Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Pre-Register for the Teen Madden 09 Tournament

Think you got what it takes to challenge Pittsburgh teens in Madden supremacy and win a $50 check card? Join us at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Teen space (4400 Forbes Ave., in Oakland), where 16 players will take to the field on Sunday, January 25th @ 12:30 PM for all the big plays and big hits that you could ask for.

We're offering free pizza, snacks, and drinks so that you can invite your friends to come cheer you on--or if they can't, we'll be broadcasting the tournament live online to a national audience (URL TBA).

Please read the rules carefully before entering:

- You must be in high school or high school equivalent age (14-17) to participate.
- We will update the rosters before the tournament.
- Players will be seeded randomly.
- The first two games will be 3:00 minute quarters on All-Pro difficulty; semi-finals and finals will be 4:00 minute quarters on All-Madden difficulty.
- Each player will have one minute before the game to set their audibles and depth charts.
- If the winner cannot continue, the loser with the lowest point differential (aka whoever lost by the least) will fill their slot.
- The home team of each game will be determined by a coin flip.
- Rewinds will be turned OFF.
- Negative trash talk will get a player a warning. After the first warning, the player will be disqualified. Players are welcome to get excited about their own plays, but not at the expense of others. Players' friends will be removed after their first warning.
- Players will be confirmed in the tournament on a first-come, first-serve basis on the day of the tournament. Pre-registering does not guarantee any player a spot in the tournament. The library will open at noon on the day of the tournament.

To pre-register, contact Joseph via phone (412-622-3121), e-mail (, or through our online events page.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Main

Saturday, December 20, 2008

As my old friend Billy Shakespeare said...

"Sweets to the sweet! Farewell."

I am sad to say that my time in the CLP Teen Department has come to an end. I will miss you all. Sadly I will no longer hear the dulcet tones of teens asking me for headphones, guest cards, or to sign up to play RockBand 2. I will merely have to help teens in eastern PA write papers and search for literary criticisms; for I am off to the faraway land know as the "high school library". Where you can be sure I will turn on any teen without a hall pass like the rabid bunny that I am. I will remember fondly the End of Summer Reading Party, listening to you sing the word "Pikachu" over and over to the tune of "(Don't Fear) The Reaper", seeing you dressed as vampires to celebrate the release of Breaking Dawn and watching you eat pizza at roughly the speed of light.

Thank you all for making my 6 months in Teen totally super awesome!!

Love, books, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl,

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Ugly Covers Archive & Caption Contest

Once again it's time for the Ugly Covers Caption Contest! Please leave us your captions in the comments below.

Our staff has weighed in with their own captions:
"Time again for the Creepy Disembodied Head Regetta" - Corey
"The weight of the disembodied head upon my shoulders" - Karen
"I've shrunk you into a tiny man leaning against the pier -it's the greastest prank of all time! (Why am I not laughing, then?)" - Holly

Now it's your turn!
*Special thanks to Katie and Zoe for pitching in for the last edition.*


Winners! Second Annual CLP Teen Awards

Shoe-ins and stunning upsets! It was a fascinating scene at the recent Second Annual CLP Teen Awards Ceremony at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main. What do you think about the winners? Below are the categories and the winners (in bold):

Favorite Music (overall)
Tha Carter II by Lil' Wayne 43%
Kala by M.I.A. 33%
CoCo by Colbie Caillat 24%

Favorite Hip Hop
Tha Carter III by Lil' Wayne 45%
Paper Trail by T.I. 40%
Smoke N Blaze by Kev Blaze 15%

Favorite Non-fiction Book
Stick Figure : A Diary of my Former Self by Lori Gottlieb 73%
Under the Overpass by Mike Yankoski 27%

Favorite Fiction Book
Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer 52%
Paper Towns by John Green 40%
Uglies Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld 2 8%

Favorite Fantasy or Sci-Fi Book
Artemis Fowl Series by Eoin Colfer 50%
War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells 36%
Star Trek Series by various authors 14%

Favorite Manga
Death Note by Tsugumi Ohba 63%
Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto 26%
Bleach by Tite Kubo 2 11%

Favorite Graphic Novel or Graphic Series
Spider-Man by various authors 57%
Runaways by various authors 38%
X-Men by various authors 5%

Favorite Wii Game
Mario Kart 42%
Super Smash Brothers Brawl 29%
Wii Sports 29%

Favorite Xbox or Xbox 360 Game
Rock Band 74%
Madden 09 17%
Halo 3 9%

Favorite Playstation I, II, or III Game
Guitar Hero 54%Rock Band 25%
Grand Theft Auto IV 21%

Favorite Movie
The Dark Knight 34%
Twilight 21%
Juno 17%
Wall-E 14%
High School Musical III 10%
The Incredible Hulk 3%

Favorite Website
YouTube 48%
MySpace 21%
Facebook 21%
Google 10%

Favorite Magazine
Time 50%
Seventeen 39%
Cosmo Girl 11%

Favorite Board Game
Scrabble 39%
Apples to Apples 36%
Clue 25%

Favorite Spot to Visit in Pittsburgh
The Carnegie Library (any location) 55%
Kennywood 41%
The Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History 3%


Monday, December 15, 2008

Take Home One of Our Tragically Overlooked Graphic Series! (A-M Edition)

One of the saddest things for a librarian to see is an awesome title languishing on the shelf. They might have a great cover, an awesome story, or great writing, but we see them begging day after day for somebody to check them out. This happens often in our Teen Graphic Series section, where it's hard for items to get noticed in between the Batmans and Spidermans of the world.

So if you have a heart this holiday season, take home one of these lonely little friends and see why we bought them in the first place!

