Friday, June 19, 2009

We've moved!

It's been a great run, but we're closing shop! You can check out all the most recently CLP - Teen news, teen blogger reviews, and info about all sorts of contests and special news for Pittsburgh teens at...


See you there!


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

CLP Teen Anime Club: Ouran High School Host Club & Kanji Name Scrolls!

Pocky, anime, and great friends await at the CLP Teen Anime Club! The first Saturday of every month, we show a new anime, possibly have an activity, and raffle off free DVDs at the end! What could be better? If you came!

Next meeting: Saturday, June 6th @ 3:00 PM

Kanji Name Scrolls!

With help from the University of Pittsburgh's Asian Studies Center, you will learn to write your name in kanji. All supplies for making your scrolls will be provided.

Ouran High School Host Club: Part 1

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Slice of Life
Creator: Bisco Hatori
Director: Takuya Igarashi
Producers: Gen Fukunaga
ADR Director: Caitlin Glass
Voice Actors: Caitlin Glass as Haruhi Fujioka
Vic Mignogna as Tamaki Suou
J. Michael Tatum as Kyoya Ohtori
Greg Ayres as Kaoru Hitachiin
Todd Haberkorn as Hikaru Hitachiin
Travis Willingham as Takashi Morinozuka
Luci Christian as Mitsukuni "Honey" Haninozuka

What it's about:

Ouran Academy: An institution of extravagance and prestige where learning comes secondary to luxury. But for studious Haruhi Fujioka, education is a privilege that must be earned, being on scholarship and out of place among the moneyed. That is until the day Haruhi stumbles upon the Host Club, a stumble which leaves the freshman indebted for millions of yen. And the only way to pay for the damages? Well, Haruhi will work as a Host. There’s only one problem: Haru-he is actually a Haru-she!

From the troublesome twins with their little games to the self-proclaimed “king” obsessed with the club’s newest member, these boys will cater to any desire. Freshman year definitely looks like it will be one to remember!

For more about the characters and the show, go to

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

Friday, May 22, 2009

Get a Handle on Your Health!

With the Pittsburgh weather changing (and changing again, and changing back, etc.) and the adrenaline rush of finals starting to subside, it's time to think about your health.

Whether you've been chronically ill all your life or are just starting to get that weird tingle in the back of your throat, there are reasons to make sure that you get the kind of health care you need. Unfortunately, there are some traps that can keep you from visiting a doctor:

  • No health care - According to the 2007 Census, 11% of all minors are without health coverage. While many teens might take for granted that they can cheaply see a doctor for a stomach ache, it's sadly not the case for everyone.

  • Busyness and presenteeism - Even if you have access to health care, you might feel like you don't have the time -- or inclination -- to use it. Your parents might be too busy to take you to the doctor for "little things," or your coach might tell you to "be a man" and fight through sickness.

A number of great online resources exist if you're looking for the kind of info that will get you through cold season, as well as any other health issues you might be battling. Of course, no online resource is a good substitute for a doctor, but it is a start.

The Pennsylvania CHIP Program - If you don't have health insurance, a recent government bill might make free or low-cost coverage available to you. Use this website to start your parents on the path toward applying to get you the care you need.

TeensHealth - TeensHealth is part of the award-winning KidsHealth Network, a project of the Nemours Center. The center was founded as a place where pediatricians and other medical experts develop health media free of "doctor speak," and is reviewed regularly for accuracy. It also has a Spanish-language componenent por la salud de los jovenes!

TeenHealthFX - TeenHealthFX is a nationally-renowned teen health site funded by Atlantic Health’s - Morristown Memorial Hospital and Overlook Hospital. The site has it's own Teen Advisory Board and aims to be a comprehensive place where general health info exists side-by-side with the "traditionally teen."

MedlinePlus - MedlinePlus is a service of the National Library of Medicine and has two teen-specific pages: Teen Health and Teens' Page are specific (though slightly redundant) pathfinders that lead teens to a number of specific health issues and various bits of research. It also scrapes articles from PubMed (a special, free database with medical articles) related to teen health.

Adolescent Health Transition Project - This important resource from Center on Human Development and Disability (CHDD) at the University of Washington gives teens with special health care needs due to chronic disease, disability, or developmental issues a resource to help you transition into independent young adulthood.

TeenGrowth - TeenGrowth is a simple, yet effective Q&A site from the Pediatric Health Alliance. It's easy to navigate and includes some sections that you might not usually find on teen health pages, like information on sports injuries and doctor visits.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Prom Stories + GLSEN's Safe Prom for All

Every year, around this time, America's high school students start turning their thoughts to one thing: prom.

Prom is a legendary night of gowns, tuxedos, photographs, limousines, coursages, spiked punch, romance, late-night hotel parties, and figuring out where in the world you are when you wake up the next morning. (If you don't believe me, check out Brian Sloan's A Really Nice Prom Mess.)

At least, that's what I've heard. I never went to prom, but I sure did hear lots of stories about it. Some may have been real, some may have been imagined, but it was all fascinating.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

CLP Teen Anime Club: Solty Rei: Volume 1 & Special Team Trivia!

Pocky, anime, and great friends await at the CLP Teen Anime Club! The first Saturday of every month, we show a new anime, possibly have an activity, and raffle off free DVDs at the end! What could be better? If you came!

Next meeting: Saturday, May 2nd @ 3:00 PM

Anime Club Team Quiz!

You and two other anime fans will be asked to put on your trivia hats and wrack your brains around the tough competition that will be had at this month's Anime Club Team Quiz! Compete for prizes!

