Fun and Fabulous Teen Events for Fall

Here at the Bowman Library, we are excited to be expanding our programs for teens this fall. In addition to bringing back your favorites, such as Anime & Pocky, Manga Art, and Game Night, thanks to the suggestions from our Teen Advisers, we have added the following:

Teen Art Nights
1st Thursdays @ 5 pm
Join other teen art enthusiasts in the exploration of different art styles, techniques, and mediums, and display your creations in the Bowman Teen area. Make it your own! Personalize the Teen area at Bowman Library.


Bowman Teen Writer’s Guild
3rd Thursdays @ 5 pm
Participate in the creation of a Bowman Teen newsletter with creative writing, book reviews, poetry, and event promotion.

NANOWRIMO Young Writer’s Program
Tuesdays in November @ 6 pm
Join other teens participating in National Novel Writing Month.
Begins Tuesday, October 31—Launch your novel-writing project with a party!
Ends Tuesday, December 5—Celebrate finishing your novel!

Dungeons and Dragons
Saturdays @ 1pm (beginning Sept 9) Teen groups get together for this traditional role playing game. Registration is required.


Looking for something to do during your day off from school? Friday, September 1st is a staff development day, so we’re going to take advantage of your free day to kick of Library Card Sign-up Month!  This year’s theme is DC Comics and the Teen Titans so we will be playing a double feature, Battle of the Billionaires!

Come watch the Dark Knight and Iron Man, back to back. You decide who has the best gadgets.

You may also wish to take note of a few small changes in our regular programs. For example, after our showing of Voltron on Monday, August 28, instead of sampling a new anime each month, beginning September 25th our Anime & Pocky nights will host a season of Death Note, playing 2-3 episodes each month. This gives everyone an opportunity to get into the series, providing a more complete understanding of the plot.

Anime & Pocky
4th Mondays @ 6 pm
Eat some pocky and snacks and check out our  manga and anime titles.
August 28: Voltron
Join us Sept 25, Oct 23, & Nov 27 for 2-3 episodes of Death Note per month.

Manga Art is back with a new time.

Manga Art
1st & 3rd Mondays @ 6 pm
Join us as you color enchanting designs or bring a sketch book & create manga art. Materials provided.


Game Night is a definite highlight to the activities offered at the Bowman Library and will be back with monthly themes!

Check out this video we took from our July event.

Play close attention to October’s Game Night because we plan to include an Escape Room and will need your help.

Game Night
3rd Fridays @ 5:30 pm—8 pm
Middle & high school students stop by to play electronic, card, & computer games. Enjoy snacks!
September 15, Superheroes
October 20: Escape Room
November 17: Fantasy
December 15: Ugly Festive Party

Have more ideas or wish to be involved in future planning? Participate in our Teen Advisory Board.

Teen Advisory Board
2nd Mondays @ 6 pm
A planning group open to middle & high school students for library programs & events. To join call Donna Hughes at 540-869-9000 x215

There is always more to do and see at the library. Our teen writers will soon have their first newsletter out and it’ll keep you up to date, as well as give you more great YA book suggestions. Here is a sneak preview of our first draft: September 2017 Teen Newsletter

Here’s to a great fall season!


Summer Opportunities for Teens

Teens in middle and high school, are you ready for Summer?

The Bowman Library has some great opportunities for teens to escape the heat for some socializing, fun, and a little learning on the side.

2017 Reading By Design will continue with your favorite activities, such as Anime & Pocky, Manga Art Club, and Game Night, with a few exciting additions, like our Worker Wednesday STEM activities, and a bit of Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey with Doctor Who.

Worker Wednesdays will meet Wednesday evenings starting in July at 5:30 with special STEM challenges, including exploring circuits, challenges in rock stacking, learning about sound waves by creating music with boom whackers, and building challenges with KEVA planks. Registration will be required for participants but spectators are encouraged.

On Thursdays in July, the Teen Advisory Board will be offering a showing of the first season of Doctor Who, featuring Christopher Eccleston as the ninth doctor and Billie Piper as Rose Tyler.

Game Night will have add on activities this summer, starting with photography in June, and in July, watch for a library sponsored Escape Room! More details on that to come.

Our Anime Nights this summer include Noragami, Hetalia, Durarara, and Voltron, with snacks, including Pocky.

Get out those calendars and mark your events!

Summer Events
Wednesdays, July 5—Aug 9 at 5:30pm (registration required)
Worker Wednesdays, STEM events for ages 9-17
Thursdays, July 6—July 27 at 5:30pm
Wibbly Wobbly, Timey Wimey, Doctor Who Season 1

Monthly Events
1st & 3rd Mondays at 5:30pm, Manga Art Club
2nd Monday at 6pm, Teen Advisory Board
4th Monday at 6:30pm Anime and Pocky
3rd Friday at 5:30pm Teen Game Night
Saturdays at 10am, Chess at Bowman
Saturdays at 1pm, Pokémon TCG

Making Sense of Manga and Anime

pokemon_episode_1_screenshotUnless you’ve been isolated from society for the the last year, you’ve probably seen many articles about the recent Pokémon GO phenomenon. I will sheepishly admit that I not only have Pokémon GO on my iPhone, but I’ve caught several in a very active Pokémon location across the street from my home. I’m hooked.

