Scratch Game Programming!

Late July and early August we had a small group of teens show up for some game programming using Scratch, and easy to use programming environment that lets you snap together blocks of code similar to Legos. Attendance may have been small, particularly for the second and third sessions, but the teens worked hard and were proud of what they'd made, so I still call that a success!

We started out by introducing the concept of code blocks with some simple examples from Code.org. In them, you're tasked with guiding a zombie from Plants Vs Zombies to a sunflower by placing the correct code blocks down. It's a fun little exercise that gets more challenging with each level, and tasks you to use the fewest code blocks possible to solve it. The teens caught on really quickly, and were having a good time with them too! You can try them out for yourself at the link below:

Two of the finished games are embedded after the break!


Playing catch-up on the blog!

Hi there! Boy it's been a while since there's been anything posted here. Please allow me to get down on my claws and do the apology dance:

So it's left, left, right....
Anyhow! Balancing social media can sometimes be tricky, and I've gotta say that Instagram has lately become my posting of choice. So while I haven't been busy on here, I've still be chronicling what has been going on with teen programs at the library. For anyone that's not following yet, here's the address to the Sellers Library Teens Instagram page:

I'll be posting here for the next couple of days trying to catch up on all the goings-on since my last post. Shortly after the Star Wars Day event, the children's library closed down for a month for renovations. The place opened looking better than it's ever looked with a fresh coat of paint, new windows, doors, etc.

The library looks weird all empty!
new paint!
our awesome old door got replaced, sadly!
details of the re-opened library


May the 4th Be With You!

May the 4th, also known as Star Wars Day (May the 4th be with you) landed on a Wednesday this year, and Wednesdays tend to be our teen programming days. So of course we had to celebrate. We had 11 teens show up to do some trivia using Kahoot and make some lightsabers out of pool noodles and duct tape. We had a hyperspace challenge where you had to make a paper airplane and fly it through three hula hoops suspended from the ceiling (there are some really good paper airplane makers out there, and they are definitely not me). We had a target game where you had to fire a torpedo (or actually a nerf dart gun) at the small exhaust port in the Death Star (which I apparently made a bit too difficult! Sorry!) Of course the John Williams soundtrack accompanied the event! Thank to everyone that came out and gave me a reason to geek out about Star Wars in the library!


D.I.Y. Art Bots!

I'm a little late on posting this one, but I wanted to at least show off the results of the great bots designed by the 6 teens that came in to make art bots on Wed, April 27th! We put the motors found inside of dollar store toothbrushes into bodies of plastic cups and toilet paper rolls. The trick is to put the motor on in a way that will create an imbalance so that the bots will keep moving around on the table. Each of the bots have markers for legs, so as they move around on the table (which is covered in paper) they draw designs on it! Everyone had uniquely designed bots. It was a lot of fun and I think we'll be doing it again at the Municipal branch library this Summer!


Making Super Mario Levels at the library!

Ever since Super Mario Maker came out, I've been wanting to use it for a library program! For those that don't know, this is a new game for the Wii U that allows you to easily make your own levels for Super Mario, then upload them for others to play. It's like someone took what I always wanted to do back in elementary school and made a game out of it!

Last Wednesday we had 9 teens come in to play around designing their own levels. I started by having some of them play through the first level of Super Mario Bros for the original Nintendo Entertainment System that I had brought in, then talking a bit about the design of that crucial first stage. I had printed out a huge 6.5' copy of world 1-1 so we could have a better look. After that everyone grabbed some graph paper and pencils and colored markers and got to work planning out some level ideas. Some people decided to put their heads together and create a level together, while others worked on their own.

When their level ideas were completed, they were handed the Wii U gamepad and started laying down the elements of their level. Even with limiting the time each person could get at the gamepad, we ended up running short on time (it flies so quickly when you're both hard at work AND having fun), and unfortunately the grand finale of playing everybody's levels had to be pushed back. We'll start off Monday's gaming club by playing through the levels everybody made instead. The levels have already been uploaded however, and anyone that has a copy of Super Mario Maker can play them! Below are all the levels, as well as their ID (in case you want to enter them directly) as well as a link to the Bookmark (a feature that lets you bookmark each level you want to play through a browser, then when you open the game and go to bookmarks, they'll all be there!).

Chompy Chomps (ID 05F3-0000-01E6-7EDE)

Topman Stage (ID 6A50-0000-01E6-6877)

Danger (ID 1553-0000-01E6-67DF)

Doomsday Zone (ID 3428-0000-01E6-6741)

Red Rage (ID 6EE9-0000-01E6-66BA)

MLG (ID 780D-0000-01E5-8E31)

Thanks to everyone that came out to make some Super Mario levels! With something like this it feels like the possibilities are truly endless and  you can let your imagination go crazy. I'm really looking forward to doing another one of these programs in the very near future!


Smash Bros Tournament and Nintendo Night

Last Friday we had 19 teens show up to Nintendo Night where we played retro Nintendo consoles and competed in a Super Smash Bros for Wii U tournament. We did four rounds of preliminary matches before going into single elimination for the top 8 players of the preliminaries. And while cousins Brian and Phillip usually get pretty far in the finals, this was the first time that the ended up both fighting for first, making for a pretty exciting final match!

While I'm not sure we'll have another Smash Bros tournament before the Summer, we have Mario Kart 8 tournaments coming up in March at both Primos (on Saturday March 19) and Municipal (on Tuesday March 15) branch libraries. Big thanks to everyone for coming out Friday night for Nintendo Night!


Anime Club and Nintendo Night this week!

Tomorrow is Anime Club at Sellers Library, and we'll be watching the very entertaining and very weird Assassination Classroom! It's at 3:30 and open to all teens in grades 6-12, so stop on by!

A video posted by @sellerslibraryteens on

And this Friday night we'll be hosting a Super Smash Bros. Wii U tournament during Nintendo Night! There's still room, so come in to the library to sign up, and get a permission slip (which will be required to enter the tournament).


New fiction and non-fiction in this week!

New titles in this week! Here's a quick preview below. Plus, we've gotten a replacement copy of Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell! So if you haven't read it yet, shame on your there's no excuse now!


Yesterday we had 7 teens come out in the rain to make stuff out of Perler Beads. There was a good mix of people that made stuff from patterns, people that used patterns but changed some stuff up, and others that made stuff completely freehand! Thanks to everyone that braved the weather! Someone asked when the next one will be, so I'll try and have an answer to that soon!


Perler Beads and dinosaurs this week!

Wednesday at 3:30, teens in grades 6 to 12 are welcome to stop by Sellers Library and make stuff out of Perler Beads! We'll have lots of patterns on hand, but feel free to make whatever you feel like! Then this Friday night we're showing Jurassic World at 6! Light refreshments will be available.