YALSAblog Tweets of the Week – April 4, 2014

A short list of tweets from the past week of interest to teens and the library staff that work with them.

Do you have a favorite Tweet from the past week? If so add it in the comments for this post. Or, if you read a Twitter post between April 4 and April 10 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the Week send a direct or @ message to lbraun2000 on Twitter.
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100 Days till Summer Countdown

Join YALSA in counting down to the first day of summer!

To help libraries gear up for summer reading & learning programs, YALSA is hosting discussion forum activities on its Summer Reading & Learning website.

The upcoming discussion forum dates are:
April 8 – Effective School Outreach
May 2 – Building Summer Learning into Existing Reading Programs
May 27 – Tips for Marketing to Teens

On each scheduled date, a forum will be created on the Summer Reading & Learning website with a topic related to summer reading and learning. The discussion activities will be a daylong activity. Interested participants can log on any time during the designated days and take part in the discussion topic by sharing their own stories, resources, ideas, etc. related to the topic. At the end of each discussion activity, participants will also have a chance to win a YALSA gift pack.

For more information about the 100 Days till Summer Countdown, please visit the Summer Reading & Learning website.

Las Vegas on the Big Screen . . .

. . . (and sometimes the little screen too)

With Las Vegas’ colorful history of mobsters, swanky hotels, and famous entertainers, it’s no surprise that the big screen (and sometimes the little one too) are attracted to Sin City. There is a lengthy list of films and television shows that have graced our 24-hour town. Some feature actual locations in Las Vegas while others are happy to simply use our city to set the story.

During your conference downtime, check out some of the locations that appear or inspire your favorite films and television shows. Don’t take your directions straight from the silver screen though; be sure to consult a map, GPS, or even a friendly local for the best way to visit these movie hot spots.

How many of these movie and television locations do you know?

Films:

  • Ocean’s Eleven (1960) – The closing shot shows the main cast walking away with the Sands Hotel marquee behind them.  The Sands Hotel is no longer around, but if you go to the Venetian Hotel & Casino you’ll be standing in part of the stomping ground of the infamous Rat Pack.
  • Rain Man (1988) – Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman play blackjack at Caesar’s Palace.
  • Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (1992) – Filming took place at well-known places around Las Vegas including the Hard Rock Café, Mirage Hotel, and even the original Wet ’n Wild water park (which closed in 2004).
  • Casino (1995) – Filming took place at the Riviera Casino (which served as the fictional Tangiers) but used the entrance of the nearby defunct Landmark Hotel as the entrance.
  • Mars Attacks! (1996) The demolition of the Landmark and the Luxor make a cameo in this comical science fiction film!
  • Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery (1997) -This one was filmed at the Riviera Hotel and Casino on the Strip.
  • Con Air (1997) John Malkovich and Nicholas Cage land at McCarran Airport and later take out the Sands (and a few other landmarks along the Las Vegas Strip).
  • Vegas Vacation (1997) – This film is also known as “National Lampoon’s Vegas Vacation”. The Mirage Resort was a major location for this film, but Wayne Newton’s Shenandoah also made an appearance.
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998) – Circus Circus Hotel & Casino and Flamingo Hotel both make a cameo in this cult classic.
  • Rush Hour 2 (2001)- This film took place in the Desert Inn, which no longer exists, but if you stand in front of the Wynn Hotel, you will be standing over the ashy remains of the Desert Inn.
  • Ocean’s Eleven (2001) – Danny Ocean plots to rob the Bellagio Hotel & Casino and the MGM Grand Resort & Casino.
  • The Hangover (2009) The Hangover was mostly filmed on location at Caesars Palace, including the front desk, lobby, entrance drive, pools, corridors, elevators, and roof, but the suite damaged in the film was built on a soundstage
  • Get Him to the Greek (2010) – Planet Hollywood, Red Rock, PURE, and the Ultra Sports Lounge in the Plaza all make appearances in this box office film.
  • Last Vegas (2013) Last Vegas takes place at the Aria Resort and Casino and at Binion’s Gambling Hall and Hotel.

Television:

  • American Restoration (2010; History Channel) – I was surprised to find out that this History Channel favorite is a based in Las Vegas AND is a spinoff of Pawn Stars.
  • Bad Ink (2013; A&E) – Bad Ink has been filmed in various locations in Las Vegas, but the show is based out of the Pussykat Tattoo Parlor off the Las Vegas Strip.
  • Criss Angel Mindfreak (2005; A&E)
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000; CBS) – CSI often visit “The Rampart” Hotel and Casino, but viewers may not know that it’s far from the bustling Strip.
  • Heroes (2006; NBC)
  • Las Vegas (2003-2008; NBC) – Set in fiction, but the show is said to be inspired by the Mandalay Bay.
  • Lucky (2003; FX)
  • Pawn Stars (2009; History Channel) – This show is filmed on location at the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop in Downtown Las Vegas, only minutes away from the Fremont Experience.
  • The Real World: Las Vegas (2002, 2011; MTV) – Las Vegas was so awesome that The Real World filmed here twice. They filmed at the Palms Casino & Resort for the 2002 season, but returned to the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino for the 2011 season.
  • Vegas (2012; CBS)

References:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_films_set_in_Las_Vegas

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_television_shows_set_in_Las_Vegas

Submitted by Natalia Tabisaura, YALSA Local Arrangements

App of the Week: Path on

Path on LogoTitle: Path on
Cost: $1.99
Platform: iOS

If you like to take pictures with your iOS device or know teens who do, you will definitely want to check out Path on. At first glance it may just seem like another photo captioning tool, but what sets Path on apart from other apps that allow you to add text to your images is that it gives you complete control over where you place your text. From a simple caption at the bottom of a page to a curved caption that follows the mountain at the back of your picture to a complicated pattern of words that fit into the spaces around your subject, this app makes it easy to achieve impressive text effects.

When you first open the Path on app, you have the option to tour their gallery on Instagram, or start creating your own images using those already saved on your device or by taking a new picture. Selected images can then be cropped and, as a nice added feature, the app even includes automatic tools to crop an image to fit the standard size on Instagram or for Facebook cover images or profile images as well as most of the standard image sizes you would find in photography. After the image is cropped, you can select how you would like the text to appear on the image. The app includes automatic options to write text in a square, circle, spiral or standard paragraph format and you can also unlock an automatic heart shape by liking the app on Facebook. But, what really sets this app apart is the option to instead draw your own path onto your image. To do this, you simply select the draw option and then trace the desired path or paths on your image. You can have non-continuous paths and the app will ensure that the text follows the exact order in which you drew each line, giving you an impressive amount of control over the entire process. For more detailed paths, you can also zoom in and out on the image. There are also options to undo your most recent drawing or to clear the entire image. All of these tools make it fairly simple to create a complicated path for your text very quickly.

Once you have selected a path or drawn the desired path for your text on the image, you can type your text and then edit it to make sure it exactly matches your vision. Text can be typed in any of hundreds of fonts or, if you would prefer, you can even opt to mix up to five different fonts on a single image. You also have control over the color of the text, the size, the letter spacing, the shadows and can easily change the layout of the text with the tap of a button. You can also edit the image itself with the built in cropping tool, images filters and other effects. Once you are happy with your creation, you can save it to your device, email it to anyone or share it on Instagram, Facebook, Flickr or Twitter all from within the app. Path on is a very fun option for image captioning and is well worth checking out if you frequently create and share images on your iPhone.

For more app recommendations visit the YALSA App of the Week Archive. If you have an app you think we should review, let us know!

Yakama Nation Library: Great Books Giveaway

Yakama Native students could hardly wait to check out new books at the Yakama Nation Library, the latest recipient of YALSA’s Great Books Giveaway. YALSA donates thousands of dollars worth of books every year to qualifying libraries across the United States.

Yakama Native students reviewing new books.

Yakama Native students reviewing new books.

 

The Yakama Nation Library serves 12 schools within a 5-mile radius, and students from all of those schools need access to books and information for reports, language studies, and recreational reading. Before YALSA’s donation, the books on YNL’s shelves were outdated. Now the collection has become richer with a more current range of fiction and nonfiction books and media to choose from.  Continue reading

The Hub Challenge Goes to School

read like a librarian scoreboard

Are you aware of the Hub Reading Challenge? Are you participating this year?
It’s quite the undertaking. Read as many of YALSA’s award-winning, honored, or selected titles from the past year as possible (or at least 25). You know, while reading everything else you want to read and doing your job and living your life outside of work. It’s both exciting and daunting. I signed up for it this year, though with other reading to do for booktalks, articles, and fun, I wasn’t sure if I could complete it (though I had already read many of the books on the list, you can only count the books if you read them during the challenge period). However, I was excited enough to think about inviting my library patrons to participate.

I’m lucky enough to work at a school where encouraging students to read for pleasure isn’t all that difficult. Castilleja is a school for girls in grades 6-12 in Palo Alto, California, and even with their incredibly demanding academic and extracurricular schedules, most of the girls find the time to read for fun, though this is more common with middle schoolers than upper schoolers. We also provide many of the adults on campus, both faculty and staff, with reading material for work and for fun. So when I set out to develop a reading challenge based on the Hub Reading Challenge, I wasn’t sure if it would be overkill or icing on the cake. Continue reading

Self-Directed Programs: Scavenger Hunts

An amazing way to get your tweens and teens to know the “unfamiliar” bits of your library is to do self-directed scavenger hunts. You know that your “kids” tend to congregate to one particular area- whether it’s your teen space, a place with the most comfortable chairs or a low table for card gaming, or the place furthest away from the supervising eyes of the non-teen people at the desk. And while they’ll know where to find the YA books, MAD Magazine and Alternative Press, and manga, do they know where to find non-fiction books for reports? Or how to operate one of the databases? If you become devious and take a little time out of your day, you can take a theme and turn a lesson in the library world into a creative self-directed program that will make them want to participate.