(Psst… As I am writing this, there is an Eevee and various other pokémon hanging outside of the Bowman Library right now. Hold that thought, I’m going to catch a few…)

 pokemon1 pokemon2 pokemon3

Got them!

My oldest daughters, who are avid manga and anime fans, cut their first anime teeth on Pokémon back in the late 90s, followed later by a brief flirt with Sailor Moon and Speed Racer. Back then I had only a slight understanding that this was animation that originated from Japan. It wasn’t until much later I learned more about its role in Japanese society as a major form of media for all ages. In fact, anime takes up a large portion of prime time viewing on major stations in Japan, and manga is published as a popular form of written media for adults as well as youth.

First things first. If you are not familiar with the terms, “manga” is the printed form, with “manga” being translated as “whimsical drawing” or even simply, “comic”. Anime is short for animation. Often an anime is created based on a popular manga series, similar to how Hollywood often will turn popular books into movies here in the US. However, just as frequently you have anime that does not originally have a manga origin, such as “Spirited Away” by Hayao Miyazaki. In this case, the manga was created later with screen shots from the anime.

Because animation is largely considered an art form aimed at children here in the US, we are most familiar with the Kodomo manga, such as Pokémon or Dragonball Z. (Kodomo, meaning “child” in Japanese.) However, in Japan there are several genre of manga for all ages, including Shonen, manga aimed largely at boys; Shojo, which is considered girls’ anime; Josei, for adult women; with Seinen for men – the latter two containing far more mature themes.

In the United States, anime for children will usually have English dubbing, with more mature audiences often watching with subtitles. Though more popular series are taking the time to produce English dubs, many still prefer to experience the animation in its original form, choosing the subtitles over the dubs. The choice is often made depending on the quality of the dubbing and the preferences of the individual.

souleaterShonen is fast becoming the most popular form of manga among teens and young adults in the US. This includes popular series such as Naruto, BleachSoul Eater, Full Metal Alchemist and Attack on Titan. It has become so popular that libraries, including the one here at Bowman, are including manga drawing nights, expanded manga library selections, and adding anime viewing nights for teens. In fact, manga and anime are currently a main conduit through which the Bowman Library interacts with our middle and high school patrons.

468px-manga_reading_direction-svgThese manga savvy youth learn quickly how to read manga, which is produced here in the US to be read in the same direction you would read it in Japan, from right to left. Some publishers flip them to the usual left to right format westerners are used to, but many argue it disrupts the natural flow.

If you are a teen or a parent of a teen who would like to learn more about the art of manga, the first and third Mondays of each month the Bowman Library hosts a Manga Art night at 5:30. Teens can color designs or bring a sketch book and create manga art themselves. Materials are provided. While you are here, head over to view our manga collection or try one of the popular anime DVDs on display.

pocky-sticksThe 4th Monday of the month the library hosts an Anime and Pocky night, with a selected popular anime title for teens and snacks, including pocky, a favorite snack from Japan. This season the Teen Advisory Board has selected the following anime to view:

January 23: Attack on Titan
February 27: Yuri!!! On Ice
March 27: Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood
April 24th: Your Lie in April

We’d love to hear from you on additional manga or anime series you believe the library should carry. Head over to any of the libraries in the Handley Regional Library System and let us know, visit our web site to see what we have available, or suggest a title online.

Ugly Festive Party @ Bowman!

ugly-sweater‘Tis the season to wear your craziest festive outfits! Come to the Teen’s Ugly Festive Party!


On Friday, December 16, get out your ugly socks, colorful sweaters, handmade scarves, sparkly shoes or blinking hats to show off your craziest holiday spirit from 5:30-8:00pm at the Bowman Library.

presentBring a wrapped gift of $5 or less to participate in a Thieves Gift Exchange. Creative gifts in the past been twigs in a box and a small bag of dirt.

fruitcakeDecorations and snacks will represent cultures around the world with fruit cake and eggnog as the centerpiece.

Games, music, dancing, and gift exchanges will fill the night with joy.

This program is intended for middle school and high school students.

Free! No registration required. Come…and bring a friend.

Call Donna Hughes for more information at 540-869-9000 x215

Tell your story during NaNoWriMo!

The leaves are falling, the airYWP logo is getting chilly. ‘Tis the season for sweaters, hot chocolate, and curling up with your favorite book. This November, make it truly YOUR book and join the Handley and Bowman Libraries for National Novel Writing Month’s (NaNoWriMo) Young Writer’s Program!

Your local library can help you with your goals and get that story idea out of your imagination and into your own novel. Middle and high school students will meet weekly at Handley Regional Library from 6-7:15 every Monday in November or at the Bowman Library from 6-7:15 every Tuesday of November.