Avalon High: Coronation
Meg Cabot

Ellie Harrison moves to a new school in a new town, ready to adjust and restart her normal life. Yet, life proves to be anything but normal when it's possible that the boy she falls for, Will, just might be the reincarnation of King Arthur. Now Ellie must convince Will to take on the mantle and fight a brewing evil. This is based off of Meg Cabot's 2005 novel Avalon High, and the lively, manga-style art will breathe new life for even seasoned readers.

Avril Lavigne's Make 5 Wishes
Camilla d'Errico and Joshua Dysart

Hana is a lonely, quiet schoolgirl who would have nothing to distract her from her parent's dissolving marriage and the teasing of her classmates if it weren't for her imaginary best friend, Avril Lavigne. One day, Hana buys a mysterious package from the site, which gives new meaning to the phrase "be careful what you wish for." Soon, the demon Romeo arrives, and Hana makes one regrettable wish after another!

Mark Davis, Mike Davis, and Brandon Schultz

Blak has a magical ability that gives him extra-skilled fighting abilities in addition to being extraordinarily gifted in the skills of rap. Blak will need every one of these skills when he takes to the streets to battle gangs, his brother's killers, and his own personal demons--not to mention the literal demons that lurk deep within the city.

Courtney Crumrin
Ted Naifeh

Courtney Crumin was dragged from her previous life to a well-to-do suburb to live with her Great Uncle Aloysius. That wouldn't be so bad, if Aloysius wasn't creepy and strange noises weren't coming from the closets and the walls: creaks, clunks, and... groans? Suddenly, Courtney isn't just the new kid at school, she's the new kid at ghoul! Thankfully, Courtney's special brand of dark humor is enough to keep them at bay.

Girl Genius
Kaja & Phil Foglio

Adventure, romance, and mad science collide in these collections of Kaja & Phil Foglio's online webcomic Girl Genius. Agatha has no idea that she is a distant Heterodyne, a family who once "travelled the globe negotiating peace, stopping monsters, and shutting down doomsday devices." On top of that, Agatha possesses the Spark, the ability to play with the laws of physics. One day, an evil Baron comes-a-knocking, and Agatha is hurtled full-bore into an adventure that nobody could have exptected!

Grease Monkey
Tim Eldred

Robin Plotnik arrives aboard the space station Fist of Earth, ready to apprentice as a space mechanic under Mac, a super-evolved simian ready to guide her through the finer points of a monkey wrench. Together, they assist the Barbarian Squadron, the all-female team of space fighters waiting to go to war. Adventures ensue in this collected graphic series that is more fun than a barrel of humans!

Hopeless Savages
Jen Van Meter

It's hard to rebel when your parents are already punk rock superstars Dirk Hopeless and Nikki Savage. Thankfully, Rat Hopeless-Savage has the answer: take a 9-5 job and be as shockingly normal as possible. Of course, with parents (and friends) like Rat has, things can't stay normal for long. Can Rat keep it under wraps, or is he destined to live the life of the hopeless savage?

Roman Dirge's Lenore
Roman Dirge

Lenore isn't just your average little dead girl. Limbless cannibals, clock monsters, cursed vampire dolls, taxidermied friends, bunny impersonations, tea parties from the dark side, and an encounter with the "toof hairy" are just a few of the inhabitants of Lenore's darkly comedic world.

Adam Warren

When the covert ops program S.H.I.E.L.D. wanted to test the next generation of androids, they wanted them to look--and act--like the next generation. The team is put in action right "out of the box" and has to adjust to their new, dangerous surroundings just like a teenager would. But when you're a teenager with highly-evolved cybernetic strength and other upgrades, you'll have more than growing pains.

The Lost Colony
Grady Klein

What happened to the colonies that were off the map? For one small, isolated village in the early half of the 19th century, it means being populated by a very eccentric set of harmonious characters. One day, a sinister figure arrives to sell slaves at auction, undermining the values and daily routines of the residents. One by one, they each try to disrupt the auction, but what are their motives?

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Teen

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Ugly Covers Archive & Caption Contest

If you grew up in the 80's and 90's, your library would have looked very different. And not just because of the changes in technology, collections, and architecture that we've implemented over the last couple of decades, but because of the covers. Book covers.

They were ugly. Those book covers were so ugly that their shadows were ashamed to be seen with them. They were so ugly that they weren't just hit with the ugly stick, they got the whole log dropped on them.

We've compiled the most ridiculous of the ugly covers, from the terrible watercolor artwork to the awful 90s designs, so that we can all... make fun of them. Every Friday, we'll be presenting you a new cover from the archive and asking you to caption it. We'll hand-pick the funniest from the comments and feature them on the blog.

Okay, first up: Captain Hawaii, by Anthony Dana Arkin

We'll kick things off with some staff captions:

"Not spiders, not bullies, not even a barcode can stop... CAPTAIN HAWAII!" ~Joseph
"Captain Hawaii: Captain America's Mid-Life Crisis Baby" ~Holly
"brb i haz a waterfall in mah pantz" ~Karen
"Spiders and sharks... OH MY!" ~Cat

What do *you* have to say? Let us know in the comments, and see if you can get featured in the next edition of the "Ugly Covers Archive"!

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Second Annual CLP Teen Awards - Vote now!

M.I.A. or Colbie Caillat?
Juno or The Incredible Hulk?

It's your turn to choose the winners of the Second Annual CLP Teen Awards. We've received your nominations and narrowed down the choices to the top picks in every category. Let your voice be heard!

At an after-hours event on Friday, December 12th, we'll announce the winners!

See you there!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Twilight Took a Bite out of the Box Office, But What Do *You* Think?

