• 6 degrees header 01 


    Ever wonder how librarians hone their recommendation skills? Sometimes, our librarians play a game we call the 6 Degrees of reading. The rules are simple: choose six books, each connected somehow to the book above it, with the last book in the list connecting to the first. Periodically, we like the results enough to share them with you.

    This week: Chaos and Comedy! 

     chaos and comedy 01

    by Sam Sheridan

    There are a variety of ways that the world could be thrown into chaos and Sheridan has researched and acquired a variety of skills to help him survive almost any potential apocalypse. His lively and hilarious style while still presenting disastrous scenarios is a wonderful mix.

    by Susan Beth Pfeffer

    A young woman takes charge of her life and her family’s lives as survival becomes increasingly difficult after the world is thrown into chaos when the moon is knocked out of its orbit.

    by Sheryl Sandberg

    Sandberg is a woman who has taken charge of her life and encourages others to do so by following their ambitions. She tells it like it is and strives to be an inspiration to women everywhere.

    by Tina Fey

    Best known for her work on 30 Rock and SNL, Fey relates her life story in her own comedic way. She tries to emphasize that she’s just like the rest of us, while being a role model and an inspiration to all women.

    by Mindy Kaling

    Mindy is an Emmy-nominated, comedy writer and actress, and uses this book to relate her life story in her own comedic way.

    by Ellen DeGeneres

    Ellen has become one of the most popular daytime TV hosts, having won 31 Emmys. Her lively, hilarious, and upbeat style is engaging and enjoyable.

  • Citizen Scientist 

    April is Citizen Science month, and this year April is also a month of social distancing and isolation. However, just because you’re home doesn’t mean you can’t contribute to ongoing scientific research.

    You, yes YOU, can be actively engaged in real scientific research without even leaving your house. So, consider pausing your book/movie/TV/game binge for a short time to take part in a project seeking the help of regular citizens like you.

    Projects available for a variety of ages, interests, and skill levels can be found at, just click onProject Finder to see what projects are currently available. Even with little to no prior knowledge, citizen scientists engage in real data collection, data analysis, and other steps of the scientific process.

    I had fun helping scientists by reviewing images of galaxies in the AstroQuest project, and classifying animals in photos for the Snapshot Safari project. Take a look at the projects and see if there’s one that appeals to you!

    Just because April is Citizen Science Month there’s no reason to stop being a scientist after that. Check out these books to learn more about being engaged as a citizen scientist:

    By Loree Griffin Burns

    Whether it’s sweeping the grass for ladybugs, counting woodpeckers, or listening to frogs, there are a variety of ways even young people can get involved in science by just going outside. Full of beautiful photographs and easy at home research projects, this book is a great way to introduce children to, and actively engage them in, real scientific research.


    By Darlene Cavalier

    For teens and adults, find here everything you need to contribute to breakthroughs in things like climate change, Alzheimer’s disease, endangered species, and more. In this book alone, there are 50 project options to match citizen scientists with their own personal interests and time constraints.

  • book swap

     Have you ever looked at your bookshelf and thought, “I wish I could trade some of these for different books?”

    Give your neglected books another chance to bring someone happiness!

    On Tuesday, July 11th at 7:00 pm we will be having our annual summer Book Swap. We’ve been collecting books all year so that patrons can come and swap their gently used books for something new, as well as swap books with each other!

    Just for coming to the event, each person age 10 and up will get to choose one book to take home, even if they didn’t bring anything. If you do bring books to swap, you can bring up to 10. That means you can get up to 11 new (to you) books to take home and keep forever!

    So that we can make sure we’re swapping books in decent condition, we will not accept books with mold or mildew, any type of water damage, or with pages falling out. Please bring books in a condition that someone else would like to take home.

    Also, since this event is for ages 10 and up, we will only be accepting books that are junior through adult level. We will not accept easy readers, intermediate, or picture books. We also will not accept text books or audio books.

    On July 11th, come swap some books, get a small treat, and pick up a secret code for the summer reading program! We’ll see you then!

  • Booketology web poster updated

    The madness of March has ended, and with it so did Teen Booketology. Harry Potter reigned supreme, but I can’t say I was entirely surprised. That being said, I was fascinated to see the results every week. Who won their match by a landslide, and who tied (it happened twice!)? I thought you might find it interesting too. Here’s a breakdown of each week’s results.

    Round 1

    The biggest victory was in horror novels with MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN (86%) against SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK (14%). The closest match was between the graphic novels NIMONA and IN REAL LIFE, which ended in a tie. I didn’t anticipate that happening when Booketology started! Only one could progress, so in the end I referred to the ratings on GoodReads and Amazon, both which pushed NIMONA onto Round 2.

    Round 2

    For most rounds, clear winners became apparent halfway through the matches, but this week there were several turnovers that lasted right up until the midnight voting deadline. The biggest victory was HEIST SOCIETY (82%) against THE CLOCKWORK SCARAB (18%). There were no ties this round, but it came close with the classics LITTLE WOMEN (52%) versus FAHRENHEIT 451 (48%), and romances THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (53%) versus ELEANOR & PARK (47%).