Solty Rei: Volume 1

Genre: Action, Drama
Creator: Kentaro Yabuki
Director: Yoshimasa Hiraike
(Kaleido Star, Saishuu Heiki Kanojo, Vandread)
Producers: Gen Fukunaga
ADR Director: Christopher R. Sabat
Voice Actors: Carrie Savage as Solty Revant
Christopher R. Sabat as Roy Revant

What it's about:

Salvation lies in the heart of the broken.

Roy Revant is living the hard life of a bounty hunter in a broken city, a city where thousands have died in a mysterious event called the Blast Fall. Those who survived share the sting of loss. Countless Resembles walk the streets, people whose mangled bodies have been rebuilt with high-tech prosthetic devices. Yet there are those that even science cannot mend. Roy needs a miracle to escape his rut… and one night she falls from the sky. Like countless others Solty is a Resemble, but one unlike the world has ever known. A young girl without a past, soon she will have a family. But in this world, pain and alienation are never too far away.

For more about the characters and the show, go to

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

Monday, April 06, 2009

GLSEN's Break the Silence Party

You’ve been silent all day.
Now it’s time to live out loud!
End your Day of Silence by speaking up and
sharing your story with us at GLSEN Pittsburgh’s annual
Break the Silence Party.

Friday April 17 2009 – National Day of Silence

• Meet new people,
• enjoy free food, and
• bring your ipod and we’ll play your favorite tunes!

April 17th from 3:00 to 6:30
Planned Parenthood Center
933 Liberty Ave Suite 200
Right in the middle of downtown Pittsburgh.
Two blocks up from the Wood St station.
Sponsored by the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN).

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

Monday, March 23, 2009

25 Classic Albums Teens Still Love

The decades may be gone, but many of today's teens still have an affinity for the albums that for generations have carried a cult following in America's high schools. Here are 25 time-tested albums that teens at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh have decided. Click the title to find it (or at least a "best of") in the catalog!

The Beatles
Abbey Road (1969)

You can't pick just one, but The Beatles' last album to be recorded vies for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band for the most iconic cover. It also contains a nice array of songwriting contributions from all four members of the band, whether in Lennon and McCartney's moody "Come Together" or George Harrison's "Here Comes the Sun." Mak Delaney's Pepperland is a touching teen novel you can use to follow up with any Beatles-loving teen.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Nice to meet you!

Hey folks,

You may have noticed a new face behind the teen desk these last couple weeks--in case we haven't gotten a chance to meet yet, my name's Tara, and I'm pretty new to both the library and Pittsburgh. I recently moved here from Portland, Oregon, and am still getting used to the city (and snow! and crazy-awesome football fans!)

Some things I'm into: records, comics, BAKING, community art projects, biking n' hiking, crafting, sewing, old movies, sarcasm, lazy sundays, vacation. Also, I'm trying to learn to play the banjo. I have a chubby tabby-cat named Miss Fridders, and hope to have a dog sometime very soon.

I'll be here most weekdays, so please feel free to say "hi" or introduce yourself if you see me around. I like to talk about comics and movies and music too, so if you need help finding something please, please come and ask me. I look forward to getting to know y'all!!!

Happy Thursday,

The largest cake I've ever baked:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New Opportunities (and Books) for LGBTQ* Teens in Pittsburgh!

Local LGBTQ* organizations are working overtime to provide you with fun new programs and services. Here's what's on their calendar, including a lot of exciting FREE opportunities!

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Queer Youth Connection Event in March !

FREE Bowling @ Arsenal Lanes

212 44th Street
THIS Sunday: March 22
1pm to 4pm
Snacks and Drinks provided.

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Thursday April 16 th, 7:30 show
There are a limited number of tickets; please call

Contact Melissa Perkins, at (412) 441-9786 x233 or to reserve yours today

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Persad Youth Services AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM is Starting TUESDAY APRIL 14th!

Every Tuesday and Thursday from 3pm to 7pm
At the GLCC, (5808 Forward Ave, Second Floor. Sq. Hill)

Come Drop In, use the laptops, play a game, get homework help, hang out with your friends!

For additional information, please call Melissa at 412-441-9786 x233 or Lyndsey at 412-441-9786 x220

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The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has recently gotten a handful of new and exciting titles with queer content. Take a look!

Bach, Tamara
The Girl from Mars

Miriam dreams of escaping from her boring small-town life and going to the big city to start her own life, especially when she develops romantic feelings for a girl named Laura and forms a new outlook after a weekend in the city.

Ryan, P.E.
In Mike We Trust

When Garth's uncle Mike comes to visit, he's like a breath of very needed fresh air. But before long, Garth is helping Mike with some mysterious things.

Hegamin, Tonya
M+O 4evr

In parallel stories, Hannah, a slave, finds love while fleeing a Maryland plantation in 1842, and in the present, Opal watches her life-long best friend, Marianne, pull away and eventually lose her life in the same Pennsylvania ravine where Hannah died.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Beware the Ides of March Weirdness!!

According to Oxford Reference Online, an Ide is a "day falling roughly in the middle of each month (the 15th day of March, May, July, and October, and the 13th of other months) from which other dates were calculated." So the Ides of March seem to have been only bad luck for Julius Ceasar, but we like to warn ourselves every year anyway, which is weird.

If you'd like to indulge your curiousity for the weird during this Ides of March, the library has plenty of oddities, whether books about weird things or books that are just weird (in no particular order):

Bat Boy Lives! : The Weekly World News Guide to Politics, Culture, Celebrities, Alien Abductions, and the Mutant Freaks that Shape Our World, by David Perel and the editors of the Weekly World News.

Now you don't have to hide your urge to pick up Weekly World News in the grocery check-out. All the absurdity that's fit to print is here in this handy volume.