The L.A. Times reports that the movie adaptation of Twilight, the vampirrific romance that's caught the world by storm, grossed a whopping 70.5 million. But just because you saw it doesn't mean you liked it. Cat and I were both bitten by the Twilight bug, and you can see our opinions below. What did you think? Leave a comment!

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

Friday, November 21, 2008

Martin Luther King, Jr. Writing Awards

Carnegie Mellon University's creative writing department is sponsoring the Martin Luther King, Jr. Writing Awards, for CMU undergraduates and Pittsburgh-area high school students.

This contest seeks writers who can use prose and poetry to respond to or be inspired by the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Prizes are $100, $75, and $25, with awards given in the categories of prose and poetry. The deadline is Monday, December 8, 2008. You can go to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Writing Awards homepage to see the prompt and get more information.

Meanwhile, if you are looking to take your creative writing skills to the next level, don't forget that the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has a long list of books about writing poetry and writing fiction.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

Monday, November 17, 2008

Get Animated at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh

If to animate is to give life, then no place is more lively than the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's TEEN department. At last week's art club, we cut, pasted, drew, and took picture after picture to create a stop-motion animation, entitled "Hi."

Are you interested in trying your hand at animation? Check out Ron Miller's Digital Art: Painting with Pixels, your guide to getting started with digital art, from 3-D modeling to animation and special effects. You also might want to check out Maureen Furniss's The Animation Bible: A Practical Guide to the Art of Animating, from Flipbooks to Flash. This is an amazing book that takes you through ever aspect of the process, including digital and hand-drawn works.

If you're wondering how you might be able to get started on your own, there is also some really powerful (and FREE!) software available to assist you. Check out Pencil, a free animation/drawing program, and Blender, a free, powerful 3-D animation studio.

If you have any animations to share, please link us. Everybody can use a little life during these cold, snowy times.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Main

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Spanish Language titles at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

Did you know that crepusclo means twilight in spanish? Well, now you do, because the Teen Department at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main, has a brand new Spanish Language collection. We have fiction, non-fiction, and graphic novels, including all of the titles in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series.

We were inspired to create this collection by the non-English language collections in the Adult and Children's Departments here at the Carnegie Library in Oakland. You can find Hindi, Arabic, German, and more alongside the Spanish titles in those departments.
Stop by and check it out!

Nosotros esperamos verle aquĆ­.

All the best,

Friday, October 31, 2008

Second Annual CLP Teen Awards

Last year, teens had a blast walking the purple carpet into an Awards show like no other: you pick the winners.

It's time to nominate your favorites for 2008!

The voting process for our Second Annual CLP Teen Awards has begun!

Please visit our website to vote for your top picks in catagories like manga, video games, fiction, and more. We've added a ton of new categories this year.

Once we have your nominations we'll narrow the categories down to your top picks, and then its time to choose the winners out of the top three nominees in each category.

We'll reveal the winners at a special after-hours event on Friday, December 12th. We'll have pizza, snacks, video games, and door prizes to go along with the Second Annual CLP Teen Awards.
It's a party you don't want to miss!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween Traditions

Happy Halloween!!
Trick-or-Treating, pumpkin carving, costumes, candy, bobbing for apples, why do we do these things on Halloween? Where did it all come from? What are we even celebrating? Here are a few facts about Halloween. Halloween was originally a Celtic holiday called Samhain (pronounced Sah-ween). The Celts lived in and around the British Isles. It was a celebration to signify the end of summer and the harvest. They also believed it was the day on which the barrier between the world and the living was the thinnest. The Celts celebrated this time with bonfires, apple bobbing, and the carving of vegetables. They also wore costumes to try and trick the spirits into staying away from them. As different groups like the Romans and early Christians arrived in these areas they brought their own ideas and traditions moving to what we now see here in America today. Because the celebrations of Halloween in its many forms all have to do with death, spirits, ghosts, and magic the traditional images of Halloween have come to be pumpkins, witches, demons, etc.

Other parts of the world celebrate Halloween in different ways. In Mexico there is El Dia De La los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead. This is the day that a sprit returns to its home, families decorate the graves of their loved ones with flowers, food, photographs and a basin of water so the spirit can wash for the feast. In Ireland where most of our Halloween traditions began people continue to dress up and go Trick-or-Treating. In Scotland Halloween has evolved into Mischief Night were pranks and tricks are played. In England they continue to light bonfires in what is on what is now called Guy Fawkes Day (you V for Vendetta fans may know him as the man who tried to blow-up parliament in 1606).

May your candy be plentiful and your evil spirits few!

For more information click on the following:

The Library of Congress American Folklife Center

Halloween: Ancient Origins

Halloween (


Paul: Volunteer

One of our regulars at Main, Paul, had to complete fifteen hours of community service for school. Since Paul is such a big fan of the library he asked if he could complete his time with us. Of course we were only too happy to have him.

I asked Paul if he wouldn't mind completing a short blog post for us about some of his interests. Here it is:

Hi my name is Paul I love to read and write. My favorite book is Bang by Sharon G. Flake . I love this book because it’s full of drama. This book inspired me to go on with life; go on and live it, not play it. So if you want to go and learn important things you should read this book called Bang.

I love to listen to music; I play the drums as a matter of fact. I’ve been playing them for about five years now. I love writing lyrics and making up new beats. I love the drums because it is the rhythm of the song. I love hitting the sticks on them. My favorite music is rap, pop, and a little rock. I love these genres because of the beats and how they sing or rap.

I love doing these things because it’s fun and I choose them. These are some things I’d love to tell y’all about me.

