Harry Potter and the top secret box of books

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So for those of you who haven’t read your What’s On yet… We have a program for the release of the newest chapter of the Harry Potter saga. The program is called Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Read In and it will take place at the Pierre Berton Resource Library on July 31 from 7 – 11:00pm. The program will include Harry Potter activities, Harry Potter inspired refreshments, Harry Potter Movies and of course the new book! The new book is based on the play that is on stage in London starting July 30.

potterThe book itself is not available in Canada until 12:01 am July 31st. July 31 is the civic holiday Sunday so we have special permission to open the library that day. Getting permission for that was easy compared to what we have to go through in order to get books for the event. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

The secrecy surrounding the release of the Harry Potter books is infamous and epic but this is my first direct experience with the process. There are forms to fill out, waivers to sign and rules to follow. Here are some of the rules we as librarians must abide by.

We can not open the box until after 12:01 on July 31. That means no reading, no touching, no selfies, no nothing!

If we need to link the books to our catalogue, which we do if anyone is going to take the book home that evening, staff who link the book can only link the book and they have to be in a locked office.

The office has to be a secure environment and only the minimum necessary staff from operations will have access.

We must know who those staff are ahead of time and give their names.

The books can not go in our courier bins before the sale date. Someone needs to drive them and we have to know ahead of time who that person is.

If we don’t follow these rules they will sue us, and we will never get anything before the release date again.

VIPSo obviously we will be following these rules very carefully to ensure that there are no spoilers. Not only is this  a fantastic way to build excitement over the release but it also makes us librarians feel VERY important. 😉

Teen Summer Reading Challenge starts a week today!

by  | Category: It's here!, Reading Lounge, What's Going On
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Teen Summer Reading Challenge

Hello teens!

I am sooooooo excited! Teen Summer Reading Challenge: Mission Impossible starts in one week (Canada Day).

What is Teen Summer Reading Challenge you ask?
Every year we challenge the teens (that means Grade 7 to 18 years old) in Vaughan to read over the summer. There is a reading challenge and other ways to earn cool prizes and an end of summer Party. This year we are challenging you to read 500,000 pages collectively. That means everyone together. :)

Make an account at www.vaughanpl.info/tsrc and let us know how many pages you read that week. You will Teen Readingreceive an electronic ballot each week you log in no matter how much you have had time to read.

To collect more ballots visit your local branch and ask at the information desk (July 2 – August 31) to complete the weekly spy missions. Missions include photo scavenger hunts, creating your own comic, writing lyrics to your own spy song, making a catapult out of random office supplies and more. Once you have completed your mission show the librarian and they will award you another electronic ballot. If you do a really awesome job they might even give you two!!!

Want to participate with friends? That’s cool! If you work together to complete the mission you will each get a ballot for your efforts.

Want to participate at more than one branch? That’s cool too! The more participation the better.

Okay, so what are all these BALLOTS for? Each week we will do a randomly generated draw and a participant will receive a cool prize. Prizes include: A blue tooth tracker, a Chromecast, a portable recharging bank, big bag of books, and more.

At the end of the summer we will do a randomly generated draw for a GoPro Hero 4 Camera.Go Pro Hero 4

The camera will be awarded at the end of summer party on September 3, 2016. The party will be held at our new beautiful library  the Civic Centre Resource Library from 7pm until midnight.

What kinda party is it? You choose! While logged into your TSRC account go to the party tab and vote for the party you think would be awesome. The choices are a movie party, a pirate themed murder mystery party, an escape room party and a humans v.s. zombies (LARPG) live action role playing game. Just make sure you vote by July 31st!

Sign up by July 1st to make sure you are getting all the chances you can at our awesome prizes.

This message will self destruct!!!

inspector gadget

Week of Geek: A Disney Moment…

by  | Category: Movie Madness, Pop Culture, Super Fan
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Hiya Geeklings.

Like many, many people out there, I love Disney.  So I thought we’d all bask in it’s cartoony awesomeness for a moment.

