Teens soon to be even hungrier for Hunger Games

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The Hunger Games Image by All Things D (CC)

As November 21st approaches, teens across Australia and no doubt the world will be lined up to see the next installment of the Hunger Games. Hunger Games: Catching Fire is the second film in the four part film series and is already proving to be popular among young people throughout the world with pre sale tickets sky rocketing. I can only imagine what it will be like come closer to the date.

The Hunger Games (1st book in the 3 part series) “was already a huge phenomenon before the March 2012 release of the Lionsgate film, the movie launched book sales into the stratosphere. Back in 2010, Hunger Games books sold 4.3 million copies, which jumped to 9.2 million in 2011; that number tripled in 2012, making for a 201% increase over previous year sales.” (Dianne Roback, 2013) With this in mind, it would be naturally assumed that these numbers have increased even more so in the last 18 months.

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The Hunger Games Book by Hunger Games Trilogy (CC)

The book series no doubt has swept the stratosphere in more ways than expected and will continue you to do so until the final installment of the film series has shown its final screening. The third book Mockingjay is destined to be a two part movie like Twilight: Breaking Dawn and Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows. I’m not sure if this is to increase sales at the box office or it is as simple as, the books are too long to make into one movie. We wouldn’t want to miss out on any of the ‘good’ bits now would we.

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The Hunger Games Trilogy (CC)

Not only are there books and movies set to be released but as usual with pop cultured things there is a tonne of merchandise. You can buy anything from a shirt to a mug to jewellery to even action figurines. The list is endless for the crazed fans of this multimillion dollar enterprise.

'The Hunger Games' merchandise      HungerGamesBagsNECA       16igz9k

The Hunger Games Merchandise (CC)

No doubt The Hunger Games, like Twilight have taken over the world. I wonder what will be next. Only time will tell…. But whoever the lucky author is, ‘Well done and best of wishes getting rich off a bunch of obsessive teens. I’m sure you will be known for it for many years to come.’

References:

Roback, D. (2013). The Bestselling Children’s Books of 2012. Publisher Weekly. Retrieved 28 October, 2013, from  http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-industry-news/article/56411-hunger-games-still-rules-in-children-s-facts-figures-2012.html

Do libraries need to be boring places?

When a book lover thinks of a library, you will often see them wonder off into another place. Their eyes smile and it’s like they are drifting away to a magical land. When a person who has no desire to pick up a book, let alone read one thinks about a library, you can tell it would be the last place on this Earth they would want to be by just looking at their facial expressions. Each to their own I guess.

Libraries do not need to appear boring and nor should they be a boring place. When I mean boring, I mean: no talking; everyone sitting by themselves reading silently without interacting; a cranky librarian behind a desk with hawk eyes on everyone making sure no one is talking; rows and rows of books shelved neatly and precise order; library assistants with squeaky wheeled trolleys full of books walking amongst the rows of shelves that all look the same; simple furniture that has one colour all round; and those drab looking tables at desks.

The point I am trying to make is this. If libraries were more interesting then maybe more people, especially young people, would go to them.

Some libraries are like this and that is fine. I think it is nice to see an old library in it’s pretty much original state. It gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside when I look at them. I think there is a place for libraries like these.

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Saint Paul Almanac Library by Payton Chung (CC)    New York Public Library by Ellyssa Kroski (CC)

Then there are libraries that are simply exciting to enter. They appear magical in a sense. They are fun to look at. They are inspiring. They make people want to read. Now these are what I call libraries. A library to me is a magical place where you are free to relax and enjoy a space with others and maybe even read a book or two. Some of these libraries below, remind me of what I think a library should be.

