Vocaloid Day at Asian Culture Club!

The Asian Culture Club met Wednesday with a celebration of all things vocaloid! For those that may not know, vocaloids are programs that allow users to make a voice sing in whatever words you want in any pitch you'd like to make music! The voices are each given names and characters to supply them with personality, the most famous of which has to be Hatsune Miku. Below is a video of Hatsune Miku singing a medley of her songs at a live concert in Japan:

For the Asian Culture Club meeting, we compiled YouTube videos into a playlist ahead of time to watch at the meeting. I had my laptop hooked up to a projector and speakers so we could all see and hear it clearly. While the vocaloid songs were playing, I brought a stack of papercraft sheets to construct of various vocaloids and other anime-related characters (and some not so anime-related, but I really really wanted to make a Companion Cube!). In addition, I brought in my PSP with a Japanese import copy of a Hatsune Miku game I happened to own, a music game called Hatsune Miku Project Diva. I had speakers hooked up to it, plus a large pair of headphones if it was too hard to hear (it being a rhythm game, hearing clearly is important!).

The meeting was a lot of fun, papercrafts were made, and Pocky was eaten. At first I was afraid we wouldn't have enough vocaloid clips to fill an entire hour and a half meeting, so I had also invited people to send their favorite anime music videos (AMVs) to append to the list. That turned out to be unnecessary, as we had enough music to last three meetings I think. Perhaps a showing of favorite AMVs can be its own meeting theme another time. The PSP game also got some play time, so that was good (the headphones were used exclusively, as the game couldn't be heard over the music playing).

There were some opportunities for improvement next time however. With such a huge list of vocaloid clips, I was concerned about the fact that not everyone would be able to get their submitted clips shown. Mixing up the playlist to make sure there were submissions from various people throughout could have helped that. The other big problem was the wifi occasionally deciding to quit while playing a clip. I brought in my own laptop hoping it would avoid that problem, as it's done that with the library's laptop before. This wasn't a huge issue, as usually just telling YouTube to go one lower in the video quality would have it reloading just fine. I don't really know what else to do with this issue anyway, so it's most likely one that we'd just have to live with.

The issue of getting more members was brought up, and that's certainly something we need to consider. Our group of regular members is reliable, yet very small, and it would be great to get more people involved. Obviously this is something we'll need to discuss in the near future. Overall the meeting was a lot of fun, and I'm already looking forward to the next one!

New titles for the week of 10/21/12



New titles for the week of 10/14/2012

  • Evil Star by Anthony Horowitz (book 2 of The Gatekeepers)
  • Revelation by Kate Brian (A Private novel)
  • Hidden by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast


New books for the week of 10/7/2012!

Just a couple of titles added this week. And whereas last week pretty much everything had book trailers, this week it's the exact opposite, with neither having them!

  • Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
  • On The Day I Died by Candace Fleming


Banned Books Week discussion group!

On Wednesday, October 3, I invited people to the library and discuss the books they've read that have been banned or challenged at some point in the past. We began by talking about which books we'd read, then why we think they might have been challenged, and finally looking up the actual reasons. Some of the reasons people give are pretty bizarre, and so I thought it would be fun to match up 10 of the weirdest reasons with the respective books. The teens that participated were really sharp and matched them up in no time flat!

Below is the list of books and the reasons people gave for their removal:

  1. “Encourages children to break dishes so they won’t have to dry them.” ( A Light in the Attic, by Shel Silverstien)
  2. “The book contains topless sunbathing and 'on some pages there are dirty things'” ( Where's Waldo, Martin Hanford)
  3. “If there is a possibility that something might be controversial, then why not eliminate it?” ( Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, by Dee Brown)
  4. “Tarzan was ‘living in sin’ with Jane.” ( Tarzan, by Edgar Rice Burroughs)
  5. “It is a real ‘downer.’” ( Diary of Anne Frank, by Anne Frank)
  6. “The basket carried by Little Red Riding Hood contained a bottle of wine, which condones the use of alcohol.” ( Little Red Riding Hood, by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm K. Grimm)
  7. “One bunny is white and the other is black and this ‘brainwashes’ readers into accepting miscegenation.” ( The Rabbit’s Wedding, by Garth Williams)
  8. “It is a religious book and public funds should not be used to purchase religious books.” ( Evangelical Commentary on the Bible, by Walter A. Elwell, ed.)
  9. “A female dog is called a bitch.” ( My Friend Flicka, by Mary O’Hara)
  10. “An unofficial version of the story of Noah’s Ark will confuse children.” ( Many Waters, by Madeleine C. L’Engle)
Afterwards I invited anyone who was interested to record themselves reading a passage from a banned or challenged book for the Banned Books Week Virtual Read Out. One person along with myself sat down in front of a Flip camera to read a short passage. Both videos are embedded below in a playlist:

The turnout might have been small, but the group was still fun!

new teen books for the week of 9/30/2012

Not sure if it's coincidence or book trailers are getting more mainstream, but out of the 8 new books, 7 have trailers. Pretty cool!