Monday, April 13, 2015


Hey Guys,

Maybe you saw it in the Courier-Tribune. Maybe someone mentioned it to you. Maybe you have no idea what I'm talking about.
In any case, it's time to talk about the Asheboro Library's TeenZone Advisory Committee or TZAC.

If you're in grades 8 to 12 and you have leadership skills that need testing, this is just for you.
The TZAC's main goal, of course, is to help me make sure that the library is more relevant. I'm hoping that if I can get 5-8 students who are willing to volunteer 2-3 hours a month, to help with devising new ways to reach teens in the community, to help with events, and to spread the word among their peers that we could really do something special for the TeenZone.

If this is something that you'd be interested in doing, you just need leave a comment, or email me at This is a great opportunity to spread your wings and develop new skills, friends and learn a lot more about the library.

And, did I mention, you may get a t-shirt?

Give this some thought. If you or someone you know wants to take a leap into the wonderful world of the TeenZone's TZAC, this is the time to do it. Interviews for positions on TZAC begin on Thursday May 28th at 5 p.m.

Hope to see you there.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Bored? Try Board Games

Hey Guys,

Well, Spring has sprung, as they say. Yesterday, 3/20 was the official first day of Spring. Not that it affects most of us, who are indoors most of the day.
I remember when I was in school the only thing worse than having Spring Break eaten up by snow days was how far away June seemed.
This is the long, vast drag until summer.

Board Game Night

I'm creating an event where if you want to, you can just come to the library and play games. Nothing special. Apples to Apples, or Scattergories, chess or checkers. Play cards (don't gamble!)
Just show up and play some board games, to get you mind off of homework and the school.

Spring at the Library

This April, along with board games, we will reinstate the book discussion nights. These are great meetings where we eat pizza, and talk about our favorite books, or what we're currently reading. Look for the flyer at your school or ask your English teachers or librarians when it is. Also, as always, check up on the Teens page at

The first time in 1,00 years.

I was reading recently that the Icelanders are building their first temple to their religion and gods in a millenia. This is pretty col, because they just started it today and there was a nearly complete solar eclipse. I like to see cultures getting back to their roots. Iceland also has a new political party called The Pirate Party. You read the correctly. And about 38% of the young people in Iceland say they will vote for this more progressive and modern party which seeks to eliminate corruption.
Seems like a neat idea.

Well, that's all for now. Stay tuned, the next ALTZ Vlog is going up this week, and keep an eye out for the latest book markers.

Have a great weekend!


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Pi Day perfect for last day of Teen Tech Week.

Hey Guys!

Happy Pi Day! That's right, today is that one day when the date (as we write it) matches the digits of pi. In fact, this year is particularly special because at 9:26:36 and so on, it mirrors pi as long as you ignore the '0' in 2015. 
The history of Pi ( the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is approximately 3.14159.) is pretty amazing, too and it gives us a glimpse into our understanding of mathematics as we know it, and use it to create a better world.

In fact pi is relevant to us, because it describes a measurement of a shape that occurs most naturally in nature. A circle. Just think of how many things are circular in our world. Pi is pretty important.

Teen Tech Week

Did you learn anything specific this week about technology? Did you build or make something? We'd like to know. Share your experiences in the comments section.
And just because we talk about technology this week, doesn't mean you can't continue to learn and stretch and grow in this area. Don't forget to come and visit us to find out more about our online and physical resources.

3D Printer?

As you may have heard, the Asheboro Library has been toying with the idea of getting a 3D printer.
Okay, we actually submitted a request to the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) when they had a program to send 3D printers to libraries. Unfortunately the response was so heavy that they could not possibly fulfill all the requests, and so, we are looking to get one on our own. Would you be interested in learning how to use a 3D printer? What would you make with it?

LED Throwie maker event

If you've been paying attention, you know that this Thursday at the library is going to be a big day.
We're making 'throwies' which are a watch battery, a powerful magnet and a 10mm LED all wrapped together in electricians tape. Then, you throw them at metal things. They stay lit for days and days and make light graffiti. Stay tuned for more.

See you guys next week! Have a great weekend!


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Teen Tech Week @your library

Hey guys,
Here's this week's newspaper column that I wrote for the Courier-Tribune.

