Thaaaaaaaaaaat’s right, it’s almost time for Thanksgiving, and all the traditions that go along with it. Turkey. Pumpkin Pie. Cranberry Sauce. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Shopping on Black Friday (and if that’s what you’re planning, Bits and Bramblers, good luck…although I hear they’re having good sales at some pretty awesome stores…)

Anyway…no matter what you’re planning on doing this Thanksgiving, I hope you eat lots of good food, and have lots of fun with your family and friends!

Now…I was going to leave you with a funny Thanksgiving video, but I couldn’t decide between these two. So in the spirit of the holiday, I’m sharing both of them with you!

The first video answers several important questions. Namely, “What would the first Thanksgiving have been like if Christopher Walken was there?” It also gives you a pretty good idea for what to do if you’re stuck at your Grandma’s tomorrow…look around the room, grab some collectibles, and then create your own Bric-A-Brac Theater!

The next clip is so gross, you can’t help but watch. Have you ever wondered what it would be like if you took all of your favorite Thanksgiving foods, threw them in a super powerful blender, and made a sort of…Thanksgiving shake?

I’m seriously hoping the answer to that question was a big ol’ “NO!” But if—for some reason—you said “Yes,” then this clip ought to change your mind. Check out the Thanksgiving Edition of “Will it Blend?”

(SPOILER ALERT: The answer is yes. It will blend. Disgustingly.)

Now that you’ve laughed and you’re completely grossed out…HAVE A VERY SAFE AND HAPPY THANKSGIVING, BITS AND BRAMBLERS!!!! :)

Do YOU Know Your Banned Books?

All right, Bits and Bramblers, today’s the last day of Banned Book Week. And remember our last post? In a nutshell, I told you all about how much I love banned books, and then I challenged you to name four frequently challenged books—I gave you a description, and you had to give me the author and title.

And I have to be honest, you guys did really, really good. But just in case you couldn’t figure them out, here are the answers…

This book series—which is also a popular TV show (XOXO)—was challenged for “offensive language, sexually explicit,” descriptions, and being “unsuited to age group.”

Have you heard the latest about B and S? Thaaaat’s right, it’s Gossip Girl. The books by Cecily Von Ziegesar (that are the basis for the hit TV show) were one of the most challenged in 2008.

You can find this book in the Classics section. It’s takes place in the Hamptons in the 1920’s, and it was challenged because of “language and sexual references in the book.” (Ha! And you thought classics were boring!)

Did you guess this one, Old Sports? It’s The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Not only is this an amazing, amazing book, but there are two awesome movie versions, an older one with Robert Redford, and a newer one with Paul Rudd. Gatsby does love to throw giant all-night parties, so…maybe that’s why the book was challenged?

This teen book series about three friends who like to IM was was challenged for—wait for it—”offensive language, sexually explicit,” descriptions, and being “unsuited to age group.”

OMG! You got this one, right? It’s Lauren Myracle’s Internet Girls series, which includes TTFN and TTYL. Just like Gossip Girl, the series was one of the most challenged in 2008. Y? IDK…

And last but not least, another classic. This one is about a teen who just got kicked out of boarding school, and heads to New York City. It’s been challenged for…everything, from “excess vulgar language, sexual scenes,” and “things concerning moral issues,” to several complaints that is was just plain “obscene.”

I’m sure you all got this one, ’cause you’re no phonies. It’s The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it might be one of the most challenged books ever. But again…that doesn’t mean the book is bad.

In fact, I don’t think there’s a bad challenged books. Sure…there are a lot of books that I don’t like, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have the right to read them. Everyone has the right to say—and read—what they like. That’s part of being an American Citizen!

But you don’t have to take my word for it, Bits and Brambers. Because—just like so much else in the world—it’s better with puppets. Check out this video from the American Library Association:

Now…what are you waiting for, Bits and Brambers? READ A BANNED BOOK!

FORTY YEARS Ago, Something BIG Happened…

Now, I understand that the phrase, “It happened forty years ago,” usually means the story that you’re about to hear will be unbearably boring. Not this time, though. Because something big happened forty years ago in Bethel, New York…the Woodstock Festival & Concert!

Woodstock was supposed to be a big party, where you listened to incredible music (by The Who, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and Carlos Santana) and slept under the stars. But the big party kept getting bigger…and bigger. There were traffic jams up to twenty miles long to get to the festival…and there were around 500,000 guests!

