Teen Short Story Contest Begins!

Short Story Contest 2In celebration of Teen Read Week, submit an original short story around the theme “Get Away” from October 19- December 6. Write about a grand adventure, a secret hideaway, how folks escape their day-to-day routine or whatever you think fits the theme.

Winners will receive a Barnes & Nobles gift card and their stories will be published on the library’s teen blog. This contest is open to all teens in Boone and Callaway counties ages 12-18. Continue reading

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2015 Winter Program Preview

ScrabbleHoliday Crafting
Southern Boone County Public Library
Saturday, December 5, 9-11:30 a.m.

Drop by to create ornaments, cards and other holiday items at this annual event for all ages.

Wii Game Time
Southern Boone County Public Library

Think you have the best dance moves? Prove it! Can you drive like Mario? Bring it! Come play a variety of games on the Wii U. Treats served. Teens.

Wednesday, December 16, 2:45-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 13, 2:45-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 10, 2:45-4:30 p.m.

Holiday Crafternoon
Join us for an afternoon of crafting cards and gifts for the holidays. We’ll provide an array of crafting supplies. All ages.

Callaway County Public Library
Monday, December 21, 1-4 p.m.
Columbia Public Library
Monday, December 21, 2-4 p.m.

Family Game Day
Columbia Public Library
Tuesday, December 29, 9:30-11:30 a.m. -OR- 2-4 p.m. -OR- 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Drop by to play board games. We’ll have favorites, old and new, but feel free to bring your own games, too. Families with children of all ages.

March Madness Teen Book Tournament
Thursday, January 7
At the library, March Madness begins in January when you can start voting for this year’s teen book champion. Beginning January 7, check out our list of the 32 most popular teen books at teens.dbrl.org. You’ll vote for your favorites in each round until you narrow the list to one Mid-Missouri teen book champion. Each time you vote, your name will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win cool prizes like free book sets or a Barnes & Noble gift card. You have until February 21 to vote for the Sweet Sixteen at your library or at teens.dbrl.org. Starting in March, you can vote each week to pick the Elite Eight, the Final Four, the Top Two and the champion! Ages 12 and older. Continue reading

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Staff Review: The Vanishing Season

The Vanishing Season by Jodi Lynn AndersonWhy I Checked It Out: I give the marketing team of HarperTeen mad props. They did a fantastic job of designing the cover of “The Vanishing Season” by Jodi Lynn Anderson to ensnare readers like me. Desolate winter tree reflected in a lake? Creepy etchings of moths, snowflakes, and the silhouettes of two girls facing each other (or facing off?)? Tagline about being haunted? I’m in!

What It’s About: Her senior year of high school, Maggie moves from Chicago to a tiny town on Lake Michigan. Though she finds friends in her neighbors, Pauline and Liam, will their bond to each other always leave Maggie on the outside? Along with the drama in Maggie’s life, there just happens to be an epidemic of teenage girls disappearing on this isolated peninsula. 

Oh, and just one more thing: some chapters are told in the voice of a ghostly presence. Who is this presence and what is its purpose? You’ll have to read the book to find out!

Why I Liked It: I sympathized with Maggie right from the beginning and wanted good things to happen for her. Then things got more complicated, and I wanted to know what was going to happen next with the trio–and what was happening to the disappearing girls. Thankfully for me, the paranormal aspect didn’t overwhelm the main story line. 

Who Will Like It: Ever felt on the outside? Even within your own friendships? This book is for you. Despite the ghostly presence, I wouldn’t say it’s a traditional ghost story, so if that’s your bag, try “The Girl from the Well” by Rin Chupeco.

Other Books by Jodi Lynn Anderson: Peaches,” “Love and Peaches” and Tiger Lily.” 

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Safe Place: A Resource for Teens in Need

On average, 2.8 million teens runaway from home each year. Rainbow House, a local emergency shelter for youth, receives 10-15 calls each month from teens who have either been abused or kicked out of their homes. To help combat this serious widespread problem, the Youth Community Coalition partnered with Rainbow House to launch the Safe Place Program.

How does Safe Place work?

Youth can stop by one of 20 Safe Place sites, including the Columbia Public Library. Then, they simply find the first available employee and let them know they are in need of a safe place. Young adults will be connected to emergency shelter and other supportive resources available through Rainbow House.

