Category Archives: Teen Services

Teens Leading in the Community

Posted on May 1st, 2017 by jsnow in Teen Services

city year










Yo yo yo it’s ya friend Ananda here back at you with some new info about the professional panel y’all missed. So today April 24th, a lovely woman by the name of Velma came to tell us about how we can be the next team of City Year members. Did you know that about eight hundred thousand students drop out of high school a year? City Year members aren’t mean and discriminating like we might have assumed in like 5th grade. They are actually committed members who are passionate about filling in that extra help for those students,who struggle in school, have behavioral issues, etc.  They are even starting to recruit members starting at 18 years old. The position is a 10 month commitment and opens up a world to networking. How exciting is that!  They coach you through how to be a leader as well as prepare you for the college experiences and the aftermath. This sounds like the best opportunity if I haven’t seen one already.

Hello my fellow teens, gamers, geeks, um… whoever you may be, it’s Jorge coming back to you with another program review! This time, we had a member from City Year come in and speak to us about her job and the experiences she and her peers had. During this presentation, we were given an overview of the job, including the story behind their uniform, the founder of City Year, and the activities they participate in as a group. The Teen Gaming Specialists along with the Teen Tech Mentors sat in a semi-circle with staff member, Velma, and watched a short film on the long-term goal of City Year, followed by our questions and her insight. City Year’s goal is to help foster academic achievement along with captivating activities such as field trips, group projects, and cooling time between classes. The deeds the staff members take part in include giving students help on school or personal matters, giving off an energetic vibe to anyone in the vicinity, and being an overall support system to students. When asked about pull factors of this organization, her reply was along the lines of knowing that unfortunate students need a helping hand, and that she wants to assist in making their road to adulthood as easy as possible. This is a perfect example of how City Year’s main focus is the achievement of young students and their well being.


On the Radar: Five Books to Check Out in May

Posted on April 28th, 2017 by vkovenmatasy in Books, Previews, Teen Services

Get your library card handy and reserve your place in line for these new May releases! If you place a hold now, they can be in your hands before they even hit the shelf.

Please note: all summaries are taken from the Boston Public Library catalog unless otherwise noted. They may have been edited for length and clarity.


i believe in a thing called love cover

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

Summary: A disaster in romance, high school senior Desi Lee decides to tackle her flirting failures by watching Korean television dramas, where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten.

Why We’re Excited: K-DRAMAS FOR THE WIN. I love this cover, I love this premise, and I’ve been keeping an eye out for new releases from Maurene Goo since I spotted the likewise-delightful Since You Asked on the library shelf. I have high hopes indeed!


crossing ebenezer creek cover

Crossing Ebenezer Creek by Tanya Bolden

Summary: Freed from slavery, Mariah and her young brother Zeke join Sherman’s march through Georgia, where Mariah meets a free black named Caleb and dares to imagine the possibility of true love, but hope can come at a cost.

Why We’re Excited: I don’t usually see historicals get the same kind of fan following from the YA market as the behemoth fantasy authors, but Tonya Bolden — probably better known for her nonfiction titles such as Maritcha, Searching for Sarah Rector, and the recently released Pathfinders: The Journeys of 16 Extraordinary Black Souls — made me sit up and take notice when I saw her name on an upcoming release. Sherman’s March to the Sea is an uncommon subject for a young adult novel, which makes it all the more important to highlight when a highly respected researcher like Bolden pens one. I expect to learn a lot from Crossing Ebenezer Creek.


when dimple met rishi cover

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Summary: When Dimple Shah and Rishi Patel meet at a Stanford University summer program, Dimple is avoiding her parents’ obsession with “marriage prospects” but Rishi hopes to woo her into accepting an arranged marriage with him.

Why We’re Excited: This book has been getting a ton of buzz on the various library/publishing blogs I follow, plus that gorgeous cover sells itself! When Dimple Met Rishi sounds like a solid readalike for Born Confused, which is an older title but still absolutely fantastic — also starring a heroine named Dimple, incidentally.


queer there and everywhere cover

Queer, There, and Everywhere by Sarah Prager

Summary: World history has been made by countless lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals–and you’ve never heard of many of them. Queer author and activist Sarah Prager delves deep into the lives of 23 people who fought, created, and loved on their own terms. From high-profile figures like Abraham Lincoln and Eleanor Roosevelt to the trailblazing gender-ambiguous Queen of Sweden and a bisexual blues singer who didn’t make it into your history books, these astonishing true stories uncover a rich queer heritage that encompasses every culture, in every era.

Why We’re Excited: Queer history, just in time to get educated for Pride Month! I’m part of the committee that put together the BPL’s inaugural We Are Pride booklist (coming out in June, so keep your eyes peeled!) and one thing I noticed while we were working on finalizing our list was that while there’s tons of great LGBTQ+ representation in YA fiction, the nonfiction books are usually written for adults. I’m happy to see Queer, There, and Everywhere join The Letter Q, Beyond Magenta, Some Assembly Required, Rethinking Normal, Gay America, and Stonewall on the small but awesome shelf of LGBTQ+ YA nonfiction.


thick as thieves cover

Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner

Summary: Kamet, a secretary and slave to his Mede master, has the ambition and the means to become one of the most powerful people in the Empire. But with a whispered warning the future he envisioned is wrenched away, and he is forced onto a very different path.

