Youth Services Blog

Sneaky, Sneaky Lion...

Pssst. Hello, there! I’m the Library Ninja. My name is Zukumeka, but you can call me Zuki. Some of you may have seen me hanging around the Make and Take table lately; I’ve been getting to know the Library and the awesome people in it. If you haven’t seen me, it’s because ninjas are very quiet and sneaky.

Here is a picture of me:

It’s because I’m so sneaky that the Library asked me to help with a problem they’ve been having. Many of you know our Lion, who lives behind the Youth Services Desk. Well, sometimes he comes to life at night and does some silly things!

Thankfully, I have a handy-dandy tiny camera that takes awesome pictures. Let me show you what I mean…

Here, we caught him in the librarians’ office eating their food!

He must have been hungry…

Then, he decided to try on some of their hats…

When he tried on this hat, however, he looked so silly that I couldn’t help laughing!

I must have giggled a little too loudly (even the quietest of ninjas aren’t perfect!), because then he turned around, and I had to run before he saw me!

Well, that’s all I have to report today… Check back soon for more of my adventures tailing the Library Lion!

Totally Awesome: Building Doodlebots

Are you bored? Sick and tired of refreshing Facebook and Twitter? Do you want to do something totally awesome? Do you have old CDs or DVDs lying around? Try this awesome robot-building activity! (Please note: We have not tested this.)

Completed Doodlebot

You Will Need:

  1. Vibrating Toothbrush (from the Dollar Store)
  2. CD or DVD
  3. Washable markers
  4. An Adult’s Help
  5. A drill with a bit that matches the size of the markers
  6. Hot Glue

Step 1: Decide how many markers you want your doodlebot to have. The original instructions suggest at least three. Have an adult drill that number of holes in the disk. (Try drilling with a wooden block under the disk, too, to minimize the chances of breaking the disk.)

Step 2: Take out the toothbrush head, insert the batteries, and hot-glue it to the disk. NOTE: Make sure not to hot-glue the battery holder. This way, you can change the batteries out when they start to die.

Step 3: Insert markers into holes as shown:

Doodlebot assembly

Step 4: Place the doodlebot on a sheet of blank paper, and turn it on!

If you’d like, you can create an “arena” around it with DVD cases or blocks. Happy creating!

(All credit goes to Make It @ Your Library: http://makeitatyourlibrary.org/play-technology/doodlebot360#.Vk-LDFWrTcv)

Beautiful Art and Fun Books

Today, we will cover the work of an excellent artist: Johannes Vermeer.

Vermeer was born in Delft, in what is now the Netherlands, in 1632. He married Catherina Bolenes in April of 1653, and together they had 15 children. Sadly, Vermeer did not live very long, and he died on December 15th, 1675.

As an artist, Vermeer is known for his beautiful paintings—the most famous of which is Girl with a Pearl Earring—and for his very clever use of light and shadow.

Here is an example of one of his paintings. This one is called Woman in Blue Reading a Letter. What do you notice about it? What about the lady in the painting? Does she look happy? Confused? Serious? How about the other things in the room, like the chair, map, and book? What do you think about the bright colors Vermeer uses here?

Woman in Blue Reading a Letter

(image source: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/d2/03/0d/d2030d2d7b1eabfb4ef322fe5f4b809c.jpg)

Historical facts courtesy of Wikipedia: (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Vermeer)

One great book about Vermeer’s work (including Woman in Blue Reading a Letter) is The Vermeer Interviews: Conversations with Seven Works of Art, by Bob Raczka (J 759.9492 RAC). In this book, the author invites the reader to examine the paintings carefully, and presents interesting imaginative conversations with the people in them. Come check it out!

That’s all for today; check back soon for all the fun stuff going on here at the library, and please come visit us soon!

What Do You Suppose...

Which paper column can hold up the most books?

…A piece of paper can hold?

You might be surprised!

For this super-cool experiment, you will need:

At least three sheets of paper (regular printer paper, please!)

Scotch tape

Picture books, or other flat objects that can be piled on top of each other.

Directions: Fold each piece of paper carefully into a triangular, a square, or a circular column (as in the picture above) and tape carefully.

Then, set each column on its end, and pile books or other flat objects on it one by one, and see which shape is strongest!

Good questions to ask before the experiment:

  1. Which shape do you think will be strongest?
  2. Why?

Good questions to ask after the experiment:

  1. Which shape was actually strongest? Why?
  2. Were your predictions about the shapes’ strength right?
  3. What was surprising about the outcome of the experiment?
  4. Can you think of ways to try it again with some changes? For example, what effect do you think stronger paper or cardstock would have on the shapes?

That’s all for today, folks! Make sure to check back soon for more fun stuff, and be sure to come visit us at the library!

(Picture and all content from: http://creeksidelearning.com/stem-activities-for-kids-how-strong-is-a-piece-of-paper/)

Book Review Thursday: Frindle

Welcome back to our totally awesome Youth Services Bulletin! Today, we launch our newest series: Book Review Thursday. Every Thursday, we’ll review a great book that you may have missed, and tell you where you can find it.

This week, we’re starting with Frindle, by Andrew Clements (J CLE).


Frindle is about a clever boy named Nick Allen, who has a lot of great ideas. When Nick’s teacher, Mrs. Granger, teaches him how words come to be created and used, Nick decides to have some fun. He invents the word frindle, a new way to say “pen”, and spreads it around town with the help of his friends. However, frindle becomes a bigger phenomenon than Nick ever anticipated! This well-written, fun book is great for 4th-grade and up.

If you have any favorite books you would like to recommend, please let us know!

Until next time, happy reading!