Category Archives: Teen Services

Ctrl+Z: New Technology Librarian & Teen Job Opportunities in Teen Central

Posted on May 27th, 2016 by chalpin@private.bpl.org in Teen Services

Teen Central welcomes our newest team member, Allyson Dowds! ally pic

What is your role in the Teen Central?
I am the Youth Technology Librarian, which means I should be an aficionado of robots, computers and video games. While you are more likely to find me atop a mountain than behind a computer, I believe exploration can be done from anywhere and is good for the soul ūüėČ

What is your favorite thing about Teen Central so far?
The Tech Lab. Wow! If you have not visited the Tech Lab, you must. The opportunities for teens to explore, tinker, and craft their own creations is endless. A lot of thought was put into establishing this space and how teens would use it. Also, the streetlight. I don’t know why, but the industrial feel to the light reminds me of something you would find down a narrow street, on a rainy day, in old-time Boston. It gives the space character and identity.

What are you most looking forward to in the coming months here at the library?
Getting to know the teens! I really am super pumped to work with all of the teens who visit Teen Central and watching and learning from them. Teen Central provides such a wonderful space for teens to be teens, while allowing them to create and mold their personalities.

Have you read a good book lately?
Yes! I recently completed the Graceling series by Massachusetts’ very own, Kristin Cashore. COULD NOT put these books down. But, when I’m not escaping into various fantastical realms, I am a huge reader of non-fiction, specifically dealing with World War I & II. Erik Larson is one of my all-time favorite historians because he captures and retells moments in history in such a personal, magnetic way. You feel like you are reliving history as you flip the pages.

Welcome, Ally!

In related news, Teen Central is hiring 2 teens to work in the library this fall.
Are you a teen (or know a teen) who is interested in technology and sharing your knowledge with others? We’re looking to hire two Teen Tech Mentors to work 6 hours per week, from September through May, Mondays and Tuesdays, during the hours of 3:00-6:00 p.m.

We are having open interview sessions on June 14, June 15 and June 17 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. on each day. Click the links below to download job descriptions and applications.  Teen Central is located at 700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116.

Questions? Email Jessi Snow jsnow@bpl.org or call 617-859-2335

Job Descriptions and Applications:


hologram on 9-16-15 at 7.25 PM #3Need 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.

Get Crafty: Glass Marble Magnets

Posted on May 20th, 2016 by Mary in Crafts, Teen Services
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Welcome to this month’s installment of Get Crafty!¬†This month we will be making glass marble magnets.¬†Do you need a gift for a friend who is going off to college? Do you want to spruce up your magnetic bulletin board? Glass marble magnets are super easy and fun to make.

marble magnet

There are many ways to make these magnets. I am just showing you one way. Web links to more examples will be found toward the bottom of this post.

Supplies needed:

->Mod Podge – Glossy (or strong clear craft glue), 3/4″ diameter strong magnets, 1 1/4″ flat back glass marbles (can be found in fake flower section of craft stores, other sizes of magnets and marbles can be used), foam or bristle type brush (that you don’t mind throwing out after you are done), hot glue gun (or E6000 glue that is stronger than Super Glue and will not seep through paper), small pictures (cut out from thick paper magazines, scrapbook paper, washi tape, stickers, pictures, old book, or old maps), and scissors or a Circle Shape Punch that is the size of the marble or just slightly smaller but larger than the magnet. Most of these items can be found at a craft store.


Before you start, cover your work space with newspaper or an old cloth to avoid getting glue on the surface.

Step 1: Decide what you want your marble to look like in the end. Do you want it to have sayings with scrapbook paper backing it, a design from scrapbook paper that could be something you or your friend might like, a theme such as only flowers, super heroes, colors, or holiday patterns?

marbles design

Step 2: Either use the marble to trace your image and cut out just inside the line or use a circle shape punch on your image. For stickers that have inspirational phrases, cut the sticker out from the sticker page and trim down to the size of the circle. If you are using scissors or a circle hole punch test the size of the sticker and your placement before you take the backing off the sticker.

Step 3: Brush some Mod Podge or E6000 glue on the marble (the flat side). Make sure to cover the entire back of the marble.

brushing mod podge

Step 4: Place your image on the back of the marble. Smooth it out so you don’t have bubbles. Let dry for a few hours or more. If you have bubbles, don’t worry. It makes the image unique.

Step 5: When dry, trim your picture down at this point, if you feel you want the picture to fit perfectly. Now brush another layer of Mod Podge on the back of your image to really secure the image. Let dry again.

While waiting, it is a great time for you to read an e-book from Overdrive or enjoy a movie from Hoopla. Both databases are available with a valid Boston Public Library card.

Step 6: Using the hot glue gun (or E6000 glue), put the glue on one side of the magnet and attach your marble. It dries fast so make sure you place the magnet where you want it or adjust it very quickly.


Step 7: At this point, you can trim the image if you want to do that. Then, use your hot glue gun or E6000 glue to run a bead of glue between the marble and the magnet. This helps to keep the marble and magnet together for a very long time.

If you want to add some extra creativity, when using stickers, you can add a sticker to the top of the marble. Other variations of this craft include using glitter instead of images or nail polish on the flat side of the marble.

