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WANTED: Teens@theLibrary

Just about a year ago the first group of teens formed Camp Verde Community Library’s Teen Advisory Board (TAB). We started with seven teens, lost a few, gained a few until we had 4 committed kids heading into 2014. We started slow. We started small. But once we got our feet under us, our small group of TAB teens began to shine in Camp Verde. Seventeen kids attended the latest Teen event held at the Library after hours. Something is clearly happening here.

CVCL TAB got up and running thanks to LSTA Grant funding supported by the Arizona Library, Archives and Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, with funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Grant funding requires that we track and report TAB’s progress. Read the Camp Verde Bugle’s Q&A series on TAB members by Staff Reporter, Bill Helm starting September 25, 2014 to get an idea of the personal impact of the library on TAB Teens*. The 2014 report submitted to the Library Director by TAB Leader, Sebra Choe highlights TAB activity over the past year.

  • TAB defined itself through written bylaws, elections and standards of behavior
  • TAB helped at Library Story Time and supported Summer Reading Programs
  • TAB visited other libraries throughout the state in order to inform their vision of what a Teen Library can be then made recommendations to Library staff
  • TAB volunteered to facilitate weekly Game Nights at the Library every Thursday from 4:30-6:30
  • TAB Teens perform volunteer duties in Youth and Adult areas of the Library
  • TAB mentored younger kids during Teen Tech Week
  • TAB held an Open House for current and prospective Teens and their parents
  • TAB participated in Town Events like National Night Out, Trick or Treat on Main, Cornfest Summer Festival & Fort Verde Days Parade
  • TAB supported Camp Verde Parks & Recreation monthly Free movie nights, summer camp out and summer movie matinees
  • TAB attended Town Council meetings and spoke publicly of their experiences as Teens in Camp Verde & made a presentation to CVUSD board members
  • TAB worked hard on fundraisers, a holiday food drive and
  • TAB began its own Blog, Facebook page and Youtube site

Truly, CVCL TAB Teens are just getting started. CVCL has many hopes and dreams for teens in Camp Verde and Youth Librarian, Dianna Manasse & crew have the energy and expertise to move those dreams forward. We hope to someday hire teens to run the Teen Library. In the meantime, TAB Teens are learning how to use the library’s research tools, are taking tours of college and university campuses, picking up job skills through volunteer work and constantly being encouraged toward higher achievement. It sounds like a lot of work, but the growth in participation (and the broken chair) tells another story. Work also includes fun.

It was a comment by then TAB President, Billy Cook, on the CVCL TAB Blog that sparked the idea of opening the Library on Saturdays for teens only. He asked the question: “So why not open the library a little more often? Why not close at 7pm, or even later, on Fridays?” CVCL teens are interested in programs that advance their skills and opportunities. They enjoy socializing and special programing designed to meet their unique needs. TAB Teens give a lot of their time toward mentoring younger children, toward helping the Youth Services Librarian and toward participation in Town events. We don’t yet have space to offer teens at the library in Camp Verde, but we can set aside time and allow them to freely use the whole place.

Much has been written, discussed and attempted on behalf of teens in Camp Verde. Many other organizations in our schools, churches and community offer support and activities for teens. The variety of opportunity is good as no one organization or effort can reach them all. Camp Verde Community Library is in a position to throw its hat in the ring as a safe place for teens to hang out on a Saturday night. Library staff will be on site to supervise, assist with homework and create special programs suited to teens.

The Town Council approved the measure at the September 17, 2014 Regular Session. Camp Verde Community Library is opening for Teen Services – ages 12 -18 – every Saturday Night from 5:30 pm – 10:00 pm. All computers, rooms, tables and chairs inside the library will be reserved for use by teens and for teen programs. There will be no checkout, Internet access or other services for children under 12 or adults 19 and up during the 4.5 hours that CVCL is reserved for teen use. People who are not ages 12-18 are encouraged to use the library any time during the other 58.5 hours that it is open: Monday 8a-4:30p, Tuesday – Thursday 8a – 7p, or Friday & Saturday 8a – 4:30p.

