Hold The Popcorn!: Star Trek: Beyond & Ghostbusters

Posted on July 26th, 2016 by jlevins in Movies

No better way to beat the midsummer heat than a trip to a nice air conditioned movie theater, and this summer movie fans will rejoice over the highly anticipated flicks Star Trek: Beyond and Ghostbusters.


Star Trek: Beyond begins with Captain Kirk trying to broker a peace deal between the Teenaxi and the Fenopians. His efforts don’t go so well as the tiny Teenaxi do not accept the gift which Kirk has brought them and effectively chase him back to the Enterprise via the beam. After the Enterprise is attacked and crash lands into a desolate planet, we find out that the gift which Kirk unsuccessfully tried to offer the Teenaxi was actually a crucial piece of a dangerous weapon which is coveted by the evil Krall (played brilliantly by Idris Elba, who is unrecognizable due to the incredible alien makeup), who will do whatever he needs to in order to obtain it. Star Trek: Beyond is with all of the intense action, stunning special effects, and snarky, subtle humor that has made the Star Trek series stand out over other science fiction films for many years.


Combine slimy ectoplasm, ghosts, and a healthy dose of girl-power, and you get Ghostbusters, a refreshing take on the 1984 classic of the same name. Columbia University professor Dr. Erin Glibert (Kristen Wiig, who you may know from SNL) teams up with her former associate and sometime rival Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy) and colleague Jillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) to investigate a haunted mansion in NYC. After the three of them find themselves unemployed, they team up with MTA employee Patty (Leslie Jones) and set up shop for themselves as the Department of Metaphysical Examination. Older movie fans will be stoked to see appearances from Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver and the one and only Ozzy Osbourne all appearing in the film.   The light-hearted humor and ghostly special effects make Ghostbusters a must see.



animatedDo you love watching movies? The Boston Public Library has tens of thousands of DVDs you can borrow with your library card and even more that you can access online through our streaming service, Hoopla. Plus, if you can’t find a movie you want to watch in all the ones we offer, you can always suggest a purchase. Start placing holds now, and you’ll never have to pay to watch a movie again!


*”Hold the Popcorn!” features movie reviews by James, the Teen Librarian at the East Boston Branch, on the fourth Tuesday of the month.


Ctrl+Z: Teen Services Instagram and Camera Phone Photography Fun

Posted on July 22nd, 2016 by chalpin@private.bpl.org in Teen Services

I’d like to invite you to follow the Boston Public Library’s new Teen Services Instagram account, @bplbostonteens. In our feed you’ll find pics of the variety of programs happening across the system, book recommendations, fun facts, and get to know the community of your teen library spaces. Please check it out!Instagram-v051916

Camera phones are ubiquitous enough to have made social apps like Instagram and Snapchat huge hits. Beyond ways of sharing and communicating with our photos, a plethora of apps have been developed to make our on-the-fly snapshots look unique and polished. From apps for iOS, Android, and Microsoft, such as Pixlr that allow you to both edit and get wildly creative with your pictures, to YouCam Perfect designed to let you touch up (or radically distort) your selfies, there are fun options that allow amateur photographers to create works of art. There are lots of fun web resources with tutorials and photography guidance, for example, one that focuses on the iPhone is iphonephotographyschool.com 

Adobe software such as Photoshop and Lightroom are professional tools for photo editing and manipulation. For a taste of this software, or for use on the go, check out the free mobile app versions of Photoshop and Lightroom for your phone. For those looking for greater control and exposure to the full desktop version of these professionals tools, the Lab at Teen Central, at the Central Library in Copley Square, provides access to Adobe Creative Cloud products. The library is also a great place to explore books about digital photography. One title is an eBook specifically about tips, tricks, and getting the most from your camera phone, Clever Digital Photography Ideas: Starting to Make the Most From your Camera or Camera Phone. With your library card you have access to digital magazine collections where you can read the latest copy, and back-issues, of Popular Photography.

Whether photography is your passion or not, the library is a place where you can pursue any of your hobbies and interests. Let us know how we can help!

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” – Ansel Adams 

Need a library card? Wondering how long you can borrow a book? Borrowing and Circulation information can be found here.

*”Ctrl+Z” is all about fearlessly exploring technology. Look here for info about teens, technology, and having fun with new media by Catherine, Teen Technology Coordinator at Teen Central, on the fourth Friday of every month.