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Kansas City Library by unusual architecture (CC)  ‘Matrix Library’ in Mexico City by Eneas De Troya (CC)

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Stuttgart City Library by Axel Brunst Photography (CC)    Outdoor Library by Emily Temple (CC)

Modern-Library-Design                                  images

Modern Library by BCI Library Design (CC)                        Library Image by 707056suchada (CC)

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Amazing Libraries Image by Google+ (CC)                         Creative Libraries by Biblioteca (CC)

modern-library-interior-design-by-bosch-fjord-1                             Netherlands-Famous-DOK-Library-Listening-Pods

Shelving Design by Biblioteca (CC)                                      DOK Library Listening Pods by Marek Thi (CC)

As you can see libraries don’t need to be boring, no talking zones. They can be fun, fresh and modern. By having these types of designs we may be able to encourage the youth of today to read more at the library. We may even inspire them to do more than just looking at the furniture…… Lets hope so.

So what is popular to young people?

When I approached this task I initially thought that I knew what was popular amongst young people, as I’m not that old. When I thought about interviewing a young person I wonder who I would choose. I found this a little hard to just choose one person so I decided to interview the children from my grade 3 class. It gave be a broader idea of what was popular amongst young people. The results from the  Pop culture survey  I conducted were interesting, as there were things that I had never heard of before. I had to look this ‘stuff’ up so I understood what they were talking about. Then there were other times that I was surprised because these were the things I was interested in when I was their age.

I decided to split the class into small groups of 3 or 4 with the same genders in each group. I wanted to compare the genders and see if they were actually watching, reading, using different things. It amazed me how similar some of their answers were but it was evident that some of the things they listed were very much gender biased. An example of this would be the boys liking transformers while the girls liked Mary Poppins when it came to movies.

Mary-Poppins-poster      VS    transformers

                          Photo credit: Mary Poppins Image (cc)        Photo Credit: Transformers Image (cc)

Some of the similarities were not so surprising as I had heard them talking about it during lunch breaks or whilst they were lining up to come into class in the morning. Some of these similarities were the viewing of shows like Scooby Doo and Big Brother. Big Brother was a little bit of a shock as I thought this wouldn’t be something that interested this age group with it being a reality tv show, but the students raved on about each of the house members and how they felt about the recent evictees.

An area that surprised me a little was the use of technologies and the viewing of YouTube. The majority of the students said they were not permitted to view YouTube, with the few students who are allowed said they watch it ’cause my older brother/sister does and I just watch what they are watching’. The only student who said they did watch it without siblings was the one who watched ‘How to Basics’ videos. This helped her bake and do craft without the assistance of her parents. She said it is like a coach or teacher and they walk through each step in really simple terms. An example of one of these videos is below.

With use of these popular texts came me questioning ratings, as some of the movies they are suggesting they like is Transformers which is M rated. How are these students being allowed to view these shows, listen to some of these songs or more so having so much freedom to use such devices? Are parents watching their children while they are doing this or are these students left to their own devices? It makes me wonder what else could be popular among this group of children if parents didn’t have some kind of limitation on the viewing, reading and use of popular texts. I guess is something for me to look forward to with my own child and something to be mindful with my students in the mean time 🙂

Beloved books from my childhood

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 Books Image  (CC)

When I think back to what was popular when I was a child the range of toys, clothing and especially books is very much limited to what is available now. Yes we had a lot to choose from but today’s children seem to have so much more choice.

As a child and even now I loved to read. If my mum couldn’t find me outside with my brother and sister, then I was always in my room reading. I read all types of books and as I got older the genres changed.

When I was in younger primary school I loved books like Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, as well as Wombat Stew. Not only were these books appropriate for my age group but they allowed me to be a child and delve into a land of innocence where imagination could run wild.

Wombat Stew

Wombat Stew Book Cover by goodreads (CC)

As I got older and more into reading, I discovered that I loved ready ‘scary’ stories and Goosebumps was the answer to all my prayers. I insisted that my mum and dad buy me a Goosebumps book every time book club came around. I loved the thrill, the scare and most of all the imaginative settings within each story. Over the years I collected close to 80 books and was borrowing the rest of the books in between book club so that I wasn’t going to miss out. It must have cost my mum a fortune (well it was actually my chore money but anyways).

