I’m not really one for resolutions, but one thing I find myself doing in January is bringing with me the best stuff from the previous year. I clean an reorganize my kitchen, my computer, and my notebooks. I look over the things that accumulated in the previous year and try to give away, throw away, or file away everything I don’t need anymore; everything that’s a keeper goes to the top of the pile.
So one thing I love is when bloggers and librarians put together their “best of” lists. More than anything, these lists remind me what books I’ve missed, and what to keep an eye out for now that it’s off the New Shelf and running around the regular collection. ICPL has some great Staff Recommendations I’ve been looking over, but I’m also excited about this list of teen books from the New York Public Library. There is a ton of variety in this list of the best 25 books for teens in 2014, and you’ll find almost all of them at the Iowa City Public Library!
Animation, Minecraft and extended School’s Out tech times are just a few of the activities the Iowa City Public Library has planned for teens in January.
Do you play Minecraft? All teenage Minecraft fans are invited to the Library’s Minecraft Meetup from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Jan. 8 and Jan. 22 in the Computer Lab on the Library’s second floor.
Do you like to draw? Would you like to learn more about computer animation programs? Join us for “Let’s Learn Animation!” from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on Jan. 15. We’ll learn how to use Pencil Animation, a program that lets you create hand-drawn animation on a computer. We will meet in the Computer Lab on the Library’s second floor.
TAG, the Library’s Teen Activity Group, is looking for new members. TAG members help plan teen programs and give teenage students a voice in the Library. Members also eat a lot of snacks. Anyone wanting to make a difference in the Library, and earn volunteer hours at the same time, should give TAG a try. The January TAG meeting will be held from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 17, in the Koza Family Teen Center.
Finally, school will be out on Jan. 19, but the Teen Center will be open with extended Tech Time hours from 1 to 8 p.m. Check out an iPad, play video games on the big screen or simply hang out.
All teen programs are open to students in grades 7through 12.
For more information about any of these programs, contact Brian Visser, Teen Services Librarian, at (319) 356-5200.
I love Pandemic! Unlike many games I’ve played, Pandemic is cooperative instead of competitive. Two to four people play (or up to five with the expansion) as an elite team working together to stop the spread of multiple infections across the globe. Either we all win, or we all lose, and everyone has special skills they can use to combat diseases.
You might be a Dispatcher, an Operations Expert, a Scientist, a Medic, or a Researcher, and on your turn you must coordinate your actions to stop the spread of disease and search for a cure. But at the end of each turn, the diseases will spread, and may at any time tip off an outbreak or an epidemic. Suddenly, disease spreads faster, and is harder to control. You must use your time wisely to prevent this from happening. The game is usually over in about 45 minutes, and if you haven’t discovered the cures for all four diseases, you have lost!
Whenever I play this game, it’s tense and fun. Winning is challenging, and the spread of disease is unpredictable. But the sense of accomplishment when you win – and it’s always a close one – is fantastic!
Pandemic is easy to learn and fun to play. Come by the Teen Center and ask for it!
Calling all people in grades 7-12! The Iowa City Public Library’s Teen Activity Group is looking for new members!
The Teen Activity Group (TAG) is designed to energize teen programming and services and give teens a greater voice at the Library. We meet monthly to discuss books, plan upcoming events, and hang out.
Want to make a difference in your Library? Maybe you just love reading or want to make new friends? We’d love to hear from you! TAG meets each month during the school year. Our next meeting is Saturday, January 17 from 1-2 in the Koza Family Teen Center.
If you’re interested in joining TAG, please drop by and find out what we’re about!
Dominion is the original deck-building game. In it you are a medieval monarch, building a bigger and more prosperous kingdom. The cards in your deck represent all parts of your kingdom, and in each turn you try to accumulate more. Each player starts with ten cards, and over the course of play selects Treasure cards, Kingdom cards, Curse cards, and Victory cards to construct a deck and embellish their very own Dominion. The player with the most victory points at the end wins.
