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Category Archives: News

Gender Neutral Pronouns

Posted on November 30th, 2013 by Mary in News, Teen Services
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On Yahoo today, there is an interesting article ” ‘Preferred’ pronouns gain traction at US colleges”, that discusses the increased use of gender neutral or preferred pronouns to describe gender. The article discusses the “Mouthing Off!” group who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender at Mills College in Oakland, California. The group lists “ze”, “sie”, “e”, “ou” and “ve” as well additional gender pronouns to “he”, “she”, and “they”.  Schools, such as the University of Vermont, allow students to choose from he, she and ze on class rosters. Other colleges and universities are mentioned for how they are accepting gender neutral pronouns.

Link: http://news.yahoo.com/preferred-pronouns-gain-traction-us-colleges-064437446.html.

Do you know of additional gender neutral pronouns? Please come in to the Central Library Teen Room and share them with Teen Librarians, Anna or Mary.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Banned Books Week and Teen Books Are Getting Special Attention

Posted on September 24th, 2013 by Akunna in Books, News, Teen Services
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Banned Books Week, promoted by the American Library Association (ALA), is a time to celebrate the freedom to read!

This is especially important for teens because teen books are more frequently challenged or banned. Why? According to president of the ALA Barbara Stripling

 

“Young adult [books] is a big trend right now, and a high number of complaints are directed at those books…There is a lot of pressure to keep teenagers safe and protected, especially in urban areas, and we are seeing many more complaints about alcohol, smoking, suicide and sexually explicit material…

Teenagers tell us that they like to read about what’s going on…They say ‘what do they [adults] think we are?’, as if teenagers remain naive and uneducated when facing these issues every day. The best way to protect them is to give them an array of things to read. If they are over-sheltered, they will enter the world without coping skills.”

 

So read, read away and feel free to ask your local librarian questions about banned books!

If you’re looking for reading suggestions–

Top Ten Most Frequently Banned Books in the Past Year

Patrick Ness, author of the Chaos Walking series, has some books to recommend , too.

 

Aveda Salon Workshops

Posted on June 17th, 2013 by Anna in Events, News, Programs, Teen Services
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PLEASE NOTE:

Our Escape Aveda Salon hair and makeup workshops have switched dates!

Wednesday, June 19th at 3pm will be the MAKEUP workshop.

Thursday, June 20th at 3pm will be the HAIR tips and tricks workshop.

Previously, the makeup workshop was scheduled for Thursday and the hair workshop was scheduled for Wednesday.

For fast updates on the programs and happenings in the Central Library Teen Room, follow us on Twitter: @BPLTeenCentral.

Cicadas 2013!

Posted on April 24th, 2013 by Anna in News
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Every seventeen years these cicada insects crawl out of the ground or tree branches and mate. Different regions of the United States are affected on a rolling cycle and this year the New England and Mid-Atlantic States are predicted to be the most effected. There are many different species of cicadas but the one that may affect us this year are known as Magicicada. And they could potentially be crawling anywhere that has grass or on trees.

Cicadas have a very distinct and loud mating song, much like crickets except they don’t rub their legs together to make noise. Instead they use special muscles around their ribs called tymbals to make their mating songs.

Thousands of these Magicicadas are predicted to come out this year in our region of the country. However, if you see a swarm of cicadas flying in your general vicinity, do not be afraid! Cicadas have no interest in humans, especially when they are out of the ground. Their only interest is to mate. The males will be singing their mating songs and the females will then lay their eggs either in the ground or on trees or shrubbery. So there may be damage to trees or crops and large cicada insects on the ground later this summer, making the ground sound a little crunchier as you walk but other than that they should not harm you. This could be a very exciting summer (if you are into bugs) or a very disgusting time (if bugs are not your thing). But if nothing else, I hear grilled cicadas make an excellent snack. YUM!

-Kevin, the Copley Teen Room Simmons Intern

Teens in the News: #FreePersepolis!

Posted on March 29th, 2013 by Akunna in Books, News
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free persepolisWhat would you do if a book was banned at your school? Recently, some teens in Chicago had to figure this out.

On March 14, public schools in Chicago were told to take the book Persepolis off their classroom shelves and to stop using the book in classes. Persepolis is a graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi that tells the story of her growing up in Iran during a revolution and a war with Iraq in the ’70s and ’80s and in the Chicago Public Schools, it’s taught in grades 7-12. The decision to ban the book, according to the head of Chicago Public Schools Barbara Byrd-Bennett, was made because of the  images of torture and the concern for students not being able to handle it.

After hearing about this, students at Lane Tech High School organized a rally for the next morning to demand that the book be kept in their schools. One high school senior, who read the book for class,  said Persepolis “sheds light on a different country and religion. It cancels out the stereotypes and changes your perspective.”  When asked whether the book was inappropriate for younger students, she added: “We shouldn’t have 12- and 13-year-olds who are not in tune politically. We’re being sheltered. We’re allowing ourselves to be dumbed down.” Students and teachers at another school called the Social Justice High led a read-in, reading the book in their library to protest the ban.

After these protests, Byrd-BennePersepolisprotesttt “re-phrased” the original message about all schools having to take Persepolis off their shelves.  In a letter to teachers, she stated that the book is appropriate for use in high school classrooms, but should not be used in 7th grade classes, where the book should be taken off of classroom shelves and kept in the school libraries only. Unfortunately, as others have noted, many elementary and middle schools do not have school libraries.

For me, hearing about this made me think a lot about access to information for young people and whether they have a say in that. So, I asked some teens at the Dudley Library what they thought about banning books in schools and what they think they’d do in that situation. Here are some of their thoughts:

Nathaniel: ” Why ban books? Books are about expressing ideas you never thought you had. If they ban a book I like, I might protest.”

Chole: “If someone banned A Girl Named Disaster, I would be upset because I’m reading that right now and I like it. If it was a book I never read, it would bother me because I never got the chance to read it.”

Imani: “It depends…if I like the book and it was banned in my school, I would just get it from the public library. There’s no point to banning one book because there are so many other books that probably have things in there that someone could ban it for.”

Ashley: “If a book was banned, I would try to get a petition signed or see what else is possible to do about it. We learn about war in history class. That’s not a good reason to ban a book. ”

How about you–what do you think? Have you read Persepolis? What would you do if a book was banned in your school or community?

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