Teens

Category Archives: Teen Services

Hold the Popcorn!: Queen of Katwe

Posted on September 26th, 2016 by jlevins in Movies, Teen Services

David Oyelowo is Robert Katende and Madina Nalwanga is Phiona Mutesi in Disney's QUEEN OF KATWE, the vibrant true story of a young girl from the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess.

David Oyelowo is Robert Katende and Madina Nalwanga is Phiona Mutesi in Disney’s QUEEN OF KATWE, the vibrant true story of a young girl from the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess.

Based on Tim Carrothers’ 2012 book The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl’s Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster, the new Disney film Queen of Katwe is the story of a young girl named Phiona (played by Madina Nalwanga in her debut role) who sells corn for a living on the streets of the Ugandan countryside with her mom Harriet (played by the fantastic Lupita Nyong’o). Their lives are not very easy, but they are very strong and resilient people. Soon Phiona meets Robert (played by David Oyelowo of 12 Years a Slave). Robert is a former soccer star turned missionary and chess mentor who teaches Phiona about chess. Phiona happens to be a natural born chess player, and Robert brings her natural talents to the surface. Skeptical at first, mom Harriet eventually realizes that Phiona’s natural aptitude for chess, combined with Robert’s mentorship, might be Phiona’s best shot at avoiding an impoverished life of selling corn. I have been waiting patiently for a really good, positive film like this for quite some time. I heartily recommend that everyone go to see Queen of Katwe on the big screen.

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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.

 

Ctrl+Z: Girls Who Code is coming to Teen Central!

Posted on September 23rd, 2016 by chalpin@private.bpl.org in Teen Services

gwc-logo_2016-hi-resGirls Who Code is a national non-profit organization that works to address the gender gap in technology.  Volunteers with computer science knowledge partner with community organizations who act as host sites, and Girls Who Code provides a curriculum designed to teach young women computer coding while also promoting camaraderie, teamwork, and leadership skills. Participants will work collaboratively on a project that addresses a problem relevant to their community and provide a solution through computer science. Girls will be introduced to a variety of programming languages and learn key coding concepts such as, functions, variables, conditionals, and loops.

Teen Central is excited to launch a new Girls Who Code Club here at the Central location of the Boston Public Library. Our club will start on Saturday, October 8th, 2016 and then continue to meet weekly between 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Participants must either be in grades 6-12, or ages 12-18. Registration is required. To register email teencentral@bpl.org, or call (617) 859-2334.

 

Need 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 the month.

Teens Leading in the Community: Opportunities in Boston

Posted on September 20th, 2016 by jsnow@private.bpl.org in Teen Services
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What does it mean to lead or to be a leader? It’s the action of leading a group of people or an organization and also the state or position of being a leader and when people look to you as being a leader.

There a lot of opportunities for teens to lead in their schools, libraries, outside organizations and more. What are some opportunities for teens to lead in their communities?

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Teen Central has an opportunity called the Teen Leadership Council. It’s a youth-driven council that provides teens in grades 6-12 an opportunity to develop leadership skills, help to develop teen services and programs in Teen Central and connect with the community while volunteering with the library. The Teen Leadership Council meets every month on the last Wednesday of each month at 3:30. Want more information? Contact Jess jsnow@bpl.org Teen Central also has opportunities during the school year; Teen Tech Mentor and Teen Gaming Specialists, where teens are hired, trained and then lead programs in the Lab and in the Media Lounge. Look for these opportunities in June.

Artists for Humanity hires teens to work collaboratively with mentors to inspire solutions-big and small. There are all kinds of programs teens can become involved in with Artists for Humanity working in studios and learning more about arts and technology.

The Mayor’s Youth Council provides teens with an active role in addressing youth issues, the issues that they deal with are real and they work in teams to try and solve the issues. The Council is also provided with a budget that they utilize to help solve the issues. Public speaking is also something the Mayor’s Youth Council is provided with as well as honing these skills.

The Boston Youth Service Network has a Youth Council that is a major component of Network activism and authentic alternative education youth voice. It is the only youth council in Boston representing the perspective of out-of school youth enrolled education diploma, GED/HiSET, and career exploration programs in the BYSN Network.

Generation Citizen works to ensure that teens receive an effective action civics education, which provides them with the knowledge and skills to participate in democracy as active citizens. Do you like debate and public speaking? There is a Student Leadership Board as well as other opportunities to get involved with.