Corey W., CLP Main - TEEN

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Joseph's Lexically Limited Review of Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist

Late in the movie, Norah tells Nick about the Judaic concept of tikkun olam, a Hebrew phrase that translates to "repairing the world." It turns out to be the perfect phrase to chart the course of two characters who begin the film broken but find solace in one wild New York night. [view trailer | find the book]

Nick (Michael Cera) begins the movie not with Norah but in the bedroom amidst photos of Tris (Alexis Dziena), the lying, manipulating heartbreaker who has reduced Nick into a blubbering sack of tears, rambling voice mails, and mix CDs. Norah (Kat Dennings) goes to the same private school as Tris and uses the tossed-away mixes as a way to escape Tris's cutting comments, her best friend Caroline (Ari Graynor)'s constant state of drunkenness, and her father's shadow of fame.

Nick also happens to be the only straight boy in the queercore band the Jerk Offs (played by Aaron Yoo and Rafi Gavron), and they soon arrive to pull Nick out of his stupor and out to New York City, where they have a show the same night that Nick's favorite band, Where's Fluffy?, is playing a secret show. Where's Fluffy? happens to be Norah's favorite as well, and soon the entire cast finds themselves at the Jerk Offs' show in preparation. To prove to Tris that she isn't a boyfriend-less loser, Norah goes over and makes out with the first single guy she sees. That guy just happens to be Nick.

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist winds its script around the strengths of its two leads. As characters, Nick and Norah's ultra-hip energy are toned way down in favor of stressing the moments between the two. Michael Cera's nervous, quiet stutter and bashful smile blend well with Dennings's distant coolness to create a believable night in which two people can meet each other and fall in and out of love faster than you can ask, "Where's Fluffy?"

In between, humorous interludes featuring gay holiday cabaret, an awkwardly sexy dance on the hood of a Yugo, and a disgustingly well-traveled piece of gum set up each emotional beat so well that everyone in the theater was groaning, awww-ing, and cheering Nick & Norah until they "see red" (you'll get it once you see the movie). This is a can't-miss film not just for teens but for anyone with a heart.

~Joseph Wilk
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Igor Reviews Night of the Soul Stealer

The book, Last Apprentice, Night of the Soul Stealer is a book that is part of the Last Apprentice series. The book is the 4th from the series. In the book Tom and his master the spook have come across some trouble with the witches of Pendle (town in the book). Its the spook's job do deal with the witches, gasts, and other forms of "the dark". Tom had lost his father last winter and his mom left for she had nothing to keep hold of. Tom was left a room in the old house that held all the valuables his mom collected and only he had the key to it. But the contents of that room was stolen and his brother jack and his family was being held hostage. he journeyed to Pendle with his master and Alice. Alice was raised by witches but tom believes that she is good and wants her by his side for she saved his life numerous of times. While in Pendle Tom runs into trouble he encounters a witch by the name of Meg who wants Tom to be hers' and will kill Alice to get Tom, but there is more foul deeds plotting in Pendle the 3 witch covens are uniting and old blood feuds are waining so the 3 covens are ready to summon the devil itself. Tom and his master try to stop them but fail, for 3 days the fiend tries to kill Tom for he is under the witches' bidding but Tom was able to hide in the room his mom left him, that room protected him and saved his life for on the 3rd day the fiend was free and went to do what he wanted to. Tom is alive but now that such evil is in the world what can he do? it remains to be seen, i haven't read the fifth book yet...
Rating: excellent

Note: Igor reviewed this book as part of our fine forgiveness program, which allows teens to reduce selected library card fines at a rate of $5.00 per hour. You can write reviews of books, movies, CD's, and more - all while getting your library card in functional order again. See us for details!

Friday, September 26, 2008

PEACEMAKERS in Pittsburgh

Every day, violence on the streets and in school affects the lives of more and more Pittsburgh teens. Like in books such as Sharon Flake's Bang!, Ron Koertge's The Brimstone Journals, Todd Strasser's Give a Boy a Gun, Matt Whyman's Boy Kills Man, Walter Dean Myers's Autobiography of My Dead Brother, or Paul Volponi's Rooftop, violence can incite, fear, frustration, anger, and sadness that can scar not just people but whole communities.

As a result, local community leaders are asking YOU to join them in a project called PEACEMAKERS, a series of presentations that can help equip you with the tools to help uplift your surroundings. Check it out below.

PEACEMAKERS in Pittsburgh
A series of presentations addressing TEEN VIOLENCE in Pittsburgh by individuals actively engaged in initiatives to diminish it. Sponsored by the Anti-racism and Social Justice Committees of First Unitarian Church-- Shadyside.

All events begin at 7:30pm at the First Unitarian Church-- Shadyside.
605 Morewood Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

October 1
Tim Stevens-- Former president of NAACP Pittsburgh, co-chair of the Coalition Against Violence.

October 8
Valerie Dixon-- of the center for 'Victims of Violence' & radio talk show host of 'Peacing it Together.'

October 15
Richard Carrington-- U.S. Army, retired. Director of 'Voices Against Violence' youth programs

October 22
George Spencer-- President, MADDADS, Greater Pittsburgh Chapter

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main - Teen

Thursday, September 25, 2008


School's underway, but that doesn't mean nothing's happening @ CLP TEEN this fall! Get a sample of what's poppin' by taking a look at the events below (and please make sure you register by clicking on the links!):

Nick & Norah's Infinite Party : Songs That Saved Your Life, Teen Music Discussion Group
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM

The Teen Music Discussion Group offers offer teens an opportunity to discuss popular music in a fun and meaningful way.

In this edition of Songs That Saved Your Life we're celebrating the release of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (the movie!) with a mix swap, music trivia and free snacks.

Location: Teens - Main
4400 Forbes Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Contact: Corey Wittig or Catherine Eiche

SAGDA Presents: The Teen "Living History" Party : In Honor of LGBT History Month
Saturday, October 11, 2008
5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Why call it the "Living History" party? Because while lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and allied teens* often read history, we never think of ourselves as the history of the future. That's why we're getting together to change the world! Eat free food! And dance dance dance!