    Round 3

    When favorites are up against each other, how do you choose? It was heartbreaking this round to see some of my favorites lose, even though other favorites won. The biggest win this round actually had the biggest win from all rounds. CINDER (89%) beat out THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (11%). By Friday, HEIST SOCIETY was beating LITTLE WOMEN by a single vote, but everything got tied up once again by the voting deadline. GoodReads and Amazon served as the tie breaker, and LITTLE WOMEN snuck by HEIST SOCIETY by a hair, making its way to the Final Four.

    Round 4

    Ahh, the Final Four. HARRY POTTER (83%) easily beat LITTLE WOMEN (17%), and HUNGER GAMES (66%) had a comfortable lead above CINDER (34%), but only after the Teen Minecraft Club cast their votes. Until that point, CINDER barely had the upper hand.

    Round 5

    The championship! HARRY POTTER (68%) had a pretty solid victory over HUNGER GAMES (32%), which didn’t entirely surprise me. Both are pretty iconic teen series, so I expected to see them against each other in the end, but HARRY POTTER has been around longer and had more time to ingrain itself into our lives. Personally, HARRY POTTER is the series that taught me to love reading.

    Thanks to everyone who voted in Teen Booketology! As a librarian, I love to see what the favorite books in our community are. I must say, you have great taste!

  • interlibrary loan 01

  • Faucet

    Over the past couple months our kitchen faucet started to drip. It started out slow, maybe one drip every 30 seconds once we noticed it. When it got to one drip every five seconds I started to go crazy.

    Now, I can be “handy” when I want/need to be, but I also like to give learning opportunities to others. And I was lazy. So, the honey-do list became simply, “fix the drip.”

    He tried. He got the drip to temporarily slow to once every 20 seconds, but it wasn’t long before it was down to once every two seconds. I was going mad, and he didn’t know what else to do. His “fixes” weren’t doing anything… and were occasionally making it worse.

    Then while at work my mind drifted for a moment and I remembered—the Library has a resource called Home Improvement Reference Center! Surely that will tell me how to fix a dripping faucet! This Reference Center makes it easy to find the information you’re looking for. My path was simply: Plumbing > Kitchens > Sinks & Faucets > Common Problems & Repairs.

    The PDF article I found was perfect, and I immediately emailed it directly to my husband through the Reference Center. I didn’t have to download it or anything!

    With this document, we learned about different types of faucets and how to identify them (so many helpful pictures!), and what can lead to the dreaded drip.

    With this information and the deteriorating parts in a baggie, we headed to Home Depot with enough knowledge and information to get the materials for a simple repair.

    We did it! My kitchen sink no longer drips and my sanity has been restored!

    Whether you’re as inexperienced with home repair as us, or you’re a pro and looking to remodel your bathroom, the Home Improvement Reference Center has articles and guides to help you with your next project. It’s definitely something I will revisit again in the future.

  • k pop books

    In a previous Friday Faves, I listed my favorite K-pop CDs, but this time I want to highlight some of the books that I picked up simply because of my love for K-pop and Korean culture. I’m not saying these are the best out there (there’s a LOT I haven’t read yet), but these are ones that I enjoyed simply because… well… Korea! If you’ve got some favorite books that are about Korea or take place there, leave a comment so that I know what to read next! 

    8.4 The Birth of Korean CoolTHE BIRTH OF KOREAN COOL
    By Euny Hong

    Going from a third-world to first-world country in a matter of a few short decades is no simple task, but South Korea managed it, and is now becoming one of the world’s top exporters of pop culture. Euny Hong describes her experience of moving to Korea when she was twelve in the 1980s and how she’s seen the country go from very un-cool, to ultra-cool in that time. This was a fascinating read to see how the country essentially rebranded itself. 



    8.4 K Pop NowK-POP NOW!
    By Mark James Russell

    There are a wide variety of factors that have contributed to the development and growing popularity of K-pop. Russell provides a broad overview that includes historical and cultural influences, as well as describing what makes the industry unique and different from Western music. From there, Russell provides overviews of some of the current hottest artists in boy groups, girl groups, and solo acts, then briefly ventures onto the future of k-pop and what to expect when traveling to South Korea. 

    8.4 Bride of the Water GodBRIDE OF THE WATER GOD
    by Mi-Kyung Yun

    In this manhwa, Soah’s village is suffering from a long drought. To appease Habaek, the water god, they must sacrifice a girl to be his bride. When Soah is chosen, she understands she will likely die. However, there is something unique about her, and Habaek decides to rescue her. As she adjusts to live in Habaek’s kingdom, she discovers that there are a lot of mysterious things going on, including some that surround her new husband. This is a beautifully drawn manhwa that will be made into a K-drama later this year. 


    8.4 RE JaneRE JANE
    By Patricia Park

    In this modern retelling of Jane Eyre, Jane Re is a half-Korean, half-American orphan who grew up in New York. She doesn’t quite fit in and becomes desperate to get away from her Uncle’s strict rules. Jane finds a job working as an au pair for two Brooklyn academics and their daughter, which presents its own unique problems and opportunities. When her grandfather passes away, a quick trip to Seoul for the funeral turns into an extended stay as she reconnects with family and discovers a modern Korea, completely different from the one her uncle left decades earlier.  