Ripley's Believe It or Not! Encyclopedia of the Bizarre, Amazing, Strange, Inexplicable, Weird, and All True!, by Julie Mooney and the editors of Ripley's Believe It or Not!.

This is the 'real' version of Bat Boy, with stories like that of Randel Wise, who designed contact lenses for chickens.

Rear Ends : Found Photos from the Collection of Roger Handy, edited by Roger Handy & Karin Elsener.

Butts, no further explanation needed.

Odd Jobs: Portraits of Unusual Occupations, by Nancy Rica Schiff

Ever wondered what it would be like to be a golf ball diver, body piercer, or a video game tester? This is the book for you.

Elephants on Acid : and Other Bizarre Experiments, by Alex Boese

Have scientists ever really tested animal resurrection? You bet, and you can read all about that and other odd experiments here.

The Hypochondriac's Pocket Guide to Horrible Diseases You Probably Already Have, by Dennis DiClaudio

A hypochondriac's dream come true and worst nightmare - odd and frightening diseases.

The Book of Bunny Suicides, by Andy Riley

A classic of weirdness - learn all the ways that bunnies could die.

Read any weird books lately? Please share them in the comments section.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Top 10 Most Annoying Teen Fiction Trends, by Katie

  1. If I read one more book where a character is “oh my god so diffrerent” because they dress in black-and-hot-pink outfits and thinks that nobody understands them because they listen to Panic at the Disco and are just sooo alternative, I will scream. This does not make you (insert sparkles here) TOTALLY UNIQUE. It just makes you look like you know nothing about pop culture – look, this may have been a fresh and new idea for a protagonist, like, twenty years ago, but right now emo kids are right up there with the common cold. (Top offenders: most books involving vampires; Scarlett in Ghost Girl. Averted in: Sucks to Be Me – as well as subverted with Raven, the vampire wanna-be who thinks she’s qualified just because she shops at Hot Topic.)

  2. Conversely, wearing polo shirts and lots of pink does not make you a shallow, vapid idiot who looks down your nose at everyone. Sorry, but people just don’t fit into perfect little boxes just like that. (Top offenders: any book about “elite” cliques ever; most books involving vampires. Averted in: Just Listen; Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks; most likely Frankie in The Disreputable History of Frankie Laundau-Banks. Absolutely subverted in The Squad – FBI-backed cheerleaders!)

  3. Chosen ones suck. I personally don’t believe in destiny – “you make your own dream,” as John Lennon might say. I’m sorry, but when a character MUST SUCCEED BECAUSE THEY ARE CHOSEN BY A GREAT PROPHECY (okay, I’ll quit it with the caps lock) it takes all the fun out of it. (Top offenders: Harry Potter – because it was (sparkle) PROPHECISED!; most YA fantasy. Averted in: the Young Wizards series – Nita and Kit chose to become wizards of their own free will. Completely, 110% subverted in: Un Lun Dun – never underestimate the power of the Plucky Comic Relief.)

  4. If I see the words “Manolo Blahnik” in a book about middle school students one more time… (Top offenders: that horrible Clique series (shudder!); Gossip Girl imitations for kids too young to watch the show.)

  5. “Oh, look, a book by a fifteen-year-old author! We’ll publish it because that’s a cool gimmick, despite that there’s no editorial work done whatsoever and it’s a blatant Lord of the Rings rip-off!” (Top offenders: do I even need to tell you?)

  6. Books trying to ride the wave of Twilight’s success bug me more than Twilight does, and that’s saying a lot. The local Barnes and Noble is clogged with vampire/human romances… and let’s not even get into fairy/human, werewolf/human, pixie/human, vampire/vampire, vampire/werewolf… the sheer uncreativity of the teen market is mind-boggling. (Top offenders: Marked; Wicked Lovely; Need.)

  7. Unrealistic books where the main character wins a competition and is thrown into the (sparkle) WILD WORLD OF SHOW BUSINESS! Which is dramatic and full of beautiful people! Like the heroine! Only she’s normal! Even though she really isn’t and these books are just made to have us raise our hopes of stardom, only to be crushed when we realize that LIFE ISN’T LITERATURE! Gag me. (Top offenders: Starlet; almost any book on this subject. Subverted, though still not successfully, in Secrets of my Hollywood Life, about a teen actress who decides to live as a “normal” high school student.)

  8. Authors trying to write in Meg Cabot’s style. She’s got the gift of making her books both semi-cheesy and yet ridiculously fun (especially The Princess Diaries) – her imitators are just cheesy. Louise Rennison wanna-bes are pretty bad too. (Top offenders: British teen chick lit; LBD -worst. Book. Ever. Averted in: um, Meg Cabot and Louise Rennison.)

  9. And since it seems I can’t go a blog post without going on a manga-related rant: the spells, oh my god, the long, awkwardly translated, always-seeming-to-include-the-word-dragon spells. Can’t they just, I dunno, snap their fingers or something? (That’s why flame alchemy is useful, you know – you don’t need to talk, so you can maintain your dark-tall-and-brooding character trope!)

  10. One word: Twilight.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Becca's Book Review: Brisingr

In the elven language, brisingr means fire. It makes it the perfect title for Christopher Paolini’s third book in the Inheritence Series. With only one book left, Brisingr does an amazing job of getting you ready for the final battle between Eragon and Galbatorix. Let me first suggest that you read Eragon, and Eldest first. They provide a great foundation for this captivating work, but this review may spoil just a teensy bit if you haven’t yet read them.

