Monday, March 31, 2008

And hanging from the door was a bloody hook!

I'm not a huge fan of ghost stories. I prefer zombies (especially kitten zombies) to tell the truth. But I came across Joe Hill last year and his collection of stories 20th Century Ghosts last week and wanted to tell you all about it.

Joe Hill first came to my attention with his book Heart-Shaped Box which is the story of what happens when a washed up death metal singer buys a dead man's suit. The answer? Nothing good. It isn't a BAD book, creepy in places and sensitive in others. But it kinda falls apart at the end. It got a lot of good press though. And it helps that Joe Hill is Stephen King's son.

What hasn't gotten a lot of press is the fact that he has a collection of shorter work which I picked up this week. I'm only as far as the second story, but the first one is so well done and the ideas are so interesting I can't wait to finish it.

If you want something a bit darker and grown up than R.L. Stine give 20th Century Ghosts a try.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Teen Video Contest!

Love books and making videos? Think you can make a short film that captures your favorite book? Enter our Book Trailer Video Contest, and have a chance to win The Flip camcorder!
Enter between now and April 15th at
All qualified entries will be featured on the Sno-Isle Teens' YouTube page!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Lunch with Meg Cabot

This week I have the very good fortune to be in Minneapolis Minnesota for the PLA (Public Library Asssociation) conference. Thousands of librarians from all over the United States gather for several days of workshops, entertainment, and swapping ideas and stories.

One of the sessions I signed up to attend was a special author luncheon with Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries and many other books for teens. I will openly admit that I have never read any of her books, nor have I even seen the Princess Diaries movies - I've always felt they were a little "girly" for my usual reading tastes. However, after hearing her speak I know that I must give them a try - if they are even half as funny as she was in person I know I'll like them.

Meg shared stories with us about her childhood, and how the library was a sanctuary from her "unsatisfactory home life." It was there that she discovered a love of reading classic literature, beginning with Jane Eyre. She had outgrown the children's books, and the YA books at that time had rather grim subject matter. When she decided to get serious about writing, she remembered decided she wanted to write books that were funny, and in which nobody dies. it took her several years of sending query letters to get an agent, and another two years before the first Princess Diaries book was published. She credits her tenacity and unwillingness to give up for her success.

Me - I'm looking forward to Meg's Airhead series, which will be coming out later this year. A brainy, gamer, feminist girl wakes up to discover that her brain has been transplanted into the body of a...supermodel! How could it not be funny!

Cheers from Minneapolis ~ Anne

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Girls Rock!

I went down to Seattle Center last weekend and saw the SIFF showing of the documentary Girls Rock! If you aren't familiar with it, the doc follows a handful of girls who attend a week-long rock camp. They form band with girls they haven't met before. Play instruments they haven't played before and write a song with the band, to perform at the end of the week.

It was a good documentary. It was funny and heartwarming and at times a bit disturbing. Some of those little girls were pretty intense (see image above), and you're left to kinda wonder what they are going to think of this footage in 10 or 20 years (much like that teen boy who vows to never fall in love in
that one episode of Showtime's This American Life. Seriously, dude, that's just sad.).

But then there were the teens, Misty and especially Laura. Misty's been bopping around group homes and foster situations and had just been released from a 10-month lock down. Laura was adopted from Korea and is obsessed with death metal and bunnies. She's sweet and you just want to hug her when she talks about how much she hates herself and her body. Both of them - Misty having never touched a bass guitar before camp - learn things about themselves that they never knew they had in them. All of this possible because they found people who shared similar interests, and weren't judged for being themselves.

I think it points out a lot of serious issues about the ways girls perceive themselves, and how by creating an environment, in this case rock camp, where they can feel safe to be themselves gives them a sense of empowerment that leads to greater overall self-acceptance. But I also think that, as much as I love the girl-power aspect of the movie, it isn't any different for guys (but what do I know, covered in pink as I am...;).

I think it's all about finding your own individual place to fit in; be that through music, sports, games, or maybe, hopefully, through books (though, I must say, we've got that other stuff at the library too...).

