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  • July 2010
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Oops…I forgot!

I am actually really surprised this is the first time this has happened. 

I almost forgot to post today. 

I am pretty forgetful.  My three-year old has been well versed on the subject of mommy’s forgetfulness and really it’s her fault.  Before I became a mom I was better at remembering and sleeping!

But that’s a post for a different blog. 

So what to blog about today?

Well, Holly asked teens what to blog about and they came up with cake! Great idea but there are no teens around me right now and no cake, sadly.

I could right about memory.  Hmmm…are there any teen books about memory?

A quick catalog search and I found one that seems promising…

Apparently teens are controlled by sublimal messages.  Sounds interesting.  I’ll have to remember to read that one. 


I could write about what I did today.  I spoke to many students at South Brook Middle School today.  They were awesome.  I am sure there is an interesting story or post about it but I forget.

I could write about sleep or the lack there of but I’d rather be sleeping…

I could write about the book I am reading now…

 It’s fantastic!

It’s about a prison that…well I can’t remember much about it right now (you knew I was going to say that right?).

I am sure there are some fantastic things teens are doing here at the library but I can’t remember any of their names or what we are doing this week.  Shrinky Dinks!? Maybe.  That sounds right. 

I think it’s time to go to sleep. But here are a few more books about memory…

Photography Scavenger Hunt @ the Homewood Branch

Take a photo of a teen member acting out an adult book.

Find a movie you know and act out the cover.

Do a cool photo!

Balance books on your head and try not to drop them!


Take a picture from an unusal perspective
Mecia as a "begger"

Act out the picture on the cover of a young adult book, and have someone hold the book so we can compare.

Take a photo of the team appearing relaxed.

Make a funny face!

Make everyone look big

Do exactly what the sign says.

Take a photo that is blurry; no running

Combine two or more books/magizine/CD titles to make a funny or interesting sentence.

Us looking small
Take a picture with the team appearing small.
We are hidden

Can you see us? -take a picture, but hard to see

Take a picture of the team laughing at someone.

Hello, we are the teen volunteers of the Homewood Carnegie library. This summer we had a project called a photo scavenger hunt where we took pictures following the directions we were given on an assignment paper. We had a lot of fun and learned new things about each other! Although this was such a hard challenge, we laughed our way through it because it was one of the most exciting things we did while volunteering here at the Homewood Branch.


I love pirates! I especially love female pirates. Maybe it’s their sense of adventure or their toughness. Maybe it’s that I often wish I was out on the open seas causing mayhem, instead of making a grocery list or doing laundry or any one of the mundane tasks that come with being an adult. Unfortunately, I’m not that tough and I get desperately sea sick. Lucky for me there are tons of books about girl pirates and their adventures.

Bloody Jack Series, 1-7, L.A. Meyer 

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Avi

Pirates! Celia Rees 

Piratica, Melinda Peterson

Mad Kestrel, Misty Massey

Red Sea, Diane Tullson

 Star-Crossed, Linda Collison 

The Wanderer, Sharon Creech

Hannah Pritchard: Pirate of the Revolution, Bonnie Pryor

Kingston by Starlight, Christopher J. Farley


The first day of school is still about 6 weeks away, so there is plenty of time to enjoy SUMMER!   Be lazy if you want.  Take some time to enjoy your favorite books and music.  Find a shady area to just chill. 

Make Waves at Your Library


  • Go Green!   Come to the Allegheny Green + Innovation Festival  at Hartwood Amphitheatre on Saturday August 14, 2010.  “This zero-waste event will include earth-friendly food and product vendors, crafters, green living demonstrations, a book swap sponsored by ACLA, musical entertainment, and children’s activities.” 
  •  Train for and run a race.  Along with the Great Race set for September, there are 6 more races scheduled this summer. 

  •  Join the Teen Art Club and make cool stuff @ CLP–Main. 
  • Check out the Teen Programs @ CLP–Homewood.  Programs include craft projects and video games. 
  • Play Minute 2 Win It  @ CLP–Woods Run.  Think you have what it takes to beat the clock?  Put your skills to the test as we try to do a variety of activities in less than a minute. 
  • Make some spa water and bath salts @ CLP–Brookline.  Spa Scent-sations.
  • For more cool library programs, check out the Events box on the CLP-Teen website. 
  • See a show on the West End overlook.  Broadway at the Overlook will be held August 12, 13, 14, 20 and 21 @ 7:30 PM. 


