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Celebrate the Library!

National Library Week 2013This week (April 14-20, 2013) is National Library Week! It’s a celebration of all things “library,” and in honor of this week, we have some special programs and events planned for you.

We’re hosting an online photo contest called “Picture It! Show Us Why You Love Your Library.” We already accepted submissions in March, and now you can vote on your favorite of the top ten submissions! We’re looking for the photo that best shows us why you love your Library. The top 3 winners will receive the following prizes generously funded by The Friends of the Sunnyvale Library:

1st place – NOOK HD
2nd place – NOOK Simple Touch
3rd place – $25 to Leigh’s Favorite Books


Here’s the complete schedule of events, including a Celebrity Storytime, Meet a Librarian, Digital Photo Booth (with props) and more! Please let us know if you have any questions about any of our events.

Meet a Librarian
Monday, April 15, 2 p.m.
Wednesday, April 17, 4 p.m.
Friday, April 19, 3 p.m.

Spin the Library Wheel, answer a question, and win a prize!

Children’s Program: Reading the Right Way
Monday, April 15, 7 p.m.
Increasing success and reducing frustration.

Mindful Eating
Tuesday, April 16, 7-8:30 p.m.
This lecture will demonstrate examples and discuss the value of mindful eating and intuitive eating, as well as provide strategies to incorporate them into our lives. Presented by Toni Toledo, MPH, R.D. of Palo Alto Medical Foundation.

Behind-the-Scenes Tour
Tuesday, April 16, 7 p.m.
Thursday, April 18, 4 p.m.

Join us for a rare glimpse at what happens to your books, CDs, and DVDs after you return them. You’ll get to go in the back and see our machines in action.

Celebrity Storytime with the Mayor and Public Safety Chief
Wednesday, April 17, 11 a.m.
Come and join us! What stories will these Sunnyvale celebrities read?

National Library Week Photo Booth
Wednesday, April 17, 7-8:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 18, 3-5 p.m.

Let’s celebrate National Library Week with a digital Photo Booth picture. Props and backdrops will be provided by the Library. Just bring your smile.

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Upcoming Teen College Entrance Programs


2013 is almost here, and many teens are starting to plan for a future after high school. Not just the teens who are seniors, but also sophomores and juniors should be finding out all the information they can about how to apply to colleges, how to do their best on placement tests, and how to afford college in an economy where prices just go up and up.

Sunnyvale Library can help! This winter and spring we will be having many programs aimed at helping teens do their best during this difficult time. Below are the dates and times of the programs we’re offering from February through May; some of them require a sign-up, so be sure to check the dates for that as well.

And for a reminder email, subscribe to our teen newsletter that comes out the first of every month!

  • SAT practice test: Sunday Feb 17 from 1-5 pm, sign up starting February 1.
  • ACT practice test: Saturday March 2 from 1-5 pm, sign up starting February 18
  • Teen College Finance Program: Tuesday, March 5 at 6:30 pm
  • SAT Essay workshop: Tuesday April 2 at 6:30 pm
  • Choosing a College: Tuesday, April 30 at 7 pm
  • Combined SAT/ACT practice test: Saturday May 11 from 1-5 pm, sign up starting April 15.

The newsletter, as well as the teen program flyers available each month in the Children’s Room, will have more information about each of these programs. Happy New Year and best wishes for college planning!

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What’s new?

Maybe you feel like reading a teen book. If you’re a teen, that’s pretty likely…although more and more adults are discovering the true awesomeness of Young Adult Literature.

Anyway…you want something to read. But you don’t want the same old stuff, no matter how good. You want something new. Fresh. Exciting.

How do you find it?

Well, if you go to the Sunnyvale Library Teen Area (look for the purple globes), there is a small bookcase you’ll like. All the books on display on the shelves are new teen books that we have received since January 1 of this year. It looks like this:

The books change constantly, since people check them out and we refill the shelves several times a day.

But there is one more way to find these new teen books. If you don’t see something you like on the Teen New Book Display shelves, walk over to the Teen Area. There is a bookcase and a wall full of hardcover books. And the new books stand out because they have yellow tape that says (you’ve probably already noticed this) NEW BOOK.

photo of teen books


Here’s what it looks like:


And those are the books we pull to put on the display shelves when they run low, so by going over to the actual shelves you’ll get to them first.

