Asha Verma

Jan 152015

Do you want to learn marketable skills and gain career opportunities without accruing the dreaded student debt? No problem! Those between the ages of 17 and 21 with a GED or high school diploma can enroll in a local pre-apprenticeship program with Montgomery County.

The Montgomery County OIC and the Laborer’s International Union of North America bring a program that has:
No student loans
An excellent gateway to job opportunities
3-5 year programs (depending on type of program) in areas such as electricians
Funding from the Montgomery County Department of Commerce

You can learn more on the Montco OIC website.

You can also visit the website for the Laborer’s International Union here.

Jan 152015

this could be youLast summer during our Writing Club meetings, we talked about places that publish teen work. Many teens, such as Anna Caltabiano* (author of “All That Is Red”) are finding digital self-publishing to be a better route to success. Some of the digital platforms where you can self-publish your work include “Kindle Direct Publishing” and “Smashwords“. You can also make use of our library resources for help: Every Thursday at 5pm you can find me (Elena) at the TeenZone on the first floor of the library for Homework Help. I can help you with editing your work and writing query letters. Be sure to stop by the reference desk for help finding books on self-publishing as well.

Of course, don’t forget the places I talked about last summer:

Teen Lit Includes writer’s workshop and book reviews
Children Come First hosts the Children Come First Writing Contest
Rosen Publishing is looking for personal stories from teens for publication
The Young Writer’s Society has community forums for young writers
The IRIS Literary Magazine is a relatively new magazine looking for contributions from teens ages 14-17. This magazine focuses on stories by and about members of the LGBTQA+ community.
Teen Ink Literary Magazine publishes work by people between the ages of 13 and 19. This is a monthly magazine as well as a website.

The Norristown Area High School literary magazine, The Scribbler, will be accepting poems, short stories, original artwork, and original photography until April 4th (2015). You can send poems and short stories as a word attachment to but photos and artwork will need to be dropped off in room 326.

*You can read more about how teen writer Anna Caltabiano published her book by clicking here.

Dec 272014

Date: Wednesdays
Time: 4pm-5pm
Place: Montgomery County-Norristown Public Library
1001 Powell Street
Norristown, PA 19401

Do you need help with your smart phone, tablet, or laptop? Want help with email, Facebook, or Twitter? Are you interested in an introduction to the library’s online resources?

You pick the topic! Sign up for a 30 minute one-on-one help* session with a librarian on Wednesday afternoons by calling library at 610-278-5100, ext. 0.

*We can only assist with non-hardware related questions.

Dec 262014

You can win a speaker, book basket, or set of AV coupons by going on facebook! Like the TeenZone facebook page to get a raffle ticket. We’ll do a drawing to find three lucky winners.

Prize: Portable speaker for computer/phone/tablet. Can be charged with USB or battery.
Prize: 5 Audio Visual coupons; good for 5 free movie/game rentals.
Prize: Book basket. (A basket of books)

Click here to go to the page

Nov 212014

Hey there, my name is Elena and I’m here to invite you all to join a Teen Advisory Board for the Norristown Public Library.

A Teen Advisory Board (TAB) is a group of teens aged 12-18 who work together with library staff to create, enhance, and improve upon Young Adult programs and activities. As a member of the board, you have the opportunity to display creativity, form leadership skills, and help serve your community. You also have the chance to put together programs that you have a personal interest in, such as chess or anime/manga club. In the past, our library’s TAB has put together a Bake Sale and raised enough money to buy a Wii U for our weekly Game Nights.

Some other ideas for things a TAB might decide to put together could be a Comic Convention, movie night, gaming tournament, writing club, or even an open mic night. It’s up to you to decide what types of programs are the best fit for you and your peers. I’m counting on you to bring your ideas to the table and put your heart into your programs!

thumbs up

If you’re interested, there are a couple ways you can let me know! You can leave a comment on this blog, send an e-mail to , or call the circulation department at 610-278-5100 ext 0. I hope to hear from you, and see some new faces!


Sep 182014

Date: Every Thursday
Time: 5-6pm
Place: TeenZone of Montgomery County-Norristown Public Library
1001 Powell Street
Norristown, Pa 19401

(For grades 6-12)

Whether you need some help, a quiet place to study, or a meeting place for your group project, the library has your back. Every Thursday beginning at 5pm staff member Elena will be available to help students with their homework. You do not need to register for this program; Elena can be found in the TeenZone area on the first floor or by asking for her at the circulation desk by the library’s main entrance.

Internet access will be provided

Sep 062014
complex female characters

It can be difficult to find books with female characters that we can actually relate to. Very often, the center of attention in books and popular media is on male characters. Likewise, just because there are female characters in a book doesn’t mean they are well-written. Here are three books available at the main library in Norristown that Kelly Jenson and VOYA magazine recommend for their accurate portrayals of multi-dimensional female characters:

Chasing Shadows by Swati Avasthi
Chasing Shadows is a book about challenges to friendship, extremely difficult decisions, and different ways of dealing with grief in after losing a loved one. This book is a mix between graphic novel and regular novel.

Pointe by Brandy Colbert
This is a book that gets the reader involved with issues the main character faces within the ballet world. Among other things, Theo has to deal with an eating disorder and racial discrimination among her peers. As if that wasn’t enough, a kidnapping she feels partly responsible for only adds to her struggles in this novel.

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour
This book is a lesbian love story. For main character Emi, this novel is a learning experience about relationships and patience. Follow Emi through her journey to find her princess charming and the happily ever after she always dreamed of.