*Q&A Bugle Articles by Bill Helm:

**Local Teens Need a Safe Space to Grow, Avoid Drug Abuse


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Random Reviews in Random order from Random Library Staff and One Prolific Volunteer

We work in the library. We like to read. True. We do read. A lot! However, none of us read nearly as much as the entertaining Mr. Von Hatch. Giving credit where credit is due… the best of these reviews have been put forth from his computer to ours. So… very short reviews that we hope will pique your interest. We’d love to have your short reviews to include next time. Just ask us!

Note: if you are wondering why we don’t compile lists of new books anymore, it’s because now you can get to that information from the Library’s Online Catalog. Look for the “New at Yavapai Libraries” box and click on the link of your choice to see the new titles that have been added for the month.

BLOOD ACES: the wild ride of Benny Binion, the Texas gangster who created Vegas poker by Doug J. Swanson

I like poker. I like draw and stud poker. I am a terrible poker player. I can’t stand Texas Hold-em. Having that confession out of the way let me say that this book is a straight flush. Billed as the wild ride of Benny Binion, the Texas gangster who created Vegas poker, this biography hits the jackpot. It is the Horatio Alger story of a dirt poor Texas boy who made it big by dishing out beatings and murder to build himself a gambling empire or two all the while counting governors and other high ranking politicians and upstanding citizens as his dear friends and vice versa. The book is written in a casual style with a fair amount of humor.

THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN SHOT” the assassination of John F. Kennedy by James L Swanson (Playaway MP3 Audiobook)

Unbelievable! Well presented. It felt like you were there when it actually happened. I felt that he presented it in an unbiased fashion. He also presented information that I had no knowledge of.

THE GIVER by Lois Lowry

I was expecting more. What I got wasn’t bad but I think I’m a little long in the tooth for this one. The concept that to get your own memories and own your own life comes at a high cost is not new. I don’t wish to minimize the importance of becoming aware of this concept. As Sammy sang, “I gotta be me.” And that’s a good thing. There is also a certain amount of pain involved. So for those of you who are of an age to begin the task of discovering who you are, this is a terrific book. You can never be too young or, I suppose, too old for this. And good luck to all of us.

GLORIOUS by Jeff Guinn

I don’t dislike Westerns, I just rarely read them and, while I find them mildly entertaining, I rarely get very excited about them. This book is big exception to that rule. It is fairly lengthy, unlike many books in this genre, and has a intricate plot line and extensive character development. Those of us of a certain age have seen this movie but this is a more updated version. Think “Unforgiven” as opposed to “The Good, Bad and the Ugly.” The tale is about a man drifting into a nothing kind of town in the wilds of Arizona Territory. He has a past, everyone has a past and because of the greed of a local rancher none of them might have a future. Throw in a three sided romance and rumors of wild Apaches in the hills and the possibility of a major silver discovery and you’ve got yourself a genuine, shoot-em up oat-burner.

THE STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL SORROWS OF AVA LAVENDAR by Leslye Walton

I chose this story because I have never read a book quite like this one. Ava was born into a family that has relationship issues, and if that isn’t hard enough to cope with, Ava was born with wings! A very interesting story of the Lavender family and Ava’s growing up! She struggles with adolescence and finding her place in the world, as her mother struggles with her own issues and memories. In summary, I am thinking this is a fantasy book with a few good twists and turns!

THE SON by Jo Nesbo

The author of the Harry Hole series of mystery thrillers, has written a standalone book. A really good book. If you have read some of the Harry books you will know a little when I say this is Harry on steroids. Good set up of the major problem that needs resolution, crazy buildup of tension, and an ending that will have you talking to yourself. It did me, at any rate. If you read Nesbo, get this one now! if you don’t read Nesbo, start.

WAYFARING STRANGER by James Lee burke

This book takes Burke away from his beloved Louisiana swamps, but not too far. The tale of two WW II veterans and friends starts with a chance meeting with Bonnie and Clyde, moves to The Battle of the Bulge, and ends up in Texas after the war. The pair discovers a radical new way to weld steel and become major players in the oil business. Much anti-Semitism and intrigue follows. Remember the Bonnie and Clyde connection because you will need it at the end.

