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?) :)

A Whole New Reason to EXPRESS YOURSELF…

Hey Bits and Bramblers…

Usually we like to keep things light around here. We talk about books and websites. We tell you about library programming, and we link to funny videos. But if you’d like us to keep doing those things—and much, much more—we need to talk.

Because we need your help.

See, last Friday, our Governor proposed some cuts to the state budget. He wants to cut $112.5 million from the Public Library Fund. Which is…kind of bad for us. In fact, if this passes? Then at least half of your faaaaavorite locations will be forced to close—and maybe more.

We’ll have to cut back on the number of books, DVDS, and CDs we buy, the number of programs we offer, and the number of (*gulp*) staff we have.

So…that’s why we need your help. But the thing is? We don’t have a lot of time…

See, The Ohio General Assembly is going to think about the proposal for nine days, and then they’re going to vote on July 1st, which is…you know, not very far away.

And here’s the thing. You’re probably thinking, “I’m just a kid, what I can do? I can’t even vote. Nobody’s going to listen to me, right?”


You know how everyone keeps telling you that “you’re the future?” Well, they mean it. And this is your chance to start showing everyone the future is in good hands. After all…this is YOUR state. This is YOUR community. This is YOUR library. So why not talk about how much it means to you?

Talk to your parents. If they’re okay with it, email or call your elected officials. Don’t be afraid to tell them exactly what you think. Tell them how much you love your library, and that you want it to stay open.

Talk to your favorite adults Tell them what’s going on, and encourage them to contact their elected officials. The more people we get, the better our chances are.

I’ll even help you out by giving you a list of the people you need to contact, and how to contact them!

Now…if you aren’t sure which officials you should contact, you can check the House and Senate lists (or you could always ask if one of your faaaaaavorite librarians for help! After all…we’re pretty good at our jobs, and we’d like to keep doing them!)

Remember everyone…we don’t have much time. So GET BUSY…and START EXPRESSING YOURSELVES!!!!

READ THIS NOW: City of Bones

Okay, so…I kinda came to the party late when it comes to the Mortal Instruments Trilogy by Cassandra Clare. I mean..I’d heard a lot of people taking about how much they loved the first book in the series, City of Bones, and the second book in the series, City of Ashes. Maybe it takes three books to sink in–because when everyone was talking about how amazing City of Glass, the third and final book in the trilogy, I finally got around to reading the series. And…wow. Everyone was right.

When City of Bones starts, sixteen-year-old Clary Fray and her best friend Simon are hanging out at the Pandemonium Club in Manhattan. Really, it’s kind of a boring night. That is, until Clary notices an annoying guy with blue hair being pulled into the store room by a group of beautiful-but-scary looking people covered in tattoos.

After that, things get messy fast. Especially when Clary frantically tries to tell Simon what she just saw—and he has no idea what she’s talking about, because he didn’t see anyone near the store room.

As it turns out, the annoying blue-haired guy isn’t a guy at all—he’s a demon. Then one of the scary beautiful people—a ridiculously good-looking blonde-haired guy—kills him. See, the beautiful tattoo-covered people are Shadowhunters—a group of demon hunters descended from angels. And they’re more than a little surprised that Clary can actually see them. Usually they’re invisible to normal people, or “mundanes.”

Clary’s ready to forget the whole thing—until the next day, when the scary/beautiful blonde guy shows up when she’s having coffee with Simon. His name is Jace, and he wants to talk about why Clary can see him. Things get even worse then when she goes home. Not only is her apartment is trashed, her mother’s missing, and there’s a dragon-like demon in her hallway.

So…maybe Clary’s not a mundane after all. In fact, it’s looking more and more like her mother’s disappearance is tied to an evil Shadowhunter named Valentine, and the Mortal Cup, a powerful object which has the power to turn a mundane into a Shadowhunter.

Before she knows it, she’s staying with Jace and his fellow Shadowhunters, and finds herself sucked up into their world of demons, wizards, vampires, and more, in a race to stop Valentine and save her mother.

…I know, right?!?! And trust me, it’s just as good as it sounds. So if you haven’t read the Mortal Instruments Trilogy, READ IT NOW…and thank me later! But if you’re not totally convinced, check out this awesome fan-made book trailer!


SUMMER LIBRARY PROGRAM UPDATE! Guess how many of you signed up for the Teen Summer Library Program last week? Exactly 983 of you!

Wow…that’s…that’s…I can’t even think of a good way to describe it. You guys rock.