Teens Leading in the Community: The Upcoming Year for Boston Latin School

Posted on July 19th, 2016 by jsnow@private.bpl.org in Teen Services

This post is written by Anna, a SuccessLink teen working in Teen Central this summer and a student at Boston Latin School.

The upcoming year for Boston Latin School


The mission of BLS seeks to ground its students in a contemporary classical education as preparation for successful college studies, responsible and engaged citizenship, and a rewarding life.

Some of you may know of a woman named Dr. Lynne Mooney Teta, known as LMT amongst her students. She was the headmaster of the exam school, Boston Latin School, which prides itself in preparing students for college and eventually life. It provides a sink or swim environment forcing incoming seventh or ninth graders to work as hard as they possibly can to keep up with academics, athletics, extracurriculars, peer influences, and mental health. This stress can become overwhelming, but the bright students who come into the school would then leave as aware young adults who had been studying global issues and act as leaders in their community.

It is not only rewarding to go to a school that prepares on this journey to success, but also being around the type of people who would one day become such great leaders. Said leaders will stand up for what they are passionate in, no matter how much time it would consume. This school, although seemingly picture perfect, has been in the media numerous times in this past year. With the racist allegations towards Dr. Lynne Mooney Teta, this has not been a good year for her nor the school. Dr. Teta tried to hold various assemblies addressing the racial issues present at the school on top of the workshops that were held in students’ english classes, homerooms, and lunch periods. These workshops gave students a chance to speak their mind on the present problems around them. I say students in a technical term, however it may be more fitting to describe them as young leaders. These young leaders throughout the school, whose ages range from 12-18, bespoke their determination on moving forward as a school in the right direction.

On June 21st, a letter was sent out to students, parents, and faculty announcing Dr. Teta’s decision to resign as headmaster from the school. In a school filled with such passionate students, there were many opinions being thrown around in real life and on social media. Many were relieved and many were upset about this decision.

On June 23rd, Malcolm J. Flynn, an assistant headmaster in BLS submitted his resignation letter, in which he explains his reason for his decision. He believed that Boston Public Schools Office of Equity portrayed BLS in a untruthful light. He talks about the real atmosphere of the school and how it not only makes students feel safe, but also is safe. Flynn goes on to voice his disappointment that Dr. Teta was only praised for her work as a headmaster, after she resigned. Moreover, Flynn decided that it was best for him to resign after 52 years because he felt it was impossible to continue.

This fall, students at BLS will return from summer vacation and meet their new headmaster. Alumnus of the class of 1957, former headmaster Michael Contompasis is coming out of retirement and serving in the interim while the district decides on a permanent headmaster.

What does this mean for the students of BLS this incoming year of 2016-2017? While many students are still upset over the fact that their former headmaster had resigned, their goal is still crystal clear: step forward as a school to provide a fair and safe learning environment for all of its students. These young leaders did not lose hope in what they fought for and will continue to do whatever it takes to achieve their goal. It is incredibly rewarding to go to school everyday with these types of people. My peers are all very driven and I am just glad to be seeing change happen as well as excited to see more changes. Keep doing what you’re doing!


jessi250-150x150Are you interested in learning more about leadership opportunities? The Boston Public Library, Teen Central has a Teen Leadership Council that meets monthly in Teen Central and there is a job help page that provides information on  job opportunities, volunteer and internship opportunities.

Need a library card? Wondering how long you can borrow a book? Borrowing and Circulation information can be found here.

*”Teens Leading in the Community” features interviews and stories about teens leading in their communities by Jessi, the Teen Services Team Leader, Central, on the third Tuesday of every month.

Get Crafty: Travel Tic-Tac-Toe

Posted on July 15th, 2016 by Mary in Crafts, Teen Services
Tags: , , ,

Welcome to this month’s installment of Get Crafty:

This month, we will be making a Tic-Tac-Toe game you can take on the road when travelling or play with your friends when visiting Teen Central. There are so many creative ways to make the Travel Tic-Tac-Toe board. I will show you examples of four Travel Tic-Tac-Toe boards.