CLAPTON: the autobiography by Eric Clapton

In a way, this is another celebrity tale – all of the misdeeds, excesses, name dropping and eventual return to grace. It is all of that but this tale meant a bit more to me because I am a big Clapton fan from Cream to this day. I believe that this book was written more for the benefit of Eric Clapton than for you and me. It is part of his recovery. He has worked very hard in the past couple of decades to not be that guy anymore. When his son, Connor, went out the window many of his sins were paid for. His good works are many and his fans are legion.

THE DEAD AND THOSE ABOUT TO DIE: D-Day the Big Red One at Omaha Beach by John C. McManus

There are only two kinds of people on this beach: the dead and those about to die. The beach was Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944 and the words were spoken by an officer of the 1st Infantry Division, The Big Red One. This book is a look at the activities of this division during the first 24 hours of the Normandy invasion. The 1st has been overshadowed in historical coverage according to the author and this is his attempt to help balance things out. His depiction of the awfulness of that day is superb. For history fans or fans of the bravery humans can exhibit. This is almost the only way we can learn of these events because most of the people who were there are very old and some of them are still very young.

TIBETAN PEACH PIE by Tom Robbins

A friend of mine, upon hearing of the death of Kurt Vonnegut, went back and re-read all of his works. Tom Robbins, thankfully, is not dead but after reading HIS memoir, sort of autobiography I want to go digging into the dusty corners of my library, get my copy of “Another Roadside Attraction” and read all of Tom’s books again. I was just back from Viet Nam and out of the Marine Corps and I wanted to switch to the Peace, Love, Hope and Dope Party. I was prime soil for the seeds of fancy that Mr. Robbins was sowing in those turbulent times. As I quietly nibbled at the crust of the respectability pie, Tom was a great escape from 15 second sound bites, and supposedly bright people saying and writing “busted” when they are describing something that is broken. I am an English Major – and I apologize to taxpayers everywhere who paid for it via the G.I. Bill – so I am one of those people who insist that words have meaning; they also have color, tempo, quivering rifts from the base section. They are hippopotamuses in tutus. They are albino cobras lying in wait for the next poodle. They are things you learned at your Mother’s knee. They are what you need them or want them to be, and ain’t they fun? For those of you blessed with keen perception and the ability to recognize foreshadowing when you see it, I am about to say what you already know. Read this book. Then get your copy, dog eared or brand new, of “Another Roadside Attraction” or “Even Cowgirls get the Blues,” take some deep breaths, and let ol’ Tom take you for a ride.

LAST WORDS by George Carlin with Tony Hendra

The Hippy Dippy Weatherman is dead and the world is a much less vibrant place. I realize many people think only of the 7 words you can’t say on TV and dismiss George Carlin as a potty mouthed sort of comic. That is hard to deny but if you are a fan of language – the idea that words have meaning – you can’t help but love his observations of how we misuse and otherwise abuse our native tongue. Carlin was guilty of many mistakes in his life and he owned up to all of them and used them as humorous moral stories. This book is his story in his words and might make you go look through all of that dusty vinyl you’ve been hauling around and find one of his comedy albums or find somewhere you can get one of his HBO concerts. Or transport yourself back to NAU in the early 70’s when he was the opening act for Flash Cadillac and the Continental Kids.

UP COUNTRY by Nelson DeMille

Every now and again I find myself reading a book by an author who has a sizable body of work and I wonder how I managed to not read this person before. Here’s another. This book was suggested to me by a friend and I was drawn to it initially because there is a strong Viet Nam war element to it. Well there was all of that and a terrific story line to boot. The story is about revealing the facts of a murder that happened during the Tet Offensive in 1968. One US Army officer murdering another. How this came to be a big deal 30 years after the fact and who is doing what to whom come together to keep the reader turning pages as fast as you can. Is there a surprising ending? Why would I bother with this if there weren’t? A word of advice: do not get the large print version unless you love 25 lb. books.

FOURTH OF JULY CREEK by Smith Henderson

The jacket notes for this book are, of course, laudatory and full of high praise. I recognized none of the names. They may have been pseudonyms. They certainly did not reflect my feelings about the book. Not that my perception of the book is any more valid than the next person’s, but I like mine more. The book is kind of about an anarchistic child welfare worker in Wyoming whose clients are the children of seemingly murderous end of timers. He is also looking for a young girl who is the product of a loveless, dysfunctional back ground. She is a runaway learning what she must do to survive on her own. She is his daughter. The style of this book is rather frenetic, the characters are hard to like or empathize with, and it’s hard to see where it is all going. And when I got to the end I wondered why I made the trip. Other than that, it’s OK.

