Posted by mkrueger on 03.25.13

 
Teen Tech Week is every March and it gives libraries the opportunity to show Teens all new types of technology. With this week in mind, we ran a program that would be considered a little different from our "traditional" DIYs.
 
Behold the MaKey MaKey! An awesome little circuit board created by two MIT students that allows you to use almost any object as a key on the keyboard.
 
To use the MaKey MaKey you plug it into your computer and simply attach an alligator clip to one of the designated spots on the board, then attach the opposite end of the alligator clip onto anything that carries an electrical charge. Objects include keys, coins, aluminum foil, even bananas! Watch the video below for a demonstration.
 
 
 
Still interested? If you click the link below you will be directed to the MaKey MaKey's homepage where you can order your own MaKey MaKey.
 

MaKey MaKey Homepage

 
DIY




Posted by Trixie on 03.21.13

In the late 70s, NASA launched two Voyager probes to explore the outer planets in our solar system.  The spacecraft have been traveling on different paths and at different speeds for over 35 years. The Voyagers have explored the outer giant planets in our solar system: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. They have also examined 49 moons, and the systems of rings and magnetic fields the aforementioned planets possess. Both spacecraft continue to send information relating to their surroundings through NASA's Deep Space Network. They both also contain recorded messages on a gold phonographic record that contain images and sounds of Earth - complete with a diagram to show aliens how to play the record. Nearly 11 billion miles away from the sun, Voyager 1 is the farthest human-made thing from Earth. Scientists are speculating that Voyager 1 left our solar system yesterday. The probes will continue exploring interstellar space carrying our message to any extraterrestrials that might cross their paths!
 
Here's a NASA infographic that provides a timeline and describes how the Voyagers work. Want to learn more about the Voyager probes? Check out the NASA website or this article.
 




Posted by amypelman on 03.21.13

 
 

Did you see Skyfall yet?  It's pretty entertaining if you ask me.  Did it make you want to see more James Bond flicks?  How about reading a spy story or two?  I've read one recently that I enjoyed.  It's called Also Known As by Robin Benway.  It's about a girl named Maggie who is a professional safecracker.  She can break into any vault, door, safe, you name it.  She's actually like one of the best in the world.  When her family gets sent to New York City for Maggie's very first solo assignment, she is pretty excited about it.  Too bad this assignment involves attending a high school and pretending to be a normal teenager.  So far Maggie has been fine avoiding that kind of drama and isn't really looking to try her hand at the regular high school lifestyle.  But in order to complete this very important assignment, she has to get close enough to Jesse Oliver to crack the case of his possibly corrupt father.  Jesse Oliver is cute and probably annoying, but a job's a job and this may be the most important job ever!

Intrigued?  I give more suggestions for fun spy books at YALSA's Hub.  Take a look at it here: Not Undercover: Superb Spy Fiction.




Posted by amypelman on 03.20.13

Hey There! 

How's it going?  We are busy here behind the scenes planning stuff that is just for teens.  Stuff like fun programs, contests and other amazing ways to stave off boredom and malaise.  AND we're anxiously awaiting the completion of the new Hub space - which is going to be glorious.  Right now, in case you don't know who "we" are (or even if you do), let us introduce ourselves!

Tom S. - Teen Services Supervisor
Likes: Making movies and learning how to make new salsas
Dislikes: When there is a rock or a pebble in my shoe
Loves: ipads, graphic novels and laughing very hard
Superpower: can smell bad breath from over a mile away
 
Trixie D. - Teen Advisor
Likes: DIYing and running
Dislikes: Spam (unsolicited messages not the canned meat product)
Loves: Reading, listening to music, and yoga
Superpower: bionic foot
 
Max K. - Teen Services Assistant
Likes: Video games, exercise
Dislikes: Nothing, I'm a ray of sunshine
Loves: Art, science, and Fruity Cheerios
Superpower: Flying (duh)
 
Amy P. - Teen Librarian
Likes: Trying new crafts
Dislikes: Any housewives show
Loves: Teen books, cats, taking naps
Superpower: Never falls
 
Alice S.
Alice S. - Teen Advisor
Likes: Finding new things to like
Dislikes: When the battery on my phone or laptop is at 1%
Loves: Music, books, and the rule of three
SuperpowerGoogle search extraordinaire
 
 
Want to cartoonify your face? Grab your iPhone or iPad and download the iMadeFace app to create your own! Share them with us on our Facebook page.
 
Come say hello and tell us your superpower!
 
 
 
 




Posted by Trixie on 03.15.13

In 1987, the month of March was officially designated Women's History Month by Congress. This provides a nation-wide opportunity for us to reflect and celebrate women's contributions. Not that we shouldn't reflect and celebrate the important women in our lives outside of the month of March! Here are a few resources that highlight contributions to society made by women.
 
The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood is one of my all-time favorite authors. She is known mostly for her novels, but she has also made contributions as a poet, literary critic, essayist, environmental activist, and feminist. I'm a big fan of most of her novels, but The Year of the Flood is one of my favorites.
 
 
 
As a teen, I remember reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I loved her use of flashbacks in the narrative and related to Esther's struggles. This book led me to Plath's poetry and other work. This biography in verse tells the story of poet Sylvia Plath from the perspective of others.
 
 
This film tells the story of Temple Grandin, an amazing woman that has made an impact in the areas of animal welfare and autism advocacy. She overcame autism to become a bestselling author and scholar.
 
 
 
 
Karen O is the frontwoman for the New York rock band Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I love her vocal stylings as well as her interesting fashion choices. I can't get enough of this soundtrack! Karen O composed nearly all of the songs.
 
Want to learn more about Women's History Month? The Library of Congress in collaboration with National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has created a great website that includes images of relevant exhibits and collections as well as audio and video clips.




