Teen Blog

05/10/2013 - 11:22am
Looking for a good cheap tablet?  Get a Nook HD while you can!

In the past I have lambasted Barnes and Noble's Nook products for a number of reasons, but none of them have to do with device itself.  I dislike how eBooks purchased from B&N are encrypted with the credit card number used to purchase them (don't forget that number!). I dislike how stripped-down the app selection is. I dislike their severe lack of media offerings.  But the device itself?  It's got good specs!  Nice  HD screen, decent processor speed, expandable storage, slick design—it's got all the makings of a great tablet, save for the fact that it has been tethered exclusively to Barnes and Noble's horrible business practices.  But that has now changed with a significant price drop and the addition of the Google Play app store.  If you're on the fence about a tablet purchase, I now have to actually, grudgingly recommend the Nook HD over everything else!

04/30/2013 - 11:18am
10th Annual Teen Poetry Contest poster

Congratulations to the 10th Annual Teen Poetry Contest Winners!

Each year we celebrate National Poetry Month in April with our Teen Poetry Contest.
Teens in grades 7-12 from Fredericksburg, Stafford, Spotsylvania, and Westmoreland, are invited to submit up to three original poems. Out-of-region library cardholders may also enter. 

This year's winners were chosen (anonymously) by Claudia Emerson, winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.
Entries were accepted online between April 1 - 14, 2013, and winners were selected from participants in grades 7-9 and grades 10-12. We had 158 entries this year!

Winners are awarded prizes and invited to read their work at Teen Poetry Night at Headquarters Library, Wednesday, May 1, 7:30-8:30.

And the winners are ...

04/30/2013 - 1:56pm
Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong by Prudence Shen and Illustrated by Faith Erin Hic

Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong is author Prudence Shen's laser-guided, satirical commentary on a clash of the cliques that has the potential to destroy friendships, dreams, and dozens of deadly, armored robots. 

Hollow Ridge High School is dealing with the fight of the century. In this corner we have the cheerleadering squad. Popular, gorgeous and fierce, these ladies are looking for some brand-new uniforms. Looking for funds throughout the school, merciless head cheerleader Holly has set her sights on one club's unused budget.

In the other corner is the robotics club. Led by their neurotic but clever president Nate, these geeks are not going down without a fight. 

Stuck in the middle of this struggle is poor Charlie, captain of the basketball team. His only crime is being the ex-boyfriend of Holly and Nate's best friend.

04/24/2013 - 11:48am
Coming Soon: Next Generation OverDrive Experience

Starting tomorrow, our OverDrive eBook web site will have a new look and new features!

You'll be able to take advantage of streamlined checkout with One-Step Checkout, and a new web browsesr-based reader, OverDrive Read, will be available for many titles.

Find out more here and check out this video to see what’s coming soon:

04/18/2013 - 11:36am
Avoiding and Removing Ransomeware

You’ve probably encountered them - big flashing warning boxes on websites that inform you that your computer is infected with hundreds of viruses or malware or some such.  Scary, right?  You don’t want your computer to be infected with anything!  And these nice people are offering to scan your computer to clean it with their free download - how thoughtful!  So you click yes, please clean my computer, and it all goes downhill from there.

04/08/2013 - 3:31am
Sumo by Thien Pham

Sumo, by Thien Pham, is a quiet tale about a sport of epic proportions. Scott is a twenty-something football player who has missed his shot at NFL glory. Now that his girlfriend has left him, he has no sense of himself anymore. So like any lost youth pining for a change, he moves to Japan to become a sumo wrestler.

04/15/2013 - 10:08am
2013 Teen Poetry Contest poster

Each year we celebrate National Poetry Month in April with our Teen Poetry Contest.

This year entries were accepted online April 1-14.
 

Teens in grades 7-12 from Fredericksburg, Stafford, Spotsylvania, and Westmoreland are invited to submit up to three original poems. Out-of-region library cardholders may also enter.

 
Entries will be judged by Claudia Emerson. Emerson is the winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and is currently a University of Mary Washington professor. 
 
Winners chosen from Grades 7-9 and Grades 10-12 are awarded cash prizes and are invited to read their work at Teen Poetry Night on  Wednesday, May 1, 7:30-8:30, in the Headquarters Library Theater. Sign-up begins April 1. For grades 7 to adult.
 
03/25/2013 - 12:10pm
My Favorite Office Alternatives

Microsoft Office maybe the go-to suite for businessy type things, but goodness gracious, it is expensive!  And copy-protected!  A single-PC license for the most stripped-down version of Office, the Home & Student edition which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, runs $139.99.  That’s for ONE PC and lord help you if you need to reinstall it at any point - you’ll likely end up on the line with Microsoft tech support trying to re-activate your legitimately-purchased software.  You’ve also got the option of paying $400 (or as I like to call it, my grocery budget) for the full Office experience with all its bells and whistles  . . . again, for one PC.  Please.  Have some free software, on me!
 

03/19/2013 - 1:48pm
On Becoming a Fearless Computer User

From 2000-2003 I was a creative writing major at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a university most well-known for its schools of engineering and computer science.  Guess I could have thought that decision through a little better, but I’m glad I didn’t.  I even lived in a private dorm adjacent to the engineering campus, Hendrick House, surrounded by some of the strangest, most intelligent and most wonderful people I’ve ever known, almost all of them engineers.  When I arrived at UIUC, I knew the bare bones of computering—how to type, how to use a Web browser, how to use a word processor, and play a few games, but not much else.  However, over the course of three years living with these technological elite, I picked up more than a few tricks not only about using computers, but about how to fearlessly teach myself more.  And now I pass that on to you.  

Attaining fearlessness in the face of learning more about the computer lies in the art of reversibility.  The most common fear my students express is that they will press the wrong keys or click the wrong thingies and destroy their computers.  I try to assure them this is highly unlikely, but that discomfort still remains. Certainly I felt that way 10 years ago.  I discovered over time that there are particular steps you need to take to ensure that, if the worst happens and your computer stops working, you can back out of your mistake or recover your computer.  With the following steps accomplished, you’ll find that you feel much less hesitant about stepping outside your comfort zone.

03/12/2013 - 1:19pm
My Boyfriend's Family by Alexanna Hengy

For our 18th Annual Teen Art Show we had a total of 87 pieces of art submitted:  18 from Grades 9-10, and 69 from Grades 11-12. There were 63 individual artists represented:  13 form Grades 9-10, 50 from Grades 11-12.

And the winners are ...
 

View this slideshow for all winning works (displayed in order). You can also view all winning works on Flickr.
 

Best In Show

Savannah Patterson for Luminescence - Massaponax High School 

Grades 11-12

1st Place: Alexanna Hengy for My Boyfriend's Family - Chancellor High School 
 
2nd Place: Summer Shank for Ladytron - Chancellor High School 
 
3rd Place: John Sampson for Amidst the Isolation - Saint Michael High School