On the reading tip, one of the portions of our party will be to make a video of us talking about our favorite books and how we're going to take the lessons of those books into the future.

Special note: this is an *after-hours* party, so if you come after 5:30 PM, make sure you come in through the back entrance so you can access Classroom A.

*not limited to just these sexual and gender identities

Location: Classroom A (back entrance)
4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Contact: Joseph Wilk

Teen Halloween Party 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

For the third year, the Teen Department is having a Halloween party complete with the screening of a creepy movie, video games, costumes and lots of candy. Bring your friends, dress up and have a blast.
And it is totally free!

Location: Teens - Main
4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Contact: Teens

Do you have any ideas for parties? You can always let us know by e-mailing Until then, party on party people!

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main - Teen

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Nick & Norah's Infinite Party - 9/30/08 @ 4PM

Come celebrate the release of the Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist movie with music trivia, a mixtape swap, prizes, and, of course, snacks. Should be a great time!

As for the mix swap, if you haven't done one before, here are the rules: Just bring a mix to the party and swap it with someone else. make a themed mix, or just compile a bunch of your favorite songs. The choice is yours.

Simple enough, right? See you on the 30th at 4PM.

- corey

Monday, September 15, 2008

Teen Advisory Council - share your ideas!

Hi, We're having our monthly Teen Advisory Council Meeting this Sunday, September 21st, at 2 PM.

What do we do at Teen Advisory Council? We plan events, and give our ideas about how the teen space, teen collections, and teen programs can be even better. In the past the Teen Advisory Council has assisted in planning the design of the Teen space at CLP Main, as well as programs such as Extravaganza and the Overnight at the Library. Plus, we always have snacks!

If you are interested in getting your voice heard, please join us on Sunday.

PS - After Teen Advisory Council, we are having a Banned Books Discussion.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Get ready . . . get set . . . get POLITICAL!

Most people, unless they have been living under a rock all summer, know that there has been a lot of political news lately.

You all probably realize that on November 4, 2008 Americans will elect a new president.

Now, we're librarians, right? We do not endorse any one political ideology or platform in any way, shape, or form. However we are great big fans of being informed about the world around us. Perhaps many of you have questions about the election process. Why does the electoral college matter? How does democracy actually work? What the heck is the big deal about any of this? What is a pundit? All of these great questions!

So, even if you will not be eligible to vote this go around, stay informed! If you are 18, make sure you register!

Here are great books the library has about government, politics, voting, and activism that matter to you.

What You Should Know about Politics

Avoid the spin! No matter your political leaning, here is the perfect book to brush up on a single topic or read through to get a deeper understanding of the complex, often confusing world of American politics.

Declare Yourself: Speak, Connect, Act, Vote

Famous Americans talk about why voting matters, why your vote counts, and why you should get involved with politics at school and your community.

The Presidential Election Process

Authors with various viewpoints discuss how and why the American democratic process works. This is a good start for someone who wants to get to the basics of the matter.

A Young People's History of the United States, Volumes One & Two

A history of the United States from its beginnings, as told from the point of view of ordinary people, including slaves and Native Americans, to reveal the violence, racism, and injustices which occurred during key events.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Congrats to the 412 Brawl Team for an Impressive Showing

On Friday, August 22nd the 412 Brawl Team faced off against teens from the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County. We kept up with them match for match, going down 0-1, evening the score 1-1, going down 1-2, then evening the score again 2-2. In an impressive come from behind victory, the 412 Brawl Team rallied behind Jelani and Aaron to go up 3-2.

While we eventually lost 5-3, I'd like to thank all the members of the 412 Brawl Team for putting up a respectable showing. We had a number of exciting moments, from Shing narrowly missing his own single-handed come from behind victory to the Webbs just utterly dominating the competition. We'll definitely be taking the 412 Brawl Team's first squad on the road with more tournament matches against other libraries, so keep your eyes open. Until then, scope out a replay of all the action below.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Main

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Banned (or Challenged) Books Discussion

What is a banned or challenged book, you ask? A challenged book is a book that someone has asked to be removed from a library or store because they object to its content. A banned book is a book that has actually been removed from a library or store. Teen books are particularly vunerable to challenges because, well, they are read by teens. Some adults believe that teens don't have the ability to choose what book is right for them. They may believe that books with objectionable content will corrupt your young minds.

According to the American Library Association's Office of Intellectual Freedom, the most challenged book of 2007 was And Tango Makes Three. This is a children's book about two male penguins raising a baby together. Another title that is often on the annual Most Frequently Challenged Book List is The Perks of Being a Wallflower. This book is by Stephen Chbosky, a Pittsburgh native. Some reasons that are cited for the banning of this book include homosexual characters and offensive language.

Please choose a title to read from ALA's 2007 list of most challenged books and join us on Sunday, September 21st at 3 pm for a lively discussion about intellectual freedom.

Here are a few other web resources about Intellectual Freedom:

AS IF! Authors Support Intellectual Freedom
This blog features many teen fiction authors, such as Cecil Castellucci Brent Hartinger, David Levithan, E. Lockart, Jordan Sonneblick, and many, many more!

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund
The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund started in 1986 and its purpose is to fight for the First Amendment rights of graphic novel artists.

National Coalition Against Censorship
This group is literally a coalition of 50 different non-profit organizations who have aligned to fight censorship. They are an Intellectual Freedom voltron of sorts.

Happy Banned Reading!


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Who's Ready to Brawl? CLP Is Ready to Brawl!

