February 7th, 2012

Anti-Valentine’s Day

broken heartDo you love being single? Do candy hearts filled with chocolates make you feel ill? Do lovey-dovey couples making kissy faces at each other send you screaming for the hills? Does the dreaded February 14th on the calendar have you planning your escape? Don’t worry, you’re not alone!

As the Young Adult Librarian, I like to plan programs around special times of the year; last year to celebrate Valentine’s Day with the teens I did the traditional Valentine’s Day fete–make Valentine’s,  eat chocolate,  and  play candy heart BINGO. Ho-hum. It was fun, but just not what I was looking to do this year. As I was searching for something off the beaten path, I came across the Anti-Valentine’s Day Movement—while Valentine’s Day celebrates love and lovers and is all about candy and flowers, Anti-Valentine’s Day is all about having fun, being confident and loving that you are single. Now that’s what I’m talking about!

The Anti-Valentine’s Day movement has begun gaining some popularity recently. While it’s not entirely new, as there have always been people who either refused to celebrate Valentine’s Day or spent the day in some act of Valentine’s Day protest, in the last decade, the movement has been gaining momentum and taken on a name: Anti-Valentine’s Day! So, while some people are off gazing lovingly into each other’s eyes over fancy dinners, other people are home watching any movie that does not celebrate love, listening to angry music, or joining with friends for Anti-Valentine’s Day gatherings.

At a time when many teens are not allowed to date or do not have a boyfriend/girlfriend, celebrating Valentine’s Day where everyone gets together to “share the love” can be daunting. Instead, promoting the Anti-Valentine’s Day idea where they can celebrate and promote their independence is a great way for them to feel good about themselves and their non-dating choices. By spending time with the teens playing games and creating small, Anti-Valentine’s crafts the teens can have fun with friends and peers while they express their individuality and that they are “OK” with being a single, independent teen.

Both the Perryville and Rising Sun Branches will have Anti-Valentine’s Day programs for our teen patrons. On Thursday, February 9, join us at the Perryville Branch for an Anti-Valentine’s Day Bash at 3:00 pm. We will enjoy some broken heart cookies, make some Anti-Valentine’s with anti-love quotes, and don’t forget to bring a tee that you can decorate with an independence slogan. But if Valentine’s Day really makes you sick, you should join us at the Rising Sun Branch on Wednesday, February 15, for an Anti-Valentine’s Day Gross Out at 3:30pm. If you’ve had enough of the candy and chocolates, then you’ll want to try something totally different—how about kitty litter and dried scabs?!

For those of you who have “aged out” of our teen programs, consider throwing an Anti-Valentine’s Day get-together of your own. Serve some broken heart cookies and play some “un-love” songs for the right atmosphere. Have a movie night and watch some great movies where the love story is NOT the hot topic. Or plan a girls’ night with a book discussion around a book where the heroine is a chick who kicks butt! All branches of the Cecil County Public Library have many CDs, movies, and books that would love to spend the night (or 3 weeks) with you! But whatever you do, remember that to enjoy Valentine’s Day you don’t need to be part of a couple—you don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy. Just love yourself and be happy with who you are! Everything else is…well, the icing on the heart-shaped cookie.

If you need some ideas to kick-start your Anti-Valentine’s Day Planning, take a look at some of the great materials that CCPL has to offer:

For your Anti-Valentine’s Day Musical Playlist:
-Beautiful Day by U2 on U218 Singles CD
-Come Together by The Beatles on Abbey Road CD
-Stand by R.E.M. on In Time: The Best of R.E.M. CD
-Beautiful by Christina Aguilera on Stripped CD
-Boom Boom Pow by The Black Eyed Peas on The E.N.D. CD

For your Anti-Valentine’s Day Movie Playlist:
-Despicable Me
-Dead Poet’s Society
-The Blind Side
-Catch Me If You Can

For your Anti-Valentine’s Day Book Discussion:
Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy by Steig Larsson
Lucky by Alice Sebold
Stephanie Plum Mysteries by Janet Evanovich
His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman

How will you be celebrating this February 14th?

June 22nd, 2011

What Are Teens Reading? You May Be Surprised…

When people ask me what I do for a living and I tell them I am the Young Adult Librarian at the Perryville Branch Library, inevitably I get asked the following question: “Do teens really read anymore?” I think it’s a common fallacy that today’s youth are so wrapped up in video games, social media, and gossip that they no longer appreciate a good book. That couldn’t be farther from the truth! Running the teen book club, Book Hook, I’ve found a large group of teens that love to read and know what it is they like and why they like it. Our book discussions are very interesting and the teens always have a wonderful grasp of the material we read. Some of the discussions we’ve had in Book Hook have been in-depth and enlightening, both to myself and the teens participating.

Some of our best discussions have revolved around what other titles we’re reading—the teens are very open and love to talk about their favorite reads and offer book recommendations to others. As a result of their passion for books and reading, I had a talk with my Teen Advisory Board about writing book reviews and recommendations to share on the CCPL website. Although I love Young Adult books, let’s face it—I’m an adult and don’t always have my pulse on the teen scene. I believe this is a great opportunity to see what our teens are reading and what books they think are worth sharing.

It’s no surprise that teens are more interested in reading reviews and recommendations from their peers than from someone like me! If a book is recommended by someone they see as “like themselves,” with similar life experiences and interests, they’ll be more likely to be interested and give it a try. I’m all for it! Whatever it takes, I just want to see these wonderful books get into the hands of our teen readers. In addition, if you’re the parent of a teenager and you don’t read YA books yourself, reading reviews from teens may help you in choosing books for your own teen. And don’t be surprised if you find some that you can’t wait to read yourself!

CBR001043So I extend the invitation to all you teens, parents, teachers, librarians, etc. out there: Stop by the teen section of CCPL’s website and take a look at the teen recommendations.  You may be surprised and inspired to find out what our teens are reading and enjoying.

What is your teen reading?

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