Voice Choice

Tonight, we’re offering up a fun writing workshop at the library, geared toward beginning or early writers, and those who might just want a bit of a boost to their writing. We’re covering the scary concept of “voice” tonight from 6-8pm, in our “VOICE CHOICE” workshop.

Voice Choice workshopNo registration is required, but this is geared toward mature writers, not children. Bring along a piece of your writing if you want some advice….we might have time at the end for a bit of a critique/help session.

Call us at 257-2702 for more information!

Hey, Teens! Are You Out There?

We’re hoping to have some teens sign up for our Teen Book Club beginning this week. So far, the response has been rather weak, but maybe you know a teen or two who might like to attend? We’ll be talking about great teen books, selecting some choices to read over the next few months, and probably eating some snacks. Okay, we definitely will be eating some snacks!

Teen posterWe’re looking at meeting once a month, on the last Wednesday from 4-5:30pm. It’s open to ages 12 and up, so the books will be of interest to everyone involved. If you can’t make it this month, drop by the library or give us a call to see what book we’re reading.

Did I mention we’ll have SNACKS???

Do You Use Bitcoin?

index.aspxRecently, I heard of a new online scam where someone was frozen out of all their accounts (Facebook etc.,), and sent an email asking for ransom. But it wasn’t money the crooks wanted…it was Bitcoins. The woman was instructed to purchase a large amount of bitcoins, and deposit them into a special online account by a certain time in order to gain access to her accounts again. And if she failed to meet the deadline, the cost would increase.

Before going that route, the woman tried everything she knew…a computer whiz to unlock her sites, the advice of her daughter who was more versed in technology than she was, and even pleading emails to the people who sent them…all to no avail.  She then proceeded to figure out how to purchase some bitcoins in hopes of getting her accounts freed up, only to find there was a glitch when she purchased them, and missed the “deadline” imposed by the people doing the blackmail. The ransom was then raised to another, much higher amount. At this point, she went to the police, I believe. Did she ever gain access back to her accounts? Probably not, which is the outcome of many online scams, unfortunately.

If you don’t know what bitcoins are all about, they’re the latest online currency, originally created to provide a safe way for people to purchase anything online…and in store. They’re an alternative to using PayPal, which also acts as an in-between account manager. You never have to worry about a company or person seeing your account information (and therefore, leaving yourself open to attack). But Bitcoin is not without problems, as rumors swirl online about it everyday.

If you’re interested in reading more about the state of cybercurrency and how it might (or might not) apply to you, we have a great new book in the library called THE AGE OF CRYPTOCURRENCY : HOW BITCOIN AND CYBERMONEY ARE OVERTURNING THE WORLD ECONOMIC ORDER by Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey. I don’t think you need to be afraid of purchasing online, or of getting locked out of all your accounts, but it certainly puts a new spin on how we use the internet and how we try to keep our money safe.

Black History Month

We have class visits from local schools during the week, and recently, one of the classes was studying important figures for Black History Month. While I had books on people like Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, and Harriet Tubman, there was a definite gap in fiction to put out. Books written by African American authors, and books that represent young people of colour are something that should be easily found on the shelves.  Books like:

brownBROWN GIRL DREAMING, a National Book Award Winner in 2014 by Jacqueline Woodson, is middle grade fiction, telling the story of Woodson’s life, in verse.

pointePOINTE by Brandy Colbert was named Best Book of the Year in 2014 by many of the larger magazines and book reviewers. It’s got the ballet world to draw from, but also contains secrets and the darker side of life, perfect for those YA readers who are looking for something a bit gritty and true to life.

chaosTHE CHAOS by Nalo Hopkinson is the story of Scotch, a sixteen-year-old who feels like she doesn’t fit into any category…even more so when her skin becomes covered with a black, sticky substance she can’t remove. Fans of fantasy will enjoy this YA read.