We first find our hero Eragon, with his cousin Roran, pursuing their goal of rescuing Roran’s love, Katrina. Most everybody is familiar with Twilight, the teen romance with a little bit of action, well, Brisingr is an action tale, with a tiny bit of romance. And I mean tiny. We’re talking 3 chapters tops, in a 700+ page book.

Another huge deal is Eragon and Saphira (can’t forget the total bamf dragon) begin to fulfill their oaths, while making more, and more. Since the previous king was betrayed and killed by Murtagh, Eragon’s own brother (omigoodness!) a new dwarf king is elected, leading Eragon to plenty of danger in the underground kingdom.

Did you ever have to work with somebody you completely despised for your entire life? Well the humans of the Varden did. The ugly mofo Urgals joined up with the Varden in Eldest, and now we get to see how this combo plays out. *Hint, it involves bulky manly Roran vs big horned ugly guy. AHHHH!

Another important race is the elves. They have joined in the fight too, slicing and dicing through Galbatorix’s oath slaves. When Eragon returns to the Weldenvarden, the Cripple that is Whole, teaches him many things, like how Galbatorix gets his power (you’ll never guess hahaha) and how Eragon came into this world (not the gorey details). Saphira and Eragon battle the entire elven forest (bad idea) and Eragon visited a man he provided the most unthinkable punishment for (it’s so cool). Plus, reading this book will teach you, step by step how to make a Dragon Rider sword (not kidding).

If you haven’t already guessed, I think this book is AWESOME. All those sci-fi freaks and battle lovers will love this too. You may even love it if you’re neither, because it’s just that good.

~Becca C.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Free tickets to see Walter Dean Myers!

Yes,it's true! Walter Dean Myers is visiting the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh THIS SATURDAY. Teens can win 2 tickets by stopping by the Teen space at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main (in Oakland) and answering our in-house trivia question. We only have two sets of tickets to give away, so stop by today!!!!


Friday, February 27, 2009

Teen Review: Cory's Hip Hop Recommendations, Pt. 1*

If you are more into rap music or hip hop than R&B then you may like artists like Lil Wayne, Fabolous, and Young Jeezy. They are very great artists and they create very good music and hits that people like to listen to over and over again. But there are more good artists that are being discovered every day like Gucci Mane, Drake, and Jamie Foxx. These are artists that make good hits too that people like to listen to over and over again. Gucci Mane is an artist that has been out for a while and he is a artist that people compare to other artists. Most people say that Lil Wayne is the best rapper alive but some say Gucci Mane is better than Lil Wayne.

*Thanks to teen reviewer, Cory, for writing this review. It was completed as part of our Fine Alternative Program, which allows teens to work down their fines at the library. Stop by and we'll tell you all about it!


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Becca's Book Review: Twisted, by Laurie Halse Anderson

A Twisted Review
By Becca C.

If one thing is true, it’s that very few books appeal to every type high school student. After reading “Twisted” by Laurie Halse Anderson, it’s easy to tell why this is one of them. Anderson is able to combine the life of a teenage boy, and the drama teen girls thrive on to make a gender neutral page turner. The book has an underdog feeling to it, yet doesn’t turn the popular kids into “mean girls” and there’s some life aspect that you will find you’re personally going through.

The story is about a high school senior by the name of Tyler Miller. Picked on during his middle school years, he decides to make himself a legend and end the torment for high school. He eventually suffers for his stunt. While paying his debt to society, Tyler also has to deal with his growing attraction to the popular girl at school, an ashamed, over bearing father, a sociallite sister going out with his best friend, and an effective solution to his bullies. He even develops a reputation that makes him the cops go-to-guy when the giant scandal goes down, and yes, it’s a huge shock.

Anderson has the inept ability to blend family issues, peer drama and inner battles without making it a giant cliché. There’s enough fights and female anatomy to keep the guys happy, but enough emotion and social strains to keep chicks interested. It’s easy for anyone to relate to this book. Whether you’ve ever been the butt of everybody’s joke and the target of everybody’s hits, had a giant thing for the cool kid, had the urge to do something reckless, had an unbearable home life, or even had the desire to end it all, you will find something that links your life to Tylers.

There are even some life lessons snuck inbetween the lines. Things like your actions will come back to haunt you and to be responsible are learned through the characters the hard way; Through public humiliation, social isolation and hard labor. It makes you think about how your actions will effect you in the future. You begin to question whether or not the perfect kids are really that perfect.
One of the most important things about the book is that it’s new. Released in 2007, there aren’t any references to how “groovy” the Brady Bunch is. With the exception of the geek’s universe aka Star Wars, everything in the book is all recent events. Everybody already knows that KISS is really ugly when they take off their makeup.

If you couldn’t already guess, I really suggest that you read this book. “Twisted” isn’t just for one type of person. Girls, boys, happy, sad, cowboys and indians will enjoy this book as much as I did.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Are You Ready for More Wizard Rock?

If any of you muggles are getting pumped for the next Harry Potter movie and looking for something to do on a Friday night, check out this cool show at the Garfield Artworks.


Wizard Rock band from Ann Arbor, MI

with Columbus, Ohio's

and local opener WEIRD PAUL (not Wizard Rock, but totally hilarious).

Friday February 27 6 pm all ages show (done by around 9 pm). $10
at Garfield Artworks, 4931 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15224.
The 86B and 54C buses will take you there.

Info: 412-361-2262 or

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Graphic Novels: like normal novels, only more awesome

When I was seven years old my Dad bought me my first comic book at a 7-11. He told me to pick one off of the old spinning comic rack (a rare thing these days). I went for an issue of Captain America - Issue #401 to be exact. The cover featured a bummed out Cap sitting at his desk (yes, Captain America has a desk) with the faces of a bunch of heroes and villains floating above him. Something about the heavy vibe and all of the cool character's faces appealed to me.

