|Messenger photo by Dedra Cordle|
Tribute Kenny Shipley practices his aim at a pyramid of drinking cups rather than children at the Hunger Games-inspired event at the Grove City library on Oct. 13.
In Suzanne Collins dystopian world ofThe Hunger Games, the government of Panem pits 24 young adults against each other in a fight to the death for their entertainment.
But before the bloodshed can commence, the tributes – as they are reverently called – are made over to garner interest from generous sponsors and then put into a training center to learn all they can about weapons and living off the land to increase their chances of survival in the arena.
Then, after they are beautified and trained, they are whisked off to an unknown destination for a battle where there can be only one victor. Clearly, the government of Panem knows how to engage the masses so it is only natural that their ideas are catching on in the present and locally to boot.
On Oct. 13, in the recesses of the Grove City library, a similar event was held for those willing to step into the shoes of reaped tributes and see how they would fare in the ‘Hunger Games.
The meeting room was set up training center style with stations for tributes to learn skills to keep them alive in the arena. There were stations for clothing design, target practice and survival jewelry making. Then, if they were one of the lucky few to move on, there was a tricky knowledge testing station where they could be the victor if only they knew their stuff.
Overall, the participants did not fare so well.
“I think if we were stuck in Panem, we would be toast, said youth services librarian Lore Lehr while trying to make a paracord bracelet with fellow district tribute Kenny Shipley.
He readily agreed while also struggling to make the durable bracelet whose material could be used for many situations they could face in the arena.
“I think were too nice for the ‘Hunger Games anyway, Lehr said.
While Lehr discovered she was adept at making outfits to dazzle the Capitol audience, Shipley was busy scoping out the (literary) competition on an iPad.
While the fate of Shipley would be unknown in an actual ‘Hunger Games (he did manage to survive these challenges with his trivia smarts), libraryvolunteens like him are important to keep the staff in the know about what is going on in the young adult
“I rely on them to tell me what is cool, what I need to watch and what the next big thing is, said Lehr.
In Shipleys opinion, the next big thing isThe Mortal Instruments from author Cassandra Clare.
“Thats the series Im currently hooked on, he said.
While the novels primarily deal with supernatural Shadowhunters, Shipley is looking for a way to bring that world to the library so they can host an event like the one inspired byThe Hunger Games.
“It might be hard though, said the Grove City High School junior, referring to the supernatural and fantasy themes of the novels.
Lehr said that as long as it gets the public – especially tweens and teens – to the library, they are up for the challenges of bringing literary worlds to life for engagement programs.
Currently, the library has long-running anime programs and gaming programs are being scheduled. The library is also discussing creating an American Girl program and a time-warp series.
Thanks to the program ideas from their staff and volunteers, Lehr said it is a great time to be a part of the library.
“There is a lot of exciting things that will be coming along, she said.