Not only has Zootopia landed on Blu-ray and DVD

…which is an awesome movie, funny…

…visually stunning…

…and just so much more, we’ve got a first look at the new Disney Animation film coming out this fall.

Brace yourselves for Moana… and Maui.

*happy sigh*  Looks like good times ahead.  What do guys think?  Post first impressions in the comments section.

Thanks guys.  Always keep those mouse ears handy, and until next time, End of Line.

There And Back Again – Part Three: The Courage Of Hobbits

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Bilbo risk
There is something to be said about adventuring. Despite what you may think, you come to the stark and unsettling realization that you really don’t know who you are or what you are capable of until you find yourself in a situation that tests you beyond your limits.

Indeed. It would appear that we have arrived at the trial by fire part of our venturous tale. An adventure is all well and good at the start when things are amiable and everyone is in fine spirits. Excitement of the unknown will do that to you. But do not be fooled. This does not last. No matter how strong of limb or stout of spirit you may be at some point on the journey things will start to wear you down. Tempers fray, irritations arise, obstacles appear and the next thing you know you are muttering to yourself that maybe this was not the best idea you have ever had.

Mordor

Winter had come to Middle Earth and with it came the rain. With the Southern Alps creating the most fantastical backdrop you could imagine our trek through the South Island was nothing short of incredible sights as well as danger. Mordor is an actual place (Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Ruapehu) where hikers are warned to stay away due to the active nature of its volcano. Deadly rock slides are a common occurrence during the winter months and the aftermath could take months or even years to clear. High winds through the mountain passes makes driving a near hazard, especially since the roads are only two narrow lanes that wrap around cliff faces and sheer drops into the ocean. With no one around for miles any mishap on the roadways could spell disaster for the unwary traveler.

rohan14

Then there are the bridges. Bridges in the South Island are an entirely other terrifying matter. One lane. Narrow. Prone to being washed out in flash floods or rock slides. If a bridge goes entire communities could be left stranded until help arrives. So when the rains come and don’t let up for weeks at a time even the locals have cause for concern.

Rohan15

Now if there is one thing that I cannot stand it is rain. More specifically, the creeping damp and marrow-chilling cold that accompanies an endless torrential downpour of Biblical proportions. There was no shortage of that I can tell you. In New Zealand the rain tends to get into everything. Everything you possess somehow becomes damp and no amount of drying will get rid of it. One minute the day may seem decent enough for a mountain hike but then the next thing you know the skies grow a murky grey as the winds pick up and then a thick cloying mist comes creeping down from the mountains. Now I know why Peter Jackson used these mountains as the Misty Mountains in his films. If the shoe fits and all that.
Bilbo rain
In the North Island the sun shone brightly, the birds sang, and clouds were lovely puffs of cotton on a clear blue sky. Perfectly wonderful. The further south you go is a different matter all together. It didn’t take me long to realize why the locals dress in more layers than I would ever think necessary. Dry socks suddenly become a rare and precious commodity while a new set of winter gear ends up claiming a fair share of your limited travel funds.

I will admit that I was not prepared for this leg of the journey. Not in the slightest. Neither was the company of fellow adventure seekers that I joined up with for a tour of the South Island. Runny noses, sore throats, and chills were now a daily part of the travel experience as was spending the majority of our time stuck on a tour bus being buffeted back and forth by high winds. IBilbo barrelt felt like being stuck in a barrel and jostled around. Once I made the grave mistake of looking down at the road during a winding drive up a mountain and instantly regretted it. There was no road! None! The lane was so narrow that only a sheer 50 foot drop into flooded scrub brush that reminded me of the Dead Marshes could be seen.

Sometimes the ride got to be so rough, what with the swaying and the bouncing, that everyone became very well acquainted with their breakfasts. Myself and the bus driver included. After that everyone just stopped eating breakfast all together whenever a long drive was what was in store for the day. This is not something they put in the fine print of the travel contracts when you sign up for a trip like this but they should consider doing so. Many a hoodie would have been spared constant laundering if they had. A valuable lesson was learned though. Always bring spare plastic bags, a bar of soap, and laundry detergent with you no matter where you go. You will never regret it.