Step 8: Enjoy your magnets.

glass marble magnets

You can store your magnets in a metal tin like a clean Altoids or gift card tin. You can bunch them together in a small mesh pouch and tie with a bow to give as a gift.¬†Another way of giving the magnets as gifts (or selling at a craft fair) is to make them into sets. Sabby in Suburbia’s blog gives a great demonstration on how to organize your magnets in a package.


Here are some websites with additional tutorials on creating your glass marble magnets:

The Frugal Girls – Marble Magnets Tutorial

Not Martha – To Make: Marble Magnets

Cut Out and Keep – Marble Magnets

Here are two YouTube videos that helped me out when I started creating my glass marble magnets.

Crafts According to Anna РHow to Make Glass Gem Magnets 

One Very Happy Bird РMake Gorgeous Sparkling Marble Magnets in a Gift Tin (using glitter for your design)


I hope you had as much fun making glass marble magnets as I did. See you next month for the next installment of “Get Crafty”.




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

*‚ÄĚGet Crafty‚ÄĚ features craft projects¬†by Mary, a Teen Librarian at Teen Central, and is posted on the third¬†Friday¬†of every month.



Teens Leading in the Community: Youth Vote Amendment Act

Posted on May 17th, 2016 by jsnow@private.bpl.org in Teen Services

Welcome to this month’s post on Teens Leading in the Community. Each month I will feature an interview or a story about teens leading in the community. This could be a teen in a leadership position in school, in the library or in the community. We want to feature stories about teens leading and making a difference in their communities.










This month’s feature focuses not on teens in Boston, but on teens in the Bay Area in California-cities like Oakland, San Francisco, and Alameda. Teens in these¬†cities are working together, collaborating, presenting at City Council meetings and more. For what? To lower the voting age to 16. ¬†The voting age in the United States is 18 years old but there are 9 states that are trying to have the age lowered to 16 (Massachusetts at one time was one them, significantly with North Andover and with Cambridge). The first state to have lowered the voting age is Maryland and that occurred in 2013. ¬† The really amazing thing about all of this¬†is the movements have been¬†completely youth led.

They are¬†old enough to drive, work without restrictions on their hours, and pay taxes–they should also have a voice in their local government. Also, lowering the voting age can drive demand for better civic education in schools. These are some of the reasons teens have said they feel the voting age should be lowered to 16. What do you think?

The Youth Activism Project has an article about lowering the voting age and highlights the work that the youth led commission, the San Francisco Youth Commission has been doing to try and get the age lowered.  The Youth Vote Amendment Act of 2015 aims to lower the voting age to 16 years old and by doing so bringing young people directly into the political process and, hopefully, creating lifelong voters.

What do you think? Do you think the voting age should be lowered to 16 in the state and/or cities in Massachusetts?


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.

*‚ÄĚTeens Leading in the Community‚ÄĚ 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.

Cooking with Caren: Salted Toffee S’Mores Bars

Posted on May 13th, 2016 by crosales@private.bpl.org in Programs, Recipes, Teen Services

Baked Goods

Sometimes the only thing that pulls you out of a gloomy mood is the smell of sweets in the oven!

1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, making sure the whole pan is covered.

2. Place roughly 13 graham crackers in a single layer on the sheet with edges touching. Sprinkle an 8 ounce bag of toffee bits evenly over graham crackers. We used Heath Bar.

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3. In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat and cook at a rapid simmer, swirling pan occasionally, until mixture is kind of foamy and syrupy, about 2 minutes. Pour the melted butter mixture over graham crackers as evenly as you can‚ÄĒbe careful: this stuff is HOT!

IMG_1432  IMG_1437

4. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes. Remove the pan from oven and immediately sprinkle 3/4 cup chocolate and ¬ĺ cup mini marshmallows over the top (they‚Äôll start to melt right away). Sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt all over.

IMG_1438  IMG_1439

5. While it’s still hot, use a pizza cutter to cut it into 2-inch squares.  Let it cool completely in the pan on a wire rack, then enjoy.


Recipe courtesy of: Seventeen Magazine



icon of carenAre you still looking for more recipes? The Boston Public Library has a huge collection of cookbooks that you can browse, check out and take home.

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


*”Cooking with Caren”¬†features recipe¬†posts by Caren, the Teen Librarian at the Mattapan¬†Branch, on the second Friday¬†of every month.

Teen Central is Hiring Two Teen Tech Mentors

Posted on May 12th, 2016 by jsnow@private.bpl.org in Teen Services

Teen Tech Mentor Program

Who: For teens in grades 9-11

What: Teens will serve as Teen Tech Mentors in the Lab while they are trained in a number of different software programs by Teen Central Technology Staff.  Teens will be trained in the software in the Lab and will serve as peer mentors and assist in programming.  During open hours of the Lab, Teen Tech Mentors will informally teach other teens about the software and how to use them during the hours of Mondays and Tuesdays 3:00-6:00 pm.  To be a Teen Tech Mentor you must commit for the year September through May.

When: Program runs from September through May (follows the Boston Public Schools calendar) Program begins on September 19, 2016.

Are you interested in applying? If so, we are having open interview sessions on June 14, June 15 and June 17 from 4:00-6:00 pm on each day. You may fill in applications then or come to Teen Central to get one.  Teen Central is located; 700 Boylston Street Boston, MA 02116.

Questions? Email Jessi Snow jsnow@bpl.org or call 617-859-2335

Teen Tech mentors will be paid $10.00 an hour for 6 hours a week.