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  • February 2020
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Teen Review: Feed by M T Anderson

Jenna M.

Hi, my name is Jenna and I am a senior at West Mifflin Area High School. I volunteer at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Main. No matter where I am, you will probably see a book in my hand. I hope you enjoy my book reviews!:)


Feed by: M T Anderson 

Titus and his friends are just ordinary teenagers in their world. Their life surrounds the feed that was implanted in their brains since before they could remember. The feed is basically like a computer. Titus and his friends can chat (message) each other’s feeds just by using their brains. The feed is constantly projecting an endless stream of advertisements, music, television shows, and world news. The people buy products using their feeds. They can even download other people’s memories and literally feel what the other person was feeling; emotions and sensations. Barely anyone talks out loud anymore… Why should they when they can do it within their heads?

But there are some people still in America that are trying to fight the feed. Like Violet, a girl Titus meets at the moon. Yes, these kids travel to the moon for fun. At first Titus just thinks Violet is interesting because she’s someone new and she’s physically beautiful. But, as Titus gets to know Violet, he realizes that she’s different than him and his friends. She hates the feed. She doesn’t go to School like the rest of the kids, where they learn about how to use the feed. She’s homeschooled by her father, who teaches Mayan language, which makes her even more weird to the other kids.

Not knowing who to believe or what to think, he is torn between what is better; life with the feed, or without?

If you are a person who hates how much today’s society is based off of media and technology, you would want to read this book. The book is a satire of society today and how big a part media plays in everyone’s lives.

This book is heavy on futuristic slang. And a lot of “like”‘s. Once you get used to the slang and figure out the meaning behind the words, it can become bearable.

Violet is a great character. I loved that she is so headstrong and independent. She didn’t need acceptance from the rich and popular kids. She was content with just being herself. She is willing to rebel against anything that tried to conform her. She is alive; unlike the boring, robotic-like teenagers Titus is friends with.

Titus is a great main character. He is willing to be different than his friends and at least try to see Violet’s point of view. It was sweet how he always stood up for her in the early stages of their relationship. But sadly, Titus is always going back and forth with what he believed, which is very similar to real-life teenagers.

This book is a good read. It is unique to say the least… I’ve never read a book quite like this one. This novel is eye-opening and warns that society could very much become like this horrible world depicted in ‘Feed’.

The Labs @ CLP: Teen Digital Media Labs

Hello, everyone,

Just a quick note from your friendly neighborhood librarian to let you know, one more time, about the launch  of a brand-new, exciting, ongoing teen library program–The Labs @ CLP.

So what is The Labs?It’s Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s teen digital media lab program. And what’s a digital media lab? Well, it’s a computer lab of sorts, but full of equipment and software specially designed to help you create.

We’re launching the program with a big party this Wednesday at CLP-Main and mini Launch events at the other three locations next week. (For in-depth information on the program as well as dates and times for each launch, go HERE.)

About the program: From iMacs to music production equipment (M-Audio Fast Track Pro and Apple’s GarageBand) to graphic design (the full Adobe Creative Suite) and filmmaking (HD Canon Vixia camcorders plus a green screen), plus plenty more, The Labs is your resource for getting creative in the library.

We’ll be offering weekly themed programming at all four Labs locations as well as open Labs time where you can explore and create with the help of Labs mentors–digital media artists and librarians who will be on-hand leading programs and acting as a resource for creation. Each month the theme will change. This October, for example, we’ll focus on filmmaking. Then, in November, we’ll focus on Audio/Music Production with podcasting and music recording. Check back for our ongoing schedule.

Why simply consume media when you can create it? You can use The Labs as a resource for creative multi-media school projects or as a place to do something completely separate from your school work–something based on your own personal interests. Work on a podcast with friends, film a scary movie scene (that’s what we’ll be doing this October!), or get help recording your music in the library. There are so many options!

And where are The Labs? There will be four digital media labs located throughout the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh system. Here are their hours and a link to the first day of October’s program: The Scary Story Filmmaking Challenge.