So the big party turned into something even bigger. It turned into an event—three days of peace, love, and music that represented an entire generation.

In honor of Woodstock’s fortieth anniversary, you can stop by your faaaaaaaaavorite library and experience the concert through DVDs like Woodstock and Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace and Music. If you’re all about the music, though, you can listen to CDs like The Best of Woodstock.

And speaking of the music, we’ll leave you with a classic performance that took place nearly forty years ago—and it’s still amazing. Here’s Jimi Hendrix with “Purple Haze.”

Raise Your (Left) Hand If You Know What Today Is…

…That’s right, it’s Left-Hander’s Day! Here at the library, we’re very big fans of this day—because a lot of your faaaaaaaavorite librarian’s all happen to be Lefties (including me!) So all you Lefties celebrate—and all you Righties pay attention. Because I think you’ve been keeping us down for far too long!

Seriously, think about it…throughout history, left-handed people haven’t had it easy—and I’m not just talking about 3-Ring Notebooks or those stupid little scissors, either. For awhile, people thought left-handed people were clumsy, stupid…even evil.

Really, Righties? Evil? Are you sure you’re not just…jealous?

I mean, after all…there are lots of studies about how Lefties process information different than Righties—Lefties “are thought to process information using a ‘visual simultaneous’ method in which several threads can be processed simultaneously.” (And let’s not forget that the left side of the body is controlled by the right side of the brain, so…Lefties are the only ones in their right minds. Take THAT!)

Also, studies show that Lefties have natural advantages when it comes to things like playing sports, and that a high number of artists and scientists are left-handed. I mean there have been tons of great Lefties throughout history, like Alexander the Great, Babe Ruth, Prince William, President Obama...even Bart Simpson!

So even if you’re not lucky enough to be Southpaw, raise your left-hand in celebrate with us! I’ll leave you with a couple of my faaaaavorite Lefties, Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr (along with John Lennon and George Harrison, who—even though they aren’t all Lefties—are all still awesome!)

We WILL Rock You…

Well Bits and Bramblers, it’s really hard to believe that another Teen Summer Library Program is almost over (seriously…where did the time go? But don’t worry…if you haven’t finished reading your 1000 pages just yet, you’ve still got a little bit of time–the last day for turning in slips is this Saturday, August 1st!)

Aaaaaaaaanyway, you know what the end of the Teen Summer Library Program means…it’s time to celebrate! This Friday at the Main Library, we’ll be playing Rock Band. We’ll be eating pizza. We’ll be hanging out in the library after closing time. What’s not to love?

We’ll be starting at 5:00 pm., and wrapping things up around 7:30 pm…but you want to know the best part? If YOU want to rock, there’s still time to register for the program! All you have to do is call the Main Library, and let them know you want in on the fun!

Now…if you really want to get in a Rock Band state of mind, check out the official trailer for the game…and I swear to cheer very, very loud if you choose to play this song by (one of my all-time favorites) the Foo Fighters!

This. Is. AWESOME.

Hey Bits and Bramblers! I know there have a been a ton of video tributes to Michael Jackson—and all of them are very cool—but this one is by far my favorite, and I had to share it.

This actually happened at a library in France—a French media library, to be specific. At first, it just seems like a normal day, but…keep your eyes on the librarian in black (and feel free to dance along!)

What’s YOUR Traveler IQ?

I never really liked Geography class, Bits and Brambers. Things might have been different, though, if I would have had the Traveler IQ Challenge back then…because I’m crazy-obsessed with the game now.

Here’s how it works—they’ll give you a world map, and city (let’s say…London, England,) or a famous place (like…Fenway Park,) and all you have to do is click the mouse in the right place! Sounds easy enough, right?

It would be, if there wasn’t a time limit. And if the game didn’t get all snarky with you when you click on the wrong spot (look…I know where Reykjavík is, okay? I was just…distracted. I really don’t think that the game needed to say, “Holy Geez, you’re terrible!” I think that’s a liiiiitle bit much, don’t you?

Stupid game. So why can’t I stop playing it?!?!?!

Aaaaaaaaanyway, see how you do with the game. After all, it might make Geography class easier! And we all know that it pays to be good at Geography. Remember the whole 2007 Miss Teen USA thing?

But it looks like Miss South Carolina is doing better now…after you find out your Traveler’s IQ, see how you do on her geography quiz!

It’s Potter Mania! (Again! Some More!)

Wow….can you believe it’s been two years since the final Harry Potter book was published? And two years since the last Harry Potter movie hit theaters? It doesn’t seem like two years, does it?

