Category Archives: Teen Services

Hold the Popcorn!: Suicide Squad

Posted on August 23rd, 2016 by jlevins in Teen Services


The summer is winding down. Almost time to start thinking about hitting the books again as school will be back in session soon. Almost, but not quite yet. There is still time to check out one more rad summer movie, and Suicide Squad is a great choice!

All around badass Special Forces person Amanda Waller (played by Viola Davis) puts together a team of mutant supervillains, known as “Task Force X”, to carry out missions for the United States government. Unfortunately, one of Waller’s recruits, Dr. June Moore (played by Cara Delevinge), becomes possessed by the Enchantress, an evil interdimensional witch-like entity who craves revenge on society. The Enchantress and her brother are not happy about the way that society seems to worship machines the way they used to worship them! The performances in Suicide Squad are great. The always great Will Smith puts on a commanding performance as Deadshot. Jared Leto does his best to fill the huge shoes left behind by Heath Ledger in his portrayal of The Joker, and proves to be worthy of the task overall. My personal favorite was Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as the reptilian Killer Croc. The bottom line is that the Enchantress and her brother must be destroyed, and the question is whether or not the Suicide Squad is up to the task. See the movie and find out!

Enjoy the rest of your summer and save me the aisle seat!


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.


Teens Leading in the Community: The SuccessLink Process

Posted on August 16th, 2016 by jsnow in Teen Services

SuccessLink: helping teens find opportunities easily








This post was written by Anna Dao, student at Boston Latin School and SuccessLink teen working in Teen Central.

A solid amount of teenagers all across Boston, ages ranging from 15-18, are most likely working this summer and earning money for college, savings, or just some extra pocket cash to spend time with their friends. Whatever the reason is, teens are spending their summer break working and that is all thanks to Mayor Martin J Walsh and the Department of Youth Engagement and Employment. Earlier this year Mayor Walsh launched Successlink, which enables these teens to find job opportunities.

Although the money that teens will have earned from the work that they will have done is important, an even better benefit to working in the summer is giving teens an insight in being in the real world before they are actually in the real world. These young adults will be engaging in opportunities that, not only provide real world experience, but also give them the chance to learn who they really are, who they want to be, what they like to do, and what they want to do.

The process is simple: Teens would sign up for SuccessLink in the wintertime and apply to a number of organizations connected to SuccessLink. Their SuccessLink profile has their resume, all the needed identifications, and an essay that the teen wrote explaining why they would be an excellent candidate for a job in the summer. From there, the teens would apply to whatever jobs interest them.

Many of my classmates and friends used SuccessLink to connect to job opportunities and are now currently working this summer. I recall in the past when I constantly listened as the broken records that I call my friends droned on and on (myself included) about how much they desired to have a job in the summer. It was very difficult to find a place that was hiring students because of their young age. Therefore, students all across Boston were struggling to find something to occupy themselves with. Picture that; a city filled with intelligent young people who have so much potential, but no way to express that because they were struggling to find jobs.

On top of that, students are learning a number of skills from working with these businesses that they will be able to put on their college application. This age is quite a struggle because 15-18 is the time when students would seriously be thinking about college. It seems like their world is rushing them to find what they want to do for the rest of their life and urging them to beef up their college application so that they would be able to get into colleges. Changes are happening so many students can feel like they are unprepared skillfully and/or mentally and their world in spinning. However, working in the summer not only gives them a taste of a certain field without committing to it completely, but also gives them experience that many colleges will appreciate.

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.

Cooking with Caren: Marshmallow Treats

Posted on August 13th, 2016 by crosales in Teen Services


5 Steps to Perfect Marshmallow Treats!


1. Melt 1/2 cup of butter in large sauce pan over low heat.


2. Add 8 cups of mini marshmallows and stir until melted and well-blended.  Cook 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.


3. Add 10 cups of cereal. Stir until well coated.


4. Using a buttered spatula or waxed paper, press mixture evenly and firmly in buttered 13 x 9 inch pan.


5. Cut into 2 x 2 inch squares when cool.



Recipe courtesy of: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/9959/marshmallow-treats/

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.

Hack the System!: Headphones as a Camera?!?

Posted on August 10th, 2016 by adowds in Technology, Teen Services
Tags: , ,

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In 2013, the Oxford Dictionary announced its word of the year would be “selfie”. The Oxford Dictionary states that a selfie is “A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media”. While it lists the origin date as 21st Century, the actual first selfie was taken over 150 years ago in 1839! That’s before telephones, computers, and television.  According to The Public Domain Review, “…amateur chemist and photography enthusiast”, Robert Cornelius, took the first portrait in his family’s store in Philadelphia. He did so “…by removing the lens cap and then running into frame where he sat for a minute before covering up the lens again”. Check out his picture… Pretty cool, right?selfie2

Selfies, obviously, have taken off after the introduction of smartphones. Each day, more than 1 million selfies are being generated by people around the world. Mastering a selfie, however, can be quite traumatic. According to the article Millennials Selfies, young adults will take more than 25,000 selfies during their lifetime. The average young adult spends about 7 minutes A DAY in order to perfect their photo. That’s almost 54 hours a year!