THE ZEALOT by Simon Scarrow

It’s a Western where the hero wears a skirt; where slingin’ iron means throwing a spear and decimate really means to kill 1 out of every 10 people. That’s right, our heroes are Roman Centurions. In spite of giving our heroes very humane, civilizing traits that strain credibility somewhat, the author creates a pretty believable environment and entertaining characters. Our good guys are a pair of Legionaries who have a long history together and come close to finishing each other’s sentences. There are a number of books in this series and I may have to check out some of the others. If you like the idea of westerns but don’t like gunfire and cow crap, this series might be for you.

THE SKIN COLLECTOR by Jeffery Deaver

Lincoln Rhyme is rolling in on another convoluted mystery. I you are a Rhyme devote then I don’t need to tell you much. I will tell you that there is a little more on the surprise plate than usual in this book. If you are unfamiliar with the works of Deaver and his characters that work with the wheelchair-bound Rhyme, you could do worse than check a couple out.


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Encounters with Monarch Butterflies

A recent article in American Libraries magazine discussed chance collisions between people with interests and people or places with information. These “collisions” happen in libraries every day and have been known to be life-changing. It might be the chance meeting of two people who discover they have something in common. It can happen between a reader and a story that sparks a dream, dissolves isolation or creates insight. It can happen between a listener and a piece of music that speaks beyond words to the soul. Encounters by chance or design happen multiple times every day. At the library we are aware that we  have access to what can inspire, encourage, or give direction to the person who is seeking to know. The encounter with the right information does not need to be complicated or difficult. It can be simple enough for children to understand. Sometimes these collisions of information and experience happen when we take a trip outside the library.

In the Youth Library at Camp Verde Community Library we are fortunate to have patrons who invite us along on adventures with potential chance collisions.  Recently we were invited to join Southwest Monarch Study as citizen scientists to learn about netting, tagging and observing monarch butterflies. The mission of Southwest Monarch Study is to:

  1. Identify and describe the migration and breeding patterns of Monarch Butterflies in the Western United States.
  2. Provide a meaningful research project for citizen scientists of all ages.
  3. Encourage and monitor Monarch Butterfly conservation.
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Tagging a Monarch butterfly

As we are planning for a new library and thinking about future landscaping, we are exploring the possibility of plantings that will attract butterflies, hummingbirds and other birds for observation and appreciation outside our Children’s Library and spilling on over into Rezzonico Family Park. We are especially intrigued by the idea of creating a Monarch way-station that will support Monarchs with milkweed in their migrations across the southwest.

When the librarians and families arrived at the site off Salt Mine Road on this particular day, Gail Morris and her team had just found a male monarch that hatched from its chrysalis.  Children and adults were delighted to watch as this little butterfly stretched its wings for the first time.  We also learned how organizations such as Southwest Monarch Study tag butterflies as they migrate. Who knew a simple sticker would do the job without damaging the butterfly wing?

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The Sorenson family admires a Monarch butterfly.

Gail then took us into the field to find caterpillars, and boy did we find them!  There was a lot of milkweed, which is a Monarch caterpillar’s main diet and we found caterpillars munching away. If you sit really still and quiet, you can even hear them crunching.

We finished off our trip by finding some chrysalis, and learned about how few of these beautiful creatures will actually survive this stage of their life.  All in all it was a wonderful day out in the fields of Camp Verde.  Not only did the kids get to spend some time outside, but they had the chance to observe firsthand the different stages of Monarch butterflies.  As an added bonus they spent some time with Tony the Llama and 4 cows next door.

Adventures outside the library allow our story time kids and their families to have hands-on learning experiences that promote comprehension as they see the connection between what they read and what they experience. Hands-on learning can also create a desire to learn more about a particular subject.  Since our trip to Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale this summer we have seen an increased interest in butterfly books.  Thanks to wonderful patrons like Lisa J. who invited us on a Camp Verde butterfly adventure, we got to explore the world of butterflies up close and in person. Who knows what future butterfly-lover will come out of this experience and what he/she will add to our world.