Flash forward eighteen years and I still love comics. I'd steered clear of them for a few years off-and-on, but I've always come back. One great thing about working in TEEN is that I get to keep up with the stories and talk to patrons about their favorite stuff. That's right - comics in the library! I'm sure this isn't exactly news to everyone, but it's still a relatively new thing. It wasn't until the late 90s that graphic novels and trade paperbacks (generally six issues of a comic compiled and bound together) really started showing up in book stores and libraries. It's about time that comics, manga, and graphic novels are accepted as the works of art they truly are.

Check out these selections from our collection of graphic novels and graphic series. (Of course, there's plenty more where these came from - be sure to ask your friendly neighborhood librarian for suggestions!) :

House by Josh Simmons: This graphic novel by first-time author Simmons is a haunting tale in which three teenage friends explore a mysterious, abandoned house with tragic results. House is completely wordless, but the art is wonderful.

Batman - The Man Who Laughs by Ed Brubaker: Experience the first ever meeting between The Dark Knight and the Clown Prince of Crime! Batman is Gotham cities new defender, but he's never encountered any criminals quite like the chalk-faced madman known as the Joker.

Street Angel by Jim Rugg: Jesse "Street Angel" Sanchez is a homeless teen from the worst ghetto on Earth. She stays alive with her kung fu skills and skateboarding prowess, fighting Irish astronauts, ancient gods, and gangs of evil ninjas. Check out local author/artist Jim Rugg's awesome comic series!

Awkward and Definition: the high school comic chronicles of Ariel Schrag by Ariel Schrag: Ariel Schrag created these comics the summer following each year of High School. Awkward is about her freshman year and Definition is about her sophomore year. Wonderful true-to-life stories you can relate to. Impressive to think that a high school student created and published these great stories.

Shortcomings by Adrian Tomine: A wonderful falling-out-of-love story about (that most cliche of indie comic subjects) twenty-something slackers. Luckily, it is a wonderful story - sad and touching with great commentary on racial identity in America.

Corey W, Main - TEEN

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Help us create a Book-of-the-Month!

So I've an idea to start having a Book-of-the-Month in Teen. This would be in place of a monthly book discussion. There would be no actual meetings. The discussion about the book could take place informally at the Teen reference desk, or on the blog post comments.

Do you have any ideas for which books you'd like to see become a "Book of the Month" in 2009? Do you have any ideas about how to make this idea fly? If so, please share with us in the comments section.

Thanks for your help!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My My My, Lauren Myracle and Censorship

I was very lucky to be able to attend the American Library Association's Midwinter Meeting in Denver last week. By far, the best part of my trip was attending the Freedom To Read Foundation's Fundraiser featuring Lauren Myracle. (It was there that I learned that her name is pronounced Myracle, not Miracle.)

Lauren spoke about the censorship and challenging of her books. Many adults across the country have challenged or banned her books, because they tend to deal with themes of sexuality, and have some swearing in them. At the fundraiser, Lauren read some angry emails she has received from parents. Parents called her books "evil, disgusting, filthy, and awful," and even referred to Lauren as "Satan."

TTYL was on the list of Most Frequently Challenged Books in 2007, and has recently been banned at the Round Rock Independent School District near Austin, Texas. The superintendent of the school district removed all copies of the book from the library, despite that fact that two committees reviewed the book and found it suitable for the library.

It is important to remember that librarians face book and material challenges on a daily basis, and we do our best to protect the First Amendment rights of teens.

If you'd like to send Lauren a little email of support or encouragement, please do so here.

I read banned books,


P.S. The photo above is of a two-story tall bear sculpture outside of the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. It doesn't have much to do with Lauren Myracle, but I thought it was awesome, and she was awesome, so there you go.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Here We Go! Get Hyped for Super Bowl XLIII!

Madden 09 Tournament

While we didn't get an official count, about 43 teens came to cheer the Steelers on to victory in Super Bowl XLIII, which will be held this Sunday in Tampa Bay! You can see pictures of participants in their black 'n gold glory on our Flickr page.

We also held our third annual CLP Teen Madden Tournament. Michael R. took home first place, staving off a fourth quarter comeback from Brian V. Check out all the action in the video below.

If you want to brush up on your Steelers before the big game, the library has a lot of great books and DVDs which you can browse in the subjects Pittsburgh Steelers (Football Team) and Pittsburgh Steelers (Football Team) -- History

Here are some of my favorites:

Blount, Roy
About Three Bricks Shy... and the Load Filled Up: The Story of the Greatest Football Team Ever

This classic book traces life on the Steelers, from Bradshaw to the "Steel Curtain," during the dynasty that birthed our first four rings. Surprisingly, it's actually a hilarious inside look at the personalities who were meaner than anything on the field.

Hickoff, Steve
The 50 Greatest Plays in Pittsburgh Steelers Football History

This book breaks down and ranks the greatest plays of Steelers football history. How do your favorites stack up? Check it out here!

Rooney, Dan
Dan Rooney: My 75 Years with the Pittsburgh Steelers and the NFL

Dan Rooney's Hall of Fame career has spanned over 25 years of being the owner of the Steelers and a lifetime with arguably the greatest football organization of all time. This is what he has to say from his birds-eye view, from immaculate receptions to one for the thumb.

Steelers: The Complete History

With gameday footage tracing back from Bill Cowher to the early days of NFL history, this DVD chronicles the life and times of the black and gold and the city which calls the Steelers its home.