Now…if you’re not one of the 983…you still have time to register! Not only will you get free stuff when you sign up, but you’ll get a $5 gift card to Barnes and Noble when you read 500 pages, and an $8 gift card to either Best Buy or Target when you read 1000 pages! Plus you’ll go into the grand prize drawing for an iPod Shuffle! So what are you waiting for? Head to your faaaaaaaaaavorite M/RCPL branch and EXPRESS YOURSELF!!!!

Awesome Sites of the Day: DUCK HUNT and SUPER MARIO BROTHERS!!!!

Today I’m going to share some sites with you that made me seriously nostalgic, Bits and Bramblers. See, my very first gaming system was a good ol’ Nintendo Entertainment System. The first one. A classic. And when you bought an NES, along with that new system plasticky smell we all know and love, you got two games—Super Mario Brothers and Duck Hunt.

I won’t lie to you, Bits and Bramblers. I spent several long, summer days drinking lemonade and seeing this message. I hated that message. Hated. it. And Duck Hunt was just as frustrating. Every time you missed, the dog laughed at you. Laughed. at. you. Stupid 8-bit dog.

Aaaaaaaaaaanyway…good time, good times.

So you can image my absolute giddiness when I discovered that you can play flash versions of both Duck Hunt and Super Mario Brothers online!

But before you start, I’ll warn you—it’s not easy using the arrow keys to make Mario and Luigi do that magical combination on walking and jumping. So…good luck with that. And while Duck Hunt isn’t really the same without the old school Nintendo Zapper Gun, using your mouse isn’t too bad.

The dog with still laugh at you if you miss, though. Stupid…Flash…dog.

Now…before you get your game on, check out this made-of-awesome song by The Mountain Goats and Kaki King (it’s nice to know I’m not the only person who was emotionally scarred by the “Thank You Mario! But our princess is in another castle!” message.) It even features some classic Super Mario Brothers footage!

Hey Comic Book Fans…Want to Get Animated?

Then I have just the site for you! When you visit The Hero Factory, you can create your very own superhero, without all that pesky drawing, and inking/coloring (like the Extraordinary Lasered Lash! Although the laser lash is pretty awesome, I’d like to think my superhero is also good with sarcasm, you know? She can give tongue lashings and laser lash…lashings. Never mind. You know what I mean.)

So after you create your superhero, you might be searching for some graphic novels to read. If you’re not sure what’s out there, though, try visiting No Flying, No Tights. This awesome website will help you find the perfect graphic novel for you, even if you’re not in the mood for superheroes! They’ve got sections on everything—like romance, manga, realism, and much more!

Or…you could always stop by your faaaaaaaaaaavorite M/RCPL branch and check out the new graphic novels, like Wolverine: Logan, or the graphic novel version of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline. (And hey…while you’re at your faaaaaaavorite M/RCPL location, did you know that you can sign up for the Teen Summer Library Program? Because you can. I’m pretty sure I might have mentioned something about it, earlier

And for all you comic fans, check out this “I’m a Marvel, and I’m a DC” commercial (which might remind you of some other commercials you know and love.) Anyway, Spiderman and Superman are talking about movies…

Haaaaaappppppy BIRTHDAY, Magnum XL 200!

Thaaaaat’s right, Cedar Point’s world-famous coaster is celebrating it’s 20th birthday! Here’s some trivia for you, Bits and Bramblers—when the Magnum XL 200 opened in 1989, it was the world’s tallest and fastest roller coaster. And even though there are taller and faster coasters in the park now, it’s still pretty awesome…in fact, there were 1,789,387 riders in 2008 alone!

And I’ll be honest with you, Bits and Bramblers. I was not one of the 1,789,387 riders. I kind of like smaller coasters. Now, if I’m at Cedar Point? I’m all about the Gemini, and even the Blue Streak. Which means I’m a liiiiitle bit of a roller coaster wimp. So…when everyone else is all “Let’s ride the Top Thrill Dragster!” I have a wicked plan. (Because…no. What if I decide to ride it, and this happens? No. Nonononono.) If you find yourself in a similar situation, I will share with my wicked plan with fellow roller coaster wimps right now. Let’s say that you love coasters, and the two of us are at Cedar Point.