Why We’re Excited: Go back in time. Back, back, baaaaaaack… all the way to the prehistoric times when I was in middle school, and read this very old-school adventure book with a crazy twist at the end called The Thief. It was kind of historical-flavored, but not really HISTORY-history, just old-timey and cool, and it had a very dorky cover but I didn’t care because I was a kind of dorky middle-schooler anyway. Then a many years later I discovered that The Thief had two sequels (with increasingly cooler covers, I might add) in which things… escalated. Significantly. Quick spoiler alert: the protagonist from my dorky middle grade adventure novel had his freaking HAND cut off, okay? And that was just the beginning of the book! Megan Whalen Turner was not messing around. So fast forward to the present day and we’re getting a new book in the Queen’s Thief series, plus new and EVEN COOLER editions of all the previous books (look at that cover, I think back to how far we’ve come and want to cry with happiness), and I’m dying to see what madness awaits.


icon of VeronicaDid I get you interested in reading one of these books? Just click the title of the one you want and the link will take you to the relevant page in the catalog. From there you can click the green “Place a Hold” button and you’re all set!

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


*”On the Radar” features book previews by Veronica, the Teen Librarian at the Dudley Branch, on the last Tuesday or Friday of every month.

Hack the System!: FREE Audiobooks for the Summer with SYNC!

Posted on April 21st, 2017 by adowds in Books, Technology, Teen Services
Tags: , , ,

Free books, anyone??


Starting April 27th, audiobook service, SYNC, is providing free downloads of YA titles for teens to read and enjoy over the summer! Simply download the OverDrive app and listen to books on your phone, computer, or any device that has internet access and allows downloads. Each week SYNC releases two new titles shelved by a similar theme or genre such as classic literature, science fiction, or real life teen stories. Titles change each Thursday at 7 a.m. and the program runs until August 16th.




Stuck on the train for an hour? Plug in and listen to Douglas Adams’ science fiction journey into space, A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Hours of household chores ahead of you today? Speed up time by immersing yourself in Nikki Grimes’ award-winning novel, Bronx Masquerade, which uses the structure and prose of poetry slams to tell the stories of 18 different teens who undertake the risky challenge of self-revelation. Want to be dip into a deep, dark, and dangerous mystery on a hot summer day? Listen to Daniel José Older’s Shadowshaper, a suspenseful tale of magical shadowshapers, a family’s hidden past, and a killer in the shadows.




Aside from being FREE, there are so many reasons to try to SYNC and listen to audiobooks. For example, many of the weekly titles can be found on audiobooksschool summer reading lists, providing you with a wonderfully interactive alternative to access a variety of books while completing your assignments. What if reading is just not your thing? Audiobooks are appealing for this very reason. You no longer have to sit in one place and read until your eyes glass over. Listen to chapters 1-4 while exercising, walking to your friend’s house, or riding the train to and from your summer job. Audiobooks can be read anywhere, anytime and enable you to experience a diverse selection of book with easy access. Plus, the theatrical readings by authors and actors make these stories all that more enjoyable. One of the best features – audiobooks tell you how much time is left in the book! Time management at its best!




Visit SYNC to get started today. Once registered, you can receive alerts about upcoming featured books by texting syncya to 25827. You can also keep track of the program through SYNC’s e-mail newsletter and by visiting www.audiobooksync.com. These alerts do not send you the titles but keep you in the loop as to what you are reading next! Give audiobooks a try and hack the boredom of chores, transit, and summer blues by SYNCing your device and unlocking a world of adventures, romance, dramas, and fantastical realms. Happy summer reading!



ally-150x150Did you know that in addition to physical books and DVDs, your library card gives you access to audiobooks through Bibliocommons, Hoopla, and Overdrive. To learn more about how to download audiobooks to a device, visit the library’s eBook & Digital Media page. To browse books on CD, search for titles and authors in the BPL catalog and select “Audiobook CD” under format. Or, ask a Librarian!

Want 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 third Friday of each month for her latest post.

​Game On! Video Game History Review

Posted on April 18th, 2017 by jsnow in Teen Services

Game On! Video Game History Review

Yo yo ! It’s your girl Ananda here, and looky here what I have exclusively brought to your first attention! There is a new book out here called “Game On! Video Game History”. This book is great for any gamer who is interested in, what else, the history of all the games we hold dear. We hold games like Pac-man, Sonic The Hedgehog , Street Fighter, Grand Theft Auto, etc. These games were all mentioned in this book, and not only did it mention the behind scenes of each games, it gives exclusive tips and cheats within each game. It also gives a very exciting evolution of a series of games starting from Pong and Pac-Man to Mario, Minecraft, and much more. There are fun facts thrown all over the place. The author’s side commentary, (much like mine), are great and lively.