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Goosebumps Book Cover by the wrap (CC)

As the years went by and my love for reading continued I started to branch off into not just books but magazines for my own personal reading pleasure. As I approached my teenage years I was inquisitive about life outside of my small home town and seeked for information about the lasted clothes, hair styles, music, ‘love life’ need to knows and so much more from magazines like Dolly. These type of magazines were popular amoung my friends and I and I always had to have the latest edition from the local supermarket. I would sit for hours pouring over the contents of these magazines and used them as a guide to live my life especially when it came to boys. Now I look back and think ‘Oh, how sad’ but it was so true at the time.

Dolly Mag

Dolly Cover by whosdatedwho (CC)

Once I hit my late teens and early twenties, my love for reading broadened in the sense that I actually started reading. I realised that there was more to life than Goosebumps, Dolly and Wombat Stew but these books had a purpose in my life. Not only did they allow me to learn to read, build on necessary literacy skills but they helped shape my life. All of these examples are still extremely popular amoung children today, in fact I am ready Wombat Stew to my own daughter. So I must not have been too far out of the loop on what was called popular.

Gaming in the Library???

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Gaming Image by wallpaper4me (CC)

In this post we are required to choose a piece of scholarly information and share our thoughts on this. Gaming in some form or another has been part of our lives and as time goes on we often see digital gaming the type of gaming choice. I decided to look at a YouTube clip by Beth Galloway on the ‘Librarians Guide to Gaming!’ in Learning Pack D, as well as a quick look at the website that Beth refers to.

I thought the clip by Beth Galloway would be interesting as I never really thought about gaming in the library or its purpose. Beth states that ‘today literacy is more than just reading and writing. 21st century literacy is digital. Information Communication Technology as well as media, programming and visual. These 21st century skills require reading, understanding and evaluating information in order to think critically, draw conclusions and make informed decisions.’

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Board Game Image by Moebius Noodles (CC)

Gaming provides students with the opportunity to develop the necessary skills that will in turn help them in the classroom or even assist in them getting a job. It is a fun way of learning the necessary 21st century skills; and it also improves the libraries attendance rates and loans, as students often utilise other sections of the library while they are there. Not only is gaming useful in a library context, but also the classroom context.

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Gaming Image by macleans (CC)

Gaming doesn’t necessarily need to be video games, but is often more favourable if it is. This is something I touched on with my first assignment, as it really fascinates me how we can engage students in ways that will make learning truly meaningful. Why does learning need to be based at a desk with a pencil and some paper? Why not teach problem solving and literacy through games if this helps students learn? Maybe we need to limit the amount of resources we spend money on that are simply thrown away and invest in some quality games that will last and be used a great deal more? I believe that we as educators need to think outside of the box and the clip below is a great example of how you can use video gaming in the library with great success. These are questions that I am starting to ask myself and hope that one day we can more closer towards in our classrooms.

References:

AmLibraryAssociation: Gaming at Oak Park Public Library http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfPGE8QaPfA. Retrieved on 8 October, 2013.

Beth Galloway: Welcome to the librarian’s guide to gaming! (6 mins 59 secs) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1NHI-Z9j4g

Where do I fit in?

Well I’m not young, but I’m not old. So where do I fit into the popular culture world???

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Fitting Together Image by Karla Brandau (CC)

Hi my name is Stacey and I am 29 years old (I sound like I’m at an AA meeting). Jokes aside now with all that said being true though. I live in tropical Far North Queensland and am completing my Masters in Education- Teacher-Librarianship. This is my second semester in the course and am nearly half way through. I am currently studying full time (while I have the chance to) and am loving what has been thrown at me so far. This will be my 2nd official blog within my Masters and hopefully I will learn a little more about blogging and a heap about popular culture in the process.

Growing up I thought I was exposed well to what was popular and definitely kept up with the latest trends. E.g. basketball cards, The Simpsons, My Little Pony, Nike, Backstreet Boys. etc. Now looking at this makes me feel old. But really, some of this stuff is still around so I mustn’t be too old.

Since beginning this unit I have started to truly understand the meaning of popular culture and the how & why it is in our society. This blog will be my journey and understanding of popular culture through the CLN647 subject.

Till next time….. Laters.