The world of modern technology is not relegated to a sector solely for professional engineers, space scientists or military industry. In fact, thanks to nearly universal access to the Internet and online catalogs, hi-tech advances have become a far more local occurrence.
A young man, saddened by the cost of a prosthesis his neighbor needed, decided to research and design a working robotic hand. Using information from the Internet and a 3D printer and other servos and solenoids ordered online, he created a very hi-tech, fully functional prosthetic for his friend.
Another young man developed a robotic hand that can be moved via the brain using a wireless bluetooth device. The robotic hand’s movement still isn’t perfected, but it is quite a breakthrough, regardless.
Brain science now suggests that young people’s minds are not only more limber than their older human counterparts, but since they are digital natives --that is, having had longer and more established contact with digital technology than us-- they are also more agile in the world of digital tech. Undeterred by the cumbersome tendency older people may deal with as they adapt to the advances and changes in mainstream technology, they may also have the edge in being able to use that tech to make things that truly matter to society.
This is only one of several stories where teens have leapt the educational and technical proficiency barriers in order to make the world a better place.
With this in mind,  libraries in conjunction with the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) celebrates Teen Tech Week this week.
Pillars of research and ideas in society, libraries are the source for learning in any given subject area. With the advent of online resources and “maker spaces,” libraries have gone a step further into the realm of technological possibility.
Libraries across the country are making 3D printers available to patrons for their own use, providing an opportunity for the concept to take on a physical shape.
Think of the benefits of having young, active minds creating technology relevant to society. The possibilities are endless.
Another point of Teen Tech Week is to educate young people about safe Internet use. Sadly, even in our more civilized day, there are still those who seek to prey upon the young via social media and online gaming. Bullying, too, is of great concern, on the Web. With this in mind, librarians strive to provide a safe place to use the internet while also encouraging safe use techniques.
By educating young people about the safe and responsible way to use the Internet, we begin to see far more savvy Internet surfers. Also, we promote efficient research options. Online database access means students are not solely dependent upon books with information that can become outdated far more quickly in light of the speed of recent technological advances.
Our NC Live databases are up to date and have huge curated collections for the technology enthusiast.
And finally, libraries are working to help enhance and solidify young thinkers by creating an awareness of the importance of science, technology, engineering and maths. We fully believe that learning does not stop at the end of the school day. We want to encourage the young person inspired by a chapter in his textbook on astrophysics to use our resources to learn and delve as deeply into that subject as they want.
And more than this, we want to empower young people to take the time to make the world what they believe it should be.
At the forefront of providing top-notch technological resources, librarians advocate for the safe use of technology and scientific resources by young people. That is what Teen Tech Week is all about.
The next time your young person is interested in developing 3D printed photovoltaic cells for use in providing solar power for low income homes in your community, send them to the library. And if you are uncertain about how to start the conversation about healthy and safe Social Media use, we are here to help.
Let your young person’s adventure into the world of making and discovering begin at the library.

Remember to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to keep up with events and activities at the library and visit for all your innovative research needs.


Monday, March 9, 2015

Teen Tech Week is HERE!

Hey Guys,

What if you had a friend that lost their arm due to an accident. What if that friend was unable to afford a prosthetic arm? What could you do to help?
A student at University of Central Florida used a 3D printer to create a prosthetic arm for a young boy in need.
Another teen called Jake Andraka developed a new way to discover if a patient has pancreatic cancer after he experienced the horror of the disease wreaked on his neighbor.
These are just a few examples of what we are talking about when we celebrate Teen Tech Week with Young Adult Library Services Association.

And that's not all. We are also talking about how to be safe while using the internet.
So, stick around and pay attention, and there will be plenty more this week.

You can read the article about the prosthetic arm, here and you can read about Jake Andraka here.

What can you make at your library?

See you tomorrow, with more.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

The very first ever TeenZone Vlog!

Hey Guys!

I'm so excited! It's taken months of gruesome self education and editing, but I've finally got the very first video up on TeenZone's YouTube channel. It's a condensed overview of John Czop's program from January.

You can see it here.

There's not much more to say other than WHEW! I'm glad that's done! On to the next one!

Be sure to leave your comments on the vlog, ideas for more and share this. Also, don't forget to subscribe to the Asheboro Library TeenZone Vlog for more, coming soon!


Friday, February 27, 2015

What the heck is a Junior MC and other bits of wisdom

Hey guys!

Happy snowy Friday to you.

Snow and other pain.

I know you all are pretty thrilled at all the snow days recently, and I get it. I used to love them, until I realized how much more of our vacations, like spring break and so on, got eaten up by them. In my own experience school got extended into the summer. So there was a point at which if I saw a snowflake, it meant that instead of getting out of school on June 8th, we would have to go until June 15th. That actually happened one year.

But anyway, I’m hoping that things are holding up well for you, and instead of focusing on losing your spring break, I am here with some distractions for you.

Junior MC?

Sounds like a hamburger, doesn't it? Actually it’s Emcee or Master of Ceremonies. Tomorrow night is the Friends of the Library Trivia night, and myself and the Children’s Librarian Amy were chosen to be the hosts or emcees. She is the main Emcee. I’m just comedy relief but this responsibility was entitled junior emcee. It just sounds funny to me. Especially that I am older than Amy by several years. I should be senior emcee of comedy relief. Or something.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to it, in a lot of ways. I love trivia and I love to make jokes. So, this is right up my alley.

Lunch and Learn
John Czop at his recent
Lunch and Learn at the
Randolph Arts Guild.

This last Wednesday, I was invited to go to a Lunch and Learn offered by the Randolph Arts Guild featuring the one and only John Czop. It was great because a lot of his portfolio work that was spread out on the table for his even in January was actually up on the Sara Smith Self Gallery walls. We all sat in a nice cozy set up in the middle and he told us his history, answered some questions and we all snacked. It was a lot of fun. Johnny is one of our good pals, and I’m glad he has been able to be a part of the TeenZone experience.

That’s about all for this week.
Hang in there, school will be back in session soon.

Happy Friday,


Coming up next week

Music in the classroom month

Understanding the midweek complaint.

Time off.