Saturday, August 15, 2015


Due to ongoing construction that was initiated (but not yet completed) at the Central Library at the same time as the RFID tagging project, the Central Library will remain closed for one more week. The library will reopen on Monday, August 24th.

The Buena Vista and Northwest branches remain open to serve you. Northwest is open Monday through Friday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Buena Vista's schedule is as follows:

          Monday-Thursday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
          Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
          Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Due to this unexpected turn of events, we have delayed the due dates for books that were checked out from the Central Library and are supposed to be returned sometime between August 17 and August 23. You are, of course, welcome to return them to the branches (or call the branches to renew your items), but if you would like to keep them an extra week (or don't have transportation to another library), you may return them on August 24th instead of August 17th, without penalty.

Thank you for your patience!

Editor's note: Teens, you can continue to send book reviews for service hours--the blog will go on as usual! Book Club people--you can pick up your books from the BUENA VISTA BRANCH. They are waiting for you!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Teen Review: College Guide

by Ann Shoket and the Editors of Seventeen Magazine
187 pages

Mature/ High School (ideal for someone going off to college soon)

Reviewed by M. K., grade 12

This college guide from Seventeen Magazine claims to tell you everything you need to know so that you can "walk onto campus and own it!" This 187-page book covers how to deal with roommates, guys in college, tips on saving money, myths about college, how to tackle the party scene, meal ideas, dorm essentials, and many more aspects of college life.

This book is such a helpful tool for young adults going off to college. It is jam-packed with tips and tricks on everything you need to know about college and college living. As I am currently a high school senior, reading this makes me really excited to go off to college in a year! The only downside to this book was that it didn't really touch on school life in college. I just think they could have thrown in a page on study tips and managing/aceing exams, projects, etc. It also would have been helpful to have a page about managing your social life and school. Aside from that, I really enjoyed everything! The tips on saving money and the party section were two of my favorites. I also really liked how they talked about what you should do during the summer before you leave. Also, don't forget to make a note of the helpful scholarship/ job opportunity websites that they list on pages 138, 146, 149, and 150! 

I would give this book a 4 out of 5. I marked it down a number because, as I have previously said, they didn't specifically talk about the school part of college. That is, obviously, the reason why you're there in the first place. I just feel like it should have been a crucial part of it. They used 187 pages and couldn't even put it on a single page? That's just my take on it. The cover was pleasing to the eye, with all of its bold letters and bright colors. Loved that! I gave this book four stars because the author/editors gave us what they promised and they added cute pictures too! If you are going off to college in the near future, it's definitely worth a read! Thanks for reading my review!

Editor's note: I told M. K. that I was so pleased to receive a review of a nonfiction book--and such a useful, timely one, too! If any of the rest of you are nonfiction readers, reviews of those are happily accepted for the blog as well!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Teen review: Realistic fiction

All the Bright Places
by Jennifer Niven
388 pages
Realistic fiction for high school

Reviewed by Melody, grade 12

Six stories up on their school's bell tower, Violet Markey and Theodore Finch meet. Contemplating suicide is something new for Violet Markey, whose life has been on edge since her sister's death, but for Theodore Finch, contemplating his existence is an everyday act. However, this time things are different. Finch is the one persuading someone else that life is actually worth living. and by saving Violet's life, he begins to think that maybe it really is. Not long after the incident, they are paired up for a project that involves finding adventures and exciting places in their small town. But how many 'exciting' things are there to discover in a town surrounded by dirt and trees? Violet Markey and Theodore Finch will uncover more than their school’s project assigned. It turns out; any place can be exciting, scary, and practically a new world if you are with a person who makes the ordinary seem different – who is different. But is different always free from danger?

In short, this book made me feel tons of emotions at once. I laughed, shed a tear, and felt my heart sink to my knees, only to then hold my breath in anticipation. It didn’t necessarily ‘break my heart,’ but it did stir up some bittersweet feelings. My absolute favorite feature was the relationship building between Finch and Violet. There is something so fun, adventurous, yet brutally honest about them. I really felt like I was with them experiencing their private moments. Perhaps this makes me sound creepy, but let’s be honest, feeling like you’re actually present with a character is a major bonus for a reader! As for the cover, it didn’t really draw my attention, aside from it being appealing to the eye, but after reading the book, I loved it! The title also makes a lot more sense after reading. Also, the author’s note that explains the sad but true inspiration for the book makes everything feel more real and personal.

Now that I’ve stated all the wonderful aspects of the book, I must say there is one thing that bothered me. I can’t get specific about what it is, as that would be a spoiler, but it is truly a hit or miss for readers. There are quite a few scenes that suggest this book would be better suited for a mature audience, especially one that enjoys contemporaries involving peer pressure, reoccurring bullying, and (more often than not) inaccurate labels given in high school. Although there was much praise over this book, I didn’t love it, but I did enjoy it. I encourage others to read it and make their own judgments about it. Happy reading!

Editor's note: You might also be interested in what our adult reviewer, Anush, though of this book.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Central Library is CLOSED!

A reminder that the Central Library is CLOSED this week, while we implement the new RFID tagging system. Staff will be working hard to tag every single item that lives at the Central Library--books, DVDs, audio books, CDs, you name it. So please visit us at the Buena Vista Branch or the Northwest Branch with your library needs! Both are open regular hours. You can return anything you checked out at Central to either of the branches.

If you want to know more about these changes, read this blog post. And thank you for your patience.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Teen Poetry

Elephant Animal Cracker

by Melody T.

While walking home I accidentally crushed an animal cracker on the ground.
I stared down at the dismembered figure of a sand-colored elephant.

And it reminded me of dreams,
Of how fragile their destiny is,
How easily it can alter at the hands of another–
Be crushed by the accidental misstep of a teenage girl.
I continued my walk and saw a dandelion sway in the aggressive wind,
It being pulled forced to take flight,
To travel beyond places it would’ve never been otherwise.
Perhaps into a home, the bottom of a sewer, the tip of a king’s crown miles away.
Under the command of the wind its destination wholesomely changed
Like the lizard that stood next to me while I watched,
Like the tall tree I looked at every day on my walk but never really saw,
Never really noticed its tall stature filled with green and beauty.
It felt that it never made a difference on my daily walk–
Until now.
Until now I realized it provided me with shade.
My route would never be the same without this unnoticed humble tree.
Its leaves not asking for anything in return,
My face content and unburned.
And I wondered,
Can something exist and contain its originality while being at the knees of another?
Like the earth to the universe,
Flower petals to the wind,
The construction of a house on an expanse of land,
Or a stumbling foot not sure where to stand.

Editor's note: We seem to have some teens who like the idea of publishing poetry on the blog--if there are more of you, perhaps we will create a poetry PAGE, that you can reach from clicking on a tab at the top. So if you want your poetry featured here, please email it to!