Posted by Trixie on 03.07.13

I love a great story. I'm usually drawn to fiction titles - for me, the more fantastical, the better. I rarely read nonfiction other than when I'm trying to learn how to do something: knit, sew, solder, develop and design webpages. That's not to say there aren't great stories in nonfiction books. There's something special about someone telling their own story. The impact of a personal experience can be more convincing than a list of facts; the trials and tribulations of Harriet Jacobs in Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: Written by Herself portray the evils of slavery more effectively than an encyclopedia article. In fact, if you haven't read this memoir, I strongly suggest you check it out. Here are a handful of other great nonfiction reads that I recommend.
 
 
 
Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos
This book tells the story of an aspiring author confronting the struggles of growing up. The narrative follows Gantos through his final year of high school, his creative plan to get money for college, and the adventures that followed.
 
 
 
 
 
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
Krakauer tells the story of Christopher Johnson McCandless, a 22-year-old adventure seeker looking to change his life. McCandless' decomposed body was found in the Alaskan wilderness by a moose hunter.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
In black & white illustration, Satrapi recounts her experiences growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. The memoir juxtaposes Satrapi's unique home life with the trials of public life during a time of war.
 
 
 
 
 
Stitches: A Memoir by David Small
A coming-of-age story, Small tells his story of a fourteen-year-old boy that wakes from a supposedly minor surgery to find himself a virtual mute. Small graphically depicts the struggles of himself and his parents as well as his ability to overcome.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Just Kids by Patti Smith
Singer-songwriter Smith shares the adventures experienced in New York city during the late sixties and seventies. It follows her and Robert Mapplethorpe's journey to fame as artists.
 
 
 
 
 




Posted by amypelman on 03.07.13

I’m in love with this giant book called The Elements: A visual exploration of every known atom in the universe, by Theodore Gray.

Full disclosure: I never took chemistry so it’s kind of like a crash course, but even if I had taken chemistry, I think I’d find this book fun to pore over. The author is really funny, the pictures are beautiful and it’s chock full of crazy facts! Bonus feature: no need to read it chronologically: for a good time, just flip open to any page and start reading!

 

Chemistry Experiment: Glowing Pennies

Note, you'll need pennies from before 1982 to try it. You can find actual instructions how to do this here.
 
I haven't actually tried this, but it seems pretty cool!  Kinda crazy though.  So if you try it, for goodness sake, BE CAREFUL!  Better yet, ask your science teacher if he or she will perform the experiment in class! 
 
 
 
 




Posted by Trixie on 03.01.13

Looking for the perfect bookmark to hold your place in a library loaner? Well, look no further! You can make your own with glue (the school or white variety), the indented top of a pencil case or anything else you can use as a mold, and whatever you'd like to decorate your bookmark with. I'd probably go with something small like glitter or confetti so that your bookmark sits between the pages of your book. Colored pencils or crayon shavings would probably work well too. You can even use markers or watercolors to color or produce a pattern on your bookmark.
 
Follow these steps or watch the tutorial to make your own unique bookmark!
  1. Gather all the supplies needed: pencil case/mold, glue, markers, glitter or whatever you'd like to use to decorate your bookmark.
  2. Draw a pattern or color in the indentation on the pencil case or mold. Keep in mind that anything not colored in will be clear.
  3. Fill in the indentation with a thick layer of glue. Make sure not to use too much glue; it shouldn't spill over the edge of the mold.
  4. Add glitter, confetti, or anything else you want to decorate your bookmark with.
  5. Practice patience. Let the glue dry for 1-2 days depending on the thickness. It should look clear, not white, when it is ready.
  6. Carefully peel off your bookmark. You can trim the edges with scissors if you want.
  7. Dive into a good book without worrying about losing your place!
 
DIY




Posted by Trixie on 02.22.13

Can't get enough of The Oscars? Here are some current and past nominees that you might be interested in checking out.
 
Winner of Best Art Direction and Costume Design. Nominated for Best Visual Effects
 
Nominated for Best Picture, Director, Actress, and Adapted Screenplay.
 
Inception (2012)
Winner of Best Cinematography, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects. Nominated for Best Film, Director and Screenplay.
 
Nominated for Best Supporting Actor and Film Editing.
 
Winner of Best Original Screenplay. Nominated for Best Director, Picture and Actor.
 
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2004, original release: 2003)
Winner of Best Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Original Score, Original Song, Visual Effects, Art Direction, Costume Design, Make-up, Sound Mixing and Film Editing.
 
Nominated for Best Visual Effects.
 
Winner of Best Picture, Director, Actress in a Leading Role and Actor in a Supporting Role. Nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
 
Winner of Best Writing (Original Screenplay).
 
The Social Network (2011, original release: 2010)
Winner of Best Adapted Screenplay, Original Score, and Film Editing. Nominated for Best Picture, Actor, Cinematography, Director, Film Editing, Original Score, Sound, and Adapted Screenplay.
 




Posted by mkrueger on 02.22.13

Here is an iPad app that you absolutely must try if you are a lover of fiction and technology! Linden Labs has released an app by the name of Versu, Versu, is an interactive story similar to a Choose Your Own Adventure book, however; there are a few key differences.
 
You will begin a story by selecting a character, then you are given an introduction to the story, and finally you will be prompted at certain points in the story to choose what action the character should take. Actions can range from talking to other characters, moving to different rooms, or going in search of objects. The number of actions changes as the story progresses. You can gain achievements, similar to a video game, based on objectives that the story suggests you accomplish.
 
The app is free and includes 3 stories, one of which is a tutorial to help you understand how the app works. You can purchase more stories for $5, there is only one story to purchase at the moment but more will be added in the future. Check out the video below to learn more!