    8.4 Stars of K Pop GirlsSTARS OF K-POP: GIRLS
    By StarNews

    Through photographs, interviews, and statistics, this book highlights some of the biggest girl groups in the k-pop industry. Girls’ Generation, 2NE1, Kara, f(x), Secret, Sistar, 4minute, T-ara, Miss A, Brown Eyed Girls, Afterschool, Girl’s Day, A Pink, Rainbow, and Crayon Pop are all highlighted with individual member information and tons of pictures. This book is a visual feast for the k-pop fan.



    8.4 Stars of K Pop BoysSTARS OF K-POP: BOYS
    By StarNews

    Very similar to its above counterpart, this edition of STARS OF K-POP focuses on male idols and groups including Psy, TVXQ, Big Bang, Super Junior, Beast, SHINee, Infinite, 2PM, 2AM, CNBLUE, ZE:A, F.T. Island, MBLAQ, EXO, and Supernova.



  • k pop

    If you get to know me, you’ll quickly discover that I love K-pop (Korean pop music). My desk is on the verge of becoming a Hallyu shrine. EXO, SHINee, BTS, and Kim Soo Hyun all stare at me as I work. It’s glorious!

    With a bit of urging, the Library has slowly been increasing its K-pop collection. I know very well how hard it can be to find some full K-pop albums without actually buying one, so I did the work for you. Of what we have available, here are my favorites.

    ssai 6 kap6 GAP PT. 1
    by Psy

    Who doesn’t know Gangnam Style? Psy really thrust K-pop into the international spotlight with this catchy song and hilarious music video.  This is the album it originally came out on. There’s also a track on here I particularly like featuring G-Dragon of Big Bang.

    Girls GenerationTHE BOYS
    by Girls Generation

    As one of the most popular K-pop girl groups, I’m really glad we have something from Girls Generation. This is the international version of the album that includes the English version of the title track, as well as several remixes. I also especially like Mr. Taxi. Overall it’s a very fun, upbeat album.

    EXO XOXO First AlbumXOXO
    by EXO

    As one of today’s hottest idol groups, I’m really happy to be able to put EXO on this list. This is the Kiss (Korean) version of the album, rather than the Hug (Chinese). There are so many amazing tracks that it’s hard for me to pick a favorite. Of all the K-pop albums that the library has, this might just be my favorite.

    Super JuniorA-CHA
    by Super Junior

    This is the repackaged version of Super Junior’s fifth album, Mr. Simple. I love catchy music that makes me want to get up and move, and this album has some of my favorite tracks including Superman, A-Cha, Mr. Simple, and Opera.

    by Big Bang

    Big Bang is the group that first got me interested in K-pop, and they keep getting better with each new album. While this isn’t my favorite collection of theirs (released only a year after their debut), it’s the only one the library currently has, so it’s on my list by default.


    k pop ost best choiceK-POP OST BEST CHOICE
    by Various Artists

    I’m putting this here for the K-drama lovers. Several times I’ve come across people watching K-dramas at the library. I didn’t want to be creepy and say anything, but I’ve always felt a kind of kinship with them. These are some of the hit songs from dramas and movies that were quite popular just a few years ago.  


    If you search for K-pop on Freegal you’ll find a lot of subpar covers and karaoke tracks, but there are some original tracks too. EXID, Crayon Pop, and Lee Min Ho (the actor) are just a few of the artists with songs available. There’s not a lot, but it’s worth a look and maybe they’ll add more in the future. Fingers crossed!  

  • global road warrior 4

    global road warrior

    I would not yet call myself a seasoned traveler. I’ve gone abroad, but never to a non-English speaking country or somewhere with a culture vastly different from my own. 

    Next year that is going to change. I’m excited and terrified! I’m going to be confused and love it! I’m going to South Korea and Indonesia! Ahh! So many exclamation points!

    As I prepare for this trip, I’m going to be using Global Road Warrior a lot. This is one of my favorite library databases because it provides so much well organized information for over 175 countries. I love recommending it to international travelers to become familiar with the country they are going to visit, and also to students as they learn and report on countries for school.

    There are so many informational pages for each country I won’t list them all, but to the right is an example of what you might find. This particular list is for South Korea.

    One of my favorite listings is the “Food and Recipes” section. Not just because I love to cook and experiment in the kitchen, but because everyone eats, and trying local cuisine is a big part of international travel. Several times I’ve had parents come to the library and tell me that their child is about to live abroad for a couple years, and they’re trying to learn about the country. They appreciate the ability to find some common traditional recipes that they can make at home before the traveler leaves the country.

    Other information that is really handy to have includes what types of documentation travelers need (do I need a visa?), common phrases and information about the languages (how to say “hello,” and “I need help”), holidays, points of interest, common methods of transportation, and some basic history about the country.

    Whether you’re simply curious about a country, doing a report, preparing to travel, or preparing to discuss an international book at your next book club meeting, Global Road Warrior is a great resource to start your international exploration.

