Make Way for the Digital Bookmobile!

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BookmobileWe love big trucks and we cannot lie!

Internet, gadgets, electronic resources, and one really big trailer. Sounds like a fun way to spend a Friday. Amiright?

The Digital Bookmobile is coming to Pierre Berton Resource Library this Friday! Drop by between 12 to 6 p.m.  and check it out yourself.

This 75-foot long tractor-trailer is packed to the rafters with all things digital content. Learn how to access eBooks from the library 24/7 and experience everything our OverDrive digital collection has to offer. Wander through Audiobook Alley, check out the eBook Experience, and drop into the Gadget Gallery for some hands-on practice using the most popular devices.

It’s a massive library on wheels and it’s here for just one afternoon. So what better way can you think of kicking off the long weekend with a gadget full of awesome free online resources and eBooks? So c’mon down to the Pierre Berton Resource Library and get your techno-geek on!

You’ll be glad you did!

Week of Geek: Villains – they steal many things, including our hearts

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It might be something you’d only admit in the very back corners of your addled mind.  It might be something you declare loud and proud and let the social shunning happen if it must.

Admit what?  Well, that sometimes…you just can’t help liking the villain in a story more than the hero.

*gasp*

Don’t worry, if that applies to you, you are certainly not alone.  This has been a popular topic of discussion not just amongst geeks, but amongst literature scholars, psychiatrists, people who feel it’s their job to stand up for morality in popular culture and every lay person who ever picked up a book, bought a movie ticket or turned on a TV.  While it is the hero’s journey we follow, and we do love our heroes…well, sometimes they get a little overshadowed by the villains they fight.

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I’ve been pondering this a bit lately, ever since a young reader visiting the library (I’d guess he was about 6 or 7 years old) asked me about the LEGO Loki figure that hangs on my name badge.  I told him I liked Loki, and he replied with a confused “But how can you like Loki?  He’s the bad guy!”.  I only shrugged and smiled, but in my head I was thinking Oh kid, when you get a little older, you’ll understand.  It’s not at all that black and white, is it?

There are many reasons why the average person is drawn to fictional villains.  Check out this 2012 article from Wired for some more detail, but basically it boils down to things like wish fulfillment or they provide a safe way for us to explore the dark side within us all.  Villains represent power, acquisition, freedom from regular societal constraints and other traits that all people are drawn to in some way or another.  Many have said that a hero is only as good as the villain he/she takes on, and I think that’s very true, especially if there’s some kind of personal connection between the two (former friends, long-lost family, etc).  But some of the best villains for me are ones who, in their own minds, really don’t believe they’re villains.  They’re motivated by pain, a sense of control or a sense of justice (often warped into vengeance), and they lash out because they feel that’s their only option.  We can all relate to that.

But above all, to really like a villain they gotta have a bit of charm to them.  Now that means different things to different people, but sometimes the bad guy has a certain vibe that you just can’t help being drawn to.  And you know what?  That’s OK!  (Just as long as everything stays in the fictional world or in your own headcannon; don’t be tryin’ to take over the world or something)

Popular YouTube channel How It Should Have Ended have put your favorite villains all in one place just for you.  The channel has had a popular segment called the Super Café where Superman and Batman shoot the breeze over coffee, occasionally joined by other heroes at the table.  But if the villains want to hang out and talk, they now have their own pub.  Let’s watch!

So where’s the best places to find stuff about your favorite bad guys?  There’s a book about the appeal of villains called I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined) if you want to learn more about all the psych stuff.  There are many books written from the villain’s point of view, like Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicket Witch of the West, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs or This Dark Endeavour: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein.  One of my favorite comic series to come out in the last little while was Forever Evil and it’s various spin-offs.  Summary: The Justice League is gone, it’s alternate-universe-evil counterpart called the Crime Syndicate has taken over and it’s up to the villains of the DC universe to step up and stop these interlopers from taking over their world (for a similar theme in Marvel, try Dark Avengers).

And what are your favorite bad guys, Geeklings?  Post away in the comments section.  (I’ll get us started; Loki, natch; Sinestro; Winter Soldier; Dracula; Khan - Ricardo Montalban is awesome, but I’ll always side with Cumberbatch; Spike; Darth Maul; The Master and way too many more to name).

I’ll leave you with the musical declaration of the kids of Disney villains, featured in the TV movie The Descendants, on their love for their villainous heritage.

Until next time, End of Line.

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Teen Summer Reading Challenge – 2 more days!

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Wazzup readers of a certain age?  Summer is winding down, but that doesn’t mean we’re quite done here at VPL.

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Just a quick reminder that we’ve got 2 more days of the TSRC challenge.  Keep reading those books and submitting those pages for a chance to win an iPad Mini and maybe be crowned our top reader!

And enjoy the rest of your summer!  I hope it was a blast!

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Week of Geek: Another Quick Shout-Out for The Twilight Zone

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I’ve said it before, Geeklings.  I’ll keep saying it, ad nauseum.  Watch The Twilight Zone.

We’ve got DVDs of the classic series at our libraries, including a recently acquired collection of episodes on Blu Ray.

But, another word of caution…you might not want to watch this after dark.  Just sayin’.

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Week of Geek: Why Felicia Day is our Queen!

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Ah, Felicia Day!

Who’s Felicia Day?

Well, any geek worth their salt has likely come across her at some point (like right now!  Or a few months ago when I discussed the heavy hitters in geekdom.)  She’s an actress, writer, singer, producer, internet staple and very active in the fandom community.  Chances are good you’ve likely seen her and maybe didn’t even know it.

For example, you’ve seen Buffy the Vampire Slayer?  Remember Season 7?  The potential slayers, one of whom was named Vi.  Yep, that was Day.  That was the first time she really left a mark on the geek scene.  Since then there’s been much more to talk about.  She’s joined forces with Josh Whedon and Wil Wheaton on many occasions.  She’s had guest spots on shows like House, Lie to Me, Dollhouse, etc.  She’s been a regular on Eureka and Supernatural.  She starred alongside Neil Patrick Harris in the web hit Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.  And in 2012 she launched the YouTube channel Geek and Sundry and in 2014 it became it’s own site and part of Nerdist Industries.

Super cool, but you may be wondering why I’m bringing her up right now…aside from her supreme awesomeness?

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Well this week she released her autobiography You’re Never Weird On The Internet (Almost): A Memoir, the story of her rise to fame in her own words.  From a home-schooled childhood to her thoughts on video games and feminism, it promises to be an interesting and entertaining read (I can’t wait!)

And if I’ve piqued your interest and you’re looking for more of a Felicia Fix, we’ve got the DVD of her web series The Guild on order, and you can check out the accompanying graphic novels The Guild and The Guild: The Knights of Good, both written by Day herself.  You can place a hold on Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (there’s a graphic novel for that too), the fifth season of Eureka, or the seventh season of Supernatural which features her first appearance as Charlie Bradbury in the episode “The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo”.  Be sure to take a look at her website Geek and Sundry and their YouTube page, as well as her personal website.

And I’ll leave you with a couple of music videos from The Guild (one with a Bollywood flair and one that can be a kickin’ anthem for modern geeks everywhere).

Until next time, End of Line.

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