CLP Teen is still gathering players from the Pittsburgh area to take on the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County. The tournament takes place at the Main library Teen section before moving to the basement for the Teen End of Summer Party. If you can't make it, we will be broadcasting the tournament LIVE at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Teen Media Page (if you can make it, still be sure to tell all your friends).

Here are the rules:

  • The tournament will consist of eight matches of two-person teams, one from each library.
  • Whichever team notches the most wins at the end of the eight matches will be declared the winner. In the case of a tie, the winner will be determined by a match up of librarians.
  • Matches will be stock five matches to take place on the Final Destination board.
  • Items and friendly fire will both be OFF.

Meanwhile, check out the video for "Brawl Beat," featuring members Shing and Spig C of the 412 Brawl Team:

or download the MP3.

Until then, I remain...

proud member of the 412 Brawl Team
Carnegie Libray of Pittsburgh, Main

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Volunteer Services

By: Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley and I had to complete 20 hours of community service at the Main Carnegie Library in the Teen section.
My experience volunteering was a lot more exciting than I thought the staff had me do some hard tasks but there were also many fun tasks that made it a lot easier to work there and complete my hours. Also working here made me realize how fun and cool libraries can really be, I was never really someone to sit down and read a book, but here at the Carnegie Library there are thousands of Teen novels, comics and magazines. I realized reading could be really fun and exciting when you’re at the right place. The Carnegie Library has a fun and inviting environment for kids of all ages. The library has 11 computers, several beanbags, a wide variety of board, and card games which are also educational.
Many kids and Teens come in and out of the Carnegie Library each day and they all seem to be satisfied with the libraries books, computers, and fun creative activities. For instance, every Wednesday the Carnegie Library holds an art club, where kids and teens come to enjoy arts and crafts and hanging out with friends. My experience here was really inspiring and I enjoyed completing my community service at the Carnegie Library. Not convinced a library can be fun? Maybe you should check it out for yourself.

Vampire Plagues (book 3) Mexico, 1850

The following is a review from Igor, who read this title and wrote the review for us in order to reduce his fines at the library. In some instances we allow teens to work off their fines at a rate of $5.00 per hour. Please contact the Teen staff at the Main library in Oakland if you are interested!

I haven't read the first book or the second book, but after reading this book I wanted to read all 3 books, the book is about three children who have this "mission" to stop this vampire lord (camazots) and he wants to rule the world with his vampire demons, as I had discovered he is a Mayan god and eventually was sealed for one thousand years, that was a thousand years ego, and now he has a small army of minions to do his bidding, he wants a amulet that will grant him power beyond all others so he must collect the 4 parts to it: the bat, the eye, the crown, and the moon, the bat is the form he takes, the crown is his rule over earth, the eye is to make him all seeing and the moon is to turn the world into full darkness, so after getting that understood the book is not bad but I got to admit I did not like the ending for there was not a battle but a trick, the vampire lord was tricked into assembling the amulet the wrong way and so he and his followers died by lightning...

good or bad? The book was good for it had me interested, but the plot was not good and the ending was a turnoff so I would say the book has a 4 star review from me


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Calling all Super Smash Brothers BRAWLERS!

What happens when you take the winners of the CLP Teen Super Smash Bros. Tournament and pit them against the winners of the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County?

Intensity. Chaos. Pain. Punishment. Brawl.

We’re kicking off the Main library’s Teen End of Summer Party in style, by battling for respect in two person teams. The party will take place on August 22nd, and the tournament will be starting at 3:00 PM--broadcast LIVE on the internet on the Teen Media Page.

This is where we need YOUR help!

While we've got a few great players, we're short of recruiting the 16 we need to make a tournament. We need AMAZING Super Smash Bros Brawl players to help us in the final showdown.

Do you know anybody who fits this description? Please have them get in touch with Joseph about repping CLP! Joseph can be reached by calling 412-622-3121.


Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Breaking Dawn Party

Sparkling vampires, frozen hands, a pizza ripped to shreds- no this was not a scene from a horror film, it was the Breaking Dawn Party. We listened to vampire music from the Bella Cullen Project, sank our teeth into some Twilight Team Trivia, and a few vamp-ish souls even dressed in costume. Whether you were Team Jacob or Team Edward, Pro-Vamp or Pro-Wolf, a good time was had by all!Thank you to all the teens who participated (pictured above) and to Holly for putting it all together!!

Feel free to comment on the new book and/or your feelings about the Twilight the movie.


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

SAGDA Meeting Minutes - 8/02/08

Welcome to the new minutes of SAGDA, Pittsburgh's Teen Sexual & Gender Diversity Alliance. SAGDA's job is to give a laid-back conversational space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual, transgender, transsexual, intersex, genderqueer, queer, asexual, questioning, straight-allied, and all the other permutations within the spectrum!

We chose the date to the SAGDA "Living History" party. It will be October 11th. The time is still to be determined (what works for you)?

Why call it the "Living History" party? Because while we often read history, we never think of ourselves as the history of the future. Let's change the world! And make art! And read! And dance dance dance!

On the reading tip, one of the portions of our party will be to make a video of us talking about our favorite books and how we're going to take the lessons of those books into the future.

We then watched the music video for Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl" (video | lyrics) for our monthly discussion, after reading some interesting biographical information about Katy Perry. SAGDA members felt that the song is way too formulaic, just a catchy pop tune with just enough controversy to make it big. Adding the words "I kissed a girl" to the regular pop standard isn't anything special or interesting. One SAGDA member thought it was like a "gay jingle," while another thought it did anything but put a positive spin on sexual diversity. In the song, kissing girls is "not what good girls do." Does that mean it's only for "bad girls"?

All in all, SAGDA members decided that the video makes no sense. It's just Katy Perry dancing around in nice shoes.