    Happy travels!










  • inktober 01

    Happy Inktober!

    With the Get Graphic Festival just around the corner, I’ve been thinking a lot about drawing and telling stories through pictures. A picture may be worth 1000 words, but more often than not I’ll choose to write instead of draw. Stretching that creative muscle can be challenging when you question your ability, but I believe that practice is the only way to improve. I practice reading. I practice writing. And this October I’m taking the Inktober challenge and I’m going to practice drawing!

    Inktober is a challenge created by Jake Parker (who will also be at the Get Graphic Festival) in 2009 to help improve his inking skills. Since then, every year artists from all over the world have taken on this 31 day challenge to create an ink drawing every day during the month the October.

    Inktober 2

    A drawing every day?! But I have no idea what to draw!

    Never fear! I know, I know, it’s October and fear is the cool thing, but ideas are something you don’t have to worry about because there is a prompt for each of the 31 days. We got this! 

    Inktober 1

    Missed the first drawing(s) of the month? Start now!

    If a drawing a day seems too overwhelming, then take the slower but still steady path of drawing every other day, or even just every week. The point is you’re practicing drawing, in ink, regularly.

    I hope that as you draw that you will feel the power of graphic storytelling and will get even more out of the upcoming Get Graphic Festival on October 13th and 14th. It will be a lot of fun, and inspiring for artists of all skill levels.

    Good luck, and happy drawing!

  • ill 01


    We have hundreds of thousands of items available at the library, but sometimes we still don’t have quite what you’re looking for. If that’s the case, don’t lose hope! There are other options!

    If an item was published in the last six months, it’s easy to submit a purchase suggestion to tell us you think we should buy the item. If the item is older than six months and/or we can’t buy it, the next option is requesting it through interlibrary loan, or ILL. We are a part of a large group of over 600 libraries across the country that all lend materials to each other. If another library in our group has the item that you’re looking for and it’s available, they can ship it to us, you pick it up here, return it here, and then we ship it back to them. That being said, there are some limits to what we can request and what other libraries are willing to send. We can’t get everything (we can’t get that +$100 text book you don’t want to buy for class), but we can get a lot.

    Because we borrow from all across the U.S., sometimes it takes a while for things to get here. I’ve seen some requests come the same week the item was requested (we love BYU!), and some have taken just over a month (looking at you, New York). Because of that, it’s important that you request ILL items well in advance if you’re working on a deadline.

    Other important things to know about ILL:

    Your library card must be active and in good standing to make a request.

    Patrons can only have three active ILL requests at a time. The request becomes active once you submit it, and becomes inactive once you’ve either returned the item, or we notify you that we cannot fill the request.

    The lending period is set by the lending library, not Provo. Sometimes you may only have a few days with an item, sometimes a few months. Requesting an item through ILL is free…BUT fines for late ILLs are $0.50 per day, and any fines or fees received from the lending library will also be applied to your account.

    So, the next time you’re looking for a book that we don’t own, consider requesting it through interlibrary loan!  

  • chocolate


    Apparently today is International Chocolate Day. I would like to thank Milton S. Hershey (founder of the Hershey Chocolate Company) for being born today so that the National Confectioners Association had a reason to make this a holiday.

    I mean, seriously? A holiday for chocolate? As if I needed a reason to indulge today! But I suppose if it’s a holiday I’d better make the most of it, right?

    If you don’t want to crave delicious chocolate for the rest of the day, then stop reading now. If however, you need something to quench your chocolate fix, read on for some ideas.

    complete cookieTHE COMPLETE COOKIE
    by Barry Bluestein and Kevin Morrissey

    If, like me you like cookies with chocolate, made of chocolate, dipped in chocolate, filled with chocolate, topped with chocolate, etc., then you need to get your hands on this book. It’s got recipes and variations for some of my favorites (chocolate chip and peanut blossom cookies are my fav), as well as many other types. So even if there’s someone in your life that doesn’t like chocolate (gasp!), there’s something in here they will like too. 

    chocolate covered katieCHOCOLATE-COVERED KATIE
    by Katie Higgins

    Maybe you want to indulge in chocolate deliciousness but want some healthier alternatives. This book includes all kinds of healthy substitutions that you can use based on what’s already in your pantry. Looking at the Chocolate Obsession Cake alone, I can see four different options for flour (including gluten free). I’ve never subbed carrot juice for milk, but apparently it can be done?  

    chocolate true historyTHE TRUE HISTORY OF CHOCOLATE
    by Sophie D. Coe & Michael D. Coe

    Perhaps you really, for a legitimate reason, won’t be having chocolate today. If that is the case, I am truly sorry. However, if you still want to celebrate this glorious holiday, maybe reading about the history of chocolate is better suited to your situation. From Mexico and Central America nearly four millennia ago to its modern worldwide consumption, the authors trace the uses and consumption of chocolate in its many forms. 



    by Ghirardelli Chocolate Company

    I don’t feel like I need to say anything about this one. It’s a cookbook from Ghirardelli. You’re welcome. 


    chocolate never failethCHOCOLATE NEVER FAILETH
    by Annette Lyon

    I know you should never judge a book by its cover, but this one has stood out to me for a long time. It’s got a bright red spine and a delicious looking chocolate cake right on the cover. Just seeing this book makes me want chocolate. This cookbook has cakes, cookies, brownies, mousses, snacks, pastries, icings, and a lot more.