You: Let’s ride the Top Thrill Dragster!
Me: Okay! But I’m thirsty. Let’s get a soda first! I’ll even buy you one!
(Then I will buy the both of us giant sodas in collectible cups the size of a small bucket.)
You: Let’s go!
Me: Er…we just bought sodas, and they were kind of expensive, what with the collectible cups and all. (Sadly) Look, you go ride the coaster. I’ll stand here and hold the sodas.
You: Seriously? I can wait.
Me: The line’s isn’t that long, so now would be a good time. Just go. I’ll hold your collectible soda bucket.
You: But I feel bad…
Me: You can make it up to me by riding the Gemini when you’re done.
You: Come on, isn’t that—
Me: I’m going to stand here, holding the soda that I bought you. Now we’re riding the Gemini, and the Iron Dragon.

So…yeah, I will make you feel guilty just get out of riding the scary roller coaster. But I’m not a totally horrible person. I did buy you a soda with a collectible cup, after all (oooh, and don’t forget, this works with stuff other than sodas, like t-shirts, etc.)

Here’s something to keep in mind, though, fellow coaster-non-enthusiasts: what happens if you see through the wicked plan? And they say something like “We can drink sodas in line?” or “I’ll wait, I’d feel guilty if you didn’t get to ride?” Well, in that case, don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t like giant super-fast roller coasters and I’m not riding that thing!” you could always make a deal, too. Like…maybe ride a sort-of scary coaster, instead of a really scary one (you know…the one where you can see another country from the top of the hill. Doesn’t anyone but me think that’s freaky?!)

Here’s the cool thing, though, and if doesn’t matter if you loooooove roller coasters or hate them—watching on-coaster videos is pretty cool. So now, you don’t even have to use the wicked plan to experience the Magnum XL 200 . We can do it without even standing in line!

So fasten your safety belt—or drink some soda—and enjoy!

Grab Your Popcorn: Action-Adventure Edition!

Okay, so it’s the first week of summer vacation, and it’s hot. It’s sticky, humid, and stormy. What better way to take your mind off the icky weather than watching some trailers for new and upcoming movies coming to a theater near you?

First up, Land of the Lost. The movie is based off of a awesomely cheesy kids show from the 70’s. (First of all, good luck getting the theme song out of your head. And seriously…how great are those special effects? Who wouldn’t be scared of that dinosaur? In case you couldn’t tell, I was being sarcastic. Really, really sarcastic.) But the dinosaur in the new version is…pretty freaky, actually. The movie opened June 5th, so be sure to check it out:

Next up, Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen. I have to admit, I’m a little out of the loop on this one. See, I vaguely remember the cartoon, but I …er…haven’tactuallyseenthefirstmovie. I mean, a lot of people told me it was good and that I should watch it, but I’ve…um…neveractuallygottenaroundtoit. From the looks of this trailer though, I really should watch the first movie, because this one looks awesome. I’ve got a little time to catch up, though, since this one opens June 26th.

And last but certainly not least, here’s the trailer for Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. This trailer gave me goosebumps, Bits and Bramblers. In fact, I’m going to say something that will probably earn me a lot of virtual dirty looks, and maybe people throwing a few virtual things at me, but…you can keep your Twilight books and your New Moon trailers, because when it comes right down to it? I’m a Harry Potter girl through and through. So…if you’re still reading, the movie opens July 17th. So watch the trailer and see what you think!

READ THIS NOW: Suite Scarlett

So…you’ve already registered for the Teen Summer Library Program, and now you need to start working on those 1000 pages. Where should you start? Well…how about right here? Haaaaaave you read Suite Scarlett, by Maureen Johnson? If not, you should READ IT NOW!

If you didn’t know any better, you’d think, “I’ll bet it’s pretty cool to be Scarlett Martin.” After all, her family has run the Hopewell Hotel for generations, and it used to be one of New York City’s most popular places to stay. She even gets to live in the hotel with her parents, her sisters Lola and Marlene, and her older brother and best friend, Spencer. But it’s not easy being Scarlett.

Especially when her parents announce that the Hopewell is in serious trouble. They barely have any guests, and they’ve had to lay off the entire staff. And now even if Scarlett finds a summer job, she has to help out at the hotel—and unless Spencer can get a find as an actor in three days, their parents will make him give up his dreams and go to culinary school. Oh, and did I mention they explain all of this on Scarlett’s fifteenth birthday?!?! It looks like her entire summer is ruined—nothing to do but work, and read emails from her best friends, who are all off doing amazing things while she’s miserable.