Of course, you can always borrow Katy Perry's One of the Boys from your local library and decide for yourself.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

We're # 2!!!!!

That's right, your very own CLP Teen Department staff came in numero dos in the annual Staff Association Quiz Night 2008. We were beaten only by Reference, but those peeps look up trivia for a living so, really the Teen Dept. kick some major booty!! Joseph, Corey and Connie helped to ensure our success by creating Team CLP Teen t-shirts!

Team Actually!, yes, that is our REAL name. -See us here in all our glory!

If you are interested in trying your own hand, or brain, at Trivia, sign-up to join our Breaking Dawn Party Monday 8/4 (that's right, tommorow, baby! Or today depending on when you are reading this.)


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Who's feelin' CRAFTY?

What a great summer this has been for creativity. Every Wednesday has been a blast with TEEN ART CLUB. I am so glad that so many artistic people have come and spent time with us. And for all those "unartistic" folks who come, I hope you have changed your minds about what you can do.

So, I was thinking that it might be time to sum up what we've accomplished, and start to plan for the next couple of months. So here is what we've done:
1. Buttons (ever popular and exciting)
2. Kites (and some of them even took flight before crashing!)
3. Paper Crafts (origami has made a comeback)
4. Duct Tape Stuff (who doesn't like duct tape?)
5. Ojos de Dios (such a simple thing to make that is so pretty)
6. T-Shirt Redesigns (I <3 cheap, chic fashion)

Here is what is coming up:
1. TODAY 7/30/2008 Simple Screen Printing (a little messy, a lot awesome)
2. Wednesday 8/6/2008 More Buttons (1st Wednesday of EVERY MONTH)
3. Wednesday 8/13/2008 Beading (a classic craft activity)
4. Wednesday 8/20/2008 Digital Comics (something a little more high tech)

Now here is the part where I want to know what we can do this fall. Here are some of my ideas:
1. Duct Tape (clearly, this is necessary)
2. Yarn Monsters and Goth Sock Puppets (awesome Halloween fun)
3. Animation (moving art!)
4. Decoupage Letter Boxes (fancy collages with a useful result)
5. Marble Magnets (I can't wait to try these out!)
6. Punk Rock Scrapbooking (scrapbooking with an edge)

Any thoughts? Ideas? Stuff you like? Hate? Suggestions?


Remember our Teen Art Club motto: "Make Cool Stuff"


Monday, July 28, 2008

Good News for Hero and Perry Moore Fans!

According to Newsarama, Stan Lee made a surprise guest appearance at the San Diego Comic-Con's "LGBT Portrayals in Comics" panel to announce a budding partnership with Perry Moore, the author of Hero. What that partnership actually entails is still up for spectulation (do I smell a movie?).

Hero gained a great following for its epic portrayal of superheroics through the eyes of gay teenager Thom Creed. Thom must navigate both his budding sexuality and superpowers while under the watchful eye of his disapproving, ex-hero father--all while an unseen assailent is murdering the world's superheroes. While plots and mysteries abounded, Perry Moore managed to keep the book grounded in the characters. It was an altogether exceptional debut.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Reads for a "Dark Knight"

If you're like me, you've already seen Chris Nolan's masterful The Dark Knight. And if you're anything like me, you need more Batman. And more Batman. And even more Batman until you've stopped sleeping, started talking in a low-pitched, gravelly voice, and committed yourself to being a hero of the shadows.

Well, rest assured, teens, because the library is your place to fill your Batman needs. We have everything from classic collections to the latest trades. If you just saw The Dark Knight, you might be especially interested in the stories that most influenced the movie.

Frank Miller
Batman: Year One

Frank Miller's classic origin story set the stage for Batman's psyche and charted the course that Batman would take in years to come. It also introduced District Attorney Harvey Dent, one of Batman's closest allies in the fight against the mob, albeit one with a dark side (sound familiar?).

Alan Moore
Batman: The Killing Joke

This was one of the most sadistic renditions of the Joker when it was published in 1988. Joker's fixation on corrupting the sane through tragedy and chaos fed Christopher Nolan's storyline and Heath Ledger's performance.

If that's not enough, check out this list of everything we have to offer that could possibly do with Batman. Before you head off into the night to fight what evil lies behind the heart of the city, check out a Batman book today!

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

Sunday, July 20, 2008

July Book Discussion - the Podcast

Of the 4 attendees at the July Book Discussion, one brave soul agreed to create a podcast promoting the book of the month: Freak Show by James St. James. Listen below!

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Please vote for the book you'd like to read for the August meeting here:


Friday, July 18, 2008

The Library is Awesome - Thanks WTAE!

You already know how wonderful the library is. But, many folks don't. Luckily WTAE has come to the rescue with a story on all of the freebies the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has to offer. There's a video and a written story on the website.

If you watch the video, you'll see one of our teen regulars talking up our free access to the internet. We're very proud to be part of this news story. It's great to be recognized for all we do to provide access to information that is "Free to the People."


Thursday, July 17, 2008

MMMMM...Raisin Brahms

Check out this hilarious PSA from While it's true that the idea of 19th-century German composer Johannes Brahms crashing through your kitchen wall during breakfast to promote his Raisin Brahms is quite funny, it's also true that each year funding for the arts gets cut at schools throughout our country. Feast your eyes on these facts:

An impressive 89% of Americans believe that the arts are important enough to be taught in schools, and that it fulfills an important role in a well-rounded education. And they are right; studies show far-reaching benefits of an arts education:
• The arts teach you to be more tolerant and open.
• The arts allow you to express themselves creatively.
• The arts promote individuality, bolster self-confidence, and improve overall academic performance.
• The arts can help troubled youth, providing an alternative to delinquent behavior and truancy while providing an improved attitude towards school.