I probably shouldn’t do this but I’ll let you in on a little secret. There is an exclusive Madden Curse. Exposed in this book. In order to crack this secret, ya gotta crack the book and read it. It’s only five paragraphs long, and I mean that fine since in school we practically will in our senior year of college (if you choose to do so), write on average 146 papers/essays.

A few fun facts to share with your friends, (if you have any…it’s okay I will be your friend cause I don’t have many either. I am low key annoying), Pac-Man was first targeted toward the female audience. The mascot was also the very first video game mascot. True facts from the book guys.

Yo, for all you violent gamers, there is a Mortal Kombat evolution as well as a villain list, which I REALLY don’t agree with , but that’s for you to determine.

If you like controversy, this book actually speaks on the save file and how if you sleep that should be the way or some other method. Read that, that subject was an interesting one.

I’m going to end with the sims hacks, Pokemon lovers get to see an evolution, and finally Tomb Raider. That was amazing the fact that Tomb Raider was in it personally made my heart throb.

Teens Take on Product Design

Posted on April 11th, 2017 by adowds in Teen Services

The following blog post is written by Teen Central’s Teen Tech Mentors, Khalid & Khalid, and the Teen Gaming Specialists, Ananda & Jorge, about their experience participating in the Product Design Workshop in The Lab.


Product design


On Monday, March 27th, the Teen TechMentors and Teen Gaming Specialists at Teen Central (Khalid, Khalid, Ananda, Jorge, & Jorge’s friend) participated in a program about product design, led by Ms. Jackson, a Senior Project Manager at Cantina, a digital design and development agency. Ms. Jackson told us that her job required her to be the head of any project whose main duty is to plan, organize, lead, and control the project efficiently and effectively. In the program, she had us manage what seemed to be a relatively easy project, a trip from Boston to Egypt, though throughout the program it became clear that such a project is not as simple as it seems. During the progra
m each one of us was given a stack of sticky notes and a sharpie, and we had to plan and place a note on the wall and suggest improvements on each step of the process, ranging from undressing at the airport’s security check to whether a translator should be hired.

During our program with Ms. Jackson, we thought of what we would need for a trip going from Boston to Egypt.  We wrote on sticky notes what we would need to bring or do before, during and after our trip. Also, after getting everyone’s ideas onto the inspiration wall, we began to place them into chronological order of how our trip would go.  Next, we began a discussion of logistics such as when we would get to the airport or how and through what agency we would book our tickets.  Finally, we began to reflect on our program by discussing what we’ve observed by planning the flight from beginning to end such as the tedious nature of travel and how these steps related to product management.


We all genuinely had fun during this program since we were able to express ourselves and give our honest opinions on the subject matter. We were given a “template scenario” in which we spoke on ideas for airport security. In the process, we wrote down on index cards what people do when traveling, taped them to a window, and put our ideas together on a whiteboard. The notes we took on travelers’ actions intertwined with our security subject, since patterns in their behavior and needs can lead to a resolution (since the current process is controversial). There were many things we learned and gained from this program. One of those things was the ability to understand how product designers work in their environment, and how they come up with so many fascinating ideas in the process. This just happened to be the main goal of this program, leaving an impression on us, which can be used for years to come if we involve ourselves in this field of work, or any other. Another example of a learning experience from this program could be the inclusion of the mini-seminar we had after our ideas were put together. In this part of the program, we all expressed our honest and in-depth ideas on how airport security can be let’s say… “tweaked” or “revised”. This helped me realize that the ideas we shared led to a moment where we realized that product design is actually an AWESOME subject. It is a perfect example of when great minds think alike, amazing things can happen, and when these morals are applied to the real world, nothing but good can come from it.


Our advice for any teen still looking for some inspiration – BECOME A DESIGNER! This program was one that really had me inspired to use my own creative ideas and put them out into the world, and that’s what we discussed during the program. I have no idea what other topics could be discussed in other cases but we discussed what we’d do in the scenario if we were taking a trip to Egypt and staying for a while. Long story short, we went through an extravagant sticky note process, which we later learned was how a group of designers would undergo the same situation. So you sticky note lovers, this career could be the icing to your cupcakes done neatly to your satisfaction. Anyhow, this program really helps express the creative process of new critical thinking skills, and observing the lifestyle of a designer! If there was anyone looking to release their creative juices and spray its mist across the world and take credit for it, this program starts you at the beginning of your yellow brick road.

If I were to do this program again, I’d like to know more about how one begins to become a designer. I, Ananda, am currently in the ninth grade and have absolutely no idea what I want to do with my life, however, this designer career seems very intriguing so where do I sign up? While I’m still in school, there are concerns about schooling. What do I need to major in during college? Are there any tips about college that should be shared with the youth as advice? I had these questions answered, and we were advised to have a typical college schooling and that technology, business, sociology, and advertisement are all ways to go. But there is one final question – can I have pink hair? Best question of all interviews, they might laugh, but I’m serious… haha.