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GEPL Teens: Year-Round School Take 1

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By: Roy M., Teen Blogger

Note from Hannah: You may remember that in June, one of our bloggers discussed the concept of year-round school. Since then, several of our bloggers have considered the issue and written about their take on the balanced school schedule.

Cartoon Girl Says "What?!?!" Cartoon Boy Says "We Have School In Summer." Cartoon created by ruchizzle at toondo.comThere are many different opinions about year round school. Some may say it’s a good thing, while others may be against it.

There are many pros of having year round school. You would get to see your friends and classmates all the time, instead of seeing them like once or twice after school gets out. Another pro would be that you would probably get longer breaks if you keep the same number of days. For example if your spring break is only a week, maybe it could be two or three weeks long. Also, if school was year-round, there probably wouldn’t be as much summer homework to do because summer break would only be a couple weeks instead of two or so months. If school was year-round, there would probably be some summer sports to do like sports camp, but it’s for school because I know that schools don’t always run sports camps for all sports. Another pro is that you would get to know your teachers more because you’ll see them more often. Those are some pros of having year-round school.

There are also many cons of having year-round school. One con is that there really isn’t anything to look forward to because as a student myself, I know one of the biggest things I look forward to during the school year is when school gets out because there are like two months of no school. Another con is that students might start slacking off more because they are getting tired of school and having no summer break. Also, if school was year-round, it would be harder to plan a vacation because a vacation is usually a week or so, and if school was year-round, you might only be able to go on vacation during certain times. You can’t just go whenever you want because of school. Another con is for college students to come back home, if school was year round they would only come back home for two or so weeks and have to leave again because there is no summer break, which is when college students go back home and spend an extended period with their families. It would also be harder for college students whose families are overseas because it’s a lot more expensive to go back home for only around two weeks. It’s much more convenient if it was for like two months. Also if there was no summer break, you would most likely have to choose between going on vacation and hanging out with your friends because each break would only be a couple weeks, which isn’t a lot of time. Those are some cons of having year-round school.

As you can see, there are many pros and cons of having year-round school. But if you ask students what they would like, I know I would prefer not having year-round school, and I think most students would agree with me because summer break is where some of your best memories can come from.


Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Teens: The Humiliations Are Almost Complete

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By: Hannah Rapp, Teen Librarian

As you’ve heard (over and over) from me, from other librarians, and recently, from the Daily Herald, the Glen Ellyn library community surpassed this summer’s reading goals! Teen readers were a huge part of that, setting an all-time record with a 41% increase over the highest levels ever read. Without you guys, the adults wouldn’t have hit their goal – so basically, you all rock!

And of course, as there has been all summer, there is embarrassment in exchange for your awesomeness. And while you guys still have one more embarrassing video coming, since you reached your goals before the tweens, this was the last hurrah for the joint stunts. Middle School Librarian Christina and I saved the best for last, and capped off our summer of ridiculous stunts with a live performance at the Library’s Open Mic Night at the beginning of this month. For better or for worse, none of you were there to see it, so we basically just got up and humiliated ourselves for the amusement of the adults in the audience. But since you all are the ones who earned this, we of course have to share it with you!

So without further ado, I present to you…Hannah and Christina’s Open Mic Night Rap!

I have to admit – this was easily one of the scariest things I’ve ever done! But in the end, it was a ton of fun. I laughed, and hopefully you will all laugh too, which makes it worth it. Enjoy!

(Rap written by Hannah and Christina, to the tune of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air).

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Kids: Technology and Kids – 3D Art

By: Christina Keasler, GEPL Middle School Librarian

There has probably been a time where a child has out-teched you. It’s nothing to be ashamed of – it’s happened to everyone. Kids live in such a digital world these days. They are introduced to innovative technology so early it’s second nature, while we may be comparing the Samsung Galaxy S6 with our old Nextel walkie talkie. They are able to maneuver a touchscreen device before learning how to walk.

Technological advances don’t need to be necessarily avoided. There are plenty of studies that say these gadgets can be beneficial when in moderation. This can also be said about 3D printing technology.

3D Printer with Red Rabbit Sitting in MachineThere has been a shift from 2D to 3D animation, and art created by children doesn’t need to be different. There are apps that transform 2D drawings into 3D objects ready for printing, and many software choices to smoothly transition someone’s interest in 3D design into a hobby.