Scavenger hunts can be as intricate or as simple as you want them to be. Think about your current teens and the browsers that you have. What do they like, what things grab them? Do you have a program coming up that you could use this program as a gateway, like a Lego or Rainbow Loom makerspace? Are your teens gearing up for state tests or are you starting to build up for summer? Are you celebrating Free Comic Book Day or Star Wars Day or any of the newer movie releases? Take any of those and create silhouettes or in-house graphics to place around the library- depending on the length you decide your program will be (a day, a week) they can be printed on normal printer paper or card-stock, but they don’t have to last long.

Or, like I did for Teen Tech Week this year, take a page from Gwyneth Jones (http://www.thedaringlibrarian.com/2012/05/qr-code-quest-scavenger-hunt-part-deux.html), The Daring Librarian, and go with a QR scavenger hunt! Instead of characters and pictures, make your hunt virtual and hide QR codes around the library for teens to scan and learn. I used ours to introduce our new Ipad and tablets to our tweens and teens.QR Code hunt

Once you have your theme, decide on the length of the hunt. I typically have used 8-10, depending on the size of the library, but you may want to go larger or smaller. Remember your audience- you don’t want them to completely zone out, but you don’t want them to think it’s a “baby” thing, either. Questions I’ve used before have been:

  • Nicely, introduce yourself to a staff member you’ve never met before, and get their initials. (with a picture of the Mad Hatter Tea Party on the reference desk)
  • Horror is a sub-genre of our fiction section, and Carrie is based on a book by this author. Find the author and the book and find your next clue.

So get creative and then sit back and watch the fun!

Submitted by Christie Gibrich

YALSAblog Tweets of the Week – March 28, 2014

A short list of tweets from the past week of interest to teens and the library staff that work with them.

Do you have a favorite Tweet from the past week? If so add it in the comments for this post. Or, if you read a Twitter post between March 28 and April 3 that you think is a must for the next Tweets of the Week send a direct or @ message to lbraun2000 on Twitter.
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ALA Annual 2014: Working the Exhibit Hall

If you’ve never been to a convention before, the Exhibit Hall can be a bit overwhelming. Trust me, I’ve done ComicCon’s enough to know how to get the most out of the time you have and, really, the strategy can be applied to any convention or conference you go to. Here are some of my tips on being as efficient as possible when navigating the exhibits at Annual this year:

What Is the Exhibit Hall?

At any conference or convention there are hundreds of companies renting out booths to try and pitch their products to you, and with thousands of people rushing by, many will try almost anything to get you to stop at their specific booth. Some will offer freebies, some have raffles for awesome items like iPads and free airfare to next year’s conference and others will have author signings with some big-name people. In between all the speakers, panels, division meetings and professional development trainings you’re interested in going to, how do you manage to make the most of your time in the Exhibit Hall?

Make a Schedule

Check back on the official webpage for Annual about a month prior to the conference to see the Scheduler. You can browse, search, and select the specific programs you’d like to see and make a nice list of everything you’re interested in. The Scheduler can be a little hard to sort through but if you use the limiters such as Meeting Type, Sponsoring Divisions, and Subject you can find what you’d like to see. Once you know what your days will look like, take the time in between to visit the Exhibit Hall. And don’t feel like you have to see everything all at once. Stagger your time in the Hall throughout the conference so you have time to visit all the booths you’re interested in.

All the Free Swag

You won’t understand just how much free stuff there is until you see the Exhibit Hall when it opens. It can make librarians go mad, so use your head. At the 2013 conference, there were people with book trucks literally running inside to be the first to grab all the awesome freebies. I got caught up in it too, blindly grabbing things from each booth as I passed by, though I learned from my experience that it’s a good idea to take an extra moment to determine if you really want or need what you’re picking up or you might end up with more stuff than you’re able to get home. Be sensible, and you’ll be fine.

There are limited quantities of the best swag and those tend to disappear quickly. The booths limit how much product they put out each day though, so if it’s “sold out” when you go, ask the representative at the booth what time they’ll put out the next batch of items. It’s usually at opening the next day, so if you’ve got some time before your panel, I suggest stopping by early.  Also, if you can make it to the ribbon-cutting ceremony on opening night, you’ll see exactly what the booths have to offer.

Author Events

Every publisher you can think of will be at the conference hoping to sell you their books and to pull you in. The best way of doing this is to bring the authors for book signings, a great ploy because it gets you to buy their book and you get to meet some of your author celebrities. For example, last year I met Laurie Halse Anderson, Marie Lu, Patrick Ness, Veronica Roth, Tamora Pierce, Francesca Lia Block, and David Levithan, and my mind was blown! I mean these are rock stars in my opinion! You can use the Scheduler to see who’s coming this year and plan ahead by buying your own books, though usually the publishers will have their books discounted for the signing. Be sure to carry cash on you though, just in case they don’t accept cards.

Some of the big, big name authors have limited spots, so you have to pick up a wristband or a ticket to attend their signing.  It’s at the publisher’s discretion and is not always listed on the Scheduler so if there is someone big you want to see, find out which publisher they’re going to be with and on opening night for the Hall, visit their booth ASAP to see if you need a ticket to attend.

Raffles and Giveaways

A lot of the booths will have other incentives to get you to stop by, including raffles and giveaways.  This usually requires your filling out an entry form or leaving a business card so they can contact you, but this also means they have your contact info and will be sending you emails throughout the year. Do keep in mind, if you don’t want a million spam emails, that you can unsubscribe from their mailing list when you get back home. One of the easiest ways to find out what booths are raffling off is to look at the ALA Conference Guide handed out at registration. There is a coupon book with most of the Exhibit Hall promos that you can complete before you go so you can quickly submit your entries for all of the drawings you’re interested in.

Networking Opportunities

If you are in a position high enough where you have the purchasing power to actually invest in publishers, new technologies, or furniture then do take advantage of talking with the reps at each booth to see what they have to offer. You might get some deals if you chat them up and make a new associate.

Getting Everything Home

So you went crazy and picked up way too much swag to actually take back home. What do you do? Brilliantly, there is a USPS Post Office in the Exhibit Hall for all your shipping needs. And the best part about shipping books is that you can use Media Mail which is infinitely cheaper than regular postage. Just make sure you only have books in those boxes and pack your posters, stuffed animals and other trinkets separately because the mail carriers do open up Media Mail to check that only books are inside and will charge you the difference if you have any other items in it.  Also, to avoid long lines don’t wait until the last day to ship your loot.

One Hidden Small-but Fun-Activity

While walking around last year’s conference, I noticed that many attendees had these cool ribbons on their badges saying what division or round table they were in, if they were a first-timer, or even cute funny ones like “Library Superhero,” and I wanted to know where these ribbons were coming from! ribbonsThe division and round table ones are almost all located in the ALA Membership Pavilion in the Exhibit Hall, or sometimes near registration, and you can pick and choose which ones you’d like.  Then there are the fun ones put out by different booths and it’s like a random scavenger hunt to find them. If you see someone with one you like, the best way to find it is to ask them where they got it.ribbons close Otherwise while you’re exploring, take a second to see if the booths have any quirky ones that you’d like. My friend and I made it a goal to see who could get the most and the coolest ones and ended up with five-foot long ribbons.  (photo from facebook.com/farm4.static.flickr.com)

Having Fun and Relaxing

To be honest, I was exhausted by the end of the conference last year.  Between running around to all the panels, joining up with colleagues and meeting new ones, and finding time to eat and rest, hanging out in the Exhibit Hall was actually quite relaxing and fun after the free-swag madness was over. Sometimes just taking some down time to stroll around and browse or wait in line for author signings was a nice little break from everything. I definitely advise taking time visit the Hall and enjoy what’s going on. Overall, don’t stress, have a good time, and try to pick up some good freebies or meet some authors if you can!

Submitted by Soraya Silverman, YALSA Local Arrangements

App of the Week: 123D Sculpt

123d sculpt iconTitle: 123D Sculpt
Platform: iOS, iPad
Cost: Free with paid upgrades

 

 

 

Ever want to try 3D modeling? Ever think about how much 3D modeling could be like playing with clay?  I did not equate the two things until I tried this app. 123D Sculpt gives you base shapes to start with and allows you to manipulate them with various tools, add color and texture, and share them in through photos or videos.

App developer, Autodesk, offers a video demo of the app, tips, and a gallery of people’s projects on the 123D Sculpt website. They also offer a lineup of other apps to experiment more with 3D modeling, some of which you can try on the site.

When you open 123D Sculpt, you can choose from a variety of base shapes to start with: a face, a human form, a dog, a cube, a car, an airplane, to name a few. Once you choose a shape, you can manipulate it using various tools.  In the video demo, and in searching images created with 123D Sculpt, it looks easy to change the base shapes into detailed creations. After a bit of experimentation, the learning curve seems steeper. Practice is required to get the “clay” to behave the way you want it to. Continue reading