Unfortunately, the truth is that the average student spends more time at their locker than in arts classes. This PSA campaign was created to increase involvement in championing arts education both in and out of school. Parents and other concerned citizens are encouraged to visit to find out how to take action on the behalf of the arts and arts education. The campaign stresses that some art is not enough and reinforces with the tagline: Art. Ask for More.

- Corey W./Main - TEEN

Friday, July 11, 2008

Suggest a Book for the August Book Discussion

What would you like to read? Leave your recommendations in a comment today! I'd like to get the book chosen earlier this time, so that I can get copies, and then hold them for you at the Teen desk. The August Book Discussion will be on Sunday, August 17th, from 3:00-4:00 PM.

PS - This picture doesn't have much to do with reading books, other than it's what happens when you are at the library (which is filled with 3 million books and other materials) and go to Art Club.


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Pittsburgh = The new Forks? Find out at our Breaking Dawn Party!

I recently captured this picture near the library. The clouds over Pitt's Alumni Hall were quite ominious. I'm beginning to wonder if Pittsburgh might be a good home for vampires, with all the cloudy weather this summer. Stephenie Meyer should set the 5th book in the Twilight saga right here!

With all the cloudiness going on, maybe some Edward Cullen-type vampires will show up to our Breaking Dawn Party. We'll play trivia, give out prizes, listen to the Bella Cullen Project (a band that writes songs about the Twilight saga), and have some pizza. We are also giving out copies of Breaking Dawn to the top three costumes. We're looking for creative vampire-themed costumes, so the sky, er, the cloud's the limit!

If you'd like to attend this event, please register with us:
622.3121 or


It Came from the Stacks: Finding Cool Fiction

It's summer, which means every day hungry teens tear through our books. It also means It also means each morning, we try to make everything look nice again after the teen tornado has swept through. While it's not fun stooping to pick up the books that have half-fallen through the floor and sneezing through clouds of dust, nothing can quell the feeling of when an interesting book catches your attention.

Here are the books that I found as I stooped, squatted, reached, lifted, and otherwise cleaned up after our illustrious teen readers:

Catherine Ryan Hyde
Becoming Chloe

Jordy is a gay 17 year-old who's left alone in New York City, with no family or friends to worry about. One day, Chloe comes into Jordy's life, with more secrets than a teen should ever have to bear. Chloe has been taught that the world is an ugly place, and it's up to Jordy to show her that it's not--before it's too late.

Brian James
Dirty Liar

Benji has to leave home after his mother's boyfriend crosses an unimaginable line. He moves into his father's Portland home with his new stepmother, but he doesn't trust her. Nor does Benji's father trust him. At the end of the day, can Benji even trust himself?

A.M. Jenkins

When a demon (who prefers to be called a "fallen angel") gets bored in hell, it makes its way to earth to inhabit the body of a seventeen-year-old slacker. Meanwhile, the teen's parents and friends are wondering why he's suddenly acting so strange...

Paula Jolin
In the Name of God

Nadia is a devoted student, daughter, and sister, but nothing compares to her desire to walk the straight path and follow the laws of Islam. But that doesn't stop her from being conflicted as her peers become Westernized; economic, social, and political struggles rage around her; and war breaks out in Iraq. Soon, her cousin is arrested for speaking out, and Nadia is drawn into an unforseen path of doubt and sacrifice.

David Nicholls
A Question of Attraction

The year is 1985, and Brian Jackson--a working class kid on a full scholarship to university--has a dark secret: he's always wanted to appear on the TV quiz show University Challenge. After he joins the school team and makes it through the qualifying rounds, Brian's finally poised to appear on television for the first time ever. But love has other plans for Brian. After he falls for one of the members on his team, he has harder questions to answer than trivia can provide.

Shana Norris
Something to Blog About

Libby Fawcett is not having a good day. First she lights her hair on fire with a Bunsen burner (with her longtime crush Seth Jacobs watching). Then she finds out that her mother is dating the father of Angel Rivera, the meanest, nastiest girl in school! Libby starts a secret blog to vent, but can even a blog contain what cruel prank Angel Rivera is about to play next?

Jon Ripslinger
How I Fell in Love & Learned to Shoot Free Throws

Danny "the Bruiser" Henderson plans on wooing the beautiful Angel McPherson. But not through traditional means like dinner, flowers, or chocolate. Angel McPherson happens to be the best female basketball player in the state of Iowa, and Danny knows the only way to her heart is through his jump shot. Unfortunately, Danny can't shoot a free throw to save his life.

Janet Ruth Young
The Opposite of Music

When his dad stopped listening to music, Billy knew something was wrong. Then he stopped eating, sleeping, or even being a father at all. Billy's family undergoes a series of creative remedies to fight the depression, but will their efforts drain them past the point at which they can keep their father alive?

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

They're Talking About us in the Big City

This Sunday The New York Times published an article in the travel section entitled "36 Hours in Pittsburgh" by Mr. Jeff Schlagel. It's the most e-mailed story in the travel section this week, as well as one of the most blogged about. (I'm doing my part!) I think we all know that Pittsburghers love to show off their town, but you know what's missing from the lists of attractions? The library, of course! All due respect to Mr. Schlagel, but I imagine he just didn't see the library as the exciting and vital place you and I both know it to be. I say that's his loss.

I urge you to read over "36 Hours in Pittsburgh" and, in addition to thinking about all of these great places in town, think about what's missing from the list. It's great to get good press for the city I love, but I see our town as more than just a place that used to be smokey. What do you think Pittsburgh's identity is? What should it be? What do you love about it? And, most importantly, how do you think the library fits into it all?

- Corey W.