Broadway at the Overlook




After accidentally writing a blog post about audio books, which duplicated a post Tessa did so much more eloquently just a few days ago, I had to start from scratch…  so I started in the best place, by asking some of the teens in the Teen Dept. at Main for ideas.

Me: “Hey, I need to write a blog post, I need some ideas!”

Eli: “Write about the World Cup!  I’m really distraught about the outcome!”

Andrew: “Write about the awesome teen name Andrew!”

Kristy: “Write about summer reading, and reading on the beach!”

Charles: (says nothing, but smiles at me while tolerating my intensity)

Zöe: “Write about cake!”

Continue reading

Teen Intern Review: Love Poetry Out Loud

Today I gave my summer intern a chance to write a review for the blog.  Victoria is a poet, going into her senior year of high school, and she’s been assiduously reading a book of poetry from the Sheraden branch. 

Here’s her review:

Well, considering I like to write poems, I use poems others made as a reference; even if I have not written any happy poems to show how I felt at the current point moment in time.

The book I’m reading, Love Poetry Out Loud (edited by Robert Alden Rubin), mostly contains poems about a happy subject (love). I mostly write dark poems so reading this was quite new to me.  Now I know love even has a dark side to it.

One of my methods for figuring out if a poem is dark or happy is looking at the title. For example,  my poem “Where Am I?” it gives the sense of self-awareness like most poems I made. Some poems tell of good and the bad in relationships, like the poem “When We Two Parted” by George Gordon and Lord Byron.  It has a strong sense of the narrator’s longing for his/her lover to return to him/her.  Here are the poems I mentioned as examples of the two types of poems… dark and light:



Where am I?

by Victoria Jones

Where am I?
I can’t see
Am I in the dark?
As my heart and I depart…
What am I?
Am I a loner?
Am I am friend… or a fragment of my own suffering…?
I can’t see my life

Where am I?
There’s no love here…
As I curled up into a ball
Because I’m scared to be alone here again
Am I dead or am I alive?
I want to go home away from their grasp
I feel like something is feeding off of my pain…
Someone help! Please save me…!

Where am I?
I ask over and over
But no answer
I don’t know what to do
I can’t do this
As days goes by
I grow more and more lonely
As I remember the things I once had

Now I only have time to think of my mistakes


When we two parted

 by George Gordon and Lord Byron

WHEN we two parted

In silence and tears,

Half broken-hearted

To sever for years,

Pale grew thy cheek and cold,

Colder thy kiss;

Truly that hour foretold

Sorrow to this.

The dew of the morning

Sunk chill on my brow—

It felt like the warning

Of what I feel now.

Thy vows are all broken,

And light is thy fame:

I hear thy name spoken,

And share in its shame.

They name thee before me,

A knell to mine ear;

A shudder comes o’er me—

Why wert thou so dear?

They know not I knew thee,

Who knew thee too well?

Long, long shall I rue thee?

Too deeply to tell.

In secret we met—

In silence I grieve,

That thy heart could forget,

Thy spirit deceive.

If I should meet thee

After long years,

How should I greet thee?

With silence and tears

But in the end the only thing all poems in common is understanding how the writer feels towards everything around them. The things we share can be understood by others if you just give them some time.

Let us know what you think in the comments–what’s your favorite love poem?  You can click on the book jacket to see what other poems are contained in Love Poetry Out Loud, and you can check out these other books of love poems from the library:

Love: Selected Poems by e. e. cummings, illustrated by Christopher Myers 

Some great poetry with just as great oil paint and collage illustrations.

Crush: love poems by Kwame Alexander

What does it feel like to fall in love for the first time?  Kwame Alexander describes it through poetry.

Dizzy in Your Eyes: poems about love by Pat Mora

Each poem in this book has a different narrator, and they are all about being in love.

Pittsburgh’s Ultimate “Reality Show” Seeks Contestants (Repost from Eleventh Stack)

Reposted with permission from Eleventh Stack, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Main’s adult blog.

No, the Eleventh Stack blog hasn’t been purchased by a major network – it’s a metaphor!  Pittsburgh’s ultimate “reality show” — a/k/a the actual future of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh — can’t evolve without more input from y-o-u.

In May, the library started a community conversation process that garnered real ideas from actual Pittsburghers about how to create a sustainable library future.  You can read summaries of the four May meetings below — please note that these files open as .PDFs:

May 15th — morning workshop

May 15th — afternoon workshop

May 16th — afternoon workshop

May 17th — evening workshop

Pressed for time? Take a peek at the cumulative summary.  Many people chose to provide feedback online, too, so we’ve summarized that input for you as well.