Suggested supplies you will need:








  • A metallic box like an Altoids or gift card box
  • Scrapbook paper or cardstock paper or washi tape
  • Scissors
  • Glue (either E6000 glue, hot glue gun or some strong adhesive)
  • Paint – acrylic or even nail polish works great
  • Strong magnets (either small round or strips you can cut small)
  • 10 Small pieces – buttons, beads, Scrabble letter tiles, Glass Marble Magnets or  Lucky Stars. You need 5 pieces each of the same type/color/pattern. You can use just about anything. Be creative!

Step 1: Decide if you want to have your tic tac toe board on the outside or inside your box.

Step 2: Now it’s time to get crafty and create your own designs. Use whatever supplies help you make the box and pieces that say “you”!

Here are some pictures to inspire you.

magnet-game buttons



You can use scrapbook paper and washi paper to design the inside of the box and use buttons with magnets as your pieces.

This design comes from the online magazine, Canadian Family.








You can use red craft foam glued onto the inside top of the tin and a Sharpie is used to create the tic-tac-toe board. You also could use thin washi tape to create the board. Magnets were painted black and white and when dry, the X’s and O’s were painted on the opposite color.

This design comes from the blog, Crafts4Boys.




tic tac toe Altoids tin by Amanda Coleman Epiphany Crafts blog



This box was decorated on the outside with patterned paper, washi tape and a few craft buttons.



travel tic tac toe Amanda Coleman


Inside, washi tape was used to decorate the inside of the box as well as making the tic-tac-toe board. The pieces were made from bubble caps but you can easily use Glass Marble Magnets.

This design was made by Amanda Coleman on her blog, Popper and Mimi.




tic tac toe outside


This box is decorated on the outside by glueing scrapbook paper and Scrabble craft tiles.




tic tac toe inside


The star beads used in this box do not have any magnets glued to them but if you use a really strong small magnet, you could glue them on. You can use star buttons or make Lucky Stars and attach the magnets to them with glue.

This design was made by Joanna on her blog, The Blue Barn.


Step 3: Store pieces inside the box. Place in bag or travel activity box to carry around.

Step 4: Take out and play often.


Magnetic Tic-Tac-Toe is just one of the fun games you can make using metallic boxes and magnets. Explore the Internet to find more magnetic board games to create.

Have fun and Get Crafty!


manga-me-150x150Need a library card? Wondering how long you can borrow a book? Borrowing and Circulation information can be found here.

*”Get Crafty” features craft projects by Mary, a Teen Librarian at Teen Central, and is posted on the third Friday of every month.

Hack the System!: Introducing Technology Life Hacks

Posted on July 13th, 2016 by adowds in Technology, Teen Services
Tags: ,


Life can be frustrating sometimes. Dealing with technology can be even more frustrating. But what if we put these two together to make life just a bit easier and a bit more fun? The solution – technology life hacks!

So what is a life hack? Life hacks refer to any tool, trick, skill, shortcut, or method that makes an aspect of someone’s life easier and more efficient. You may incorporate life hacks into your every-day life and not even realize it. For example, have you ever thrown a dryer sheet into your dirty laundry pile to mask the smell? Life hack! Or, you only have a little bit of Nutella left in the jar so you decide to add 2 scoops of ice cream to it – ultimate life hack! These are just two shortcuts to make life smell fresher and taste more delicious.

According to lifehacker.com, the term “life hack” was created in 2004 by technology journalist, Danny O’Brien, to describe ways members of the tech community utilized playful shortcuts to simplify and accelerate their workflow. This term quickly gained popularity and is now used every day, by tech geeks or not, to describe people’s attempts to circumvent this complex thing we call Life.

As I start my new job here in Teen Central, life hacks may become my lifeline as my desk piles high with ideas, computer wires, technology workshop gadgets, and 3D printed toys. Each month, I will highlight my latest life hack creation and invite teens from Teen Central to craft, explore, and test out new hacking devices.

To keep you busy until then, geek out on these simple, everyday technology life hacks:

1. Dirty computer keyboard? Slide the sticky part of a post-it note between the keys to grab dust, dirt, and left-over lunch crumbles.



2. Bent or frayed charger cord? Take the spring from an old pen and wrap it around the top of the cord to keep it straight.





allyWant to create your own technology life hack? Stop by Teen Central during Open Lab time.

*“Hack the System!” features examples of technology life hacks created by Ally, the Youth Technology Librarian at Teen Central. Check back on the second Wednesday of each month for her latest post.