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