paulios on February 3rd, 2012

We’re getting excited for next Saturday’s (the 11th) annual Anime and Manga Festival for teens here at the Iowa City Public Library!  This year we’ll be showing :

  • Trigun
  • Fairy Tail
  • Shattered Angels

There will be lots of food, including candy sushi (of course).  This year we’re super happy to have the help of some of the stylists from local G-Spot Hair Design who will be here to help you craft Anime Hair! So come in cosplay dress!

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Friday!

by Jason Paulios on January 26th, 2012

Teens in grades 7-12 are invited to a marathon showing of the two “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” films back to back on the big screen in Meeting Room A.  on Friday, January 27th.  There will be food and drinks so you can make it through the almost five hours of awesomeness!

Part 1 will start as close to 4:00 p.m. as possible so hurry on down after school.  Part 2 will follow at around 6:45 p.m.  The library is officially closed and locked at 8:00 p.m. so arrange to meet your ride outside, we should be done by 9:00 p.m.

Weekend Champloo, January 20-22

by Jason Paulios on January 19th, 2012

This weekend is loaded with music opportunities!

Coffeehouse–Project Art Live Performances Program with the Recliners
Friday, Jan. 20 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at Beadology
220 Washington Street, Iowa City. Phone (319) 338-1566. $5 donation.

Hear some music and support a good cause! Join the Recliners as they play a benefit in the Bead Lab to supply equipment and materials for live performances at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Money raised will buy sheet music and sound equipment. Project Art is committed to providing an environment that promotes healing shaped by a rich dose of art exhibits and performances.

Photo from Flickr user:

Knitters’ Breakfast at Home Ec. Workshop
Saturday, Jan. 21 10:00 a.m. at Home Ec. Workshop 21207 N. Linn St., Iowa City. Phone: 337-4775.
Get an early start on Saturday with crafts! Home Ec. offers fresh hot quiche, coffee cake and cookies for sale. Eat, enjoy a hot or cold drink and knit and craft in good company!

Giant Punk Rock Show
Saturday, Jan 21st 6:00-10:00 p.m. at Gabe’s 330 E Washington St. Iowa City
$5 entrance, $9 if you want to go to both this show and the Yacht Club 9th Anniversary show (see next).
All ages until 10 p.m.
Muddy Rails 6:20-6:50
The Ills 7:10-7:40
Drawn to Fury 8:00-8:30
Toe Tappingly Tragic 8:50-9:20
Nebula Was 9:40-10:10

Iowa City Yacht Club’s 9th Anniversary Party
Saturday, Jan 21st 4:00-10:00 p.m. at Yacht Club. 13 South Linn St., Iowa City
$9 entrance.
All ages until 10 p.m.
Yacht Club is also doing Punk Farm 2012 (see above) at Gabe’s so this will be a “two venues-one cover” deal if you want to diversify.
Gone South 4:00-4:45
Caterwaulla 5:00-5:45
Limbs 6:00-7:00
Tallgrass 7:15-8:15
Whistle Pigs 8:30-9:30
Aaron Kamm & the One Drops 9:45-10:45

Photo from Flickr user Hawk Eyes

NFL Conference Championship games
Sunday, January 22 on CBS and FOX
I’m not the biggest fan of NFL Football but even I’m going to be watching one of these conference championship games if only for the chance to see some new blood in the Super Bowl. I’ll be cheering for the Ravens (they’ve only been once before) and the 49ers (who haven’t been in since the early 1990s…plus their uniforms are horrible).

AFC: Ravens vs Patriots ‎starts at 2:00 PM on CBS.
NFC: Giants vs 49ers at 5:30 PM on FOX.