If you're only just getting into football to cheer on your team, don't forget to try the NFL's Rule Book section. It will give you all the info you need to understand what's happening on the field, from a digest of the rule book to the "Beginners Guide to Football."


Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Before, it was just your run of the mill Madden Tournament. Now...


That's why on Sunday, January 25th @ 12:30 PM, we're having a special CLP TEEN STEELERS HYPE PARTY to get ready for the big game. We're stocking the teen section with food, video games, and a special Steelers hype-up DVD.

We'll also be showing our Steelers pride LIVE ONLINE at, so come check out the live action or join us in the chat.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Enter the 2009 Dr. Helen S. Faison Racial Justice Student Essay Contest

Today, people across the world took note of the inauguration of President Barack Obama. In recognition of this historic event, the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh is proud to sponsor the Dr. Helen S. Faison Racial Justice Student Essay Contest.

Here's the information about how you can use Obama's presidency as a springboard to thinking about your own place in the world. Download the application here.

2009 Dr. Helen S. Faison Racial Justice Student Essay Contest
Contest Rules

All essays should address the following question:

Barack Obama will be inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States on January 20, 2009. What can young people do to eliminate racism and other forms of prejudice during President Obama’s time in office?

The maximum length for the essay is 300 words. All entries must be printed in ink or typed double-spaced on one side only. Submissions will be judged on response to question, content, writing style, grammar/legibility, creativity, and essay length. (Please do not exceed 300 words.)

The completed form should be the last page of your essay. In order to ensure the fairest selection process, judges will not see student or school names. Parent/Guardian signature required. Please do not edit the form; all sections must be complete with contact information.

First, second and third place finalists will be selected in Grades 6, 7, and 8. Finalists will be recognized at the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh on Wednesday April 15, 2009. Winners will be notified in April and will be invited to attend an award ceremony free of charge as guests of the YWCA.

Return essay and entry form to: Dr. Helen S. Faison Racial Justice Student Essay Contest, YWCA Greater Pittsburgh Office of Racial Diversity and Inclusion, 305 Wood Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Questions? Email or call 412-255-1466. Entries must be received by Monday, March 9, 2008.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Main

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Classic Films With Teen Appeal

I just had a lovely conversation with some teen regulars about great movies, growing up, feeling out of place, etc. It made me quite happy to be working where I work, encountering wonderful people and sharing ideas.

They told me about how much they love movies from the 70s and 80s, and were excited about the recommendations my co-worker Connie and I gave them. They even suggested I blog about some more movies they might like but may not have heard of, so here I am! Your wish is my command.

Here's a list of films dealing with teendom that were very important to teenage Corey and which I hope teenage you will also enjoy. (Be sure to check the links and order your copies from the library today!):

Harold & MaudeHarold and Maude: "I haven't lived. I've died a few times." Connie started the conversation by bringing this film up. I first saw it in the ninth grade; my friends soon began calling me Harold. Harold and Maude is the story of a morbid, depressed, teenager who often fakes his own death and goes to funerals for fun. His outlook on life slowly begins to change when he meets Maude, a vivacious 79 year old woman who teaches Harold how l-i-v-e live live live!

amelie1 Amelie: "At least you'll never be a vegetable — even artichokes have hearts." The title character (an adorable waitress in Montmarte, Paris) is sort of Harold and Maude rolled into one; she's a dreamer and an optimist, but she worries her dreams will never come true, that she will die alone, never realizing the love she hopes to find. "Times are hard for dreamers" she is told, and she knows it to be true. However, things change for Amelie when she decides to become a do-good-er, anonymously bringing people the joy she is afraid to reach out and grab for herself. Amelieis whimsical, romantic, sadly sweet and hilarious. It will melt away even the angstiest angst, if only for a little while. Check out the wonderful soundtrack!

rushmoreRushmore: "Sic transit gloria. Glory fades. I'm Max Fischer." The main character of director Wes Anderson's opus is Max Fisher, an overly ambitious fifteen year old playwright who attends Rushmore Academy on scholarship. Max is placed on academic probation when his grades continue to slip. Soon, things spiral out of control when he and his middle aged steel magnate friend, Herman Bloom, both fall for Rushmore's beautiful kindergarten teacher, Ms. Cross. Rushmore is both darkly funny and bittersweet. Check out the AWESOME SOUNDTRACK!

prettyPretty In Pink: "If somebody doesn't believe in me, I can't believe in them." So, I guess this is a bit of a cliche choice, right? I think it's the best of the 80s "brat pack" movies, though. The Breakfast Clubis great and all, but this one strikes more of a chord. You've got Andie (a bit of a misfit but a total sweetheart), Duckie (a pre-lame Jon Cryer who is awesome as the lovelorn best friend, crushing on his pal), and Blane (the wealthy and popular, but nice, guy) in a love-triangle. Andie likes Blane but she feels like she's nothing special; he's cute and popular, so why would he like her? Meanwhile, the duckman suffers. A film about love across class lines. Order the great soundtrack!

poets1The Dead Poet's Society: "No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world." Haven't seen this one in years, but it's a heart-breaker; the story of a class of prep school boys inspired by their new teacher, whose call to arms is more than a little similar to Maude's, "Carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary." A film about what's expected of us versus what we want, realizing your own dreams and fighting for them - always a good lesson to learn.

