ACT Prep

As chair of my library system’s Teen Team, I created and led an ACT Prep class at my library a few Saturdays ago. One of our goals as a team is to encourage work and college readiness, in addition to encourage reading etc. Lucky for me, there is a great resource called Learning Express, and it actually has study guides, practice tests, flashcards, and breaks down the various parts of the test.

I showed attendees how to create an account and we clicked through the study resources in the website. They then took practice quizzes (you can take the full practice ACT Test or practice quizzes, and since we had 1.5 hours and not 3+ we did practice quizzes), and took notes on what they needed to practice. The other great thing about this resource, is everything is saved in your account. So if one of my attendees didn’t finish the science quiz, he or she could go home and log in (or go into the library after the program and log in) and finish the quiz, and they could do that as many times as needed!

I then went over some testing guidelines from the ACT website, like what calculators are allowed and where in our area the test is offered. While I can’t say the kids had fun at the program, it certainly was informative!

Behind Her Eyes

I’m not even sure where to begin this one! A friend of mine wrote about this book on her blog a while back and I put it on hold at the library. Months later I finally get a copy and I have completely forgotten why I put it on hold in the first place. I know I’m not actually going to read it, so I send it off to the next person in the line. Fast forward what feels like a month or two, but in reality was probably a week, maybe two, and I start reading and hearing all about Grip Lit. Suddenly I have a huge desire to read a Grip Lit novel and the only one available to me on Cloud Library is Behind Her Eyes. I started reading and could not stop. I finished in just over 24 hours.

Behind Her Eyes tells the story of Louise, a single mother in London who has a one night stand with a guy on a rare night at the bar. Later she discovers that man is her new boss, David. When she runs into her boss’s wife and starts up an unlikely friendship, Louise finds herself drawn more and more into the mysterious lives of David and Adele. What secrets are they hiding? Why does Adele seems so afraid of David? Why doesn’t Adele have any other friends?

While the writing wasn’t amazing or anything and the whole plot basically revolves around Louise making stupid choices, it definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. I thought I had it all figured out too (parts of the story reminded me of Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger), but then that last chapter came… and all I can say is WOW!

If you’re looking for something that will suck you in, and maybe break that reading lull you’re going through (I’m still off and on the reading bandwagon recently) this is the book for you!

Popsugar Reading Challenge: A book with an unreliable narrator

Modern Mrs. Darcy Challenge: A book in a genre you usually avoid

Cream of the Crop

Last week I took a class for my never ending journey towards a certificate in Children’s Lit. Why this seems like a never ending journey is a story for another day. However, it was interesting to discuss the merits of the different youth literature awards and their purpose. For homework we all read books that won various awards or were honor books for their years. I read George by Alex Gino and The War that Saved My Life by Jennifer Brubaker Bradley.

As the only public librarian in the class, the instructor thought I’d have an advantage over the rest of the class in familiarity with the various awards. I did know more than the rest of the class, but I’m not sure why a public librarian knows about more awards than school librarians. I guess I understand knowing more categories than teachers, but even that’s a stretch.

Anyway, there are a lot more literary awards out there than I realized. And some seem redundant. There are two nonfiction awards. Why? And the Geisel Award for early readers seems very vague to me. But, maybe that’s just me.

Comics!

I have a newfound appreciation for comics. I follow several comic artists on Instagram (emilyscartoons, lucyknisley, bymariandrew, and sarahandersencomics) and am always open to finding more. So when I saw Sarah Andersen’s Adulthood is a Myth on the shelves on a slow day at work I grabbed it and devoured it. So many of the comics spoke to me and made me laugh. However, I think Andersen plays a little too much into the period, my uterus is trying to kill me humor. Not that I can’t relate, but I wish there was a bit more variety.

A few days later I found Big Mushy Happy Lump and while I appreciated that there were some story arcs and not just one page comics, I didn’t enjoy it as much as Adulthood is a Myth. Maybe it’s because while scrolling through Instagram seeing comics on the same few themes is okay because there is so much other stuff to break up the monotony, but in book form, it’s more obvious. Anyway, Adulthood is a Myth seemed to me, to be more original, while Big Mushy Happy Lump was out only to capitalize on the first’s success.

Worth Reading (round 4) and Listening

More things that are worth your while exploring in the land of books and libraries!

Male authors use female(ish) pseudonyms 

In the most recent Book Riot Podcast Jeff and Amanda (Identity Squatting) and Jeff and Rebecca (Don’t @ Me) talk more in depth about men using initials or pseudonyms to attract female readership. While women have done this for many years (see J.K. Rowling and the Bronte Sisters), it feels weird and wrong for men to do it now. Especially since white men are still more likely to get published. Listen to the podcasts because the Book Riot people are much more eloquent than I ever hope to be.

 

Millennials are Keeping Libraries Alive!

“According to a new analysis of Pew Research Center data on US library attendance, millennials more than other generations appear to have a use for physical libraries. They may not always come for the books, but the country’s youngest adults show up.” I’m glad this article mentioned that millennials are the ones with kids and the biggest group I see coming into libraries, no matter where I’ve worked, are families. I can’t say I read all the articles on this stat, that I saw floating around the Twitterverse in the past month, but it seemed to me the parenting aspect was not mentioned often. I think, it would be even more interesting to see how many of these millennials are checking out books for themselves vs their kids. However, computer usage is also way up, whether that’s using our library computers or using library WiFi. That’s where I see the other large chunk of millennial (non-parent) usage.

Regardless, it’s nice to see a headline where Millennials aren’t killing something.

 

Lunch at the Library

“Librarians used to forbid any food or drink to avoid staining books and attracting pests. People who tried to sneak snacks in the stacks would be reprimanded. But in recent years, a growing number of libraries have had a major shift in policy: They are the ones putting food on the table.”