Category Archive – It’s here!

Teen Summer Reading Challenge starts RIGHT NOW!

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Friendly reminder that the challenge I was talking about a couple days ago begins TODAY!

Mission Impossible

Sign up on our website here, pop into your local library and try your hand at Week 1’s missions and read, read, read (and then read some more), all for a chance to win a GoPro Hero 5 and to beat the challenge!  Here’s to a great summer!

Teen Summer Reading Challenge! BOOM!

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Mission Impossible

Hiya Everybody!

Summer is fast approaching.  Like, literally, a couple weeks or something.  When you’re an adult it’s hard to keep track of such things 😉

Anyhoo, I bet by this point you’re thinking “Yeah, summer’s great and all, but what am I gonna do with all that non-constructive downtime?”  Natch, we’ve got the answer.  This year we are challenging YOU, the teens of Vaughan, to collectively (not on your own, we’re not that crazy) read 500 000 pages.  These pages can come from books, magazines, graphic novels, whatevs!

Not only does doing this give you bragging rights BUT for every week you sign into the online account we’ll have you create you get your name entered for a ballot.  A ballot would be used for a draw, and a draw would suggest a prize, right?  How about a GoPro Hero 5 Camera?  That’s right, you could win your very own GoPro, just for reading!

End of Summer Party

AND, if you want more chances to win, swing by your local library and  try one of the in-branch challenges (or ‘Missions’, if you will).  These run the gamut from scavenger hunts to fake news to origami to anagrams to poetry to shelfies to many more!  If you click on the links you’ll see the whole list and what’s happening each week.  Every library is going to run the same challenges each week so it doesn’t matter what branch you call home, it’ll be running those missions.

And don’t forget the End of Summer Party!  You can vote on a theme here!  You have your pick of a Maker Fair, a Movie Party or an Escape Room theme.  Make sure to mark you calendars for August 26th!

So if you’re aged 12-18 and live or go to school in Vaughan, you qualify!  And it starts THIS FRIDAY!  That’s right, June 23rd will be the first day to sign up and to get reading.  And just so you’re ready the day of, and because we’re celebrating Canada’s 15oth, we’ve got a list of YA books written by Canadian authors for you to check out (I would personally recommend A Spy in the House by Ying S. Lee.  Good stuff!  Plus it fits with the Mission: Impossible theme).  You may have seen the service notices around about how the catalogue is down at the moment, but it should be back up and running by the 23rd.  BOO YEAH!  Do people still say boo yeah?  I still say boo yeah!

If you have any questions give us a call, drop us an email or come chat with us at the library.  Don’t forget our other teen services like our programs or the Write It! website.  Stay tuned for more news and hope to see you this summer!

Stereotypical Canadian Moose - Celebrate Canada Join the Teen Summer REading Challenge

Week of Geek: You can Write It! on our newest website, including… Fanfiction!

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My first Cross-StitchHi again Geeklings.  Have I got news for you!

But first, a little somethin’ about me.  I’ve recently taken up cross-stitching.  Yeah, yeah, some of you might be thinking ‘Isn’t that what they do in retirement homes or something?’.  Well, sure, maybe, but that doesn’t mean other people can’t do it too.  It’s relaxing, it’s fairly easy to get started and there are a TON of awesome patterns out there.

And that pic you see at the top here, was the very first pattern I ever finished (found it on Etsy).  Why that particular one?  Because in the life of the average fanboy or fangirl it’s just… so… TRUE!

Me with Ye Olde Macbook

Now, I’ve made absolutely no secret of what my passions in life are.  What’s the point of being passionate if you can’t shout it from the rooftops every now and then?  And, as you guys tend to see me on this blog a lot, one of those passions is writing.  I’m a big fan of the written word, of what it can express, of what it can create, of the permanence and mastery that comes with it.  And since I like to write and I love fandoms, I think it makes perfect sense and would be a shock to no one that I’ve dappled in fanfiction.

Let’s pause for the uninitiated: What is Fanfiction?  Well, that can be hard to answer.  Essentially, it’s when fans of just about anything, be it TV show, movie, book, comic or even a band, write their own stories or scenes featuring those characters or settings.  For a lot of people their first thoughts when they hear the word ‘fanfiction’ are ‘smut’ and ‘putting yourself in the story’ (the general term for that is ‘mary sue’ or ‘gary sue’; there are a few fanfic terms out there) and ‘something pasty nerds do ’cause they have no lives’ (you know, that old stereotype for geeks.  Boo!).  Is fanfiction those things?  It can be.  You know what else it is?  It’s what happens when artistic and expressive people pour out their love for their fandoms by continuing their stories, and that goes for other forms of fan art as well.  Fanfiction is a lot older than many people realize (some of the earliest examples include characters from Jane Austen and Arthur Conan Doyle) and there are many different types of it.  Like cross-stitching, it’s for many different types of people at many different levels with many different interests and devotions.  Some people want to replace the canon with their own headcanon.  Some people want to put the characters in new situations (AU – Alternate Universes).  Some people want to see their favorite ships FINALLY get together!  Most just love the fandoms and characters.  And as it’s impossible to make money off of it (copyright and whatnot) fanfiction truly is a labor of love.