Honorable Mentions go to: Dazed and Confused, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Rebel Without a Cause, American Graffiti, Say Anything, The Virgin Suicides


CLP - Main, TEEN

Law of Ueki - A review by Eli Straussman

Law of Ueki is a great comic by Tsubasa Fukuchi. It is about Kosuke Ueki who has taken part of a competition for the talent of blank. Now this means that if he wins the contest, he get any wish he wants granted, be it to destroy the entire world or to have a slice of pizza. Accompanying his mission is his witty friend Ai Mori (Amori for short), who after much snooping figured out Ueki's power. His other companion is his teacher and coach, Mr. Kobayashi. These two characters are very much alike. They are both space cases who don't adhere to all the rules and help anyone and everyone in need. Amori is a nervous wreck who looks out for Ueki at every turn.
The plot goes something like this. Middle schoolers are given powers (I.E the ability to turn CDs into razors, to turn hair into a drill) and a King Candidite. The real purpose of this contest is to choose the new king of the celestial world, because the current king has gotten bored with his job. The King Candidates give the kids their powers and teach them how to use it. Then the kids fight and the loser loses his/her power and the Candidate is no longer running. Also if you win a battle you get a talent. These talents are meant to help you win other battles. More fights you win, the more talents you get. There is a catch though. If you use your power on noncontestants, then you lose a talent. Ueki got the power to turn trash into trees, and when he starts of he has 8 talents (very few compared to other contestants).
Now the comic starts off pretty shaky, the art is very sketchy and the plot jumps pretty badly, but once you get to volume 4, it’s great. The drawing is more solid, and Mr. Fukuchi finally gets a grip on the plot. I recommend this book a lot. The Library contains volumes 1-7 and 10-13. Check it out now.

Friday, January 09, 2009

OMG! It's Ugly Covers Friday!

Let's have another crack at captioning with this lovely cover for Cry Havoc, a relic from the Teen fiction stacks.

Karen: "Hurry Paul, we have to catch the disembodied wolf head."
Joseph: "Cry Havoc: When crying wolf just isn't enough."
Holly: "Wolfie Monster says: Me so hungry. Me want to eat bullet!"
Corey: "Giant wolf heads and Members Only jackets: a surprisingly important part of the Nazi war effort."

We welcome your captions in the comments section.

Happy Friday!


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Top Albums of 2008

Pop ruled 2008. From indie to hip-hop to dance to punk, no genre was immune to pop's grasp. Even pop got poppier! Here are some of our picks for top albums for teens in 2008. They may not all be in the teen section, but they're all available through our online catalog.

Any additions? Any albums that made you puke? Let us know in the comments.


Adele is a young London soul singer who drew musical comparisons to Amy Winehouse, both because of their chosen genre (soul) and because they both graduated from the same performing arts high school. Adele breaks from the Amy Winehouse mold with a plush, singer-songwriter element that enmeshes listeners in the dynamics of teenage heartbreak. This is a great album for any teen who, like Adele, seems "older than her years."

New Amerykah: Part One (4th World War)
Erykah Badu

While Erykah Badu didn't release an album that one might normally think of for teens, Erykah Badu re-emerged with the kind of album every teen could benefit from listening to. At once moving, intelligent, and bewildering, Badu lobs pronouncements about racism, crime, and the American government from in front of booming basslines and soulful melodies. This is a great album for any teen looking for an album in which style and substance are fearlessly soulmates.

A Pocketful of Sunshine
Natasha Bedingfield

If you take a wayback machine to January of 2008, you might remember this little under the radar pop gem. Full of sweet, upbeat numbers like "Put Your Arms around Me" and the titular "A Pocketful of Sunshine" (as well as reggae-tinged songs like "Love Like This") this album lent teens a solid offering of sunshine during the last dreary winter.

I Am... Sasha Fierce

A counterpoint to albums like T.I. vs. T.I.P. which explore what it means to be a pop star, Beyonce returns with a split-personality album that alternates between personal ballads on the "I Am..." side and infectious pop numbers like "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" from the Sasha Fierce persona. The ballads may feel a little sappy, but just about everything Sasha Fierce touches is as fierce as a dance floor can handle. If you like it, then you should have put a hold on it.

Cute Is What We Aim For

Cute Is What We Aim For aim and hit with a style-conscious emo-pop album that adds some polish (in addition to some synth and horn flourishes) to their 2006 offering The Same Old Blood Rush with a New Touch. If songs like "Practice Makes Perfect" aren't reminiscent of those joyful, yet excruciatingly painful moments of youthful desire, then I don't know what is.

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus ditches the Hannah Montana moniker for another breakout album from this Radio Disney/Camp Rock star. Breakout is punchier, more guitar driven, and appealing to those tweens are are going through the same sort of growing pains in their lives as "Hannah Montana" is going through musically.


Apparently, the new hard rock that was attracting teens in 2008 didn't go away, it just got darker and angrier. Enter Indestructible, Disturbed's fourth studio album. Indestructible takes the pounding riffs from The Sickness and pairs then with the dynamics of Ten Thousands Fists to create what fans are lauding as their best album yet.


Another Londonite, Estelle, showcases multiple talents on the fine R&B album Shine. Skillfully singing and rapping on tracks that run the gamut between reggae and glitzy pop, Estelle hit it big on the charts with the fun, flirty summer jam "American Boy" (featuring Kanye West). While the buzz quickly dried up, the album remained as a fine piece of pop R&B.

Folie A Deux
Fall Out Boy

Though only released a couple of weeks ago, it won't be long before long-time fans find and snatch this one up. While the album is a lot more on the melodic, powerpop side of spectrum than the crunchy, high-octane (yet unmistakably poppy) anthems they're known for, it retains a lot of the self-conscious reflection by which Fall Out Boy has made a name for themselves. A lot of people have compared this album to developments in the career path of Elvis Costello, which wouldn't be out of place, considering that Elvis Costello guest stars on the album.