I played this game one New Year’s Eve several winters ago. It’s a novel, fast-moving game once you get the hang of play. It can be played with two, three, or four players, and a game takes probably half an hour. If you’ve ever played Magic: The Gathering or another CCG, but you’ve never played a deck-building game, this is the one to start with.
Come by some time with friends and play!
Put your game face on Tuesday, Dec. 30, because we’re having a Video Game Tournament from 2 to 4 p.m. Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. for Wii U will be playing on the flat screen, allowing up to four players to battle it out at one time.
Join the Teen Movie Club from 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 31, for a screening of Guardians of the Galaxy. Based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name, Guardians of the Galaxy was released in August. The action film stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper.
ICPL teen events are for students in grades 7 through 12. All events take place in the Koza Family Teen Center on the Library’s second floor unless otherwise noted.
For more information, contact the Library at (319) 356-5200.
…in case you’re bored! For the next few weeks, I’ll feature some of them. When you’re off school for winter break come by and try them out. I’ll put a few games out every evening, too.
We’ve got a couple classic card games. Uno (2 to 10 player) was always one of my favorites, easy to play and a good way to pass the time. Skip-Bo (2-6 players) has rules similar to Uno’s: stack your cards in order, use wild cards and strategy, and be the first with no cards in your hand to win.
Bananagrams (1-4 players) is a word game, with tiles like Scrabble. Only they come zipped up in a banana! It’s fun a flexible, a cool twist lon word games.
The last little fun game of the day is Zombie Dice (2 or more players). It’s exactly what it sounds like…you are a zombie, and you’re rolling dice to see how successful you are! Do you get to eat brains, or does your victim fight back or get away? How convincingly can you demand Braaaaaains?
Stay tuned for some of our bigger board games…we’ve got some good ones!
Have you ever loved a book so much that you had to let the author know? That they were the only person who would understand how you felt? Letters About Literature is a program where students in grades 4 through 12 write a letter to an author explaining how that author’s work impacted them.
The Letters can be written about works from any genre, fiction or nonfiction by authors from the present or the past. Students can write about a book, short story, poem, or speech.
The program is sponsored by the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. The Iowa Center for the Book is the Iowa sponsor.
Iowa first place winners win $75. Second and third place winners win $50. Honorable Mention winners win $25.
The deadline for high school students is December 15, 2014. The deadline for elementary and middle school students is January 15, 2015. You can learn more at the Iowa Center for the Book website and read last year’s winning entries at http://www.iowacenterforthebook.org/letters
But maybe you don’t want to enter the contest and just want to write a letter to your favorite author. We have a database that can help with that. To access it, go to http://www.icpl.org/resources/ scroll down and click on “Contemporary Authors.” Contemporary Authors has a lot of interesting information about more than 120,000 U.S. and international authors. For example, you can search “Lowry, Lois,” and it will list info about awards she has won, her bibliography and personal information including a home address. So, you could write a letter about how The Giver is your absolute favorite book of all time. Wouldn’t that be awesome?
My True Love Gave to Me is a collection of twelve holiday stories by popular young adult authors. I was initially drawn to it because Rainbow Rowell supplied a story. Rainbow’s story–”Midnights”–is great! It’s about two friends who over the course of four New Year’s Eves decide if they want to be more than friends. I hope we see the characters again!
Another plus for this collection is the chance to sample authors that you’ve been curious about. I’ve never read anything by Matt de la Peña or Stephanie Perkins, who also edited the collection, and I loved both of their stories. It made me want to read all of their books. Holly Black has a great story–called “Krampuslauf”–about a group of friends who want to throw the perfect New Year’s Eve party and get revenge on a cheating ex. An unexpected guest makes the party even more memorable.
A lot of the stories fall into the “meet-cute during the holidays” category, but they’re well done (except for a couple stinkers). It’s a great book to read as a break from reading another book. If you like holiday stories, you won’t go wrong with My True Love Gave to Me.