This is where you come in:  the second round of Community Conversations begins on July 17th.  Consider this an “open casting call” for Pittsburghers of all ages, especially if you weren’t able to participate in May (click here for a video summary of what you missed).

All fired up and ready to play?  The July Community Conversations will take place as follows:

Saturday July 17th
10 a.m. – noon
Stephen Foster Community Center — Lawrenceville
286 Main Street, 15203

Saturday July 17th
2-4 p.m.
Warrington Recreation Center — Beltzhoover/Allentown
720 Warrington Avenue, 15210

Sunday July 18th
2-4 p.m.
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh — Brookline
708 Brookline Boulevard, 15226

Monday July 19th
7-9 p.m.
Union Project — East Liberty
801 North Negley Avenue, 15206

Each session will follow the same format and cover the same territory, so you need only participate in one (repeat attendance does, however, earn you hardcore library supporter props, and library worker love).  Round two consists of:

  • a briefing on the themes developed in Part One
  • a presentation of ideas for the future
  • an interactive discussion of those ideas

It’s the “interactive” part that’s key to the success of the “show;” we need to know

  • which ideas and themes resonate most strongly with you, the library user
  • which ideas are better than others
  • why you prefer the ideas you do, and
  • if you have any ideas that somehow didn’t come up in Part One

Other things you need to know as a “contestant:”

  • You don’t need to pre-register!  Just show up.  Bring friends.
  • Light refreshments will be served.
  • Children are definitely welcome!
  • Discussion guides for round two will be available here by July 10th

Still have questions?  Maggie McFalls, the library’s Community Engagement Coordinator, will be happy to answer them.  You can e-mail her atfeedback@carnegielibrary.org or call 412-622-8877.

Obviously, the future of one of the best public library systems in the known universe (I’m a touch biased) is far more important than anything currently on television.  After all, if we don’t work together to find a sustainable solution, the consequences are more serious than getting voted off an island.  Without access to a good library system, the “biggest losers” are the American dream, the democratic process, and the well-informed citizenry upon which our society is built.

Don’t let it happen on your watch!  Join the conversation, and make your voice heard.

–Leigh Anne

who thinks “Big Bucks, No Whammies” would make a fabulous advocacy slogan, if it weren’t already taken.

I prefer to listen

It’s full-on summer reading time.  This makes me happy, but what about those of you for whom a page of print is a slow and treacherous journey, or would prefer that someone just tell you a tale? 

For you, my friend, there are audiobooks.  (Yes, they count as summer reading.)

photo from flickr user nguyendai

The library, being a library, has several options for you to get audio recordings of the books that you would like to listen to.   In fact, there are 601 records that turn up in a search for Teen-designated books on cd when I search Catalog Explorer, including the amazing Paper Towns by John Green, the harrowing Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson, the buzzed about London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd, the pointy Fang by James Patterson, and the summery Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen… AND MANY MORE! 

How would you do this search? I’m glad you asked.

1. Click on the following link for Catalog Explorer.

2. Type an asterisk (it’s above the number 8 on your keyboard) in the search box.

3. Look on the right side of your screen and click on “Teen” under “Age Group”

4. Look at the icons right above your search results and click on “Book on CD”

5. Ta-da!  Put your audio books on hold.

BUT BUT BUT! You say.  I don’t want to go to the library to pick up my audio book.  Is there an option where I can download it right now right this second?  Onto my computer and then my mp3 player?


The library pays for a service called Overdrive.  You can do just this thing with Overdrive.  To browse the audiobooks available, go HERE.

They have such books as:

Jane Slayre, by Sherri Browning Erwin (“Raised by vampyre relatives, Jane grows to resent the lifestyle’s effect on her upbringing. No sunlight, keeping nighttime hours, and a diet of bloody red meat is no way for a mortal girl to live.”) 

The Wild Things, by Dave Eggers (“The Wild Things is about the confusions of a boy, Max, making his way in a world he can’t control. His father is gone, his mother is spending time with a younger boyfriend, and his sister is becoming a teenager.“).  And, as always, many more.

The selection is different depending on what kind of mp3 player you have, and you will have to download the Overdrive software to get and play the audiobooks.  More information is available here or from your personal librarian.