    Enjoy! I hope you’ve found something wonderful to help celebrate this glorious holiday. At the very least, you read about it and thought about chocolate, which was my plan all along. Muhahaha!

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a rather persistent craving to fill. 

  • youtube

    I spend far more time on YouTube than I probably should, but it’s easy to get sucked in. I watch to learn, to be entertained, to live vicariously, and to satisfy curiosity.

    After being a viewer for so long, one day I thought, I can do that! I can make YouTube videos! I’ve dabbled in videos related to librarianship, and then started dabbling in vlogging. Since my family lives 1000 miles away, I thought it would be fun for them to see what I’m up to when they can’t see me in person.

    My mom enjoys my videos… because she’s my mom. In all honesty, I’m a terrible vlogger. I feel like I never turn the camera on at the right time, I’m stiff and awkward when I talk, my videos aren’t cohesive, and frankly I don’t even want to watch them.

    But I persist… because it’s kind of fun to make something (even if it’s terrible) for my family. So I might as well learn and improve, right?

    A couple years ago I discovered the 8 Passengers YouTube channel. They are a local family documenting their daily life by posting videos to YouTube. In just three short years they have amassed nearly 1.5 million subscribers, and their daily videos often get 200k-500k views.

    How is it that I can spend an entire week trying to find things to film (and hopefully remember to turn on the camera), but they can make something like an average trip to the grocery store interesting enough that I eagerly tune in every morning?

    I must know their secrets!

    So I invited Ruby, the main vlogger and editor of 8 Passengers, to come and share what she’s learned. How does she manage to make an average day become an interesting video? What are things she’s done to engage their audience and keep people coming back? What has she learned about tagging videos to make them more findable so that they can reach new viewers?

    If you or someone you know is interested in making videos for YouTube, join us on Thursday, April 26th in the Shaw Programming room for Learn It @ Your Library: Create for YouTube where we will learn tips and tricks from a creator who’s already doing it successfully.

    I’m ready to take my videos to the next level, are you?

  • LI Homebuying FB

    Buying a home, especially your first home, can be an exciting and terrifying experience. For me, the last month has been a rollercoaster of emotions. There have been ups and downs, twists and turns, and it’s emotionally exhausting.

    That said there have been some helpful books as we’ve prepared and started along this journey. If you too are considering a home purchase, here are a few to check out.

    2.26 Total Money MakeoverTOTAL MONEY MAKEOVER 
    By Dave Ramsey

    Start here as early as possible to get your finances in order. While we haven’t followed everything to the letter, we’ve made some pretty major changes to how we handle finances and it played one of the biggest roles in helping us get ready for this financial commitment.


    2.26 Tips and Traps When Buying a HomeTIPS AND TRAPS WHEN BUYING A HOME 
    By Robert Irwin

    The section on negotiating made a massive difference for us. Though this book was published 10 years ago there’s still some solid advice that we took to heart. It may be a sellers’ market right now, but if you look during the right months when competition from other buyers is at its lowest, you may still be able to strike a pretty sweet deal.


    2.26 Home Buying Kit for DummiesHOME BUYING KIT FOR DUMMIES 
    By Eric Tyson and Ray Brown

    Some key advice I took away from this book was related to emotional attachment. It’s important to look at a house as impartially as you can when considering what you need in your future home. Decide what is most important and valuable to you, and don’t get caught up on bonuses over needs.


    2.26 100 Questions Every First Time Home Buyer Should Ask100 QUESTIONS EVERY FIRST-TIME HOME BUYER SHOULD ASK 
    By Ilyce R. Glink

    I love to listen and absorb information, but I’m terrible at asking questions until I’ve had time to mull things over. These questions are ones to ask yourself, your agent, the seller, and your lender. I found them to be a great starting point for the conversations I needed to have, and got me thinking about those conversations early so that I knew what my questions were.



    Once you’ve made the purchase you may find yourself more focused on upkeep and personalization. I’ve talked about this resource before and it’s still one of the first places I turn to when I have repair questions. Yes, I’ve already looked up how to build bookshelves. Maybe you’re considering buying a fixer-upper or just need the basics, whichever category you fall into, the HOME IMPROVEMENT REFERENCE CENTER has got you covered.


    When browsing these books I read the sections that were important to me, and skipped around to see if there was any new information I hadn’t picked up elsewhere. There are several other books available on home buying (call # 643.12) and I highly recommend you take a look at ones that feel relevant to you and your unique circumstances.

    Best of luck future home owners, and may you find a home you love!

  • Booketology web poster 800px

    Welcome to March! I don’t know about you, but when March starts I can’t seem to stop hearing about March Madness. I enjoy a bit of basketball when I’m invested in one of the teams (I bleed blue), but that’s about it. I do enjoy tournaments though, and I love books, so I thought, let’s combine them!