From now through November 1st, GEPL is accepting 3D project entries to our 3D design contest. Community judges will choose two winners different age group brackets, one for creativity and one for complexity. Submissions will be accepted from 3rd grade and up. Learn more about our 3D Competition.

Use this as an opportunity for you and your child to learn 3D drafting skills together. Beginning software options pride themselves on being accessible to all ages. Your shared interest can be a talking point for both of you, and give you the chance to build upon a hobby that you can share.

Beginner 3D Drafting Software Options:




Posted in GEPL Kids

GEPL Teens: Teens Write – Book to Movie Adaptations

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By: Justin A., Teen Blogger

There are some pretty great book to movie adaptations out there. In the year 2014 along there were many books turned into movies. Some of these were, Carrie, Guardians of the Galaxy, Gone Girl, Enders Game, This Is Where I Leave You, Divergent and more. Of these movies not all of them did well in the box office. Book to movie adaptations are a great way to introduce new things and interest people in reading a little more, though this only works if the movies look and are as good as the book (given the fact that the book was good enough to gather attention and be picked up by a director)

Of these many books turned into movies I mostly enjoyed three.

Enders Game Movie Poster
Enders Game – This is a post-apocalyptic story where an alien invasion killed many people and the world changed. The new world had evolved in technology including space travel, zero gravity chambers and more. In this world we meet a prodigy named Ender who is very smart and a tactical genius. He gets recruited into a military/boot camp for kids becoming military commanders. The book, comic, and movie are all absolutely amazing and display a world that is mostly original.

This Is Where I Leave You Movie Poster
This Is Where I Leave You – This is a story about a man named Judd who has recently had his girlfriend cheat on him, father die and is now forced to stay in the same house as his two brothers and sister by request of their late father. They all interact very interestingly in the way you’d expect a dysfunctional family to work. This adaptation works because of its real life characters and problems. They have moments where they dislike each other but always love one another and continue to show this throughout the movie and book.

Gardians of the Galaxy Movie Poster
Guardians of the Galaxy – This is a story featuring mostly extra-terrestrial comic book characters. A man named Peter Quill (Star-lord), Groot, a tree-like alien from a dead planet, Gamora, a former evil female assassin, Rocket Raccoon, a weapons and mechanical expert, and Drax the Destroyer, the strongman of the team. While they have many adventures in the comic books, in the movie these unlikely heroes are brought together and must protect a thing known as the orb from the powerful Ronan who can use the orb to destroy entire planets.

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Tweens: 3D Printing

By: Christina Keasler, Tween Librarian

We’ve had our 3D printer for a couple years now. We’ve seen some awesome prints, and some abominable clogs. Eugene (that’s our printer’s name) and I have visited Hadley and Glen Crest multiple times and Eugene was a main attraction at our first STEAM Fair. We have helped contribute to Cantigny museum displays, model airplanes, and patents.

The Glen Ellyn Public Library Foundation generously donated a MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer to the library in 2013.

The Glen Ellyn Public Library Foundation generously donated a MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer to the library in 2013.

Yes, we’ve done a lot. But GEPL has never been one to be in a rut. We’re shaking things up and want to see more from you! We are currently calling for 3D print designs from students like you. It’s time to practice those drafting skills. GEPL is accepting contest submissions until November 1st. We will have two winners for each age group – 3-5 grade, 6-8 grade, 9-12 grade, and adults – one for complexity and one for creativity. While the designs must be printable, the possibilities are endless!

Judges chosen from within the community will choose the winners, whose designs will be printed in a special gold filament, receive a trophy, and will be featured in a future blog post. Plus, you’ll get some serious 3D design street cred.

I look forward to seeing what you create when you combine your imagination with your skills.

Posted in GEPL Tweens

GEPL Teens: Late to the Game

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By: Hannah Rapp, Teen Librarian

As a teen librarian, I do my best to read a lot of young adult literature. It’s not only part of my job, but a huge part of why I love being a teen librarian. I try keep up with a lot of the beloved, popular, or well-reviewed books and series, from The Fault in Our Stars to Divergent to Twilight. I also try and get ahead of what might be popular or win awards. I read an advanced copy of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, practically salivated until I got ahold of An Ember in the Ashes, and felt a surge of pride when a title I’d already read – This One Summer – was nominated for the prestigious Printz award. But it’s impossible to keep up with everything, and now and then, a book or series that I hear great things about, or that is recommended over and over, slips through the cracks. Often, I never do get around to them, but sometimes, I’m just a little late to the game, which is its own unique experience.

Cinder by Marissa MeyerThe most recent example of this is Cinder by Marissa Meyer. I just finished the first book on audio, and not surprisingly, given the rave reviews it’s gotten from professionals and public alike, I loved it! I can’t wait to read more of the Lunar chronicles, and I can’t decide if I’m upset I took this long to read it, or glad because now I can binge on the series! Cinder was a little unique in that I wasn’t spoiled too much coming in – I knew Levana was evil and that Cinder was a cyborg, I knew it was a fairy tale retelling, but that much information hardly counts as spoilers – it’s more just basic plot. So I got to go along for the ride, finding out more about the characters, the world, and the intricate plot as I went along. But the downside of coming into the big books or series late is that it’s awfully hard to do it spoiler-free.

The biggest example of that side of the equation for me isn’t actually a book – it’s the TV show Dr. Who. I’m still slowly but surely working my way through the TV series, but it’s a strange experience. Strange because, thanks to my friends, the internet, and the delightfully nerdy social and online worlds that I live in, I already know so much about the show. Major reveals and plot twists were already familiar to me by the time I got to them. I knew all the actors and which number doctor they were before I started. I had strong suspicions about which companions would be my favorites – all of which have been correct so far. I often feel dread in the pit of my stomach long before something bad happens, because usually, I know that it’s coming.

Interestingly enough though, I don’t think either of these experiences is inherently better or worse. Reading Cinder relatively unspoiled was fun. It allowed me to experience it as though I was one of the first on the bandwagon, instead of jumping on way late. But watching Dr. Who and getting perspective on all the bits and pieces I already know is fun – it feels like getting to know a celebrity or something. And it means that when there is a twist or turn I didn’t know about, it’s about ten times more shocking, because I thought I knew what was coming.

Like it or not, there are always going to be some things that we come to late. Whether you’re just getting started on Harry Potter, or only now realizing why everybody has been raving about Legend, it’s a fact of life. But the good news is, you’re getting to experience all that wonderfulness now instead of never, and there’s something to be said for both coming in blind to a popular series and enjoying the expansion of a world or story that you already kind of know about. So don’t be afraid to tackle something just because you’re behind the times – whether it’s all new to you or something you’re already familiar with, you’ll still be jumping into a whole new world!

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Kids: Family Fun Time

By: Kate Easley

What’s your favorite part of being a youth librarian Miss Kate? There are so many fun parts, but I love doing the weekly Family Storytime. It’s so great to see moms, dads, grandparents, big siblings, and babysitters interacting with their little one – singing songs, doing silly dances, and listening to stories. Family storytimes are a great time for everyone to have fun together and learn at the same time.

During storytime we often sing some of our favorite tunes. I love music and I have so many favorite storytime songs I can’t keep track of them sometimes. One of my favorite storytime songs is Laurie Berkner’s “We Are the Dinosaurs”. It’s a great song to sing while you stomp around like a big T-Rex. I also love “Alabama, Mississippi” by Jim Gill which is a fun one to sing while shaking a shaker egg. My all-time favorite storytime song is “The Milkshake Song” on Songs for Wiggleworms because who doesn’t love a milkshake? Make mine chocolate please!

So come join us for our Family Storytimes that we will be doing at three different locations throughout Glen Ellyn. We miss seeing all of your smiling faces and would love to see you soon!

Posted in GEPL Kids

GEPL Teens: Teens Review – The Pixar Touch

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By: Matt J., Teen Blogger

The Pixar Touch by David PriceI read a book not too long ago called “The Pixar Touch”, based on the titular company. It talks about the history of Pixar Animation Studios and how they went from a low level group to the world’s greatest animation studio. The book begins with future president of Pixar Ed Catmull dreaming of being an animator, though he couldn’t be qualified, so he switched the CG, and eventually got bought by George Lucas to form the Lucasfilm computer graphics division. Then a fired Disney animator John Lassiter was hired by Catmull to work for the division. Eventually, they were bought by Apple creator Steve Jobs in 1986 and they became Pixar.