What else?  Every week until September, there are two free Teen audiobook downloads at SYNC.  One is a modern book and one is a YA classic on the same theme.  This week they are offering Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, and in two weeks you could be downloading the audiobook of the Hunger Games for free!  You can sign up by clicking on the Sync logo above.

Happy listening!

- Tessa

Teen FAP Review: The Carter II

I would say this cd fits itno a hip hop rap genre because some song are mello rap about just trying to make it out the Hood and some is Hardcore i sell drugs type songs but a diverse cd. The mood this music creates is you wanna be hyper or a mellow something u can relate to hype music.  I whould recomment this CD to any one who hasnt ever heard a Lil Wayne CD.  Because he’s probably the best rapper alive.

**The above review was written by Marteiz as part of the Teen Fine Alternative Program.  If you’re interested in working off fines owed on CLP materials and are between the ages of 12-18, please contact your local CLP location.**

Exit Through The Comment Section: A Banksy Post

Last weekend, I saw the film Exit Through the Gift Shop, a cinematic sleight of hand that at first seems to be about the saucy, enigmatic street artist Banksy before it substitutes him for the character Thierry Guetta (aka Mr. Brainwash). The movie’s gracious winking and good humor seems to belie its sarcastic faux-documentary style that skewers the art world in a very youthful, teen-friendly, urban Rufio meets a can of spraypaint sort of fashion.

One of my favorite Banksy pieces, because of its humor, social commentary, and brilliant use of existing space.

Based out of Bristol and coming of age in the burgeoning Bristol, England street art scene, Banksy has been giving an artistic middle finger to everybody since at least the late 80s. He recently went as far as to paint over the longest-lasting piece of graffiti in England.

This Robbo, Inc. piece was the longest-lasting work of street in England until Banksy reworked it.

If you’re interested in more of Banksy’s work, you can go to his site (linked above) or check out the Flickr Banksy pool. For a link to the most up-and-coming street art worldwide, check out the Wooster Collective site.

And since this is a library, you can of course check out these very cool books:

The Street Art Book : 60 Artists in Their Own Words
byBlackshaw, Ric and Liz Farrelly

This street art anthology explores the reasons why style-writing, or graffiti, is turning out to be a major art movement. This collection offers 50 complete biographies of top street artists along with examples of each artist’s work.

From Style Writing to Art : A Street Art Anthology
by Danysz, Magda

This street art anthology explores the reasons why style-writing, or graffiti, is turning out to be a major art movement. This collection offers 50 complete biographies of top street artists along with examples of each artist’s work.

Graffiti Women : Street Art from Five Continents
by Ganz, Nicholas

This volume surveys the work of female graffiti and street artists, with approximately 1,000 color illustrations making up the bulk of the book. Often ignored, these women have had to fight against the idea that graffiti is a male realm. Ganz briefly discusses the trend in all parts of the world, and shows the work of many artists around the globe, with some background on them accompanying photos of tags, characters, and other art. No index is present. Ganz is a street and fine artist based in Germany. He is the author of Graffiti World.

Street Scene : How to Draw Graffiti-Style
by Lee, John

The first step-by-step instruction book on how to create grafitti-style art. More than 25 simple step-by-step demonstrations*Covers a range characters such as skaters, hip hop artists, punk rockers and other tattooed types and shows how to put all them into cool, colorful backgrounds. Readers will learn to create their own finished graffiti-style artwork beginning with traditional mannequin outlines and shapes and building up to completed, colorful scenes. The step-by-step instruction makes it possible to learn to draw and color everything from faces, figures and clothes to abstract and wild backgrounds.

Street Art : The Graffiti Revolution
by Lewisohn, Cedar

Over the last decade, street art—art made in public spaces including graffiti, stickers, stencil art, and wheat-pasting— has become one of the most popular and hotly discussed areas of art practice on the contemporary scene. Developing out of the graffiti-writing tradition of the 1980s through the work of artists such as Banksy and Futura 2000, it has long since reached the mainstream. Street Art is the first measured, critical account of the development of this global phenomenon. Tracing street art’s origins in cave painting through the Paris walls photographed by Brassai in the ’20s through the witty, sophisticated imagery found on city streets today, the book also features new and exclusive interviews with key figures associated with street art of the last 35 years, including Lady Pink, Barry McGee, Shepard Fairy, Futura 2000, Malcolm McLaren, Miss Van, and Os Gemeos. Street Art reveals the extent to which the walls and streets of cities around the world have become the birthplace of some of the most dynamic and inspirational art being made today.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main


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