    I present to you, Teen Booketology! The teen reads equivalent of March Madness. We’ve selected some of the best and most popular teen books in eight different genres, and every week from March 1st to April 2nd you have the opportunity to vote for your favorites.

    While these are teen books, everyone should vote for their favorites. During the tournament, voting will start each Tuesday at 12:00am and last until Saturday at 11:59pm. On Monday the winners will be recorded on a large poster in the Teen Corner, and also posted online.

    Now, I have a confession. Deciding which books to include in the tournament was very subjective. You probably have a favorite that you thought should have been represented that wasn’t, and I realize that. We tried to choose popular books that represented their genre well, but fully realize that there are great books that aren’t as popular, and books that are extremely popular but aren’t as… umm... well written (not naming names, but I bet you can think of one). We tried to find a happy medium, but again, this is very subjective, so don’t hate us for not including your all-time favorite read.

    So, who do you think will win? I have some guesses, but I want to know what you think.

  • Escape Room FB

    As a librarian, there are few things that get me as excited as planning a teen activity that I think they will love. I’d been toying with the idea of an escape room for a while, and when it was first presented to the Teen Volunteer Board, their enthusiastic response confirmed that I had to do it.

    When ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY came out in theaters, I thought it would be a good idea to piggy-backoff the movie hype and use that as the theme to our room. So, on February 23rd, we hosted a Rogue One themed escape room for teens. It was a hit!

    We had 48 teens (split into nine separate groups) work through our small study rooms solving puzzles, then use what they’d learned in each room to figure out where in our Data Vault the Death Star plans were located. The puzzles were fairly difficult, and several groups correctly solved one room, while only two groups solved both rooms and found the Death Star plans. 

    Here’s a quick run through of what the teens experienced:

    20170310 Waiting to go in


    Our Smart Room (#155) became a briefing room where teens watched a video that set the scene and explained what they were about to encounter. The video was about five minutes long and could be watched several times.

    Solve The Puzzle

    As soon as the first room (#154) was ready, a group of four to six teens headed in. In this room, they had to complete a number puzzle. The catch? There were no numbers on the puzzle, only Aurebesh Letters, and they had to solve it within ten minutes or the Empire would discover their location.

    Thankfully, the Rebel Alliance had already seen this room and left a Rebel symbol on a hidden box that contained the needed key. If the teens looked hard, they also found a file folder with an old Galactic Empire memo that served as a hint for the puzzle. The Aurebesh Letter that completed the puzzle would be needed at the Data Vault.

    Complete The Equation

    Once the first room was complete, they moved on to the second room (#153). In this room, teens had to find hidden Kyber crystals and a mold that they fit into. When the Kyber crystals were placed correctly, they created a simple math equation that needed to be solved. Again, they only had ten minutes to do this. The solution to this equation would be needed at the Data Vault.

    The Data Vault

    When the teens left the second room, they headed back to the Teen Corner where the Data Vault awaited them. It was a simple grid with the rows represented by Aurebesh Letters, and the columns represented by numbers. If both rooms were correctly solved, the teens could easily pinpoint the Death Star plans. If not, they got a Star Wars joke instead.

    Final Thoughts

    Having two mini rooms that only took about ten minutes each, instead of a single full-size room that took longer, worked well for this particular event, but I don’t know if I'd purposefully design it that way in the future. Resetting each room did take a little time, and even though we’d scheduled the event to last until 8:00 pm, our last group finished at 8:57 pm. Because we went over our scheduled time, we thankfully didn’t have to turn anyone away. Every teen that came and wanted to participate was able to do so.

    Overall, this program was a lot of fun to both plan and execute. I have a feeling there will be more escape rooms in the Library’s future.

    What themes would you be interested in seeing? 

  • laser tag

    I can’t be the only one who’s had the thought, wouldn’t laser tag be fun to play in the library? Sneaking through the stacks, hiding behind chairs, avoiding the enemy, all while trying to tag as many people as you can. How have we not already done this?!

    Let’s do it now!

    On Saturday, September 9th, we’re partnering with Frontline Tactical Action Games for this exciting teen event. At 6:00 pm when the library closes, teens will enter the North Courtyard (from the north parking lot) where they will have some pre-game activities and snacks. Then, when the equipment is setup and ready, teens will be ushered into the first floor of the library for battle.

    Tickets for this free teen event will be distributed online starting August 26th and are limited to 40 players. Should tickets run out, there will be an online waitlist. Those on the waitlist are encouraged to come and participate in Courtyard activities and standby for an open game spot. All participants (with tickets or on the wait list) will also need to bring a completed permission slip.

    Teens, sign up with your friends and come hang out as we turn the library into a laser tag battle ground! We’re looking forward to this exciting event, and hope to see you then! 

