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  • June 2018
    M T W T F S S
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Yes, Virginia, There is Teen Stuff Going Down at the Library This Week

No school and nothing to do???  The Library’s got you covered!  Here’s a brief glimpse of what’s going on this week:

Monday, December 23

Teen Time @ Lawrenceville / 4:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Gaming @ Main, Allegheny, and East Liberty!

Open Lab @ Main and Allegheny!

Tuesday, December 24


Wednesday, December 25

Thursday, December 26

Teen Lounge: Pop-Up Flix @ Brookline / 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Teen Time @ Knoxville / 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Teen Creative Writing Workshop @ Beechview / 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

iPad Playground @ Squirrel Hill / 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Friday, December 27

Bad Movie Fridays @ Main / 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Gaming @ Main, Allegheny, and Sheraden!

Saturday, December 28

Teen Manga Club @ Beechview / 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Movies All Day @ Main / 10:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Aquaman and Aqualad gingerbread cookies from Teen Thing @ Carrick

For more teen happenings at a Library near you, be sure to check out the EVENTS slider on the Teen Page!

ALSO!  Don’t forget about the Teen Winter Reading Raffle, which is going on now till January 15th.  You could win stuff just for reading!

Jon : Carrick

Red Dawn: standing up to invasion and the questions it brings

Tonight at CLP – East Liberty’s Teen Time we took advantage of our Public Performance license and the new DVD bestseller collection and watched Red Dawn, a remake of a 1984 film by the same name.

old poster...

old poster…


new poster!

The premise doesn’t seem to have changed much. Whereas in the 1984 version, a group of Midwestern teens including Patrick Swayze and Lea Thompson band together to fight a Soviet invasion. In the 2012 movie, the North Koreans are invading Washington state, and the hunk is played by Chris Hemsworth (Thor)… oh, and Josh from Drake and Josh.

yeah, this guy.

yeah, this guy.

It shouldn’t be so surprising that this plot has been done before since it’s an effective way to catch the viewer’s attention – what if war came to your street? Of course, for many people war, sadly, is already in their home town, but not for the American high-schoolers in Red Dawn. It sparked a lively discussion for the teens at our movie night. Was it realistic for 6 or so teenagers to be trained in guerrilla warfare by a recent veteran? Who “deserves” to die, if there is such a thing? Why would the North Koreans invade the U.S. and not Canada? And is Canada part of the U.S. anyway? (In case you were wondering, too: no, it’s not.)

If these situations and questions intrigue you as well, here is some further reading:


Tomorrow When the War Began by John Marsden

The beginning of a series by Australian author John Marsden, this book explores what happens when 7 teenagers get back from a camping trip to find that their town, and presumably country, has been invaded. Do they surrender or fight back?


How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

Daisy thinks she’s getting away from trouble by going to live in England… but then war breaks out and she’s stranded in the countryside with her cousins.


Scarlet by Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev

Scarlet is not fighting against an invading force – she’s a vigilante fighting against corrupt policeman who killed her boyfriend. However, this book asks some of the same questions as the others about her personal decisions to commit violent acts.

-Tessa, CLP – East Liberty

QuickFLIX: Are You The Next Great Film Director?

Are you an aspiring filmmaker? Perhaps you don’t think of yourself that way, but you like to shoot goofy videos with your camera phone. Well, whether your an iPhone auteur or a budding Bergman, you only have have four more days to submit a movie to the QuickFLIX filmmaking contest–CLP-Teen Services one and only movie competition.

As we wrap up the second year of free QuickFLIX filmmaking workshops (all led by talented Pittsburgh Filmmakers artist, Sarah), I’d like to urge all of our readers to step up and submit a video. Don’t be shy–all you have to do is send us a movie (3 minutes or less) to teens@carnegielibrary.org. (You can also upload to YouTube and send us a link, or use a free file sharing site like sendspace if the file is too large.)

What could you win? I’m glad you asked:

Grand Prize: $100 iTunes gift card
2nd Prize: $50 iTunes gift card
3rd Prize: $25 iTunes gift card

You have until Friday at midnight to submit your movie. Need inspiration or want to see what you’re up against? Check out this year’s submissions on the CLP-Teens YouTube channel:

For more details on the contest (rules, how to submit, etc.), click HERE.

Happy movie-making!

– Corey, Digital Learning Librarian

The Last Day of School…the Movie!

The end of the school year….  Ahhhhh….  It’s so close, you can taste it, right?  Soon the public pools will open, Extravaganza and Teen Summer Reading will be in full effect, the Pirates will be crushing the competition (well…. hopefully….), and you’ll be homework free for a solid two or three months.  When I think back to my school days, I remember those last ones the fondest.  The summer held so much anticipation and so much promise!  I almost didn’t even mind attending school, because I knew my days there were numbered.  The school days were short, the tired teachers showed films instead of- well- teaching, and the only writing we students did was in yearbooks.  Turns out many others have found inspiration in those last days of school, so much so that there are entire movies dedicated to those last days of school.  Teens of Pittsburgh- you are almost there!  Join us at CLP Main- Teen on your last day of school- Wednesday, June 13 at 3 pm- for a screening of a classic of the genre.  Until then, you’ll just have to experience the excitement the last days through film.  Below are some of the best and they are all available to check out from the library.

