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Posts from Muhlenberg Library

Hand-Made Project: Terrariums!

My favorite way to celebrate Earth Day is to bring more plants into my home.  But sadly, the plants rarely make it to see Memorial Day.  For all of you out there who want to fill their homes with plants, but then have trouble keeping them alive, terrariums might be the answer. 

I've always loved terrariums but they were a mystery to me.  How do they stay alive?  What materials do I need?  Why can't I make them look like the plants I see in magazines or in the

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Book Review: "What Curiosity Kills"

On March 18, Muhlenberg Library was lucky to host a panel of amazing writers who read from their newest books for teens.  Helen Ellis was the first author to arrive at the panel, so I had the chance to get to know her a little bit and meet her mom! The Library had just ordered copies of her first book for teens, called The Turning: What Curiosity Kills, but sadly, didn’t make it in time for the ... Read More ›

Meet Muhlenberg's Staff: Ashley Curran

We've gotten to know a lot of wonderful patrons that come to Muhlenberg and thought that we would return the favor. 

Ashley Curran has been the site manager of Muhlenberg since September 2010 and has already made big changes in the branch. 

How did you get started working in libraries?   Whilst finishing my bachelors in history at Hunter College I took a part time job as a bibliographic assistant at The New York Society Library and was mentored by a number of the ... Read More ›

Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month: A Booklist

Dating violence is a problem that is unfortunately all too common in teenagers' lives.  Abuse comes in many forms.  It can be physical as well as emotional, verbal and sexual, and it can happen to anyone.  This week, Marie Hansen, superstar librarian at Jefferson Market, posted a list of resources for people who are either in an abusive relationship or who know someone who is in an abusive relationship. 

YA literature has tackled this difficult subject in 

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Kick-Starting Creative Habits

Have you always meant to start a craft or hobby and froze when faced with a blank canvas, empty music paper or a glowing computer screen? You are not alone. Starting creative projects has always been on my New Year's resolution list. This year, I’m doing some prep work before facing that blank canvas and looking at books about developing your creativity written by people who are established artists in their own right.

The 

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TAG Reviews: Our Favorite Books Right Now

At our last Teen Advisory Group (TAG), I asked members what books they would recommend to other YA readers. After some debate, we put together a list and I learned a few things. The Hunger Games still reigns supreme, Harry Potter is now a classic, and Twilight is so 2010. Enjoy!

Books that Stand Alone:

Lockdown: Escape From the Furnace

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TAG reviews: Mario and Sonic and the Olympic Games

Last Friday, Muhlenberg’s Teen Advisory Group got together and played Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games. Everyone had an opinion and I thought it would be perfect for the very first “TAG reviews” installment. Let me just say that the reviews were very mixed…   Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games (played on the Wii)   Can you play this game alone?   “Yes!” (x3) “No, I need people” “Oh yeah!” “No, its ... Read More ›

Smart Girls

I read an interesting article recently about the lack of strong female characters on television. The article mainly looked at Gossip Girl as a show without any positive role models and then curses the networks that canceled Veronica Mars and My So Called Life. In some ways, I have to agree. I mean, Gossip Girl is just crazy, who visits prison inmates in backless dresses?! And I’m also in the special group of people who still hope for a Veronica Mars movie (time to let that one go I think). Luckily for teenage girls everywhere, YA novels are celebrating smart and ... Read More ›

The Best YA Books of 2010

In December, you can always depend on yearly round ups.  The best movies are debated online and in magazines along with favorite albums and the most entertaining celebrity train wrecks.  I love going through these lists and comparing them with my own personal favorites.  While I was putting together a "Best Books of 2010" display here at Muhlenberg (which was inspired by my need to display our TEN copies of Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins) I came across some "Best of 2010" lists with really great suggestions.  Perfect if 

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Pretty Monsters: A Review

Kelly Link’s Pretty Monsters is a collection of beautiful short stories ranging from fanciful to scary horror. To give you an idea of what the stories are like I'll just tell you about the first one I read.  It’s about a teenage boy who leaves a collection of his poetry in the coffin of his dead girlfriend.  After a few months, he decides that he wants his poetry back and has to dig it up.  The story is called "The 

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Family Ties: A Book List

The holidays are on their way, and nothing says holidays like mandatory time with family! 

