Archive for March, 2008

…brutal fights to the death!  Or at least to the end of the match, when the losers’ pixels go *poof.*


Super Smash Bros. Melee Tournament

March 2008 – East Regional Branch Library


Brent P. organized a Super Smash Brothers Melee tournament over a three week period in East Regional’s popular Chillax room, providing not only the equipment but the game [Thank you, Brent!].  Over fifty teens participated.  The grand prize winner was Eric P., who received the new Super Smash Brothers Brawl  video game courtesy of The Friends of the Library.


Congrats, Eric!

Check out the calendar of events for other teen gaming programs.




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…and these enthusiastic players graced our humble arena. 

 On March 1st, 2008, the Aquarius Theater Group performed “The Cleveland Hobo” to a large, appreciative crowd at the Headquarters branch of the Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center.

The next performance will be at Georgia Brown’s (3138 Raeford Road) *TONIGHT* Friday, March 28, at 8 pm to benefit the Friends of the Children, Cape Fear Valley Health System.




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…OK, I added the last bit…but it does sound like a whole lot of fun! 

Stephanie Burns, an FSU student and member of the Kuro Bara club (who were very helpful during last year’s Librari-Con), is hosting an open art gallery:

Headquarters Library

March 29th, from 9 – 5 pm

Featuring FSU students, alumni, and faculty, local artists, and members of the community

Ms. Burns invites artists of any age to bring their sketchbooks or portfolios for critique by FSU faculty and other artists.  If you wish to have a place at one of the exhibit tables, or if you have any questions, please call her at (910) 977-9757.

Speaking as the teen librarian, I can stress that Ms. Burns is encouraging teens who draw in the Japanese style of manga and anime to stop by, drop in, and participate.  This is a great opportunity to show off your work and get some honest feedback.  This event is open to anyone of any age: junior high, high school, college, etc.

While you’re at the library, you can also check out our collection of art instruction books in the 741 range of the nonfiction section, including:

How to Draw Hip Hop by Damion Scott and Kris Ex

How to Draw Manga: Creating Stories by Junichi Sugamoto

Art of Drawing Manga by Sergi Camara and Vanessa Duran

The Drawing Bible by Craig Nelson

    how-to-draw-hip-hop.jpg   how-to-draw-manga-volume-39-creating-stories.jpgart-of-drawing-manga.jpgthe-drawing-bible.jpg

Thanks for checking in!



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I couldn’t move…

I was at my locker getting my book for Spanish class.  I heard shoes squeaking behind me on the highly waxed floor as a couple of students ran past.  The familiar background roar of kids changing classes suddenly took on a sharper, electric tinge.

Then the yelling started…name calling…a nasty racial slur…and extreme overuse of the generic derogatory adjective: “b*tch.”  Actually this wasn’t too unusual, but the body that slammed into my back and knocked me into the sharp, metal edge of my locker was a new development.  I was stunned for a second and stood looking at my arm where a magnificent bruise was already forming.  The girl who’d fallen into me, who’d been pushed into me, rather, got up and lunged at her attacker.  Other students circled around to watch and clogged the hallway, waiting to see hair-pulling, scratching, and clothes-tearing that seemed imminent; some started to chant “fight…fight…fight…”

I was caught out in the open against the lockers.  Stacy and Roberta had been circling each other all week, bating and taunting each other as they passed in the halls and in the parking lot after school.  Now they tore at each other’s hair, clawed at faces, and threw punches…not three feet in front of me.  My limbs were frozen and heavy.  I don’t think I could have moved if I’d wanted to.  I kept thinking, where are the teachers?  Can’t they hear the screaming?

Stacy got an arm around Roberta’s throat and began pounding on the back of the girl’s neck.  It was a horrible sound.  I remember thinking that Roberta might get seriously hurt…this was so very different than the usual kind of hallway fight where two people might throw a couple punches or tackle each other.  I should’ve moved…stepped in…done something. 

I was an athlete, physically stronger than either of them.  I could’ve pulled them apart.  I could’ve kept Roberta from missing the next three days of school as a result of the beating. 

The beating that I literally stood by and watched. 

The beating that Ms. Myers, my Spanish teacher, finally broke up, narrowly avoiding a punch that Stacy threw at her face.

I’d done nothing.  Even now, years later, I don’t know if I was afraid of getting hurt, reluctant to get involved, or just a coward.  Fact was, I could’ve done something, I should’ve done something, and I hadn’t. 

Now, I told you that story (a true story, BTW) so that I might interest you in this one:




This is what I did by Ann Dee Ellis. 

Logan saw something terrible happen. 

It happened to his best friend, Zyler. 

…and he didn’t do anything to help. 

This powerful novel tells the story of a young man who is caught between knowledge and action.  I love the different ways that the author tells the story…sometimes the dialogue is written like a screenplay, sometimes it’s told through notes being passed between friends (Logan and his friend Laurel have a thing for palindromes), and at times it even has the feel of a verse novel:

After the thing with Zyler, I was alone and I wouldn’t leave my room.





I tore through the book to find out what had happened…and then reread it several times to appreciate the way the author came at it sideways.  Sometimes the scariest monster is the one that hides under the façade of comforting familiarity.  The most frightening situation can be one that on the surface seems normal and safe…and then turns out to be volatile, dangerous…and deadly. 

Ellis gets high marks for this one in my book, and I hope you give it a chance. 

Find out what Logan did…and think about what you might have done in his place.


‘Til the next tome… 



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