Now I have done a fair bit of grumbling about some of the unexpected challenges that sprang up. However this is an adventure, not a two-week by the poolside all inclusive stay, so there are always challenges. But those challenges were worth every moment because once you made it through the mountains the island showed off its true personality.  Suddenly you realize that you are standing smack dab in Middle Earth and it is everything you could ever imagine it to be.

rohan6

Queenstown, New Zealand is the adventure capital of the country. It is a place where thrill-seekers, nature lovers, journeymen of all walks of life come together to do the impossible. Want to see the curvature of the earth and jump out of a plane? No problem. Want to swing across canyons and bungee off bridges up to 100 feet? Sure thing. How about jet-boating on four inches of water through canyons where the smallest mishap could send you straight into a rock wall? Why not. Anything and everything death-defying and adrenalin pumping that you can think of can be done here. So what better a place to conquer your fears?

Jump1

By nature I enjoy the hobbit life. I prefer quiet evenings, good food, good books, and good company. I happen to be stupid terrified of heights. The thought of standing on something tall and looking down is enough to make me curl into a ball and hide under a desk…which is something I want to do right now now that I think about it. But I won’t. Why? Because somewhere along this adventure through Middle Earth I discovered something rather unexpected. My courage. I’ve spent a life-time playing it safe and avoiding risks as much as possible. So much so it started having an adverse reaction on my daily life. To think that I would stand on the narrow ledge of a very old bridge and throw myself out into the unknown is not something people, or myself, would think possible of happening.

Any time the idea of a bungee jump was brought up I went green around the gills and just shake my head. There was no way I would ever willingly do something so dangerous. What if…well…you know. That changed though. Somehow I found myself in a harness waiting to jump and thought that it was a good idea. It was time to conquer fears, be bold, do the unexpected! Yeah right. I spent two minutes clinging to the side of the bridge in mute fear regretting life decisions. When that happens you don’t jump, you get pulled back in for safety reasons. Then I heard it. A voice on the wind. Yelling at me to “just do it”. Well, then I did.

Did I think it was possible? Nope. Did it happen? Yep. Would I do it again? HA! No. But I jumped and for a moment it was the most exciting thing I have ever done. Little did I know then that something even greater was waiting for me just over the next mountain.

Week of Geek: A lighthearted moment…

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Hi Geeklings.

So I know it’s been a rough week.  There’s been a lot of news coming out of Orlando and other places.  It’s heartbreaking for so many people, from all walks of life, whether they were directly impacted or not.

There’s a lot to say about it, but I don’t feel like I’m any kind of qualified to speak to it as an authority figure.  I will say that York and Toronto Pride are this month.  And I will say that if you’re feeling discombobulated at all, whether about what happened in Florida or about anything else in your lives please speak to family, friends, your school counselor or try one of the links we have on this very site, including groups like Kids Help Phone and Rainbow Youth York.

What I do feel qualified to do is talk about the library, and all the resources and books we offer.  And I feel qualified to offer something just a little fun and nerdy.  That’s kinda my thing.

I came across this the other day, and I just love it.  An actor, writer and musician named Jimmy Wong took a 12 second song from the show Adventure Time called “Bacon Pancakes”…

…and added more music (even harmonizing with himself) and more lyrics to create a full-blown song that stays in your head forever, in the best possible way.

*hee hee!* Love!

This kinda reminds me of an expression that Nerdist takes to heart; “Enjoy your Burrito!”.  You can read where that saying comes from here, but, simplified, the phrase is a reminder to enjoy the little things and be in the moment, in between all the rough stuff going on.  Easier said than done sometimes, but good to keep in mind.  You’d be amazed how much something little can mean.

Thanks guys.  Be strong, be safe, have courage and be kind, and until next time, End of Line.