Most of these books and more are available to download as eBooks through OverDrive, using your library card and PIN. Drop by the library today if you need help logging in, or choosing a great selection to celebrate Black History Month!

Tim Burton and Miss Peregrine

When Ransom Riggs YA novel, MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN first came out, it was the cover that caught my eye first. Nevermind that it sounded particularly scary, and had a title that couldn’t be ignored. But that cover! Why is it so creepy?

peregrineAnd now, Hollywood’s most interesting director, Tim Burton, is going to bring his inimitable flair to MISS PEREGRINE in the big screen adaptation of the novel. This is sure to be a very wild combination, and I can’t wait to see the movie, which is slated for release in March of 2016.  So far, casting includes Eva Green, and recently, Samuel L. Jackson has been in talks to participate as well.

If you don’t follow Ransom Riggs on Facebook, Instagram or his website, you might not know that he is the husband of fellow YA author extraordinaire Tahereh Mafi, creator of the SHATTER ME series. They are so cute together, often posing for photos on one of their many far-off trips (they went to Iceland recently), and even make short films together, which you can find on Riggs’ site.

The big question: will the movie be in black and white?

Diversity for our Readers

While we were at the Ontario Library Association Super Conference, one of the big themes I seemed to come across was the excitement surrounding books for LGBTQ readers. This is not a category that has been well stocked in the past, but it seems that more and more authors are writing for this group, and there are plenty of amazing books out there just waiting to hit library shelves.

If you’re not familiar with this acronym, LGBTQ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual or Questioning. People want to see themselves in books, no matter who they are, what they believe in, or where they come from. Books in the LGBTQ category are popular and serve a great need for our readers, and it’s wonderful to see such great choices coming out of the publishing houses.

I attended a session devoted to the best LGBTQ Reading Recommendations for Teens, hosted by Dewey Divas and the Dudesa wonderful group of people who keep librarians (and readers) up on all the latest and important happenings in the book world. They talked about their favourite books, both from the recent past and upcoming reads that they felt our readers would love to get their hands on, and I must admit, I came away from the session with a long list of books we’d be thrilled to have on our shelves.

askASK THE PASSENGERS by A. S. King was one of the trendier reads, about a teen named Astrid who copes with her small town’s narrow-mindedness by sending out wishes to all of the passengers in planes flying overhead.

beauty

BEAUTY QUEENS by Libba Bray has been a popular read on our shelves for the past few years. This witty read has lots to offer any reader, dealing with the tribulations of fifty beauty contestants who are stranded on an island after a plane crash. Fun!

sunJandy Nelson’s I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN has been a must-read for anyone interested in YA books. Nelson’s gorgeous writing deals with the sensitive subject matter in a way only she could, bringing a difficult topic to mainstream readers.

These are just a few of the suggestions for teen readers who might be looking for something beyond the traditional read. We’ll most likely be adding many from the list to our collection in the future. Are there any favourite LGBTQ reads for teens you’d suggest? Tell us about them!

More Bees, Please!

beesBees are quickly becoming something we should be worried about…or their disappearance, to be exact. The use of pesticides, fewer varieties of crops in certain areas, and disease have all been blamed for their dwindling numbers. But we know that there is a huge interest in beekeeping, as we’ve seen in classes offered at the library in recent years. So it’s exciting to see a fun book like THE ROOFTOP BEEKEEPER by Megan Paska come across the desk.

Paska makes beekeeping look fun and trendy. The book reads like a typical crafter’s tome, with bright pages, fun descriptions and gorgeous photos. For those of us who aren’t in love with bees (but understand their importance), it almost makes the idea of beekeeping…delightful!

If you want to know more about the book, or about Paska herself, there is a lovely website called Farmer Meg’s Digest which is in keeping with the look of the book itself. Take a few minutes to go through it, and I guarantee she’ll have you longing for spring gardening! Drop in and take out her book if you’re thinking of starting your own apiary, or if you’re just interested in how it’s done.