CLP-Main, Teen Dept.
Hours: Monday-Thursday, 3-7PM
Friday, 3-5PM
Workshops: Wednesday and Thursday 4-6PM starting in October
October Workshop: Scary Story Filmmaking Challenge 

Hours and Workshops: Monday, 4-7PM
October Workshop: Scary Story Filmmaking Challenge

CLP-South Side
Hours and Workshops: Tuesday, 4-7PM
October Workshop: Scary Story Filmmaking Challenge

CLP-East Liberty
Hours and Workshops: Wednesday, 4:30-7:30PM
October Workshop: Scary Story Filmmaking Challenge

That’s all for now; I have to run and get everything ready to go!

– Corey, Digital Learning Librarian

Teen Review: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s New Mobile App

Hi! I’m Adam, and despite being a senior at Central Catholic I try to find time to do anything and everything. I will read any kind of book I can get my hands on and even though my reading list is currently a million books long I will finish it someday. Maybe. If it weren’t for the fact that I add something new to it literally every day…

A review of Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s new mobile app

We all know that feeling—you’re in the darkest depths of the library, not a computer in sight, and you forgot to write down the number for the book you want. You try to find it on the library website but your phone’s browser makes the website look more like a Jackson Pollack painting than a website and your internet is slow enough to be painting one.

Thankfully there is now one quick, easy solution to all of your problems: the Library App, now available from your iPhone or Android’s app store. You will not be sorry for the download: the app contains everything you could want for a visit to the library into a simple, linear display with no unnecessary bells or whistles. This ease of accessibility makes it an infinitely useless tool to use when you’re scrambling to hold on to books you already have, find a new book, and use your phone (as I was the other day when I discovered thanks to the app that someone had checked an extremely obscure book out that as of only two hours earlier been available—but that’s another post for another day).

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s new mobile app – by Boopsie

The app has seven feature categories (Catalog, My Account, eCLP, Hours and Locations, Ask a librarian, Events, and BookLook) and two social networking links (Facebook and Twitter). Each of the seven features is both extremely useful and well designed, continuing the theme of simplicity through all aspects of the app.

One thing I was concerned about was whether or not the My Account feature would remain signed into your account even after you haven’t used it in a while; however, so far, it seems like it does indeed remain signed in.

The eCLP feature lets you download eBooks and eAudioBooks directly to your phone, removing the potential hassle of transferring from your computer to your phone if you are an on-the-go reader.

Hours and Locations not only tells you where libraries are or when they open, but when you open the feature it sorts the list of libraries by closeness to your current location by using your phone’s GPS (strangely enough, and one of the few problems I have with the app, is that the Events category does not also sort the libraries by relative closeness).

Finally, a very welcome feature is the BookLook scanner: suppose you are in a bookstore and have a very expensive book. You don’t want to pay so much and want to see if the library has it. Instead of fumbling around with the library mobile website, just open the BookLook feature and the app will use your phone’s camera to scan the ISBN number of the book and then look it up on the catalog. This feature in particular is very welcome and extremely useful.

So, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s fulfills all your library needs in one small and simple app (only 2.01 MB if you are concerned about phone space). It is certainly worthy of the five star rating it currently maintains on both the Android app store and iTunes.

Scratch Day @ CLP Main- Teen: Saturday 5/19 from 1 to 4


Are you interested in creating digital videos, games, and animation?  Do you have a vision and passion for digital art, but lack the technical skills?  If you answered yes, then  Scratch is the perfect programming language for you.  Scratch is a visual programming language that was developed by MIT students in order to offer beginner programmers a simple way to create their own interactive stories, games, animations, music, and art.  Scratch is free to download, easy to learn, and offers a safe and supportive community of Scratchers to share your creations with.

Scratch DaySaturday, May 19, 2012– is a worldwide network of gatherings, where people come together to meet fellow Scratchers, share projects and experiences and learn more about Scratch. Last year, more than 125 Scratch Day events were held in 36 countries around the globe.  Scratch Day @ CLP Main- Teen will feature tutorials for newbies, games to help you hone your Scratch abilities, skill sharing for advanced Scratchers, a project showcase, Scratch the Cat button making, peer Scratch tutors, fun, community, and more!

Pittsburgh teenagers (grade 6-12), mentors and educators are strongly encouraged to bring a laptop to the event.  But don’t despair if you can’t bring your own equipment- you will NOT be left out.  A limited number of laptops will be provided for use during the program.