Can’t Hardly Wait

Dazed and Confused

I Love You Beth Cooper

Rock ‘N’ Roll High School

Say Anything

Summer School

The Wackness

Feel inspired to make your own last day of school film?  Check out CLP’s QuickFlix 2012 contest and free digital filmmaking workshops!

Call Me Maybe Covers Going Crazy

I am not a big fan of cute cat or adorable puppy videos, but I am a sucker for group dance videos.  The biggest craze lately is making Call Me Maybe videos, especially on vans and buses.  Sport teams seem to be the main group making these videos.  The Harvard Men’s Baseball Team and the SMU Women’s Rowing Team each made very popular videos and they were invited to appear on the Today Show last week.

Call Me Maybe is a song by Carly Rae Jepsen, a young singer from Canada.  After Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez tweeted about the song, it just blew up!  Read an interview with Carly Rae Jepsen in College Gloss.

Well, back to the Call Me Maybe videos.  There are tons of them on You Tube.  Here are a few of my favorities:


Now, I just have to get the song out of my head!


CLP–Mt. Washington

Facebook News and Birthdays

So, today’s blog post is a two-parter. One has nothing to do with the other– but I was equally interested in both, so I thought I’d share both.

Part 1:
Facebook is all about sharing information. For the most part, we share it about ourselves. What we’re doing– where we’re going– who we’re with, etc. Most of the time, we end up oversharing. I know that no one cares if I’m watching American Horror Story or cooking a pot roast for dinner– yet I still find myself throwing up pointless status updates.  Nevertheless, Facebook has become a channel for people to also share stuff that really interests or touches them.

Whether it is informational, funny, poignant, etc., the Facebook news feed has become one of my go-to sources of information. Where did I first find out Michael Jackson had died? Facebook. That the shaking I just felt was an earthquake? Facebook.  Most recently, I first heard about the Penn State scandal from where? Oh, that’s right, Facebook.

Facebook has recognized how influential it has become in sharing information by releasing its list of top 40 “stories” that were shared on Facebook in 2011. The most popular news stories include posts that we would expect to see, such as satellite images from Japan after the earthquake and tsunami, outrage over the Facebook redesign, and Steve Jobs’ death. But, the list also contains some obscure stories that I’ve never seen before, like one involving a giant crocodile and the most typical face on the planet.

Here is the full list, and I’ve added some of the videos from the list to this post just because I think they’re awesome.


Did you happen to post any of these stories on your Facebook page this year?

Part 2
Today is my birthday! In honor of that, I wanted to share this neat page I just found called Birthday Calculator. You put in the day, month, and year of your birth and it brings up all kinds of cool information that I bet you didn’t know before– such as, did you know that I share my birthday with Britney Spears (I actually knew that…), Lucy Liu, and Gianni Versace? Also, that my age is the equivalent of a dog that is 3.71624266144814 years old– and my lucky day is Thursday! Check out Birthday Calendar and see what you find.

Have a great weekend everyone!

-Julie, CLP Beechview

Have an animated Thanksgiving!

If you’re anything like me, you might crave some alone time away from the family this Thanksgiving holiday (or you may just want to skip out on helping with the dishes).  Here are some fun ways to occupy your time, allowing you to create your own animations, on your computer or smart phone.


Scratch is a programming language developed by MIT “that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art — and share your creations on the web.”  It’s free to join and share things.  Once you create a Scratch project, people can interact with it or download and remix it.  For example, someone has made a calculator using Scratch!  You can also make games to play – there’s a gallery here.  And if you get stuck, there’s a Support page and Forums.


Unfortunately, this is only available as a Nintendo DSi program, but you can also browse and watch the Flipnotes that others have created using their DSi.  Since the program is available worldwide, there are many international Flipnotes, and it could be a fun way to practice your Japanese!

Still from a stopmotion animation creation by flickr user Regev Tovim

For those of you who took our Quick Flix workshops, taught by awesome people from Pittsburgh Filmmakers, I have some free Stopmotion and other animation programs!  These require some downloads and tutorials, but could take your filmmaking to the next level.

Animate Clay

This has how-to videos, a newsletter, video interviews with animators and free motion capture software for download. It was created by animator Mark Spess, who taught himself to do stop-motion and thought there should be a place online for fellow animators to learn and share their craft.

Clay Animator

This software is based on the Anasazi software from the Animate Clay website, and can work with a built in PC camera or digital camera connected to your PC.


This is free 2-D animation software, “designed as powerful industrial-strength solution for creating film-quality animation using a vector and bitmap artwork. It eliminates the need to create animation frame-by frame, allowing you to produce 2D animation of a higher quality with fewer people and resources.”


Unlike many of these programs, Pencil works with Macs as well as PCs, and can be used for traditional hand-drawn animation.  Here’s an example of something made with Pencil:


Blender can do 3-D rendering and is free and open source for all operating systems.  The effects in this movie were made using Blender:

Before you start out on your journey, you can always use your local library to do some basic research on making animation!

– Tessa, CLP – East Liberty

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