Sometimes your family is your rock and sometimes your family is the rock that is chained to your leg after you are thrown in the ocean. Usually they are something in between. I put together a booklist about families; the good, the bad, the creepy and the homicidal. Consider it my holiday gift to you. 

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Beautiful Words, Beautiful Writing: Calligraphy at Muhlenberg

Many local branches have been offering special programs relating to NYPL’s major fall exhibition, Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam. Recently, I was excited to host a calligraphy program for our teens at the Muhlenberg branch.

We started with a straight line. Just like when you play an instrument or run a mile, you have to warm up. So we drew line after line until we got the right shape. Then we learned diamonds. When you put those two 

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Make Your Own Jewelry!

Muhlenberg's budding jewelers got together at last Thursday's Unplugged event (A bimonthly crafts and games program we have on Thursdays) to make some spooky necklaces and bracelets with local artist Pamela Isaac.  

We were given some twine, metal wire and elastic, along with tiny skulls, chains, tons of cool beads and metal pieces. We spent the next hour making our own wearable art. 

Here's a look at the materials that we used:  

Everyone's necklaces came out 

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The Hobbyist: 20 Minute Meals

Full disclosure: I’ve always been a Mark Bittman fan. I love the Minimalist column in the New York Times and my copy of How to Cook Everything has been used so much there are sauce splatters and spills all over it.   When I saw his book,

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Incarcerated Teens: A Booklist

Fellow librarian (and super-blogger) Marie just posted a great interview with the amazing librarians that work at the various sites of Passages Academy, an education program run in NYC's juvenile detention centers.  Please, check out the interview HERE.  The librarians at Passages Academy also have a wonderful book review blog called What's Good in the Library?, definitely worth 

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Adventures in Non-Fiction: A Day at the Spa (In Your Fridge)

Is there a hobby that you've always wanted to try but you don't know where to start?  Try the library!  We have the information; all you need to do is bring curiosity and the courage to try something new!

I spend way too much time at Sephora.  Are you familiar?  It’s a huge store filled with products that promise to make you shiner, beautiful, and less tired looking.  I'm embarrassed to say how much money I've spent there and that I have no idea what I'm putting on my skin.

I've been interested in making my own beauty care products ... Read More ›

Muhlenberg's Teen of the Month: Lady C

Teen Advisory Group meets once a week at Muhlenberg.  There, local teens talk about the things that they like in the library and the things they'd like to change.  Each month, we recognize a TAG member.  The first is a new member to TAG, we'll call Lady C to protect her secret identity.

the basics:

Name: Lady C, the fastest reader in Chelsea

Photo: No, Lady C is not a bear, but she did make this bear using a book she found in the library called

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UNO!!

Teen Pictionary!

Muhlenberg's Teen Advisory Group met last Friday to play team Pictionary for both prizes and, of course, the glory on winning. It was boys against girls that day and the boys won by a very narrow margin of 12 to 9. Pictionary is one of our favorite games to play together and I love it because its so easy to put together!

Here's what you need:

2 Dry Erase easels (or a bunch of sheets of paper) some markers a box with about 25 clues (I try to go by theme, Valentine's, Summer, we even did an Inauguration version)

The game is simple, we have two teams and I'm 

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Teen Advisory Group! Stamps!

The teens of Muhlenberg's Teen Advisory Group have spoken, MORE CRAFTS! And I am more than happy to deliver. Last Friday was our first summer craft day, our topic? Stamps.

The library has a lot of great craft books that involve stamping. My current favorite is Todd Oldham's book Kid Made Modern, which features craft ideas based on the work of legendary artists and designers like Alexander Calder and Ray and Charles Eames.

We used 

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