You are here

Buzz Blog: Teens

Subscribe to Buzz Blog: Teens feed
News and Blog for Niles-Maine District Library
Updated: 22 min 48 sec ago

Resolve to Read in 2019

January 3, 2019 - 1:25pm

Why challenge yourself to read more this year? Reading stimulates your brain and reduces stress. If you’re too busy to sit down with a book, then you can listen to one while driving, working out, doing chores, or even getting ready for bed.

Step One: Pick a Challenge

Whether your New Year’s resolution is to read more, or you just want to shake up your regular reading habits with a fun new spin, there are choose-your-own-adventure challenges out there for you. Rather than squeezing yourself into a one-size-fits-all reading mold, these challenges let you pick how many and what kinds of books you read.

Easy I’ve read 0 books so far, but I’m still on track!

I like to go super simple and DIY with Goodreads, a popular book-tracking and social media site. I set my goal — whatever I want — and then add books to my virtual shelves as I begin reading them. Goodreads has standard shelves like “Want To Read” and “Currently Reading,” and also let’s me create my own, like “Graphic Novels” and “Poetry.” Once I mark a book complete, it shows up in my challenge tally. Goodreads tracks the percentage of my goal that I’ve met, and lets me know whether I’m on track or not. Many users join communities of like-minded readers to discuss what they’re reading, and help each other keep on track. I stick to annoying updating my friends with brief reviews, star-ratings, and an end-of-year post when I hit my goal.

A few of the books I read in 2018.

You can also join one of the many book challenge community within Goodreads for more structure and social interaction with readers around the globe. Some other popular reading challenges, like Book Riot, also use  Goodreads communities for their social components.


Book Riot’s Read Harder Challenge is now beginning it’s fifth year. Book Riot assigns readers 24 tasks to accomplish during one spin of the sun. Readers can count a single title for multiple tasks, so the total number of titles you read is entirely up to you. To quote founder Rachel Manwill, “We encourage you to push yourself, to take advantage of this challenge as a way to explore topics or formats or genres that you otherwise wouldn’t try. But this isn’t a test. No one is keeping score and there are no points to post.” If you do want to brag about your reading accomplishments, you can use the #ReadHarder tag on social media.


Another popular challenge, also in its fifth year, is the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge. POPSUGAR offers a list of 50 book prompts — 40 regular plus 10 more “advanced” prompts for the extra adventurous. Readers are encouraged to push their boundaries and share their progress on Instagram with the hashtag  #popsugarreadingchallenge. The editors have provided a slideshow of recommendations for all 50 prompts, but readers are not limited to these titles. POPSUGAR also maintains a Goodreads group.

Most Challenging

For anyone who strives to get through a book a week for the next year, there is the 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge by Liz Mannegren. “The goals for this challenge are simple,” she says, “stretch yourself out of your regular reading habits, read more, and have fun with it!” Her number one rule is to not stress about getting through all 52 books, your real goal is to read more. If you’re on Facebook, then you can join the Facebook group for this challenge.

Step Two: Visit the Library

Looking for book recommendations? The library is here for you any time you’re stuck on what to read next. Try out the online Book Concierge, or stop to talk to any of our friendly librarians at the youth, teen and adult public service desks.

Where you prefer physical books or downloadables, we’ve got plenty of options. You can find them all in our online catalog, along with ready-made lists of new and popular titles.

Looking for additional reading motivation? The library has you covered here, as well! Adults can sign up for one or more of our book discussions. Kids and teens can read titles from the Illinois state book award lists (Monarch, Bluestem, Caudill, and Lincoln) and vote for their favorites. It’s also not too late to join our Winter Reading Challenge and earn prizes. Kids have the additional opportunity to stretch themselves and earn patches by joining the Reading Patch Club.

Step Three: Read

That’s it!

The post Resolve to Read in 2019 appeared first on Library Buzz Blog.

Sneak Peek: 3rd Annual Maker Fest

November 1, 2018 - 4:18pm

What is a maker?

Makers are people just like you and me—people with ideas and imaginations and favorite hobbies. The only requirement to becoming a maker is to act upon your creativity in order to bring the fruits of your imagination to life! With the right tools and collaboration with other like-minded people, mere ideas can materialize into works of art or solutions to real world problems.

Maker Fest is an annual event held at the Niles-Maine District Library that celebrates the innovators, tinkerers, hobbyists, crafty people, and entrepreneurs in our world. We’re already in our third year and more and more people attend every time! With exhibitions, demonstrations, and activities ranging from science and tech to fine arts and crafts, Maker Fest is a big show-and-tell run by and for the creatives in our community.

Here are just a few of the specifics on what you can expect at Maker Fest 2018:

Connect with our local exhibitors! Techies, artists and crafters alike will be showing off the wonderful things they make as well as the processes that go on behind the scenes. Even tasks that appear simple at first, such as knitting, are often much more complex than you think! Most exhibitors provide a hands-on activity everyone can participate in.

See robots in action, and learn how they work! Are you fascinated by engineering and cutting-edge technology? Come learn about how we’re using science and mechanics to create and better and more productive future!

Make your own comic. Join Northside Comic Artists for a journey into the world of graphic arts and visual storytelling. Making doesn’t just happen in a lab—unleash your imagination and bring characters, worlds, and your own personal narrative flare to life!

Empower yourself with the Library’s tools and resources. The Library has 3D printers, music and sound equipment, a laser cutter, DSLR and video cameras, and more. You bring the ideas and the initiative, and we’ll give you the stuff you need to make your dream happen. Who knows—you could be the next big YouTuber!

Develop new skills. Learning practical skills that carry over into your regular life can save a lot of time, energy, and stress. Alternatively, impress your friends (and make them slightly nervous) with a newfound ability to pick locks!

Collaborate with other makers on a wooden sculpture. One of the best ways to strengthen our maker community is to build connections. Creative collaboration is a wonderful outlet for this positive energy, and allows you to make new friends as well!

This is just a first peek at what’s going on at Maker Fest; the Niles-Maine District Library has the day jam-packed with things to do for all ages and all backgrounds of knowledge! Parents be warned: your kids won’t want to leave. Then again, you probably won’t either!

Maker Fest is a FREE event for all ages on Saturday, November 10, 12-3:30 p.m.

For more information, visit our Maker Fest page!

The post Sneak Peek: 3rd Annual Maker Fest appeared first on Library Buzz Blog.