    Reserve Your Tickets Here

    Get Your Permission Slip Here 

  • minecraft club

    I get paid to play games for two hours every week. Being a librarian is the best! In all honesty, working with teens is one of the best parts of my job, and being in charge of the Teen Minecraft Club is always the highlight of my week. The teens that come are enthusiastic, hilarious, and incredibly clever (sometimes too smart for their own good). I love both the regulars that come every week, and the newbies that come and start playing for the first time. Everyone brings a unique perspective and building style to our world. From pixel art to trading posts, taverns to rejuvenation temples, and PvP arenas to parkour, their creations are amazing and a benefit to everyone.

    The Teen Minecraft club plays together in a survival world created for/by them that is only accessible from within the computer lab every Friday from 6:00pm – 8:00pm. There is no pre-registration for the teen club, and more often than not we fill up all 18 computers in the lab and still have some players waiting, so we rotate every half hour (as needed) so that everyone gets plenty of playing time.

    The game world is reset about every three to four months so that new players get a chance to start out fresh along with everyone else.  These resets are both exciting because they provide a fresh, blank canvas to create and play on, but also sad because previous builds are lost. That being said, I’ve discovered that as the teens learn, grow, and discover how to build new things, their creations seem to get more complex and amazing with each new world.

    I feel very lucky to work with these amazing teens, and I can’t wait to see what they build next!

    (The Teen Minecraft Club has approved this message.)

  • Teen OVP 2018 FB event

    It’s no secret that I think Korean culture is awesome. I’ve mentioned it in past blog posts (Friday Faves: K-Pop, Global Road Warrior, Friday Faves: Books for K-Pop Lovers), and just yesterday I was caught up talking to my dental hygienist about my favorite Korean dramas while she cleaned my husband’s teeth … but that’s beside the point.

    Korea is awesome! And my love for it was bound to influence a Library program eventually.

    Since the Olympics are in Pyeongchang, South Korea this year, we’re celebrating with a Teen Olympic Viewing Party, complete with Korean food! My mouth is watering…

    As we watch the Olympics we’ll be serving kimbap (김밥) which consists of various fillings wrapped in rice and seaweed, similar to Japanese sushi, and tteokbokki (떡볶이), rice cakes stir-fried in a spicy sauce. Both of these are delicious in their own way, and are common street foods in Korea.

    If you are a teen, or know of a teen that…

    • is interested in watching the Olympics,
    • likes trying international cuisine,
    • is riding the Korean wave,
    • wants to just hang out for a little while, or might be hungry (this is the part that’s meant to refer to all teens)

    then make sure they hear about our Olympic Viewing Party on Thursday, February 22 at 7:00 pm in the Shaw Programming Room (#260).

    We’ll see you there, ready to cheer on the athletes! Hwaiting!*  

    *Hwaiting: In Korean (화이팅, or 파이팅), a commonly used word of support, encouragement, and/or a cheer. Originating from the English word, “fighting.”

  • here to help

    I recently took a phone call from a library patron who was interested in learning how to use some advanced functions in Microsoft Office software (Excel, Word, etc), but taking a formal class was cost prohibitive. This patron wanted to know if we had any resources that could help them.

    Oh do we have resources…

    Can I just tell you? Asking a librarian what resources are available for [insert task/project/assignment here] is one of the best ways to make us love you. We want to tell you all about the amazing resources that you can use for FREE!

    For this patron, I recommended four different resources:

    1. The Computer Help Lab which takes place Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00 – 5:00 PM in the Special Collections Room. This particular patron wasn’t available during those hours, so next I recommended…

    2. Book a Librarian. With this service the patron can request a time that suits them to meet with a librarian one-on-one to get individual help. The patron liked this idea, but was also interested in self-directed learning. So I also recommended…

    3. Learning Express Library, which has a lot of great resources that range far beyond just basic computer and Microsoft Office skills, including standardized test resources (ACT, ASVAB, GED, GMAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT, Praxis, SAT, TOEFL, TOEIC, etc.), resources for becoming a U.S. citizen, basic math, reading, and writing resources, and so much more that this is just the tip of the ice berg.

    4. And finally, one of my favorites, I don’t really know where to start when trying to describe the wealth of resources available on here. In addition to Microsoft Office courses, Lynda offers fantastic and professionally produced video courses on subjects relating to and including: 3D and animation, audio and music, business, CAD, design, courses for developers, education and e-learning, IT, marketing, photography, video, and the web.

    For the Provo City Library, providing our community with access to information, instruction, and learning is central to our mission. We are here to help, and want to make sure you are aware of the amazing, FREE resources available to everyone.

    The next time you come in, ask a librarian what great resources the library can offer, and watch their face light up.Just try it.

    I dare you.

  • Shoes

    One of the things I love about reading is the ability to gain new perspectives and empathize with others, even when they’re fictional. I especially love books that let me safely experience things outside of my comfort zone. As a public librarian my path crosses with a wide variety of people, and while it can be easy to make assumptions, I read a few books this year that I felt gave me a new understanding of the people around me.


    3.27 EducatedEDUCATED
    By Tara Westover

    People come to the Library for a variety of reasons and with a variety of backgrounds. This book reminds me that, what at first glance can appear to be rudeness, laziness, or a lack of cleanliness, can be due to a variety of legitimate reasons I know nothing about. Tara Westover was born in the mountains of Idaho to survivalist parents and didn’t set foot in a classroom until she was 17-years-old. Attending college was different from any experience she’d ever had, and her unique past and limited understanding of the world, history, and social norms made her experiences and accomplishments all the more extraordinary. Sometimes truth can be stranger than fiction, and this powerful memoir is just that.