They made CG shorts before Disney allowed then to make a movie, which turned out to eventually become “Toy Story,” the first ever computer-animated film and goes deeper into the making of the film and the corporate feud they had with former Disney chairman Jeffery Katzenberg and eventually Disney CEO Michael Eisner and how they were acquired by Disney. Unlike “The Pixar Story” documentary, this book goes deeper into the history of the company. What I enjoy the most of this book were the things that the film never showed to us. I liked reading out the 1998 battle between Pixar and DreamWorks (“A Bug’s Life” vs. “Antz”), as well as the two lawsuits for “Monsters Inc.”, first with a Wyoming poet who claims they stole the idea from her and then with a well know artist who claims Mike and Sully were taken from his own characters. Overall, I enjoy this book more than the movie because it goes deeper into the history of Pixar Animation Studios.

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Teens: What I’m Reading Now – Walk on Earth a Stranger

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By: Hannah Rapp, Teen Librarian

Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae CarsonIf you’ve ever heard me raving about The Girl of Fire and Thorns series, it should come as no surprise that I have been eagerly awaiting the release of the first book in Rae Carson’s next series. Lucky for me, I managed to score an advanced copy to get a sneak peek at the book, which will be released on September 22!

What I’m Reading Now: Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

What’s It About (Jacket Description): Lee Westfall has a secret. She can sense the presence of gold in the world around her. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home—until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and takes to the trail across the country. Gold was discovered in California, and where else could such a magical girl find herself, find safety?

Walk on Earth a Stranger, the first book in this new trilogy, introduces—as only Rae Carson can—a strong heroine, a perilous road, a fantastical twist, and a slow-burning romance. Includes a map and author’s note on historical research.

Do I Like It: I’m racing through it and it’s written by Rae Carson, so I think it’s safe to say yes!

Thoughts: Walk on Earth a Stranger is a very different book from The Girl of Fire and Thorns series, but that’s not necessarily bad. If you do want to know what it has in common with the GoFaT series, rest assured that Lee is a strong, smart heroine, that there is action and adventure, and that the magic is compelling and a big part of the main character’s life.

Walk on Earth a Stranger is in many ways a Western – a trend that seems to be popping up more and more in young adult literature, and which I’m starting to be a fan of. Lee has grown up in a small Georgia town that was founded on a gold rush, though even her ability hasn’t been able to keep her family rich, unless they want the world to know about her magic and try to use her or hurt her as a result. So Lee mainly helps provide for her family by hunting, caring for their animals, splitting wood, and doing whatever else she can to keep their small farmstead running. Unlike many novels, this isn’t portrayed as Lee being better than other more “ladylike” women, but instead as a simple necessity for her family. I really like that aspect of the book, since I sometimes get tired of a heroine being portrayed as better just because she’s less girly. In Lee’s case, she’s not better, just different.

I also liked how quickly Carson establishes the world of the story. In the first few scenes, we are introduced to Lee as a character, some of her abilities (like hunting and gold-seeking,) and her family. I immediately felt connected to Lee and her family in just a short time, which is important so that we as readers can understand how devastating it is for Lee when things start to go wrong. Where I’m at, the tension is really starting to ramp up, and new adventures are beginning. I’m excited to see where the story goes, how the hints of a more widespread magical world play out, and how Lee’s abilities come into play in this only slightly altered version of our own world. Walk on Earth a Stranger promises to be a great adventure story, a good friendship story, well-researched historical fiction, and an introduction to a fascinating magical system.

Posted in GEPL Teens

GEPL Kids: SRP Wrap-up: Thank You, Summer Reading Donors!

By: Renee Grassi, Youth Department Director

Read for Heroes LogoThis year’s Summer Reading Program “Read for Heroes” was a resounding success!

In the Youth Department, kids finished the summer reading a total of 80,254 hours. That’s 10,254 hours over their 70,000 hour community goal! In addition, kids managed to make their 70,000 hour goal 4 days before the end of summer reading—a new record! Glen Ellyn is surely a community of readers!

We are fortunate that our annual Summer Reading Programs receive such strong support from local businesses each and every year. The Youth Department is especially grateful for the multitude of donations that were given as incentives and rewards to children who achieved their reading goals. Thank you, local businesses, for supporting our Summer Reading Program and for encouraging the next generation of life-long readers! We couldn’t have done it without you!

Posted in GEPL Kids