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

what are your online habits?

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) is surveying teens through March 31 on their online habits.

The Teen Technology Survey can be accessed at

Any questions that surprise you? Any of your own answers?

Last but not least, Dawn

Hiya! I'm Dawn, the teen librarian at Mountlake Terrace Library. I've been working here for less than a year, but have worked as a librarian in Bellevue and Chicago, too. I originally grew up in Spokane, went to college in Bellingham, and libary school in Illinois. I've also lived in Portland and England. I love seeing new places and meeting new people :)

I'm really excited about all the great stuff we have going for teens here at Sno-Isle...the new website is the just tip of the iceberg. We have lots of video game equipment now, and are offering more and more gaming programs in the libraries. There are Teen Advisory Boards springing up all over the system. And this summer we will have our first Teen Summer Reading program...which will be fun, easy, and have fabulous prizes.

When I'm not at the library I enjoy reading (surprise!), watching movies, playing drums in my band, gardening, traveling, writing in my blog, cooking, going out to see shows, and taking photos.

Come on in to the library and introduce yourself. I'd love to hear about what you have been reading, what music you're into, and what how you would change the library if you were in charge. Or just drop a note here on the blog.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

but what if I want a book about zombies AND kittens?

Hello, my name is Ben and I am the teen librarian in Monroe. I've been on the job for just over a year and really enjoy Washington and the library here. I'm originally from Iowa and since I've been here have had a chance to see My Chem, Taking Back Sunday, The Shins, and the Warped Tour, which never happens in Iowa. Also you have Have`a Corn Chips which taste a bit like triangular pieces of heaven. I think those things should be on the Washington state quarter. Bands and cornchips.

Other things I like: gaming, movies, pop culture phenomena and random pieces of factual information. I just read a book called Elephants on Acid that was about strange scientific experiments. One was about a zombie kitten. If you like zombies or kittens it really is the perfect book for you.

I hope you guys love the new blog and website and comment and or stop in to the library and say hi.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Hello from Anne!

Hello! My name is Anne, and I am the teen librarian in Oak Harbor and Coupeville. I've been working in Oak Harbor for over seven years, but just began my position as the teen librarian last fall.

I grew up in the Seattle area, and have lived on Whidbey Island since 1990. Before working at the library, I worked at a book store, and even before that I worked as a geologist. Here at the library, I especially enjoy helping people with their science questions, and if there are rocks involved, even better.

As for what I do outside of work, I enjoy music VERY MUCH, and also do a lot of photography. I"ll take pictures of just about anything - I love looking at the world in different ways, and am always noticing something new. I also enjoy writing, and of course, reading. I just wish there were more hours in the day to do it all!

I look forward to meeting you, and like Jackie said - stop by and introduce yourself when you're in the library.

Introducing Jackie

Hi! This is Jackie, shiny (if I do say so myself) new teen librarian over at the Lynnwood Library. It's my sixth day here and I'm looking forward to helping make the library a place everyone (especially teens) feels comfortable in.

I'm new to Seattle (seventh day living in the area), so I hope you all can give me advice on interesting things to do around town! I'm originally from Michigan, but spent the last two years working in Spokane, WA as a librarian, so Western Washington is an entirely new experience for me.

Anyway, come in, introduce yourself, let me know what you think of the Lynnwood Library and the teen space - and what you'd like to see in and at YOUR library.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Our new teen website!

Today is the premier day for our new teen website!

We would love to hear what you think, and if you have any suggestions.

Check it out at!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Webcomics for Beginners

Are you funny, or have a story to tell? Do you love comics? Webcomics could be the hobby, or maybe even the career, for you. Join successful cartoonist Bill Barnes of the uproariously funny Unshelved ( as he shares trade secrets about how to get started from scratch in this new and growing field. Topics will include writing, drawing, technology, and business. Bring your work!

Lynnwood Library - Monday, March 3 - 4pm
Edmonds Library - Monday, March 10 - 4pm
Oak Harbor Library - Thursday, March 13 - 7pm