But the summer gets a lot more interesting when Spencer gets cast as Guildenstern in a crazy, circus-like production of Hamlet—and when a new guest named Mrs. Amberson shows up at the Hopewell, and somehow, the actress hires Scarlett to be her “personal assistant.” And when Spenser and the rest of the Hamlet cast suddenly need a place to rehearse and…um…perform the play, Mrs. Amberson decides to rescue them—with a little help from Scarlett, of course.

The next thing she knows, Scarlett’s running all over the city, doing everything from sewing costumes to pranking Mrs. Amberson’s rival—and spending a lot of time with Spencer’s friend and castmate, Eric (and nothing could possibly go wrong there, right?) But things get really crazy when Scarlett tries to hold the play inside the Hopewell. It may not be easy being Scarlett…but it’s never boring!

So do me a favor, and READ THIS BOOK—not only will it knock 353 pages off your total, but you’ll definitely want to have it read by this winter, when the sequel, Scarlett Fever, arrives!


It’s the day you’ve been WAITING for, Bits and Bramblers—and we know, because a bunch of you have been asking, “Can I sign up for the Summer Library Program?” And now’s the time! Sign up for the Teen Summer Library Program starts TODAY!

This summer, our theme is EXPRESS YOURSELF (and trust me…the library is the perfect place to help you express yourself!) Now…just in case you don’t remember how the program works, I’ll remind you…if you’re in Grades 6-12, all you have to do is head to your faaaaaaavorite M/RCPL location, and register! It only takes a few minutes to sign up—and we’ll give you cool stuff, just for doing it!

Once you’re registered, it’s all about how much you read. If you read 500 pages, you’ll earn a $5 gift card to Barnes and Noble! And if you read 1000 pages, you’ll earn an $8 gift card from either Target or Best Buy!

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! If you read 1000 pages, you’ll automatically be entered in the GRAND PRIZE DRAWING…AND YOU COULD WIN A 1 GB iPOD SHUFFLE!

AND WAIT…THERE’S STILL MORE! Don’t forget about all of the awesome programs going on this summer, like Hip Hop Dance, Mitten Ice Cream Sundaes, Rock Band, and Marshmallow Shooters! Oooh, and then there’s our INSTANT WINNERS…where you can win prizes like EXPRESS YOURSELF shirts just for checking out books!

AND THERE’S EVEN MORE! We’ve also got cool puzzles and quizzes each week—like Dude, Which One Is My Car? Just match up the famous car with its TV show or movie. Once you finish the quiz, hand the paper to your faaaaaavorite librarian, and you could win gift certificates to Taco Bell or McDonalds! How cool is that?!

Let’s see…I know that’s a crazy amount of cool stuff, but is there anything I’m forgetting? Oh, yeah…keep checking Bits and Brambles for more cool stuff, because we’ll be entertaining you all summer long, with awesome books, movies, websites, and more!

So what are you waiting for, Bits and Bramblers?!?! EXPRESS YOURSELF by heading to your faaaaaaavorite M/RCPL location and register for the Teen Summer Library Program today!

It’s a Whole New Millennium Here at M/RCPL…

What’s up, Bits and Bramblers? Remember waaaaaay back in January, after our blog kind of died, and I promised we weren’t going anywhere? And then we didn’t post for like, almost three months?

Yeah…sorry. But just like last time, we’ve got a really good excuse, I swear.

See, if you’ve been to the library lately, you might have noticed some…changes. Like the fact that the way you search for books in the library (or from our website, for that matter,) is a little different. You might have noticed your favorite librarians wearing buttons and stickers that say “We’re Learning New Things to Serve You Better!”

That’s because we have a brand-spankin’-new software here at M/RCPL. It’s changed the way we do everything around here, from ordering new items, to how we check them in and out for you. For awhile there, it kind of took up a lot of our attention—making sure we understood how to do everything, and making sure you’d barely even notice anything was different.

And…I don’t want to brag or anything, but…I think we did a pretty awesome job.

Aaaaaaaaaaanyway, now we’re back in a big way. After all, guess what starts on June 8th, which is one week from today?! Thaaaat’s right, it’s time for the SUMMER LIBRARY PROGRAM! And if you come to your faaaavorite library next week, not only can you check out the new catalogs, you can register for the program!

So be sure to keep checking the blog over the summer…not only will we be giving more information about SLP and the cool prizes and programs, we’ll be keeping you entertained on those long, hot days. And right now, I feel like I owe you, Bits and Bramblers, for sticking with us, even though we’ve been crazy-busy. I think I have just the thing.

Did you know that MTV premiered the New Moon trailer at their movie awards last night? They totally did. Check it out!