Are you interested in poetry and/or open mics? Mass LEAP has a Youth Spoken Word Leaders Program that seeks to support the development of youth not only as artists but also as organizers and teachers.

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

Hack the System!: Turn Your Handwriting Into a Custom Font

Posted on September 16th, 2016 by adowds in Technology, Teen Services
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Helvetica. Arial. Georgia. Times New Romaaannn. These fonts get boring. Sooo boring. In fact, it is time to stop hitting the snooze button and get creative with a few easy steps, a black Sharpie marker, and your own two hands. Turning your handwriting into a new font is super easy. Today, I am going to show you how to do this:

 

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Most websites will tell you that it only takes 5 minutes to turn your handwriting into a new font. If you are that rare unicorn that can perfect something in one try, it will take you 5 minutes. If you are like me and get a little nutty when it comes to the details, it will take you at least an hour. Warm up those penmanship skills and have fun with this Tech Hack. Let’s get started!

 

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First, print out this template and fill in each square. Don’t use a regular Bic pen. I used a fine point black Sharpie marker. Be careful to stay within the lines or part of your letters will get cut off.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Next, scan the sheet or sheets — you can create as many fonts as you want. Be sure to scan in greyscale, not color. Then, upload the completed template to MyScriptFont.com. Follow the steps, give your font a name, and you should see something like this:

 

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If you like your font, continue on to the next step by clicking on the file name (ie, Ally_sFont.ttf). I created both a print and cursive version of my handwriting.

 

 
 
 
 

Finally, install your new font onto your computer. Once you click on the file link, you will be prompted to install. Simply follow the steps on either a Mac or in Windows. It really is that easy.

 

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That’s it! You created your very own font! Open up Word, Google docs, Illustrator, Photoshop, or any software that utilizes lettering, select your newly designed font style in the drop-down menu, and start typing!

 

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allyWant 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.

Reading Backwards, Watching in Japanese: Mob Psycho 100

Posted on September 13th, 2016 by jkenney@private.bpl.org in Movies, Previews, Reviews - Staff, Reviews - Teens, Teen Services

mob-psycho-100Hello Otaku! I hope the new school year is starting well for all of our fans back in classes. On the theme of “new things,” our club members at Hyde Park recommended the new show Mob Psycho 100. This new series is an action/psycho thriller combo with clear links back to the world famous and groundbreaking film Akira, from 1988. Mob Psycho 100 anime is produced by the same makers of One Punch Man. On this new team, they assembled director Yuzuru Tachikawa from Death Parade and composer Kenji Kawai from Ghost in the Shell. (reference and link credit: Kotaku.com) 

 

 

 

 

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Tetsuo unleashing his telekinetic power in Akira

 

mob-psycho-100-blogThe hero of the story is Mob, a mild and reserved middle school kid who has trouble expressing himself. He seems generally unremarkable except for his one talent, ESP. ESP stands for “Extra-Sensory  Perception” and is not completely confirmed by science. Some people believe it exists and it is often called the “sixth sense.” Common forms of the phenomena can be referred to as “vibe”, “aura” or “spirit.” Spirit is a common theme in many Japanese anime so it’s not surprising we’re seeing it here. But rather than involving magic or classic supernatural themes, Mob Psycho 100 makes reference to a more scientific approach to tell a similar story.

mobpsycho100[Click image for GIF] The artwork and animation are amazing here and I want to take the opportunity to compliment (and brag about) our wonderful teens at Hyde Park. I am sure you and your friendly Otaku would make the same observations as our teens. First, the artwork is simpler than standard cutting edge titles that are taking advantage of HD resolutions and thousands of brilliant colors. Instead, BONES studio uses a simple art style, like that used for One Punch Man. This allows the artists a lot more time and flexibility to create fantastic animation and psychedelic spirit characters. Really though, the art work and creativity erupt with action and dynamism. The balance of time and effort in the production work is clearly evident. These were some of the first things our teens commented about when we started the show last week. They were right on top of this with critical analysis, examples and their reactions. It was great to hear and they had me sold in less than half an episode. I sometimes wondered why the drawing style was more simplistic. Now I understand.

So check out Mob Psycho 100 on Crunchyroll or Kissanime

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.