Now, why am I getting all misty eyed over fanfiction?  Not out of character for me, but why today?  Well, VPL has something all you teen writers and aspiring writers may want to take a peak at.  Allow me to introduce… WRITE IT!

Write It Main Page

This is our brand-new website for teens all about… you guessed it!  Writing!  All teens are encouraged to post on the blog in the different categories.  As you may have guessed by all my rambling, we have a page for Fanfiction (HEE HEE!), but there’s so much more.  In the Fiction category you can post short stories (less than 2500 words) about Action/Adventure, Fan Fiction, Historical Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Romance, Sci Fi/Fantasy, Thriller/Mystery, and if your story just won’t fit in any of those categories there’s Other (we’ve got you covered).  Say you’re more into Non Fic; we’ve got that too!  Categories include Biographical, Current Events, Entertainment, Environmental, Social Issues, Sports/Hobbies and Spirituality.  Are you a Poet and know it?  Post your work under Ballad, Free Verse, Haiku, Limericks, Song Lyrics and Sonnet.  And for you critical types, there’s a spot for reviews, which includes Books, Movies, Music, TV, Video Game and Webpages.  Our teen newsletter is on Write It! as well, so you’ll know about what we’ve got going on.

Sounds like a lot right?  There’s one more, and it’s a biggie.  Have you written a whole novel?  Not sure where to put it?  Post it right here!  Really, the whole thing!  As long as it’s more than 2500 words, it can go right on that page.  For serious.

So what do you do?  You sign up, and get writing!  Just fill out the form at the Register link and you’re good to go.  You can use your login to support and comment on other writers as well.  And we’ve got resources on writing if you’d like to learn more, including things to help with the dreaded Writer’s Block that pops up from time to time.

One last thing.  I know writing in a public forum can be a scary thing, even with some anonymity (which we have; you can totally make up a username).  Especially if it’s something you’ve worked really hard on and you’re really proud of.  What if people don’t like it?  What if they do and want more?  What if people make fun of you for it?  (BTW, don’t do that.  Seriously, not cool.)  But, one thing I’ve learned on the road of life is that if you love to do something, you shouldn’t let the ‘what ifs’ hold you back too much.  And trust me, the more you post, the easier it gets.  That’s why you guys get to read my print versions of fangirling about our new books and movies and other stuff on the regular *thumbs up*

Good luck with the writing Geeklings, whatever the subject matter may be!  Come in and ask us if you’re not sure about anything, and until next time, End of Line.

Week of Geek Bonus: Revenge of the Fifth

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One more Star Wars day for you, and things are getting a little… dark side-y 😉

Get Gloomy

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I know it’s exam time and everyone’s stressed and miserable, so I thought I’d share something fun with you guys. And I figured since misery loves company I’d share the best, most miserable thing I could think of… a card game.

I’m sure you’re wondering how a card game can be awesome, fun, hilarious and miserable all in the same time, so let me explain.

This is not just any old card game. This is Gloom: The Game of Inauspicious Incidents & Grave Consequences. (BTW, did you know you can check out games from the library now?)

Gloom combines character cards, action cards and storytelling, and in a wonderfully gloomy twist the winner of the game is the person with the least amount of points.

So how do you play?

Each player gets a family of characters (five character cards per family). All the characters and families are unique and weird and wonderful, but my personal favorite Dark’s Den of Deformity, (for no other reason than I used to want to run away and join the circus…though maybe not this circus). You decide who goes first by determining who has had the worst day.

Now that you have your family and you know whose day sucked most the game can begin. On your turn you make two plays, which at face value means you play two cards. The cards you play could be modifiers which effect your Self-Worth (or someone else’s if you so choose), event cards which make things happen, or untimely death cards…I think you know what those do. But what makes your two plays, and the whole game, so great is that you are obligated (and the rules state this) to explain how these things happen.

For example: If on my first play I put down the “was beaten by beggars” modifier on my character Samson O’Toole, The Bearded Man, not only does her Self Worth drop to -15 but I have to explain how she got into that situation. So I would tell you that the beggars came to the circus gates to, you know, beg for food and Samson challenged them to a game of cards and the beggars won which made him really sad because up to that point he thought he was quite the card shark. See What I did there? And if my second play is to put down the “was delighted by ducklings” modifiers on one of your characters, giving a self-worth of +10, you have to figure out how that happened (MWAHAHAHAHA mine is an evil laugh).

The game ends when a player successfully kills his or her entire family and the winner is the player with the lowest Self Worth.

All this to say that this is the BEST game on the planet and if you don’t believe me here is Will Wheaton and friends delightfully torturing characters: