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.

Monday, July 07, 2008

SAGDA Meeting Minutes 07/05/08

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 started with introductions from Angelito, our resident representative from the Persad Center's Closing the Gap program. Closing the Gap is a paid opportunity for sexually and gender-diverse teens to do peer counseling and mental health outreach. If you are interested in the program, or if you would like to schedule some time to talk to somebody about what's on your mind, contact them at 412-441-9786.

We then introduced ourselves and talked about our favorite candy. Candies that received multiple votes included Reece's Pieces and Chocolate Skittles (ew!). Some of us don't eat candy, due to health issues.

We then talked about what sort of programs we're interested in. One person mentioned an LGBTQ teen movie night, which may be possible. How do you feel about it? Which nights do you think would work best? What would you like to see at an LGBTQ teen movie night?

SAGDA teens also got excited over the idea of having a PARTY, in celebration of LGBTQ-related books and reading. This party will likely take place in the Fall in either late September or early October (any suggestions?). SAGDA members expressed the following desires for the party:

  • food (pizza, chocolate anything, drinks)
  • music (have teens bring iPods for cool, diverse music, as well as karaoke)
  • dancing
  • BOOKS! (how can we make this a special celebration for books?)

We then discussed the Advocate article They’re Here, They’re Queer, and They Don’t Need Us... Or Do They?, about the "new generation" of LGBTQ teenagers and their relationship to adults.

SAGDA members had some suggestions for adults looking to make a meaningful difference in the lives of LGBTQ teens:

  • It's important that adults do not take sexual advantage of teens who are looking to them for support. You should not be their gateway to sexual experiences.
  • Be more subjective in understanding the needs of LGBTQ teens. Don't assume your experience is the same.
  • Realize that there is a large perspective shift in teens' lives that offer LGBTQ teens friendship, acceptance, love, and identification in a lot of areas of society. Not everybody is a victim!

Thanks, and don't forget to attend the next SAGDA meeting on June 19th, on the second floor of Kiva Han (420 S. Craig St.) @ 2:00 PM!

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Main

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Umm... I'm the NEW library assistant, Cat.

Well, hello. I'm Cat, short for Catherine. Today is my second day here in CLP Teen- Main. (In the picture I am the one with the beak.)

Facts about me:

I am from a very small town called Orwigsburg,PA. I moved to Pittsburgh from Seattle last summer. I go to Pitt. I have no pets but I do have a ton of plants (they all have names).

Likes: Travel ( I have been to 16 countries and 4 continents.), Camping, Hiking, Dancing (in my bedroom to really loud music), Candy (yeah, Fun Dip!), Photography (my dirty little secret is that I love slide film), music (right now I'm all about British Sea Power and Luke Temple), and, of course Reading (I am currently reading Stephanie Meyer's

Dislikes: jerky people, broccoli, black licorice, bugs near my bed (or where ever I happen to be sleeping), things that ooze, the smell of coffee, and cold weather.

Please, please, please- come up and say hi to me. I heart meeting new peeps!

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main