Scratch Day in Pittsburgh is presented by Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Chevron Center for STEM Education and career Development at Carnegie Science Center, The Ellis School and Girls, Math & Science Partnership (a program of Carnegie Science Center). This event is sponsored by The Ellis School and Spark, Supporting the Kids+Creativity Network.

Event web site: http://day.scratch.mit.edu/event/554

Presented by: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Chevron Center for STEM Education and career Development at Carnegie Science Center, The Ellis School and Girls, Math & Science Partnership a program of Carnegie Science Center

Event fee: FREE

Sponsor: The Ellis School and Spark, Supporting the Kids+Creativity Network

Some refreshments will be provided.

Saturday, May 19, 2012
1:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Teens- Main
4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA   15213

For more information, contact:

Teen Sells Kidney for iPad—Would You?

You want an iPad.  What would you do to get one?  Many teens would get a part-time job: walking dogs, babysitting, working in a restaurant.  Reasonable, socially acceptable options.  Conversely, a 17-year-old in China recently sold his kidney to purchase an iPhone and iPad.  In exchange for his kidney, he received about $3,500—enough to purchase these gadgets.  The teen now suffers from renal insufficiency.  In addition to raising questions about the black market for organs, this exchange has sparked discussions about the ever growing culture of consumerism—both in the United States and in other countries—and the extreme lengths to which we will go to get what we think we want.  These titles explore our obsession with possessions:

Feed by M.T. Anderson

In a future where most people have computer implants in their heads to control their environment, a boy meets an unusual girl who is in serious trouble.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

When a plane crash strands thirteen teen beauty contestants on a mysterious island, they struggle to survive, to get along with one another, to combat the island’s other diabolical occupants, and to learn their dance numbers in case they are rescued in time for the competition.

Princess of Neptune by Quentin Dodd

Middle-schooler Theora Theremin and her brother Verbert find themselves whisked from the shores of hometown Lake Philodendron to an intergalactic beauty contest on Neptune.

So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld

Hunter Braque, a New York City teenager who is paid by corporations to spot what is “cool,” combines his analytical skills with girlfriend Jen’s creative talents to find a missing person and thwart a conspiracy directed at the heart of consumer culture.

The Gospel According to Larry by Janet Tashjian

Seventeen-year-old Josh, a loner-philosopher who wants to make a difference in the world, tries to maintain his secret identity as the author of a web site that is receiving national attention.

From Blogs to Books

Around  the library, all my colleagues seem to want to talk about are eBooks.  “Will eBooks replace printed materials?  If so, what will the future of libraries look like?  Are we librarians doomed?!?”  Not so, says I.  The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is currently expanding our collection of popular teen eBooks and making them available to download and check out on a variety of eReaders.  But this is not a blog post about eBooks, this a blog post about blog posts.  Despite all of the hand wringing and doom and gloom, I want to shed light on a curious phenomena in our digital world which is that many of the web’s most popular blogs are transforming themselves from digital to analog.  PUBLISHERS ARE PRINTING WORDS AND PICTURES THAT ORIGINATED ONLINE ONTO PAGES MADE FROM PAPER AND BINDING THEM TOGETHER INTO SOMETHING WE CALL BOOKS!  Librarians of the world rejoice!  Here are a few of my favorites:

5 Good Reasons to Punch a Dolphin in the Mouth (And Other Useful Guides)

Awkward Family Photos

Crap at my Parents’ House

Damn You Autocorrect!: Awesomely Embarrassing Text Messages You Didn’t Mean to Send

Fail Nation: A Visual Romp Through the World of Epic Fails

Hipster Puppies

Hungover Owls

I am Maru

I Can Has Cheezburger: A LOLcat Collekshun

People of Wal-Mart: Shop and Awe

Stuff on my Cat: the Book

Texts from Last Night: All the Texts No One Remembers Sending

When Parents Text: So Much Said… So Little Understood

And maybe- just maybe- one day you’ll pick up a copy of CLPTeensburgh: the Book!

The Birth of Your Apple Product – A Correction

If you read this post from about a month ago, about the This American Life piece about “Mike Daisey, [who] wrote a theatrical monologue that paints an awful grim picture of what he learned there regarding worker’s rights (or lack there of) and just how much that iPhone in your pocket cost – in terms of human price,” then you should know, This American Life is saying…because it has just come out that parts of the piece were fabricated by Mike Daisey – for artistic purposes, of course.  Check this out for more details.


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