We’ll provide prizes, word wars, dares and pep talks, as well as brain food to get your ideas flowing. You provide your creative imagination and writing enthusiasm!

Register online at to set goals and track your progress. For more information, contact  Aimee Gangai (540) 662-9041 x21 at Handley Library or Donna Hughes (540) 869-9000 x215 for the Bowman Library event.





March Is Youth Art Month!

March is Youth Art Month Banner 2

Ready to get colorful at your library?  With a brace of crayons at the ready, we are here and waiting for you at Handley Regional Library!

In addition to the color sheets available after Wednesday and Saturday Preschool Storytimes at Bowman Library, the library hosts several other programs to make your own art.

At Handley Library, we have crafts projects after Preschool Storytime at 10:30AM on Mondays.  The crafts tie into the storytime theme of the week.  For our Spring storytime theme, the kids made stained glass windows to take home.

At Bowman Library, we have Twilight Tales Family Storytime, Tuesdays at 6PM, which provides all the supplies you need for a craft project after storytime each week.  Twilight Tales is designed for the whole family, so crafts are intended to appeal to a wide variety of ages.  Check out some of the arts and crafts the students have created on display on the Youth Art Month bulletin board in the Children’s Room as well as in this photo gallery.

For the Teens and Tweens, Bowman Library and Handley Library have Coloring Clubs. Bowman Library also has a Manga Art Club.  Learn more about these clubs here: The Coloring Craze.

We look forward to seeing what you can create!

Homeschoolers Research Help @ HRL

Literati for Homeschoolers in Virginia Title Card

Calling all homeschooling students and parents!  One of the Handley Regional Library’s e-resources is Literati (available here: Homework Help), a database of reference and research materials. Literati contains 400 full-text encyclopedias, dictionaries, fact-books & atlases, 300,000 images & 200,000 audio files. It is searchable by topic, image or audio formats, and includes only citable, accurate information.  As well as offering free homework help from 3-9pm Mon.-Fri. and 9 am-3pm on Sat, it also gives references in different formats like MLA, APA, Harvard & Chicago.

Want to learn more about what is available and polish your research skills so you can find what you need for that next paper or project quickly and easily?  Sign up for a FREE live, online tour of Literati geared specifically to the needs of homeschoolers!  Students and parents are welcome.

The webinar will be offered Tuesday, January 19th at 1PM and Wednesday, January 20th at 1PM.  Register online here: Literati for homeschoolers webinar

NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program Tonight @ HRL!

NaNoWriMo Logo

Calling all aspiring writers in middle and high school!  You’re invited to join your fellow young writers in the Handley Regional Library’s National Novel Writing Month Young Writer’s Program.

Register online at to set goals and track your progress, and join us Mondays at 6PM – 7:30PM at Handley Library or Tuesdays 6PM – 7:15PM at Bowman Library.


Young writers listen for instructions as they prepare to get writing.

The first meeting, a launch party to kick off your novel-writing efforts, is tonight, Monday October 26, from 6PM – 7:30PM.  Bowman Library’s launch party will be tomorrow, Tue, October 27, from 6:00PM – 7:15PM.

2013 Inner Editor

Young writers hold up the box with their incarcerated inner editors.

Come prepared to lay your inner editor to rest for the duration of the month while you challenge your writing skills with writing dares, word wars, writing tips, and writing frenzies.  There’ll be food, fun, and prizes.

NaNoWriMo2010 002

Young writers read aloud selections from their work to the group.

You’ll also have the opportunity to share your work to gain feedback from your community of fellow writers.

More information available on the library’s website: NaNoWrimo-Young Writer’s Program – HL and NaNoWriMo Launch – BL.

Logo courtesy of National Novel Writing Month.

Get Your Game On @ Bowman Library


young-game-match-kidsUpcoming Program Alert: Get Your Game On!

Get ready for a gaming night tomorrow at Bowman Library. Beginning at 5:00 p.m., gamers can rotate through the computer, board, video, console, card, and puzzle games until 8:30 p.m. while enjoying the snacks provided.

This program is open to middle school and high school students. It is free with no registration required. Adult chaperones will be present. Presented by the Teen Advisory Board of Bowman Library, and sponsored by the Friends of the Handley Regional Library.

Spotlight on Programs: Teen Anime Movies

Full Metal Alchemist Posterruby-rwbyanime

Love Anime?  Then we have the program for you!  Bowman Library is hosting a series of teen anime movie nights throughout the summer.  Movies are for middle and high school students, and are shown Mondays from 6:00-7:30 p.m.  Upcoming movies are:

princess-jellyfish poster

July 13: Full Metal Alchemist
July 27: Princess Jellyfish
August 24: Ruby

Teen Advisory picture

Cosplayers at one of our Anime Nights

Drop in for this free, fun event, no registration required!  Eat some pocky and popcorn, cosplay your favorite character, and check out our manga and anime titles.  Can’t find a favorite title that you’ve been looking for? Let us know!  We’re always on the lookout for good titles to add to the library’s collection.