Friday, December 23, 2011

The Wonder That Was 2011 Wordily Wrapped Up

As 2012 approaches, let's all wish 2011 a fond farewell. These 365 days have been eventful to say the least, with natural and nuclear disasters, political uprisings, grassroots revolutions and national protests. We see the world's swift, dramatic changes and are reminded that we are the agents of change, and if that's not awe inspiring, I don't know what is. So, I dedicate this blog post to change.

Emerging literary trends of 2011 and the future: Didn't I tell you last year it would be mermaids? I did, and I was so right. Lots 0f mermaid books came out this year, and y'all have been checking them out heartily. We've also continued to see a lot of fallen angels, and I highly recommend Daughter of Smoke and Bone for an engaging blend of action and forbidden angelic romance. As for the future, I expect to start seeing historical, realistic fiction set in the 80's and 90's. With the 30th anniversary of MTV this year and all us Gen Xers entering our 30s and getting editors, our time of nostalgia has come, and you will be subjected to our weepy tributes to the era of hot pink parachute pants (leading somehow into flannel) and moody garage music. Bwah hah hah!

Teen Library Council Evolves: TLC changes every year in wonderful ways. When Council began last year, we had lots of new, young members whose creative energy (and crocheting skills) were instrumental as we filmed our series of hilarious videos featuring Pencil Paul (and a lot of bloopers.) Now, folks have gotten older and new members have joined, so there are six seniors on Teen Library Council. Their leadership and ideas have been invaluable, and I'm so excited for their transition into college next year! (Not really. Just between you and me, I'm secretly making space in our storage room where I plan to keep them hostage.)

Best In Media: Well, see, there's this Netflix thing, right? And you can hook your TV to it and stream movies and TV shows with no commercials? And, well, the thing is, that's pretty much all I did this year. If I was mathematically oriented, I could create a pie chart of the time I spent watching TV this year verses the time I spent reading and, as the great Mitch Hedberg would say, compared to the pie chart of what most people would do with the money if they won a million dollars, the TV wedge would be equal to "Keep It" and the reading wedge would be equal to "Give it to Charity." And yes I am ashamed. But, that said, considering the amount of Doctor Who references I kept coming across, it became essential to my foundational understanding of pop culture to keep up with The Doctor and his work. And of course, no other figure in television represents the concept of change quite as thoroughly as The Doctor (Team Tennant FTW!). Now, apparently, I need to read H.P. Lovecraft since I keep hearing about Cthulu everywhere. Oh, I just realized something...I'm a nerd. Just kidding, I definitely already knew that.

Also, Amanda Palmer. Just. Amanda. Palmer.

Best Library Moment: Again, too many to quantify. In the dynamic world of teen library services there is one constant: Teens are awesome. The pregnant Zombie Doll was incredible and creepy. The Voodoo Doughnut feast was culinarily educational. The hula hooping at the manga marathon was lengthy and hilarious. The summer capoeira workshop was beyond awesome. Finally, sharing Pee Wee Herman's Big Adventure with the uninitiated and having them insist on watching more Pee Wee so we watched an episode of the TV show and OMG it was hilarious and I forgot that Laurence Fishburn played the cowboy...That was good too.

We have a lot to look forward to next year, including an entire extra day in February, the Hunger Games movie and new books from John Green, Kristin Cashore, Paolo Bacigalupi, Julie Kagawa and many others. See you in 2012!


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Letters About Literature

Letters About Literature is an annual contest for which participants write letters about books that have been influential in their lives as if they are writing to the authors. Last year, Oregon kids and teens submitted over 900 letters! Let's beat that number this year and send our magnificent Oregonian letters to compete at the National level. The deadline for the contest is January 6, so get writing! You can find out more here: http://www.oregon.gov/OSL/LD/youthsvcs/aboutlit.shtml.

Also, I think it's important that we make up some captions for the picture above, because, you know, what's going on there? My submission: "Ugh, these sudden attacks of hair-commercial-itus make it so difficult to use this typewriter." Submit your caption in the comments.

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