Sunday, September 25, 2016

Notice about interruption of services

From MONDAY opening to WEDNESDAY closing, the library is making behind-the scenes improvements and modernizing our catalog system. Online access for patrons to MY ACCOUNT will, therefore, not be available for these three days.

Please feel free to call any Burbank Library branch by phone for help with renewals, placing holds, or other questions about your account. Thank you for your patience.

Friday, September 23, 2016

SAT Essay Writing

A reminder that the SAT Essay Writing Seminar, sponsored by Kaplan Test Prep, takes place this coming Monday night, September 26, at 7:00 p.m. at the Central Library. You must have signed up in order to participate; if you are signed up, please show up no later than 6:45 p.m. to check in, as we have people on a wait list who will be admitted promptly at 7:00 in your place if you have not yet arrived, and there will be no late entry. If you did not pre-register, you may not attend the workshop--it is at capacity. If you pre-registered and are now unable to attend, please email promptly, so we can admit someone in your place.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Make shelf-talkers with us!

By focusing on efforts across the country to remove or restrict access to books, Banned Books Week draws national attention to the harms of censorship. Our plan is to hang "shelf-talkers" around the library, which will give a brief synopsis of a book and reasons why others don't want you to read it, to cause these books to be highlighted, read, and discussed. And we want YOU to help us get the library ready for Banned Books Week and promote the freedom to read!

We will provide materials--the card, pens, pencils, colored markers, paints, etc.--and we hope you will help us make some fun and colorful shelf-talkers and then participate in hanging them on shelves in the library for Banned Books Week.

If you are a reader who is not artistic, or an artist who is not a reader, that's okay--we can collaborate! One can do the writing, the other can do the images! Please join us this Thursday, September 22, after school, at the Central Library! (We'll bring snacks.) This activity is for teens in grades 6-12 only.

Friday, September 16, 2016

September Book Clubs

On Tuesday night, we had our first meeting of the year of the 6+7 Book Club. This club started out small but has grown to 15 members (of whom 13 were present), and we're happy to say they are all engaged, conversational readers--looks like it's going to be a fun year!

There was much talk and debate about this month's book--Loot, by Jude Watson. Although some disliked the introduction of the magical element into the story, all of us agreed that the characters were both likable and memorable, and as soon as we order the sequel for the library (a terrible oversight, sorry!), I imagine we'll have holds placed and people lined up to read it. The book received a rating of 8.5 out of 10.

Next month's book is Seven Wonders Book 1, The Colossus Rises, by Peter Lerangis. Eight books were nominated for November's book, and the voting was close, but the final choice (despite Rhett's cautioning us about reading the prequel first) is The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict, the prequel to The Mysterious Benedict Society, by Trenton Lee Stewart.

Other books we considered (in descending order of preference by the club) and will keep in mind for next time:

Skulduggery Pleasant, by Derek Landy
Among the Hidden, by Margaret Peterson Haddix
The Sea of Trolls, by Nancy Farmer
Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld
Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City, by Kirsten Miller
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events),
          by Lemony Snicket

Next month's meeting is on October 11.

On Thursday night, the 8+9 Book Club met on an off night, to avoid Back to School Night at the high schools. Seventeen of our whopping roster of 25 readers were present. We had a raucous and impassioned discussion of Far, Far Away, by Tom McNeal, the saga of Jeremy Johnson Johnson and his personal ghost, Jacob Grimm. Yes, that Jacob Grimm. All but a couple of people really enjoyed the fairy tale-bending nature of the book, liked the characters and the writing style, and were beguiled by the build-up of suspense. The book received a rating of 8.5.

Next month's book is Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver, and for November we will read The Glass Arrow, by Kristen Simmons.

Other books we considered (in descending order) were:

The Rithmatist, by Brandon Sanderson
Jackaby, by William Ritter
A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness
Kingdom Keepers, by Ridley Pearson
And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie
Throne of Glass, by Sarah Maas
The Accident Season, by Moira Fowley-Doyle
Rook, by Sharon Cameron
Court of Fives, by Kate Elliott
The Wrong Side of Right, by Jenn Marie Thorne

For those who missed the meeting, there are several copies of Before I Fall waiting for you at the Circulation Desks at both Central and Buena Vista.

Next month's meeting is on October 12.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Miss the SAT?