Fight with Tools

A little bit of jazz, a dash of funk, a sprinkle of soul, and a teaspoon of hip-hop, blended with some crushed hard rock, round out the album Fight with Tools, from the Flobots. One of the few bands gracing the alternative stations that actually had a record in 2008, Flobots have crafted a hopeful, politically uplifting album for any eclectic, change-oriented teen.

Mail on Sunday
Flo Rida

The party rap album of the year was Flo Rida's Mail on Sunday. From the T-Pain assisted "Low" to the Timbaland collaboration "Elevator," Flo Rida featured several strong club hits. Mix it with the absolutely infectious "In the Ayer" (which I still hear kids singing to themselves on the bus), and you have an album that may not last long but is sure to be a fun ride.

A Little Bit Longer
The Jonas Brothers

The Jonas Brothers somehow managed to become even bigger tween-pop superstars in 2008, with the release of the successful movie Camp Rock and the follow-up album A Little Bit Longer. Featuring saccharine guitars, vocal harmonies, ballads, and the inevitable rocker, these hearthrobs have starred in an album that's sure to get tweens swooning.

Juno: Music from the Motion Picture

Juno's quirky, smart, and youthful exuberance captured the attention of many teens, who clamored for the quirky, smart, and youthful soundtrack (which quickly rose to be a surprising chart-topper). The album predominantly features Kimya Dawson, formerly of the Moldy Peaches, whose rambling lyrical delivery and sweet guitar melodies make it a great companion for those awkward teen years.

Tha Carter III
Lil Wayne

After saturating the rap game with mixtapes and guest appearances, Lil Wayne (aka Weezy F. Baby)'s opus became the most anticipated album of 2008. This bizarre, disjointed joyride takes you from club bangers like "Lollipop" and "A Milli" to songs like "Phone Home," in which Weezy raps through an alien voice filter. There will be no shortage of interest in this album for several years, at least, if Lil Wayne's casual swagger is any indication.

Year of the Gentleman

In addition to producing and writing hit songs for such performers as Plies, The Pussycat Dolls, and Rihanna, Ne-Yo struck gold with the album Year of the Gentleman. With each song expressing heartfelt, gentle affection (from the R&B/house fusion single "Closer" to the upbeat, stacco synth-fueled "Miss Independent"), the album more than lives up to its name.

One of the Boys
Katy Perry

Not too many people realize that this pop sensation, who cloys about kissing a girl (and liking it), was once a Christian artist who wasn't even allowed to listen to secular music. While you might debate the merits of sultry ballads like "UR So Gay" and sassy electro-rock club hits like "I Kissed a Girl," they were nonetheless on the tongues of teens everywhere in 2008. The latest bouncy club hit, "Hot N Cold," shows that Katy Perry may be divine after all.


With every song sounding like the "one hit" from a one hit wonder, P!nk's Funhouse is a raucous pop affair led by P!nk's "divorce song," "So What." Love it or hate it, it's hard to deny that Funhouse is unfailingly spunky for such a personal pop album. Through it, P!nk shows she can still get the party started.


With guest production by M.I.A. collaborators switch and Diplo, as well as a pan-continental flavor, it was easy to write off Santogold as 2008's Kala. Over time, this album proved that it had a personality unto itself, with verses and hooks by Santi White that will catch the attention of "new millennium" teens looking for a fun, intelligent, and altogether interesting indie dance album.

Britney Spears

This album definitely wins comeback album of the year award, for singlehandedly resurrecting an entertainment career that was completely derailed by tabloid escapades. One MTV special and enormously fun, catchy single (yes, I'm talking about "Womanizer" later), Britney was once again part of the teen pop landscape. The rest of the album pumps with a hyperkinetic energy and is flanked by a couple of surprisingly heartfelt ballads. Britney forever!

Paper Trail

While performing 1,000 hours of community service related to federal weapons charges, T.I. spent a lot of time in America's schools, talking to teens about the importance of education and civic participation. This "back to school" theme resonated with T.I.'s latest chart topper, Paper Trail, which holds a title that refers more to a creative process (literally writing lyrics on paper, which hadn't been done since 2001's I'm Serious) than to tracing criminal activity. With a refreshing frankness, T.I. returned to top form with the Rihanna-backed song "Live Your Life" and packed the rest of the album with a thoughtful assessment of life, hip-hop, and life in hip-hop--in addition to fun party jams like "Swing Ya Rag" and the epic guest-filled monster "Swagger Like Us," which features Jay Z, Lil Wayne, and Kanye West.

Twilight: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Top 3 reasons to get the Twilight Sountrack:

1. It's related to Twilight.
2. Did I mention Twilight?
3. Seriously, Twilight (oh, and Paramore).

Lost in the Sound of Separation

Frenetic and often atmospheric, the openly Christian Underoath have unleashed one of the most pummeling (yet inexplicably accessible) metalcore albums of 2008. From the first breakdown in "Breathing in a New Mentality" to the moment "The Only Survivor Was Miraculously Unharmed" fires up its jet engines and explodes, Underoath have offered teens an awesomely brutal album that will have even the most secular moshing.

Here I Stand

Usher returns with a 5th studio album full of piano-sprinkled, synth-laden R&B ballads. While it's been derided as "married man's music," losing the hip-hop energy that got teens excited about 2004's Confessions, Usher is still a household name--and how can anybody deny the magic of the single "Love in This Club"?

The Recession
Young Jeezy

Young Jeezy returns with another album of gritty down south beats, guttural vocals, and a stark, street realism style that's been Jeezy's trademark since Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101. But with songs like "Put On," "Crazy World," and "My President Is Black," Young Jeezy is also beginning to show how even thugs are getting motivated to help build a new America.

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