Digital Etiquette and Online Safety

Posted on February 22nd, 2016 by Anna in Teen Services



With so many people online it’s no wonder they often don’t know how their actions and interactions shape their lives and affect others. Future employers will likely do an online search for you to determine whether or not they want to hire you. Others want to steal your identity or maybe pick a fight with you over something that doesn’t actually matter all that much. With this in mind, here are a list of nine tips on how you can be a good citizen online, to better influence your real life interactions.


Nine Tips on Being a Good Online Citizen:

1.) Respect others and the website/social media you’re using. Even if you don’t agree with someone’s thoughts, you don’t need to start or fuel an online argument. Before you post an argument, take the time to pause and reflect on whether or not it’s worth it.

2.) Don’t type everything in all caps. This is seen as yelling and most people don’t like to be yelled at, including you, right?

3.) Know who you’re connecting with before you act. Be wary of websites and emails that ask you to act immediately, want personal information, include links you don’t recognize, have offers that seem too good to be true, or ask you to send money to someone you don’t know.

4.) Don’t plagiarize. Give credit where credit is due. Someone worked hard on that essay or article. It’s one thing to borrow a section and quote the source where you found it, and quite another to ignore the original creator’s hard work.

5.) Keep your personal information private. Strangers online do not need to know your address, phone number, birth date, or your email address, any of which could be used to steal your identity.

6.) Don’t gossip. Just because something is true, doesn’t mean it needs to be repeated. Gossip can often be hurtful to others, whether they know it’s happening or not. Think back, would you want someone gossiping about you?

7.) Watch your language/don’t post inappropriate pictures or comments. This could be very hurtful to others, whether they’re your closest friends or not. Once something is posted, you cannot take it back. If you’re unsure what’s appropriate, think about someone in authority, someone you respect, or an employer viewing what you’re about to post. If the thought makes you uncomfortable, don’t do it.

8.) Don’t give out passwords, even to friends. Once you give your passwords out, your accounts and content are no longer just yours.

9.) Remember that it’s easy to take things the wrong way*. Because it is difficult to convey the spirit of a written statement, a post meant as a joke, or gentle teasing, can really upset someone who takes it seriously. Adding emoticons or LOL doesn’t always help either. It’s always good to think about how your joke could be taken before you post it, and as a reader, before you respond, remember you may not understand the spirit of the comment.


Online Resources:

These nine tips were pulled from the following sources, which offer more tips and information about digital etiquette and online safety, if you’re interested.

Stay Safe Online Tips & Advice

Safety Net Kids

National Children’s Advocacy Center – Internet Safety Tips for Kids and Teens

Internet Netiquette – A Prezi Presentation

*This blog post and tip #9 was inspired by this recent event.

Success Link Summer Job Fair

Posted on February 15th, 2016 by Anna in Teen Services
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To be eligible for the Success Link employment program:

  • Must turn 15 on, or before, July 4, 2016
  • Cannot turn 19 on, or before, August 12, 2016
  • Must be a full time resident of the city of Boston
  • Must be legally permitted to work in the United States.



Need to write your first resume or polish the one you have?

We’re hosting a resume writing workshop with ABCD in Teen Central, Friday, February 19th at 3pm! No registration is required for this workshop.




Can’t make it to the workshop, but still need to write that resume?

We’ve got some resume writing and interview books you can take home to help!





Valentine’s Day

Posted on February 8th, 2016 by Anna in Teen Services
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Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France and Australia. Historians believe that Americans didn’t start celebrating the holiday until the early 1700’s. The first mass-produced valentines were made in the 1840’s by Esther Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine”. Today, over 1 billion Valentine’s Day greeting cards are sold each year, second only to Christmas cards (2.5 billion Christmas Cards sell every year.).

So, how did this holiday come to be? Actually, there is no one story about Saint Valentine.

One version tells of a priest living in Rome during the third century. The priest continued to hold weddings after the emperor decided that single men made for better soldiers and outlawed marriage. Valentine’s actions were eventually discovered and the emperor called for his death.

A second version says that Valentine was killed for helping Christians escape Roman prisons. He fell in love with the jailor’s daughter, writing her a note that was signed “from your Valentine”, a phrase that is still used today.

Join us in Teen Central for a Valentine’s Day Party on February 11th from 4-7pm. Dress up or down. There will be photo booths, dance competitions, and prizes! This party was organized by teens for teens, so don’t miss out!




Looking for books to help celebrate your Valentine’s Day?

Check out our list, here, for everything from dating advice to the story of chocolate and a wide variety of teen romance novels.






Black History Month

Posted on February 1st, 2016 by Anna in Teen Services
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black history month

The Origins of Black History Month

  • In 1915, American historian, Dr. Carter G. Woodson and minister Jesse E. Moorland started an organization known as the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH) which was dedicated to researching and promoting achievements by black Americans.
  • ASNLH first celebrated Black History Week on February 12, 1926 because they believed in the need to celebrate the achievements of African-American men and women.
  • They chose the date because it includes the anniversaries of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and the death of Frederick Douglass
  • Symbolically, this period reflected Woodson’s belief that African-American history was American history.
  • After the first Black History Week, city mayors across the country began to recognize it and celebrate it
  • Schools and communities were inspired to organize celebrations, establish history clubs and host performances and lectures
  • President Gerald R. Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, calling upon the public to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
  • Today ASNLH is known as Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)



Looking for specific books to celebrate Black History Month?

We have a Black History Month list in our catalog here to get you started.

Black is… is a booklist in our catalog of recent titles, developed annually for Black History Month. This list can also be found here as a printable brochure.

Anime Review: Serial Experiments Lain

Posted on January 27th, 2016 by jkenney@private.bpl.org in Movies, Programs, Reviews - Staff, Reviews - Teens, Teen Services

serial lain

Serial Experiments Lain [R 17+] is a powerful science fiction anime series from 1998.  This psychological thriller centers on the experience of Lain Iwakura and her introduction to cyber-life in “The Wired” [Internet].  After a tragic suicide by a girl in her high school class, she and many other classmates receive emails from the girl after she has died.  This mystery sets the scene for the main thrust of the story.

Other characters include Lain’s best friend Arisu Mizuki and her larger circle of friends, Masami Eiri – apparent designer and god-like figure of The Wired, Knights – “men in black” who are ambiguously involved with the wired, Lain’s family and father who is a computer expert, and a group of younger children who provide another perspective to the developing sense of cyber-life.

Masami serves as the main foil in the series.  A large portion of the plot centers on ideas of self, divinity, physical versus spiritual, real versus virtual, and other wrenching questions often faced in the teen years.  The visual palette contains strong use of “white field” contrasts and fills as well as other shadow fills using “blood pool” and collage-like patterns.  The white fields get repeated emphasis as a sunlight effect in the morning scenes as Lain leaves her house for school.  After a few appearances, the technique is familiar and the artistic style of the series is clearly set apart.  Its continued use serves to amplify the sense of drudgery and emptiness that Lain experiences going to school.  At the same time, the technique itself is stark and almost blinding, creating a confusing crosscurrent to an otherwise static and low energy scene.  It’s truly masterful.  The soundtrack is very strong with its selection of music and an audio “hum” effect that is used to represent the ever-present activity on The Wired. It is usually combined with views of power lines and transformers at scene changes.

Serial Experiments Lain has received notable praise from the critical community and I strongly recommend it for Anime fans.  You can watch it for free on Kissanime.com and Animefrost.com