For those of you who missed or were unable to get into our SAT Practice Test sponsored by Kaplan last Saturday, we have good news: One of our library databases now gives you a free practice option for the SATs that you can do on your own!

The Testing & Education Reference Center (TERC) education and career database includes the full-length, timed practice exams and pre-diagnostic tests for the redesigned SAT Test.

The database also offers an SAT Online Course that "prepares students for test day with expert guidance that builds both skills and confidence in the areas where most high schoolers need help."

TERC focuses on these new aspects of the updated SAT exam:

  • Knowledge and skills necessary for career /college readiness and success 
  • Real-life vocabulary and the understanding of how words can shape meaning, tone, and impact 
  • Critical thinking and foundational math skills 
All you need to access the course and the tests is a library card! It's not quite the same as the in-person experience, but it's definitely worth doing. Go here to the Research page on our websitescroll down to TERC (near the bottom of the list), click on it, put in your library card number (the one that begins with "22142" on the back of the card), and you will be able to see and access all that TERC has to offer.

And while at the moment we're directing you there for SAT practice, you should also take note of all the other high school, college, and career prep tools available to you! This is a great database.

FREE with your library card!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Saturday SAT

A reminder about our FREE SAT Practice Test with Kaplan Test Prep this Saturday, September 10th:

Buena Vista Library, 12:30 p.m.
with KAPLAN Test Prep and Admissions

This mock exam under timed conditions gives students a chance to practice before they take the real test. Online pre-registration was required; the limit of 60 students has been reached, and the waiting list is also full, so if you are not signed up, you will not be admitted.

If you are signed up and discover you are unable to come, please call 818 238-5625 (the reference desk) and ask the librarian to write down your name and give it to Anarda Williams. Those on the waiting list will be admitted in the order they signed up, should people from the regular list cancel.

If students are able to bring a phone or tablet with a data or wifi connection, they can score their tests at the end of the exam; if not, they can score it from home. All students should bring two #2 pencils and a calculator. (A sweater is also recommended!)

Students please arrive on time: There will be no late admissions, and you risk losing your spot to someone on the waiting list.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

September 10-12 Book Club Report

At 10-12 Book Club, we had 17 out of 23 in attendance for our first meeting of the year (plus two librarians) to discuss Canary, by Duane Swierczynski. Most everybody enjoyed the book, although some found the protagonist irritating (and two disliked the little brother). All of us agreed that Sarie was crazy not to give D. up, given the tenuous nature of their attachment; but then, of course, the novel would have ended after about 50 pages! We also agreed that you had to be willing to suspend disbelief to go with the unlikely events of this story, but once you did that, it was a pretty compelling read. The final rating was 7.33.

Our book up for discussion for October's meeting is Glory O'Brien's History of the Future, by A. S. King.

For November, we chose A Darker Shade of Magic, by V. E. Schwab.

Other books we considered (in order by author):
The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery
Proxy, by Alex London
Side Effects May Vary, by Julie Murphy
I'll Give You the Sun, by Jandy Nelson
Shadow Shapers, by Daniel Jose Older
Silence is Goldfish, by Annabel Pitcher
Eleanor and Park, by Rainbow Rowell
The Beginning of Everything, by Robyn Schneider
Counting by Sevens, by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Our next meeting is on October 4. Members, make note of that date, since those who attended last night didn't get a bookmark!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Teen review: Romance

Head Over Heels
by Ryan Nerz
223 pages
Romance, stand-alone
Recommended for grades 8-12

Reviewed by Kayla, grade 11

Francesca Castarelli has it all: A hot boyfriend, an awesome best friend, and an awesome body. Or at least she thinks she has it all, until Luke Barton shows up. He’s NOT her type--or at least that’s what she keeps trying to tell herself. And he’s her new SAT study tutor. Can she keep her cool and convince herself that she needs to have nothing to do with a guy like Luke before she loses it all?

This book was amazing. The plot was cute and kept me on the edge of my seat but it also included more than 1,000 SAT vocabulary words. It was a painless way to learn vocabulary, and I even found myself knowing quite a few of the words already. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves reading, and to people who are trying to learn SAT vocab but finding it difficult.

I rate this book as a 5.

Editor's note: Since SAT practices are coming up shortly, not to mention the real thing, we thought this was a timely book review to share--just to remind you that learning vocabulary words CAN be fun if you combine it with reading.