If you’re in trouble and can’t make it to a Safe Place site, you can call (573) 818-8288, or text “SAFE” and your current location (address/city/state) to 69866. Continue reading

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November 6 Deadline for December ACT Exam

Cracking the ACTBe sure to register online by Friday, November 6 if you plan to take the December 12 ACT exam. If you would like to know more about testing locations, exam costs and fee waivers, please visit our  online guide to ACT/SAT preparation. The library also has a wide selection of printed ACT and SAT test guides for you to borrow.

Our most popular resource for test-takers, though, is LearningExpress Library. Through this website, you may take free online practice tests for the ACT or SAT exam. To access LearningExpress Library, you will need to login using your DBRL library card number. Your PIN is your birthdate (MMDDYYYY).  If you have questions or encounter difficulties logging in, please call  (800) 324-4806.

Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog updates for regular reminders of upcoming test registration deadlines!

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Gaming Events at Your Library

Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride

Columbia Public Schools will not be in session on November 2 and 3. Instead of chilling out at home, join us at the library for some fun tabletop and video games. Learn how to play “Magic: The Gathering” or challenge your friends to a dance-off with “Just Dance 2015.” Mark your calendars now for these programs!

Gamer Eve
Columbia Public Library
Monday, November 2 5:30-8:30 p.m.
Gamers unite! Drop in to play tabletop games such as “Gloom,” “Castle Panic” and “Ticket to Ride.” Bring your “Magic: The Gathering” cards if you want to challenge other players. Maybe you’ll discover your next favorite game! Ages 10 and older.

Wii U Family Game Time
Columbia Public Library
Try out the library’s Wii U game console. Become a dancing superstar in “Just Dance 2015″ or a gold cup winner in “Mario Kart 8.” Snacks provided. Ages 10 and older. Parents welcome. Registration begins two weeks before each program. To sign-up, please call (573) 443-3161.

Friday, Oct. 23 at 4 p.m.
Registration begins
Tuesday, Oct. 13.
Tuesday, Nov. 3 at 2 p.m.
Registration begins
Tuesday, Oct. 20.

Photo by Flickr User Rob Bertholf. Used under Creative Commons license.

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Staff Review: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the AshesWhy I Checked It Out: An Ember in the Ashes” by Sabaa Tahir showed up as a highly suggested upcoming YA fantasy release on a variety of different blogs I visit. A lot of authors I respect also tweeted about it, and that was enough for me. If an author I loved said it was good, I had to have it. I put a copy on reserve before it even came out.

What It’s About:  “An Ember in the Ashes” is told in alternating points of view between Laia, a Scholar, and Elias, a Mask. They live a city that once belonged to the Scholars, but was taken over by the Empire–a force that respects loyalty and brutality above all else. Laia wants to avenge her family and free her brother from the Empire. Elias wants to escape the horrors of being a Mask, an assassin-like fighter that is created to follow the Empire’s orders. As the two attempt to solve their problems, their worlds start to intertwine.

What I Liked About It:  For starters, it is beautifully written. The world Tahir builds is rich and comes to life before your eyes. Laia was a weak character at the beginning of the novel, but as the story progresses, she grows a backbone and became a character to love. That is my one complaint. That’s it!

Elias was an awesome character right from the start. I hated the struggles he was forced to endure, and it drove me insane sometimes that more good things didn’t happen to him, but still, the story was well plotted. The way Tahir interweaves the two characters’ storylines, bringing them slowly together until their stories connect, is also creative and different. Continue reading

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Winner Announced in Teen Photo Contest

Grace Hurt

Photo by Grace Hurt

Today we recognize the winner in our “Every Hero Has a Story” Teen Photography Contest. This summer, teens were asked to honor a hero in their lives by submitting a portrait and a short description of his or her inspiring deeds. The library received eight entries.

Contestants were judged on the following criteria:

  • Composition, the overall arrangement of elements within the photo.
  • The use of color, light and shadow to capture the image.
  • The creative interpretation of the “hero”  theme .

We are pleased to announce the winner is Grace Hurt. She is also the recipient of the People’s Choice Award as determined by the library’s Facebook followers. When asked about her photo, she said, “The hero featured in my picture this year is my sister, and best friend, Amanda. She’s not only my hero, but also the hero of the little girl in the picture. Amanda and her husband have recently become foster parents and the little girl in the picture is their first foster child. Amanda has been my hero since I can remember, and with her becoming a foster parent, I admire her even more. I’m so glad this little girl has someone to look up to, even if it is for just the short time she’s there. I know how much Amanda has impacted my life and I hope she gets the chance to be a hero to many more, even if only for a week. Grace will receive a $20 gift card to Barnes and Noble as her award. Continue reading

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