The teen new books are exactly like the rest of the teen books- they check out for three weeks, you can reserve them, you can renew them. They’re just the newest arrivals, marked to be easy to find. Starting January 1, the tape will change from yellow to another color, and in March, we’ll start pulling the yellow tape off last year’s books and they’ll mix in with the rest of the collection.

So the next time you don’t know what you want to read, but you know you don’t want the same old thing…try a New Teen Book!

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After School in the Library

Have you been to the Children’s Room on Mondays and Wednesdays after school, between 4 and 6 p.m.? if not, you’ve missed one a wonderful resource for students!


We make tables available
for students to do their
homework…and have to bring
in extra tables to fit all
the students who attend!







Our high school volunteers are there to help the younger students with their homework…





And they will also spend time reading with first and second graders.






The After School Center is open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4-6 pm in the Children’s Room of the Sunnyvale Library. Any students from 6 years old to 8th grade is welcome to drop in, do their homework, and read with, or get help from, a high school volunteer.

If you’re 13 or older and would like to volunteer in the After School Center, you can email JoAnn Rees ( for more information.

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Transmedia Storytelling

Transmedia storytelling, like the name suggests, describes a method of using multiple media (books, videos, web, etc.) to tell a story.  Unlike the traditional method of simply adapting, say, a book into a movie, this type of writing weaves the story among the various media so that each complements, or even relies upon, the others.  Transmedia is not new, but it is growing in popularity, and here are a couple of transmedia stories that I’ve enjoyed and am currently tracking.

Skeleton Creek

Skeleton CreekPatrick Carman is a bestselling young adult and children’s author (The Land of Elyon series, The 39 Clues: The Black Circle) and has done groundbreaking work in transmedia storytelling through a number of books, including the four-title Skeleton Creek series.  In the first Skeleton Creek book, the story begins with journal entries by Ryan, a teenager who is homebound after a mysterious accident left him with a broken leg.  He receives an email from his friend Sarah, who tells him that she has video footage from the night he was hurt, but something strange was captured on the tape.  Readers, along with Ryan, are directed to go to Sarah’s website to watch the video.  After watching, the story continues back in the book with Ryan’s reactions and further interactions with Sarah.  As the two delve deep into the mystery of an unexplained death that no one seems willing to talk about, the story passes back and forth between Ryan’s text and Sarah’s videos, truly bringing the small town of Skeleton Creek and its mystery alive before your eyes.

To me, there is much to love about transmedia storytelling as it relates to children’s and teen literature.  Young people that may otherwise be “reluctant readers” can get swept up in the mysterious, engaging, and downright creepy videos, but are quickly drawn back to the written word.  Before long, they’ve devoured an entire novel and are hungry for more.  Parents who struggle with the overwhelming access to electronic screens in their kids’ lives can embrace this kind of technology that encourages and enhances quality writing.  Patrick Carman has utilized the book/video model in other stories, including the Dark Eden series (also for teens and super-creepy), and Trackers,  about a group of tech-savvy “spy kids” (for middle graders, and includes interactive puzzles along with the videos on the companion website).

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

Depending on your Jane Austen persuasions, the world has either too many or too few adaptations of Pride and Prejudice.  But for those who ever wondered what Elizabeth Bennet would look and sound like as a 24-year-old graduate student with a video blog, The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is just right.  The Diaries is a series of web videos, released twice weekly, that gives all of the elements of the classic story a modern twist: Lizzie’s unending dramas with her marriage-obsessed mother, boy-crazy little sister Lydia, and best friend (and video producer) Charlotte, all while supporting her shy but sweet sister Jane in a budding relationship with new-to-town medical student Bing Lee.  Oh, and of course his standoffish friend Darcy came along too.  Where transmedia comes into play is that every character in the show has a social media presence.  They converse with each other on Twitter and other sites and viewers are free to follow along and even jump into the conversations.  Austen-ites that ever wished they had a friend like Elizabeth Bennet, here’s your chance.

Another great reason to highlight this show is that co-creator Bernie Su is a Sunnyvale native.  We’re planning to have Bernie visit the library this winter to talk about videomaking and all things LBD, so stay tuned for that.  In the meantime, if all this Lizzie talk has given you the urge to read (or re-read) the novel, remember that Pride and Prejudice is available in the public domain, so you can download a complete and completely free and legal digital copy anytime through either the Project Gutenberg ebook collection, or our OverDrive collection (public domain books on OverDrive do not count toward your checkout limit).

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