But here were are, two years later…and Potter Mania is back! So…are you counting down the minutes until midnight, when Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince hits theaters?!?!

I’ll be honest with you, Bits and Bramblers—I’m excited. Especially after reading all these awesome stories about the new movie and it’s made-of-awesome cast.

So…if you can’t get enough Harry Potter, here are some more Potter-goodies: you can always find out the lastest news by stopping by The Leaky Cauldron! And since you might not have time to reread all six books before you see the new movie, here’s a “Potter Primer” from Time Magazine (this way, you’ll know at what point in the story the new movie will start!

And speaking of Time Magazine…check out this article on Harry and the Potters, and the whole “wizard rock” phenomenon!

And speaking of wizard rock, Potter fans, we’ll leave you with a song by Draco and the Malfoys. They’re awesome. I got to see them in concert a few years ago, at a librarians-only show. (See? That’s one of the reasons I love my job!) Not only were we wearing the same shoes, but when I bought a few of their CDs? They totally autographed them for me. (See? Awesome.)

Enjoy the new movie, Bits and Brambers/Potter fans…and let us know what you think! :)


That’s right, Bits and Bramblers, it’s time to celebrate the Fourth of July! (Or for our friends outside the U.S….Saturday. :) ) Now, because we’re all about knowledge at the library, here are some fun facts about Independence Day which you can use to impress (or annoy) your family and friends.

  • Did you know Independence Day wasn’t technically declared a legal holiday until 1941?
  • Did you know George Washington held his first public office at age 17…and he continued in public service until his death in 1799?
  • Did you know there were fireworks in China as early as the 11th century…and they used them for war rockets/explosives?

Luckily, we don’t use fireworks like they did in 11th Century China. Today’s fireworks just, you know…look pretty cool, and are fun to watch.

And fun to play with. Virtually, that is. I mean, at least with virtual fireworks, you’re 99.9% sure you’re not going to hurt yourself or someone else, right? I can tell you from personal experience that I didn’t hurt myself playing Firework Columns. I just spent way too much time playing, and waiting for the red swirly bombs that look like peppermints. And even though I’m pretty accident prone, I didn’t hurt myself playing the Fireworks Simulation Game. Instead, I had fun playing with the colors (here’s another fun fact: did you know in order to get different colored fireworks, they have to include different chemical compounds? It’s totally true. My favorite fireworks have barium.)

Whether you’re playing with virtual fireworks, or annoying your friends and family with facts…have a very safe and happy Fourth of July, Bits and Bramblers!

We’ll leave you with a little Schoolhouse Rock, American History-style (which, by the way, might help you answer some of the questions on this week’s Teen Summer Library Program Game, the Star-Spangled Quiz…remember, you’ve still got time to enter to win some gift certificates to Taco Bell or McDonalds!)

Time For Some UPDATES!

You know what? Ohio Library Users are awesome. Seriously, you’re the best. Because when the Governor recommended making extreme cuts to library funding, you weren’t afraid to speak up. You emailed representatives, you called the Governor’s office, because you guys want to keep our libraries open. And we want to keep giving you with the coolest books and DVDs, along with free internet access and awesome library programs.

Now…we’re still not exactly sure what will happen. The Ohio budget was supposed to be done today, but lawmakers have asked for a seven day extension, so…yeah. (I know, I know, all this waiting and not knowing is hard. Have a cookie, or something. It will help.) But we know all the emails and messages made an impact, so…we’re cautiously optimistic. And as soon as we know anything? We’ll let you know.

Right now, just know that you made a difference, and we appreciate each and every one of you! Way to Express Yourselves!

And speaking of expressing yourselves, even with everything that’s been going on in library-land, the Teen Summer Library Program is going strong! Over 1200 of you have registered! Which is awesome. Now, just in case you haven’t had the chance to sign up…you still have time! All you have to do is head to your faaaaavorite M/RCPL location, and register. It only takes a minute, and we’ll give you cool stuff. And then you can earn cool stuff, just for reading! Like gift certificates to Barnes and Noble, Target, or Best Buy! So what are you waiting for? Head to the library and EXPRESS YOURSELF!

And speaking of expressing youselves (again,) I think we could all use some laughs. So I’m totally going to share something that makes me laugh every time I watch it. Two words: air band. Check out this hi-larious clip from Scrubs (it almost makes you want to “express yourself” by starting your own air band, doesn’t it?) :)