The struggle is real – we get it. Problems often arise when it comes to getting the right angle, removing that ever-present selfie arm from the photo, or the dreaded double or multiple-chin shot that is inevitable. But what if I told you I knew of a tech hack that might solve a lot of these problems. Enter Apple’s Remote Earbuds.

At first, they might just look like ear buds, but take a closer look and they are now the new selfie stick, but way more awesome. I asked a couple of teens at Teen Central to try out this fun tech hack following these 4 easy steps:


  1. Plug your Apple earbuds into your iPhone.
  2.  Open up your Camera app.
  3. Focus on a picture or selfie of your choosing.
  4. Snap a picture by pressing either the up or down volume button on the earbud cable.







So next time you want to take the ultimate group selfie or you want a super-steady shot from far away and without your arm in the way, grab your headphones, have fun, and smile!






photocred by Apple Remote Earbuds



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 second Wednesday of each month for her latest post.

Reading Backwards, Watching in Japanese: The Wind Rises

Posted on August 9th, 2016 by jkenney in Movies, Teen Services

the-wind-rises-1080Welcome back Otaku. I hope everyone is having a good summer.  This month we return to feature films and the great Anime master himself, Hayao Miyazaki. His last film before retiring in 2013, The Wind Rises (Kaze Tachinu), is a dreamy tale about Jirou Horikoshi and his quest to build the best airplane in Japanese history. He idolized the Italian aeronautical engineer Giovanni Battista Caproni and often fantasizes about conversing with him to talk about designs and the deeper things in life. Horikoshi comes of age during the Great Depression, when industry and world politics are strained back to the brink of war. Japan has suffered a great earthquake and the country is suffering immensely. Horikoshi is torn between the magical wonder of flight, and the hard realities of modern world politics.


the-wind-rises-caproniLike his earlier work Porco Rosso, Miyazaki creates sympathetic characters who were devoted to aviation and the public good, but opposed to needless war and oppression. Porco Rosso is pursued by the fascists to return to service and fly for Mussolini’s regime. Horikoshi is faced with poverty and unemployment and has to take a job building military aircraft for the Japanese Empire. It is clear their hearts are centered on flight and creativity, but they must chose their battles and try to make a life for themselves, regardless.


Earlier while at university, romance enters the story when Horikoshi assists a young woman named Naoko Satomi during a train accident. He helps her home without ever giving his name. Character dress, vehicles, and technology are all accurately rendered in this wonderful period piece. Aircraft receive a special emphasis as might be expected. Many types are represented in the story with some more fantastical designs added for whimsy and drama.

yoko_outWhile the Mitsibushi A6M Zero is not actually shown on screen for long, if my memory serves me, it’s predecessors and all of Horikoshi’s design elements are clearly present in the prototypes being developed in the story. Lightweight, streamlined and graceful shapes characterize his designs. Even the “gull wing” set up, where the wing appears to be bent as if flapping in a natural bird shape, is featured on some of his planes that were actually built.


Wind-rises-the-2013-015-mother-and-children-in-forestThe Wind Rises is a beautiful story about creative genius, love, and the harsh realities of modern life. There is an element of tragedy in the story, but it lends to the strength and tenderness of the characters. Sky, landscape, urban scenes, period and traditional dress, seascapes, dream sequences, and of course aircraft, are all exquisitely drawn and animated in true Miyazaki style. I was pleasantly surprised by the depth and message of this story given that it involved the famous Axis fighter, the Mitsubishi Zero. Like Werner Von Braun, who worked for the Nazis developing the V-2 rocket and later joined the US in the Space Race, Horikoshi has to serve the emperor in order to support himself and his family. But you know at heart that he is a dreamer and talented aeronautical engineer. His dreams with Caproni show how much he loved flight and the engineering problems he could solve. Beautiful designs can do beautiful things, but they can also be put to war. This film is a wonderfully animated lesson on flight, engineering, and the challenges of life.

Watch it here for free on Kissanime.to

john250-150x150Did you know that in addition to physical books and DVDs, your library card gives you access to anime and graphic novels online? The BPL subscribes to Hoopla, a streaming service that allows you to check out and enjoy the media you love on your computer, tablet or smartphone. You can learn more about the BPL’s digital media collections here.

Want company while you’re watching anime? The Hyde Park Teen Anime Club meets on Thursdays at 2:30 p.m.

*”Reading Backwards, Watching in Japanese” features reviews of anime and manga by John, the Teen Librarian at the Hyde Park Branch, on the second Tuesday of every month.