    3.27 The 57 BusTHE 57 BUS 
    By Dashka Slater

    I’ve had the opportunity to take books to teens in juvenile detention, meeting several who dreamed of a life better than the one they were living. I’ve also met people with a variety of gender identities, struggling to figure out who they are. This book follows the lives of two teens in with similar struggles, something I’ve never dealt with, and found very eye opening. One day on the 57 bus, for no particular reason aside from thinking it could be funny, Richard set Sasha’s skirt on fire. He thought it would smolder a bit and surprise Sasha, like a practical joke, but instead it erupted in a ball of flames, severely burning Sasha’s body. It was treated as a hate crime since Sasha is agender, and Richard was facing life imprisonment. Using her background in journalism, Slater covers the lives and decisions of both teens leading up to the incident, and how both lives were heartbreakingly altered.



    3.27 An Absolutely Remarkable ThingAN ABSOLUTELY REMARKABLE THING
    By Hank Green

    I met one of my favorite YouTubers this year and was amazed at how normal she was without a camera in hand. In an age of social media influencers it can be easy to idolize people and feel like you know them without actually meeting them. In this contemporary sci-fi novel, mysterious giant statues appear overnight around the world, and April May goes viral for being in a YouTube video about the first one. What does becoming an overnight celebrity do to a person? How does social media change our perception of reality? This book explores those questions in a way that feels genuine and personal, probably because the author is a social media influencer himself. If you follow someone who makes their living on social media, this book can be eye opening. 


    3.27 Sea WitchSEA WITCH 
    By Sarah Henning

    If you’ve seen the Disney version of The Little Mermaid, odds are you have a pretty negative opinion of the Sea Witch. Henning spins the original Hans Christian Andersen tale a little differently, focusing on the origin of the Sea Witch, and only introducing the Little Mermaid at the very end where the original tale begins. It’s hard to not feel compassion for the Sea Witch when you understand her background and why she made the decision to take the Little Mermaids voice in exchange for legs. While Disney’s Sea Witch is an archetypal villain, Henning humanizes her and turns her into a sympathetic and multifaceted character that feels more realistic. If you want your perception of a fictional character to take a 180° turn, this is the book to do it. 


    3.27 Warm BodiesWARM BODIES 
    By Isaac Marion

    Okay, I can’t say I’ve ever met a zombie, but if a zombie apocalypse were to ever happen, I want the zombies to be like the ones in WARM BODIES. The vast majority of the book is spent inside R’s head, listening to his internal dialogue and seeing the changed world through his eyes. It’s quite philosophical for a zombie book, which is why it’s on my list. R has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He doesn’t enjoy killing people; he enjoys riding escalators and listing to Frank Sinatra. When he decides to let one girl live and keep her safe from the undead, his life death will change forever. This is a funny, scary, and moving take on the classic Romeo and Juliet story.


    So, if you want to expand your horizons this year, exercise your empathy, and perhaps get out of your comfort zone through the safety of a book, I would highly recommend any of these titles.


    flat tire 01


    I have a car. She and I usually get along quite well, but sometimes she needs a bit of extra attention. For example, she recently broke her shoe (flat tire), and I know how frustrating it can be when a heel breaks. You can’t really walk, and until it’s either fixed or you replace the shoes, you’re quite miserable.

    I’m pretty sure that’s how my car felt as I tried to leave work the other day. She was incredibly sluggish. As in, it’s really cold and I refuse to get out of bed and deal with the day, sluggish. I got out and looked her up and down. That’s when I noticed it--the flat tire. 

    My first thought was to call my brother (who is a mechanic). My second thought was, “I’m a fully capable woman, and I can change my own darn tire!” 

    I’d never changed a tire before. I saw my mom put a spare on once… when I was 10.

    Yeah, I got this!

    Laugh if you must. I know I’m being overly dramatic about changing a tire. It’s really not that hard, and I know that now. Between my owner’s manual and using the Library’s Wi-Fi to watch an instructional YouTube video, I was able to successfully take off the flat, put on the spare, and then drive to my mechanic.

    flat tire 2

    This is a true story! Photographic evidence!

    I tell you this story because it got me thinking a lot about car repair, and how little I know. Changing a tire isn’t complicated, but some things are. Thankfully the library has a lot of great resources to help. One of my favorites (and totally accessible online) is Auto Repair Source. I love it because you can select your car’s year, make and model, then get information about your car specifically. What information? Diagnostic and repair information, labor time guides and estimates, specifications and maintenance schedules, how-to guides (including how to change a tire), and so much more.

    At the very least, when I go to my mechanic I can sort of sound like I know what I’m talking about.

    Sort of.

    I don’t know cars well, but Auto Repair Source is really helping me learn more, and at least sound more knowledgeable. I won’t try fixing cars myself (a librarian can only do so much), but I can certainly help you find information on how to do it!